Saturday, April 12, 2003

Al Jazeera - objective and balanced global news coverage and analysis- Features
Iran has said that a United States military ruler in Iraq, even if only temporary, is an “aggression against Islam”.

Making this declaration, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iraqi opposition groups not to commit an "historic disgrace" by collaborating with US-led invading forces in the country.

Narco News: "The Most Emotionally Healthy Culture on the Planet"
The people of Brazil do love Gilberto Gil. Universally. They don't love him mythologically, as fans loved Evis Presley, or Jerry Garcia, or John Kennedy, Jr. or any number of other virtualized mega-celebrities. They don't simply love him for his lyrical music, though most Brazilians can sing the greater part of his repertoire and do. They certainly don't love him because he's now the official steward of their culture, though they love the fact that he is. The Brazilians love Gil for the right reason. They know what and who he is, and they love him for himself. I love him too. I feel better about my species for knowing that we can occasionally produce a Gilberto Gil.

John Perry Barlow writes about his love affair with Brazil, and his admiration for Brazil's first Green Party minister.
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Israeli troops 'shoot British peace activist'
Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip today shot a British peace activist as he was trying to move children away from gunfire, witnesses said.
The activist, named by Reuters as Tom Handoll, in his early 20s, had been working as a human shield with the International Solidarity Movement at the Rafah refugee camp, near the Eyptian border.
He was standing between Israeli troops and a group of Palestinian children when soldiers opened fire, said Khalil Abdullah, an activist with the Palestinian-backed group.

Another war crime.
ABC News - Baghdad archeological museum looted
A Baghdad mob looted Iraq's largest archeological museum amid a breakdown in civil authority following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, an AFP reporter said.

A dozen looters helped themselves in ground floor rooms at the National Museum of Iraq, where pottery artefacts and statues were seen broken or overturned, while administrative offices were wrecked.

Two men were seen hauling an ancient portal out of the building, and empty wooden crates were scattered over the floor.

A tragedy for humanity. Thanks, Coalition of the Willing.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Guerrilla News Network
In a recently released investigative report from the Institute for Policy Studies entitled Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured U.S. Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein, researchers Jim Vallette, Steve Kretzmann, and Daphne Wysham detail the real reason Donald Rumsfeld was sent to Baghdad: Rumsfeld, under direct instructions from the White House, was there to convince Saddam Hussein to approve a highly lucrative, and highly secret, oil pipeline project from Iraq to Jordan.

Basra Melee
April 10 — The crowd gathered outside the house of Muzahim Mustafa Kanan al Tamimi, the sheikh the British are appointing to take over civil administration of Basra. He’s better known as Gen. Al Tamimi, a former brigadier in Saddam’s army who more recently taught at the military school. When the shouting began, we thought at first the crowd was just chanting slogans against Saddam Hussein’s Baathists, but they were also chanting against Sheikh Muzahim. “No no Baathists, no Muzahim.”

I predict the US will sicken of this within 12 months, before it finds a way to beat a hasty retreat, leaving a skein of thugs and private security forces behind to protect the oil wells -- which is all Bush wanted in the first place.
Military to Tap Interim Rulers
The process Powell outlined, the most extensive glimpse the administration has given about how it will unfold as the war winds down, could spark new transatlantic tensions. At their Belfast summit just a day earlier, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed that the United Nations would have a "vital role." But Powell made it clear that the world body's role would be limited.

Bush and Poodle actually meant a "vittle" role for the U.N. -- as in distributing them.
United Press International: Exclusive: Saddam key in early CIA plot
While many have thought that Saddam first became involved with U.S. intelligence agencies at the start of the September 1980 Iran-Iraq war, his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim.

Ex-FBI Agent Resigns Post at Nuclear Weapons Lab (washingtonpost.com)
One of two retired FBI agents linked to an emerging Chinese spy scandal yesterday resigned his post as a senior counterintelligence official at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which stripped him of his security clearances and launched an investigation of his nine-year tenure.
William Cleveland Jr., who has been head of security at the nuclear weapons research facility in Livermore, Calif., since retiring from the FBI in 1993, is referred to anonymously in FBI affidavits unsealed Wednesday in the espionage-related case that has resulted in the arrests of another former agent, James J. "J.J." Smith, and Los Angeles socialite Katrina M. Leung.
Numerous sources familiar with the case confirmed yesterday that the anonymous former agent referred to in the affidavit is Cleveland. He has not been charged in connection with the case.
Laboratory officials, without identifying Cleveland by name, said in a statement that his access to the laboratory was revoked and that "due to the seriousness of the situation, a thorough review of his work is now underway."

