MARCH 31-27, 03 Archives

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'I Would Cut Bush To Pieces With My Teeth' - Iraqi Rage March 31, 2003 Rasoul Hammed Najeed stood outside his home sobbing uncontrollably for his five-year-old son, who was killed while playing near a busy Baghdad vegetable market when an air raid struck. "After this crime, I wish I could see [US President George Bush] in order to cut him to pieces with my teeth," he cried. Another man, identified as Saad Abd Qasim, stood as if in a trance, unable to speak. Friends said his wife, his child and the wife of his son had been among the 50 to 60 people Iraqis say were killed in the raid.

British MP Sees Catastrophe Ahead March 31, 2003 Sanjay Suri LONDON, (IPS) - Labour Party MP Tam Dalyell, revered as the 'father' of the British Parliament, sees catastrophic times ahead if the war on Iraq continues. ”God only knows how this will end,” Dalyell told IPS in an interview Saturday. ”But if it must be ended sensibly, ”I can only say that there should be a ceasefire forthwith that is mandated and administered by the UN. It is clear already that this talk of achieving a regime change is fanciful.” Dalyell said: ”They have not just miscalculated, they have completely misunderstood the nature of Iraqi society and its institutions.” Tam Dalyell, who is known as the Father of the House because he is the longest serving MP (he was elected first in 1962), carries considerable weight in Parliament and in the public. He has led a loud campaign since the build-up to the war that the government is deceiving the people.

Outrage Spreads in Arab World March 31, 2003 By Emily Wax Civilian Deaths in Baghdad Market Called a 'Massacre' CAIRO, A shuddering sense of outrage at President Bush and the United States fell over the Arab world today as television networks and newspapers reported a U.S. air assault that Iraqi officials said killed 58 people at a vegetable market in Baghdad. "Monstrous martyrdom in Baghdad," said a huge headline in al-Dustur, a newspaper in Amman, Jordan. "Dreadful massacre in Baghdad," read a banner headline in Egypt's mass circulation Akhbar al-Yawm newspaper. Photos of two young victims of the blast covered half its front page. "Yet another massacre by the coalition of invaders," read the main headline in Saudi Arabia's popular al-Riyadh daily.

Sickened by civilian deaths, Algerians start to side with Iraq in war March 31, 2003 ALGIERS Increasing numbers of Algerians are choosing to support Iraq in the war against US and British forces, after being disgusted by pictures of Iraqi civilian deaths and filled with admiration by the "heroic" resistance of their fellow Muslims. Algeria's 32 million people appeared largely indifferent in the diplomatic build-up to the conflict, but the outbreak of war has prompted outrage against what has been described in the local press as the "crazed hegemony" of US President George W. Bush.

Another market massacre in Baghdad March 31, 2003 By Henry Michaels Last Friday, for the second time in two days, US missiles hit a busy market street in a working class district of Baghdad, killing and wounding scores of innocent civilians—the same slum dwellers that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair had claimed would rise up to overthrow the Iraqi regime as soon as the war began. Dr. Osama Sakhari, speaking at Baghdad’s Al Noor Hospital after a day of heavy raids across the capital, said he had counted 55 people killed and more than 47 wounded from the market in the Shu’ale neighborhood. The dead included at least 15 children. Another Iraqi doctor, Hakki Is-mail Marzooki, said the deaths were in a residential area just 300 meters from his hospital. Dr. Marzooki described the scene as like a “massacre” and said there were no potential military targets in the area.

Concern as five helicopters crashed in one week March 31, 2003 Five helicopters from the US army's elite air assault division have crashed in Iraq during less than a week of flying, military officials said on Sunday, raising concern among the pilots over the treacherous Iraqi desert conditions. In the most serious incidents, two of the 101st Airborne Division's prized Apache Longbow attack helicopters crashed while trying to land within the secure confines of their base in southwestern Iraq during their first combat mission on Friday night. Although the four crew on board were not seriously injured, a senior instructing pilot with the division, Chief Warrant Officer Ted Hazen, said both of the 30-million-dollar Apaches were write offs.

Ugly tactics will only get worse March 31, 2003 The United States should have guessed that Iraq would not fight by the rules, writes Paul McGeough. It is hardly surprising the Iraqis have resorted to suicide bombing, but the shocked response from US commanders is another sign of their lack of preparedness for war in this region. The swagger is gone from the "shock and awe" campaign and instead of being welcomed by flag-waving, cheering Iraqis, President George Bush is confronted with the ugliness of asymmetrical warfare - brazen Iraqi units and individuals who can nip through gaps in the most technologically advanced force ever sent into battle. It does not mean that the US-led forces will lose the war. But it does mean the ground rules have changed dramatically, handicapping Washington and, to use Saddam's words, increasing the blood-price that the US will pay for victory. The Iraqi resistance is as much a measure of Saddam's fear-driven control of his military and civilian populations as it is of the doubts that many ordinary Iraqis harbour about American intentions. It is ugly now and it promises to get uglier.

