default.html Issue 109
Table of Contents

Khaled Shaikh Mohammed's Family Ties

by Ahmar Mustikhan The capture of one of the most wanted Al Qaeda fugitives, Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, is undoubtedly a major success, but important details about his life and arrest are being overlooked in news reports in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West

Who's Hiding Osama Bin Laden?

by Ahmar Mustikhan and Jeff Elliott Where's Osama bin Laden, and who is helping the world's most famous terrorist hide from justice? There are surprisingly few possibilities -- but exploring those questions just may get you killed

Richard Perle's Conflicts Of Interest

by Jason Leopold Richard Perle's resignation Thursday as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group, is long overdue. Perle quit the chairmanship amid controversy centered around his position as a retainer for bankrupt telecommunications firm Global Crossing which hired him to the potential tune of $725,000 to win approval from the Department of Defense for Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing to buy the company. A growing chorus of critics and lawmakers decried Perle, nicknamed Prince of Darkness, as putting himself in a situation with a significant conflict of interest. This is anything but terra incognita for Perle, who has resigned from a previous post as assistant secretary of defense in April 1987 -- amid complaints of conflicts of interest

In China, Doubt And Disdain Over Shock And Awe

by Joshua Samuel Brown While viewers in America may have missed the video showing a three year old boy swaddled in dirty bandages crying in an Iraqi hospital after being caught in an American missile attack, tens of millions of CCTV International News viewers didn't. It was replayed several times over an hour broadcast, along with the cries of the boy's father screaming "America, where is your humanity?"

UN Food Agency Pleads for Funds to Feed Iraq

At least 10 million people in Iraq will need food aid within weeks of military action by the United States and its allies, according to the UN World Food Programme. The world's largest food aid organization says such an operation that would require massive donor support amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. So far, only $7.5 million has been donated, about one-third of the amount required

The Lamps Are Going Out

by Randolph T. Holhut The feeling I have now is the feeling that Britain's Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey had on Aug. 3, 1914, the night before England declared war on Germany after the Germans invaded Belgium in the opening engagement of World War I. As he and a friend stood in Whitehall that evening, looking out the window as the street lamps were being lit, Grey said: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime"

A View From Ground Zero

by David Blake Willis In these troubled times, it might be appropriate to consider more carefully what the expression Ground Zero means, especially as events are escalating towards flashpoint. Originally a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Ground Zero was co-opted by the events of 9/11 as the symbol of modern tragedy and righteous anger

France Again Becomes Conscience Of America

by Julio Godoy Emmanuel Todd says the U.S. isolation in its war plans against Iraq is an indicator that the world has begun to see the U.S. decline as a superpower. "The fact the Germany, for the first time since WWII, has dared oppose a U.S. military project especially shows this awareness"

The Lost History of The U.S. and Iraq

by Robert Parry Americans don't have the facts about the real history of U.S.-Iraq relations because Bush and his predecessors in the White House have kept this history hidden from the American people. When parts of the story have emerged, administrations of both parties have taken steps to suppress or discredit the disclosures. So instead of knowing the truth, Americans have been fed a steady diet of distortions, simplifications and outright lies

As Nation On Brink Of War, Congress Stops To Bash French

by Jim Lobe Bashing the French, a favorite pastime for generations of red-blooded U.S. citizens, is back, and with a vengeance, provoked by France's opposition to the President George W. Bush's eagerness to invade Iraq

Influence Of Jewish Neo-Cons Provokes Debate

by Jim Lobe The prominence of neo-conservative Jews in George W. Bush's campaign for war against Iraq and the perception that Israel has much to gain from the ouster of Saddam Hussein are fuelling a debate about anti-Semitism and the power of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States

Estrada Filibuster Could Backfire On Demos

by Marcelo Rodriguez Though Latinos have traditionally leaned toward the Democratic Party, an attempt by Democrats to derail the nomination of a mildly conservative Latino appeals court appointee could begin to tip the scales the other way

Postwar Iraq Profiteering Begins

by Christopher Brauchli More than $1.5 billion in Iraq work has been offered to private U.S. companies under the plan. Although Mr. Bush said in his news conference on March 16 that the UN would be invited to assist in rebuilding what he called "post-Saddam Iraq" his social director sent out invitations only to United States companies. That was not a gaffe by the social director. It was intentional

