DECEMBER 20-12, 03 Archives

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Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense? December 20, 2003 By John W. Dean ( FindLaw) --President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a joint resolution authorizing the use of U.S. military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake -- acts of war against another nation.

U.S. Opposes Provisions for Iraq Tribunal December 20, 2003 By EDITH M. LEDERER UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The new Iraqi war crimes tribunal includes provisions taken from the International Criminal Court, which the United States vehemently opposes - an irony that the international court's supporters have been quick to note.

US must also be tried for Saddam’s crimes December 20, 2003 TEHRAN – The United States should be tried for crimes committed by Saddam Hussein because it supported the ousted Iraqi dictator’s regime in the past, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Friday. “We would not want Saddam Hussein to be punished by the Americans because the United States should itself be tried for Saddam’s crimes,” Rafsanjani said during Friday prayers broadcast on Iranian national radio. “From the day the Baathist regime began its fight against the Muslims and the Shiites, the United States, Britain and other oppressor powers rallied around Saddam Hussein,” he said.

Savings Dwindle as Americans Spend, Spend, Spend December 20, 2003 By Andrea Hopkins "I buy now and sort it out later. That's what credit cards are for," she said with a laugh. The consumer culture has pushed America's personal saving rate to record lows in recent years and to among the lowest in the developed world, a situation seen by many economists as one of the most serious structural weaknesses in the economy. "Clearly if you look at the bankruptcy rate, the (payment) delinquency rates, there are some worrisome signs," said Wells Fargo chief economist Sung Won Sohn.

The Deadly Dangers Of Mercury Contamination December 20, 2003 An Interview with John Moore Since John Moore almost died from mercury poisoning in 1974, that highly toxic element has haunted the man. He was and is an industrial engineer, at one time working with the Boeing Company. All of life,s work became an aside once he decided to find out what happened to him.

No More Mr. Nice Guy: Bush Gets Serious About Killing Iraqis December 19, 2003 by Kurt Nimmo When Robert Dreyfuss of the American Prospect asked an unspecified Bush neocon "strategist" how best to deal with the resistance in Iraq, the response he received was chilling, "It's time for 'no more Mr. Nice Guy.' All those people shouting, 'Down with America!' and dancing in the street when Americans are attacked? We have to kill them." It's not only Iraqis dancing in the streets and elusive resistance fighters that deserve to be killed, but pro-Saddam demonstrators as well.

Fight to the death December 19, 2003 Paul McGeough reports from Baghdad on the Iraqis who hated Saddam, but who hate the Americans more. In Khaldiyah, it's a war of nerves. A three-metre-deep crater marks the explosion point of a careering car bomb that the local police knew was inevitable. Just across and down a highway that cuts through this small town west of Baghdad is the home of a man the US suspects could help bring an end to these relentless attacks - tribal sheik Fanar Al-Kharbit.

THE RAT TRAP Part 2: Why the resistance will increase Part 1: How Saddam may still nail Bush By Pepe Escobar BAKU - Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset Saddam Hussein is - already was - totally beside the point. Only in the past few months have we learned the extent to which the Saddam system sub-contracted a great deal of decision-making to different Iraqi elite - from tribal sheikhs to businessmen and Sunni and Wahhabi religious leaders. They may originally have been cajoled by Saddam with carrots and sticks to be incorporated into the Ba'athist regime. But now they are totally free to command their own agendas.

Medical evacuations from Iraq near 11,000 December 19, 2003 By Mark Benjamin WASHINGTON, The total number of wounded soldiers and medical evacuations from the war in Iraq is nearing 11,000, according to new Pentagon data provided in response to a request from United Press International.

Arresting Children December 19, 2003 Jo Wilding, Electronic Iraq "Two days ago there was a demonstration after school finished, against the coalition and for Saddam. Yesterday the American army came and surrounded the whole block. They just crashed into the school, 6, 7, 8 into every classroom with their guns. They took the name of every student and matched the names to the photos they got from the day before and then arrested the students. They actually dragged them by their shirts onto the floor and out of the class."

Justice Dept. Finds Evidence of Abuse of Sept. 11 Detainees December 19, 2003 By Dan Eggen Inspector General Says Video Tapes Show Physical, Verbal Abuse by Prison Officials of immigrants detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found that "some officers slammed and bounced detainees against the wall, twisted their arms and hands in painful ways, stepped on their leg restraint chains and punished them by keeping them restrained for long periods of time," according to a report released today. The report also found that jail personnel improperly taped meetings between detainees and their lawyers and overused strip searches to punish them.

World hunger report: 842 million starve in the midst of plenty December 19, 2003 By Barry Mason World hunger is increasing, with an estimated 842 million people going to bed hungry every night. Most people suffering from hunger live in Africa and Latin America, but 34 million are in the former Soviet Union and 10 million live in the rich industrialised countries. This startling evidence of the growing division between rich and poor on a world scale appears in a recent report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Hunger and Homelessness Increase in U.S. December 19, 2003 By SIOBHAN McDONOUGH, WASHINGTON - Hunger and homelessness increased in many of America's largest cities this year, with growing demand for emergency food supplies for families with children, the elderly and even people with jobs, a survey by U.S. mayors finds. The report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, released Thursday, found that requests for emergency food assistance rose 17 percent overall from last year in the survey of 25 large cities. Requests for emergency shelter assistance increased by 13 percent, the report showed.

Again, the poor go begging for heat December 19, 2003 By Joseph P. Kennedy II and Marty Meehan A COUPLE OF weeks ago, parts of our state got three feet of snow. Many children were happy they didn't have school. Others broke out their cross-country skis. Thousands more were caught in traffic jams and had flights delayed. But there's another group of our fellow citizens for whom the early winter storm meant one thing: They were cold. They were cold when they awoke and cold when they went to bed. All because of a simple fact -- they don't have enough money to pay for heat.

