APRIL 4-1, 03 Archives

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'No reason' for US to attack Iran, says Straw April 4, 2003 London, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Wednesday clearly distanced the British government from US threats to extend its war against Iraq to Iran or Syria.There was no case whatsoever to attack Iran, Straw said. Britain would have "nothing whatever" to do with any military action against Syria or Iran, he said. Last weekend US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Iran not to allow Iraqi opposition groups to use its territory and become involved in the war. He also threatened Syria not to supply military equipment to Saddam Hussein's regime. The warnings added to fears that the US was planning to extend its policy of using pre-emptive military action to rewrite the map of the Middle East to its own liking after carrying out 'regime change' in Baghdad. "Iran is a completely different country," Straw said. "Iran is an emerging democracy and there would be no case whatsoever for taking any kind of action," he emphasized. irna.com

Bush's Stalingrad is Baghdad's Revenge April 4, 2003 By Henry Makow Many of the US marines storming Baghdad were only 8 years old when Pappy Bush tricked Sadaam Hussein into invading Kuwait, and then incinerated Iraqi soldiers when they tried to retreat. These young marines were playing little league baseball and graduating from high school while millions of Iraqis endured a gruelling US-led embargo. Yet these marines will be the ones to feel the revenge of an enraged people, armed, provisioned, and prepared to defend their homes to the death. Young marines who signed to "serve their country" will bleed and die in Baghdad alleyways so Bush, Rockefeller and their cronies can be more filthy rich. American families will mourn their loved ones so Sharon and Rothschild can have an empire from the Nile to the Euphrates. The devil is rubbing his hands in glee. Once again he has pitted innocent peoples in a death struggle. How better to degrade humanity and render it vulnerable to his world government? As I write this, US stock markets are soaring on a tide of nothing-but-positive news from the US media. Our rulers believe that "saying so makes it so." But it doesn't take a genius to foresee that the U.S. is not going to conquer Baghdad without levelling it to the ground and killing most of its inhabitants. By pretending to "liberate" the Iraqi people, it cannot very well turn around now and annihilate them. American leaders have been snagged by their own nauseating propaganda. Soon the hot desert sun will bear down on their deluded army. Sand storms will choke its machinery, a rebuke from an irate God. Eventually, in months or years, the US army will straggle home from Iraq under a barrage of face-saving bluster. A marine general said the US had not "game planned" for a war like this. The game plan was Afghanistan; the reality is Vietnam. Is this intended to be another American debacle like Vietnam choreographed by the globalists? Does the US need to be weakened to melt it into the new world order? Already the U.S. has lost the world's respect. The Iraqi leadership appears calm because it did game plan for this war. Soon it will extract fitting revenge. savethemales.ca

MILITARY OFFICERS REVOLT AGAINST RUMSFELD INCOMPETENCE April 4, 2003 ATTACKS ON RUMSFELD ESCALATING IN U.S. PRESS. The New York Times says that "long-simmering tensionsbetween Rumsfeld and the Army have erupted in a series of complaints from officers on the battlefield. One Colonel, who spoke on the condition that his name be withheld, was among the officers criticizing decisions to limit initial deployments of troops to the region. "He wanted to fight this war on the cheap," the Colonel said. "He got what he wanted." Another Army officer said General William Wallace's comments were not meant to show defiance, but merely expressed a view which is widely shared among American officers in Iraq, at headquarters units in neighboring Kuwait and back at the Pentagon. Some members of General Wallace's staff have expressed concerns for the professional future of their boss. A second New York Times article (reprinted in part in Seattle Post-Intelligencer): "Rumsfeld's new war lesson getting low marks." The conflict with Iraq is not only intended to topple Saddam ... but to teach the military a new lesson.... Military leaders say that Rumsfeld's force isn't nearly as agile as he suggests ... the force in Iraq is so limited it has to carry out its tasks in phases, dragging out the war. Richard Perle is quoted defending the Rumsfeld plan. San Francisco Chronicle: One of the most ferocious battles of the Iraq war is being waged ... in the hallways and carpeted offices of the Pentagon ... current and former military leaders are criticizing Rumsfeld .. the deeper struggle is over Rumsfeld's efforts to remake the military. rumormillnews.com

Protesters Demand FOX News be accountable to the public April 4, 2003 by Camille Sauvé Over 70 people protested in front of Fox News' Battery Street Station to demand that Fox tell the truth about the human toll of the Iraq war and not rely solely on official sources or their supporters for information Over 70 people protested in front of Fox News' Battery Street Station to condemn Fox's coverage of the Iraq war claiming that Fox is a voicebox for Pentagon propaganda, excludes anti-war voices and doesn't show the tragic human toll on Iraqi civilians. Protesters also demanded that Fox give Geraldo, Bill O'Reilly and Oliver North pink slips for their irresponsible, jingoistic and threatening commentary (O'Reilly recently said protesters were terrorist and should be locked-up for a long time). Women from Code Pink next took off their pink slips with the names of the offending "journalist" and tossed the lingerie outside of the stations doors. indymedia.org

