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Topic:   Gulf War II

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Resisting the NWO

Northeast USA
3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 10-16-2002 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bush Signs Iraq War Resolution
Wed Oct 16,12:23 PM ET

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Wednesday signed Congress' war-making resolution and told wary world leaders to "face up to our global responsibilities" to confront Saddam Hussein.

"Those who choose to live in denial may eventually be forced to live in fear," Bush said as the United Nations began a bitter debate over his plans to disarm and oust Saddam. "Every nation that shares in the benefits of peace also shares in the duty of defending the peace."

With dozens of lawmakers from both parties on hand for the East Room signing ceremony, Bush used his speech — and Friday's strong congressional vote — to press the U.N. to adopt a new resolution compelling Iraq to submit to unconditional weapons inspections.

"We will defend our nation and lead others in defending the peace," the president said.

Though he said military action would be his last resort, Bush left little room for Saddam to avoid confrontation. "Our goal is to fully and finally remove a real threat to world peace and to America," he said.

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday started its first day of open debate on Iraq at the behest of the dozens of non-Security Council nations who oppose an attack on Baghdad. The debate is mostly designed to take the administration to task on its Iraq policies, and White House officials expected sharp criticism throughout the day.

Even as Bush spoke, Russia's deputy foreign minister said the United States' proposed resolution is unacceptable, while a two-step proposal from France is closer to the Kremlin's stance. Both nations hold veto power in Security Council.

"The American variant of the resolution on Iraq has not undergone changes. It is unacceptable and Russia cannot support it," Yuri Fedotov said, according to the news agency Interfax.

However, the French proposal contains "many positions that Russia shares," Fedotov was quoted as saying.

As if in reply, Bush said, "The time has arrived once again for the United Nations to live up to the purposes of its founding — to protect our common security. The time has arrived once again for free nations to face up to our global responsibilities and confront a gathering danger."

Bush, who received a standing ovation from the roughly 100 lawmakers in the audience as he signed the resolution, said: "This nation will not live at the mercy of any foreign power or plot."

Flanked by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell, the president was joined on stage by 11 lawmakers, including Sens. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., John McCain, R-Ariz., Joe Biden, D-Del., minority leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and John Warner, R-Va., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

Noticeably absent was Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., whose granddaughter was born early Wednesday and had a schedule was packed with legislative and political business.

House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., who helped negotiate the resolution and provided Bush with welcome Democratic support at a White House appearance before the vote, also did not attend. Gephardt's travel schedule kept him away, a day after he ratcheted up his strong criticism of the Bush administration and Republicans on the economy.

In a major victory for the president, weeks of back-and-forth between Congress and the White House produced little significant change in Bush's initial draft of the resolution. The measure giving Bush the authority to use military force, if necessary, to rid Iraq of its biological and chemical weapons and disband its nuclear weapons program was approved Friday.

The resolution requires the president to notify Congress, before or within 48 hours after an attack, that further diplomatic approaches would not have protected U.S. security and to explain to Congress how the military action will not hurt the war on terror. But it allows Bush to take unilateral action regardless of U.N. activities.

Just seven Republican lawmakers — six in the House and one in the Senate — opposed the resolution, while nearly half the congressional Democrats were unwilling to give Bush such open-ended war-making authority and voted no.

The resolution passed the House by a 296-133 margin and by a 77-23 margin in the Senate. But passage came with entreaties by lawmakers from both parties for Bush to exhaust all diplomatic efforts before using military force.

The Bush administration had hoped the congressional action would fortify the U.S.- and British-backed effort at the United Nations. France, Russia and China, the Security Council's other veto-capable permanent members, remain opposed to a resolution authorizing military action if it refuses to cooperate with inspectors. France has preferred a separate resolution to be debated afterward.

In his speech, Bush spelled out several ways Saddam has avoided compliance with U.N. resolutions on weapons of mass destruction and made it clear his patience was running out.

"I have not ordered use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary. Yet, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is necessary by whatever means that requires," he said.

