default.html Issue 110
Table of Contents

The Caller

by Jillian Aldebron I had gotten such calls before in reaction to prior efforts at political activism. They invariably precluded response, consisting of irate venting followed by the crash of a slammed receiver. This call was different. I sensed a sadness, a reluctance to leave our disagreement at that

Nauru Island: Far Side Of Paradise

by Joshua Samuel Brown Today it is the specter of money laundering -- not the decades of colonial exploitation, broken promises, and impending doom from global warming -- that comes to mind when the name "Nauru" is mentioned in polite circles from Melbourne to Manhattan

Iraq War: The Images U.S. Media Chooses, and Chooses to Ignore

by Robert Jensen Another difference between television in the U.S. and elsewhere has been coverage of Iraqi casualties. Despite constant discussion of "precision bombing," the U.S. invasion has produced so many dead and wounded that Iraqi hospitals stopped trying to count. Red Cross officials have labeled the level of casualties "incredible," describing "dozens of totally dismembered dead bodies of women and children" delivered by truck to hospitals

Justice Dept. Prosecution Of "Lackawanna Six" Stumbles

by Christopher Brauchli Describing the government's approach, David Lane, the attorney for Mr. Naseer said: "They dig up any charge they can think of to get these guys into court. Then they haul out their unnamed sources and classified evidence and tell the judge this is really a case of terrorism."

Investigation Of Possible U.S. War Crimes In Iraq Begins

by Ushani Agalawatta There have been widespread calls for an examination of U.S. conduct during the invasion, which The Wall Street Journal estimates cost some 5,000 Iraqi lives, both civilian and military, and countless wounded and missing. "Lawyers recognize no such principle as 'victors' justice', the idea that it is just going to be the Iraqis and Saddam Hussein who have to face the consequences of committing war crimes"

Hans Blix: U.S. Wanted UN Inspection Team To Spy On Iraq

by William O. Beeman Blix goes on to point out that once the Iraqis began to cooperate, after he delivered a rebuke to them at the United Nations on Jan. 27, Americans became increasingly upset and started to criticize him. Finally, as the weather began to heat up and threaten the military operation, the United States completely lost patience in the inspection process and abandoned it

Bush Planning To Appoint Arms Merchant As Viceroy Of Baghdad

by Paolo Pontoniere The European press -- La Stampa of Italy, the Guardian of London and others -- presents a sharp counterpoint to U.S. media coverage of war in Iraq. In the past two weeks, writes PNS commentator Paolo Pontoniere, European media have reported extensively on Jay Garner, the U.S. choice for future governor of Iraq, and his role in the weapons industry

Saudis May Have Brokered Deal For Quick Iraqi Surrender

by Franz Schurmann and Jalal Ghazi The precipitous fall of Baghdad has Arab media buzzing with rumors of a deal. One of the people at the center of any deal might be a Baath party strongman Izzat Ibrahim, who holds the strategic oil city of Mosul and enjoys the support of Saudi Prince Abdullahce for future governor of Iraq, and his role in the weapons industry

Will Justice O'Connor Remember Her Own Affirmative Action Help?

by Lou DeMatteis Is the pivotal vote in the most important test of affirmative action in recent history

Peace Movement Unsettled As Groups Ponder What Next

by Rene P. Ciria-Cruz The fall of Baghdad has left the peace movement at a crossroads. Some antiwar groups seek a focus on reconstruction and humanitarian aid in Iraq, while others stick to moral opposition to U.S. military presence there, or emphasize the war's social costs at home

Anarchy Keeps Aid Workers From Entering Iraq

by Ferry Biedermann "We have so much material pre-positioned here, including special kits for the injured, water testing kits and high-protein food. We are just waiting until it's safe to go in"

Will UN Become Another League Of Nations?

by Hilmi Toros The League, like the United Nations, extended considerable aid to refugees; helped suppress opium traffic; did pioneering work in health surveys; extended financial aid to needy states; and furthered international cooperation in labor relations and many other fields. But the world of big-power realpolitik made itself felt

Bush "Short War" May Span Generations

by William O. Beeman In the car lot of foreign relations, Americans have been sold a lemon -- a clean, fast "war in Iraq." Americans should not be fooled into thinking any war so deeply cast in terms of religion will be short-lived, or that its consequences will be limited to Iraq