Try Arnett for treason, senator says April 4, 2003 WASHINGTON - Correspondent Peter Arnett should be "tried as a traitor" for remarks he made in an interview with Iraqi state television, Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said Tuesday. Arnett, a New Zealand native and naturalized U.S. citizen, said in the Sunday interview that Washington's "first war plan has just failed because of Iraqi resistance. ... Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces." NBC and its related network, for which the longtime war reporter had been covering the conflict from Baghdad, dismissed Arnett despite his apologies Monday. Later the same day, London's anti-war Daily Mirror hired him. In Arnett's first report for that paper, he retracted his apology. "I think he should be brought back and tried as a traitor to the United States of America, for his aiding and abetting the Iraqi government during a war," Bunning said in a conference call with reporters. enquirer.com  

Ex-CIA director: U.S. faces 'World War IV' April 4, 2003 From Charles Feldman and Stan Wilson Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Wednesday the United States is engaged in World War IV, and that it could continue for years. In the address to a group of college students, Woolsey described the Cold War as the third world war and said "This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War." cnn.com

Right-wing ideologue Peggy Noonan welcomes US casualties in Iraq April 4, 2003 By Bill Vann "Some good" from bloodier war, says Wall Street Journal columnist  “We can take it,” is the title of the latest column produced for the Wall Street Journal editorial pages on March 31 by Peggy Noonan, the former Republican White House speechwriter. What “we” are supposed to take, as the piece makes clear, is the killing of US soldiers amidst the carnage that is being unleashed on the people of Iraq. Noonan welcomes the prospect of a significant number of American troops coming home from Iraq in body bags. She speaks not just for herself, but decisive sections of the ruling elite. They believe that such a blood sacrifice is the only way to break down public resistance to Washington’s pursuit of US corporate interests around the world by means of military aggression. wsws.org

Detecting disinformation, without radar April 4, 2003 By Gregory Sinaisky How to tell genuine reporting from an article manufactured to  produce the desired propaganda effect? The war in Iraq provides us plenty of interesting samples for a study of disinformation techniques. Take the article "Basra Shiites Stage Revolt, Attack Government Troops", published on March 26 in The Wall Street Journal Europe. Using its example, we will try to arm readers with basic principles of disinformation analysis that hopefully will allow them in the future to detect deception. The title of the article sounds quite definitive. The article starts, however, with the mush less certain "Military officials said the Shiite population of Basra ... appeared to be rising". "Military officials" and "appeared to be" should immediately raise a red flag for a reader, especially given a mismatch with such a definitive title. Why "officials"? Were they speaking in a chorus? Or was each one providing a complementary piece of information? A genuine report certainly would tell us this and also name the officials or at least say why they cannot be identified. atimes.com

Bringing aid and the Bible, the man who called Islam wicked Evangelists  April 4, 2003 Matthew Engel Fears that US Christians will inflame situation. It could only happen with an American invasion. Poised behind the troops, waiting for a signal that Iraq is safe enough for them to operate in, are the evangelical Christians - carrying food in one hand and the Bible in the other. All the groups, generously funded by American churchgoers, are likely to do a magnificent job in offering water, food, medical help and comfort to a traumatised population. But they are causing alarm among Muslims, who fear vulnerable Iraqis will be cajoled into conversion, and Christians, some of whom warn that the missionaries will be prime targets in an unpacified Iraq. Muslim worries have been heightened because the man leading the charge into Iraq is the Rev Franklin Graham, who delivered the invocation at President Bush's inauguration, the son of Billy Graham and a fierce critic of Islam. He is on record as calling it a "wicked, violent" religion, with a God different from that of Christianity. "The two are different as lightness and darkness," he wrote. hguardian.co.uk

US helicopters attacked neighbourhood

Red Cross confirms dozens dead after US bomb attack April 3, 2003 The Red Cross has confirmed that dozens of Iraqi people, including women and children, have been killed in a US bombing attack on a town south of Baghdad. Iraqi officials have claimed US helicopters attacked a residential neighbourhood, killing 33 people. At least 280 injured are being treated in Hillah Surgical Hospital, 60 miles south of Baghdad, said Florian Westphal, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross. "The dead bodies and the nature of the injuries would suggest that at least some of them are the result of bombing," Mr Westphal said. Iraqi officials say US Apache helicopters attacked a neighbourhood in Hillah. ananova.com

Missile Downs U.S. F/A-18 Hornet Over Iraq April 3, 2003 An F/A-18C Hornet single-seat fighter bomber went down in Iraq just before midnight on Wednesday and U.S. forces continued intense efforts to find and rescue the pilot, U.S. defense officials said. "They are still conducting search and rescue operations," said one official. reuters.com

Pentagon issued far-reaching guidelines authorizing troops to arrest civilians

US forces rounding up Iraqi civilians - International condemnation of Guantanamo Bay plan April 3, 2003 By Henry Michaels Confronting mass resistance by Iraq’s people, US forces have begun rounding Iraqi civilians on the flimsiest of pretexts. More than 300 men and women in civilian clothes have already been detained, and on April 1 the Pentagon issued far-reaching guidelines authorizing troops to arrest civilians who “interfere with mission accomplishment” and hold them for up to 30 days. President Bush also authorized soldiers to use teargas in Iraq—this a likely preparation for subduing civilian unrest. Some of the civilians have been detained simply for appearing to be well-fed, according to interviews given by US officers to American newspapers. Military officers have declared that such detainees are likely to be labeled as “terrorists” or “unlawful combatants,” denied prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions and shipped off to the illegal detention and interrogation camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. wsws.org

