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Saturday, April 05, 2003

War for those who don't have time to wait: IRAQ-O-METER

IRAQOMETER lays all the key statistics right under your nose for easy assimilation. How many civilians have died (753 as of now)? How much has the war cost each U.S. taxpayer? ($353 so far). IRAQOMETER is your one stop shop. (hat tip: Mark F. of boing boing)
Americans Overwhelmingly Back President on War
More than three-fourths of Americans -- including two-thirds of liberals and 70 percent of Democrats -- now say they support the decision to go to war. And more than four-fifths of these war supporters say they will still back the military action even if coalition forces don't find evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

Bush's overall job approval rating spiked to 68 percent, the highest level since last summer, and three-fourths of those polled say they trust him to make the right decisions on Iraq.

"I had my own reservations about (the war) ... but my feeling is at least I can trust that this president is trying to do the right thing for the country," said Christopher Hart, an author in Westport, Conn., who responded to the survey. "This man fully believes in what he does and I do not believe he is doing this for any reason other than that he is convinced it is in our best interest."


The big lie declaring total victory at home. As for abroad -- well, where's that?
Gorbachev calls for end to "bloodbath" in Iraq
Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev called here Friday on the United States and Britain Friday to end the "bloodbath" in Iraq and allow the United Nations to resolve the crisis.
"Those that think they are leading themselves towards victory and will achieve their goals are wrong," Gorbachev said, following talks with Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud, in an allusion to the US-led coalition invading Iraq.
"This is only the beginning and it is time to end the bloodbath and return to peaceful solutions under the authority of the United Nations," he added.
"I agree with President Lahoud on the need to work to restore the authority of the United Nations and oppose violations of international law," said Gorbachev, on his first visit to Lebanon.

The Second Superpower
As the United States government becomes more belligerent in using its power in the world, many people are longing for a “second superpower” that can keep the US in check. Indeed, many people desire a superpower that speaks for the interests of planetary society, for long-term well-being, and that encourages broad participation in the democratic process. Where can the world find such a second superpower? No nation or group of nations seems able to play this role, although the European Union sometimes seeks to, working in concert with a variety of institutions in the field of international law, including the United Nations. But even the common might of the European nations is barely a match for the current power of the United States.


James Moore has a go at summing up what some call "collective intelligence" and others "emergent democracy". This article is making waves all over the blogosphere right now.
BillOReilly.com: Articles - When the Truth is a Casualty
"The Third (31D) is making history here. In the past 48 hours, we have destroyed two (Iraqi) divisions and six other divisions decided not to fight or have formally capitulated.
Of course, this is never reported in the news. I do daily air recon in a Blackhawk escorted by Apaches and we have probably killed close to 10,000 (Iraqi soldiers). We are continuously sniped at and receive periodic mortar fire.
Bottom line, they shoot - they die. Every American soldier (here) is getting a chance to engage and kill the enemy.
Iraq has these maniacs, death squad guys called Saddam Feddyen, DGS forces, IIS, and Ba'ath party forces that we spend most of our day killing.
They continuously make suicidal charges at our tanks, brads (fighting vehicles), and checkpoints. We are happy to send them to hell. You would not believe the carnage.
Imagine body parts about knee deep, with hundreds of (Iraqi) vehicles burning, occupants inside. We fill up trucks with body parts daily.
The plan is going exactly as scripted. The news is full of s***. We have almost total control. Don't know how much longer the division can keep up this pace, but we are prepared to do it."


The truth is this is a massacre, not a fair fight.
Democratic Underground Forums - Death at Portland's April Fools Pro-WAR rally
"And war must always be a last resort, not a first choice." -- Senator Byrd
That quote is just the kind of crap you expect to hear from a stirred up Democrat. Fortunately, the Democratic leadership is still just as stirred up about the war as a three week old cadaver. I made a "protest sign" to let America know just how my grateful I am that they did not listen to Senator Byrd. Here are the photos I took on April 1st.

online.ie : News: latest news, headlines, caption competition, odd news, 32 county round-up
raqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf threatened "something that is non traditional, unconventional" and "non military" against the allies tonight
Asked if Iraq would use weapons of mass destruction, Sahara told a Baghdad news conference: "No, not at all. But we will conduct a kind of martyrdom operations."
Pushed to explain what will happen, Sahara said: "I give you an example of what happened in Indo China"
Earlier he had referred to the French army's defeat at Dien Bien Phu in French Indo China, now Vietnam, in 1954.