Iraq For Sale

by Randolph T. Holhut It may cost us taxpayers more than $100 billion to rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure that had been destroyed by the U.S. during 12 years of war and economic sanctions. Unfortunately, the folks getting to do the work seem to be the friends and allies of President Bush and the Republican Party

Arabs See "Occupation," Not "Liberation" Of Iraq

by Rami G. Khouri The common emotional response to the Iraq war throughout the Arab World has been one of anti-colonial resistance. This war is being seen widely as merely the latest phase of a long-running colonial drama by which Western armies invade, subjugate, reconfigure, and exploit the lands and resources of the Middle East

No Matter How The War Goes, Rumsfeld May Be Out

by Franz Schurmann Recent reports of in-fighting between President Bush's advisers over the war in Iraq has Chinese and Russian media buzzing. Doubts about Defense Secretary's Donald Rumsfeld's war strategy might have brought about an unprecedented alliance between the Colin Powell's State Department and the Pentagon's top brass. That could be bad news for Rumsfeld, no matter how the war ends

International Court Could Try U.S. For War Crimes

by Nefer Munoz The International Criminal Court could prosecute crimes against humanity committed in the United States-led war on Iraq, despite the fact that neither the United States nor Iraq form part of the new court

Weapon Makers The Big Victor In Gulf War

by Thalif Deen The Pentagon will spend about $60 billion to buy new arms this year and over $30 billion in research and development of new weapons. "The U.S. armament industry is the second- most subsidized industry, after agriculture," he added

U.S. Controls Only A Square Mile Of Baghdad

by Ferry Biedermann Hundreds of demonstrators gather daily at Fardous Square outside the Palestine hotel in Baghdad where the U.S. forces have set up their headquarters. They want security and services restored, and the looting stopped. They are getting angrier by the day. "The U.S. only protects oil, not stores and houses," reads one placard. Others are a variation of that sentiment. The U.S. forces control barely one square mile of the sprawling city. In streets immediately around the barbed wire that rings the Palestine hotel compound, shots ring out at night

U.S. Tricked, Lied To Us, Says Impoverished Nation

by Kalinga Seneviratne The United States has pulled off a virtual coup in the tiny South Pacific island republic of Nauru -- dangling aid to the virtually bankrupt country in exchange for anti-terror measures, then, Nauru officials say, backtracking on what it promised

Saddam's Role Model: The Godfather

by Sanjay Suri Saddam Hussein was evidently convinced his repressive ways were for the good of Iraq, and even admired by Iraqis. "Saddam was talking about how the Godfather put the interests of his family -- as he saw them -- before anything else." Saddam believed he ruled with the hand of a family man. "He thought he was providing the nation with justice undeliverable under international law," Darish says. In later years "Saddam Hussein came to see all of Iraq as his family," says Darwish. "And if anyone went against the family, he would be a traitor to the family." And dealt with as such

Iraq War Blowback: The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Gains Momentum

by Cam McGrath The U.S. war on Iraq and the inability or unwillingness of Arab regimes to take a clear stand on it is giving a new lease on life to the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamic fundamentalist group

War In The Birthplace Of Civilization

by Julio Godoy U.S.-British assault on Iraq threatens a wealth of archaeological and architectural heritage

How Iraq Can Recover Its Plundered Treasures

by Louis E.V. Nevaer The thousands of priceless artifacts looted from Iraq's National Museum following Saddam Hussein's fall can be recovered, but coalition forces and Iraqis must act now

U.S. Military Expands Operations In Colombia

by Jeremy Bigwood In the shadow of international conflict, the instruments of U.S. control of Latin America are now being expanded and fine-tuned. But the region's people are not accepting U.S. justifications for this expansion

UN Condemns "Incredible" Civilian Deaths In Iraq

by Thalif Deen The rising number of civilian deaths in Iraq -- caused mostly by heavy U.S. firepower -- has evoked strong protests and condemnation by senior UN officials and global human rights and humanitarian groups

Iraq After Saddam: Carpetbaggers Everywhere

by William O. Beeman With the removal of the Baathist regime, a whole host of would-be leaders has bubbled to the surface in Iraq, representing a mix of conflicting allegiances and ideologies