Tom DeLay's Little Secret

by Christopher Brauchli DeLay is good at explaining away incommodious facts. He used that skill when introducing Dan Quayle to a group of journalists at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans in 1988 after Mr. Quayle had been selected by George I as his vice-presidential running mate. His task was to explain away the fact that Mr. Quayle had avoided military service during the Viet Nam war. It was awkward to do since Mr. DeLay, too, had avoided service. According to a report in the Houston Press, Mr. DeLay had a neat explanation for how that all happened. It turned out there was no room in the service for either of them

The Disgrace And Failure Of George W. Bush

by Christopher Brauchli He lied, he bribed, he forged and, finally, he tried spying. The only thing he didn't try was diplomacy. So Mr. Bush and his good friend, Tony Blair, were forced to go to war alone

Bush Proposal Of Palestine "Road Map" Seen As Ruse

by N Janardhan The timing is astonishing. Peace in the Middle East has been at the bottom of the present U.S. administration's agenda. To suddenly come up with the announcement is not a very convincing proposition." Most significantly, the road map is being seen as a sop to opponents of war in Britain -- which have always been more sympathetic toward the Palestinian cause -- and Jordan, where a large number of Palestinian refugees reside alongside U.S. troops who aid war efforts against Iraq

Bush Admin Draws Heavily From Small Neo-Con Family

by Jim Lobe When historians look back at the major backers of an aggressive U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Iraq and the "war on terrorism", one of the more curious aspects they are likely to find is the degree to which key hawks both within and outside the administration not only affirmed each other's political views, but were actually related to one another, as well

Two Campaigns Aim To Impeach Bush

by Gabriel Packard Both campaigns seek to prevent war. Both say that the threat of impeachment will be a deterrent. But both are still searching for a Congressman to propose the bill

Yugoslav Women "Sold Like Sacks Of Potatoes"

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic After the wars that tore the former Yugoslav federation apart in the nineties, the area has become notorious now for trafficking of women who end up as sex slaves

Bush Wants Rollback Of Public Land Protection

by J.R. Pegg Never before, say critics of the administration, has the nation faced such an all encompassing assault on the environmental protections meant to safeguard the nation's forests, wildlife refuges, parks and other public lands

War On Iraq Threatens Israel

by William O. Beeman Some Bush administration policymakers see greater security for Israel after war and regime change in Iraq. This fallacy is driven by mistaken notions about the nature of terrorist organizations

Why Bush Wants To Fight In The Philippines

by Rene Ciria-Cruz Increased U.S. military presence in the Philippines is just the first step in a wider campaign envisioned against Islamic insurgencies in Southeast Asia. The United States, however, may be misjudging the risks of a bolder military profile that could include engaging in combat in the region for the first time since the Vietnam War

Ignored By Washington, Latin America Burns

by Andrew Reding The deaths of more than 23 people in Bolivia during protests and riots is but one sign of forces that threaten to tear apart Latin America. Yet Washington's policies toward the region are making things worse, not better

Iraq-Obsessed Media Ignores Africa, UN Says

by Thalif Deen The African continent, they warn, is being threatened by a famine, destabilized by an intense civil war in Ivory Coast and endangered by an AIDS epidemic made worse by a shortage of funds

Bush Promises Vague "Road Map" For Israel Peace

by N Janardhan If British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Spanish counterpart Jose Maria Aznar think that Washington will make a strong push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians after a successful invasion of Iraq, they should probably think again

Drill In Arctic Refuge, Interior Secretary Says

by J.R. Pegg ANWR is a "an area of flat, white nothingness," Norton said, and oil production from the refuge would mean increased energy security and more jobs for Americans. "The coastal plain is this nation's single greatest prospect for onshore oil," Norton said. "We can develop energy at home while protecting the environmental values we all hold dear." Norton is arguing for oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge just two days before her Department celebrates the 100th anniversary of the entire system of national wildlife refuges

Iraq May Be Poised to Ignite Oil Fields

With over 10 billion barrels of remaining proven oil reserves, Kirkuk is the center of Iraq's oil industry and is connected by pipelines to ports on the Mediterranean Sea. After some 70 years of operation, Kirkuk still produces up to one million barrels a day, almost half of all Iraqi oil exports