US Insiders Gloomy: War "Not Going According to Plan;" March 31, 2003 By ALEXANDER COCKBURN The situation of the US/UK invading force can be assessed as difficult. The US 3rd Infantry Division, the Marines, Division, the 101st Airborne continue to be plagued by stretched supply lines which yesterday saw one Marine unit entirely immobilized by lack of diesel fuel and the food down to one “meal” a day, with the MREs being decried by the soldiers as not fit for human consumption. Disorganization is rife. The 3rd Infantry Division marches up one side of the Euphrates, while their baggage and supplies proceed up the other, which renders bridges more “strategic” than ever. The helicopter assaults on the Iraqi Medina division left, on one account, seven still serviceable. Two helicopters were lost in the attack and twenty-six were damaged. It is becoming clear that last week’s violent sandstorm was a very serious blow to the invaders. The Iraqis were able to reinforce their defenses around Najaf and assault launch some damaging attacks. US high tech equipment has been seriously degraded by the sand. Perennial warnings about excessive reliance on hi-tech weaponry and the hype of a supposed Revolution in Military Affairs are now returning in force. A missile killed 200 in a shelter in Basra, allegedly a “command and control center” which may by US/UK-speak for a civilian shelter, as with the Amariya shelter in Baghdad in 1991.

US may face Soviet type Afghan misadventure in Iraq' March 31, 2003 Agence  France-Presse US-led coalition troops may get bogged down in Iraq and face a bloody guerrilla war, similar to the Soviet Union's 10-year misadventure in Afghanistan, Pakistani military experts say. "The Americans may be bogged down in Iraq. Even if they occupy Iraq, they will never be able to achieve their covert or overt objectives," defence analyst and former general Talat Masood said. "If the Iraqis put up stiff resistance and the casualties on both sides are heavy then this might turn into a long, drawn-out war." General Hamid Gul, former chief of Pakistan military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), said Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's tactics of combining conventional war with guerrilla warfare marked a "new chapter in the history of war."

US arms trader to run Iraq March 31, 2003 Oliver Morgan Ex-general who will lead reconstruction heads firm behind Patriot missiles. Jay Garner, the retired US general who will oversee humanitarian relief and reconstruction in postwar Iraq, is president of an arms company that provides crucial technical support to missile systems vital to the US invasion of the country. Garner's business background is causing serious concerns at the United Nations and among aid agencies, who are already opposed to US administration of Iraq if it comes outside UN authority, and who say appointment of an American linked to the arms trade is the 'worst case scenario' for running the country after the war.

Support the Warrior Not the War: Give Them Their Benefits! March 31, 2003 by Ashley L Decker The recent rally cry "Support Our Troops" seems to me little more than a perverted, propaganda ploy to "Support the War." But we can support our troops, without supporting the war, by rectifying some of the following conditions. The House of Representatives have recently voted on the 2004 budget which will cut funding for veteran's health care and benefit programs by nearly $25 billion over the next ten years. It narrowly passed by a vote of 215 to 212, and came just a day after Congress passed a resolution to "Support Our Troops." How exactly does this vote support our troops? Does leaving our current and future veterans veterans without access to health care and compensation qualify as supporting them?

FLASH 34: Bush Given Invasion Plan Two Days Before 9/11 March 31, 2003 In the context of misleading statements from White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice about the degree of US foreknowledge of the 9/11 events, has revealed that detailed plans for the US retaliation against al-Qaeda and the Taliban reached the White House for Bush's signature on September 9, two days before the attacks. ist-socrates

The tragedy of this unequal partnership March 31, 2003 By opting to join the American hard Right, Tony Blair has made the gravest mistake of his political life Will Hutton argues that, by opting to join the American hard Right, Tony Blair has made the gravest mistake of his political life, one from which he cannot recover. Blair's drawn face, with its deepening gullies set in a near permanent hard frown, tells the story. This is the internationalist who is aiding and abetting, however unintentionally, the break-up of the UN system. The pro-European who is the trigger of the most acute divisions in the European Union since its foundation. The wannabe progressive whose closest allies are Washington's neo-conservatives and conservative leaders in Italy and Spain.

Bush's Miscalculations Turn Saddam Into Heroic Figure March 31, 2003 By Abdel Bari Atwan President George Bush has at least one achievement to his credit in his war against Saddam Hussein. He has transformed Saddam into a heroic champion in the eyes of many in the region and might elevate his status into that of a mythological figure if he succeeds in killing or capturing more British and American soldiers and in turning Baghdad into an Arab and Islamic Stalingrad. It is now clear that events are not going according to the plans prepared in Washington and London and that Saddam's strength and the Iraqi people's reaction to the war were misjudged. Saddam has outfoxed his enemies. He has managed to surprise all in Washington, London and Arab capitals with his ability to absorb the strikes of the first days of confrontation, to turn the psychological war directed against him into a source of self-confidence, and to manipulate America's overwhelming military superiority in his favour.