U.S. - Europe Split Is Forever, Expert Says

by Jim Lobe Try as he might, British Prime Minister Tony Blair's desperate efforts to bridge the growing divide between the United States and Europe are doomed to fail in the long run, says Charles Kupchan, an influential foreign-policy expert and former National Security Council (NSC) officer

GAO Finds "Just Say No" Programs Just Don't Work

by Paul Armentano The General Accounting Office (GAO) in a scathing new report that finds the politically popular program has had "no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use." In addition, students who participate in D.A.R.E. demonstrate "no significant differences... [in] attitudes toward illicit drug use [or] resistance to peer pressure" compared to children who had not been exposed to the program, the GAO determined

Immigrants Going Underground To Evade U.S. Registration

by Mary Jo McConahay Some Indonesian immigrants face certain deportation for visa violations if they comply with Homeland Security requirements to register themselves by April 25. They are among thousands of immigrants from 24 predominantly Muslim countries targeted by U.S. anti-terrorism laws who are choosing to go underground as their best chance of survival

French Compare Bush Admin To "Dr. Strangelove"

by Julio Godoy Commenting on the U.S. strategists, Serge July wrote: "The failure of the military parade in the Iraqi desert, aimed in principle to make the dictatorship to implode in a couple of days, is a setback for Donald Rumsfeld and all the gang of Dr. Strangelove of this democracy gone mad"

Elderly Workers Lose Jobs Because Of Weathered Hands

by Marcelo Ballve Security checks for workers in airports nationwide have caused many to lose their jobs. But for two men in San Francisco, one a U.S. citizen and another a legal immigrant, a lifetime of work written on their hands became a liability

As We Try To Justify Savagery

by Robert Scheer We are told endlessly by our government's public relations machine that the "greatest care" is being taken to prevent civilian deaths, as if good intentions matter to the child whose mother is killed

The Most Dangerous Days Lie Ahead

by Robert Scheer So now we are another day and a few hundred deaths closer to sitting where Hussein sat: in charge of a fractious, ruined Muslim country in the heart of the Arab world. The White House will soon declare "victory," but even if Baath loyalists, the remnants of the Republican Guard, religious warriors and suicide bombers cannot mount an effective guerrilla war, the most dangerous days are ahead for the U.S.

U.S. Rushes To Install Puppet Iraqi Government

by Praful Bidwai

A puppet regime headed by Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, is long known to be a favorite of Pentagon hardliners. On April 7, U.S. military forces airlifted Chalabi to a location near Nasiriyah, along with 500 Iraqi exiles, grandiloquently named 'Free Iraq's Forces'

Iran Divided Over What To Do With U.S.-Led Iraq

by Ramim Mostaghim

Divisions over the U.S. are widening by the day. Publications which are the mouthpieces of radical militias want to provoke confrontation with U.S. forces. They focus on the human toll of the Iraq war, and project Osama bin Laden and the Taliban as a form of resistance against invasion

Iran Business Sees Money In Rebuilding Iraq

by Ramim Mostaghim

Arjemandi is not alone in seeing destruction as an opportunity. Several new businesses are trying to build themselves on the back of broken Iraqi infrastructure. Granite stones from Iran are being taken across the border for reconstruction projects in the Kurdish north of Iraq. The construction business is on a new high

White House Factions Debate Iran Invasion

by William O. Beeman

There is reported dissention in the White House about moving into Iran. The office of Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, has prepared invasion plans for both Syria and Iran. However, they have not yet been presented to the National Security Council or the president. Moreover, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice is reported to be opposed to any further military action in the Middle East

Neo-Cons Launch Attack On Colin Powell And Diplomacy

by Jim Lobe

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who is close to Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, aimed the full fury of his rhetorical fire on a building located about two kilometers to the southwest, the State Department, which he accused of actively subverting President George W. Bush's agenda in Iraq and beyond. It was a stunning attack from someone so closely identified with Rumsfeld and the neo-conservative hawks around him. Charles Kupchan, a foreign-policy expert at Georgetown University, said Gingrich, as a member of the Policy Board, probably even had cleared his remarks with top officials