U.S. Will Reap Oil Windfall After Saddam's Ouster

by Emad Mekay A U.S. invasion of Iraq would guarantee long -term oil supply for the U.S. economy, guard against oil-exporting countries from using the resource to influence U.S. foreign policy and benefit U.S. oil companies, analysts say

International Criminal Court Launches Despite Bush Boycott

by Sanjay Suri China, Russia, India and Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Iraq and most countries run by military dictatorships have opted to remain outside its jurisdiction. " But the only really prominent opponent is the Bush administration

After Saddam, Iraq Tribal Wars Expected

by Ferry Biedermann There are an estimated 150 major tribes in Iraq, and each tribe has several smaller clans within it. Their strength can vary from a few thousand to a million or so. These tribes can play a pivotal role in securing and maintaining control. But their loyalties are uncertain. Not all of them are fiercely loyal to Saddam Hussein, but that may not mean they will be loyal to an outside force. Tribesmen turned against the British who tried to take control from the Ottoman Empire early in the last century, killing thousands of British soldiers

Bush Makes Dangerous Comparison Of Iraq To Nazi Germany

How the intervention is portrayed is critical, particularly whether or not this portrayal is accepted by the people of Iraq

Bush Summit In Azores Was War Declaration on UN

by Mario de Queiroz The United Nations' days may be numbered, at least in its current shape, according to analysts here. That was their reading of the statement issued by the United States after a heralded 'summit' on Portugal's Azores islands on March 16

Japan's Fear Of N Korea Leads To Support Of Iraq War

by Suvendrini Kakuchi North Korea's latest acts of brinkmanship are shifting the focus in northeast Asia to fears about a nuclear attack in its own backyard -- and causing some Japanese to say it is safer to keep its U.S. security umbrella intact by being supportive of Washington on Iraq

Depleted Uranium Found In Bosnia Water

DU penetrators buried near the ground surface have corroded, losing 25 percent of their mass over seven years. The penetrators will corrode completely within 25 to 35 years after impact

Turkey Snub Of U.S. Troops Marks Decline Of NATO

by Andrew Reding Turkey's refusal to allow U.S. troops to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for war on Iraq marks the continuing unraveling of NATO and the ascension of the European Union as its successor

Bush Attempting End Run Past Clean Air Act

by J.R. Pegg The Bush administration's proposed revisions to a little known provision of the Clean Air Act have not been of great interest to the American public. But perhaps they should be

Zapatistas In Control Of Chiapas

by Diego Cevallos Control posts have mushroomed in the remote jungle valleys of Chiapas, where the EZLN has founded 31 of its "autonomous municipalities in rebellion" since 1996. Any movement in or out of those areas is monitored and controlled by pro-Zapatista Indians. Those who govern the autonomous municipalities reject the educational and health programs of the government of Vicente Fox as well as any kind of official assistance

Bush Now Candidate For War Crime Tribunal

by Randolph T. Holhut We can now see why the Bush administration refused to allow the U.S. to be subject to the jurisdiction of the newly-created International Criminal Court. They probably believed that they might eventually be standing in the dock facing a Nuremburg-style war crimes trial as a result of a preemptive invasion of Iraq

Bush Pushes the Big Lie Toward the Brink

by Robert Scheer "We have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of the American people, since the war in Vietnam," wrote John Brady Kiesling, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service in his letter of resignation

When U.S. Bombs Fall, We Become War Criminals

by Robert Scheer Terrifyingly, we are hours away from doing irreparable harm to our democratic heritage by launching a risky, arrogant crusade that most of the world opposes, all at the behest of a small coterie of neoconservative ideologues plotting to remake the world in their image and who unfortunately have the ear of our accidental president

A Week Into War, Bush Backpedals

by William O. Beeman

Rosy predictions of a quick and (for U.S. troops) painless war have evaporated in the face of Iraqi resistance and no widespread welcoming of coalition forces. The accuracy of another prediction, the discovery of weapons of mass destruction, waits in the wings