The IRS Claims New Patriot Act Type Powers to Punish Political Dissenters December 19, 2003 by Robert R. Raymond In a precedent-setting case, the IRS wielded new power to punish the political speech of those who "espouse views" the government considers "inconsistent" with government-held beliefs. In a hearing originally closed to the public in a secret tribunal on a military island, but moved to a public location after protests from the press and the public, the IRS wants to wield this power against a former IRS whistleblower, who was forced to resign upon his discovery of fraud in the agency. After monitoring and taping the whistleblower's appearances on Sixty Minutes, talk radio shows, and political publications where he rebroadcast his findings of IRS fraud, the IRS initiated this inquisition against their former whistleblower. This new power may find new political targets soon enough

Another Home Pillaged, More Illegal Detentions December 19, 2003 By Dahr Jamail The soldiers forced the inhabitants to stand outside at gunpoint for five and a half hours in their bed clothes while they pillaged the home, destroying its contents. Stacks of books thrown on the floor, the dishes and glasses broken, furniture ripped apart and destroyed, flour and rice poured out of their sacks and spread across the floor. Antique wooden furniture broken, cushions of sofas and chairs cut apart,  jewelry, gold, and life savings taken. Fahad begged the soldiers, to allow her to use the restroom while accompanied by a soldier. This was declined, while weeping she was forced to urinate on herself while soldiers stood by laughing at her. Why steal from us? Why destroy our home? We want to know why. We didn't fight them when they came here." She doesn't know where her brother Leith and sister, both taken to prison for no reason, are being held.

Dangerous Religion - Bush's Theology of Empire December 19, 2003 by Jim Wallis (Sojourners) Religion is the most dangerous energy source known to humankind. The moment a person (or government or religion or organization) is convinced that God is either ordering or sanctioning a cause or project, anything goes. The history, worldwide, of religion-fueled hate, killing, and oppression is staggering. —Eugene Peterson (from the introduction to the book of Amos in the Bible paraphrase The Message)

9/11 Widow takes Bush Regime to Court December 18, 2003 Ellen Mariani, whose husband, Louis Neil Mariani, was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center filed a complaint in federal district court against George W. Bush and his administration charging they failed to heed repeated warnings from U.S. intelligence and foreign sources that terrorists could well use commercial aircraft as weapons. In a separate letter to the Bush, Mariani wrote: "During your daily intelligence briefings you were given information that had been uncovered that the very real possibility existed that certain undesirable elements would use commercial aircraft to destroy certain "target" buildings. You never warned the American people of this possible threat. Who were you protecting?" Access to Bush's daily briefings in which such matters were discussed has been blocked by the Whitehouse, though a select and questionable few on the 9/11 investigation commission will be allowed limited review. 9/11 Citizenswatch / Take Action /

Vanishing jobs Structural change in the economy means many jobs are never going to come back December 18, 2003 Leslie Haggin Geary (CNN/Money) – If Smokestack America has a geographic center, it may be Kannapolis, N.C. That's where locals used to produce sheets, towels and other linens at the Pillowtex manufacturing plant. That was before this past summer, when Pillowtex went bankrupt, shuttered 16 plants and eliminated 5,500 jobs in North Carolina. The closing made the town of Kannapolis – a community of some 39,000 souls and birthplace of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt -- home to the biggest single job loss at a U.S. textile plant ever. It was also the most sweeping layoff in North Carolina history.

"Why are 50% of Blue Collar White Males Planning to Vote for Bush in 2004, Even When He is Picking Their Pockets and Stealing the Futures of Their Children?" December 18, 2003 UC Berkeley Sociologist Arlie Hochschild answers the question, "Ironically, the sector of American society now poised to keep him in the White House is the one which stands to lose the most from virtually all of his policies - blue-collar men. A full 49 percent of them and 38 percent of blue-collar women told a January 2003 Roper poll they would vote for Bush in 2004. Bush's "policy - and this his political advisor Karl Rove has carefully calibrated - is something like the old bait-and-switch. He continues to take the steaks out of the blue-collar refrigerator and to declare instead, 'let them eat war.'"

Gold hits highest price since 1996 as dollar sags December 18, 2003 (Reuters) Gold hit its highest price in almost eight years on Thursday, attracting bids of $413 an ounce, as the dollar struggled near a record low against the euro. Precious metals analysts said the spot price was poised to crack the 1996 peak of $417 a tonne, perhaps before the end of the year, because of the gloomy outlook for the dollar. "Gold appears well supported by the falling dollar, which should keep the price at least near its current price until Christmas," said Australia & New Zealand Bank gold analyst Peter Windred.

Bush calls for Hussein’s execution: a portrait of sadism and ignorance December 18, 2003 By Bill Vann Media reports on the nationally televised interview with George W. Bush broadcast by ABC News Tuesday night focused on the American president’s call for the execution of Saddam Hussein. “Zap rat Saddam, sez Prez,” was the way the New York Daily News summed up the contents of Bush’s remarks. The general portrayal was one of a tough-talking leader moved by feelings of personal outrage to demand that the former Iraqi president pay the “ultimate penalty” for his crimes. Those who actually sat through the interview and who know Bush’s record, however, may not be so impressed. When he was governor of Texas, the “ultimate penalty” was altogether routine. He presided over 152 executions, more than any other governor in US history.

Kucinich: Voters need "a second opinion" on Dean December 18, 2003 By Mark Hertsgaard When ABC's Ted Koppel suggested to Rep. Dennis Kucinich during last week's presidential debate that his low poll numbers and relatively meager campaign coffers made him a "vanity" candidate who should perhaps leave the race, it gave the four-term Ohio congressman a chance to answer a question that he probably knows others are asking, if only in whispers. "I want the American people to see where the media take politics in this country," Kucinich responded. "We start talking about endorsements, now we're talking about polls, and then we're talking about money. Well, you know, when you do that, you don't have to talk about what's important to the American people."

Unseemly secrecy in the White House December 18, 2003 By William Safire NYT When George W. Bush was running for president, he was inspiring on the subject of privacy. But it was not your privacy or mine he was talking about. He has gone all out to keep his administration's energy-legislation deliberations from public scrutiny. Cast your mind back to the White House task force, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, that came up with the stalled Bush oil policy. Democrats complained that the task force met frequently with executives from Enron and other energy companies but blew off environmental lobbyists. Bush and Cheney, sensitive to charges of being too close to the oil industry, clammed up.

MASS EXTINCTION UNDERWAY December 18, 2003 Scientists agree world faces mass extinction. The complex web of life on Earth, what scientists call "biodiversity," is in serious trouble. Study: Only 10 percent of big ocean fish remain. A new global study concludes that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, Lion populations have fallen by almost 90% in the past 20 years, leaving the animal close to extinction in Africa, a wildlife expert has warned.

Earth warming at faster pace, say top science group's leaders Statement by American Geophysical Union's council warns temperature change is real and human-caused December 18, 2003 David Perlman Leaders of one of the nation's top scientific organizations issued a new warning this week that human activities -- most notably the greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other industries -- are warming Earth's climate at a faster rate than ever. The statement came from the 28-member council of the American Geophysical Union, whose 41,000 members include more than 10,000 experts on the planet's atmosphere and changing climate.