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Help Me With 'Making the News'
I'm working on a book, and invite you to be part of it.

BBC NEWS | In Depth | Reporters' Log: War in Iraq
We've just learned from the US marines that the US flag that was put on the face of Saddam yesterday - it was replaced by an Iraqi flag when the people shouted for that - was the flag that was flying over the Pentagon on September 11.

This is looking more like a psy-op all the time.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Democratic Underground Forums - Smoking Gun in Baghdad: 'Welcome, Bush' = INC Photo Op!
Smoking Gun in Baghdad: 'Welcome, Bush' = INC Photo Op!

Well I be damned. It's a setup!
Department Home Page
Welcome to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.

Have a look at this site...which cost taxpayers $4 M to build!
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage
Although the fate of Saddam Hussein is unknown as his rule crumbles in Baghdad, he is thriving as a collectible on eBay.
During the three-week war in Iraq, collectors have swamped the Internet trading site with more than 1,000 items, including Iraqi money, T-shirts and videos that capitalize on Saddam's notoriety.

Hmmm. I was only joking about this last night, as we watched the statue of Saddam being pulled down in central Baghdad.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

"Practice to Deceive" by Joshua Micah Marshall

Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan.

Indonesia Sees the U.S. as a Tyrant
Indonesia, which was ruled until 1998 by a brutal military dictatorship, is now in the position of criticizing the United States and its allies for mounting an "illegal" war.

"We are saddened to watch their show of strength, which is not only destructive but also retrogressive and wrong," said President Megawati Sukarnoputri in a speech Monday. "There are signs today that humanity is suffering setbacks because the law of the jungle is being practiced ... where the strong feel they have a right to impose their will against the weak."

Vice President Hamzah Haz, who is aligned with militant Muslims, was harsher in his criticism of the United States and President Bush.

"The U.S. has always boasted about upholding human rights and democracy," Haz told worshipers at a mosque here last week, "yet without U.N. approval and with objection by many countries, it invaded Iraq. If Bush is not the king of terrorists, what else can we say about him?"

Al-Ahram Weekly | Special | Resisting occupation
In an exclusive interview with Al-Ahram Weekly from Tehran, Sayed Mohamed Baqer Al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq spoke to Omayma Abdel-Latif about his views on the US-led war on Iraq and its consequences

Slaughter, guilt, comfort and denial - smh.com.au
Our willing ignorance, our denial, our susceptibility to propaganda, our failure to properly assess or comprehend what is being done allows Howard and his champions to keep trotting out the same old lies - that the war would not be a difficult endeavour; that the Iraqis would be grateful; that targeting would result in few casualties.
And we hold close the dark secret that we could not feel as we do if the bodies being mangled were more like us; that our distance - and Howard's - would be impossible if these were white, Christian, English-speaking westerners.

Former WA Premier and current MP Carmen Lawrence writes a fine piece in webdiary this week.
Disney 22nd Century: Suicide bombers of New York?
stevenberlinjohnson.com pegs it again

1. The afternoon that I arrived I made a quick excursion to the Magic Kingdom solely to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. (In my experience, the EuroDisney version of Pirates is the best.) I've probably gone on that ride 25 times in my life, but this time, an entirely new thought occurred to me. Forgive the flair for the obvious here, but those pirates are terrorizing that town: they're firing on it with huge cannons; they're setting fire to houses; they're drunkenly chasing after local women, presumably to rape them; they're shooting off weapons indiscriminately into open windows. If you think about people in the actual Caribbean towns hundreds of years ago, being attacked by pirates must have been just about one of the most terrifying things you could imagine. Pirates were the Al Qaeda of the 18th century. But on the ride, they're not even supposed to be scary; it's all played for comic relief. All of which made me wonder: in two hundred years, when we've all moved on to new fears (gray goo and sentient machines, no doubt) will Disney roll out a new set of rides? Suicide Bombers of the Middle East? Terrorists of New York?

JS Online: Neoconservative clout seen in U.S. Iraq policy
The neoconservatives argue that we no longer live in a bipolar world, as when Russia faced off against the United States. They see a unipolar world, with America as the Rome of the 21st century, a colossus that can dictate its will to the world, noting that America spends as much on defense as the next 15 countries combined and has troops stationed in 75 countries.
"The fact is," writes Charles Krauthammer, a Washington Post columnist who espouses neoconservative views, "no country has been as dominant culturally, economically, technologically and militarily in the history of the world since the late Roman Empire."
Hulsman summarizes the neoconservative view this way: "We should acknowledge we have an empire. We have power and we should do good with it."
In essence, the neoconservatives argue that national sovereignty is an outdated concept, given the overwhelming power of America, and the U.S. should do all it can to impose democracy on countries. Some have called this approach democratic imperialism. It echoes the do-gooder impulses of Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president who formulated the League of Nations as a solution to war, then paradoxically blends it with American military might. Hulsman dubbed it "Wilsonianism on steroids."

