APRIL 14-11, 03 Archives

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IRAQ: POWER STRUGGLE BEGINS Bush to Choose Next Regime April 14, 2003 The struggle for future power in Iraq has begun. Yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s favourite candidate for Ieadership was murdered. Abdul Majid al-Khoei was hacked to death by a mob outside a mosque in Najaf. The Shi’ite religious leader had returned to the country only 17 days ago. Meanwhile, convicted fraudster Ahmed Chalabi [1] remains the favourite candidate of the Pentagon. He was airlifted into Nasiriyah last weekend by the US military. With him were 700 members of his private army. Arab political commentators have been scornful of Chalabi and his followers: according to the Qatari newspaper Al-Watan, Chalabi and his supporters "are failures and are not even qualified to run a grocery shop". Chalabi is attempting to organise a conference on the future of Iraq in Nasiriyah, under his direct control and presumably under the guns of his militia. stopwar.org.uk

Bush brings death and barbarism to Iraq April 14, 2003 Yesterday a CNN news ticker flashed a warning from the Pentagon that despite its military success, Washington may still drop the 21,000-pound MOAB on Tikrit as a "psychological weapon" against any enemy holdouts in Hussein's hometown. Now, aside from the fact that a 21,000-pound bomb's destructive capacities go far beyond "psychological," the Pentagon just admitted it is waging state terrorism against the Iraqi people. Webster's defines "terror" as: "violence (as bomb throwing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands" and "terrorism" as: "the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion." These bastards are so drunk with power and imperial arrogance they don't even realize how self damning they sound half the time. Rumsfeld jokes about henny penny hysteria and people doing bad things when they're free while Iraqis are dead and laying dying in the tens of thousands, their country raped and pulverized and humiliated before the world's eyes. cosmosleft.com

Jubilant Crowd Dismantles Statue of Bush San Francisco Residents Topple George W. Bush, Symbol of Oppression April 14, 2003 In a visual moment that will go down in history, a jubilant San Francisco crowd toppled a statue of George W. Bush, a symbol of the illegitimate regime that had long oppressed the American people.  Emboldened by the arrival of a massive, unarmed pro-peace force, a celebrant crowd of Americans beheaded a toppled statue of George W. Bush, which towered over the Civic Center Plaza of San Francisco. “We stood in the oppressive shadow of that monument, held fast by its cruel gaze and menacing sneer, ever since its erection earlier this morning,” reported one American brandishing a sledge hammer, “Now the peace marchers are here, and the ones who speak English are promising us that our liberation is at hand.” A crowd of Americans dragged the statue’s massive head through the city streets. “It’s ironic that we so feared this figurehead of totalitarianism,” observed one jubilant American, “the head is completely hollow after all.” progressivejunta.org

America Targeted 14,000 Sites. So Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? April 14, 2003 by Andrew Gumbel They were the reason the United States and Britain were in such a hurry to go to war, the threat the rank-and-file troops feared most. And yet, after three weeks of war, after the capture of Baghdad and the collapse of the Iraqi government, Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction – those weapons that President Bush, on the eve of hostilities, said were a direct threat to the people of the United States – have still to be identified. The public surrender of a senior Iraqi scientist could yet backfire against the US and Britain. Lieutenant-General Amer Hammoudi al-Saadi, who handed himself over to US forces yesterday, continued to proclaim that Iraq no longer holds any chemical or biological weapons. He should know: the British-educated chemical expert headed the Iraqi delegation at weapons talks with the United Nations. unitedforpeace.org

Antiwar Groups Shifting Their Focus to Bush April 14, 2003 By Evelyn Nieves The antiwar rally here Saturday began much the same way as a half-dozen others before it, with thousands of placard-carrying protesters marching through the streets. But this one was also noticeably different. Among the crowd of a few thousand, there were clear signs that war protesters are embarking on a new phase. Many more of the protesters' placards took aim directly at President Bush: "Bush Must Go!" "Impeach Bush!" Voter registration tables urging protesters to "Vote for change!" also dotted the city park that served as the rallying point. In the few weeks since the war began, hostility toward antiwar expressions has skyrocketed. Celebrities who have spoken out against the war have been booed off stages and removed from public appearance rosters. Politicians who have criticized the administration have been called traitors. War protesters across the country have reported death threats. washingtonpost.com