Army Black Hawk Shot Down; Seven Killed April 3, 2003 A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in southern Iraq Wednesday, killing seven of the 11 soldiers aboard, Pentagon officials said. The helicopter was downed by small-arms fire near Karbala, the site of fierce fighting between the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and Iraqi troops, including Republican Guard forces. The other four soldiers on board the Black Hawk were wounded, officials said. They were rescued by American troops, the officials said. The Black Hawk was the second U.S. helicopter to go down in combat. An Army Apache assault helicopter went down March 24 during an assault on Republican Guard forces; its two pilots were captured by Iraqis. washingtonpost.com

America experiments with death

Two massive bombs explode near Iraq's Kut -witness April 3, 2003 Reuters Two huge bombs exploded close to the eastern Iraqi city of Kut on Wednesday, sending giant mushroom-shaped clouds billowing high into the sky, a Reuters correspondent said. Reporter Sean Maguire said U.S. Marines thought the blasts were caused by two so-called "daisy cutter" bombs -- a 6,750 kg (14,850 lb) device that dates back to the Vietnam war. "Two huge mushroom clouds rose hundreds of feet (metres) into the air," said Maguire, who is travelling with a U.S. Marine unit some 25 km (15 miles) from the city. U.S. forces bombarded Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of the capital Baghdad, overnight. alertnet.org

Poll: Germans Lose Respect for U.S. Over Iraq War  April 3, 2003 Reuters Nearly nine in 10 Germans have lost their respect for the United States because of the war in Iraq, according to an opinion poll by the Forsa institute published on Wednesday. The poll for Stern magazine found 89 percent of the 1,003 Germans surveyed said "No" when asked "Is the United States still a role model?" reuters.com

Spanish PM faces legal action for supporting Iraq war April 3, 2003 MADRID (AFP) A broad coalition of anti-war activists, militant lawyers and judges on Wednesday took legal action against Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, charging that his support for the US-led war on Iraq is illegal. The Culture Against the War group, together with the Free Association of Lawyers and two groups called Judges for Democracy and Magistrates for Democracy, filed the complaints before the Supreme Court, the group of militants said. They notably accuse Aznar of breaking Spanish law by involving Spain in a military conflict without authorisation from both houses of parliament and the King, who is head of state. Socialist European deputy Jose Maria Mendiluce filed similar charges against Aznar late last month. spacewar.com

Pakistan senate denounces war April 3, 2003 By Farhan Bokhari Pakistan's senate yesterday passed unanimously a tough resolution denouncing the US-led war on Iraq. The resolution was approved despite suggestions by some politicians that the government of General Pervez Musharraf, a close US ally in the fight against terrorism, wanted to restrain criticism of the Bush administration. It attacked the "use of indiscriminate firepower against innocent Iraqi civilians" and demanded that the United Nations Security Council take "an immediate initiative to stop hostilities". Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators marched along the streets of Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province bordering Afghanistan. Many protesters repeated calls from Islamic clergymen seeking recruits for Iraqi suicide squads as part of a holy war. Farhan Bokhari, Islamabad news.ft.com

Russia accuses US authorities of media deception over Iraq April 3, 2003 Russia has accused US authorities of misleading both domestic and international opinion by manipulating media reports on the war in Iraq, which Moscow strongly opposes. "We have all seen the bias in the information provided, the violations of the rights of journalists and the way they deceive the American public and the international community as a whole," a spokesman for the press ministry said in a statement, as quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency. abc.net

The Bush Administration and Human Rights April 3, 2003 Human rights has been a central rhetorical foreign policy concern of successive U.S. presidents since the Carter administration. For all that, the international community remains deeply ambivalent about the American government's self-appointed role as the world's largest human rights organization. Many see self-interest behind U.S. claims to be upholding high moral principles, and they also see hypocrisy in the U.S. government's reluctance to be bound by the same instruments it is so ready to apply to others. Domestically, support for U.S. advocacy of human rights around the world is wide but shallow. In policy debates, other priorities easily supersede concern for human rights, if they can be portrayed as essential to national security. foreignpolicy-infocus.org

Presidential Quarantine Why Bush can't leave America -- and why that matters April 3, 2003 George W. Bush is under an international quarantine. It is not security concerns that prevent him from going overseas, nor is it the unseemly appearance of leaving the White House while our troops fight along the Euphrates. Rather, Bush can't leave America because his policies are intensely unpopular in almost every country on earth. What country could this president visit that wouldn't immediately erupt into massive civil unrest? A Bush visit to Western Europe would make 2001's violent anti-globalization demonstrations in Genoa look like a tea party. This explains why British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's only real ally in this war, came to Washington instead of hosting Bush in London. It also explains why a few weeks ago Bush met with Blair and the leaders of Spain and Portugal in the Azores. By meeting at a U.S. airbase on an isolated archipelago with a population roughly equal to that of Akron, Ohio, Bush avoided the anger in the European streets. Although the Portuguese prime minister welcomed our president to "Europe," the sad truth is that Bush will not be welcome in the real Western Europe for months, if not years. prospect.org