Goodbye sunshine December 18, 2003 By David Adam Each year less light reaches the surface of the Earth. No one is sure what's causing 'global dimming' - or what it means for the future. In fact most scientists have never heard of it. In 1985, a geography researcher called Atsumu Ohmura at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology got the shock of his life. As part of his studies into climate and atmospheric radiation, Ohmura was checking levels of sunlight recorded around Europe when he made an astonishing discovery. It was too dark. Compared to similar measurements recorded by his predecessors in the 1960s, Ohmura's results suggested that levels of solar radiation striking the Earth's surface had declined by more than 10% in three decades. Sunshine, it seemed, was on the way out.

Russia, Iran to sign nuclear reactor deal soon December 18, 2003 MOSCOW (AFP) Russia and Iran will soon sign an accord paving the way for the completion of the Islamic republic's first nuclear reactor, a top Iranian official told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti Wednesday.RIA Novosti quoted Iran's vice president and head of its atomic energy organization, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, as saying in Tehran that the accord would be signed during a visit by Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev.

US attorney general fined for breaking law December 18, 2003 By Marcus Warren John Ashcroft, the US attorney general, has been fined £21,000 for breaking election laws during his defeat by a dead rival for a seat in the Senate. During his unsuccessful campaign in 2000, America's top lawman illegally accepted £62,700 from a body set up to support a run for the presidency, the Federal Election Commission found.

Sharon's War on Palestinian Kids "Don't Think About the Children" December 18, 2003 By GIDEON LEVY Why was Asma Abu al-Haija arrested? Why did she have to spend nine months in prison, sleeping on the floor of her cell? Why was a woman arrested, not interrogated, not accused of anything and then released nine very difficult months later, without any explanation? Just because she is a Palestinian, so anything can be done to her?

Saddam's arrest fuels insurgency December 18, 2003 Rory McCarthy Police are increasingly the target as 40 Iraqis die in four days of violence A series of deadly suicide bomb attacks, explosions and drive-by shootings has claimed at least 40 Iraqi lives in the four days since Saddam Hussein was captured, raising the insurgency to a new intensity.

Chinese mega-bucks for Bush brothers December 18, 2003 By Margie Burns Many observers were surprised last week when George W. Bush came down in favor of the People's Republic of China, against a democratic referendum in Taiwan. His weighing in on behalf of mainland China becomes more questionable at a time when well-connected Chinese companies are funneling large sums of money to Bush's brothers. News reports reveal that Shanghai-based Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing, a multi-billion-dollar company co-founded by a son of China's former president, has presidential brother Neil Bush under a $2 million contract. With no background in semiconductors, Neil Mallon Bush, third brother in the family, got a five-year contract from Grace, involving an annual retainer of $400,000 in stock. The arrangement is disclosed in court papers in Mr. Bush's scandal-ridden divorce.

Day three of US media coverage of Hussein’s capture: no let-up in the hysteria December 17, 2003 By David Walsh The hysteria of the American media’s coverage of the capture of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and its aftermath shows no signs of letting up. On the contrary, having failed so far to contaminate the public at large with its own bloodlust, the media has lost all sense of restraint, not to mention decency. Talk of “killing” and “torture” and “death” fills the airwaves and newspaper columns. An epidemic of homicidal rage seems to have overtaken the entire media. No one, it seems is immune. Even the ever so proper Diane Rehm of National Public Radio, who is often heard discoursing on such topics as the proper way to cultivate roses in New England, devoted her Tuesday morning show to an examination of the best way to dispose of Hussein.

Dollar Falls to a Record as Investors May Shun Low U.S. Rates December 17, 2003 (Bloomberg) The dollar fell to a record against the euro in New York on speculation low U.S. interest rates will prompt international investors to move money to countries where financial assets offer higher yields.

America in reverse December 17, 2003 Larry Elliott America's core measure of inflation fell to its lowest level since the mid-1960s as robust recovery in the world's largest economy failed to stimulate dormant price pressures, according to figures released in Washington yesterday. With a surge in output from US factories surpassing expectations on Wall Street, analysts were surprised that the consumer prices index excluding food and energy fell by 0.1 percentage points last month.

Bush Gay Marriage Remarks `Act Of War` December 17, 2003 (Washington, D.C.) President George W. Bush`s Support of the Federal Marriage Amendment is deemed a declaration of war on Gay America the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force warned on Tuesday night. And it said the president is courting civil disobedience if he pursues his course.

Satan Thwarting U.S. Intelligence, Graham Claims December 16, 2003 By Keetjie Ramo In an exclusive interview, evangelist Billy Graham told Rolling Stone magazine that the U.S. government is battling satanic forces that have targeted our intelligence operation, thwarting the Bush administration at every turn. Citing Satan as the reason that the president had to fly into Iraq this Thanksgiving under top-secret conditions, Graham said that Attorney General John Ashcroft has known for some time that satanic forces are “messing with our intelligence,” but has been reluctant to make the allegations public. “It’s no secret in the top echelons of government,” Graham said.

While Saddam was Captured: Stealth enactment of the "Patriot II" legislation December 16, 2003 Various Sources While CNN and other media outlets are rejoicing because of the capture of Saddam Hussein, Bush again introduced new legislation last Saturday which increased the federal powers to investigate and reduces the privacy rights of American citizens : H.R. 2417, INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION AGREEMENT OF 2004 Whitehouse Statement on HR 2417 (December 13, 2003) HR 2417 was cleared by the Congress on November 21, 2003 Comments of Ron Paul, Congressman for Texas on HR 2417: It appears we are witnessing a stealth enactment of the enormously unpopular "Patriot II" legislation that was first leaked several months ago. Perhaps the national outcry when a draft of the Patriot II act was leaked has led its supporters to enact it one piece at a time in secret. Whatever the case, this is outrageous and unacceptable. I urge each of my colleagues to join me in rejecting this bill and its incredibly dangerous expansion of Federal police powers. globalresearch

"This is not America" December 16, 2003 By Michelle Goldberg In Miami, police unleashed unprecedented fury on demonstrators -- most of them seniors and union members. Is this how Bush's war on terror will be fought at home? On Saturday, Nov. 22, a few dozen policemen on bicycles rode by the warehouse that activists protesting Miami's Free Trade of the Americas summit were using as a welcome center. The big protest had taken place on Thursday, Nov. 20, and most demonstrators had already dispersed. Some were in jail, others were nursing their injuries. But the cops wanted to deliver a final message to those still around. "Bye! Don't come back here!" shouted one. A pudgy officer gave the finger to an activist with a video camera. "Put that on your Web site," he said. "Fuck you." It was the end of two days of what many observers called unprecedented police vindictiveness and violence toward activists. Certainly, complaints about the police have become a standard ritual after each major globalization protest. But what happened in Miami, say protesters, lawyers, journalists and union leaders, was anything but routine.

