Monday, March 06, 2006
DAILY WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, March 6, 2006
Photo: Unidentified location in Iraq, from GI SPECIAL 4C1: 1/3/06
And to George W. Bush we say: "You have asked us to 'Bring it on' and so have we, like never expected. Have you another challenge?"
- from "A Message from the Iraqi Resistance", Islamic Jihad Army video, December 13 2004.
Bring 'em on: U.S. soldier killed by "enemy action" on Sunday in western Anbar province.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Suicide car bomber strikes police patrol near al-Mustansiriyah University in eastern Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding three.
Bomb explodes as police patrol drives through northern Azamiyah neighborhood, killing one policeman and a civilian bystander. Three people wounded, including another policeman.
Explosion in Jadriya neighborhood of central Baghdad, killing one policeman and injuring three others.
Car bomb blows up in Mahmudiya, 30 km south of central Baghdad, killing one person and wounding three others including two policemen.
Suicide car bomb goes off in southern Dora district in Baghdad, injuring four people.
Car bomb rocks central Baghdad at around 10:10 a.m. (0710 GMT) near the Higher Education and Science Research Ministry, injuring three people.
Police finds at least four bodies that were shot in the head and dumped in parts of Baghdad.
One civilian wounded when four mortar rounds land in Sadr city in eastern Baghdad.
Dean of college of engineering abducted by gunmen while he heading to work in Baghdad.
Car bomb explodes in Baquba marketplace, killing at least six people and wounding 23 others. Three children among the dead.
Three civilians killed by gunmen in separate attacks in Baquba.
Unidentified gunmen open fire at restaurant owner and his two sons, killing all three instantly.
Roadside bomb misses passing U.S. convoy in Mosul, killing an Iraqi civilian and injuring two others instead.
Iraq's president says new parliament will convene for first time on March 12, beginning a 60-day countdown during which lawmakers must elect a new head of state and sign off on a prime minister and Cabinet. The constitution requires parliament to meet no later than four weeks after the vote was certified, which occurred Feb. 12, nearly two months after the election.
"We will call today for holding the meeting on the 12th of this month because it is the last day that the constitution allows us to hold the meeting of the new parliament," President Jalal Talabani told reporters. But a leading member of al-Jaafari's Dawa Party, Ali al-Adib, said parliament's main Shiite bloc would request the session be postponed until there was agreement on who should occupy the top government positions.
al-Sadr predicts "quick solution" to attempts to form government: Emerging from a meeting in the Shiite holy city of Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and secular Shiite parliamentarian Ahmed Chalabi, al-Sadr said: "All obstacles to forming a national unity government soon will be resolved."
Amnesty says Iraq torture continues: Detainees in Iraq are still being tortured receiving electric shocks and beatings with plastic cables despite U.S. promises to prevent such abuse after the Abu Ghraib scandal, a report by an international rights group said Monday.
Amnesty International said many of the reported abuses have occurred at facilities controlled by Iraqi authorities. "Many cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees held in facilities controlled by the Iraqi authorities have been reported since the handover of power in June 2004," the report said.
Majority of Americans believe in Iraq civil war: An overwhelming majority of the public believes fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war and half says the United States should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey found that 80 percent believe that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third say such a conflict was "very likely" to occur. Expectations for an all-out sectarian war in Iraq extended beyond party lines. More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe civil war was likely.
Fact or rumour?: According to the Iraqirabita.org website, on Sunday February 26, a bus carrying 40 girls enrolled in a Teachers institute, was stopped by several US armored vehicles.
The driver was made to exit the bus and sit on the ground.
One US female soldier accompanied by a male soldier boarded the bus and, according to the girls, told them to remove their head covering veils.
The female soldier, who is said to speak some Arabic, then unbuttoned her shirt and revealed her breasts to the girls who were astounded. She then ordered them to show her their breasts.
_____ ____( !) [Arabic script], she is reported to have said, at which point the girls began to scream.
The girls were detained for one hour until the principal/director of the institute contacted the authorities and the girls were released.
Several Iraqi television stations interviewed the girls after the alleged incident, but were not allowed to air the interviews, said the website.
A follow-up article by Iraqirabita.org interviewed Shatha Ma'youf, assistant principal at the institute. She said that the incident occured on Sunday at 1:45pm as the bus was headed to the Islah Al Zira'ii district in Mosul.
An Aljazeera crew interviewed a US spokesperson in Dubai who denied the whole incident and said it was yet another rumor to incite hatred against US forces.
Mosul residents have been debating whether such an incident could have happened.
Human rights abuses in Iraq as bad now as under Saddam, former U.N. human rights chief in Iraq says: "Under Saddam, if you agreed to forgo your basic right to freedom of expression and thought, you were physically more or less OK," [John] Pace said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But now, no. Here, you have a primitive, chaotic situation where anybody can do anything they want to anyone."
Pace said that while the scale of atrocity under Saddam was "daunting," now nobody is safe from abuse. "It is certainly as bad," he said. "It extends over a much wider section of the population than it did under Saddam."
Monkey See, Monkey Do - Blair: 'God will be my judge on Iraq': Explaining how he managed to live with the decision to go to War in Iraq, Mr Blair replied: "If you have faith about these things then you realise that judgement is made by other people. If you believe in God,it's made by God as well." His remarks, made in an interview to be shown on ITV's Parkinson show tonight, invite comparison with President Bush, a born-again Christian, who has made a virtue of bringing religion into Politics. But they also carry the risk of inflaming opinion in the Arab world, where the term "crusader" is commonly used to condemn Christian leaders who meddle in the Middle East.
It is also exactly the sort of comment he has been repeatedly urged not to make for domestic purposes, because of the risk that a sceptical British public will react badly to politicians who appear to be "preaching". Mr Blair was instructed by his former director of communications, Alastair Campbell: "We don't do God."
During his eight-year premiership, the only decisions that have caused Mr Blair sleepless nights have been those that involved taking the UK to War, he said. But he added: "The only way you can take a decision like that is to try to do the right thing, according to your conscience. And, for the rest of it, you leave it to the judgement that history will make."
