1 After grim Rumsfeld memo, White House supports him
WASHINGTON — The United States has no yardstick for measuring progress in
the war on terrorism, has not "yet made truly bold moves" in fighting
al-Qaeda and other terror groups, and is in for a "long, hard slog" in Iraq
and Afghanistan, according to a memo that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
sent to top-ranking Defense officials last week.
full text of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memo on the war on terror:
2 Halliburton in Iraq fuel costs row
The price of petrol varies depending on who the seller is - Halliburton,
the oil services and construction group, has been accused by US lawmakers
of charging "inflated prices" when they sell petrol to US troops in Iraq.
Halliburton charges the US government more than $1.59 (£0.95) for a
gallon of petrol used by the US Army Corp of Engineers in Iraq, according
to US Representatives Henry Waxman and John Dingell.
The price charged is much higher than that paid by Iraq's State Oil
Marketing Organisation when it imports petrol from Turkey or other
neighbouring countries at 98 cents or less for a gallon. Halliburton,
which was once led by US vice president Dick Cheney, denied any wrongdoing
and insisted the prices charged by its subsidiary KBR are based on the
short-term nature of its contract with the Engineers. "Based on the entire
picture, to allege that KBR is overcharging for this needed service insults
the KBR employees who are performing this dangerous mission to help bring
fuel to the people of Iraq," said Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall. Some
of the fuel payments to Halliburton come out of the Development Fund for
Iraq which is meant to pay for humanitarian efforts in the country.
3 Anti-Occupation Protests in 140 Cities on Saturday
Anti-war groups are planning their largest demonstrations since after the
start of the war in Iraq, with thousands expected at rallies Saturday in
Washington and San Francisco. Protesters are expected from 140 cities in
the US and Canada. They hope to raise public pressure that will force the
withdrawal of U.S. troops. 'Now more than ever it is critical that we
stand united in our effort to turn this all around,' said Leslie Cagan of
United for Peace and Justice. The protests in Washington are scheduled at
11 a.m. EDT at the Washington Monument, followed by a march to the White
House and Justice Department at 1:30 p.m. Speakers will include former
Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Martin Luther King III, Bob Edgar, president
of the National Council of Churches, and Fernando Suarez del Solar, the
father of a Marine who was killed in Iraq. In San Francisco, organizers are
expecting thousands of protesters to participate in a 2 p.m. EDT rally
followed by a march through downtown.
4 Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins
October 21, 2003
Since the end of the Vietnam War, presidents have worried that their
military actions would lose support once the public glimpsed the remains of
U.S. soldiers arriving at air bases in flag-draped caskets. To this
problem, the Bush administration has found a simple solution: It has ended
the public dissemination of such images by banning news coverage and
photography of dead soldiers' homecomings on all military bases.
5 Bush heckled as he thanks Australia and vows the war on terror will go
24 October 2003
President George Bush was jeered and heckled yesterday during an address to
the Australian parliament, in which he thanked the nation for its support
in the war against Iraq. President Bush defended the American-led military
action, claiming it was vindicated by the discovery in Iraq of secret
biological laboratories and design work on prohibited long-range missiles.
He said: "America, Australia and other nations acted in Iraq to remove a
grave and gathering danger, instead of wishing and waiting while tragedy
drew closer." Mr Bush hailed the Australian people for helping the US to
"advance the ideals of democracy and freedom". The people, though, were
unable to hear him deliver those compliments unless they switched on their
television sets. As part of a massive security operation to protect Mr
Bush, they were shut out of Parliament House for the first time in the
6 Cheney's grip tight on foreign policy reins, By Jim Lobe
Oct 23, 2003
WASHINGTON - The image was not an edifying one: the president of the United
States a horse, his vice president, the rider. But that is the picture
Senator Joseph Biden, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, used to describe the power relationship between US President
George W Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in a recent interview with the
Secretary of State Colin Powell, according to Biden's account, sometimes
talks Bush into pursuing a more conciliatory foreign policy line, as he has
done with North Korea or the United Nations from time to time.
"Like with a horse, Powell is always able to lead Bush to the water. But
just as he is about to put his head down, Cheney up in the saddle says,
'Un-uh', and yanks up the reins before Bush can drink the water. That's my
image of how it goes," Biden said.
That is also the image which is gaining currency in power circles in
Washington. When it comes to foreign policy, Cheney is increasingly seen as
holding the reins. While the mainstream media continue to refer to Bush as
the captain of his own foreign policy ship, hints that Cheney - a
Republican right-winger surrounded by neo-conservatives, many with close
ties to Israel's Likud Party - is the dominant figure in Washington's
diplomacy have become too plentiful to ignore.
The most stunning example was disclosed in a recent Washington Post article
that assessed Condoleezza Rice's performance as national security adviser.
The authors reported that Bush had ordered cabinet officials not to give
any preferential treatment to Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC)
as US forces moved into Iraq in the spring.