The majority of the America people have no political voice Advice to you, for survival March 31, 2003 Dear Dr. El-Najjar, As you are an experienced newspaper editor, you must be aware that the majority of the America people have no political voice - in the United States. Almost All news outlets (Radio - TV - Newspapers - News Weeklys and Video productions) are controlled by wealthy families and so always repeat whatever the presidential spokesmen wish. Further - the two So Called major political parties are entirely funded and the candidates chosen by that same rich rulling group. Hence :: You can tell by our demonstrations - for which they are Arresting us - that the majority of Americans are ASHAMED of this war and are AGAINST this war. And we do not support our troops in doing this EVIL. And our troops are doing Evil at the orders of our rulers. Naturally we don't want our troops hurt; however we don't want Iraq to become a Puppet state for our rulers and for their Iraqi yes-men to use either. So Please Please Listen to Me Carefully: All the Credit in this War; All the Glory goes to the Iraqis who have shown the world that:: fighting against overwhelming odds, they are the Bravest men in the war. The world sees this. NOW what Saddam (although I think he is a dictator) and the bravest of the Iraqis must do -is what the ENGLISH were planning to do, if Invaded by Hitler. The BAGHDAD Iraqis must fight in Every house, on Every street, behind Every wall, (and as the English and Irish) -to the Last man if necessary. Our troops must see that the Iraqis will give them NO SURRENDER. Then our troops will Sicken of this slaughter of the brave - and they will stop and perhaps even Revolt. They will finally see - that the Iraqis can be killed but they cannot be conquered. For the Iraqi Cause is Just - it is the Cause of Refusing to Surrender to the U.S., the Invaders. All Muslims from other countries should be encouraged to flow into Iraq to fight and STOP us NOW!

Global antiwar protests continue; some call for trial of Bush, Blair March 31, 2003 Canadian Press Egyptian university students called for holy war against U.S.-led "aggression" in Iraq, and Indonesians accused America of terrorism as hundreds of thousands around the world staged more rallies Sunday denouncing the war. In Alexandria, Egypt, more than 15,000 students burned U.S. and British flags, demanded boycotts of goods from both countries and called for jihad - or holy war - "to deter the oppressive American aggression." Egyptians have criticized their government for allowing coalition ships to cross the Suez Canal on their way to Iraq. Another three U.S. cruisers were crossing the strategic waterway Sunday.

Bush & Co. Have Plenty to Worry About March 31, 2003 Doyle McManus As President Bush and his aides dig in for a longer war than first hoped for, they face a sobering prospect: Longer and tougher combat will create a ripple effect of problems stretching from the battlefield to the rest of the world including the home front. A worst-case scenario of brutal, drawn-out urban warfare in Baghdad would not only cost the lives of many more US troops and Iraqi civilians, it would sharpen anti-American passions in the Muslim world and slow an economic recovery in the United States. “In chaos theory, it’s said that a single beat of a butterfly’s wing can cause a tornado somewhere else,’’ said John Lewis Gaddis, a historian at Yale. “We’re in one of these butterfly situations now...The longer the war goes on, the more difficulties we’re going to have elsewhere in the world.’’

Another American request coming March 31, 2003 by Tony Best Within the next few days, the United States plans to ask Barbados and its Caricom neighbours to help block any attempt to haul Washington before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Tribunal to answer charges of abuses in Iraq. With civilian casualties mounting in Iraq and having succeeded in derailing international efforts to switch the Iraqi crisis from the UN Security Council to the UN General Assembly, diplomatic sources in Washington and New York say the Bush Administration plans to press the Caribbean to join in a lobbying effort to oppose any move by Islamic nations and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement, to complain to the UN Human Rights Commission about the way the United States is conducting the war. “It’s our understanding that the United States is going to ask the ministries of foreign affairs in various Caricom capitals to block any effort to take the Iraqi question to a UN human rights panel,” said a diplomatic source at the UN.

Police Repression of Anti-War Protests March 31, 2003 There are many reports of violent police repression of protests following the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Amnesty International released a report condemning such actions recently. Protests became extremely intense in some Islamic societies, especially at the location of U.S. embassies. In Yemen last week, 10,000s marched on the U.S. embassy. Police used live ammunition to defend against protesters, some of whom were reportedly armed. Several protesters were killed, while one policeman was killed and over a dozen were injured. In Norway peace demonstrators sustained various injuries at the hands of police. Also, there was conflict with the police reported in Spain (where over 130 protesters were injured by the police), Montreal, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Read entire feature

Shoshana Johnson

Hometown America watches in horror March 30, 2003 Ed Helmore in El Paso The Pentagon told them war would be swift and painless. Now the truth is invading their living rooms and the grim images are of people they love, Claude Johnson was flicking through TV channels to find cartoons for his granddaughter when a news bulletin mentioned that his daughter Shoshana had been captured by the Iraqis. 'I heard her name but I wasn't sure. Then I got on the internet,' he said. Six hours later, a US military official called to confirm that she was indeed now a prisoner of war. two Apache helicopter pilots have been captured and 12 Marines are listed as missing in action. Pictures of a petrified-looking Johnson have revived fears over the fate of personnel captured in previous conflicts. There is also growing concern about the fate of two other missing women from the 507th, privates Jessica Lynch and Lori Piestewa, after reports that two uniforms belonging to female soldiers had been found in a hospital in Nasiriyah, apparently with the dog tags and US flags torn from them. Debate rages about the proper place of the 200,000 females in the American military.