White House Admits Pre-9/11 Warnings; Bush Still Denies It December 16, 2003 The problem for the president and the administration is that the White House has previously admitted that the president had personally received such specific warnings. As ABC News reported in May of 2002, "White House officials acknowledge that U.S. intelligence officials informed President Bush weeks before the September 11th attacks that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network might try to hijack American planes." While the administration claims that the president's pre-9/11 warning was actually "not a warning," the threat was specific enough for Attorney General John Ashcroft to stop flying commercial airlines. While no warning was issued for the general public

Patriots and Profits December 16, 2003 By PAUL KRUGMAN Last week there were major news stories about possible profiteering by Halliburton and other American contractors in Iraq. In fact, the more you look into this issue, the more you worry that we have entered a new era of excess for the military-industrial complex. The story about Halliburton's strangely expensive gasoline imports into Iraq gets curiouser and curiouser. High-priced gasoline was purchased from a supplier whose name is unfamiliar to industry experts, but that appears to be run by a prominent Kuwaiti family... Meanwhile, NBC News has obtained Pentagon inspection reports of unsanitary conditions at mess halls run by Halliburton in Iraq: "Blood all over the floors of refrigerators, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars, rotting meat and vegetables." An October report complains that Halliburton had promised to fix the problem but didn't.

National Guard 'Finished' December 16, 2003 Stars & Stripes Letters to the Editor I'm a soldier in the Missouri National Guard. I'm stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. Had I known five years ago that the National Guard would be part of the occupying force here in Iraq and the rest of the world, I would have told them to stick the contract in their ear.

Pope Peace Message Takes Swipe at U.S. Over Iraq December 16, 2003 VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul took a swipe at the United States and its allies Tuesday for invading Iraq without U.N. approval, suggesting they had succumbed to the temptation to use the law of force instead of the force of law. In his World Day of Peace message, issued three days after the capture of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, he also appealed to democracies fighting terrorism to uphold the principles of international law and fundamental human rights.

Judge admonishes Ashcroft for terror trial statements December 16, 2003 Associated Press DETROIT A federal judge has admonished Attorney General John Ashcroft for violating a court order by making remarks about defendants in the nation's first major terror trial after Sept. 11. U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said Ashcroft's statements could have compromised defendants' rights to a fair trial, but that the violations did not warrant contempt charges or require Ashcroft to appear in the Detroit court to explain himself. "The attorney general's office exhibited a distressing lack of care in issuing potentially prejudicial statements about this case," Rosen wrote in an opinion released Tuesday.

Iran's Leader - Bush, Sharon Deserve Same Fate As Saddam December 16, 2003 Iran's supreme leader said Tuesday that all Iranians were "pleased" at the arrest of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, but said U.S. President George W. Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should also go. "The same Americans who are now happy over his arrest were at the time shaking his hand. The current U.S. defence minister [Donald Rumsfeld] met with Saddam in Baghdad, promised to help him and helped him in order to put Islamic Iran under pressure," Khamenei declared. "I heard the U.S. president told Saddam that 'the world is a better place without you'. I want to tell the U.S. president that he should know the world would be an even better place without Bush and Sharon," Khamenei said.

Growing Fury and Unrest December 16, 2003 Dahr Jamail, Electronic Iraq Hamudi sits slumped in a chair at the lobby of Funduk Agadir. Normally all smiles with loads of energy, his face is deeply troubled. He sits staring at the table before him. I ask him, "Hamudi, what is wrong? You look very tired." He slowly looks up at me and responds. "You want the truth? I am very, very scared." He tells me he fears civil war now in Iraq. Within two or three months if things continue like this. Later we are watching some footage from demonstrations, and a funeral service in Al-Aahimiyah today. The funeral service was for an Iraqi killed, one of many, a few days ago by Americans. Last night the locals report 24 Iraqis killed for demonstrating. On BBC we watch footage of Americans gunning down Iraqis as they ran from the armor clad vehicles. Gunned down in the street as they tried to run away, red tracer bullets leaving laser-like trails as they flew past bodies falling upon the cement.

Insurgents or protesters? 18 are killed in clashes with US troops December 16, 2003 By Robert Fisk in Baghdad While Washington and London were still congratulating themselves on the capture of Saddam Hussein, US troops have shot dead at least 18 Iraqis in the streets of three major cities in the country. Dramatic videotape from the city of Ramadi 75 miles west of Baghdad showed unarmed supporters of Saddam Hussein being gunned down in semi-darkness as they fled from Americans troops. Eleven of the 18 dead were killed by the Americans in Samarra to the north of Baghdad.

How The US Armed Saddam Hussein With Chemical Weapons December 16, 2003 By Norm Dixon On August 18, 2002, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, "Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas". Quoting anonymous US "senior military officers", the NYT "revealed" that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided "critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war". The story made a brief splash in the international media, then died.

Justices to weigh truck entry White House seeks to bypass smog review of Mexican vehicles December 16, 2003 Bob Egelko, Chronicle The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into an environmental dispute Monday at the Bush administration's request, agreeing to decide whether thousands of Mexican trucks can be allowed onto U.S. highways without a study of their possible effect on air pollution.

MEDIA UNPLUGGED December 15, 2003 by Dan Dvorak Who would have thought that the best media attention to date for the only real Democratic Presidential candidates, Kucinich, Sharpton and Braun would come from the fact that they were not receiving media attention? Kucinich boxed Ted Koppel’s ears several times during the last debate of 2003, finally getting the message out to America that the media was selecting the candidates instead of the voters. It could not have been clearer of a message nor could it have been accomplished more honestly and smoothly, almost scripted in fact if it wasn’t for the fact that the whole world knew that Koppel’s intention was to put down the three and not give them an opportunity to score any points during the contest. Koppel failed miserably at delivering the knock out punch with his remarks of the three campaigns being broke and out of the running. He was victimized by his own bad intent and turned into an unwilling dupe for the slamming of the press and the TV media. He knew he had been had and his face showed it.