Worldwide protests against invasion and occupation of Iraq April 14, 2003 By Patrick Martin Several million people took part in demonstrations April 12-13 against the US-British invasion and conquest of Iraq. There were large demonstrations in Europe, South Asia, Australia and North America. The demonstrations were considerably smaller than the worldwide protests of February 15, a month before the beginning of the war, which mobilized as many as 20 million people. However, under conditions of US-British triumphalism over the inevitable outcome of the one-sided conflict and an extraordinary level of media propaganda and lies, combined with stepped up police repression, political attacks on opponents of the war and the cowardly response of governments and politicians previously opposed to Washington’s war policy, the demonstrations testified to the deep-seated opposition of working people around the world to US imperialism and militarism. wsws.org

Cry, the despoiled city Abandoned by the Iraqi army and unprotected by Kurds or Americans, Mosul burns, as looters dismember its ancient splendors and its archaeological heritage is smashed to bits. April 14, 2003 By Phillip Robertson | MOSUL, Iraq -- A little girl in a red velvet dress stood in the middle of the street on the outskirts of Mosul on Friday morning, holding a box. Traffic zoomed past her in both directions. She was hesitating, uncertain about which way to go, because she was transfixed by everything that was rushing past her. Beat-up taxis sped out of town, loaded down with every possible item -- light fixtures, teapots. A boy was trying to sell black electrical transformers to drivers through the window of passing cars. Men on donkeys carried impossibly tall heaps of office equipment down the road toward their villages. The road was jammed with madness and greed; drivers were barely avoiding their rivals in their haste to get to the free merchandise. It was a violent scene, because in order to pillage, you have to break locks, smash windows, burn and threaten, and this was all happening because it had somehow become necessary. Tens of thousands in Mosul were helping themselves, climbing over fences and walls, while the rest hid in their houses. salon.com

Privatization in Disguise April 14, 2003 On April 6, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz spelled it out: There will be no role for the United Nations in setting up an interim government in Iraq. The US-run regime will last at least six months, "probably...longer than that." And by the time the Iraqi people have a say in choosing a government, the key economic decisions about their country's future will have been made by their occupiers. thenation.com

Israeli soldier shoots British activist Tom Hundall


American Woman Beaten, Robbed by Gang of Settlers April 13, 2003 By Pat and Samir Twair Mary Hughes-Thompson has a new category to add to her résumé: veteran of the War of Olives. The retired TV writer and licensed private pilot arrived home in Los Angeles battered from a severe beating by armed Israeli settlers Oct. 27 on the West Bank. While it seemed incomprehensible that muscular teenage men would beat an elderly woman, the 68-year-old grandmother said, they did—and they seemed to enjoy it. “We were mainly in Nablus,” she recalled. “I saw people lying wounded in the streets. And I do know for a fact that the presence of us internationals discourages many Israeli soldiers from shooting the Palestinian ambulance crews.” wrmea.com

Israel to U.S.: Now deal with Syria and Iran April 13, 2003 By Aluf Benn Two of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior aides will go to Washington for separate talks this week. National Security Advisor Efraim Halevy will discuss the regional implications of the Iraq war and the fall of the Ba'ath regime, and the prime minister's bureau chief Dov Weisglass will bring the White House Israel's comments on the "road map" plan for a peace settlement. Israel will suggest that the United States also take care of Iran and Syria because of their support for terror and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Israel will point out the support of Syria and Iran for Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers an important target in the war against international terrorism. American officials recently said in closed conversations that the U.S. will act against Syria and Iran haaretzdaily.com

US troops kill merchant defending shop against looters April 13, 2003 BAGHDAD (AFP) US soldiers shot and killed a Baghdad shopkeeper who was defending his shop with a Kalashnikov assault rifle against looters, neighbours told an AFP photographer. The merchant pulled his rifle on the thieves when they began sacking the shop, neighbours said. When US soldiers approached the area, the looters told them that the shopkeeper was a member of Saddam Hussein Fedayeen paramilitary force. The American troops opened fire with heavy machine guns, decapitating the man, the neighbors said. The photographer saw the covered body of Mohammad al-Barheini, 25, lying on a shelf of his shop, his head in a bag, on the Al-Rashid commercial street in the capital. news.yahoo.com