Report: Rumseld Ignored Pentagon Advice on Iraq March 30, 2003 Reuters Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly rejected advice from Pentagon planners that substantially more troops and armor would be needed to fight a war in Iraq, New Yorker Magazine reported. In an article for its April 7 edition, which goes on sale on Monday, the weekly said Rumsfeld insisted at least six times in the run-up to the conflict that the proposed number of ground troops be sharply reduced and got his way. "He thought he knew better. He was the decision-maker at every turn," the article quoted an unidentified senior Pentagon planner as saying.

German military historians predict Anglo-American defeat in Iraq March 30, 2003 By Cassandra Speke and Stephan Reuter Never in the history of war have such formidable cities as Baghdad been conquered militarily by an invading army. The single exception may be the recent Russian siege of Grozny (400,000 inhabitants), but the focused brutality of its assault may not be easily replicated on Baghdad's 5 million inhabitants under the eyes of a watchful and angry planet. Indeed, the invaders have but two choices: to incinerate the city or to starve it. Recently declared a military target, Basra's civilians, for example, have automatically been militarized. This means fighting in the streets. And this type of fighting cannot be won. This is the opinion of an eminent and nationally respected German scholar, Dr. Manfred Messerschmidt, 76, leading historian of the Research Department of Military History in Freiburg, Germany. Controversial and at times inconvenient, Dr. Messerschmidt's views command respect even among his critics.

Conflict sapping forces' morale March 30, 2003 By Andrew North With US marines in Nasiriyah Here on the frontline this conflict is taking its toll on morale. I can see the signs in the US marines I am with outside Nasiriyah. Quite a few of the troops have said to me that this isn't what they were expecting. They have had a tiring week of guerrilla-style fighting and it continues. They are frustrated that their political masters gave the American public the impression that it would be easier than it's turned out to be. But, also that they should have given them more expectation about Iraqi resistance like this. They don't want to admit they can't deal with it, but I think there is definitely a sense that it is not the kind of fighting that they were really trained for. One Marine told me: "I've had enough of being fired at from all directions, I just want to go home".

Soldiers found in shallow graves March 30, 2003 By: Associated Press Iraq As Operation Iraqi Freedom continues, the number of American casualties increases. U-S military officials have confirmed the bodies of some troops have been found in shallow graves near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Officials have not yet said how many bodies have been found on the grave sites. Nasiriyah has been the site of fierce fighting for days.

Bush Proposal Would End Overtime Pay for Millions of Workers March 30, 2003 The Bush administration proposed new rules March 27 that would erode the 40-hour workweek and deny overtime pay protections to millions of workers. The proposed changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations would affect a wide range of the more than 80 million workers protected by the FLSA. FLSA’s current overtime rules protect workers from employers who do not now require workers to unreasonably long hours because they are required to pay overtime. The Bush rules could mean that many workers would face unpredictable work schedules because of an increased demand for extra hours for which employers would not have to pay time-and-half.

US Bombs Iran, Hawks Readying For 2004 Invasion March 30, 2003 By J. Stanton While the slaughter continues in Iraq, the United States has its sights set on the real prize: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even though Syria is next on the chopping block according to the authors of A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm -chief among them Richard Perle and Douglas Feith- it is Iran that Bush and his team of hawks covet. "We have 50 percent of the world's wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population. In this situation, our real to devise a series of relationships which permit us to maintain this position of disparity. To do so we have to dispense with sentimentality...we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization." That according to George Kennan. For over 50 years, through coups, preemptive air strikes and vicious propaganda, the US, UK, France, Israel and other European nations have long been engaged in "preemption" by attacking and decapitating the legitimate leaders of the nations that makeup the middle east. And so many still ask the silly question, "Why do they hate us?" Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donnie Rumsfeld, Richard Armitage, Elliot Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad and other up and coming War Criminals are anxious to set things right with Iran. It is Iran's turn to be subjected to the 21st Century version of Nazi Germany's Blitzkrieg, that being the murderous American Shock and Awe campaign created by leading War Criminal Harlan Ullman.

The Euro And The War On Iraq March 30, 2003 By Amir Butler As Mark Twain once noted, prophecy is always difficult, particularly with regards to the future. However, it is a safe bet that as soon as Saddam is toppled one of the first tasks of the America-backed regime will be to restore the US dollar as the nation's oil currency. In November 2000, Iraq began selling its oil for euros, moving away from the post-World War II standard of the US dollar as the currency of international trade. Whilst seen by many at the time as a bizarre act of political defiance, it has proved beneficial for Iraq, with the euro gaining almost 25% against the dollar during 2001. It now costs around USD$1.05 to buy one Euro. Iraq's move towards the euro is indicative of a growing trend. Iran has already converted the majority of its central bank reserve funds to the euro, and has hinted at adopting the euro for all oil sales. On December 7th, 2002, the third member of the axis of evil, North Korea, officially dropped the dollar and began using euros for trade. Venezuela, not a member of the axis of evil yet, but a large oil producer nonetheless, is also considering a switch to the euro. More importantly, at its April 14th, 2002 meeting in Spain, OPEC expressed an interest in leaving the dollar in favour of the euro. If OPEC were to switch to the euro as the standard for oil transactions, it would have serious ramifications for the US economy. Oil-consuming economies would have to flush the dollars out of their central bank holdings and convert them to euros. Some economists estimate that with the market flooded, the US dollar could drop up to 40% in value. As the currency falls, there would be a monetary evacuation by foreign investors abandoning the US stock markets and dollar-denominated assets. Imported products would cost Americans a lot more, and the trade deficit would be magnified.