Imagine the shock felt by the State Department when, shortly after Bush
gave the order, the Pentagon flew Chalabi and 600 of his armed followers
into southern Iraq in early April "with the approval of the vice
president". Enforcing policy discipline, especially in a divided
administration, is ordinarily the task of the national security adviser.
But Rice, an academic whose substantive knowledge of foreign policy is
largely confined to her expertise, the Soviet Union and Russia, has not
been equal to the task.
Her failure in that regard, as well as Bush's own passivity and
inexperience, is precisely what has enabled Cheney to dominate the policy
process, particularly with respect to the Middle East, where Cheney's views
are almost entirely consistent with those of the neo-cons close to Likud
and Israeli premier Ariel Sharon.
7 Iraq Rebuilding Cash 'Goes Missing'
The Scotsman Thursday 23 October 2003
A new Iraq scandal erupted today as a report claimed billions of dollars
earmarked for rebuilding the country have vanished after being handed to
the United States-controlled governing body in Baghdad. At least $5
billion (£3bn) has been passed to the ruling Coalition Provisional
Authority (CPA), a leading UK aid agency has calculated. But only a fifth
of those development funds have been accounted for, figures unearthed by
Christian Aid show.
And that missing four billion dollar "black hole" will double by the end
of the year unless the CPA’s accounts are made public. The allegations
emerged as British aid agencies claimed millions of pounds of government
aid cash will have to be diverted from poor countries in South America,
Eastern and Central Asia to rebuilding Iraq.
Download full report (133 Kb PDF)
8 New Cheney Adviser David Wurmser Sets Syria in His Sights
David Wurmser joined Cheney's staff under its powerful national security
director, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, in mid-September, according to Cheney's
office. The move is significant, not only because Cheney is seen
increasingly as the dominant foreign-policy influence on Resident Bush, but
also because it adds to the notion that neo-conservatives remain a
formidable force under Bush despite the sharp plunge in public confidence
in Bush's handling of post-war Iraq resulting from the faulty assumptions
propagated by the 'neo-cons' before the war. Given the recent
intensification of tensions between Washington and Damascus - touched off
by this month's U.S. veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution
deploring an Israeli air attack on an alleged Palestinian camp outside
Damascus - Wurmser's rise takes on added significance. The move also
follows House of Representatives' approval of a bill that would impose new
economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria.
9 The List: Reasons Why Others Might Not Like Us
[From a speech by Bill Blum]
Attempting to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments.
Unprovoked military invasion of some 20 sovereign nations.
Working to crush more than 30 populist movements which were fighting
against dictatorial regimes.
Providing indispensable support to a small army of brutal dictatorships:
Mobutu of Zaire, Pinochet of Chile, Duvalier of Haiti, Somoza of Nicaragua,
the Greek junta, Marcos of the Philippines, Rhee of Korea, the Shah of
Iran, 40 years of military dictators in Guatemala, Suharto of Indonesia,
Hussein of Iraq, the Brazilian junta, Trujillo of the Dominican Republic,
the Taliban of Afghanistan, and others.
Dropping powerful bombs on the people of about 25 countries, including 40
consecutive days and nights in Iraq, 78 days and nights in Yugoslavia, and
several months in Afghanistan, all three of these countries having met the
first requirement as an American bombing target -- being completely
Not once ever has the United States come even close to repairing the great
damage caused by its bombings.
Repeated use of cluster bombs.
Assassination attempts on the lives of some 40 foreign political leaders.
Crude interference in dozens of foreign democratic elections.
Gross manipulation of labor movements.
Shameless manufacture of "news."
Chemical or biological warfare or the testing of such weapons, and the use
of powerful herbicides, all causing terrible effects to the people and
environments of China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Panama, Cuba, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Serbia and elsewhere.
Encouragement of drug trafficking in various parts of the world when it
served the CIA's purposes.
Supporting death squads, especially in Latin America.
Causing grievous harm to the health and well-being of the world's masses by
turning the screws of the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and other international
financial institutions, as well as by imposing unmerciful sanctions and
10 1996 Paper by Wurmser Urged Israel to Attack on Iraq, Then Syria
Jim Lobe reports, "Wurmser was the main author of a 1996 report by a task
force convened by the IASPS and headed by Perle... The paper, called 'A
Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm', was directed to
incoming Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It featured a series of
recommendations designed to end the process of Israel trading 'land for
peace' by transforming the 'balance of power' in the Middle East in favour
of an axis consisting of Israel, Turkey and Jordan. To do so, it called for
ousting Saddam Hussein and installing a Hashemite leader in Baghdad. From
that point, the strategy would be largely focused on Syria and, at the
least, to reducing its influence in Lebanon. Among other steps, the report
called for Israeli sponsorship of attacks on Syrian territory by 'Israeli
proxy forces' based in Lebanon and 'striking Syrian military targets in
Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in
11 Congress Starts Dismantling Medicare
[Medicare is as close as we get to the single payer health care system that
two-thirds of Americans say they would prefer. One logical way to move
nearer is to lower the age of eligibility. Instead, the corporate right is
engaged in a piecemeal weakening of Medicare.]