We will soon see if they do have a Giap, I guess. Could be hallucinations.

Friday, April 04, 2003

World Tribune.com: After Iraq: U.S. set sights on Iran, North Korea
The Bush administration has pledged to end the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea after concluding its campaign against the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.
Administration officials said the White House sees the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea as the next imminent threats.
"In the aftermath of Iraq, dealing with the Iranian nuclear weapons program will be of equal importance as dealing with the North Korean nuclear weapons program," Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton said. "This is going to be a substantial challenge."
Bolton told a conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee that the Iranian nuclear weapons program would receive "extremely high priority" under the Bush administration, Middle East Newsline reported. He said Iran is steadily advancing toward nuclear weapons capability, a development confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection of two Iranian facilities in February.
"The estimate we have of how close the Iranians are to production of nuclear weapons grows closer each day," Bolton said. "The IAEA was stunned by the sophistication of the Iranian effort."


This is the man who ripped up the anti ballistic missile treaty.
Iraqi chemical threat 'negligible'. 4/4/2003. ABC News Online
The threat of an Iraqi chemical or biological attack against coalition forces has become "negligible", according to US military sources in Iraq.
Captain Adam Mastrianni, the intelligence officer of the 101st Airborne Division's Aviation Brigade, said: "Now that we have penetrated Baghdad's outer ring, the likelihood [of a chemical or biological attack] is negligible.
"The commanding general of the 101st, General David Petraeus gave the order at 9:00pm that soldiers in the division would be able to take off their anti-chemical and biological suits as of Friday morning," he added.


Hmmm. Is that because he didn't have any?
The Australian: Savage squid caught at sea [April 04, 2003]
A SAVAGE and colossal squid, with deadly hooks studded along its arms and a killer urge to attack whales, has been caught in the Antarctic.

The mysterious creature, weighing 150kg and long the subject of seafarers' tales, is the largest ever caught intact, New Zealand marine biologist Steve O'Shea said.
"This is a true monster," said Dr O'Shea, a senior research fellow from Auckland University of Technology. "I have never seen anything like it."

And the juvenile squid was only about half its adult size.

Capital Games
In his book, The Right Man, neocon David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, suggests that the war in Afghanistan demonstrated that Iraq could be taken with "ten thousand men and a few hundred planes." Throughout the previous year, I often spoke with TV generals in favor of the war, and most were claiming the war would be short and sweet. Their scenarios usually began this way: Day One, we take Basra. (That, of course, didn't happen.) Then, within days, the US forces would be outside of Baghdad and controlling most of the rest of the country. What about Baghdad? I asked repeatedly. The answer was always some variant of, that will take care of itself. In other words, the regime will collapse, an anti-Hussein coup will occur, the dictator will flee, or something will happen to make the invasion of the city unnecessary. This jibed with what a prominent Pentagon correspondent told me late last year: the military had a wonderful five-day plan for the war, a plan that ended with US forces ringing Baghdad. Then there was no plan.

CNN.com - Ex-CIA director: U.S. faces 'World War IV' - Apr. 3, 2003
"As we move toward a new Middle East," Woolsey said, "over the years and, I think, over the decades to come ... we will make a lot of people very nervous."
It will be America's backing of democratic movements throughout the Middle East that will bring about this sense of unease, he said.
"Our response should be, 'good!'" Woolsey said.
Singling out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the leaders of Saudi Arabia, he said, "We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you -- the Mubaraks, the Saudi Royal family -- most fear: We're on the side of your own people."

Republicans Attack Kerry on 'Regime Change' (washingtonpost.com)
Republican leaders attacked Democratic presidential contender John Kerry on Thursday for saying "regime change" was needed in not just Iraq but also the White House, drawing a sharp rebuttal from the Massachusetts senator.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Republican leader Tom DeLay and Republican Party Chairman Marc Racicot said Kerry's remarks in the crucial presidential primary state of New Hampshire on Wednesday undercut the troops and President Bush's role as commander in chief.
At a campaign stop in Peterborough, Kerry had said relations with our allies had become so damaged in the run-up to the war in Iraq that only a new president could repair them.
"What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States," said Kerry, a four-term Senate veteran.