[Edited 11 times, lastly by Mech on 11-24-2002]

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Resisting the NWO

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3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 10-16-2002 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Misleading the Nation to War

By Sam Parry
October 15, 2002

George W. Bush made his winning case for a congressional war resolution against Iraq by playing up the nation's lingering fear from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. His argument for preemptive war boiled down to the old adage: "better safe than sorry," better to take out Saddam Hussein now before he gives biological or chemical weapons to terrorists or develops a nuclear bomb.

"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists," Bush said in his Oct. 7 speech in Cincinnati. Reiterating the theme two days later, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "If Saddam Hussein holds a gun to someone’s head, while he denies he even owns a gun, do you really want to take a chance that he’ll never use it." [NYT, Oct. 10, 2002]

But what Bush and his aides have left out of their one-sided risk equation is the possibility that the administration’s actions may increase the danger to Americans, not reduce or eliminate it. The truncated national debate has barely touched on this other reality – that Bush’s belligerence might speed up the timetable for terrorist groups getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction, a point acknowledged in a new CIA threat assessment.

Meanwhile, another danger looms – that Bush’s policies will transform anti-Americanism into the world’s common language of protest, what journalist Fareed Zakaria has called the emerging "default ideology of opposition."

Both prospects carry grave dangers for the United States and for individual Americans, at home and abroad. Yet, with war just over the horizon, these risks have gotten little more than passing reference in a debate almost exclusively focused on how thuggish Saddam Hussein is.

CIA Analysis

In his national address, Bush stressed the "clear evidence of peril" from Iraq possibly giving chemical and biological weapons to terrorists. But on the day of Bush’s speech, the CIA offered a sharply different evaluation of the risk.

The CIA judged the likelihood of Iraq attacking the United States without U.S. provocation as "low" but rising dramatically if the U.S. prepared for a preemptive strike. In other words, Bush’s strategy might touch off precisely the nightmare scenario that he says he is countering.

"Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or C.B.W. [chemical or biological warfare] against the United States," wrote CIA director George Tenet in an Oct. 7 letter to Congress. "Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions."

Eliminating the threat from Iraq also is not an isolated event whose consequences necessarily stay within Iraq's borders.

While a successful U.S. invasion might remove Saddam Hussein from power and enable Bush to dictate the shape of a successor regime, a preemptive war on Iraq is fraught with other dangers. Government leaders on the front lines of the Middle East have warned that a U.S. assault on Baghdad could set the region ablaze, spread Islamic fundamentalism and endanger those who have supported the U.S. war on terror.

Those red flags went up again as the results rolled in from provincial and parliamentary elections in nuclear-armed Pakistan a week ago. Though the pro-U.S. dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, used heavy-handed pre-election tactics to guarantee victory for his supporters, his party was stunned when both secular and Islamic opposition parties made strong showings.

Islamic fundamentalists won at least 39 seats in the National Assembly – compared to four seats in 1997 – and gained control of the strategic North-West Frontier Province. That’s where U.S. and Pakistani forces have been hunting down al-Qaeda leaders and their Taliban allies from Afghanistan. The change in provincial leadership means more trouble for the search.

"We will stop the ongoing pursuit of Taliban and al-Qaeda when we form the government," Munnawar Hasan, secretary general of the Islamic party, told Reuters. "Taliban and al-Qaeda members are our brothers." [NYT, Oct. 12, 2002]

With Islamic fundamentalist sympathizers also holding influential positions inside the Pakistani government, Bush’s assault on Iraq – especially if it kills large numbers of civilians – could drive Pakistan into political anarchy. Keeping Pakistan’s existing nuclear bombs out of the hands of Islamic terrorists could prove a more immediate danger than preventing Iraq from hypothetically building one sometime in the future.

Possible Boomerang

Bush's military strategy could boomerang in another way. Watching how Bush has exaggerated the threat from Iraq – moving to attack even when Iraq was doing what it could not to threaten the U.S. – other Middle Eastern candidates for "regime change" might choose another course, embarking on crash programs for weapons of mass destruction with a new readiness to use them.