AMY GOLDSTEIN, WASHINGTON POST - A powerful congressman heading
House-Senate negotiations over Medicare has drawn up the outlines of a
legislative plan embracing several polarizing changes that House
conservatives want. The most contentious proposal eventually would force
Medicare to compete for patients directly against private health plans.
12 Times Letters in reply to: Britain's war on Saddam had the law on its
Christopher Greenwood 2/10/2003
Sir, The article by Professor Christopher Greenwood (Comment,
“Britain’s war on Saddam had the law on its side”, October 22) was
timely, but was it accurate? This is important, for, as you point out, he
“assisted the Government on the Iraq conflict”. Professor Greenwood
asserts that the lack of a fresh decision by the United Nations Security
Council did not alter what the council had already decided in endorsing
However, as was confirmed to me in a written answer by Foreign Office
minister Bill Rammell last May, the then British Ambassador to the United
Nations, Sir Jeremy Greenstock (now UK representative in Iraq), reassured
doubters in the debate on Resolution 1441:
There is no “automaticity” in this resolution. If there is a further
Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the
Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12 (of Resolution 1441). We
would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities
(Hansard, May 7, col 743W). No new resolution was ever put to the Security
Council, and the invasion went ahead based on 1441.
13 At the start of each of Bush’s bad ideas is Dick Cheney
In Sunday’s New York Times, Iraq’s new interim president, Iyad Alawi,
thanked Americans for liberating his country and then made a simple
request: please bring back the Iraqi army.
Given what we just put into defeating the Iraqi army, that might sound like
an odd proposal. But it’s difficult to find anyone today who thinks
disbanding the Iraqi army was a good idea in the first place. And few
thought it was a good idea at the time. Doing so not only worsened the
security vacuum that now plagues the country, it took hundreds of thousands
of armed men and — in a pen stroke — made them both unemployed and
harder to control.
Who was the senior administration official most responsible for this
Vice President Dick Cheney.
14 Millions Have Lost Pension Benefits In The Recession
IT'S THE ECONOMY - More specifically, 3.3 million since 2000. This is
mainly due to layoffs from companies with pensions, workers moving from
companies that offer pensions to those that don't, and companies abandoning
matching 401k programs.
15 No Pain, No Gain - It's not torture when Americans are doing it
It's a safe bet that well-read right wing pundits and neoconservatives in
the upper echelons of the Bush administration are becoming devotees of The
Atlantic Monthly. In the July/August issue, author Robert D. Kaplan, a
correspondent for the magazine, wrote a cover story entitled "The Supremacy
of Stealth," which begins with the assumption that at this juncture in
world history it is American power, "and American power only, that can
serve as an organizing principle for the worldwide expansion of a liberal
civil society." Then, organizing his analysis around 10 "Rules for
Managing the World" (Emulate Second-Century Rome. Speak Victorian, Think
Pagan....), Kaplan sets out to prove that "the highest morality must be the
preservation--and wherever prudent, the accretion--of American power."
16 Bush Privatizing NIH
MERRILL GOOZNER, SCIENCE - The National Institutes of Health plan to put
thousands of scientific support jobs up for bid by outside contractors drew
fire this week from agency watchdogs. In a letter sent to Joshua Bolten,
director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Tommy Thompson,
secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and
the Maryland congressional delegation complained that the
outsourcing plan would put NIH at risk because it "meddles with scientists,
opens the door to unnecessary security threats, and seriously undermines
morale and productivity."
17 Class Struggle 101, by Barbara Ehrenreich
On the evening of August 24, I had dinner with Randy Marcum, who works in
the boiler room at Miami University of Ohio. Joining us were about ten
other campus workers, plus some of their student supporters. It was a hefty
meal--the best the Holiday Inn had to offer--complete with wine and
dessert. Which was a good thing, because three weeks later, Marcum was on a
hunger strike to dramatize the poverty of Miami University's food service
and maintenance workers.
Welcome to higher education, twenty-first-century style, where the most
important course offered is not listed in the college catalog. It's called
Class Struggle, and it pits the men in suits--administrators and
trustees--against the men and women who keep the school running:
maintenance workers, groundspeople, clerical and technical workers,
housekeepers, food service workers. Yale has gotten all the national
attention, with its tumultuous three-week-long strike that just ended in a
stunning victory for the university's clerical and maintenance workers. But
similar clashes are going on in less illustrious places, like the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where housekeepers, who have
been trying to win union recognition for years, led a lively rally and
teach-in on September 23.