Look at these idiots -- as if they weren't all over Bill Clinton during the Somalia and Kosovo interventions -- at every step along the way.
NEWS.com.au | 'Silly crops' drying up Australia (April 03, 2003)
AUSTRALIA needs to rid itself of "silly crops" which contribute little to the economy, but are slowly drying up the continent, a Sydney university professor has said.

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Professor Derek Eamus said the agriculture and livestock industries contributed only three per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but used 70 per cent of the nation's water resources.


I'd like to see a National Party-Green Party effort to tackle this problem once and for all. Sustainable agriculture is in the interests of all Australians, not just Green Party voters in the inner cities.
The Smirking Chimp
But Arnett's pomposity and hubris are not what got him fired by NBC and National Geographic this week after giving a short interview to Iraqi state television. When the controversy first emerged, NBC issued a statement of support, which evaporated as soon as the political heat was turned up and questions about Arnett's patriotism got tossed around. In short: Arnett was canned because he took seriously the notion that, even in war, journalists should be neutral.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Umm Qasr aid effort 'a shambles'
Aid agencies have been trying to send their workers into Iraq to assess what relief supplies are needed in the war torn country. Patrick Nicholson of the UK charity Cafod has just returned from the Umm Qasr, where he found the humanitarian effort in the British occupied area to be a "shambles".


Not happy, Jan.
Reuters AlertNet - Baghdad blackout hits Muslim call to prayers
BAGHDAD, April 4 (Reuters) - A power outage that cut the lights in Baghdad overnight into Friday has also silenced the loudspeakers that call Muslims to prayers.
"There's no sound except the barking of dogs and warplanes overhead, and explosions," said Reuters correspondent Samia Nakhoul in the capital.


Great. Now we've squelched the voice of every neighbourhood Mullah. I thought we were liberating these people?
Socially Responsible Investing
Calvert social analysts have compiled authoritative issue briefs on a variety of social and environmental topics. Typically, they:

describe the issue
review Calvert's methodology for analysis
provide examples of companies addressing the issue


Very good web site for ethical investors. These issues briefings are interesting too.
A 'terrible, bloody' miscalculation
"I hope to the depths of my being I am wrong," Peck said. "But I'm afraid we will pay a terrible, bloody price for this miscalculation in Iraq."
How did the World Affairs Council audience in conservative Orange County respond to this message? By my count, he got four hostile questions, three friendly ones and a couple simply seeking more information, all quite thoughtfully put. A few people, obviously upset, walked out toward the end of the talk, but most people stayed.

Trollin' Daily Kos Blog

spoted on DailyKos

Took a good job in the city
Governin' the land called the U-S-A
And I never lost one minute of sleepin'
Worryin' 'bout the war protests in my way

Bag Dad just keeps on creepin'
Proud Yankee keeps on freepin'
Trollin'
Trollin'
Trollin' DailyKos' Blog

Stole a lot of a lot of votes in Tampa
Duped a lot of polls in Miami Beach
But I never saw a good side to the protests
'Less it kept Al Gore winnin' out of reach

Bag Dad just keeps on creepin'
Proud Yankee keeps on freepin'
Trollin'
Trollin'
Trollin' DailyKos' Blog

God's been good to this here sonny
Ruler of the World is the life to live
I don't have to worry - I have lots of money
Major corporations are happy to give

Bag Dad just keeps on creepin'
Proud Yankee keeps on freepin'
Trollin'
Trollin'
Trollin' DailyKos' Blog

Trollin'
Trollin'
Trollin' DailyKos' Blog.

Posted by New McDonald at April 3, 2003 06:27 PM




washingtonpost.com: Saddam's Greater Game
The assumption that Saddam Hussein is looking at the Battle of Baghdad as a glorious last stand is totally inconsistent with his character. There is likely a greater game afoot, and it is becoming clearer.