Threats Against Syria Aimed At Keeping Peace Within Bush Admin

by Franz Schurmann

Instead of sorting out the differences dividing its advisers, the White House has conjured a new crisis in the region: Syria. First mention of a possible move against Syria came from the Rumsfeld faction (Rumsfeld and former Pentagon official Richard Perle). Surprisingly, both Powell and Bush shot back with unexpected hawkish words as well. It seems that neither the hawks nor the doves, and especially Bush, wanted to see a blowup in Washington

Bush Admin Rewriting Rules On Death Penalty

by Michael Kroll

When it comes to capital punishment, the federal government is marching in one direction as the U.S. public and most states move in another. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has overruled his own U.S. attorneys at least 28 times to impose a death sentence. Most alarmingly, 25 of those defendants were minorities

No Cheering Over Liberation At Baghdad Hospitals

by Nasreen Al-Rafiq

Not all the bombings brought so many wounded to the hospital at Al Kindi than the street fighting, doctors said. People heard the gunshots, and the hospitals provided bloody evidence of what the fighting was about

Fall Of Saddam Deepens Russia-U.S. Rift

by Sergei Blagov

The war on Iraq is yet to be over despite events in Baghdad, said Guennady Seleznyov, speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. He accused the U.S.-led coalition of "waging war against civilians and journalists," and described the U.S. as an "aggressor"

Iranian Special Forces Poised Near Iraq Border

by Ramin Mostaqim

A professor from Teheran University who declined to be named says the proxy war that the U.S. forces will fight with the Badr Brigade will test the Iranian resolve to fight the U.S. "and define future battles the U.S. wages to topple the Islamic regime in Iran and to deal with a country it regards as a part of the axis of evil."

Iran Moderates Turning Into Hardliners

by Ramin Mostaqim

A change is creeping into the urban middle classes in cities like Teheran, Esfehan and the historic southern city Shiraz. The rich in these cities have traditionally been apolitical. But as the war claims more casualties, and turns uglier than anyone could have imagined two weeks ago, people dining out in the most elegant restaurants complain now of the export of American democracy

Shi'ite Muslims Are Wild Card In Iraq Occupation

by William O. Beeman

Washington hopes that Shi'ite Muslims in southern Iraq will rise up against Saddam Hussein -- and then go away. Shi'a ties to Iran have long troubled the United States

Cluster Bombs Will Have Deadly Legacy In Iraq For Years

by Cristina Hernandez-Espinoza

The initial counts of civilian casualties reached 1,300, but the true number could be much higher, and will continue to rise as the Iraqi population faces the threat of undetonated cluster bombs, or "duds," as occurred in the wake of the wars in Kosovo (1999) and Afghanistan (2001)

Fragile Money Markets Watch Iraq War With Unease

by Franz Schurmann

The message sent out by the currency dealers to all parties to the Iraq War was crystal clear: Win, lose or draw, but end the war fast. If you don't, the global market will crash

History? What History?

by Robert Scheer The notion that Iraq even has history let alone that 7,000 years ago this land was the cradle of civilization is not likely to occur to the neocolonialists running a brawny young nation barely more than 200 years old

If Bush Lied About Iraq, He Can Be Impeached

by Robert Scheer Undoubtedly the U.S. will find mixed-used chemical precursors for weapons, as was claimed only this week, but that is a far cry from being an "imminent threat"

Nervous OPEC Ponders Future With Iraq Oil In U.S. Hands

by Mehru Jaffer There is uncertainty over who will be responsible for marketing the oil in Iraq. The Security Council has to first suspend the UN resolution that allowed Iraq to exchange oil for food before the United States, in control of Iraqi oil fields now, can dream of pocketing the profits

Cuba Cracks Down On Dissidents With Stiff Prison Sentences

by Patricia Grogg The Castro government decided last month to limit the movements of the staff of the U.S. Interests Section, a diplomatic office here, accusing its chief, James Cason, of "conspiratorial activities" and "fomenting subversion" on this socialist-run island. Cason was the target March 6 of President Fidel Castro's personal scorn. In a speech the president called the U.S. diplomat a "dandy with diplomatic immunity" and the office he directs "an incubator for counterrevolutionaries"