18 Something Worth Worrying About
MATTHEW L. WALD, NY TIMES, SEP 15 - A mock attack to test security at the
Indian Point nuclear plant this summer used too few attackers and assumed
they would not have access to some commercially available weapons,
according to a nonprofit group here that has reported extensively on
reactor security. The group, the Project on Government Oversight, also
complained in a letter to the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
that three drills were held at Indian Point, in Westchester County, but all
were during the day, which was described as an unlikely time for terrorists
In two of the drills, the letter said, "the mock terrorists crossed open
fields in broad daylight in order to reach the protected area, making it
that much easier for them to be observed by the security officers." And the
drill was announced in advance, the letter complained. . .
19 Israel Plans 323 New Homes at W.Bank Settlements
Thursday, October 23, 2003 4:29 p.m. ET
By Gwen Ackerman, Reuters
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced Thursday it will go ahead with plans
for construction of hundreds of new homes in Jewish settlements in the West
Bank , the second time in a month it has defied a U.S.-backed peace plan on
20 Video Raises Questions on Israeli Strike
JERUSALEM (AP)--A video of an Israeli missile strike in a Gaza refugee camp
shows people running in a nearby alley, and the army said Thursday it is
investigating whether this could explain the high number of casualties
reported by the Palestinians. Monday's attack in the Nusseirat refugee
camp, which left eight people dead and 70 wounded, revived debate in Israel
over the policy of targeted killings, prompted in part by Palestinian
claims that one missile was fired into a crowd.
21 World spurns US appeal for $30bn to rebuild Iraq
24 October 2003
Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, appealed yesterday at the donor
conference for Iraq for nations to give generously to tackle the disease,
homelessness and malnutrition afflicting the country. At the start of the
fund-raising conference in Madrid its Spanish hosts lowered expectations by
setting a $6bn (£3.5bn) target for the gathering, which is being held
against the backdrop of divisions over the US-led occupation. Pledges are
certain to fall short of the $30bn sought by Washington, with Europe
expected to stump up about €700m (£487m) from EU and national coffers
22 America's Jobless Economic "Recovery"
PHILADELPHIA -- October 23, 2003 (TomFlocco.com) -- U.S. Corporations are
"outsourcing " or eliminating good-paying American blue-collar and
professional jobs by exporting them to workers in other countries--or
importing foreignors directly into the United States via
congressionally-sponsored, compliant immigration enforcement and rule
machinations. Sort of a legislative payback to national, state or local
corporate benefactors--for past and/or future munificent campaign tribute.
And we wonder why all the plants and office buildings are
23 'Israelization' of U.S. Middle East policy proceeds apace
The Japan Times: Oct. 23, 2003
BEIRUT -- Few disputed at the time that Israel was a factor that pushed
U.S. President George W. Bush to go to war on Iraq. Just how much weight it
had among all the other factors was the only controversial question. But
what is clear, six months on, is that Israel is now a very important one
indeed in the stumbling neoimperial venture that Iraq has become.
This "Israelization" of U.S. policy crossed a new threshold with the two
blows dealt Syria in the past fortnight -- Bush's endorsement of Israel's
Oct. 5 air raid on its territory and the Syrian Accountability Act passed
by the House of Representatives last week. A community of U.S.-Israeli
purpose pushed to unprecedented lengths is now operational as well as
ideological. For the U.S., the main battlefield is Iraq, and any state
that sponsors or encourages resistance to its occupation; for Israel it is
occupied Palestine, its "terrorists" and their external backers. These
common objectives converge on Syria.
24 E-Voting Companies Plan Massive Disinfo Campaign Aimed at Public and
In the wake of concerns raised about security flaws in e-voting systems, a
lobbying group is strategizing a public relations and lobbying campaign to
help voting companies 'repair short-term damage done by negative reports
and media coverage.' And in a separate and surprising move companies,
according to one vendor, are reversing their long-time opposition to giving
voters paper receipts as a way to verify e-voting results... According to a
draft plan produced by the Information Technology Association of America, a
lobbying and trade association for the tech industry, e-voting machine
makers are discussing ways to convince state election officials that their
products are the gold standard and worthy of taxpayer money. The plan calls
for a media campaign to 'generate positive public perception' of the
companies and to 'reduce substantially the level and amount of criticism
from computer scientists and other security experts about the fallibility
of electronic voting systems.'
25 Democrats Win Victory for Common Man Vs. Corporate Negligence
Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked Republican efforts to limit the
amount of damages paid in class action lawsuits across the country,
mustering enough votes against the bill to likely kill it for the year."