Mr Blair refused to say whether he had prayed for guidance on whether to send British troops into Iraq - which has cost the lives of 103 British troops, 2,300 US soldiers, and up to 30,000 Iraqis, with many thousands maimed or injured, in a conflict which has claimed more lives since the fall of Baghdad than the War itself.
There have been persistent reports that Mr Blair joined the President in prayer for God's guidance at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in 2002, at the summit at which many people believe a secret decision was reached to invade Iraq.
The claim was made in a book by the Christian author Stephen Mansfield, who said he had heard it from White House officials. It was later backed up by a writer on Time magazine, David Aikman.
Mr Bush once told Palestinian leaders: "God would tell me, 'George, go end the tyranny in Iraq' and I did."
Baath Party: You Stuck in the Mud, Mr. President!: When the US president speaks with seven of his stooges in one single day and tells them to choose in between "chaos and unity", he in the very fact confirms what the Baath has already said and declared that the US Occupation Project in Iraq has failed and has been only downsized to "imposing security". In other words: the Occupation project in its different political, strategic and economical processes has failed and has boomeranged, forcing the US Occupation forces and policies in Iraq to deal only with "imposing security" concerns. Here the facts confirm the everyday reality in Iraq which is the face to face confrontation between the Baath and the Iraqi Resistance from one side and the Occupation and its stooges from the other.
You Stuck in the Mud, Mr. President! There is no and there will be no "victory strategy" for you in Iraq! Your asking the stooges to choose in between "chaos and unity" is mere wishful thinking. You know pretty well that the so called political process has failed and has failed you too and your hopes! Today you are forced to speak only to petrified and frightened stooges, and asking them questions and trying to answer on their behalf. Yes indeed these stooges have no answers to give you about your strategic failure, your planning shortcomings or your personal idiocy. They allied themselves with you on the mutual traitor interest only which gang the stooges and the traitors together from one side and the evil aggressors from the other. Yes while they have lured you, they did exploit your inherent beastly aggressive instinct too. You pretty well know that they are debased traitors stooges, and for this reason you are dealing with them, and they can't do anything else but to work with the Homeland enemy. This is why theses are incapable of running a Homeland or imposing whatever security.
Once again, you stuck in the mud, US president! We tell you that the Armed Resistance has started to wreck the US occupiers' alliance along their Iraqi stooges. For the Resistance strategically understood this from the very beginning targeting the stooges and targeting you at the same time. The Resistance made you pay dearly the price of your alliance with them and the price of their alliance with you. Now tell us! Who supports whom in your routed and defeated camp when confronting the Baath and the Iraqi Armed Resistance? Yes! Tell us! Who is begging whom some kind of support to avert the Occupation project fatal collapse in the Iraq of the Resistance?
Once again! You stuck in the mud, US president, we tell you! If you don't wish to withdraw because "you don't want them to be killed or jailed" as you announced in your State of the Union speech, you have accepted for yourself and for your army the dishonor of the strategic defeat in Iraq at the expense of the failed strategy, and that will happen when you will put into practice the Exit Strategy from Iraq without delay and without any hesitation. Now you will have to make a choice!
Iraqi resistance: "Military sources in Paris ascertain that the US fascist Occupier in Iraq moans under a 'killer defeat!'": Press reports ascertained in Paris today that the US fascist Occupier has miserably failed to confront the Iraqi glorious Resistance or even to reduce the growing and heavy losses endured by its personnel and equipment.
The same well informed sources quoting Monsieur Bernard Bajolet the French ambassador in Baghdad, said: "The US with all its might is not capable until this very moment to contain the daily and growing but unreported attacks launched by the Iraqi guerrilla against the foreign occupiers."
Military Intelligence circles explain according to the French weekly Magazine le Canard Enchainé, that the US is so desperate; it has no other worry but to get some kind of arrangement, something, and anything, just to help control the situation in Iraq.
Referring to a US highly confidential recent military report, the French moles were able to get, Le Canard Enchainé said that the unbelievable additional funds asked by the Pentagon and which would make any body's head spin, confirm the US worries and mania about Iraq, for they are unprecedented and even go beyond the sums required at the height of the cold war era.
Le Canard Enchainé known for its close ties with the French military intelligence went on saying that these delirious amounts of money wanted by the Pentagon are confirmed by the US monthly military reports which give us an idea about the real expenses of the bloodthirsty US Occupation of Iraq.
According to Le Canard Enchainé, Tina Jones one of the Pentagon's 'comptroller' talks, in these reports, about astronomical sums of money amounting to no less than US$ 6.8 billion as the expenses of the monthly fascist US Occupation in Iraq; adding that these crazy funds don't include the US humiliated and write off armored vehicles and tanks destroyed by the Iraqi Patriots or the many helicopters downed by the Iraqi glorious Resistance. In other words the French newspaper explained that the US spends no less than 230 million daily.
This Tina Jones, the Pentagon comptroller, established according to the "Canard Enchainé" a highly confidential report which reached the French Intelligence circles, to evaluates the additional expenses allowing the US to hold on in Iraq, in whatever way in this current year 2006. The Pentagon needs, Tina Jones, recommends, a further US$120 billion to mainly buy more armored vehicles and to replace the wrecked US military equipment.
Le Canard Enchainé said also that the Republicans are very worried about these unbelievable sums of money demanded by the Pentagon militaries that they suspect, of hiding other dirty agendas and plans to undergo other wars and create more chaos and conflicts.
Quoting Clinton's former Pentagon boss William Perry the Canard Enchainé said that this man appears to be more aware of the US bankruptcy than Rumsfeld. Perry recently declared that Rumsfeld takes every one for a ride when he claims that the US army which is already under "corrosive stress" can fight two wars at the same time!