Bush has counted Iran as part of his "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea. Syria, which has backed Palestinian militants for years, is another high-profile candidate for Bush’s "crusade" to rid the world of "evil." Those governments may judge that their only hope of holding off a future U.S. attack is to take action while Washington has its hands full with Iraq.

U.S. officials already are noting renewed activity by terrorist cells as al-Qaeda leaders have begun citing Bush's Iraq policy to rally support for attacks on Americans and their allies. "The campaign against Iraq has an objective that is far beyond Iraq to reach the Arab and Islamic world," said Osama bin Laden's lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri in one recent tape recording. [NYT, Oct. 13, 2002]

"Senior [U.S.] government officials also say that an attack that crippled a French oil tanker near Yemen and another that killed a United States marine in Kuwait showed that the terror network had reconstituted itself, with smaller groups prompted to begin new attacks by inflammatory new messages from Qaeda leaders," reported the New York Times.

Last week's bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which killed more than 180 people, is also thought to be connected to the al Qaeda network.

Bad Salesman

Another problem for the U.S. is the international reaction to Bush's belligerent tone. While his wanted-dead-or-alive rhetoric may play well with his conservative base, it is offensive to many others in the U.S. and elsewhere. Around the world, the pages of leading newspapers regard Bush as an arrogant buffoon, the archetypal Ugly American who knows little about other cultures and treats them with contempt.

Bush’s declarations about freedom and human rights also ring hollow to many. "In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage," Bush’s national security strategy report stated on Sept. 20. "We seek instead to create a balance of power that favors human freedom."

But the report’s blunt goal of U.S. hegemony – what Bush enthusiast Michael Kelly has dubbed the "doctrine of armed evangelism" – may require the repeated use of American military might, with Afghanistan and Iraq just the first of many battlegrounds, a prospect that unnerves many world leaders.

Bush’s unapologetic goal of never-ending U.S. military domination – as described in his "national security strategy" report – has added fuel to the growing fire of anti-Americanism. Whether fairly or not, anti-Americanism has emerged as a powerful political theme in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the Middle East.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder reversed his political fortunes in Germany’s parliamentary elections last month by opposing Bush’s unilateral threats to attack Iraq. Pakistan's elections are now the second example of political fallout from Bush and his preemptive war strategy.

International resistance to Bush was underscored again when the Nobel committee gave former President Jimmy Carter the Peace Prize and added a pointed rebuke to Bush's policy toward Iraq. "In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power," the Nobel citation read, "Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international cooperation based on international law, respect for human rights and economic development." [NYT, Oct. 12, 2002]

As America's chief salesman, Bush also has complicated the U.S. cause by picking unnecessary diplomatic fights with the rest of the world, often simply to please conservative political interest groups back home.

Time and again, Bush has repudiated agreements on issues, including global warming, a permanent war-crimes tribunal, nuclear arms control, the illicit trade of small arms, and even the spread of chemical and biological warfare. "In its first two years, [the Bush administration] has reneged on more international treaties than any previous administration," wrote Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria. [New Yorker, Oct. 14 & 21, 2002]

In this sense, Bush differs from former President Bill Clinton who effectively cultivated world public opinion and from former President George H.W. Bush who built a broad international coalition during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91. By contrast, the younger Bush has brushed aside the views of other nations and shown disdain for international cooperation when it does not involve lining up behind him.

Cooked Intelligence

Bush’s strategy of world domination also is quickly developing a domestic corollary: silencing political criticism [see The's "The Politics of Preemption"] and twisting intelligence reports into whatever shape serves his agenda.

According to a variety of press reports, U.S. intelligence officials say the Bush administration is pressuring them to "cook" the intelligence so Congress and the American people won't hear information that might cause them to question Bush's leadership.

"Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA," said Vincent Cannistraro, the former head of CIA's counter-intelligence. [The Guardian, Oct. 9, 2002]

"A growing number of military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats … charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses, including distorting his links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, have overstated the amount of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East," reported the Knight-Ridder news service.