This ex Marine Colonel, who saw first hand the reality of what Kevin Jonescalls Mogavietpalequeda first in Mogadishu and Somalia, thinks Saddam might be the new Ho Chi Minh. I call this the "Saddama Bin Minh" theory -- and does it really matter if he is actually, physically alive. Saddam as an idea or meme, his eternal gift of hatred to the world and his many enemies.

Mogadishu-Viet Nam-Palestine-Queda land. We are now invading Mogavietpalequeda, land of nightmares.

The only think that makes me think this theory is wrong is that, so far, Saddama doesn't have a Giap that we know of.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

albawaba.com: Exclusive: Sources in Baghdad indicate Saddam alive, hidden, and in command
A number of reliable sources inside Baghdad report that two days before the start of the war Saddam disappeared into a hidden command center, in a location unknown even to his ministers. Since then, sources say that Saddam has not met in person with his top ministers, and has not talked to them directly by telephone. His instruction are delivered to them by messengers in writing or in video and audio cassettes. Saddam does not use the telephone or fax, which he believes can be intercepted or tracked by the Americans.


Saddama Bin Ladin?
Middle East Newsline -
U.S. special operations forces are said to have blown up an Iraqi pipeline that delivered more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day to Syria.
The Kuwaiti Al Rai Al Aam daily reported on Wednesday that U.S. forces sabotaged the Iraqi oil pipeline to Syria last week in an operation in northwestern Iraq. The newspaper quoted U.S. sources as saying the forces also blew up a railroad link between Iraq and Syria.


I have not seen this anywhere else, so treat as suspect.
Coot Birds Can Count, Study Says
To most people, coots are noisy, quarrelsome water birds that do a lot of splashing about. But it turns out they are also closet cuckoos. Not only that, they can count.
The discovery was made by Bruce Lyon, a biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His study of an American coot colony in British Columbia, Canada, is the first to show that birds can keep a reckoning of the eggs they lay. It also highlights an extremely rare example of counting by a wild animal.

Najaf Welcome Turns Jubilant (washingtonpost.com)
In the midst of the fighting, a U.S. patrol approached Ali's tomb attempting to contact local clerics, but were met instead by a crowd. Lt. Col. Chris Hughes, a battalion commander in the 1st Brigade, said, "We waited about an hour and a half, and the hair on the back of my neck began to stand up. The crowd got bigger and bigger, so we pulled back out. But it was like the liberation of Paris."
Hughes, 42, from Red Oak, Iowa, described most of Najaf as "very, very docile."


Have the AngoAmericans broken the back of the Saddamist resistance outside Baghdad? Najaf could be a hopeful sign that the endgame is in sight.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

If This Be Treason, by Justin Raimondo
The ritual slaying of a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the altar of wartime political correctness is meant as a warning to "mainstream" journalists: this could be you. Either "embed" yourself in the American propaganda machine, or choose exile.


Wonder what Hitch will say about Arnett's sacking?
7.30 Report
The deluge of information, sound and pictures from the war has many people reeling, some turning away in horror. But for others around the world, there is never enough. Not content with switching between cable and free-to-air TV, radio broadcasts and newspaper websites, the webloggers are constantly updating themselves and each other on the very latest. Some claim the bloggers, as they are known, will one day supersede the mainstream media. Others see them as quirky parasites.


I think I'm more of a quirky parasite.
The Globe and Mail
I won't go into the reasons why I think your recent Iraqi adventures have been -- taking the long view -- an ill-advised tactical error. By the time you read this, Baghdad may or may not look like the craters of the Moon, and many more sheep entrails will have been examined. Let's talk, then, not about what you're doing to other people, but about what you're doing to yourselves.

Times Online
ILL-FEELING between Britain and France over the invasion of Iraq has plumbed new depths with the desecration of that most sacred of memorials, a war cemetery.
The defilement of Commonwealth war graves in northern France coincided with a poll for The Times which found that 54 per cent of Britons no longer regarded France as a close ally because of its opposition to the war.
Relations will be further rent by a second poll, in Le Monde, showing that only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the Americans and British, and that another third desired outright Iraqi victory over “les anglo-saxons”.
Eleven thousand Allied soldiers lie buried in well-tended peace at Etaples, on the Channel coast near Le Touquet, victims of the struggle by Anglo-Saxons to liberate the French from the German invaders during the First World War.
Last week the obelisk raised in their memory was defiled by red-painted insults such as “Rosbeefs go home”; “May Saddam prevail and spill your blood”; and, in a reference to the long-dead casualties beneath the manicured turf, “They are soiling our land”.