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The awful possibility: According to Philippe Sands, at the 31 January meeting, there was discussion of "the possibility that the UN inspectors might not deliver the smoking gun that was being sought", a possibility that was realised in practice. Sands continues:
"Other options were considered. President Bush told the British Prime Minister 'the US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach'. It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam's WMD ..." (p273)
These suggestions have an air of desperation about them. By now, Bush must have been wishing that he had listened to his neo-conservative colleagues in the administration, instead of Tony Blair and Colin Powell, and not gone anywhere near the UN, but simply invaded Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein was a bad person. Now, Saddam Hussein was co-operating with UN inspectors, and appearing to be quite a reasonable person, and the awful possibility was appearing over the horizon that the inspectors would declare Iraq disarmed with Saddam Hussein still in power. Before this happened, the benign inspection process would have to be terminated by US military action - which would serve to increase world wide opposition to the enterprise. From Bush's point of view, taking "the UN route" had brought no gain whatsoever.
It's a sorry state of affairs in America when you can trust the words of Saddam Hussein more than those of your own President: You may remember that in 2002, the year before the Iraq War began, the United Nations Security Council ordered Iraq to produce a report detailing all of its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons - past and present. Iraqi officials complied and produced an 11,800-page report on Iraq's weapons programs. The report described all the chemical and biological weapons the country once had - where they came from and what was done with them - as well as what had happened to Iraq's nuclear weapons program.
Although the report was prepared for the United Nations, U.S. officials intercepted the report, edited out 8,000 pages (over two thirds) of it, and delivered its Reader's Digest version of the report to the UN.
A German reporter managed to obtain a copy of the original report from Iraq, and then compared it with the truncated copy the U.S. gave to the UN. He found that the missing parts covered the Iraqis' acquisition of chemical and biological weapons from the U.S., the delivery of non-fissionable materials for a nuclear bomb by the U.S. to the Iraqis, and the training of Iraqi nuclear scientists at U.S. nuclear facilities in Los Alamos, Sandia, and Berkeley.
The basic points made in the report were:
• Iraq once had chemical and biological weapons.
• Some of those weapons were destroyed at the end of the Gulf War; the rest were destroyed under the supervision of the UN weapons inspectors.
• Iraq once had a program to develop nuclear weapons.
• Some of the nuclear weapons facilities were destroyed at the end of the Gulf War; the rest were destroyed under the supervision of the UN weapons inspectors.
UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said the conclusions stated in the report were basically true - that Iraq no longer had dangerous weapons.
Colin Powell dismissed the report, calling it a "catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions." Of course, as we now know, the information was recycled because it happened to be true, and the omissions were flagrant because U.S. officials had done the omitting.
Hussein said he would like to bring the UN weapons inspectors back to Iraq. (They had left for safety reasons in 1998 when President Clinton resumed air strikes against Iraq.) President Bush called Hussein's offer a "cynical ploy" and managed to nip any such idea in the bud.
Hussein also invited the U.S. Congress to send representatives, accompanied by experts, to inspect any facilities in Iraq that they wanted. President Bush said this changed nothing, and he managed to derail the sending of a Congressional delegation.
Over and over, George Bush told us that Saddam Hussein was lying, that he was dragging his feet, that Iraq had dangerous weapons, that Hussein was a threat to the whole world.
Now here we are, over two years later. What have we learned?
• The hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction has turned up exactly nothing, and so the hunt was been called off.
• Everything Hussein said about the weapons has turned out to be true.
• Everything George Bush said about Iraq's weapons has turned out to be false.
The Bush administration is trying to sugar-coat the above conclusions by saying that the recently concluded weapons hunt by Charles Duelfer and the CIA's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered an "intent" by Hussein to renew his WMD programs if the U.S. would only stay out of Iraq. However, Duelfer has provided absolutely no hard evidence of such an "intent." Once again we're getting firm assertions backed up by nothing.
Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter has summed it all up very well:
One of the tragic ironies of the decision to invade Iraq is that the Iraqi WMD declaration required by security council resolution 1441, submitted by Iraq in December 2002, and summarily rejected by Bush and Blair as repackaged falsehoods, now stands as the most accurate compilation of data yet assembled regarding Iraq's WMD programs (more so than even Duelfer's ISG report, which contains much unsubstantiated speculation). Saddam Hussein has yet to be contradicted on a single point of substantive fact. Iraq had disarmed; no one wanted to accept that conclusion. In other words, the Butcher of Baghdad was correct; the President of the United States of America was wrong. The Butcher of Baghdad will be put on trial for "war crimes." The President of the United States of America was reelected to "lead" the country for four more years.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is back in the news, offered as an explanation for the sectarian violence in Iraq. First, we have the recent capture of one Farouq al-Suri, "a senior aide to al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," according to Iraqi "state television," or rather Pentagon television. Suri is Arabic for Syria. It makes perfect sense a captured al-Zarqawi "senior aide" would have such a name because, of course, all "foreign terrorists" hail from Syria and other nations on the Straussian neocon "evil empire" roster.
Second, "61 rebels linked to al-Qaeda through Iraqi frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" were supposedly captured near Fallujah, according to the Pentagon. "US forces have repeatedly carried out sweeps in Al-Anbar, a Sunni-majority province, where foreign fighters are said to have crossed over from Syria." Recall last May the Associated Press reporting "Iraq's most notorious terrorist group" held a meeting in Syria with Iran participating, a fairy tale of absurd dimension since Iran is predominately a Shia nation and Shi'ites are considered infidels by the Sunni al-Zarqawi, and Syria is a secular country wary of religious fanatics. "If al-Zarqawi and his group win in Iraq, they will turn the region into a fundamentalist nightmare," declared Syrian political analyst Imad Fawzi al-Shueibi, who foolishly buys into the al-Zarqawi myth.