USA Drops Out Of Geneva Convention March 30, 2003 by Jack Duggan U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently complained that the Iraqis were violating the Geneva Convention when they showed captured U.S. servicemen on Iraqi TV. The worldwide western media immediately took up the complaint, airing his statement repeatedly and globally. They never saw the irony that as soon as that sound-bite was over, next on their news tapes were often segments showing Iraqi POWs surrendering to Coalition forces, regardless of how the POWs’ families in Baghdad would suffer at the hands of the Republican Guard if Iraqi-POW faces were recognized on CNN. The western media refuse to expose US hypocrisy. Apparently they are so overwhelmed with gratitude for their privilege of traveling with Coalition units on the battlefield that they have become nothing more than lap-dogs. Somehow, Iraqis are not covered by the Geneva Convention if the US decides that they are not. And the media doesn’t dare go against them – not if it wants to keep filming in Iraq. Thankfully, the US hasn’t yet succeeded in stopping ‘unpatriotic’ articles on the Internet, so you can read the truth here.

Eliminating Truth: The Development Of War Propaganda March 30, 2003 By David Miller The attack on Iraq looks set to be the most censored conflict of modern times. Media coverage in mainstream media will be controlled as never before. The US is determined to eliminate independent reporting of and from Iraq and it will go to unprecedented lengths to ensure that its propaganda and spin will dominate media agendas in the UK and US and it will expend massive resources in minimizing critical coverage across the world.

Chirac demands France create a rival to CNN March 30, 2003 By Kim Willsher in Paris President Jacques Chirac has ordered his officials to draw up plans for a French-language, international television channel to counter the growing influence of the BBC and CNN. He has demanded that the blueprint for the service - already nicknamed "CNN a la Francaise" - be ready by the end of next month as he has become increasingly irritated by the "Anglo-Saxon" view of global events which is being beamed into millions of homes and hotel rooms around the world.

'Silver bullets' that kill, and kill again March 29, 2003 By Cristina Hernandez Espinoza The hundreds of tanks that are leading the way for the invading forces in Iraq, part of the largest US offensive since Vietnam, are carrying a dangerous metal that has triggered alarm among environmentalists around the world: depleted uranium. In the 1991 Gulf War, the US introduced this element, considered the champion of munitions. Known as the "silver bullet" for its high density and low cost, it allows a tank to fire from a distance and achieve penetration while remaining out of reach of enemy fire. But in parallel to its formidable capacities in war, depleted uranium is also blamed for frightful environmental and health impacts. The Iraqis say that the metal is responsible for rendering their lands infertile and for increased rates of cancer, childhood leukemia, spontaneous abortions and physical deformities. There are US veterans of the 1991 war who believe that depleted uranium is responsible for the so-called Gulf Syndrome, a mysterious set of chronic diseases from which they suffer. According to the Pentagon, during that operation - Desert Storm - the country's forces fired 320 tons of munitions from their A-10 fighter jets, some 50 tons from the M1 Abrams tanks and 11 tons from other tanks and AV-8 aircraft, the same type of armaments being utilized in Iraq this time around, only with much greater firepower.

America in the vice Lives and careers are on the line in Iraq March 29, 2003 By Leader A vice is slowly beginning to close on US and British political leaders who ordered or justified the launching of war on Iraq. This potentially fatal squeeze is the product of two opposed dynamics. One is the dawning realisation that the war will not be over quickly, may indeed drag on for months, and will certainly not be the "cakewalk" predicted by Kenneth Adelman of the Pentagon's infamous defence policy board. The other is the prospect of an accelerating humanitarian crisis.

Bush and Blair hold crisis summit March 29, 2003 By Peter Symonds US President Bush and British Minister Blair came together this week for a hastily convened summit at Camp David to discuss war plans that have gone badly awry and to patch up widening disagreements over the political framework for postwar Iraq. Appearing at a joint press conference on Thursday, the two leaders tried to put the best possible face on what is threatening to become a military debacle. None of the rosy predictions of a week ago had been fulfilled. Instead of cheering crowds, allied troops met determined resistance. The Iraqi army has not deserted en masse and the Hussein regime remains intact.