"If We Die, We Want To Die Together" -- Report From Baghdad

by Cathy Breen

"Ten-year-old Rusel was wounded in an explosion outside her door. We saw the shrapnel in her chest on the X-ray; she too has a chest tube. Her right hand is fractured. I had seen her the day before, and to my surprise she remembered me. We played with a frog finger-puppet for a while, and I told her what a brave little girl she is. Her father said, 'Bush said he'd bring democracy to Iraq. This is not democracy. This is terrorism'"

War On TV, But Holiday Mood -- Report From Baghdad

by Nasreen Al-Rafiq

"That is the best way to end all this," says an Iraqi driver. "What have we got under the Saddam Hussein regime? Our business is gone, no tourist comes here. The future of our children is ruined." But as we drive through the markets, which seem to be getting their supply of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, his smile broadens. "The Americans are not finding it so easy," he says. "They Iraqi soldiers, they fight them everywhere"

Trail Of Iraqi Refugees Stream Towards Syria

by George Baghdadi

Refugees from Iraq have been crossing over into Syria in thousands. A ramshackle convoy of cars, trucks and vans packed with Iraqis and all they can carry trundles through Abu Kamal night and day. From Abu Kamal the convoy moves on to Damascus

"This Is Only The Beginning" -- Report From Baghdad

by Satish Jacob

"This is only the beginning," one guest said as he smoked away. No amount of cool talk could hide the tension. Baghdad was shaking, and we could feel it

Bush Thinktank Grateful That Saddam Not Killed In First Strike

by Jim Lobe

If the raid had succeeded in killing Saddam and his two sons, U.S. officials here told reporters that their war plans might have changed. But, fortunately for the neo-conservative hawks who roost at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) three blocks from the White House, it appears that Saddam remains alive, and the invasion will now go forward

Baghdad Waits For Attack

by Satish Jacob

Many people do not expect the Iraqi army to retaliate convincingly against a U.S. assault. The Iraqi military seems to be waiting for war like everyone else. But there are few signs that it is waiting to fight a war. People in Baghdad too are waiting. But since the announcement by Secretary of State Colin Powell Sunday that Baghdad is now a dangerous place, people are acting with increased alarm

Iraq Reaction To Attack Unknown

by Sanjay Suri and Ferry Biedermann

The apparently inefficient war preparations beg the question how the regime plans to defend itself should an attack take place. Iraqis are looking at two scenarios: one that hard-core military supporters of the regime will wait to take on U.S. troops in house-to-house combat. Secondly, that faced with extinction Saddam Hussein will use chemical and biological weapons

A Naked Bid to Redraw World Map

by Robert Scheer Whether this war is short or long, extremely bloody or just bloody, the stark fact is that a barely elected president has made the United States the first colonizer of the 21st century, openly declaring that he plans to reorder the politics, economy and culture of the Muslim world

Wraps Come Off Bush's Colonialist Agenda

by Robert Scheer Were Ted Koppel at his post on "Nightline" and not uselessly "embedded" in some troop convoy, he might be asking the government tough questions about the lack of evidence to back up its rationale for the war

Iraq's "Martyr Bonus" To Suicide Bombers Controversial In Arab World

by Ferry Biedermann Israel contends that the Palestinian Authority itself is involved in the payments, in order to encourage attacks. But the PA has publically expresses deep misgivings about the donations

Bush Opens Tongass Forest To Logging

by J.R. Pegg The decision opens 330,000 acres of the disputed area to timber harvest

Expect Long-Haul Stay In Iraq, Say Policy Setters

by Jim Lobe In an implicit swipe at forces, including right-wing administration hawks who have argued for withdrawing U.S. forces as soon as possible after the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the destruction of any weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the letter emphasized that Washington should be engaged for the long haul

Some Iraqi Businesses Hope For War

by Ferry Biedermann Iraqi businessman may not think war is great, but some are beginning to look on it as one way of release from sanctions imposed by the UN after the Gulf War of 1991. There had been some improvement in the past year. Many neighboring countries had begun at least partly to ignore the UN. That has stopped since the UN Security Council passed resolution 1441. The last couple of months have again been hard on the Iraqi econom

Turkey Bans Kurdish Political Party

by Nadire Mater Kurds won a landmark ruling from the European Human Rights Court, but Turkey banned a Kurdish party the following day