Besides exaggerating the Iraqi threat, the Bush administration is "squelch[ing] dissenting views," the article said. "Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books," said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Of a dozen other officials interviewed for the article, no one disagreed with that assessment. [Knight-Ridder, Oct. 8, 2002]

In another article, the Los Angeles Times cited "an escalating war" within U.S. intelligence circles in which "senior Bush administration officials are pressuring CIA analysts to tailor their assessments of the Iraqi threat to help build a case against Saddam Hussein."

Top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top deputy Paul Wolfowitz, "have bombarded CIA analysts with criticism and calls for revisions on such key questions as whether Iraq has ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, sources said," according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The sources stressed that CIA analysts – who are supposed to be impartial – are fighting to resist the pressure. But they said analysts are increasingly resentful of what they perceive as efforts to contaminate the intelligence process," the newspaper reported. "Analysts feel more politicized and more pushed than many of them can ever remember," the Times quoted an intelligence official as saying. [LAT, Oct. 11, 2002]

Festering Problem

The New York Times reported that the intelligence community and the White House have been at odds over Iraqi intelligence for months, but it wasn’t until the CIA letter to Congress was publicly released that these disagreements surfaced.

The letter made clear that the CIA believed that launching an attack against Iraq, or even preparing for one, would increase, not decrease, the chance that Saddam Hussein would unleash weapons of mass destruction against the United States. The finding turned Bush’s rationale for going to war on its head. Yet the administration has continued to push the case for military action in spite of, not because of, the intelligence reports.

The CIA's letter included declassified information from closed-session hearings of the Senate Intelligence Committee and cited an Oct. 2 exchange between Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and a senior intelligence witness on the likelihood of Iraq attacking the U.S.

Levin: . . . If (Saddam) didn't feel threatened, …is it likely that he would initiate an attack using a weapon of mass destruction?

Senior Intelligence Witness: . . . My judgment would be that the probability of him initiating an attack – let me put a time frame on it – in the foreseeable future, given the conditions we understand now, the likelihood I think would be low.

Levin:… If we initiate an attack and he thought he was in extremis or otherwise [sic], what's the likelihood in response to our attack that he would use chemical or biological weapons?

Senior Intelligence Witness: Pretty high, in my view.

Unlikely Attack

Besides misrepresenting the CIA's threat assessment, the Bush administration has been hyping other information to frighten the American people. In his Cincinnati speech, for instance, Bush conjured up the image of Iraq sending unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on chemical and biological warfare attacks against the United States.

Bush said Iraq "is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States." The UAVs "could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas," Bush said.

Though Iraq has been developing these drone aircraft, the prospect of them somehow reaching the U.S. mainland is considered preposterous. "U.S. military experts… said that [the UAVs have] a maximum range of a few hundred miles" and are "no threat to targets in the U.S.," reported the Guardian newspaper.

Bush also couldn't resist pushing the hot button of alleged links between al-Qaeda and Iraq. "Some al-Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq," Bush said. "These include one very senior al-Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks."

The Guardian reported that Bush was referring to Abu Musab Zarqawi, "who was arrested in Jordan in 2001 for his part in the ‘millennium plot’ to bomb tourist sites there." Zarqawi was subsequently released and did go to Iraq to receive medical treatment, but that there was no evidence of any connection between him and the Iraqi government, the newspaper said.

White House pressure has been especially intense on getting the U.S. intelligence community to agree that Iraq and al-Qaeda are connected, the Guardian said. "The FBI has been pounded on to make this link," said an unnamed source familiar with the Sept. 11 investigation, the newspaper reported.

Bob Baer, a former CIA agent assigned to track al-Qaeda, said there were contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraq in the Sudan in the 1990s. But Baer stated, "There is no evidence that a strategic partnership came out of it. I'm unaware of any evidence of Saddam pursuing terrorism against the United States"

The Guardian also reported "profound skepticism among U.S. intelligence experts about the president’s claim that ‘Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.’"

The New York Times reported similar disagreements between the intelligence community and the White House.