Let them eat a Super-sized Freedom Fries.
LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience
The Dixie Chicks controversy continues with the trio getting some support from former Vice President Al Gore. Gore spoke to a college audience last week on the subject of fewer companies owning more media outlets, and what he sees as the increasing lack of tolerance for opposing views.
According to the Tennessean, Gore used recent attacks on the Dixie Chicks that followed anti-war comments by Natalie Maines as an example. Gore told the audience, "They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit," Gore said. "Our best protection is free and open debate."

NEWS.com.au | Flipper's new trick going AWOL (March 31, 2003)
The polite way to express their scepticism about the mine-clearing skills of the dolphins is to question their reliability and cost efficiency, but there is another way to put it.
"Flipper's f...ed, mate," was how one diver saw things yesterday.
"The dolphins have had all this amazing publicity, but as soon as they put one in the water it shot through. There's a war going on and Flipper goes AWOL.


It must really be galling for our guys to play second fiddle to a Dolphin.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

AlterNet: The Man Who Would Be King of Iraq
While the U.S. military finds itself bogged down on the road to Baghdad, the real hitch in Bush administration's grand vision for post-war Iraq may well be the man slated to take charge of it – arms-dealer and former "Star Wars" guru General Jay Garner.
In a move typical for what passes for U.S. diplomacy these days, the Pentagon developed and announced its occupation plan without consulting the rest of the alleged coalition (no, not even trusty Britain) or the State Department. Worse, to this highly visible and important position, it picked a man with a dubious past and ideological credentials worthy of a Bush appointee.

Free Mike Hawash
On Thursday, March 20, 2003, our friend and colleague Maher (Mike) Hawash was arrested ("detained") as a "material witness" by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the parking lot of Intel Corp's Hawthorne Farms parking lot. Simultaneously, FBI agents in bulletproof vests and carrying assault rifles awoke Mike's wife Lisa and their three children in the home, which they proceeded to search. Since then, Mike has been held in the Federal Prison at Sheridan, OR.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US draws up secret plan to impose new regime on Iraq
A disagreement has broken out at a senior level within the Bush administration over a new government that the US is secretly planning in Kuwait to rule Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Under the plan, the government will consist of 23 ministries, each headed by an American. Every ministry will also have four Iraqi advisers appointed by the Americans, the Guardian has learned.

Mirror.co.uk - THIS WAR IS NOT WORKING
During the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, I entered a US-held town which had been totally destroyed.
The Viet Cong had taken over and were threatening the commander's building so he called down an artillery strike which killed many of his own men.
The Major with us asked: "How could this happen?" A soldier replied: "Sir, we had to destroy the town to save it."


Heh. I didn't know Peter Arnett immortalised that bit of history.
Australia to scale back force committment
Two Australian Frigates in Gulf to be replaced by HMAS Sydney, SKY News Australia reported at noon.



The New Yorker
Gradually, Rumsfeld succeeded in replacing those officers in senior Joint Staff positions who challenged his view. “All the Joint Staff people now are handpicked, and churn out products to make the Secretary of Defense happy,” the planner said. “They don’t make military judgments—they just respond to his snowflakes.”


Did Defence Minister Robert Hill really say "Tommy Hawk cruise missiles" just now on Sky News?



Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall
The flacks at the DOD now say they may release new information on Saddam's repression and human rights violations. But this has the troubling sound of an institution and an argument in a feedback loop. We know Saddam's a beast. The fact simply doesn't seem to be leading to the result that some had anticipated. More evidence that he's a beast is off point. Sure, we may find the Iraqis' response hard to fathom. But why did Anne Murray ever sell so many records? Why did CNN ever have Talkback Live? Some things are just inexplicable ...


Josh Marshall is required reading these days. Sigh.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Oz Government says US cheats on trade

Taken from a media release by ALP Shadow Trade Minister Craig Emerson, a Queensland boy.