Scientists To Bush: Don't Even Consider Tactical Nukes

by Jim Lobe Authors of a secret 1966 Pentagon study on the use of tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) in Vietnam say their conclusions that TNWs could be "catastrophic" to U.S. global interests are at least as compelling today as they were almost 40 years ago

Iraqi Public Neglects To Cheer U.S. Invasion

by Jim Lobe Because of the new developments, concern is growing here over the basic assumptions of war planners -- that the Iraqi public would greet the U.S.-led campaign as a "liberation," not an invasion

"Allah Sent The Sand To Protect Us" -- Report From Baghdad

by Nasreen Al-Rafiq "The skies darkened over Baghdad again Tuesday, but this was not from the oil wells set afire in a ring around the city. Nor was it from the smoke of bombing. At the Al-Saadia food market they were saying it was an act of Allah. 'Allah sent the sand to protect us,' said a butcher at the souk. It was a day of heavy sandstorms over Baghdad. By evening the sand had begun to settle, and it rained a little. This too was seen as intervention from the heavens"

We "Miscalculated Badly" -- U.K. Defense Analyst

by Sanjay Suri "The Americans and even the British did not read their history," Sabah Jawad, an Iraqi dissident who had to leave the country for opposing Saddam Hussein told IPS. It was a long struggle to get the British colonialists out of Iraq in 1958," he said. "Why did they think that anyone in Iraq would now want them back?"

U.S. Moves To Block Emergency UN War Session

by Thalif Deen The United States, whose military attack on Iraq has been roundly condemned by the international community, is trying to silence the highest policy-making body at the United Nations: the 191-member General Assembly

Saddam Turns To Mosques To Rally Support

by Nasreen Al-Rafiq Attendance at the mosques has been rising steadily in recent days. Not everyone goes to pray. But it is where you can meet others, and talk about what might happen, about what they might do. Iraqi television is beginning to strengthen this shift with more shots repeated now of Saddam Hussein at prayer, and with more leaders appealing to Arab unity and to Muslim unity against the invaders

U.S. Accused Of Using Food As Weapon In Iraq War

by Julio Godoy This lack of funds is in part a consequence of the long diplomatic battle within the UN over U.S. war plans. Many countries including France reduced allocation of funds for emergency programs in Iraq because they saw this allocation as a part of "the logic of war" propagated by the United States

Pakistan's Extremists Gain From Iraq War

by M B Naqvi The burning of U.S. flags and the effigies of U.S. President George W. Bush have now become de rigueur for frequent demonstrations and rallies organized by the religious parties in Pakistan against the U.S.-led war on Iraq

Afghanistan's President Now Yesterday's News

by Jim Lobe Last year, President George W. Bush even proposed a "Marshall Plan" for the war-devastated country to ensure that Afghanistan would not only recover, but prosper as well. But a year later, Karzai found U.S. attention focused firmly, grimly and virtually exclusively on Iraq. Worse, despite his passionate appeals for more financial support, the Afghan leader had to settle for an increase in the line of credit for Afghanistan

Iraq War Already Has Echo Of Vietnam

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Little is know about the motivation behind the recent grenade attack by an African American Muslim sergeant on fellow soldiers in Kuwait. Even if the attack turns out to be an isolated incident involving a disturbed individual, it evokes memories of the Vietnam War

Pentagon Seeks "National Security" Exemptions From Enviromental Laws

by J.R. Pegg The Pentagon is seeking exemptions from five major environmental laws, which Bush administration officials say are compromising the U.S. military's training and readiness. The proposal, which has been tucked into the 2004 military budget, would give the military broad exemptions from federal laws governing hazardous waste, clean air, marine mammal protection and endangered species

Medical Groups Ask Bush To Butt Out Of Tobacco Talks

by Gustavo Capdevila Top medical associations of the United States are demanding that the government abandon the negotiations for an international treaty on tobacco control, saying its presence is undermining the efforts of other nations to produce the strong legal tool needed to halt tobacco-related deaths

Bhutan To Be First Nation To Outlaw Tobacco

by Suman K Chakrabarti Authorities in Bhutan say that the decision to ban the sale and use of tobacco was also prompted by the growing use of cannabis (marijuana or hemp) among young people, who remove the tobacco from cigarettes, mix it with cannabis leaves, reload and light up