The stage-managed events in Baghdad’s Firdos Square: image-making, lies and the "liberation" of Iraq April 13, 2003 By Patrick Martin Several photographs publicized by an antiwar web site shed light on the way the American media is manipulating images of the war in Iraq to give the false impression that the vast majority of the Iraqi people are joyfully welcoming the invasion and occupation of their country by US and British troops. These photographs, available on the web site of Information Clearing House show that the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square, given massive publicity in the US and international media April 9-10, was a stage-managed affair. As transmitted to the world by US television and newspaper reports, the pictures from Firdos Square purported to show a mass of enthusiastic Iraqis hailing the US military and trampling on a gargantuan bronze statue of Saddam Hussein. Hours of television time and pages of newspaper coverage were devoted to these pictures, with accompanying commentary comparing the scene to the bringing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the liberation of Paris in 1944. The first photograph on the Information Clearing House site is a wide-angle shot encompassing the entire expanse of Firdos Square, rather than the narrowly focused, closely cropped framing used in the mass media. It shows that the “crowd” surrounding the statue of Saddam Hussein is anything but massive, and that the square itself has been surrounded by US Abrams tanks, cutting it off from the rest of the city. wsws.org

This is Not a War of Liberation -This is an Unjust War and Occupation. US & UK Troops Out of Iraq NOW April 13, 2003 Our government told us we had to go to war because of terrorism - but Iraq has never been proven to have any links with Al Qaeda. Our government told us we had to go to war because of weapons of mass destruction - and now it's been revealed that the evidence of Iraq's nuclear program, which Colin Powell brought to the UN Security Council and George Bush brought to the nation in his State of the Union address, contained forged documents that were the so called proof that Iraq was trying to buy 500 tons of uranium oxide from Niger. Our government told us that the goal was disarmament - but when the US refused to go along with the majority of the Security Council's call for continued weapons inspections and disarmament, it was explicit that the raison d'etre for this war has all along been regime change. An objective the Bush administration put on the agenda Sept 12th 2002. Our government tells us that this is a war of liberation to free the Iraqi people from the brutal tyranny of Saddam Hussein, so that the Iraqi people will finally have democracy and the right to choose. But the Iraqi people have been given no choice in the matter of thousands of tons of bombs raining down on Iraqi cities and tanks charging through their streets. The Iraqi people are not being given a choice to be "collateral damage" - or free from the use of cluster bombs aimed at civilian populations that leave those who survive maimed and limbless. They will be given no choice in the matter of U.S. military generals who will occupy and rule the country indefinitely - while handpicked Pentagon appointees will run Iraq. Our government tells us that they seized the oil fields first, to keep them safe for the people of Iraq. But the press conferences of the war planners unashamedly announced that revenues from the oil fields will be used to pay for the invasion, occupation and the rebuilding of Iraq. The first contracts for this rebuilding have gone without bidding to companies like Halliburton and Bechtel and Stevadoring Services of America in the largest war profiteering since World War II. Our "free press" - through the lenses of embedded reporters and the commentary of ex-generals - feeds us a steady diet of lying wartime propaganda, notinourname.net

Has anyone in U.S. read history of Iraq? April 13, 2003 By Neena Gopal Dubai, If there are lessons that the U.S. administration must learn, they are the lessons of Iraq's history, replete with storied tales of bloody uprisings, brutal repression and deceit. There is no need to turn the pages too far. Pre-Baathist, so called free Iraq, saw some half a dozen governments come and go in the space of 40 years, marked by the particularly horrific regicide of the youthful King Faisal II, who was dismembered and dragged through the streets of Baghdad. He was seen, as was his father, as a British puppet, and therefore unacceptable. Certainly, Saddam Hussain's acceptance by the Iraqi people in the early years stemmed from his systematic suppression of all opposition, but it was also partly because Saddam was the first Iraqi leader who was seen as having come up the ranks, and partly because the socialist ideology of the Baathists that he initially espoused held out the promise of an equitable distribution of Iraq's oil wealth. "From the seventies onwards, Baghdad had expressways, free education and health care, Iraqis had a higher standard of living than anyone in the Arab world," says Ahmed Samarrai, a young Iraqi economist who lives in the UAE, and a strong critic of U.S. intervention in his homeland. gulf-news.com

Bush cancels visit to Canada First official Ottawa trip: U.S. displeased with decision on war, jabs from Liberals April 13, 2003 By Robert Fife, Ottawa Bureau Chief  OTTAWA - George W. Bush has cancelled a planned visit to Canada on May 5 because of unhappiness over Ottawa's stance on the war in Iraq and anti-American comments by members of the Chrétien government, sources say. The Prime Minister's Office has been informed by Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. President's National Security Advisor, that Mr. Bush will postpone his first official visit to Ottawa, where he was to address Parliament and hold high-level meetings on several issues, including energy policy. One source said the final straw for the White House was the Prime Minister's order to the Canadian commander in charge of a multilateral naval task force in the Persian Gulf that fugitive members of the Iraqi regime must not be turned over to U.S. forces. canada.com