"The agency line is that it is basically unlikely that Iraq would give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists under most circumstances," said Kenneth M. Pollack, a former military analyst at the CIA and top aide for Persian Gulf affairs on Clinton’s National Security Council. "The Bush administration is trying to make the case that Iraq might try to give weapons of mass destruction to al-Qaeda under current circumstances. But what the agency is saying is that Saddam is likely to give such weapons to terrorists only under extreme circumstances, when he believes he is likely to be toppled." [NYT, Oct. 10, 2002]

Engineering Acquiescence

Taken together, the evidence seems clear that the Bush administration doesn't want a full debate on the merits of the president's war policy. Bush and his aides simply want to twist whatever information they can to bring the American people into line.

The irony of this manipulation of public opinion stands out against the glowing ideals expressed in Bush's "national security strategy" report of Sept. 20. "The great struggles of the Twentieth Century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom – and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise," Bush's report said.

Yet that grand commitment to freedom and democracy apparently does not extend to the concept of a free and open debate in the United States, even about life-and-death issues such as whether the nation should send its soldiers off to war and potentially face greater dangers as a consequence.

In opposing Bush's war resolution, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., argued that the Founding Fathers proscribed the war-making powers of the executive out of clear-headed knowledge about the destruction that can befall a people when a misguided leaders marches a nation off to war.

"We are at the gravest of moments," Byrd said in an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times. "We must not allow any president to unleash the dogs of war at his own discretion and for an unlimited period of time." [NYT, Oct. 10. 2002]

Byrd lost the argument, as Congress – less than a month before elections – gave Bush the powers he demanded. Bush carried the day after tilting the public debate with misleading arguments repudiated even by his own intelligence services.

In Bush's brave new world, Americans are finding the meaning of democracy changed. Rather than a system based on the decisions of an informed electorate, Bush and his followers seem to be envisioning – and implementing – a future in which they engineer acquiescence by misinforming a frightened people.

Bush's defenders may say that this constrained freedom is necessitated by the deeper threat to freedom in a post-Sept. 11 world. They may argue that they and the president know what's best for the country.

But even if one accepts Bush's sincerity – that he is leading the nation to war in Iraq for some greater good – there is another old adage that seems increasingly appropriate to the moment: "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

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Resisting the NWO

Northeast USA
3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 10-17-2002 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Congress May Regret War Resolution


In June 1960, I reported to Strategic Air Command Headquarters in Omaha, Neb., as a fledgling analyst for strategic weapon systems. One of the first studies I saw from another analyst examined the possibility of a pre-emptive attack against the Soviet colossus. The study looked only at the advisability of pre-emption. Fortunately, no preemption was attempted by either side even though the power to strike first offered a dramatic military advantage. Thus, the world lived with a balance of terror throughout the Cold War.

Twenty-nine years later, the doctrine of containment and deterrence led to the fall of the Soviet Empire, which collapsed from its own weight and the contradictions of a command economy, which could never compete with a free-market system. NATO simply waited out the Warsaw Pact forces and kept a nervous peace by remaining stronger and repulsing attempts at expansion.

Unfortunately, the threat of massive nuclear forces opposing one another with perhaps a total of 50,000 thermonuclear weapons made it imperative that a response be very massive and very swift. The president had to have the power to retaliate instantly without a declaration of war from the Congress -- as required by the Constitution. Thus, a part of the systems of checks and balances incorporated in the Constitution was circumvented to meet the needs of modern warfare.

Laws passed by the Congress tend to remain long after the needs that gave rise to them have passed. Recently, the president received prior approval from the Congress to launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iraq should he judge one to be necessary. Both the House and the Senate passed such a resolution.

One of the most difficult tasks facing any legislator is to foresee the unintended consequence of any particular legislation. I can think of no legislation that is so fraught with unforeseeable risks, and those who voted for the resolution may regret their decision. Congress should instead recover the sole power to declare war. The conservative approach is to restore this check on the power of the executive who may in the future be of any political stripe, and may or may not be swayed by any number of events, circumstances, misinformation (such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident) or even simple politics.