Economist predicts world recession April 3, 2003 Morgan Stanley economist cites SARS, war uncertainties as the main causes for pending recession.  NEW YORK (CNN) - One of Wall Street's leading economists is predicting a global recession this year, prompted in large part by fears surrounding Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the "mystery illness" with cold-like symptoms that is blamed for 78 deaths in 15 countries, CNNfn has learned. cnn.com

US special forces suffer heavy casualties April 3, 2003 US special forces, whose superman image has created an aura in invulnerability around them, have unexpectedly disclosed heavy casualties - 175 killed, wounded or missing - in their worldwide hunt for Osama bin Laden and his terror associates. Addressing a congressional panel today, Deputy Assistant Defence Secretary Marshall Billingslea said the figure had amassed since the beginning of a concerted post-September 11 counter-terrorism drive aimed at bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. "To date, there have been 137 SOF wounded, 91 of whom sustained injuries during combat," Billingslea told the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities. smh.com

Children killed in US assault April 2, 2003 Ewen Mackaskill in Washington and Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad Dozens of Iraqi villagers were killed and injured in a ferocious American air and land assault near the Iraqi city of Babylon, hospital officials in the town said yesterday. Reuters reporters on the scene confirmed the deaths of at least nine children, two other civilians and two Iraqi fighters at Hilla in a bombardment on Monday night and early yesterday morning. An Iraqi hospital official said the death toll stood at 33 civilians, with more than 300 wounded. Unedited TV footage from Babylon hospital, which was seen by the Guardian, showed the tiny corpse of a baby wrapped up like a doll in a funeral shroud and carried out of the morgue on a pink pallet. It was laid face-to-face on the pavement against the body of a boy, who looked about 10. Horrifically injured bodies were heaped into pick-up trucks, and were swarmed by relatives of the dead, who accompanied them for burial. Bed after bed of injured women and children were pictured along with large pools of blood on the floor of the hospital. "All of these are due to the American bombing to the civilian homes. Hundreds of civilians have been injured, and many have been killed," said Nazim al-Adali, an Edinburgh-trained doctor at the hospital, who appealed to his "colleagues" in England to protest against the bombings. Among the injured in the women's ward was Aliya Mukhtaf, who said her husband and her six children were killed in the attack. The TV pictures also showed a teenage boy with bandages over the stump where his right hand was sheared off by shrapnel. "There are not any army cars or tanks in the area," said Dr al-Adali, who claimed cluster bombs had been used. guardian.co.uk

Emperor George What has become of American values and idealism? All swept away in this thoroughly un-American war April 2, 2003 Jonathan Freedland This war is un-American. That's an unlikely word to use, I know: it has an unhappy provenance, associated forever with the McCarthyite hunt for reds under the beds, purging anyone suspected of "un-American activities". Besides, for many outside the US, the problem with this war is not that it's un-American - but all too American. But that does an injustice to the US and its history. It assumes that the Bush administration represents all America, at all times, when in fact the opposite is true. For this administration, and this war, are not typical of the US. On the contrary, on almost every measure, they are exceptions to the American rule. guardian.co.uk

'You've just killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough' April 2, 2003 By Raymond Whitaker As a blue Toyota van raced towards an intersection held by American troops, Captain Ronny Johnson grew increasingly concerned. He radioed to one of his forward platoons, giving the order: "Fire a warning shot." The vehicle kept coming, so, with increasing urgency, he told the platoon to shoot a machine-gun round into its radiator. "Stop [messing] around!" Capt Johnson yelled into the radio when he saw no action being taken. Then he shouted at the top of his voice "Stop him, Red 1, stop him!" The hail of gunfire that followed resulted in the deaths of up to 10 Iraqi women and children, including five under the age of five. Sharply conflicting accounts of the tragedy at a military checkpoint near Najaf on Monday evening were still circulating yesterday when American troops shot dead another civilian at a roadblock. He was unarmed. American commanders admitted that their soldiers had killed seven women and children but their first reaction was to defend their troops, saying they opened fire after warning shots, including one into the vehicle's engine, were ignored. The men involved did "absolutely the right thing", said General Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. "Our soldiers on the ground have an absolute right to defend themselves." But William Branigin, a journalist for The Washington Post who witnessed the incident, filed a graphic account of Capt Johnson's interchange with his platoon. The reporter said 10 people were killed, and that the first shots fired included 25mm high-explosive cannon shells from one or more Bradley fighting vehicles, which tore into the four-wheel-drive. He claimed that Capt Johnson, a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, after peering into his binoculars from the intersection where he was positioned, screamed at his platoon leader: "You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!" news.independent.co.uk

Sorry about the shrapnel in your daughters head, here is an MRE for a pillow.