Is an intelligent Australian response really, "all the way with GWB?"
Al Jazeera - Australia calls in a US favour
Staking its claim to a share of the post-war economic cake, Australia announced on Tuesday that it expected to play a role in the interim administration that the US plans to install in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
“We hope to play a modest but useful role,” said the country’s defence minister, Robert Ray.

Porkchop Hill's big moment in the media sun, and it's a flubber. Former ALP Defence minister Robert Ray gets the nod!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Al Jazeera - objective and balanced global news coverage and analysis- main page
“It seems that we have become a target,” Tayseer Allouni, Al-Jazeera correspondent said. Another of Jazeera's Baghdad correspondents Majed Abdel Hadi called the U.S. missile strike and Ayoub's death a "crime".

"I will not be objective about this because we have been dragged into this conflict," he said, visibly upset. "We were targeted because the Americans don't want the world to see the crimes they are committing against the Iraqi people."

If the targeting was deliberate, this would be a war crime.
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Conflict in Congo has killed 4.7m, charity says
A total of 4.7 million people have died as a direct result of the Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war in the past four and a half years, according to a report released today by the International Rescue Committee, a leading aid agency.
By the IRC's methodical calculations, Congo's convoluted war - one barely mentioned in the western media - has claimed far more lives than any other conflict since the second world war.
"This is the worst calamity in Africa this century, and one which the world has consistently found reasons to overlook," David Johnson, the director of IRC's operations in eastern Congo, said yesterday.
"Over the past three years our figures have been consistent and clear. Congo's war is the tragedy of modern times."

Cuban Dissidents Get Prison Terms as Long as 27 Years
Héctor Palacios, a key organizer of the Varela Project, which seeks democratic reforms, was sentenced to 25 years. Marta Beatriz Roque, an independent economist who angered authorities when she invited the chief American diplomat in Cuba to her home in February, received a 20-year sentence.

Jimmy Carter backed Varela organisers during his historic visit last year. Must have been the kiss of death -- crossing the old tyrant Castro in public like that.
Counterspin Central. A rerun of a bad movie I don't want to watch anymore

"It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no one is trying to fix the problem," said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president and his representative in southern Kandahar. "What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business."

Karzai said reconstruction has been painfully slow — a canal repaired, a piece of city road paved, a small school rebuilt.

"There have been no significant changes for people," he said. "People are tired of seeing small, small projects. I don't know what to say to people anymore."

Monday, April 07, 2003

The Gulf satellite telecoms enterprise Thuraya yesterday criticised a US-imposed ban on some journalists using its satellite phones in Iraq.

The company says it is very unlikely that any of its satellite phone signal could indicate the location of US American or British troops.

Reporters ‘embedded’ with US forces have been prohibited from using Thuraya, apparently on fears that the signal could be intercepted and located.

However, Thuraya’s chairman, Mohammed Omran, issued a statement saying that the complex encryption used on the satellite system would make it almost impossible to locate the position of any journalists using the phone.

"Callers must specifically request to see their position and even when they do, the information beamed back to them via satellite is encrypted and the code is difficult to crack," he said.

Past news
Only the physical deterrent force, tremendous military deterrent force powerful enough to decisively beat back an attack supported by any ultra-modern weapons, can avert a war and protect the security of the country and the nation. This is a lesson drawn from the Iraqi war.
The U.S is seriously mistaken if it thinks that the DPRK will accept the demand for disarming while watching one of the three countries the U.S. listed as part of an "axis of evil" already subject to the barbarous military attack.
The DPRK will not recognize any resolution to be adopted at the UNSC meeting to be called by the U.S. which launched the war defying the UN.
If the UNSC is abused for the U.S. hostile policy to stifle the DPRK, it will not bear any responsibility for the failure of all the efforts for dialogue and the extremely tense situation but will have no other option but to beef up the deterrent force for war by mobilizing all the potentials.

Kim Jong Il (the illmatic)'s LiveJournal
I’m not feeling very good about myself today. I guess I build walls around myself because I don’t want people to get too close. Sometimes I wish I could just be normal and not such a Stalinist.

theage.com.au - The Age
Because of the unequal, even quasi-colonial, nature of the combat, it is not surprising that Iraqi men and women have resorted to suicide attacks upon coalition troops. Nothing has been more hypocritical in this war than Western moralising about the cowardly terrorism of such people. Far from being cowards, the Iraqi suicide bombers are extraordinarily, indeed fanatically, brave. Nor can than they plausibly be described as terrorists. Even according to the narrowest official Western definition, terrorists are those who, in pursuit of a political cause, wantonly take the lives of innocent civilians. Unlike the Palestinian suicide bombers, these Iraqis are targeting not civilians but the soldiers of foreign countries who have, as they see it, invaded and occupied their land.