Arab World Abuzz With Rumors Of Bush - Saddam Deal On War

by Jalal Ghazi While Arabs all over the Middle East now routinely talk of the deal that saved Baghdad, they also speculate that the same deal may have saved Saddam. Unlike the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, which preoccupied U.S. forces for months, the hunt for the dictator no longer appears to be the top priority for U.S. forces in the wake of Baghdad's fall

Bush Under Pressure To Prove Existence Of Iraqi WMD

by Jim Lobe While the Pentagon insists -- and many independent experts agree -- that it remains too early to conclude that Baghdad was telling the truth when it insisted it had destroyed all of its chemical and biological weapons and abandoned its nuclear program, the fact that no direct evidence -- aside from protective gear -- of the existence of those arms has turned up is causing growing concern within the administration

U.S. Wins Grudging Iraq War Support From Turkey

by Nadire Mater A relationship going back 50 years appeared headed for a breakup after the Turkish parliament voted against a move to support the U.S. war on Iraq. "We are a part of the coalition," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said during Powell's visit. No one looked convinced

Asia Skeptical Over U.S. Long-Term Success In Iraq War

by Marwaan Macan-Markar "With a huge war machine, the U.S. will gain victory in military terms. However, they cannot avoid political failure," the Vietnam News Agency said. "A regime established by violence will not exist for a long time"

Bush Set To Snub UN For Role In Postwar Iraq

by Thalif Deen U.S. academics say that the Bush administration is engaged in an imperial quest inside Iraq, and that Washington wants the United Nations to play along -- or stay out of the way

Iraq "Liberation" Looks More Like "Coup d'Etat"

by Jim Lobe It also marked the fact that, with 250,000 fighting men on the ground, the Pentagon will be calling the shots in Iraq, even in defiance of other bureaucracies that in contrast to the Defense Department, have real experts on Iraqi politics, history, and culture who could prove helpful in carrying out an occupation. "You can call this another aspect of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's pre-emption strategy," said one administration official. "You can call this a coup d'etat."

Bush To Blair: No Lead Role For UN In Iraq

by Stefania Bianchi President Bush met Blair in Belfast earlier to discuss the UN role in post-war Iraq. Bush made moves to amend a rift with Britain, conceding that the UN must play a "vital role" in rebuilding the country. The plans fall short of a lead role for the UN envisaged by British diplomats, but they were enough to enable Blair to keep his promise about UN participation

China Mum On SARS Virus

by Antoaneta Bezlova Preoccupied with maintaining social stability and fearing any bad news that may tarnish China's international image, Beijing authorities have not been talking about the outbreak that is causing fear across East Asia and other parts of the world

Threat Of SARS Virus Overblown

by Yoichi Clark Shimatsu When 3,000 people die each year in Hong Kong from "regular" pneumonia, why are the city's residents in near panic over SARS, which has killed only 56 so far?

In Iraq, Tribal Fights Begin

by Ferry Biedermann This week, thousands of Kurdish families started to move back to their old lands from around the country. Families from the autonomous Kurdish area further north had begun to return the week before. Kurds are happy to return to their green and fertile fields in the north. But strangers now occupy their land, and some seem ready to fight for it.

Media Groups Condemn U.S. Killing Of Reporters In Iraq

by Jim Lobe "Although the U.S. has claimed it is going to 'great lengths to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian facilities,'" Amnesty said, "it has declared Baghdad a 'combat zone' and has fired on media facilities. Challenged to explain attacks on buildings occupied by international media, U.S. authorities have offered shifting explanations"

Brutal Murder Of Cleric Shows Iraq Ethnic Tensions High

by Sanjay Suri Tension between Shias and Sunnis has surfaced in frightening ways on the streets of Baghdad and around Iraq. The brutal assassination of Shia leader Abdul Majid Al-Khoei, who went to Iraq from Britain just two weeks back, is only one indication of the extent of religious animosities within Iraq

Cuba's Other Dissidents: Angry, Disaffected Youth

by Karina Ioffee As Fidel Castro's new crackdown throws opposition figures into jail for up to 27 years, many youth are protesting Cuban life in quiet if not passive ways. From operating illegal living-room businesses to coveting forbidden videos and magazines, teenagers and youths reject the regime as they dream of life abroad