Coalition divided over battle for hearts and minds British military critical of US troops' heavy-handed style with civilians April 2, 2003 Richard Norton-Taylor and Rory McCarthy in Camp as-Sayliyah, Qatar - Cracks are appearing between British and American commanders which have serious implications for their future operations in Iraq. Senior British military officers on the ground are making it clear they are dismayed by the failure of US troops to try to fight the battle for hearts and minds. They also made plain they are appalled by reports over the weekend that US marines killed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, as they seized bridges outside Nassiriya in southern Iraq. "You can see why the Iraqis are not welcoming us with open arms," a senior defence source said yesterday. guardian.co.uk

Bush's Ever Shifting Absolutes April 2, 2003 by Sydney H. Schanberg A puzzled America watches now as the Bush imperial public-relations samurai try to behead the notion that they were the mongers who planted the vision of a quick and practically painless war. The recorded evidence doesn't help their case. Their cocky drumroll oratory has been with us for many months. Vice President Dick Cheney, for one, told America that Saddam Hussein's regime was "a house of cards." We could expect the war to last "weeks rather than months," Cheney said just two weeks ago. Every once in a while, the president and his minions would protect themselves with a few words about possible unforeseen complications, but the thumping central message was that the invasion and conquest of Iraq would be easy. villagevoice.com

American POW Jessica Lynch freed during attack April 2, 2003 US Army Private Jessica Lynch, a 19 year old from Palestine, West Virginia, has been freed by attacking American forces engaged in combat with Iraq's Republican Guard near Karbala, the last big city before Baghdad. The report has been confirmed by the US Defense Department, and took place near where her unit was ambushed, according to Jean Offutt, a spokeswoman for Fort Bliss, Texas. The 507th Maintenance, Lynch's unit, is based at Fort Bliss. US central Command's Brigadier General Vincent Brooks made the announcement around noon, New Zealand time, but refused to provide any further details or identify the rescued POW. US television networks reported unidentified sources as saying the captured soldier was 19-year-old Army private Jessica Lynch, 19, from Palestine, West Virginia, but the BBC reporter at the General's briefing was unable to tell viewers even that and was left to complain about the tight controls on information flow being experienced by journalists. Some sources say Private Lynch was rescued from a hospital behind enemy lines by US Army Rangers and Navy Seals. Other sources say she was rescued by US Marines involved in the main battle action. Central Command has not yet issued a definitive statement about the action in which she was rescued. Her family has been informed, US news sources said, and an Associated Press story says the rescued soldier's hometown erupted in celebration at the news. "They said it was going to be the biggest party this road had ever seen," Lynch's cousin Sherri McFee said as fire and police sirens blared in the background. nbr.co.nzboston.com

The Greatest Story Never Told
April 2, 2003 By Ernest Partridge Might it be possible that, due to GOP control of computer voting machines, the electoral ““fix”” is in, and that as a result nothing short of a revolution will ever budge the Republican Party from control of the Congress and the White House? In other words, is it not conceivable that our ““democracy”” is more than ““threatened”” –– it is in fact finished, done for, kaput? And we are not even aware of it? Imagine the following election procedure:
* Paper ballots are marked, in secret and deposited by the voters in sealed ballot boxes.
* The ballot boxes are then delivered to the offices of a private firm, which is publicly known to be a supporter of and contributor to one of the political parties.
* Upon receipt of the ballot boxes, the doors are locked and no one other than employees of that firm is allowed to inspect and validate the counting.
* The ballots are then destroyed, after which the results are announced. 
* The firm’s favorite candidate is declared the winner. The final results vary radically from pre-election polls.
Sounds like a Soviet “election,” doesn’t it? Like something that a dictator might dream up to assure himself a lifetime office. But surely, such a “fix” is too transparently and shamelessly obvious for anyone to think he could get away with it. And yet this scenario is an exact analogy, in all relevant respects, to the “computer screen” voting system that has been rushed into use, following the fiasco of the 2000 presidential election.

Apocalypse Soon April 2, 2003 By R. B. Ham The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq may or may not end up being as quick and efficient as was predicted by military analysts. Surprisingly, the Iraqi resistance seems to be stiffening as the campaign drags on. The war itself, however, may not be the most important story in the coming months. What is becoming more and more apparent is that this war is throwing not only international politics into chaos, but is also severely dividing the populace of the western nations into starkly opposing factions. British Prime Minister Tony Blair's political future seems doomed, given the overwhelming opposition to the war in his country. Not that Blair cares, no doubt a nice, cushy spot awaits him on the board of directors of the Carlyle Group for the services he's rendered to the "cause". His own party may turf him before the next election. members.shaw.ca

'The Most Feared Nation In The World' April 2, 2003 Within two years the Bush administration has succeeded in making the US the most feared nation in the world, and the most disliked, even hated. That's quite an achievement. Conspiracy theorists might conclude they're really working for Bin Laden. In recent discussions I've had with people who support a war on Iraq one of the issues for them which seems to trump all the others is that they feel Saddam hates America. Are you aware of any actions or statements by Saddam Hussein that would support such an opinion? Has Saddam ever threatened the U.S.? I have no idea what's in Saddam's head, and even if he hates America (whatever that means), the idea that that could be a justification for war is so lunatic that it's not worth discussing. Even the Nazis didn't go that far. outlookindia.com

Millions Stridently Protest War, March 24-30 April 2, 2003 In the week of March 24-30, large protests against the U.S. invasion of Iraq intensified, especially in Islamic societies. Some protests mobilized within radical religious right communities or as combined left party and religious right manifestations. However, as is common now since February 15, many protests around the globe swelled with tens and hundreds of thousands of people, a general public angry with the brutality of the unjust invasion, the dreadful U.S. bombing campaign, and the increasing number of civilian deaths in Iraq.