Worse Than Clinton March 29, 2003 Charley Reese This might strike you as pettifoggery, but it is actually quite serious. Whether domestically or internationally, there are only two choices: the rule of law or the law of the jungle. Mr. Bush has chosen the law of the jungle. We're bigger and stronger than Iraq, so we will crush it. That's the same mentality as the common criminal. Mr. Bush has said to the world, the democratic process is OK unless we disagree with the outcome, then to hell with it. The fact that an administration is consistently dishonest and deceptive doesn't seem to bother most Americans. Well, that's probably just one more sign that our time in the spotlight is drawing to a close. reese.king

President's activities kept secret March 29, 2003 Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles President George Bush has been accused of quietly extending secrecy restrictions while the country is preoccupied with Iraq. He has signed an executive order that will delay the release of millions of government documents and make it easier for presidents to keep secret the details of their activities when in power. There is concern that for the first time the vice-president, Dick Cheney, has been given the power to classify information. Mr Cheney is not known for his commitment to open government and has sought to head off attempts to discover which energy corporations he has consulted with since he took office.

Bush accused of stifling anti-war Congress members March 29, 2003 A small but vocal contingent of anti-war lawmakers in the United States has accused the White House of stifling anyone who opposes the military campaign. Democrat congressman Sam Farr says there is a concerted attempt to attack anyone who dissents. He claims peace-minded legislators in the Republican Party have been threatened with the loss of coveted committee seats. Another Democrat congressman, Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, is a longstanding opponent of the war he describes as "unjustified". "This war must end now. It was unjust when it started last week and it is still unjust and illegal today," he said.

Over 700 US, British troops killed in Iraq: March 28, 2003 Moscow, Envoy Press Trust of India Iraq on Thursday claimed that in the US led attack over the country nearly 700 American and British troops have been killed in the past seven days of fighting. Iraq's Ambassador to Moscow, Abbas Khalaf, quoting fresh reports from Baghdad, claimed that in the last 24 hours alone over 500 American and British troops were killed in fierce fighting in An-Najaf and Kerbala. Three American spy drones were downed over An-Najaf, he told reporters. Though it has not been possible to verify the claims of the Iraqi envoy, Khalaf pointed out to the "great difficulties faced by the invading army as US is planning to send up to 30,000 more troops to Iraq as reinforcement."

First girl lost in the war March 28, 2003 By WILL BARKER A PRETTY 19-year-old country girl who joined the US Army to escape unemployment was feared to be the first woman soldier to die yesterday. Blonde Jessica Lynch was among 12 soldiers in a US supply convoy ambushed by Iraqi troops. Her parents were left weeping like others in America and Britain as more Coalition victims of the war were identified. Supply clerk Jessica was feared dead after five survivors from the ambush were paraded before Iraqi TV cameras in sickening footage beamed around the world on Sunday. Also shown were the bodies of the other seven members of the 507th Maintenance Co convoy, but Jessica’s parents could not identify her among them. Her father Greg Lynch said: “The only thing they can tell us is she’s missing. “I just want them to bring her back safely — her and all the rest of the kids.” Private Jessica — known as Jessie — only joined up because she could not find a job in her farming community home town of Palestine, West Virginia. Lorene Cumbridge, a 62-year-old cousin, said: “She’s just a West Virginia country girl. Warm-hearted. Outgoing. I really thought growing up she would become an elementary school teacher.

My brother Marines are dying for nothing - AGAIN! March 28, 2003 Robert S. Finnegan Irish philosopher Edmund Burke once said: "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." No words could better describe the situation taking place in America today. As the illegal war in Iraq bogs down and the body bags start coming home to the accompaniment of images of American POW's on CNN, the mood worldwide is one of shocked disbelief that events have been allowed to go this far. If indeed Americans who have supported this war in the beginning are becoming disillusioned, wait until the next curtain comes up. Warfare in built-up areas: the nightmare of all military commanders. Americans seem to love war these days, especially when they can kick back in their well-worn easy chairs and sip their cheap suds while taking in the deadly events occurring in the Middle East. Zombie-like, they exercise a level of egotism that sets them apart from the human race. I wonder if the "independent media" will ever show this rotting underbelly of the United States on prime time, the supporters of this illegal war.

Baghdad market massacre sheds ghastly light on nature of US invasion March 28, 2003 By Henry Michaels Wednesday’s atrocity in a Baghdad working class neighborhood has cast a grisly light on the real character of the US-British invasion. The final death toll from two US missiles that tore apart the Abu Taleb Street market in the suburb of Al Shaab is expected to approach 30. Notwithstanding the predictable claims by the Pentagon, uncritically regurgitated by the Western media, that the bombing was either an Iraqi military attack on its own people or a US “mistake,” the civilian carnage is the direct and inevitable result of the war that the Bush administration has embarked upon. As has been discussed in ruling circles in Washington and London for months, the subjugation of Iraq and the conquest of Baghdad—a sprawling city of 5 million people the size of Los Angeles or Toronto—will require the flattening of poor suburbs, the occupation of residential areas and the terrorizing of the population.