The Repugs and their corporate pals whine that lawsuits are driving them
out of business. But the truth is unscrupulous companies, notably the
pharmaceutical companies, figure lawsuit payouts as just part of the cost
of doing business, and so continue to pump out products that kill and
disable. With corporations holding all the legislative cards, especially in
this Administration, the consumer is left with no redress in many cases
EXCEPT suing - and suing for enough $ to make sure a message is sent. For
corporations, it's "only money. For a victimized consumer, it may be his or
26 Bolivian President Falls Over Gas Sale to California
Bolivia has been rocked by protests against a proposed gas pipeline to be
built by Pacific LNG. The consortium is made up of notorious British and
Spanish multinationals, including BP and Repsol-YPF. Special to CorpWatch
By Jim Shultz
27 Barrier turns holy city into hostile fortress
Despite the UN's vote of condemnation, Sharon remains intent on redrawing
Thursday October 23, 2003
Jerusalem came to the unsuspecting people of Nu'man in 1967 as an imaginary
line across their hamlet's parched, rock-studded hills far beyond the city.
In the wake of Israel's drubbing of the Arab armies in the Six Day war and
occupation of the West Bank, the conquerors drew a wide arc deep into
Palestinian territory and declared it the new boundary of the Jewish
"eternal and indivisible capital".
28 Intellectual Property Rights Group Blasts FTAA
International civil liberties group IP Justice published a report today
entitled 'FTAA: A Threat to Freedom and Free Trade,' that analyzes key
sections of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The FTAA will govern the
lives of 800 million Americans in the Western Hemisphere in 2005. Similar
to NAFTA, the FTAA seeks to bind the 34 democracies in the Western
Hemisphere (including the US) to a single trade agreement. It will require
all countries to change their domestic laws on a wide range of topics,
including intellectual property rights. The draft intellectual property
rights chapter in the FTAA Agreement vastly expands criminal procedures and
penalties against intellectual property infringements throughout the
Americas. One clause would require countries to send non-commercial
infringers such as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharers to prison. It is
estimated that 60 million Americans use file-sharing software in the US
29 The war that could destroy both armies, By Henry C K Liu
Oct 23, 2003
The undeclared US war on Iraq ended some six months ago in a matter of
weeks, mostly through bribery of an Iraqi high command infiltrated by US
special operations that had been embedded during years of better relations
in the Iran-Iraq War and military cooperation with its US counterpart,
making treasonous plots possible. That may explain why the US high command
had been so confident of a quick victory in defiance of mainstream military
30 Sludge Not Lest Ye Be Sludged
Nothing will get in the way of farmers using dioxin-tainted sewage sludge
as fertilizer on their crops, thanks to a Bush administration decision
announced on Friday. The U.S. EPA declared that it sees no need to regulate
dioxins in sewage sludge that is applied to land in the U.S., saying new
studies indicate that the practice doesn't pose significant risks to human
health or the environment. But many public-health advocates, enviros, and
scientists disagree; a panel of the National Research Council determined
last year that the government was using outdated science to determine risks
from the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer. Dioxins, highly toxic chemical
compounds, build up in the fatty tissues of humans and other animals and
are known to cause cancer and damage to neurological and immune systems.
31 Sci-Fi War Closer Than Most Think
by Spc. Bill Putnam, for Army News Service
Washington - Oct 17, 2003
The technology behind space ship lasers and force fields is a lot closer to
reality than many think. Although those lasers and force fields won't be
fielded for a few more years, Gus Khalil, an engineer at the Army's Tank
and Automotive Command in Dearborn, Mich., said the Army has identified
what they want for the Army's Future Combat System.
"There's a lot more demands for the FCS vehicle than there are for the
legacy force today," he said. "Anything we do today that gives the soldiers
less capability than he has is unacceptable." That technology is being
developed for the Army's Future Combat System, the family of 16 manned,
unmanned, ground and aerial vehicles the Army wants fielded by 2010.
32 Amish fight for the right to put their children to work
23 October 2003
No one disputes that the Amish people in America want nothing more than to
lead a simple existence. They have no modern vices, they famously keep to
themselves and they work hard in difficult times. Yet theirs is a way of
life that keeps getting them into trouble. They cannot help but fall foul
of the law. Some things work out for them. Yesterday, most members of the
ultra-traditional Swartzentruber Amish of Eastern Pennsylvania should have
been learning of a decision by the state Superior Court that, for once,
went in their favour.
33 Media Triviality in UK
Thursday October 23, 2003
Nick Higham, the BBC's former media and arts correspondent, has hit out at
the rise of "insignificant and trivial" entertainment and sport stories in
news bulletins. He suggested that the BBC and other news organisations had
gone too far in trying to make their news programmes appealing to viewers
by increasing the celebrity and human interest content.
"There's too much of it, and there's been a marked increase in the last 10
or 15 years," he told the News World International conference in Dublin.
"My objections are threefold: First, it's often insignificant and trivial.
We're driving out stories that are more worthwhile and should mean more to
"Second, much of this human interest stuff only interests or appeals to a
limited section of the population. We don't have one popular culture, we
have a series of popular cultures." When a news programme runs a story
about Madonna, Higham said as an example, 50% of the audience may not know
who she is. The journalist is left to decide whether to explain who she is,
and run the risk of patronising the other 50% of the audience, or leave
some viewers in the dark.