US troops accused of excess force April 1, 2003 Steven Morris Correspondents in Iraq have come upon a number of incidents in which the US military, especially the marines, have appeared to act with excessive force. After suffering heavy losses in the southern city of Nassiriya, US marines were ordered to fire at any vehicle which drove at American positions, Sunday Times reporter Mark Franchetti reported. He described how one night "we listened a dozen times as the machine guns opened fire, cutting through cars and trucks like paper". Next morning he said he saw 15 vehicles, including a mini-van and two lorries, riddled with bullet holes. He said he counted 12 dead civilians lying in the road or in nearby ditches. One man's body was still on fire. A girl aged no more than five lay dead in a ditch beside the body of a man who may have been her father. On the bridge an Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey. A father, baby girl and boy had been buried in a shallow grave. Franchetti said the civilians had been trying to leave the town, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks or heavy artillery. guardian.co.uk

Bloodied children's shoes bear witness to deadly strike at Baghdad farm  April 1, 2003 by Patrick Baz ANABIYAH, Iraq, Bloodied school books and children's shoes lie amidst animal carcasses on the road leading to the Ismails' farm in this village on the southeastern edge of Baghdad. The main building of this hamlet, accessible via a checkpoint manned by militiamen, has been levelled, the second burned out and the third partially destroyed. A neighbour told an AFP journalist that two missiles fired by coalition warplanes Saturday night caught five sleeping families living on the farm. The raid left 20 people dead, including 11 children, seven women and two men. Ten others injured in the attack were taken to hospital. The victims have already been buried according to Muslim tradition but the smell of death still permeates the farm: the bombing also cost the life of several of the farm's animals. Littered amongst the rubble spread over the grass were carcasses of four cows, their eye, nose and mouth cavities blackened by swarms of flies. Two dogs, sheep and chickens lay motionless nearby. prolog.net

Coalition forces drop bombs on food supply depots in Basra April 1, 2003 Shalamche, Khuzestan prov, IRNA Food storage depots in the southern Iraqi city of Basra were bombarded by the coalition forces on Saturday. A large number of citizens, some of them reportedly killed, had gathered in the bombed spot to receive relief supplies as the horrible carnage occurred. The injured were rushed to hospitals. Hospitals of Basra are packed with injured and schools are being used for medicare purposes. Basra is the second largest Iraqi city with a population of 1.2 million. International organizations have warned of major human catastrophe in the city. irna.com

Troops kill women and children at checkpoint April 1, 2003 LORNA MARTIN and MICHAEL SETTLE US troops shot dead seven women and children last night when their van failed to stop at a military checkpoint. The dead and two wounded were among 13 civilians travelling in the vehicle which approached the road block on a highway near the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad. theherald.co.uk

It will end in disaster The US and British governments have dragged us into a mess that will last for years  April 1, 2003 George Monbiot So far, the liberators have succeeded only in freeing the souls of the Iraqis from their bodies. Saddam Hussein's troops have proved less inclined to surrender than they had anticipated, and the civilians less prepared to revolt. But while no one can now ignore the immediate problems this illegal war has met, we are beginning, too, to understand what should have been obvious all along: that, however this conflict is resolved, the outcome will be a disaster. guardian.co.uk

MP urges troops to disobey orders April 1, 2003 Antiwar Labour MP George Galloway has defended an interview in which he branded Tony Blair and George Bush as "wolves" for committing the "crime" of military action against Iraq."It is better for Blair and Bush to stop this crime and this catastrophe. It is time for them to return to the UN Security Council and give diplomacy a chance" - George Galloway In an interview for Abu Dhabi TV, the Glasgow Kelvin MP questioned why Arab countries were selling oil to the coalition forces, and accused Mr Blair and Mr Bush of lying to the armed forces about the likely length of the war. Mr Galloway is standing by his comments, arguing that the war is illegal - and urged British soldiers to refuse to obey "illegal orders." In the television interview Mr Galloway said: "Even if it is not realistic to ask a non-Iraqi army to come to defend Iraq, we see Arab regimes pumping oil for the countries who are attacking it. "We wonder when the Arab leaders will wake up. When are they going to stand by the Iraqi people?" Turning his attention to Mr Blair and President Bush, he went on: "They have lied to the British Air Force and Navy when they said the battle of Iraq would be very quick and easy. "They attacked Iraq like wolves. They attacked civilians." itv.com

Britain won't send more troops April 1, 2003 by Hoon LONDON - Britain has no plans to bolster its forces fighting in Iraq, despite a heavy barrage of criticism suggesting that the U.S.-led war was poorly planned and is understaffed. Answering questions in the British House of Commons on Monday, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said he is standing by his pre-war estimates for Britain's contribution to the war effort. "What I am ruling out at this stage at any rate is the necessity for any substantial increase of the total numbers of our forces in theatre," he said. Britain has sent about 45,000 troops to the Persian Gulf, which Hoon said would be "sufficient for the job we were required to undertake, and nothing has changed my assessment of that position." cbc.ca

U.S. Prepared to Pay 'High Price' to Oust Saddam  April 1, 2003 By Jim Wolf AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) - The United States is prepared to pay a "very high price" in terms of casualties to capture Baghdad and oust President Saddam Hussein, a senior U.S. Central Command official said on Monday. "We're prepared to pay a very high price because we are not going to do anything other than ensure that this regime goes away," the official told reporters, adding that U.S. casualties in the 12-day-old war had so far been "fairly" light. "If that means there will be a lot of casualties, then there will be a lot of casualties," said the official, who spoke on condition that he not be named. "There will come a time maybe when things are going to be much more shocking," he said, adding: "In World War II, there would be nights when we'd lose 1,000 people. news.yahoo.com