Washington’s hypocrisy over Iraqi "war crimes" March 28, 2003 By Bill Vann The Bush administration and the Pentagon have seized on Iraq’s treatment of captured US soldiers in an attempt to counter flagging support for a war that has failed to live up to Washington’s promises of a speedy campaign of “liberation.” Speaking at Macdill Air Force Base in Florida on Wednesday, Bush condemned Iraqis as “war criminals,” even as US bombs and missiles rained down on Baghdad, killing 36 civilians and wounding another 215 on that day alone. Bush appeared untroubled by the mounting civilian death toll, or for that matter, the casualties suffered by young US soldiers. Half of his speech was taken up with the kind of political backslapping and one-line jokes normally reserved for campaign fundraisers. The rest consisted of a warning to the American people that the war is shaping up to be a long one, and denunciations of Iraqi resistance. wsws.or

Back at Home, Grieving -- and Some Questions Lack of Details on Deaths Angers Kin March 28, 2003 By Anne Hull and Amy Goldstein DECATUR, Ga., March 26 -- Neither Spc. Jamaal Addison nor Pfc. Howard Johnson II was a gung-ho fighter, itching for battle in Iraq. Each had joined the Army for job training and a better foothold for the future. Instead, the two members of the 507th Maintenance Co. became early casualties of war after their supply convoy was ambushed Sunday in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Addison, 22, was the son of a Georgia postal worker, and Johnson, 21, the son of an Alabama minister. Their families officially learned of their deaths on Tuesday, but their grief was compounded by guesswork and even anger. They wanted to know so badly how their sons had died.

Political unity begins to melt as heat rises March 28, 2003 Oliver Burkeman As American and British troops ran into apparently unexpected levels of resistance from irregular forces in Iraq, there were signs yesterday of growing divisions within the US government over the wisdom of the military strategy being pursued by Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary. Against a backdrop of warnings from military commanders that the war could last for months, complaints coursed through Washington's intelligence community that the White House and the Pentagon had ignored warnings of precisely the kind of guerrilla opposition now being encountered in ambushes staged by Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen fighters.

ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit Challenging Unconstitutional Mass Arrest of Antiwar Demonstrators in Washington March 28, 2003 In a lawsuit filed in federal court today, the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area charged police officials with deliberately violating the constitutional rights of more than 400 peaceful antiwar demonstrators and bystanders by directing them into a police trap and then arresting them although they had not violated the law. "In this country, the government is not supposed to arrest you unless you break the law," said Arthur Spitzer, Legal Director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area. "But the evidence will show that the police deliberately rounded up hundreds of people who had not broken any law, many of whom were not even involved in the demonstration. No one in the neighborhood was safe from the lawless conduct of the D.C. police."

War, Hitler and Cheney March 28, 2003 by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. The immediate situation of the U.S. is summed up as follows: At this moment, as I had forewarned you in 1999-2000, we are plunging into a world depression comparable to, but worse than that of the Herbert Hoover Depression of 1929-1933. As I forewarned you in an address, broadcast at the beginning of 2001, new would-be Adolf Hitlers have now appeared, this time inside the U.S.A. Those would-be Hitlers now threaten the whole world with the kinds of wars for which the world later hung Nazi leaders, at Nuremberg: the new Hitlers from inside the U.S.A. and Blair's government, who act exactly as Hitler threatened Czechoslovakia in 1938, and invaded Poland in 1939. The pivotal feature of that warfare, into which an already bankrupt U.S. has just been plunged, is the de facto usurpation of the function of a still-sitting President by Halliburton's Vice-President Cheney, and by a gang of his organized-crime-linked lackeys polluting not only the Departments of Defense and State, but also polluting, and virtually castrating elected and other leaders of the nominal opposition, the Democratic Party.

US diplomat resigns over Iraq March 28, 2003 A senior American diplomat in Mongolia has resigned, saying Washington's policies towards Iraq and North Korea are making the world more dangerous. In a letter to the US State Secretary Colin Powell, Ann Wright - the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator - writes that the policy of pre-emptive attack on Iraq will provide justification for individuals and groups to pre-emptively attack America and its citizens. Ann Wright, who is the third US diplomat to resign in protest at the Bush administration's Iraq policy, also criticises the lack of contact with North Korea since the crisis over its nuclear programme began last October.

Bush: "Saddam to Blame for Epidemic" - (War on Obesity Planned) March 27, 2003 lampoon by Keetjie Ramo President Bush announced today that Saddam Hussein is responsible for the burgeoning problem of obesity in America. According to the President, recent satellite photos reveal overweight Americans wolfing down supersize meals at MacDonald's and Wendy's outlets. In the photos, newspapers with articles about Saddam Hussein are lying about in plain sight, he said. The President stated that U.S. intelligence agencies have warned that Americans are stuffing themselves to numb their fears of imminent attacks on America by Iraqi forces.

US WILL LOSE THE IRAQ WAR -SAYS SCOTT RITTER March 27, 2003 by Fintan Dunne Thorn in the side of the American administration, and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, has warned that America will lose the Iraq war and the American military: "will leave Iraq with its tail between its legs." In an interview with Irish radio, Mr. Ritter said that the conflict would become an "absolute quagmire," and the US-UK advance would stall outside Bhagdad and fail to capture the city. "We find ourselves... facing a nation of 23 million, with armed elements numbering around 7 million --who are concentrated at urban areas. We will not win this fight. America will loose this war," said Mr. Ritter. According to Mr. Ritter, too many in the Pentagon have listened to: "the blithering of Iraqi expatriates," whose agenda coincides with neo-conservatives in the White House. "We're in Iraq --carrying out the right-wing neo-conservative motives of a handful of people. The Richard Perle's, Paul Wolfowitz's; the Dick Cheney's. And we've allowed them to hijack our foreign policy," he told Irish broadcaster, Vincent Browne on the RTE1 radio "Tonight Show." He warned that Shia Muslims in the South were not fighting because of intimidation by the Iraqi government, but because of nationalistic and religious reasons.