Now "U.S. officials tell CBS News that intelligence has picked up reports that al Qaeda in Iraq is planning what one source calls the 'Big Bang,' a spectacular terrorist attack in Iraq against either a single high-profile target or multiple targets simultaneously.... Abu Musab al-Zarqawi seems to be betting that another big bang would push the country over the brink," a situation that dovetails nicely with the Straussian neocon plan to foment "civil war" in Iraq and ultimately break the country up into three Bantustans based on religion and ethnicity.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi does not "exists as such. He's simply an invention by the occupiers to divide the people," Sheikh Jawad al-Kalesi, the imam of the al-Kadhimiyah mosque in Baghdad, told Le Monde last September. "His family in Jordan even held a ceremony after his death. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is therefore a ploy used by the Americans, an excuse to continue the occupation," and now as an excuse to break Iraq into three pieces.
Meanwhile, our wonderful corporate media, itself a Pentagon asset, has fed us all manner of al-Zarqawi nonsense over the last couple years, even though al-Zarqawi "tapes" released over the internet feature al-Zarqawis with different voices and voices sans Jordanian accent. Like the fake Osama, the fake al-Zarqawi, in the Nick Berg beheading video, wears a gold ring, forbidden by Islam, and has two perfectly good legs, although we are told Abu lost a leg fighting the jihad in Afghanistan.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is "a creation of US foreign policy, a myth, a fable, the most convenient man in Bush's alleged 'war on terror.' Much like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy 'Zarqawi' is a mythical creature that leaves gifts for those in position to take advantage of them. He is a manufactured enemy, built to specifications, and his presence ensures outrage and an escalation of the conflict," writes John Doraemi for al-Jazeera. As such, the al-Zarqawi myth is now serving the Straussian neocon plan to balkanize Iraq.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi embodies the Big Lie and the Straussian neocons will continue to "stick to it" because "if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." Millions of Americans now believe al-Zarqawi is a real person, although there is absolutely no evidence of this. As an invincible force, al-Zarqawi will be used to explain the Iraqi "civil war," now well underway, and the corporate media, ever the slavish lapdog of the government, will keep hammering the message that the ethereal al-Zarqawi is the "number One Enemy of the People," as Emmanuel Goldstein was in Orwell's 1984.
War without a Name, Name without a War: In not naming the "situation in Iraq," the media and the public seem to have followed in the administration's footsteps. You can search the press, for instance, almost in vain for "the Iraq War," and when, on occasion, you do find it, that "war" is always lower-cased. Nor do people speak, say, of 'Raq, the way in the last years of Vietnam, Americans (following the lead of the soldiers there) spoke of 'Nam. In fact, though we now know, according to a unique Zogby poll just taken, that 72% of American soldiers stationed in Iraq today want the United States to "exit" within a year (over half within six months, and over a quarter tomorrow), if they have their own name or nickname for the conflict, we are blissfully ignorant of it.
The lack of a name for our "effort" in Iraq should not be seen as some kind of bizarre oversight, or even a reflection of the confusing or nondescript nature of that conflict. After all, the Bush administration regularly puts great time and effort into naming things. It has, for instance, created various Orwellian names for its programs in a game of opposites -- the Clear Skies Act, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, and so on. And much thought went into what to label the actual invasion of Iraq. After, at least one rumored false step -- Operation Iraqi Liberation (with its obviously unacceptable acronym) -- it was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), a name the President has proudly used many times since, but which officially was over when he landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003 and declared "major combat operations" ended.
Not naming something can be as much an act as naming it. Nearly three years have passed since George Bush stood under a "mission accomplished" banner on the deck of that aircraft carrier. Almost 2,300 Americans have now been killed and almost 17,000 wounded in Iraq; untold numbers of Iraqis -- undoubtedly well over 100,000 -- have died since our invasion, while families and livelihoods have been destroyed and, ever more commonly, neighborhoods ethnically cleansed and religious institutions damaged or destroyed. The country itself has been turned into an impoverished failed state, riddled with terrorists, filled with sectarian or religious militias, bled by a still growing insurgency, and threatened by ethnic and religious divisions which seem to widen by the week. Its government exists, to the degree it does, inside a fortified zone in a capital city that itself seems beyond normal rule, and whose streets are controlled by a variety of armed groups, militias, police, and gangs. Even for the Americans, the now-famous "Pottery Barn rule" of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, "You break it, you own it," is proving surprisingly untrue. The Americans seem to control little but the Green Zone and the giant military bases they occupy. And all for an unnamed conflict.
If, by some miracle, the archives of the Bush administration are finally pried open, I have no doubt we'll discover, as with so much else that was named by these officials, that the decision not to name "the situation in Iraq" was carefully considered and fully discussed. After all, they (and various neocons supporters in or on the edges of the government) have spent parts of the last few years constantly experimenting with names for the "war" that counts for them: The Global War on Terror, acronymed GWOT, aka World War IV, the Millennial War, the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, and (recently enshrined in the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review as well as attributed to Centcom commander and popularizer Gen. John Abizaid)) the Long War.
As a result, we have the following strange "situation." The most obvious war we're fighting goes unnamed, as does the lower-level conflict in Afghanistan which no one even thinks of calling our second Afghan War (the first being the one we organized and funded against the Soviets in the 1980s when Osama bin Laden and his ilk were our allies). On the other hand, GWOT, a "war" that bears no resemblance to anything ever historically recognized as "war," is constantly being given that name. Turn on your TV any night and you'll get a report on the situation in Iraq amid a plethora of stories about the "war on terror" and its domestic fallout.
Think of us, then, as fighting a war without a name and a name without a war.
Q. Why are we in Iraq?
A. To remove Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
Q. But he didn't have any weapons of mass destruction.
A. Maybe. But in a sense, Saddam Hussein was a weapon of mass destruction.
Q. Well, that's a pretty metaphorical.
A. And by that I mean his mustache was made of anthrax.
Q. Oh no!
A. His beret was stuffed full of yellowcake uranium! He detonated intercontinental ballistic missiles with the power of his brain! A half-kilo of Saddam Hussein could destroy ten city blocks when processed and rigged to a detonator the size of a baseball!
Q. I... I had no idea...
A. Now imagine if we'd let Saddam Hussein loose on the open market! Pakistani warehouses stockpiled with black market Saddam... North Korean Saddam reactors...