For no good reason April 1, 2003 By Michelle Goldberg Military families opposed to the war face a double anguish: Losing their loved ones for a cause they don't believe in. Military families who oppose the war in Iraq say there's a special horror in watching this campaign unfold. Like everyone else who has a relative serving in the Gulf, they're beset by a sickening anxiety that builds as the troops move toward Baghdad -- and that paralyzes them every time another casualty is reported. For those who believe the war is unjust, though, there's no pride in a righteous cause to ease the terror, no patriotic sense of shared sacrifice to make sense of their families' disruptions. There is just the helpless feeling that their loved ones might lose their lives for nothing. "It hurts a lot, sacrificing our children for a war that Bush took us into," says Peter Hansen, a Navy dad in Palm Springs, Calif. "I picture my son going off to World War II and I really think I would feel differently. I'm not a pacifist, but I really feel something stinks about this, and every day I get more confirmation. I have an intuitive sense that Bush is not a good man." salon.com

Marine who said no to killing on his conscience April 1, 2003 by Duncan Campbell The first American conscientious objector from the Iraq war will give himself up at a marine base in California this morning. He said he believed the war was "immoral because of the deception involved by our leaders". Stephen Eagle Funk, 20, a marine reserve who was due to be sent for combat duty, is currently on "unauthorised absence" from his unit. He faces a possible court martial and time in military prison for his action. "I know I have to be punished for going UA," Mr Funk told the Guardian in an interview before surrendering to authorities, "but I would rather take my punishment now than live with what I would have to do [in Iraq] for the rest of my life. guardian.co.uk

The Devil's Dictionary April 1, 2003 By URI AVNERY Yet some more thoughts about the war. The Coalition. No name could be more appropriate to the cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom against Iraq. In "The Devil's Dictionary" of the American humorist Ambrose Bierce, published some 100 years ago, "coalition" is defined as (I quote from memory) the cooperation between two thieves who have their hands so deep in each others pockets that they cannot rob a third person separately. counterpunch.org

GOP Congressmen Attack Freedom of Speech So, what's new? April 1, 2003 by Jeff Koopersmith If you wondered what right wing nutball Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) is up to these days, don't worry. He was recently busy signing a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that urge the Secretary to "review" media packets of American newscasters covering the war in Iraq. Congressman Cliff Stearns, a leading but unknown neoconservative war monger, claims he was watching television news veteran and ABC news anchor Peter Jennings on March 10th and was "taken aback" by Jennings' interviews with American troops in Kuwait. americanpolitics.com

The firing of Peter Arnett: right-wing straitjacket tightens on the US media April 1, 2003 By Patrick Martin The firing of longtime war correspondent Peter Arnett is intended to send an unambiguous message to American journalists that the Bush administration and the corporate media will not tolerate any reporting that deviates from the official presentation of the invasion of Iraq as a war of liberation. NBC News announced late Sunday night that it was severing its relationship with Arnett, who had been hired to provide on-the-spot reporting from Baghdad for a news magazine program that is a joint venture of the network’s MSNBC cable subsidiary and the magazine National Geographic. Arnett’s “offense” was to give an interview to Iraqi state television on Sunday in which he called the Bush administration’s military strategy a failure that did not take into account the likelihood of intense Iraqi resistance to an invasion. In the course of his ten-minute interview with the Iraqi network, Arnett observed, “The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan.” wsws.org

War's Military, Political Goals Begin to Diverge April 1, 2003 By Rick Atkinson and Thomas E. Ricks KIFL, Iraq, Ten days into the invasion of Iraq, the political imperative of waging a short and decisive campaign is increasingly at odds with the military necessity of preparing for a protracted, more violent and costly war, according to senior military officials. Top Army officers in Iraq say they now believe that they effectively need to restart the war. Before launching a major ground attack on Iraq's Republican Guard, they want to secure their supply lines and build up their own combat power. Some timelines for the likely duration of the war now extend well into the summer, they say. This revised view of the war plan, a major departure from the blitzkrieg approach developed over the past year, threatens to undercut early Bush administration hopes for a quick triumph over the government of President Saddam Hussein. washingtonpost.com

Push Toward Baghdad Is Reaffirmed Bush Backs Battle Plan Of Top Pentagon Officials April 1, 2003 By David Von Drehle and Mike Allen President Bush yesterday encouraged his senior generals to keep their sights fixed on Baghdad despite the unexpectedly stiff resistance still plaguing allied forces far to the south of the Iraqi capital -- resistance that has some field commanders pleading for a new plan. Administration officials said Bush convened a teleconference yesterday morning at Camp David with the team of senior advisers known as his War Council. In that session, as one senior official described it, Bush supported Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's desire to press ahead with the plans embraced by Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Tommy R. Franks, commander of the Iraq effort. These plans call for continuing to prepare for a ground offensive against the Republican Guard, Saddam Hussein's most fearsome troops, while awaiting the arrival of additional forces -- some of which are weeks, even months, from being ready to fight. Field commanders this past week have spoken openly of a "pause" in the allied campaign to rest, regroup and reinforce, while securing supply lines by pacifying southern Iraq. But yesterday's session of the War Council reaffirmed a battle plan that was crafted in Washington, and reminded any dissenters what the commander in chief wants. "When we say we're on the plan, we're on the plan," an administration official said. "There is no pause." washingtonpost.com