Higham's third objection was that covering celebrities can "compromise
journalistic standards". "We become part of the industry public relations
machine. You only get to interview a star on the PR's terms. It's handing
over an enormous amount of editorial control."
34 Aid cash diverted to Iraq
Charities furious at ministry cutbacks
Thursday October 23, 2003
Britain's overseas aid programmes in many Latin American, East European and
central Asian countries are likely to be slashed back to pay for the
reconstruction of Iraq, it emerged yesterday. The need to find £267m
over the next two years from within the budget of the Department for
International Development (DfID) will lead to the axing of numerous
anti-poverty projects in "middle-income" countries, according to documents
seen by the Guardian.
35 Reversing Reality: Newspaper Coverage of Israel and Palestine
September 2003, pages 22-23
Recently, the Bay Area-based organization If Americans Knew conducted
statistical studies of two local newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle
and the San Jose Mercury News. The results showed a consistently inaccurate
and highly distorted picture of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the
news coverage of both papers. In every category examined, Israeli deaths
were covered at far higher rates—2 to 25 times greater—than Palestinian
The San Francisco Chronicle gave readers a false sense of parity between
Israelis and Palestinians by reporting nearly equal numbers of deaths on
both sides, despite the fact that Palestinians are being killed at a rate
three to four times greater than Israelis. The San Jose Mercury News,
analysis revealed, actually inverted the death rates in its front-page
36 US to deploy laser in Iraq
THE Pentagon is planning to deploy an experimental laser in Iraq to create
a "virtual microphone" capable of detecting and homing in on sniper fire, a
senior defence official said today. Development of that and other exotic
technologies is being accelerated by a cutting edge Pentagon research
agency to be tried out against discreet but deadly problems facing US
forces in Iraq, like roadside bombs and sniping. "One of the problems
we're having is that people in Iraq can almost do anything they want, and
get away with it. We don't have a good way to respond," said Anthony
Tether, the director of the Defence Advance Research Projects Agency
37 Lost in Translation
The Feds listen in on terrorists every day. Too often they can’t
understand a word they hear
Oct. 27 issue — The clash of civilizations rages in some surprising
places, and one of them is the large room in the FBI’s Washington, D.C.,
Field Office that houses a unit known as CI-19. In one set of cubicles sit
the foreign-born Muslims; across a partition is everyone else.
38 Right-wing critics of Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark
allege he may have played a big role in the fiery 1993 destruction of the
Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
Oct. 27 issue
INTERNET POSTINGS AND a recent article in Insight Magazine, published by
the Washington Times, claim that the retired general was a senior Army
commander at nearby Fort Hood during the Waco operation and had to have
been involved in planning for the final assault, which involved the use of
military hardware, including Army tanks. (The general’s involvement in
Waco has also been questioned by CounterPunch, a left-wing newsletter).
Waco is such a touchstone for hard-right elements in George W. Bush’s
political base that some GOP activists have also begun to look at the
issue. The only official document to surface apparently linking Clark to
Waco is a declassified Pentagon report that identifies—by title
only—Army brass who provided “training, equipment and material” to
law-enforcement agencies for the operation. Among them: the commanding
general of the 1st Cavalry Division, who at the time was General Clark. A
source familiar with Clark’s military record said that at one point
Clark’s outfit was ordered to supply some equipment to the FBI. The Clark
campaign denies their man had any direct role in the Waco assault.
39 The Other Casualties
A Human Rights Watch report suggests Americans are using excessive force
against Iraqi civilians
Oct. 22 — American casualties are the ugly benchmark of the occupation
of Iraq. Military or political authorities who claim progress in the
reconstruction risk grisly contradiction when another soldier’s death is
announced. Yet while many Americans think any U.S. blood is too precious to
spill, Iraqi blood is a murkier topic.
AT THE HEIGHT of the war, there was little discussion of Iraqi civilian
deaths—military leaders didn’t always talk about them, journalists
didn’t always ask. But almost six months after George W. Bush declared
major combat operations over, Iraqi civilians are still being killed.
40 Dying for a McDonald's in Iraq
Oct 24, 2003
MADRID - In London on October 13, an investors' conference entitled "Doing
Business in Iraq: Kickstarting the Private Sector" was agog with reports
that McDonald's, among other corporations, may begin selling burgers and
fries in Iraq by next year. Attracting up to 145 multinational prospectors,
the London conference was held less than a month after the United States
announced its economic masterplan for Iraq, a blueprint which The Economist
heralded as a "capitalist dream" that fulfills the "wish list of
41 Two CIA Veterans Blast the Deliberate Lies of the Bush Administration
While ex-CIA agent Ray McGovern was outraged that Bill Clinton lied under
oath, he believes the scale of the Bush administration's deceit, which
involved war and death, is in another realm altogether. "It's the first
time that I've seen such a long-term, orchestrated plan of deception by
which one branch of our government deliberately misled the other on a
matter of war and peace. Here was a very calculated plan, proceeding from a
'Mein Kampf' type of document... The first objective was to deceive
Congress into approving the plans. They succeeded masterfully. They had
their war, and they thought that in the wake of the war, with Iraqis
opening their arms to us, no one would really care whether there were, in
fact, weapons of mass destruction. They were absolutely wrong on that.