Exposed: US War crimes December 15, 2003 Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey presents the case against the government of the United States of America for War Crimes committed in Iraq. Under international law, it is illegal to deploy munitions which render the battlefield dangerous after the conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), based in Geneva, states clearly and categorically in its document "Weapons and International Humanitarian Law" that "Combatants are prohibited to use weapons which are inherently discriminate or which are of a nature to inflict suffering greater than that required to take combatants out of action".

“Free-Speech Zone” The administration quarantines dissent December 15, 2003 By James Bovard When Bush came to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, “The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us.” The local police, at the Secret Service’s behest, set up a “designated free-speech zone” on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush’s speech. The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, though folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president’s path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign. Neel later commented, “As far as I’m concerned, the whole country is a free speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind.”

LaRouche - 50% Collapse Of The Dollar Signals Bankruptcy Of The Nation December 15, 2003 -At a Dec. 12 international webcast from Washington, D.C. Democratic Party pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche began by addressing the accelerating collapse of the U.S dollar and the descent of the nation into bankruptcy, a theme which he returned to repeatedly thoughout his address. In his opening words to the audience, LaRouche characterized the economic crisis as fully as serious as that which faced Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. He said: "Since the new European currency was introduced, the value of the U.S. dollar has dropped by almost 50%, most of that directly under the present Bush Administration.

Economic Meltdown, Secessionist Crackup? December 15, 2003 Nelson Hultberg "What likelihood was there that the U.S. and other foreign governments would sell off significant portions of their gold reserves in order to reduce their debt, should the price of gold become tempting enough to do so?" This would never happen, of course. America's current national debt is $6.9 trillion and its upcoming liabilities are approximately $44 trillion. So the $140 billion worth of gold in the U.S. Treasury's vault would be but a drop in the bucket in comparison. Even if gold would skyrocket to $3000 per ounce (which it could well do), it still would give us only $1 trillion to dispense toward $50 trillion in government debt.

Jessica Lynch Captures Saddam - Ex-dicatator Demands Back Pay From Baker December 15, 2003 by Greg Palast /znet Former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein was taken into custody yesterday at 8:30p.m. Baghdad time. Various television executives, White House spin doctors and propaganda experts at the Pentagon are at this time wrestling with the question of whether to claim PFC Jessica Lynch seized the ex-potentate or that Saddam surrendered after close hand-to-hand combat with current Iraqi strongman Paul Bremer III.

Did Bush Know about 9-11? "Absurd Insinuation" December 15, 2003 by synchrondeity At the press conference on 9/15/03, a reporter asks about Dean's comments that Bush had 9-11 foreknowledge- Bush: "Stretch, big strech...." gestures reporter to ask next question. "I'm sorry..." Smiles, stretch: "Mr. President, I know you said there will be a time for poilitics, but you've also said you wanted a change in tone in Washington. Howard Dean recently seemed to muse aloud whether you had advanced knowledge of 9-11. Do you agree or disagree with the RNC that this kind of rhetoric borders on political hate speach?" Bush: "Ya, Uh," Shakes head, "This is time for politics. And ya know," Shakes head & shrugs, "Its time for politics and uh, I uh," Shakes head, "Its, its an absurd insinuations" Nods head for next question.

Army shells pose cancer risk in Iraq December 14, 2003  Antony Barnett Depleted uranium causing high radioactivity levels. Depleted uranium shells used by British forces in southern Iraqi battlefields are putting civilians at risk from 'alarmingly high' levels of radioactivity. Experts are calling for the water and milk being used by locals in Basra to be monitored after analysis of biological and soil samples from battle zones found 'the highest number, highest levels and highest concentrations of radioactive source points' in the Basra suburb of Abu Khasib - the centre of the fiercest battles between UK forces and Saddam loyalists.


UK's DU Shells In S Iraq Push Radiation 20x Above Normal By Antony Barnett December 14, 2003 The Observer - UK Depleted uranium shells used by British forces in southern Iraqi battlefields are putting civilians at risk from 'alarmingly high' levels of radioactivity. Experts are calling for the water and milk being used by locals in Basra to be monitored after analysis of biological and soil samples from battle zones found 'the highest number, highest levels and highest concentrations of radioactive source points' in the Basra suburb of Abu Khasib - the centre of the fiercest battles between UK forces and Saddam loyalists. Readings taken from destroyed Iraqi tanks in Basra reveal radiation levels 2,500 times higher than normal. In the surrounding area researchers recorded radioactivity levels 20 times higher than normal.

We Americans talk of 'Peace on earth,' but our actions speak louder than words December 14, 2003 By Bruce Mulkey Now we are in the season of Christmas. Celebrations are being held, carols are being sung and prayers are being prayed (not to mention consumers going amok and Atkins dieters falling off the wagon). And in this season many of us honor the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. I have heard those who proclaim that this is a nation founded on Christian principles. I have heard President Bush assert that Jesus is his favorite philosopher. But when we look at where our government, in our names, puts its attention and a massive portion of its resources-implementing a strategy of preemptively striking our theoretical foes, maintaining a formidable fighting force to assert our military pre-eminence around the world and engaging in an endless war against terrorism-can we really claim to uphold the tenets of the Prince of Peace?

Keeping Secrets December 14, 2003 By Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound The Bush administration is doing the public's business out of the public eye. Here's how--and why "Democracies die behind closed doors."--U.S. APPEALS COURT JUDGE DAMON J. KEITH At 12:01 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2001, as a bone-chilling rain fell on Washington, George W. Bush took the oath of office as the nation's 43rd president. Later that afternoon, the business of governance officially began. Like other chief executives before him, Bush moved to unravel the efforts of his predecessor. Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, directed federal agencies to freeze more than 300 pending regulations issued by the administration of President Bill Clinton. The regulations affected areas ranging from health and safety to the environment and industry. The delay, Card said, would "ensure that the president's appointees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations." The process, as it turned out, expressly precluded input from average citizens. Inviting such comments, agency officials concluded, would be "contrary to the public interest."

The Overthrow Of The American Republic - Part 44 Saddam Double-Crossed? December 14, 2003 By Sherman H. Skolnick Some years ago we coined the phrase "oil-soaked, spy-riddled American monopoly press". It is not an idle statement. The basis for it are the numerous examples we have shown over the forty years we have functioned as a research/investigative group. About forty years ago, the American CIA created Saddam Hussein and his political party as a bulwark against a growing left-wing in Iraq. Historically, it was just another way the West deals with Europe and the East. American/British Big Business financed Adolf Hitler and the Nazis as an opposition to the Soviets which had themselves been created by the West.