Avoiding Aluminum April 13, 2003 The last three decades have seen a steady increase of aluminum in our environment and diet. Many junk and fake foods contain additives, for example raising agents in muffins and donuts and more than half of the water utilities use aluminum sulphate to clarify drinking water. Other source include antacids, buffered aspirin and anti-perspirants. Many food colors use aluminum salts to make the color brighter. Americans are most at risk and Europeans next with Africans and Asians much less likely to have problems. hints-n-tips.com

Iraqi boy in critical condition

We said it would be a nightmare And yes, that's exactly what it is  April 11, 2003 By Alexander Cockburn Baghdad's hospitals admit a hundred casualties an hour and have run out of anesthetics. Surgeons try to numb up mangled children with short-term pain-killers, but even these are in dwindling supply. Iraqi families who fled into the desert face 100-degree temperatures and no water. U.S. tanks inflict mayhem and slaughter in Baghdad's streets.From Umm Qasr and the Faw peninsula, through Basra to Baghdad, it's a scene of devastation, with every bridge and guard post adorned with civilian cars riddled with bullets by jumpy U.S. soldiers. There's no "fog of war" where the disaster of daily life in Iraq (what's now swaddled in that virtuous bureaucratic phrase "humanitarian crisis") is concerned. Reports confirm what all sane forecasts predicted of a U.S. attack: It is a catastrophe for the Iraqi people, particularly the poor. workingforchange.com

Iraq will preoccupy and pin down the US for years The administration has set itself a hard test in the Muslim world Friday April 11, 2003 Martin Woollacott Victory in Iraq is at once a blow for freedom and a step into an unknown world in which the extent of American power and the wisdom with which it is used become even more critical. In the closing years of the second world war, Isaac Bowman, one of the shapers of modern American foreign policy, wrote: "No line can be established anywhere in the world that confines the interests of the United States because no line can prevent the remote from becoming the near danger." Sixty years later the elision of the remote into the near is complete. Lines there still are, but America has crossed another one in appointing itself the arbiter of the fate of Iraq and, by implication, of the Middle East as a whole. guardian.co.uk

Despite cheering crowds, Army unit sees urban combat in Baghdad April 11, 2003 CHRIS TOMLINSON BAGHDAD, Iraq For the weary members of "Attack" Company, it was a happy moment in a long day. Iraqi crowds were waving, grinning, cheering as the U.S. Army soldiers moved up the street Wednesday toward the tourism department. It turned in an instant. From somewhere in the air came weapons fire -- a rocket-propelled grenade. Explosions. An American down. U.S. tanks returning fire. Urban combat. From the beginning, this was what the Americans had dreaded -- the nightmare scenario of blameless civilians on the street, peril from dark corners and sudden fighting in a city. sfgate.com

U.S. planning camp for up to 24,000 Iraqi PoWs April 11, 2003 UMM QASR Coalition forces are currently holding 7,300 prisoners of war in Iraq. And they are building a tent city prison camp that could eventually hold up to 24,000 people. The camp will be built near the port city of Umm Qasr in far southern Iraq, officials said. One feature of the planned compound will be an interrogation centre. cbc.ca

Which prototype is Bush following: Nero, Holagu, Malthus, Hitler, or Sharon? April 11, 2003 B. J. Sabri April Which behavioral, philosophical or ideological prototype is Bush following in his rabid mass slaughter of Iraqi civilians and soldiers that are fighting not to defend the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, but to resist the barbarous colonial conquest of their country by American oilmen, re-construction industrialists, military bases builders, and Zionists? Why is the American "butcher of Baghdad" (until now, this was Saddam's exclusive epithet!) destroying Iraqi cities and burning the cradle of civilization with a vile vengeance? Why would anyone think that, the Iraqis, although willing to except the idea of getting rid of Saddam, are willing to accept that, at the price of their own destruction and occupation? Finally, why would anyone expect the Iraqis to accept as natural course of history, the substitution of their local thieve who wasted Iraqi wealth in disastrous military adventures, with a million American "thieves of Baghdad" ready with their Draculaean siphoning fangs to swallow the last drop of oil from the bosom of Iraqi soil? onlinejournal.com