People do care, as one by one our servicemen and women are killed in a war
fought on false pretences."
42 Fort Stewart is 'Overflowing' With Wounded and Sick Soldiers
Following complaints of "squalor" at Fort Stewart (GA), Garrison Commander
"Col. John Kidd said the reservists' and guard members' complaints that
they play second fiddle to full-time soldiers are caused not by a double
standard, but by a severe shortage of physicians and other medical
personnel... 'We are saturated,' Kidd said. 'We are overflowing, in
hospitals and billets. And this is understandable because we are in a
war.'... Kidd said 740 reservists and guard members are in a virtual state
of limbo... Reservists and guard personnel were so upset at what they
described as second-class treatment that they risked disciplinary measures
for criticizing their commanders. When 400 or so of the men and women stood
in formation Tuesday morning, they were harshly criticized by their
commanders, said several, including Sgt. Dennis Stewart, 41, a firefighter
from Terre Haute, Ind. 'They said we'd be doing more cleaning up, more
work, and to keep our mouths shut,' he said."
43 BushFeld Treat Returning Soldiers 'Like Dogs', Breaking Laws Left and
"'They're being treated like dogs,' said one officer... Two separate
congressional investigations by the GAO concluded the Army and Air Force
largely ignored a 1997 law requiring all soldiers sent to war zones be
given extensive pre- and post-deployment medical exams-to avoid the
unexplained medical problems that arose after the 1991 Persian Gulf War
that became known as 'Gulf War Syndrome.' The months-long delays in getting
medical care faced by the soldiers at Ft. Stewart are nearly identical to
the delays faced by veterans of other wars as they seek care in the VA
health system. Fully funding the VA is a top priority of veterans' groups,
who say the 2004 VA budget before Congress is under-funded by $1.8
billion... Sgt. Willie Buckles has a good idea why he hasn't gotten the
care he needs. 'I don't believe they planned for it,' he said. 'They don't
have enough doctors and facilities to take care of them.' Buckles believes
the Pentagon didn't plan for extensive casualties in Iraq. "
44 Triumph Of The Will: Jewish Cultural Hegemony, By Simon Jones
For the past century, Zionism has been instrumental in shaping
world politics - from tipping the balance in WWI, through ensuring the
success of the Bolshevik revolution, the Western alliance with the Soviet
Union in WWII, the growing alienation and humiliation of the Islamic world,
the hotting up of the Cold War and gradual undermining the SU, right up to
the still mysterious collapse of the WTC, and the subsequent devastation of
Afghanistan and Iraq. Such zeal, such fanaticism demands one's awe, if not
respect. How can such a small group gain such immense power? It's almost
enough to make one believe that the Jews must indeed be the chosen people.
The rest of the world - Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc - outnumber them
by almost a factor of 1000, yet seem to be dancing to their tune.
45 One, two, three, what are they fighting for?
The worst problem facing US forces in Iraq may not be armed resistance but
a crisis of morale. Robert Fisk reports on a near-epidemic of indiscipline,
suicides and loose talk
24 October 2003 [Premium article - fee required]
I was in the police station in the town of Fallujah when I realised the
extent of the schizophrenia. Captain Christopher Cirino of the 82nd
Airborne was trying to explain to me the nature of the attacks so regularly
carried out against American forces in the Sunni Muslim Iraqi town. His men
were billeted in a former presidential rest home down the road -
"Dreamland", the Americans call it - but this was not the extent of his
soldiers' disorientation. "The men we are being attacked by," he said, "are
Syrian-trained terrorists and local freedom fighters." Come again? "Freedom
fighters." But that's what Captain Cirino called them - and rightly so.
Here's the reason. All American soldiers are supposed to believe - indeed
have to believe, along with their President and his Defence Secretary,
Donald Rumsfeld - that Osama bin Laden's "al-Qa'ida" guerrillas, pouring
over Iraq's borders from Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia (note how those close
allies and neighbours of Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey are always left out of the
equation), are assaulting United States forces as part of the "war on
terror". Special forces soldiers are now being told by their officers that
the "war on terror" has been transferred from America to Iraq, as if in
some miraculous way, 11 September 2001 is now Iraq 2003. Note too how the
Americans always leave the Iraqis out of the culpability bracket - unless
they can be described as "Baath party remnants", "diehards" or "deadenders"
by the US proconsul, Paul Bremer.
46 Why we few criticize Israel by Joseph Sobran
WASHINGTON - People sometimes ask me why I'm so critical of Israel, as if I
should be devoting more of my attention to Sri Lanka, or perhaps Zaire. But
the question is always a little nervous, as it wouldn't be if I were
writing equally often about Sri Lanka or Zaire.