In Argentina, "None Of The Above" Winning Next Election

by Marcela Valente The demonstrations of 2001 were demanding a more profound overhaul of the system, but "the forces calling for change were weaker than they themselves believed," and no electoral proposal capable of "agglutinating the disgruntled" has emerged

Nigeria's Oil Wells Closed Amid Ethnic Violence

by Toye Olori Nigeria's petroleum industry may not benefit from the bombardment of Iraq by the United Stated-led coalition after ethnic clashes last week forced multi-national companies to shut down of operations in Warri, one of the major oil-producing cities in the Niger Delta region

"Partial Birth Abortion" -- Why Does the Big Lie Continue?

by Karyn Strickler Eight years after the anti-choice movement first introduced "partial birth" abortion legislation in the U.S. Congress and state houses across the country, it is still not recognized for what it is: part of a carefully crafted, national strategy to ban all abortion

Blame Bush, Not UN For War, Diplomats Say

by Thalif Deen A visibly livid Bush told reporters that the United Nations had failed miserably in its search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Bush was looking for political cover for a military conflict which was already pre-meditated -- and his visit to the UN General Assembly in October last year to plead for international support was disingenuous, according to senior French officials quoted in The New York Times

Brits Shaken By Early Iraq War Losses

by Sanjay Suri The British had expected to walk into Baghdad unopposed and triumphant along with the Americans. Instead, 14 British soldiers and sailors, and five Americans have died in crashes involving three helicopters over a space of two days, two of them British-built Sea Kings, and one Chinook built by Boeing

Iraq War Launches Protests Nationwide

by Akhilesh Upadhyay A New York Times-CBS poll conducted Thursday, a day after allied forces made their first attack on Baghdad, found that 70 percent of people here approved Bush's handling of Iraq, but there were deep partisan divisions. While 93 percent of Republicans said they approved the president's campaign, only 50 percent of Democrats did. In 1991, former president George H.W. Bush enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support for his Iraq policy: 94 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats

Turkey Invades Northern Iraq

by Hilmi Toros Despite U.S. opposition, Turkish troops are entering northern Iraq, turning the unsettled area into a potential powder keg

Kurds In N Iraq Prepare For War With Turkey

by Gretel C. Kovach Though they say they fear Saddam Hussein most of all, Kurdish fighters in Northern Iraq are pointing their weapons in the direction of Turkey, fearing invasion from Turks massed at the border

Arab Nations Fear Iraq Is Only First Step For Bush Invasion

by George Baghdadi Bush's suggestion that the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will be a step towards democracy in the Middle East and reduce terrorism does not seem to convince most Arabs. Most Arab leaders say they would like to see Saddam relinquish power. But they are apprehensive about the Bush administration's proclaimed mission of bringing democracy to the Arab world, starting with Iraq

The End Of International Law

by Jim Lobe "This may be the week that the old world ends," wrote R. C. Longworth, senior correspondent of the 'Chicago Tribune.' "That old world, the only world most Americans have ever known, was a world of alliances, of power wrapped in law and of an American leadership of like-minded nations that accepted this leadership because Washington treated them as allies, not as subjects"

Iraq War A Replay Of History's Worst

by Jim Lobe A gloomier analogy that has gained attention is July-August, 1914, the prelude to WWI. In that case, the protagonists made a series of assumptions -- among them that the balance of power in Europe would prevent war and if war broke out anyway, it would be very short -- which turned out to be catastrophically wrong

Palestine, Israel See Opposite Media Views Of Iraq War

by Ferry Biedermann The different war the two sides are seeing leads Israelis to be certain of U.S. victory, though many believe now it will not be as easy as they first thought. Some Palestinians on the other hand are even beginning to think that Saddam Hussein may remain undefeated

The Iraq War, Tonight On Serbia TV

by Terence Sheridan CNN delivers the U.S. war on Iraq to the far corners of the world, including the war-weary Balkans, where a lawyer struggling to learn English has questions about "embedded" journalism and wonders if Jesse Jackson just might save the day