Q. Oh my god... Osama bin Laden would be putting together a suitcase Saddam bomb as we speak!
A: There but for the grace of war.
My Prayer for Humanity: I received the following email in my mailbox imploring me to spread it as far and wide as I possibly can. I am doing that with a humble addition of my own. Please pass it on as implored by the author of the email.
I have been informed that it is 140 degrees in Iraq right now. Our troops need our prayers for strength, endurance and safety. I am sorry but I am not breaking this one.....Let us pray. Prayer chain for our Military...please don't break it. Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayers for our soldiers...please don't break it.
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen." Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world. There is nothing attached.... .. Just send this to all the people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you, please.... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine & others deployed in harm's way, Prayer is the very best one.
My Prayer Chain for Humanity
If I were religious, thus would I pray.
I invoke Thee, O Lord, who resides in high heavens in the glow and mist of rainbows. O Ye the Master of the celestial and the terrestrial. O Ye, who extinguishes falsehood, who dissipates the evil influence of Satan and wicked apparitions.
O Ye, who is the Lord of the thrones of the universe, the oldest Existence, ancient of heaven, support of all things, the Lord of truth, Maker of men and beasts and plants, Maker of all things above and below, Deliverer of the sufferer and the oppressed, the all Hearer, the all Seer, the all Knower.
Ye are the Hearer of the shrieks of the sodomized children of Iraq , Ye are the Perceiver of the pains of their parents, and Ye are the Listener of the cries of the Fatimas who are raped by beastly men in Iraqi jails. Ye are the Life Giver to the deformed generations of Thy creations now being born in the plundered lands of Babylon. Ye are the knower of the slaughter of Thine innocent children in Iraq who were left on the streets for the canines to feed on. Ye are the all Knower.
Thou art in full knowledge of the perpetrators of these crimes, the violators who mar the things of beauty...Thine creations. They follow some noxious gods and venomous deities. In their bodily frames they lie imprisoned in the grips of devil, grievously defiled. I invoke Thee, O Lord, to cast upon them a ray of peace, and let it cure their suffering. For they are now not men but a gathering of evil faces, evil eyes, evil mouths, evil tongues, evil lips, evil minds and evil poisons. However tall they try to become, O Lord, they reach not Thy feet that rest on lofty summits...pygmies they remain.
O Ye, who is the Lord of wisdom, of mercy; most Loving, most Magnificent, Opener of every eye, Source of joy, in whose goodness the creations exult, Thou who has all the beautiful names, Thou the Maker of all the constellations and a collection of the most splendid lights Himself, a Maker of the beautiful radiance of the sun and the moon, I invoke Thee to redeem Thine erring servants that have taken to dwelling in darkness of the heart and the abode. I invoke Thee to restore their sanity, their minds, and their senses for they have become impervious to the pain they cast as they continue the mayhem. May their devils leave them, may they recover from their cursed sickness. Pardon their inadequacies, let their misdemeanors be erased. I beseech Thee. May they rediscover Thee O Magnificent One. Give back fragrant life to these living dead, O Lord of lights, for they rot even as they live.
Look down upon all of us; for we have started to rejoice in the showers of each others' blood. We beseech Thee to pour out Thine blessings on us all. Be gracious to us from Thy throne built in Thy celestial kingdom. Thou art the timeless deliverer of all creatures; deliver us from our self-inflicted pains.
I, Thy servant, dull and ignorant, can poorly express my feelings. Yet I pray to Thee O Lord. Neither thought nor reason can capture Thy spirit, and no one knows all Thy attributes. Thou art the soul and Thou art the soul maker. I feel small and insignificant in Thy presence and lose the thread of all my reason. I perceive Thee clearly as the master of the universe, and yet perceive Thee as the universe itself.
I now finish my prayer and heave it up to Thee through the ethereal blues yonder above me, O Lord, with the hope that these will rise upto Thee and be granted.
Amen.Author's Request: When you receive this, and are religious, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for humanity around the world. Just send this to all the people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you, please. Of all the gifts you could give humanity, a Prayer is the very best one. Prayer chain for humanity...please do not break it. Please send this on after a short prayer.
"Conspiracy theorists" vindicated Federal plans for "concentration camps" in America, the takeover of local governments by federal "agencies" and "secret police" operating without any constitutional bounds have long been advanced by many informed Americans as being Washington's ultimate "end game." For well over two decades such claims have been dismissed as "conspiracy theories." But the recent announcement of Halliburton subsidiary KBR that it has been awarded $385 million to staff and run "detention facilities" on American soil now vindicates those who had advanced such "theories."
Writing in the Pacific News Service, Peter Dale Scott reports KBR's contract is in fact part of an official program ominously named "Endgame." Says Scott; "According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, Endgame expands "a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798." These acts were later struck down by the Jefferson administration as unconstitutional.
Activist-researcher Bernadine Smith has closely followed and diligently warned the public of numerous developments slowly paving the way toward Endgame, beginning with Oliver North's Reagan era "Rex 84" program and it's subsidiary operations "garden plot" and "cable splicer."
These "conspiracy theories" have indeed long been facts available to the public. But the intent of such as Rex 84 and now Endgame have been and remain somewhat unclear. This may be in part due to a near blackout on coverage of such government plans in mainstream news venues.
But Nat Perry, writing for Alternet, perhaps fills in this blank, stating "Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new target for the administration's domestic operations -- Fifth Columnists, supposedly disloyal Americans who sympathize and collaborate with the enemy."
Senator Graham's sentiments are clearly in accordance with the stated Endgame mission; the reinstitution of the concept of "sedition" in America. Considering president George Bush's utterance that "you're either for us, or you're against us," the legitimate question is raised as to what he means by "us.