Australia would not follow Americans into Iran or Syria, says Downer - War on Iraq - smh.com.au
He also said it was "becoming increasingly irrelevant" whether Saddam Hussein was dead or alive, and that victory would not depend on finding him.

Howard's greatest folly - he could create a chink of light to get support for the invasion by crafting bogus humanitarian appeals to those who are simple enough to be tricked into being worried over Saddam's non existent nuclear and other WMDs. Right now, he's winning. But Australians are already starting to ask more questions of the P.M. -- and so far he doesn't seem to have the right answers.
British set to drop bomb with no blast - War on Iraq - smh.com.au
Ali al Salem air base, Kuwait: Britain's Royal Air Force is preparing to drop a new weapon on Iraqi forces - lumps of blue concrete to knock out tanks without causing a devastating explosion.
It may not be the most high-tech weaponry available, but Group Captain Simon Dobb said the bomb-shaped 1000-pound concrete blocks were highly effective weapons.
"We have the option of using these inert bombs," said Captain Dobb, commander of the Tornado detachment at Ali al Salem air base, in northern Kuwait.

Smart lumps for built up areas. They've thought of everything, haven't they?

Doesn't Drudge have anything better to do than become the new Borman?
Double threat decimates apes
The finding that apes that live near people are in decline because of hunting confirms the long-standing suspicions of conservation workers. But the extent of Ebola's reach in the ape populations has taken experts by surprise. In one remote area where there is little or no hunting, it has cut the population by more than 90% since 1991.

Fuck. This is very significant I think.
Telegraph | News | Glimmer of hope for nation ruined by years of war
In the past two years Neema Mushobora has been raped by soldiers from two armies, has watched as her uncle and grandmother were hacked to death and seen her friends die of hunger.
She is almost certain that a bloodthirsty militia murdered her husband. But she considers herself lucky because she and her three children have survived.
Neema is a victim of the Congolese war. Since rebels launched a campaign in 1998 to oust Laurent Kabila, the late president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, up to three million people have died from violence or war-related famine and disease.
In the east of this vast country at least 2,600 people are dying a day as a result of the war.

A few thousand clicks south of Baghdad, this war in Africa on Thursday claimed nearly 1000 more civilian lives in another outrage.
CNN.com - Five hurt in Russian convoy attack in Iraq - Apr. 6, 2003
Five people were injured Sunday when a convoy of vehicles with 25 Russian diplomats and journalists trying to flee Iraq was attacked as it headed for the Syrian border, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Could this be a parallel to the (in)famous bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, during the Kosovo crisis a few years ago?
BBC reports on the Oil Peak and Iraq
The advocates of war insist it's not about oil. But global oil production is on the brink of terminal decline and when the West begins to run short of supplies - Iraq could be a lifeline.

See, the war is about oil. More than anything else, it is about oil.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Thumb, the Comment King, has some thoughts on why we are all feeling discombobulated by this administration. The psychos are making us psycho:

Are psychopaths running our government?

The answer is yes. via atrios
The Smirking Chimp
British troops who have witnessed the Americans at close quarters in this war are baffled at their approach to Iraqi civilians. One captain in the Royal Marines, watching a US unit monitor a checkpoint, said: "The Americans are still behaving like invaders, not liberators. They behave as if they hate these people."

Many American troops speak as though they do.

You often hear them describe "Eye-rakis" in disparaging language. One US officer in charge of delivering humanitarian aid earlier this week likened the crush of people waiting to get hold of food and water to a pack of stray dogs.

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage
Iraqi exiles and senior U.S. officials agreed on Saturday that international oil companies should take a leading post-war role in reviving Iraq's oil industry, delegates to a policy meeting told Reuters.
Talks in London between Iraqi oil experts under the auspices of the State Department also agreed to recommend Baghdad stay in OPEC, though without limits on production, the Iraqi exiles said.

Yahoo! News - American Peace Activist Shot in West Bank
An American peace activist working as a human shield in the West Bank was seriously wounded on Saturday when Israeli troops allegedly opened fire on him.

Brian Avery, 24, from Albuquerque, N.M., heard shots fired and came out of his apartment building in Jenin to investigate just as an armored personnel carrier rounded a corner, said Tobias Karlsson, a fellow activist from Sweden.

Another war crime, sounds like.

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