President Bush is impeachable April 11, 2003 So where are we today, in America? After being caught in a shameful series of lies attempting to justify its aggression, our government has launched an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, placing its principal members in the same legal status as the German and Japanese leaders who were convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg. There is no evidence that Iraq is in possession of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons; and even if there were, containment was an excellent option, which worked against the Soviet Union for 50 years. The budget recently submitted to Congress is a cruel joke, showing an enormous deficit fueled by further tax cuts to those who need it least. Perhaps cruelest cuts of all are targeted for veterans’ disability benefits, even as the White House appeals to our troops to jeopardize their lives, health and safety in prosecuting an imperial foreign policy. As our forces search Iraq for weapons furnished years ago with the assistance of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney’s former employer Halliburton has garnered a lucrative contract to rebuild what the troops destroy. The enormous corporate propaganda apparatus that passes for free media in this country have worked so well that apparently around 50 percent of Americans believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks (which it wasn’t); with many even having trouble believing that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are not the same person (which they aren’t). Any good news? So far the Bush regime has not declared martial law and formally suspended the Constitution. And articles of impeachment have been drawn up, and are under consideration by a (for now) small group in Congress. If impeachment becomes a reality before martial law is declared, that would be the best news of all. ydr.com

US barbarism in Iraq - The way forward in the struggle against imperialist war April 11, 2003 Having watched in horror the slaughter of Iraqi soldiers and civilians alike, people around the world are demonstrating this weekend to express their revulsion over the US-British war of aggression. In Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles large numbers will march on April 12-13 to disassociate themselves from the murderous policies of the Bush administration and express their solidarity with the Iraqi people. Those who march today are well aware that global antiwar protests by millions earlier this year—the largest in the history of the world—failed to halt the US invasion. All who are determined to fight against this and future acts of imperialist barbarism confront the need for a new political strategy to carry forward this fight. wsws.org

Right-Left Comes Together Over Privacy, Civil Liberties Post-9/11; Forum Demonstrates Need for Effective, Constitutional Security Measures April 11, 2003 WASHINGTON – At a forum hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union, prominent conservatives today echoed concerns held by many on the left and the right about recent security measures that go beyond combating terrorism, infringe on civil liberties and are of questionable effectiveness in meeting the threats facing a post-9/11 America. The discussion this morning represented the first time organizations from the left and right in Washington have come together publicly to discuss their growing common ground on civil liberties concerns in the post-9/11 world. Click here to listen to the Real Audio stream of this event / aclu.org

Iraqis Now Waiting for Americans to Leave April 11, 2003 By BURT HERMAN AMARAH, Iraq - Local leaders were adamant when the U.S. Marines came into this eastern city: They didn't want to see U.S. flags, didn't want Iraqi flags torn down and didn't want soldiers interacting with their women at checkpoints. "The Americans are not the best at knowing what's good for Iraq. The Iraqis are," a man identified as the leader of freedom fighters who liberated this Shiite town from government control told Brig. Gen. Rich Natonski, commander of Task Force Tarawa, over tea at a local sheik's house. Iraqis cheered U.S. troops who rolled tanks into Baghdad and knocked over a 40-foot statue of President Saddam Hussein on Wednesday, happy to see their oppressive leader ousted. But they are also reluctant to give up too much control in the rapidly shifting political landscape - and already wondering how soon the Americans will go. seattlepi.nwsource.com

WORLD EXCLUSIVE:  April 11, 2003 from Arab News War Correspondent in Najaf, Iraq Former Iraqi general Nizar Al-Khazaraji and Islamic scholar Majid Al-Khoi’i have both been executed by Iraqi residents of Najaf, according to five independent Iraqi witnesses to the incident who spoke to Arab News. The two potential Iraqi leaders of the city, who were supported by the US, “were chopped into pieces with swords and knives inside the Ali Mosque this morning by Iraqis who accused them of being American stooges,” one of the witnesses said. Another said that a US Special Forces Soldier, who had been acting as their body guard, was also killed in the incident. arabnews.com

Playground bombing injures 20 Palestinians April 11, 2003 Conal Urquhart in Jerusalem, A bomb, which may have been planted by Jewish extremists, exploded in a West Bank school playground yesterday, injuring 20 Palestinian children. A shadowy Jewish group called Revenge of the Infants claimed responsibility for the attack at the secondary school in the village of Jaba'a, south of Jenin. guardian.co.uk



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