A lesson for Iran:
"We meet when the world is remembering the atomic bombings of the civilians in Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) sixty years ago. The savagery of the attack, the human suffering it caused, the scale of the civilian loss of life turning individuals, old and young, into ashes in a split second, and maiming indefinitely those who survived should never be removed from our memory. It is the most absurd manifestation of irony that the single state who caused this single nuclear catastrophe in a twin attack on our earth now has assumed the role of the prime preacher in the nuclear field while ever expanding its nuclear weapons capability." (Extract from a statement by Iran to the IAEA Board, 9 August 2005)
On 6 February 2006, just after the IAEA Board "reported" Iran to the Security Council for its nuclear activities, Robert Joseph, US Under-Secretary for State for Arms Control and International Security, briefed the press on the US reaction .
Joseph was asked by an Egyptian journalist, called Khaleed Dawoud, if he would call upon Israel to open up its nuclear facilities to inspection, as well as Iran. Joseph replied:
"In terms of Israel, I mean, this is really about Iran. This is about Iran violating its commitments under the Nonproliferation Treaty. This is about Iran violating its safeguards commitments with the IAEA. Clearly, we all need to work to achieve the global objectives that we have with regard to nonproliferation and stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and that includes a Middle East that would be free of weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivery."Dawoud came back and asked:
"Are you saying, sir, Israel is not in violation of its obligations under the NPT?"to which Joseph replied:
"Israel is not a member of NPT, so it's not violating."There is a lesson there for Iran. It is: leave the NPT, since if you're not a member of it, you can't violate it. Iran is being hauled over the coals for allegedly "violating its safeguards commitments with the IAEA". Israel isn't a member of the NPT and therefore hasn't got any "safeguards commitments with the IAEA" to violate. It's free to build whatever nuclear facilities it likes within its own borders, without let or hindrance from "the international community".
It has exercised this freedom, not just to develop civil nuclear facilities, but to arm itself with nuclear weapons, perhaps as many as 200 devices. And you can bet your bottom dollar that it's got missiles armed with these devices targeted on every state in the Middle East, including Iran. And "the international community", which is apparently so concerned that Iran might develop nuclear weapons, has never said boo to Israel about the actual nuclear weapons it has aimed at Iran.
Three sample stories of the Guantanamo-hearings:
_Boudella al Hajj, an Algerian clergyman, worked with orphans in Bosnia for a humanitarian organization and the Bosnian army. He is accused of being in contact with known al-Qaida member Abu Zubaydah and belonging to an Algerian militant group - all of which he denied. He also was accused of planning to attack the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, but was acquitted before being handed over to the United States.
_Akhdar Qasem Basit traveled from his home in China through Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan to reach Afghanistan's Tora Bora region for training at an Uighur military camp. The U.S. alleged the camp, which was bombed by U.S. forces, was operated by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement with funding from bin Laden and the Taliban. Basit said he did not know the Taliban was involved and that he did not receive military training before the camp was struck. "After the bombing we could not stay there so we ran off in to the mountains to take shelter in caves," he said. The tribunal pressed Basit for details: "Did you ever fire a weapon or help someone fire a weapon at U.S. or coalition forces?" His response: "That is a funny question. When we were in that place we did not see any U.S. or coalition forces against us. We did not see anyone we could fire at."
_Habib Noor, a resident of Lalmai, Afghanistan, with family in Saudi Arabia, is accused of owning a compound that attackers fled to after ambushing U.S. special forces and Afghan military forces. His brother, whom Noor said was mentally unstable, was suspected of participating in the fighting. He insisted he was unaware of the incident that day, which he spent as a vendor in the Lalmai village bazaar, in Khowst province. "I was just making sacks to sell at the bazaar to make money for my family," Noor said. "I would like to go home because I am worried about them."
A crime against God and humanity: Dr. Doug Rokke, a Vietnam and Gulf War combat veteran, is an outspoken opponent of the use of DU munitions. "DU is the stuff of nightmares," he said. "Verified adverse health effects from personal experience, physicians and from personal reports from individuals with known DU exposures include reactive airway disease, neurological abnormalities, kidney stones and chronic kidney pain, rashes, vision degradation and night vision losses, lymphoma, various forms of skin and organ cancer, neuropsychological disorders, uranium in semen, sexual dysfunction and birth defects in offspring... This whole thing is a crime against God and humanity."
Beyond treason: Depleted Uranium is blowing in the wind. There is overwhelming evidence that GWS is actually radiation poisoning of Iraqi civilians as well as US soldiers and all those who have ever worked in last four or five wars: Kosovo, Gulf War I, Afghanistan and Gulf War II. In fact the GWS was a euphemism for DU contaminated veterans of the first Gulf War (1990-91) but the media had blanked this fact out. Discussions with Ms Leuren Moret, a radiation expert who once worked at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLL is the lab where the first nuclear bomb was developed and the Internet was invented), revealed that the United States (and its allies) have dropped enough depleted uranium, from Gulf War 1 to the Iraq war, that is equivalent to 440,000 Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.
In a letter to Congressman McDermott (US Congress), dated 21st February, 2003, Leuren made this submission:
Islam as the most benign values system: In the twentieth century, Islam has not often proved fertile ground for democracy and `looking at what has become of democracy in the United States and elsewhere, it seems the Muslim world didn't lose too much. On the other hand, the Muslim world has not been hospitable to Nazism, fascism, or communism, unlike Christian World (as in Germany, Italy, Russia, Czechoslovakia), Buddhist world (Japan before and during World War II, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea), or Confucian world (Mao's China). The Muslim world has never yet given rise to systematic fascism and its organized brutalities. Hafiz al-Assad's Syria and Saddam Hussein's Iraq have been guilty of large-scale violence, but fascism also requires an ideology of repression that has been absent in the two countries. And apart from the dubious case of Albania, communism has never independently taken hold in the Muslim world.