Car bomb kills 18, wounds 29 in western Iraq December 14, 2003 RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) - An explosion at a police station in western Iraq killed 16 policemen and two civilians, including a seven-year-old girl, and wounded 29 more people, a police lieutenant said. Witnesses said the explosion was caused by a car bomb, but there was no immediate official confirmation. Sixteen policemen and a civilian died along with the girl, the lieutenant at the hospital in this western city where the casualties were taken told AFP. The officer refused to be named.

Saddam an Important Symbol in the Arab World December 14, 2003 by Joyce M. Davis WASHINGTON - Saddam Hussein may be under lock and key, but experts warn that the anger at the United States that he came to symbolize in the Arab world and Iran is far from contained. It still seethes in every capital from Rabat to Tehran, in the streets if not always in government. "To some extent, Saddam was a measure of the depth of the region's alienation from the West," said James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute in Washington. "He symbolized the anger; he symbolized the divide."Arab and Muslim anger is rooted in a long history of humiliation, by British colonial rule, by the creation of Israel, by poverty, by the failure of U.S.-backed governments to allow open democratic government.

Fortress Americas, Part 1 Ben Gurion’s Ultimate“One True Zion” December 14, 2003 Joe Vialls This morning there was no time to prepare and no time to hide their helpless children. Armed with weapons stolen from British soldiers whose throats were cut while they slept, Irgun, Stern and Haganah terrorists slipped silently into the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin at dawn. Led by war criminal Menachem Begin, this Zionist scum from the ghettos and gutters of  Europe flitted from house to house, committing unspeakable atrocities and laughing aloud as the defenseless women tried to resist. When they finally tired of this sport, Irgun, Stern and Haganah terrorists alike opened fire, their stolen British bullets ripping through the vulnerable flesh of unarmed Palestinians. By noon that same day, 9 April 1948, just over 200 Palestinians lay dead in Deir Yassin, more than half of them women and children. But the terrorists were not quite finished. Next, they loaded 25 unarmed male survivors on trucks and paraded them around the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem. It was a display of absolute Zionist power, showing all and sundry who was really in control of Palestine. It could have ended there, but the Zionists had something more spectacular in mind: a lesson to all others who might dare to stand in their way, then or at any time in the future. The 25 unarmed survivors were driven to a stone quarry near Givat Shaul, where they were made to kneel, before Irgun and Stern terrorists took it in turns to fire single bullets into the back of each head. The lifeless bodies were then kicked into shallow

Why are Wolfowitz and the Pentagon in Charge of Iraq Rebuilding? December 14, 2003 by Stan Moore Why are Wolfowitz and the Pentagon in Charge of Iraq Rebuilding? It is clear that the neo-conservative approach to dominating the world by U.S. military supremacy is the driving force in foreign policy of the U.S. government. The military, the Pentagon, is issuing orders to determine which corporations of which nations of the world will be allowed to participate in rebuilding Iraq. Not the State Department, which normally would have handled such foreign affairs. This is nothing short of amazing. Men who do not know first hand the risks and impacts of war are leading our nation into wars and planned subjugation of a whole list of foreign nations.

A repressive embarrassment December 13, 2003 Anyone who thinks the administration and its law enforcement chief, Attorney General John Ashcroft, aren’t out to impede a free press need only hear how the federal government is treating foreign journalists coming to this country on assignment. Without notification to foreign media outlets, the immigration and customs people are arresting, detaining, and deporting journalists arriving here without special visas. This is so even when they come from nations whose citizens can stay for up to 90 days without a visa if they are arriving as tourists or on business.

Pentagon warned Halliburton-KBR on "dirty" food service: report December 13, 2003 (AFP) The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported Friday. Halliburton-Kellogg Brown and Root's promises to improve "have not been followed through,"

Mickey Mouse-ing the Vote December 13, 2003 By Daniel Patrick Welch "I'm Ted Koppel and thisssssssss….is 'Nightline.'" If you remember that line, or the Saturday Night Live exaggeration of it, then you are old enough to know who Ted Koppel is, and why he might be bored by a debate with too little blood on the floor. 'Nightline' was born out of the hostage crisis in Iran, the grandfather of dozens of less successful crisis-turned-long-running-shows-posing-as-"serious journalism." Geraldo would love to have done the same with the OJ Simpson trial, but alas, it was not to be.

US: Hundreds of job cuts hit Oregon’s manufacturing sector December 13, 2003 By Noah Page In a crushing blow to the mid-Willamette Valley in the state of Oregon, two manufacturing companies have announced plans to close plants or drastically reduce their workforces within the next year, resulting in the loss of more than 900 high-paying jobs, many of which will be moved overseas and to Mexico.

King George's retribution December 13, 2003 The best allies the United States had in the months prior to the invasion of Iraq were not those countries that grudgingly went along with George W. Bush's rush to war. The best allies were Canada, France and Germany. These three countries, all of which have been consistent and well-regarded sources of information and analysis for the Central Intelligence Agency and other U.S. international security agencies, explained that Iraq did not pose an immediate - or particularly serious - threat to its neighbors in the Middle East, let alone to the distant United States. They reminded U.S. officials that there was no evidence to suggest Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had ties to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

In the western world, only one newspaper reports the suicide of the woman who accused George W Bush of rape December 13, 2003 by Simon Aronowitz Despite the enormity of the story, a virtual news blackout has remained in place since Margie Schoedinger first filed charges against George W Bush in 2002. Schoedinger had accused Bush of rape and other sexual crimes against both her and her husband, only one publication in the USA saw fit to print anything about her or her allegations. That publication was her local newspaper.

The same old racket in Iraq December 13, 2003 Tariq Ali To the victors, the spoils: Bush's colonialism will only deepen resistance. Iraq remains a country of unbearable suffering, the sort that only soldiers and administrators acting on behalf of states and governments are capable of inflicting on their fellow humans. It is the first country where we can begin to study the impact of a 21st-century colonisation. This takes place in an international context of globalisation and neo-liberal hegemony. If the economy at home is determined by the primacy of consumption, speculation as the main hub of economic activity and no inviolate domains of public provision, only a crazed utopian could imagine that a colonised Iraq would be any different.