Bush Iraq Coalition Reaches Out To The Corrupt And Irrelevant

by Jim Lobe "To put this in perspective, the combined population of coalition countries is approximately 1.23 billion people (not including Tonga's 105,000), with a combined gross domestic product of approximately 22 trillion dollars. These countries are from every continent on the globe, representing every major race, religion, and ethnicity in the world." Say what? In fact, as pointed out in a new report by Washington-based 'Foreign Policy in Focus', the countries listed by the White House as part of the coalition represent a combined population of less than 20 percent of the globe, and while every continent is represented, the representation of some continents is, to say the least, rather sparse

Saddam Will Probably Choose Martyrdom

by Gwynne Dyer Will Saddam step down? A look at the man and his past suggests he will make a final stand

How Dan Rather Could Have Saved The Day

by Franz Schurmann CBS newsman Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein recalls the key role ABC reporter John Scali played in 1962 in resolving the Cuban missile crisis. Several recent reports in the Arab language media suggest that a war with Iraq can still be avoided, making Rather's interview even more significant

From Oil Flows Global Power

by Robert Jensen When President Bush says "We have no territorial ambitions; we don't seek an empire," he is telling half a truth. Certainly the United States isn't looking to make Iraq the 51st state. But that's not the way of empire today -- it's about control, not about territory

Palestinians Divided Over Ideas To End Uprising

by N Janardhan The reason for the call for a truce, apart from U.S. pressure, lies in the "fatigue factor" among the people, not to mention political and economic difficulties. Starting Sept. 28, 2000, about 3,000 people -- mostly Palestinians -- have died. Much of the territories administered by the PNA have been reoccupied by Israel, and unemployment and poverty are taking their toll. But the call was swiftly rejected by hard-line Palestinian factions

Oil Consortium Ignored Safer Route For Caspian Pipeline, Group Says

by Emad Mekay "BP gives no data proving that this route is the best," said Manana Kochladze, Bankwatch's Caucasus Coordinator, in a statement. "When you're going to put an oil pipeline right next to a river, you better be able to show a good reason for doing so." The pipeline also crosses a proposed national park (the Gobustan Semi-desert Sensitive Habitat) and a proposed World Heritage Site (the Gobustan Cultural Reserve, which contains rock art sites)

"Human Shields" In Baghdad Have Mixed Feelings

by Ferry Biedermann Despite the title of 'human shield', that is how many activists see it. "I am not saying I will see this thing through to the bitter end," says Meynell. Some of them say they will leave before an attack begins. Western diplomats say the Iraqi government may not want them around if war breaks out. They could become a publicity liability, and in the tightly controlled police state that Iraq is, they could be seen also as security risks, even Western agents

Who Else Can Bush Tick Off?

by Molly Ivins A French journalist observed in horrified wonder Tuesday: "Mon Dieu, Bush has made Jacques Chirac into a hero. Jacques Chirac!" What a little miracle-man that George W. Bush is. He has that wonder-working power

Bush Plans To Privatize Iraq Reconstruction

by Molly Ivins I hate to rain on the administration's parade, but we're not even out of Afghanistan after more than a year, and that's a much smaller job. In fact, we don't seem to have control of much in Afghanistan beyond Kabul. Poor Hamid Karzai was back in Washington last week, looking for money. Turns out the White House forgot to ask Congress for any new money for his country -- ooops, short attention span

Bush's Diplomatic Policy Of Humilitation

by Molly Ivins A French journalist observed in horrified wonder Tuesday: "Mon Dieu, Bush has made Jacques Chirac into a hero. Jacques Chirac!" What a little miracle-man that George W. Bush is. He has that wonder-working power

More News To Make You Wince

by Molly Ivins From reading newspapers in French and Spanish, as well as round-ups of opinion from other countries, I would have to say we are not winning the battle for hearts and minds around the world, and we'd better be prepared to deal with that when this is over

Outrages Under The Radar

by Molly Ivins The administration initially prepared to claim Al Qaeda fighters were not covered by the Geneva Convention, until the military pointed out that what goes around, comes around. We displayed pictures of our prisoners wearing black hoods, in chains and housed in outdoor, chain-link kennels

Bush Lying And Lack Of Class

by Molly Ivins After all this time, we are still left with the two questions: Why Iraq? And why now? One of the continuously changing rationales for war has been that Hussein had a nuclear weapons program, or was within a few years of having nuclear weapons. That is simply untrue