Muslims are being forced to adopt Western values without explaining the nature of values. This insults Muslims and belittles their religion because enumeration of good values would clearly show that the stated values are as Muslim Islamic as they might be Western. In the broader perspective it is the strength of Muslim values and culture that we do not find any Muslim equivalents of Nazi extermination camps, nor Muslim conquests by genocide on the scale perpetrated by Europeans in the Americas and Australia, nor Muslim equivalents of Stalinist terror, Pol Pot's killing fields, or the starvation and uprooting of tens of millions in the name of Five Year Plans. Nor are there Muslim versions of apartheid like that once approved by the South African Dutch Reformed Church, or of the ferocious racism of Japan before 1945, or of the racist culture of the Old South in the United States with its lynchings and brutalization of black people. In the present day world, there is no piece of land that has been forcibly occupied by Muslims and where occupied people are treated like Israel in occupied Arab lands and the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the most demonized Muslims, the Taliban, had run concentration camps like the United States, which is running the kind of jails in Afghanistan which even the Pentagon officials agree to be worse than Guantanamo.
Exhorting Muslims day and night to assimilate and embrace Western values ignores the fact that Islam has brought to the calculus of universal justice some protection from the abyss of human depravity. The advocates of Western values cannot come up with a single noble value that is not part and parcel of Islam. For example, The Qur'an confronts the issue of national and ethnic differences head on. There is no place for racism in Islam. Unlike Christian churches, the mosque has never been segregated by race. Tolerance and multiculturalism are the core values of Islam. One of Muhammad's most beloved companions was an Ethiopian, Bilal Rabah, a freed slave who rose to great prominence in early Islam. Due to the non-racial nature, Islamic history has been free of systematic efforts to forcibly assimilate people or obliterate them. Islam conquered by co-optation, intermarriage, and conversion rather than by genocide and torture in the name of freedom and democracy.
An objective analysis leads us to the conclusion that of all the value systems in the world, Islam has been the most resistant to the leading destructive social and political forces from Nazism to, drugs, prostitution and AIDS. Democracy might soon become part of the list because of the way it is being exploited to materialize nefarious designs. Those who are trying to impose Western values on Muslims must realize that Muslims are not animals who would be domesticated according to the whims and wishes of their masters. Muslims are in possession of the guidance that can lead the humanity towards ultimate success. They are in a position to find postmodern solutions to their political tensions and economic woes. They can pursuing the positive aspects of globalization without falling victim to the negative aspects of westernization. They only need to be left alone. They only need to be spared by the continued colonial adventures and daily dictations.
Danish blogger: We need the bloody Muslims: Whenever I get in touch with women from a Muslim background I get a reminder that whatever we have to say about US imperialist aggression and the mindless neoconservative ramblings down the path to self destruction, there is one thing people need in the Orient, and that is more of the West. They need freedom of speech as much as we need not to loose or abuse it, and they need a righteous judicial system as much as we need not to corrupt ours with dehumanizing terror laws, and they need democracy as much as we need to stop the kidnapping, torturing and indefinite detention of opponents in violation to the Geneva Convention.
That is the oddest aspect of the clash of civilizations, as we watch it go down: As they "get it", we in the West are increasingly "losing it". Even the fact that Muslims protested the Mohamed cartoons rather than just bombing away shows us some level of restraint. OK, some embassies were burned. Threats were made. Stakes were raised. But the deaths have so far all been Muslim, except for a Catholic priest in Turkey, and most of the bombs have fallen from the sky, rather than exploding by a roadside in Iraq. And there is no greater threat to world peace today than the recklessness of the unrivalled superpower in the world.
We have to understand that fear and anger is connected through the Ummah, the Muslim society and collective identity. Without defending terrorism and acts of brutality, we should also acknowledge the fact that our responsibility is greater, as our ability is greater. We, who know better, should be able to refrain from what we aggressively try to convince others not to do. We should be able not to torture, rape and plunder. We should be able to respect our opponent. Not because it is the white man's burden, but because it is the burden of anyone in a ruling position. We tend to freak out when Muslims point their finger at us for whatever we do wrong. "They should talk".
Well, that's the idea. And they should be the ones to talk. Unlike so many othesr people, Muslims refuse to sign a piece of paper that surrenders their land for eternity, just like they refuse to have their head shaved and step quietly into a gas chamber. Those things happened to other people, but they are just not going to happen with Muslims. They will freak out long before that. Call them hot tempered. I don't mind. I don't think it is racist or bigoted. Sometimes having the ability to become furious is what saves your neck. Westerners always argue that Muslims are impossible to negotiate with. It's because we negotiate from two different perspectives.
Westerners negotiate from a position of almost unlimited power and wealth, and we are naturally arrogant, unlikely to engage in the thinking of our opponent. We negotiate "for" peace. Muslims are in the receiving end of the stick, and they respond like Palestinians with "the intifada", which literally means "shaking off", just like a wild horse or a zebra kicks loose from anyone trying to ride it into its own doom. They don't negotiate "for" peace; they negotiate "with" peace... the more annoying they can be, the more capital they accumulate for the eventual negotiations.
We need the bloody Muslims to tell us when we go too far, just like we need the Africans to tell us how heartless and self centered we really are. Believe me. I have lived around Muslims most of my life, and I am virtually the only one I know who does not have a single bad story to confess about them. There is one simple reason. I never felt the urge to tick any one of them off. I know how they are wired, just as I know what goes on and what does not go on in the heads of white anglo saxon protestants.
I know that "they" need whatever freedom we have acquired and probably much more that we wouldn't know about because we haven't come that far ourselves. But we need to come down from the high horse too, before we have to brand ourselves an axis of evil and take up arms to fight it too.
In pictures: Anti-Bush rallies in India
McDonald's becoming "seriously uncool" in the UK: We all have our fantasy headlines - the announcement of events of global or national significance that chime irresistibly with our own personal values and ambitions. "Texas oil reserves found to be unlimited" would probably be George Bush's. Though I suppose it might be trumped by "WMDs found in Iraq - and Iran".