US wages divide is wider than ever April 1, 2003 David Teather The gap between the earnings of America's chief executives and its average workers was wider than ever last year. This was despite a fall in profits and share prices and the cautionary tales of excess which have brought down some of the biggest names in business. Chief executives in the top 100 US companies earned an average of $1,017 an hour, compared with $16.23 for the average worker, according to a survey published in USA Today. The average compensation package was $33.4m, but nearly one-third banked more than $50m in salaries, bonuses and shares. Salaries and bonuses for executives were 15% higher in 2002, while workers received pay rises of 3.2%. guardian.co.uk

Into the maelstrom: the crisis of American imperialism and the war against Iraq April 1, 2003 By David North In assessing the first 10 days of the “war of choice” launched by the United States government against Iraq, I am reminded of the subtitles given by the British historian Ian Kershaw to the two volumes of his biography of Adolf Hitler. The first volume, which follows the career of the fascist leader up to the triumphant reentry of German troops into the demilitarized Rhineland in 1936, is subtitled Hubris, which the author defines as “that overweening arrogance which courts disaster.” The second volume traces the descent into the catastrophe that finally engulfed Hitler and his “thousand-year” Reich. It is subtitled Nemesis, after the Greek goddess who exacts retribution for the folly of Hubris. In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, the hubris of the Bush administration knew no bounds. Hurling insults and threats against whomever dared question the right of the United States to dictate to the world, Bush and his associates promised to teach Iraq and everyone else a lesson they would never forget. But it has not turned out as the administration expected. In the era of the Vietnam War, nearly four decades ago, it required several years before the gross fallacies of the political and military strategy upon which the American intervention was based became clear. In this war, the bankruptcy of the entire project has been exposed within one week. wsws.org

US draws up secret plan to impose regime on Iraq April 1, 2003 Brian Whitaker and Luke Harding in Sulaimaniya A disagreement has broken out at a senior level within the Bush administration over a new government that the US is secretly planning in Kuwait to rule Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Under the plan, the government will consist of 23 ministries, each headed by an American. Every ministry will also have four Iraqi advisers appointed by the Americans, the Guardian has learned. guardian.co.uk

Syria's Assad: 'We will not wait' to be next U.S. target April 1, 2003 NICOSIA — Syria, alarmed by the impending collapse of its neighbor and ally, has called for suicide missions against U.S. forces in Iraq. Syrian President Bashar Assad also called on Arab regimes to oppose the U.S.-led war against Iraq. He warned that Syria could be the next target of Washington. Assad said in an interview with the Beirut-based A-Safir daily that Damascus would not wait until the United States attacks Syria, Middle East Newsline reported. He did not elaborate. "We will not wait until we become the next target," Assad said. syria

Syria backs 'Iraqi people' in war April 1, 2003 DAMASCUS, Syria (CNN) The Syrian government, under pressure from U.S. officials to choose sides in the Iraq war, said Monday it would back the Iraqi people. "Syria has chosen to align itself with the brotherly Iraqi people who are facing an illegal and unjustified invasion and against whom are being committed all sorts of crimes against humanity," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the Syrian News Agency. cnn.com

U.S. Tank Falls in Euphrates; Four Marines Dead April 1, 2003 AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) A U.S. tank carrying four U.S. Marines plunged from a bridge into the Euphrates River last week after the driver was killed in combat, apparently causing the other three crewmen to drown, U.S. military officials said on Monday. The incident occurred on March 27 near the town of Nassiriya in southern Iraq, but the tank and the dead Marines were not pulled from the river until Sunday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement from its battle headquarters in Qatar. Central Command said the tank driver was shot and killed while crossing a bridge and the M1A1 tank toppled into the river, landing upside down. The other three crew were believed to have drowned, it said. reuters.com

CIA abandons defection lure for Iraqi leaders April 1, 2003 The CIA has stopped trying to persuade Iraqi generals and political leaders to defect after underestimating their "hatred" of America. A three-month campaign using telephone calls, e-mails and face-to-face appeals has failed to convince any help overthrow Saddam Hussein. "We misjudged their tenacity," an American intelligence official has told USA Today. "These guys are driven by a hatred of the US that we may have underestimated." ananova.com

Indonesia considers switch from dollar to euro April 1, 2003 JAKARTA Echoing a wider move away from the US dollar, the Indonesian government and the central bank, Bank Indonesia, may begin to use the euro in export-import transactions and foreign-exchange reserves. The statement was made by Finance Minister Boediono, Bank Indonesia governor Syahril Sabirin and senior deputy governor Anwar Nasution here on the weekend in connection with state oil company Pertamina's plan to use the euro in its trade transactions. "The US dollar is now still dominating trade. It is possible to use [the] euro when it replaces the dollar's position," the minister said. Boediono said that if the US dollar continues to weaken compared with other foreign currencies including the euro, users of the greenback may seek more stable currencies. atimes.com



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