Enviros Bash Bush on Earth Day

by J.R. Pegg The Bush administration is orchestrating an unprecedented assault on the nation's environmental laws and is allowing corporate interests to plunder America's natural resources, leaders of a dozen major environmental organizations told reporters today at an Earth Day press conference in Washington, DC

Anti-American Rage Defines Pakistan Politics

by M B Naqvi As a result of the October election, MMA leaders now control over a third of the Parliament and two provinces bordering Afghanistan. The mullahs had gone to town on what they consider the gross betrayal of the Islamic Taliban for the sake of 'infidels' from the United States. They drew on an existing reservoir of anti-U.S. sentiment

Pakistan Region Enacts Strict Islamic Law

by Muddassir Rizvi Just three weeks after the NWFP assembly approved the enforcement of 'shariah' (Islamic law) in the province, the information ministry of Pakistan's federal government issued a circular last week declaring a "crusade against obscenity in print and electronic advertisements"

For Children, Iraq War Casualties Have Just Begun

by Ferry Biedermann For Hanan, and for countless other children, the killing continues. Doctors in emergency rooms and in children's wards in Baghdad are seeing more and more injured children who have stepped on unexploded ammunition, or simply picked it up to play with

Ashcroft's Problem With Ethics

by Christopher Brauchli John Ashcroft has personally signed more than 170 "emergency foreign intelligence warrants," three times the number authorized in the preceding 23 years. They permit him to issue warrants unilaterally for wiretaps and physical searches of suspected terrorists and other national security threats under certain circumstances. They can be enforced for 72 hours before they are subject to judicial review. John Ashcroft issues these warrants to catch people who may be breaking the rules. John Ashcroft, however, doesn't have to follow rules

Last Straw At American Airlines

by Mark Scheinbaum If the airline went belly up, the CEO and his cronies would keep their pensions, and bonuses, and perks, and benefits, which actually had increased by $45 million while the employees were playing "give back"

Quick End To Sanctions On Iraq Worth Billion$ To Bush

by Thalif Deen The much-publicized looting of television sets and furniture from several shops in Baghdad last week was "chicken feed," says a cynical Arab diplomat with tongue firmly entrenched in cheek. "Wait until the American oil companies lay their hands on Iraq. That's when the real looting begins"

New Iraq Leadership Picked By U.S. A Motley Crew

by Sanjay Suri "The majority want the monarchy as the best guarantee of the return of democracy," said Sharif Ali Hussain, a cousin of the former king and now head of the Monarchist Constitutional Movement. He did not say how he had assessed this to be the majority view. Not even the majority on the panel seemed to agree

Bush Hawks Move Crosshairs To Syria

by Jim Lobe There is no question that the hawks, boosted by the easier-than-expected victory in Baghdad, are eager to throw their weight around, particularly in Syria's direction. This is especially true of the neo-conservatives closest to the right-wing Likud Party in Israel who, 19 years after the U.S. Marines withdrew from Beirut in the wake of a barracks bombing that killed more than 200 of them, appear itching to get revenge. The bombing was attributed to Syria-backed Hezbollah

Bring Back "Body Counts" For Iraq Invasion

by Ira Chernus This is not just a matter of new technology. There was plenty of long-distance impersonal killing in Vietnam too. But back then, the U.S. military at least went through the motions of going in to see what they had done. True, the investigations were often cursory and the numbers often fictional. No matter how inaccurate the numbers were, though, the message to the public every day was that each body should be counted. At some level, at least, each individual life seemed to matter

The War That Was Staged For U.S. TV

by Randolph T. Holhut The big problem with the American news coverage was its general subservience to the White House and the Pentagon. There was very little critical reporting and very little coverage of what was happening to the Iraqis. For instance, remember those five divisions of the Republican Guard that were guarding Baghdad? Where did they go? They were blasted to bits by days of bombing by U.S. warplanes. But no reporters were embedded with the Iraqi forces

Baghdad Diary: "No Place Is Safe"

by Kathy Kelly Majid Al-Ghazali and Hisham Sharaf hoped to call relatives outside Iraq on our satellite phone. Hisham's home was badly damaged during the war. "One month ago, I was the director of the Baghdad Symphony Orchestra," Hisham said with an ironic smile. "Now what am I?"