Well, I almost got to see one of mine this week. "McDonald's goes bust!" - that would have been the undiluted, full-fat, maximum-caffeine version. In truth the news isn't quite that spectacular. But it's pretty brilliant all the same: "McDonald's to close 25 stores in the UK". Yes! For me, and no doubt others who share my loathing of this huge ugly lump of global corporate muscle, this is an air-punching moment. All morning after I heard, I was wandering about in daze of delighted disbelief. And when I'd done with the air-punching, I went for the double forearm salute, shouting "YES!" again, through clenched teeth, to my two clenched fists. A childish reaction, perhaps, but schadenfreude is primordial stuff. And the bigger the beast that's fallen, the greater the glee. In short, I'm lovin' it!
At last, it seems that McDonald's is losing its hitherto stellar domination of the vast fast-food market in this country. This is not a regional or temporary blip, or a mere tactical realignment. They really are in trouble. Their poor performance in Britain dragged profit margins from McDonald's European company-owned restaurants down to 14.9% of sales last year - from 15.6% in 2004. No new openings are planned for the coming year. Even McDonald's European boss, Denis Hennequin, is struggling to put a happy face on the situation: "The UK has been in negative territory for a couple of years now," he admitted. "The brand 15 years ago was very trendy and modern. It is now tired."
This is dramatic stuff. It was only a few years ago that the march of the Golden Arches seemed inexorable. As recently as 2002, we heard that four new stores were opening somewhere on the planet every day. McDonald's were able to buy the endorsement of any global superstar they felt might enhance their brand. Their supremely aggressive advertising, coupled with relentless merchandising tie-ins with Hollywood blockbuster kids' movies, gave them untold power over the minds, and consequently stomachs, of our kids. They had seemed, for a couple of decades, literally unstoppable. The halting of such a seemingly irresistible force is no mean feat. It smacks of revolution. And as we celebrate (dancing in the high street may not be excessive) we should ask: how has this been brought about?
Everyone knows that the best way to disempower the playground bully is to make him a laughing stock. And this, joyfully, is what's starting to happen to McDonald's. This is apt, as it is in the playground that they are most vulnerable. Kids may be easy to reach and influence; showering them with gifts and attention, and glamorous associations with what is cool and happening in their world can be brutally effective. But kids can be ruthless, too, when the lustre of desirability starts to fade, in turning their backs on the people, the trends - the brands - they once loved. The most devastating news for McDonald's, and the thing they can do least about, is that they are becoming seriously uncool. A survey published last week revealed that Britain's teenagers are turning their backs on the Golden Arches in droves. Just 1% of 13- to 15-year-olds said McDonald's was their favourite meal, down 7% on a year ago.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We don't hear of any suicide bombers being stopped before they blow themselves up. We don't hear of anybody stopping a mosque getting blown up. We're not hearing of death squads all being arrested. Something is going very, very wrong in Baghdad."
– Robert Fisk interviewed on Australian TV
"Depleted uranium dust will continue to be an extreme hazard to soldiers, civilians, populations in countries downwind6,8, and the environment as a radiological contaminant to all living systems for ten half-lives or 45 BILLION years."And further...."The pyrophoric effect of depleted uranium, which spontaneously burns when heated to 170 C (once it is fired) and on impact, effectively forms very large numbers of extremely fine (0.1 micron) and submicroscopic particles as small as 0.001 micron or 10 Ångstroms as described in the memo. Particles in this size range behave like a gas when inhaled, disperse in the lungs to the blood lung barrier where the white blood cells (greater than 7microns in diameter) engulf the tiny particles of depleted uranium and carry them throughout the body. Once these particles have been engulfed by blood cells or lodged in tissues, they may not be detectable in the urine. Contaminated personnel will take the depleted uranium home, deposited in tissues throughout their bodies.
".......There is no known treatment for exposure."
".......The long-term effects have revealed that DU (uranium oxide) is a virtual death sentence."
(The submissions are).."powerful scientific information to counter false statements recently made by the White House1 and the DOD2."
The fact is that the United States and its military partners (particularly Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia) have staged four nuclear wars, 'slipping nukes under the wire' by using dirty bombs and dirty weapons in countries the US needs to control. And in the hit list India is one; India is being set up.
"Depleted uranium aerosols will permanently contaminate vast regions and slowly destroy the genetic future of populations living in those regions, where there are resources which the US must control, in order to establish and maintain American (supremacy)," says Leuren.
Leuren and her colleagues have identified the regions of the world that are affected by DU contamination and include Northwest India, including J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Regions within 1000 mile radius of Afghanistan and Iraq are severely affected by DU contamination (See map).
There will be explosive growth in radiation induced illnesses across all affected regions. We are now living with DU poisoning in Delhi and we don't even know it. And, there is no known cure for DU contamination.
"The concept of species annihilation means a relatively swift, deliberately induced end to history, culture, science, biological reproduction and memory. It is the ultimate human rejection of the gift of life, an act which requires a new word to describe it: omnicide." (Dr. Rosalie Bertell, one of the 46 international radiation expert authors of the ECRR report).
"Map of regions within a 1000 mile radius of Baghdad and Afghanistan which have been contaminated with depleted uranium since 1991. Depleted uranium dust will be repeatedly recycled throughout this dry region, and also carried around the world. More than ten times the amount of radiation, released during atmospheric testing, has been released from depleted uranium weaponry since 1991. In 2002 the US government admitted that every person living in the US between 1957 and 1963 was internally contaminated with radiation." (Leuren Moret)
What the US and its allies have done is set western India on to certain annihilation. Dr. Keith Baverstock, a WHO radiation expert, co-authored a report in November 2001, warning that the long-term health effects of DU would endanger Iraq's civilian population, and that the dry climate would increase exposure from the tiny particles blowing around and be inhaled for years to come. WHO refused to publish the study, bowing to pressure from the IAEA. Dr. Baverstock released the damning report to the media in February 2004.
With extensive use of depleted uranium, the US and its allies have not only destroyed the lives of their own soldiers and civilians, but of peaceful people around the war zones who had nothing to do with their illegal wars. The question is why have the US and its allies taken this murderous step? May be 45 billion years later the survivors would ask the question and get the answer.