Agriculture Minister Warren Truss has told his local newspaper the US cheats on trade by offering food aid to gain entry into Australian export markets.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane agreed, saying:

“When we went with the Americans into Vietnam, they stole our wheat markets in different parts of the world, they did exactly the same thing in the Middle East when we went into conflicts with them there”.





Infantry Attacks Baghdad Defense With First Probes
In Kuwait, where the aid effort is being coordinated, Maj. Gen. Albert Whitley, a British commander, said drinking water is "the most significant requirement."
Water treatment plants are not reliable, he said, and people have been drinking polluted water from the Tigris, which he called "a floating sewer." He disputed Baghdad's claim that it has provided most households with a six-month supply of food. Most families have 30 to 60 days' worth, he said. But he cautioned that if the fedayeen start forcing people to leave their homes and flee the city, "a real crisis could be perpetuated."


Sickening -- the Government of Iraq orders civilians to take shelter from the Invader, making them responsible for the resulting deaths.
Infantry Attacks Baghdad Defense With First Probes
Early today, Royal Marine commandos captured an Iraqi general and killed a Republican Guard colonel believed to be directing irregular forces that have fired on civilians trying to flee the city.


This has noe been reported as false, yet the Times reports it as true, reinforcing the Pentagon plan.
Bullets Not Bread: COWs to Iraqis

Yahoo! News - Relief Ship Docks at Iraqi Port With Emergency Supplies
The ship carried 232 tons of water, food, blankets and other supplies.


Sir Galahad was packed half full with ammo, not "aid".
ABC News - Australian professor heads SARS team in Hanoi
Australian researcher Aileen Plant is heading up the World Health Organisation's monitoring of the SARS outbreak in Vietnam.

Yahoo! News - Poll: 42 percent are willing to nuke Baghdad if chemical weapons deployed by Iraqis
Only 34 percent would support the war if as many as 5,000 Americans die, with 50 percent opposed if that happens. More than 50,000 American troops died in the Vietnam War.
Perhaps surprising to many abroad, a plurality of Americans would not support a war in which 5,000 Iraqi civilians were to die. In that event, opposition to the war rises to 47 percent, against 40 percent in support.
Even 1,000 Iraqi civilian deaths is too high a price to pay for many Americans, with just 50 percent willing to support such a war and 39 percent opposed under those circumstances.
While Americans would take a dim view of the use of chemical weapons against U.S. forces, a narrow majority of 51 percent say the United States would not be justified in using battlefield nuclear weapons against Iraqi soldiers deploying chemical arms. Some 42 percent would support such a move.

Powell -- We did all we could to avoid the war
"We will remove his weapons from the shadow of Israel..."


I also noticed that he put Howard last on the "Thank You" list when he was handing out the self-congratulatory cant. Even Berlusconi, who is facing massive unrest in Italy over the US breach of a treaty with Italy not to deploy hostile forces from Italian soil, topped Howard on the list. Perhaps that's why -- we are the least shaky of the COWS. We are not even billing anyone, directly.



China rights group says nun's release signals change in Tibet policy
The release of the longest-held female Tibetan prisoner is a positive signal that could lead to dialogue between China and the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, the territory's exiled government said.

GM Crop Debate Intensifies in Australia
Agrifood Awareness Australia, which represents organisations including the National Farmers' Federation, brought out a Canadian grower of GM canola to speak to farmers about the merits of the technology and its benefits to producers.
But a survey among southern NSW canola farmers found unanimous opposition to GM crops, with many arguing there was still too much doubt for them to be allowed for general use.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Army Times - News - More News
Both of the small, prop-driven aircraft spotted here evaded a tight air defense system and flew over an assembly area packed with helicopters, tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles other military equipment. They flew off before the anti-aircraft crews could get permission to shoot them down.

Charlotte Observer | 03/29/2003 | Bush reportedly shielded from dire forecast
Instead, Bush embraced predictions of top administration hawks, beginning with Vice President Dick Cheney, who predicted Iraqis would joyously greet coalition troops as liberators and that the entire conflict might be over in a matter of weeks, the officials said.
Dissenting views "were not fully or energetically communicated to the president," said one top official, who, like the others, requested anonymity. "As a result, almost every assumption the plan's based on looks to be wrong."