Having Conquerered Iraq, U.S. Needs Crash Course In Iraq 101

by Rami G. Khouri American media informs us that Rumsfeld has been reading about Roman conquests and their consequences. Here's a footnote for him to ponder: In the 2nd century A.D., at the Greco-Roman city of Jerash in Jordan, along the southeastern frontier of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent, the Romans used their immense power to make the locals "modern"

Face To Face With Homeland Security Police On The Night Train

by Antonia Gustaitis At a moment when Congressional Republicans are seeking to make the sweeping Patriot Act powers permanent, a young train traveler encounters a haunting incident that uncovers a disturbing face of homeland security

Peter Arnett Paid a Price for Being Truly Neutral

by Robert Jensen Taking journalistic neutrality seriously doesn't mean a simplistic he said/she said balancing of claims. It means subjecting the claims of all sides to the same critical scrutiny. Arnett, more than most journalists covering this war for American media, has a history of doing that

Australia Documents Unparalleled Species Loss

The most comprehensive assessment to date of Australia's wildlife shows that some 3,000 whole bushland ecosystems are disappearing, taking more than 1,500 species with them

For Lack Of A "Beautiful Mind"

by Joyce Marcel There were only a few people in Fardus Square when the Americans toppled that large statue of Saddam Hussein. Granted that it was a beautiful piece of symbolic video footage, why didn't our corrupt media report that the square had been blocked off by U.S. soldiers, the few Iraqis allowed inside were exiles who had been flown into the country a few days before, and that the entire production had been staged for the cameras?

Plenty Of Other News Not Being Covered

by Molly Ivins The Bush administration plans to provide universal health care and massive school construction for postwar Iraq, while simultaneously cutting health and education funding here at home

Bye-Bye, 40 Hour Week

by Molly Ivins If you work overtime to pay your bills, look out. The trick is, employers get to substitute comp time for overtime, and the employers get the right to decide when -- or even if -- a worker gets to take his or her comp time. The legislation provides no meaningful protection against employers requiring workers to take time off instead of cash and no protection against employers assigning overtime only to workers who agree to take time instead of cash. Everybody gets screwed on this one, except the bosses. Isn't it lovely?

Is There Anybody Here With a Lick of Sense?

by Molly Ivins Has no one in this administration any sense of public relations? Have they any idea how this looks to the rest of the world, which was largely convinced we invaded Iraq for the oil to begin with? Halliburton and Bechtel? Have any of these people ever heard of the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety? Or are we just past that now, so cocky we don't even care?

The Crook, The Zionist, And The Old Spy

by Molly Ivins Chalabi has been in exile for four decades and, in 1992, he was convicted on multiple counts of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Jordan after the failure of his bank there. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He escaped from Jordan, reportedly in the trunk of a car, and wound up in London. Dick Cheney is also a Chalabi fan. The Iraqi National Congress has received millions in American aid money, but the accounting has been very poor (a familiar story) and quite a bit of the money is unaccounted for. Chalabi favors Savile Row suits

Did U.S. Military Intentionally Kill Journalists?

by Norman Solomon In times of war, journalists can serve as vital witnesses for the people of the world. So it's especially sinister when governments take aim at reporters and photographers

U.S. Media Better At Saluting Than Reporting

by Norman Solomon With a straight face, and with scant willingness to raise fundamental questions, American networks uncritically relay a nonstop barrage of statements from U.S. officials that portray deadly Iraqi actions as heinous and deadly American actions as positive. They have "death squads," and we have noble troops. Their bullets and bombs are odious; ours are remedies for tyranny

The War On Critics Of The Iraq War

by Norman Solomon Hans Blix, Dennis Kucinich and the Dixie Chicks are in very different lines of work -- but they're in the same line of fire from big media for the sin of strongly challenging the president's war agenda

Media Has Shallow Sympathy For Iraq

by Norman Solomon Accolades go to iron fists in the White House. "If real leadership means leading people where they don't want to go," Michael Kinsley writes in the latest Time magazine, "George W. Bush has shown himself to be a real leader." In 2003, militarism in America is a runaway train on a death track. Kinsley observes: "The president's ability to decide when and where to use America's military power is now absolute. Congress cannot stop him. That's not what the Constitution says, and it's not what the War Powers Act says, but that's how it works in practice"