Business as Usual: The Assault on American Workers December 12, 2003 By Bracken Hendricks and Skye Perryman This week, the House passed a spending bill that could cut overtime benefits for nearly 8 million Americans. The newest scheme devised by President Bush and his Congressional Republicans reclassifies workers in relatively low paying jobs who have supervisory roles, as being exempt from overtime pay. According to the AFL-CIO, the measure could affect the pocketbooks of our police officers, nurses, retail workers, medical therapists and insurance claims adjusters – cutting into the paychecks of working families. Such a reclassification would allow employers to shift new burdens onto these workers without compensating them for their extra efforts on the job.

Jobless claims rise in latest week Second consecutive rise after steady decline December 12, 2003 By Corbett B. Daly, CBS Marketwatch WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- The number of people filing claims for unemployment insurance rose for the second consecutive week after a steady decline, the Labor Department said Thursday. In the latest week, claims rose 13,000 to 378,000, the highest level since October. The four-week average rose by 2,250 to 364,750. Initial claims are volatile and economists consider the four-week average a better barometer of labor market conditions.

Dollar Hits 11-Year Low Vs Pound December 12, 2003 By Carolyn Cohn LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar hit 11-year lows against the pound and eyed record lows against the euro on Friday, as looming U.S. trade data focused attention on the United States' wide current account deficit.

"A Miserable Failure" December 12, 2003 by Jack Beatty Will Bush be re-elected? Only if voters wittingly ignore his long list of failures while in office. With one phrase Dick Gephardt has defined the issue to be decided next November. Can a "miserable failure" of a president win re-election? Bush's victory would testify to a civic failure more dangerous to the American future than any policies implemented or continued during a second Bush term. A majority would have demonstrated that democratic accountability is finished. That you can fail in everything and still be re-elected president.

CONGRESS Democracy crumbles under cover of darkness December 12, 2003 Never before has the House of Representatives operated in such secrecy: At 2:54 a.m. on a Friday in March, the House cut veterans benefits by three votes. At 2:39 a.m. on a Friday in April, the House slashed education and health care by five votes. At 1:56 a.m. on a Friday in May, the House passed the Leave No Millionaire Behind tax-cut bill by a handful of votes. At 2:33 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House passed the Medicare privatization and prescription drug bill by one vote. At 12:57 a.m. on a Friday in July, the House eviscerated Head Start by one vote. And then, after returning from summer recess, at 12:12 a.m. on a Friday in October, the House voted $87 billion for Iraq. Always in the middle of the night. Always after the press had passed their deadlines. Always after the American people had turned off the news and gone to bed.

Criticism of electronic voting machines’ security is mounting December 12, 2003  by Elizabeth Heichler Malfunctions and vulnerabilities are stalling efforts to supplant old polling methods. As presidential primary season approaches, a debate is raging about electronic voting -- and IT professionals and computer scientists are among the loudest critics.

Patriot Act hearings sought by Democrats December 12, 2003 By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff WASHINGTON -- Ten House Democrats, voicing concern that the government strike the right balance between individual rights and collective security, have asked for sweeping congressional hearings on how the Justice Department has made use of the Patriot Act and other antiterrorism powers.

Council votes to express opposition to Patriot Act December 12, 2003 Toledo City Council voted 10-2 last night to express its opposition to the USA Patriot Act and to send a letter to President Bush and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft informing them of that fact. Council weighed in on the federal anti-terrorist law after first rejecting a tougher resolution that would have "requested" city police to refuse to participate in investigations deemed in violation of the Constitution. Republicans George Sarantou and Rob Ludeman voted against the resolution. All councilmen who supported the measure were Democrats, except Betty Shultz, who recently switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

Intimidated by FBI, Whitnesses Claim 9/11 'Cover-Up in Progress' in Florida December 12, 2003 by Daniel Hopsicker FBI agents harassed and intimidated witnesses to the 9/11 terrorist conspiracy’s activities in Florida, issuing warnings to avoid talking with reporters, say  current and former residents in Venice, Florida. At least one eyewitness, who knew Mohamed Atta because he lived next door for a time, received regular visits for over six months after the attack from FBI agents eager to ensure she continued to remain silent. Several said they felt unfairly singled out because what they saw and heard is at considerable variance with the official story of the terrorist cadre’s time in Florida.

Bush ally's firm vies for Medicare cards December 12, 2003 By Wayne and Susan Milligan Washington  - Globe A Texas company owned by a campaign contributor and former business associate of President Bush could profit if Medicare endorses its drug card program under guidelines set by legislation the president signed into law on Monday, according to a report released yesterday by a research group run by a former Clinton administration official.

The Project for a New American Empire December 12, 2003 Who are these guys? And why do they think they can rule the world? by Duane Shank A British magazine called them "the weird men behind George W. Bush's war." Their Project has led to countless conspiracy theories. Their principles are now the governing foreign and military policy of the Bush administration—a plan combining U.S. military forces based around the world with a doctrine of pre-emptive war and the development of new nuclear weapons. Who are they, the creators of the "Project for the New American Century"? What is the "Project," and why is it cause for concern?

Bush's alleged Afghan war crimes face 'tribunal' December 12, 2003 The final hearings of a citizens' tribunal trying the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush over its military operations in Afghanistan will be held in Tokyo over two days ending Dec. 14. The indictment charges Bush with aggression, attacks against civilians and nonmilitary facilities, and torturing and executing prisoners. The hearings have been organized by criminal jurist Akira Maeda and others. Testimony will be heard from the mother of an Afghan who was killed in an air raid, and a Pakistani who was held in the Guantanamo base in Cuba. Scientists will present reports on the effects of depleted uranium bullets on humans.

The CIA's New Assassination Program December 12, 2003 By DOUGLAS VALENTINE The major media outlets have ignored the CIA's on-going strategy of mass assassinations as one of the main weapons in Bush's burgeoning global war of terror. This is why it came as something of a shock to highbrows and media elites when Seymour Hersh, in a recent article for The New Yorker, revealed the existence of what he wrongfully referred to as "a new Special Forces operation" that is intended to assassinate the people comprising "the broad middle of the Ba'athist underground." This is a half-truth at best. To begin with, this is a CIA assassination program, not a Special Forces program; and while Hersh is correct when he says the targets are members of the outlawed Ba'ath Party, he tactfully skirts the fact that this assassination program is illegal because it targets civilians not soldiers.