I could understand this curiosity if some other small, remote country were
one of the world's four or five military powers; if it received a quarter
of our foreign aid; if it were constantly on our front pages; and if its
sympathizers regularly occupied much of the op-ed space of The New York
Times and other major newspapers. But there is only one country of whom
these things are true, and that is Israel.
Nobody thinks it's odd that there should be 20 columnists who are
apologists for Israel; but apparently it is unfathomable that there should
be one or two who are critical of Israel.
47 Lyndon Johnson ordered cover-up: Former navy lawyer
Oct. 22, 2003. ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - A former navy lawyer who helped lead the military
investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34
American servicemen says former president Lyndon Johnson and his defence
secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident
was an accident.
In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired
captain Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the navy's
inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity'
despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary." Boston was senior legal
counsel to the navy's original 1967 review of the attack. He said in the
sworn statement that he stayed silent for years because he's a military
man, and "when orders come, I follow them."
48 New charges vs. Israel in '67 ship attack (COMPLETE)
By Nicholas M. Horrock, UPI Chief White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A private commission investigating the 1967
attack on the U.S. spy ship USS Liberty on Wednesday released the sworn
testimony of one naval investigator that the Israelis knew the ship was
American and intended to "murder its entire crew." Israeli aircraft and
torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, killing 34 U.S.
sailors and injuring 172 others in one of the deadliest attacks suffered by
a U.S. ship that remained afloat.
The Israeli government claimed it was a case of "mistaken identity" and
that their pilots were gunning for a 1937-era Egyptian freighter, but this
claim set off a 36-year controversy between the two countries. Both U.S.
and Israel groups have investigated the attack over the years, but the
issue has never been settled. Coming now, the evidence becomes part of a
controversy over Israelis influence in Washington and whether it has tilted
the Bush administration toward Jerusalem.
A private commission headed by a former chief of naval operations, retired
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, made public an affidavit by retired Capt. Ward
Boston, formerly of the judge advocate general's office and one of two
senior naval officials investigating the attack.
"The evidence was clear. Both Admiral (Isaac) Kidd and I believed with
certainty that this attack, which killed 34 America sailors and injured 172
others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its
entire crew. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack
as well as their superiors who had ordered the attack, were aware the ship
Though Boston had made these charges informally, this was the first time a
sworn affidavit supported them. Boston said he had been a serving naval
officer and followed orders keeping quiet about his knowledge for 36 years.
"I am outraged at the efforts of apologists for Israel in this country to
claim this attack was a case of 'mistaken identity,'" he wrote. "In
particular, the recent publication of Jay Cristol's book, the 'Liberty
Incident,' twists the facts and misrepresents the views of those of us who
investigated the attack. It is Cristol's insidious attempt to whitewash the
facts that has pushed me to speak out." Cristol, a retired Navy pilot and
member of judge advocate's office, published a book in 2002 that found the
attack was accidental.
Boston said "I saw the flag, which visibly identified the ship as American,
riddled with bullet holes, and heard testimony that made it clear the
Israelis intended there be no survivors."
With the help of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the private commission
arranged a news conference in the Rayburn House Office building. Moorer
said the group wants the official naval report rescinded and a new court of
inquiry convened and investigations launched by appropriate Capitol Hill
The first court of inquiry was ordered by Adm. John S. McCain Jr. -- father
of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- who was then commanding in London and over
the vessels in the Mediterranean. Kidd and Boston conducted the inquiry in
Malta where the Liberty had been taken for repairs and care of the wounded.
Though they both agreed the attack was intentional, Kidd prepared a report
that went with the Israeli version. "I know from personal conversations I
had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of
Defense (Robert) McNamara ordered him to conclude the attack was a case of
'mistaken identity,'" Boston's affidavit said.
There are numerous discrepancies between the Israeli version and the U.S.
sailors' report. The U.S. sailors reported they were under aerial
surveillance by Israeli planes for hours before the attack and were flying
the American flag. They said they were hit by aircraft, torpedoed and
strafed by fast-moving surface vessels. The Israelis said only aircraft
were used in the attack. The sailors said that when they tried to launch
lifeboats to secure the wounded the torpedo boats strafed and sank them.
They reported that the Israelis jammed the radio so they couldn't call for
help, but later when American aircraft were launched to help, they were
recalled. Moorer said he has interviewed officers on the USS Saratoga,
where the planes were based, who said the White House ordered them to
abandon the rescue.
The Liberty was a World War II freighter converted to the role of a spy
ship that the Navy said was very distinctive with massive aerials and
satellite dishes. These spy vessels and spy flights later were replaced by
Why the Israelis would want to attack an American vessel has never been
explained, but the incident came a few months before the 1967 Middle East
war in which Egypt and Israel were adversaries.