US admits '8,000 Iraqis captured' claim was false March 27, 2003 The US military has been forced to admit the 8,000 Iraqi soldiers they claimed to have captured last week are now battling British forces. Iraq's 51st Infantry Division, which has about 200 tanks, is now engaged in the southern city of Basra. The Pentagon is claiming the confusion is the work of the Fedayeen Saddam - Saddam Hussein's most trusted paramilitary unit. The US is accusing it of organising the tactic of posing as civilians and faking surrenders. Defence Department officials reported on Friday that they had won the surrender of the entire 51st Division, a regular Iraqi army unit deployed in southern Iraq to defend Basra, the nation's second largest city. On Saturday, officials backtracked, saying they had only taken a couple of commanders.

'It was an outrage, an obscenity' March 27, 2003 By Robert Fisk It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car. Two missiles from an American jet killed them all – by my estimate, more than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be 'liberated' by the nation that destroyed their lives. Who dares, I ask myself, to call this 'collateral damage'? Abu Taleb Street was packed with pedestrians and motorists when the American pilot approached through the dense sandstorm that covered northern Baghdad in a cloak of red and yellow dust and rain yesterday morning. It's a dirt-poor neighbourhood, of mostly Shia Muslims, the same people whom Messrs Bush and Blair still fondly hope will rise up against President Saddam Hussein, a place of oil-sodden car-repair shops, overcrowded apartments and cheap cafés. Everyone I spoke to heard the plane. One man, so shocked by the headless corpses he had just seen, could say only two words. "Roar, flash," he kept saying and then closed his eyes so tight that the muscles rippled between them. How should one record so terrible an event? Perhaps a medical report would be more appropriate. But the final death toll is expected to be near to 30 and Iraqis are now witnessing these awful things each day; so there is no reason why the truth, all the truth, of what they see should not be told.

Iraq: Bombing of Iraqi state television March 27, 2003 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL today cautioned that the bombing of the Iraqi state television station in Baghdad by US allied forces could be a breach of the Geneva Conventions. "The bombing of a television station, simply because it is being used for the purposes of propaganda, cannot be condoned. It is a civilian object, and thus protected under international humanitarian law," the organization said. According to Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions Article 52 (2) "Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage."

Protesters denounce media at CNN's San Francisco office March 27, 2003 SAN FRANCISCO Marching in front of news reporters and cameras, protesters staged a demonstration outside of Cable News Network's San Francisco bureau today to denounce what they believe is unbalanced media coverage of the war in Iraq. Beginning at noon, more than 150 activists assembled outside of CNN's offices at 50 California St. to protest what they claim is an underreporting of Iraq casualties and too much reporting of American patriotism by national news networks.

White House dictates war coverage to a pliant media Office of Global Communications oversees press censorship March 27, 2003 By Henry Michaels Over recent days, photographs and footage of captured and killed United States soldiers have been seen by millions of people around the world, but not published by the major American newspapers or broadcast by TV networks. The blackout imposed on the American public, at the direct behest of the Bush administration, has highlighted two fundamental developments. The first is that while the Bush White House claims to be fighting for “liberty” and “democracy” in Iraq, it has created an extraordinary official apparatus to control and manage the media to an unprecedented degree. The second is that the corporate media is functioning in the most blatant manner as a propaganda tool of the White House and the Pentagon.

China readies for future U.S. fight March 27, 2003 By Willy Wo-Lap Lam HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- The Iraqi war has convinced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership that some form of confrontation with the U.S. could come earlier than expected. Beijing has also begun to fine-tune its domestic and security policies to counter the perceived threat of U.S. "neo-imperialism." As more emphasis is being put on boosting national strength and cohesiveness, a big blow could be dealt to both economic and political reform.

Counting Iraq's dead civilians March 27, 2003 By Jackson Thoreau Deep in the pit of Hell, Fatima Abdullah screams. Few hear her. Especially not the pilots in the U.S. and British jets that have been raining 2,000-lb. bombs, which obliterate everything within a football field upon impact, on Baghdad since last Thursday. Especially not the U.S. generals who refuse to acknowledge the lives of kids like Fatehah Abdullah, Fatima Abdullah's 8-year-old son.

What was Bush thinking? This war cannot be right  March 27, 2003 By Erica Hopson What was Bush thinking? This war cannot be right. I really think that this war isn't necessary. I mean, Saddam Hussein didn't even threaten us. All this war is about is oil. They have it and we want it. In the end we might end up with all the oil in the world, but more than a million dead bodies on our hands. Just think of all the kids, teens, babies, unborn babies and people who are going to die in this war--it's horrible! Not to say I hate our president, but I think he made the most retarded decision he could ever make. This war is going to bring hell on earth. - Erica Hopson is 14 years old.

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