The Expected Iraq Nightmare Arrives

by Alexander Cockburn From Umm Qasr and the Faw peninsula, through Basra to Baghdad, it's a scene of devastation, with every bridge and guard post adorned with civilian cars riddled with bullets by jumpy U.S. soldiers. There's no "fog of war" where the disaster of daily life in Iraq (what's now swaddled in that virtuous bureaucratic phrase "humanitarian crisis") is concerned. Reports confirm what all sane forecasts predicted of a U.S. attack: It is a catastrophe for the Iraqi people, particularly the poor

U.S. Muscles In On Iraq Food Imports Via Humanitarian Aid

by Sonny Inbaraj Australian wheat producers claim the United States is trying to use humanitarian aid to muscle in on Australia's $449 million market share in Iraq

Which Side Will Give Up First?

by Alexander Cockburn Most targets in Baghdad available to precision-guided missiles have already been hit more than once in the enormously costly barrages that have now seriously depleted the U.S. missile arsenal. Furthermore the smoke from oil fires is making it harder for U.S. satellites to assess damage and assign targets to the GPS satellites governing the missiles' trajectories. So the target sets are being steadily widened, with increased civilian casualties as a consequence, which of course means a hardening in Iraqi civilian resentment

U.S. Media Spins The "Good News" About Iraq

by Alexander Cockburn So here we had a faked "news event," concocted by Pentagon news managers in front of the Palestine Hotel where the international press was housed. The "event" was obviously a huge political plus for the Bush administration and gave Americans the false tidings that their troops were being greeted as liberators. Predictably, the U.S. media were somewhat coy in offering the news, not long thereafter, that U.S. troops had shot at least 10 in a crowd in Mosul that shook their fists instead of offering flowers. Promote a lie, and it's sometimes not long before that lie comes home to roost

U.S. Encouraged Plundering Of Iraq

by Alexander Cockburn U.S. troops also sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information. Meanwhile, these same troops lost no time in protecting such important assets as the North Oil Company, the state-owned firm running Iraq's northern oilfields. Colonel William Mayville told the embedded press that he wanted to send the message "Hey, don't screw with the oil"

Israel's Weapons of Mass Destruction Hit Primetime

by Ira Chernus Even now, MSNBC is not making the information easy to get. It is tucked away in an obscure corner of the website. Still, the information is there on the site, if you know how to get it (and now you do). You have to wonder why. Maybe some MSNBC staffers were really interested in digging up facts, as good journalists should. Perhaps it never occurred to them that there was anything embarrassing here

U.S. TV News Marches To Iraq War Drumbeat

by Emad Mekay U.S. networks and their websites are largely echoing what U.S. generals say, streaming pictures of U.S. tanks rumbling towards Baghdad or of troops fighting heroically. Terms coined by the administration, such as "liberating Iraq," the "coalition of the willing" and "clean and precise war" go unchallenged. Voices opposing the war have also been completely ignored

Arab Media Doesn't Hide Violence Of War

by Cam McGrath To Western eyes, the Arab media's focus on gruesome close-up images of dead and wounded Iraqi civilians is a macabre obsession. To Arab audiences it is a firm statement about the tragic reality of war

Study Finds Mixed Success For "Embed" Reporting

by Miren Gutierrez As the war began, U.S. television assumed that Iraqis would offer no resistance. It generally reflected the pro-war sentiments of the government; rarely showed Iraqi civilian casualties, unless aided by U.S. soldiers; endlessly showcased U.S. weapons technology and resorted to expressions like "the good guys" to refer to U.S. troops

Arab Media Bypass State Restrictions Via Iraq War

by N Janardhan The Gulf media is experiencing a new wave of freedom. Normally accused by many of toeing the official line at the cost of compromising on objectivity, crises like the war against Iraq are being used by the press to overcome government- and often self-imposed restrictions

Watching Both Sides, Pakistanis Believe Arab Media

by Muddassir Rizvi "If I believe what CNN is saying, then there are hardly any civilians who are killed. But if I go by with what Al-Jazeera is reporting, then the death toll runs in thousands. There seems to be nobody who can give an independent picture of the war. I have to create my own truth and believe in it"

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