Pentagon denies supply problems in Iraq war - War on Iraq - smh.com.au
"The big answer is: 'No, there is not a resupply problem,'" said Major General Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"The lines of communication are flowing. Water, food and munitions are getting forward in the quantities they need," he told a news conference.

Thousands Join in Boston to Demand End of War
About 25,000 people held a peaceful protest march through downtown Boston today in what organizers said was the largest antiwar march here since Vietnam.


Interesting. The US marches are building back up again.
The Observer | Business | Man who would be 'king' of Iraq
With this background, the aid agencies are equivocal about Garner's role. Phil Bloomer of Oxfam says: 'Iraqis should run Iraq and in the transition the UN should be in charge, not the US. A worst-case scenario would be to put in charge of Iraqi reconstruction someone from the US or UK who was linked to the arms or oil industries.'

TOMPAINE.com - The Long View: America's Illegal War
Meanwhile, the law not having changed, we are violating it. And when we violate the U.N. Charter, when the president violates the U.N. Charter, he's violating a law -- international law, a treaty that we've ratified, which ranks with the highest law of the land, along with the Constitution -- a ratified treaty, above statute law. And he's directly violating his oath of office, which is to uphold the law and the Constitution.

The Observer | Special reports | 'Ex-presidents club' gets fat on conflict
Briody's account of how an upstart venture capital firm went from nothing to managing funds of nearly $14 billion in just 15 years, earning investors returns of around 36 per cent, is likely to reinforce the controversial image of the Carlyle Group and raise concerns about its influence in Washington and beyond.
Sometimes called the Ex-Presidents Club, Carlyle has a glittering array of ex-politicians and big league bankers on its board. Former secretary of state James Baker is managing director while ex-secretary of defence Frank Carlucci is chairman. George Bush senior is an adviser. John Major heads up its European operations. To give the conspiracy theorists plenty of ammunition, US newspapers have also highlighted the fact that current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was a wrestling partner of Carlucci's at Princeton and the two have remained close friends ever since.

The Observer | Business | US arms trader to run Iraq
Jay Garner, the retired US general who will oversee humanitarian relief and reconstruction in postwar Iraq, is president of an arms company that provides

crucial technical support to missile systems vital to the US invasion of the country.
Garner's business background is causing serious concerns at the United Nations and among aid agencies, who are already opposed to US administration of Iraq if it comes outside UN authority, and who say appointment of an American linked to the arms trade is the 'worst case scenario' for running the country after the war.
Garner is president of Virginia-based SY Coleman, a subsidiary of defence electronics group L-3 Communications, which provides technical services and advice on the Patriot missile system being used in Iraq. Patriot was made famous in the 1991 Gulf war when it was used to protect Israeli and Saudi targets from attack by Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles. Garner was involved in the system's deployment in Israel.

Suicide Attack Angers Soldiers' Wives (washingtonpost.com)
"These are dirty people. The tactics they used are dirty," said Julie Samples, whose husband, Sgt. Corey Samples, is an artillery soldier with the 3rd Infantry. "We go in there, we fight, then we feed them, we give them medicine and rebuild their cities. I know war is war, but we're the most humane nation there is."


Dirty people, dirty war. Get used to it, or stop it.
Times Online
Instead it has been wrecked by the Pentagon’s latest craze, “shock and awe”. This is the most braindead doctrine in the recent history of war. Its exponent, the US defence analyst Harlan Ullman, writes that shock and awe “rests ultimately in the ability to frighten, scare, intimidate and disarm” a foe by delivering “nearly incomprehensible levels of massive destruction”. This stuns the enemy into immediate surrender. Students of Bomber Command in the Second World War may find these words grimly familiar.


Bin Ladin might prove to be better at Ullman's strategy than the Anglo Amigos.
Times Online
THE US Marines have suffered an embarrassment with reports last night that one of their most prized investigators may have defected.
Takoma, the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, had been in Iraq for 48 hours when he went missing on his first operation to snoop out mines.
His handler, Petty Officer Taylor Whitaker, had proudly showed off Takoma’s skills and told how the 22-year-old dolphin was among the most pampered creatures in the American military.


Lead the way, O Takoma!

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