Texas' Sheriff of Nottingham Tax Plan

by Molly Ivins The Texas GOP plan for dealing with our deficit is to cut 250,000 poor children off the largely federally funded Children's Health Insurance Program

The Long, Shifting Rationale For War

by Molly Ivins It seems to me each side in the debate over this war has an unacknowledged elephant in the living room. And, oddly enough, it's the same elephant: oil. The hawks -- rightly, I think -- dismiss the slogan, "No Blood for Oil," as, at least, an overdramatic overstatement of what's at stake here. On the other hand, as somebody else observed, if the Middle East's primary export were kumquats, this wouldn't be happening. It seems to me oil is not the primary cause for this war, but it's equally stupid to pretend it has nothing to do with what gives

The Obidient Media Hastens Path To War

by Norman Solomon As the possibility of a U.S. invasion turns into the reality of massive carnage, the war on Iraq cannot avoid confronting Americans with a tacit expectation that rarely gets media scrutiny. In a word: obedience

U.S. Media Dodges UN Spying Bombshell

by Norman Solomon The London Times article called it an "embarrassing disclosure." And the embarrassment was nearly worldwide. From Russia to France to Chile to Japan to Australia, the story was big mainstream news. But not in the United States

Media's Love Affair With War Tactics And Tech

by Norman Solomon In spite of all the public-relations efforts on behalf of this invasion, the military forces of Washington and London remain a coalition for the killing of Iraqi people who get in the way of the righteous juggernaut. Despite the prevalent media fixations, the great moral questions about this war have not been settled -- on the contrary, they intensify with each passing day -- no matter what gets onto TV screens and front pages

The Bush War On Conscience

by Norman Solomon In the domestic media siege being maintained by top-notch spinners and shrewd political advisers at the White House, conscience is in the cross hairs. They aim to intimidate, stampede and suppress the many millions of Americans who recognize the deranged and murderous character of the war makers in Washington

The Forged "Evidence"

by Alexander Cockburn Either these forged documents were prepared by the U.S. or British secret services, or passed along by the actual forgers, who would, of course, have been parties eager to foment war. As Close points out, one pertinent question is that if the forgers were freelance, did the intelligence services of the U.S. and U.K. detect the fraud but suppress their knowledge of it?

Mideast War Could Send Environment Up In Smoke

by Meena Janardhan Now, the sites in Iraq that have been associated by the United States and Britain as being involved in the production of biological and chemical weapons will certainly be early targets for air strikes. Targeting these and other industrial and military sites in a conflict is likely to lead to acute chemical pollution. Of particular concern are the depleted uranium (DU) projectiles that create fragments and dust, which release uranium oxide into the air and lead to cancer

The Flack Journalist And The Iraq- Al Qaeda Link

by Alexander Cockburn On Feb. 10, amid widespread cynicism about the administration's rationales for war, Remnick published another Goldberg special, "The Unknown: The CIA and the Pentagon Take Another Look at Al Qaeda and Iraq." This 6,000-word screed had no pretensions to being anything other than a servile rendition of Donald Rumsfeld's theory of intelligence: "Build a hypothesis, and then see if the data supported the hypothesis, rather than the reverse." In other words, decide what you want to hear, then torture the data until the data confess

A Sky Dark With Chickens Coming Home To Roost

by Alexander Cockburn The sky is dark with chickens coming home to roost. Start with the amazed discovery of the White House, the Defense Department and the U.S. press corps that nations don't care to be invaded, even if they have been misgoverned by a tyrant for decades

What Next For The Peace Movement?

by Alexander Cockburn Talk to anyone with experience of the peace movements from Vietnam forward, through the efforts to stop intervention in Central America in the Reagan years, and they all agree that what's phenomenal about the current anti-war movement is the speed with which it has grown up, and the way in which it has involved people from all walks of life

Arabs Provided Balanced Media Coverage Of Iraq War

by Rami G. Khouri You had to see both images simultaneously that day to fully grasp the three most important dimensions of this conflict, in my view: one, the terrible tragedy of human loss and suffering on both sides; two, that this was a deliberately chosen American war that could and should have been avoided; and, finally, that we have only started to witness the human, economic, and political costs that will be paid by many people and countries before this adventure plays itself out

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