US BOMBS OUTRAGE December 12, 2003 AMERICA has used more than 10,000 cluster bombs in Iraq - seven times the number it admitted at the end of the war. In April, General Richard Myers said US troops had fired off 1,500 of the deadly weapons, injuring just one civilian. But figures from the US Central Command yesterday reveal that 10,782 were fired by US soldiers and 2,200 by the British. Human Rights Watch said 1,000 Iraqi civilians were killed by the bombs - made up of two million munitions, often unexploded bomblets. Eight US soldiers also died.

'US bent on world domination' December 12, 2003 Former Government minister Michael Meacher has claimed that the war on terrorism is a "political smokescreen" allowing the US to dominate the world and its oil supplies. Mr Meacher, who was environment minister for six years until June, argued in a national newspaper that the US knew in advance of the September 11 attacks but did not act for strategic reasons. It has since made "no serious attempt" to catch al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, he added.

Deadly U.S. Raid Leaves Some Afghans Bewildered Villagers Say Target Was Not a Terrorist December 12, 2003 By Pamela Constable Washington Post Foreign Service NARAI KALAI, Afghanistan, Dec. 11 -- The village, surrounded by bleak winter fields, was deserted Thursday. A dozen U.S. soldiers were busy inside a mud compound; next to it was another farmhouse with one mud wall smashed to rubble. On a frozen slope nearby, eight new graves, marked with jagged rocks, were already partly covered by snow. Sometime between midnight and dawn on Dec. 5, U.S. warplanes and ground forces attacked this mud-walled hamlet in eastern Paktia province, searching for a arsenal of weapons, U.S. military officials said Wednesday. In the rain of rockets and gunfire, an earthen wall collapsed on a sleeping family, killing both parents and their six young children.

Bush Drops the Mask They Died for Halliburton December 12, 2003 By DAVID VEST The mask came off this week. George "No More Beating Around The" Bush came right out and admitted it, on camera no less. American soldiers have died in Iraq, and are still dying, said the Commander-in-Chief, so that Halliburton, Bechtel and other corporate contributors to his campaign can make money. When it came down to money, Bush dropped all pretense. He blatantly didn't care whether he looked like a villain or a weeping clown.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: The untold story of the Bush administration's penchant for secrecy December 12, 2003 How the public's business gets done out of the public eye PBS television program NOW with Bill Moyers The Bush administration has removed from the public domain millions of pages of information on health, safety, and environmental matters, lowering a shroud of secrecy over many critical operations of the federal government. The administration's efforts to shield the actions of, and the information held by, the executive branch are far more extensive than has been previously documented. And they reach well beyond security issues. A five-month investigation by U.S. News details a series of initiatives by administration officials to effectively place large amounts of information out of the reach of ordinary citizens, including data on such issues as drinking-water quality and automotive tire safety

American Apocalypse December 12, 2003 by Robert Jay Lifton The apocalyptic imagination has spawned a new kind of violence at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We can, in fact, speak of a worldwide epidemic of violence aimed at massive destruction in the service of various visions of purification and renewal. In particular, we are experiencing what could be called an apocalyptic face-off between Islamist forces, overtly visionary in their willingness to kill and die for their religion, and American forces claiming to be restrained and reasonable but no less visionary in their projection of a cleansing warmaking and military power. Both sides are energized by versions of intense idealism; both see themselves as embarked on a mission of combating evil in order to redeem and renew the world; and both are ready to release untold levels of violence to achieve that purpose.

RecommendedA Vanished Dream December 12, 2003 By John Brand The time was a balmy spring Sunday afternoon in Vienna, Austria in 1936. The incident took place in front of the Bristol Hotel across the street from the Vienna Opera House. The tableau consisted of two groups of people. In the first were several American tourists. The other group consisted of several Austrian boys and girls, including myself. We were on a chaperoned Sunday afternoon stroll along the Ringstrasse.

US Senators demand Guantanamo resolution December 12, 2003 By Jill Colgan
Three US Senators have written to Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld demanding that he formally charge the detainees as war criminals or return them to their own countries to face justice. The letter follows a visit by the trio to the maximum security prison this week. The letter was sent by Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Democrat Senator Maria Cantwell.

GI pleads guilty to injuring self to get out of Iraq December 12, 2003 By Steve Liewer, Stars and Stripes WÜRZBURG, Germany — Plagued with anxiety, driven by addiction to painkillers and yearning to see his newborn son, Spc. Marcus Lee couldn’t stand to spend another day in Iraq. So on July 1, 3½ months into his tour at Sustainer Air Base in Balad, Lee grabbed his M-16 rifle from the weapons rack of the 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, and walked outside behind the tent. He sat down on a water jug, chambered a round, aimed the

Hey, William Kristol - 'Hit the Road, Warmonger!' December 12, 2003 By William Hughes Just who is William Kristol? He's a Neocon, Chicken Hawk, TV Talking Head, Israeli Firster and unrepentant warmonger. I saw him speak at a pro-Iraq War rally, held on the nation's Mall, in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2003, just weeks after the Bush-Cheney Gang unleashed the dogs of war in Iraq. I was standing in front of a woman at that event and overheard her say of Kristol, "Oh, look how small he is!"

Iraqi Mass Graves From Multiple Causes December 12, 2003 By Mark Gery In the past few months the graves of thousands of civilians have been unearthed in war-torn Iraq. Not surprisingly, the White House wasted no time in declaring the dead to be prime examples of Saddam Hussein's brutality and a further justification for the US-led invasion. But a check of the historical record on this matter reveals yet another calculated distortion by the US administration and its supporters.

Statement by The HSUS in Response to V.P. Cheney's Shooting Spree at a PA Canned Hunting Facility December 12, 2003 “This wasn’t a hunting ground. It was an open-air abattoir, and the vice president should be ashamed to have patronized this operation and then slaughtered so many animals,” states Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president of The Humane Society of the United States. “If the Vice President and his friends wanted to sharpen their shooting skills, they could have shot skeet or clay, not resorted to the slaughter of more than 400 creatures planted right in front of them as animated targets.”

Bidding for Isolation December 12, 2003 Just when it looked as if there was a chance to expand international involvement in Iraq, President Bush has reversed field again and left the European allies angry, the secretary of state looking out of step, and the rest of us wondering exactly what his policy really is. Late last week, it seemed as if Mr. Bush had decided to seek the global support he needs to free the United States of the demands that come with its unilateral occupation of Iraq. Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Brussels, expansively inviting NATO and the United Nations to join the security and reconstruction efforts. And President Jacques Chirac was sending the message that he was prepared, finally, to get involved. Then came the news that Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz had issued a decree, approved by Mr. Bush, barring any country that did not support the invasion — including France, Germany, Russia and Canada.

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