Unlike the superpower standoff, there has been no showing of a need to react swiftly to any threat from Iraq should one ever arise, which is extremely unlikely. Given that that is the case and will remain so indefinitely, there is no justification for prior approval to be asked for or to be granted. Saddam Hussein is a petty tyrant -- not a doctrinaire zealot who will commit his nation to guaranteed national suicide by attacking the United States even indirectly. Any Abomb (or fission-based weapons) he acquires in the next 10 years will be puny compared to an Hbomb, and he will have less than 0.0001 of the number of weapons the Soviets commanded.

The difference in power between an atomic bomb and a hydrogen bomb is as great as the difference between chemical explosives and an atomic bomb, and Saddam Hussein can very safely be deterred. Israel alone, with its ample and sophisticated thermonuclear arsenal, will be hundreds and probably thousands of times more powerful than Iraq. In time, Saddam and any supposed threat he may pose shall pass just as did the Warsaw Pact.

The risks of inflaming the Islamic world and fomenting greater instability to vast wavering regions far outweigh any possible gain. We have had no provocation from Iraq to justify such a move. Meanwhile, Afghanistan teeters between democracy and anarchy, Pakistan has major terrorist elements, Iran, which has supported terrorists, is inching toward more freedom and Saudia Arabia is ever a concern. We desperately need to increase stability -- not shake things up.

Attacking Iraq will be seen by the Islamic world, much of the Third World and even many advanced nations as an unprovoked grab for Iraq's oil reserves. In that event, we should expect a new spate of terrorist attacks that will be long, bloody and costly. No gain will accrue to repay such a reckless adventure, rather it will only complicate and distract us from the real job of seeking out and destroying terrorists and their bases.

David E. Anderson of Winter Haven is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies based in London. He was a scientific and technical advisor in the United States Air Force's Senior Executive Service with an equivalent rank of a two-star general officer when he retired in 1995. Besides his work at Air Force Headquarters and Strategic Air Command, he served in the White House in the Office of Telecommunications Policy, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Defense Research and Engineering, and the Office of Defense Test and Evaluation, in academia and in industry.

2002 Lakeland Ledger

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Resisting the NWO

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3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 10-18-2002 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"McCarthyism" Alive and well in America.

October 17, 2002
More Anti-War Activists Snagged by "No Fly" List

The "No Fly" list is still up and running. The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration have a list of suspicious people they distribute to the airlines, and the airlines check the names of their passengers against this list. The existence of the list was first reported here on this web site and then in the June issue of The Progressive, after a group of peace activists were detained in Milwaukee on April 19.

On August 7, two more peace activists found themselves on the list. Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams were detained by San Francisco police at the airport there, reported Alan Gathright of The San Francisco Chronicle on September 27.

Gordon and Adams, veteran peace and justice activists in the Bay Area, work on a newspaper called War Times (

"We get to the airport at 9:30 in the evening for an 11:30 flight to Boston on ATA," Gordon tells The Progressive. "As we go to the check-in counter to check in our baggage, the woman takes our IDs and types in our names, and then says, 'There's something wrong with my computer.' So she goes and gets another woman, who types our names into her computer. She, too, says, 'There's something wrong with my computer. Please step aside so we can check the other people in.' "

Gordon says she and Adams thought there might be a problem with their e-tickets. But it was more serious than that, as they found out a few minutes later when one of the airline employees told them, "You both turned up on the FBI No Fly list, and we've called the San Francisco police. They are coming over to talk to you. In the meantime, one of us has to stay with you, so please come along with your baggage," Gordon recalls.

Gordon says the woman from the airlines seemed bewildered. "We were standing there in the middle of the airport, and I'm sure she's thinking these are just garden-variety middle-aged white dykes," Gordon says.

"I can't imagine why this is happening," the airline employee said, according to Gordon.

"And I said, 'Well, I can tell you why. We work on a paper that opposes the war on terrorism.' Her eyes got kind of big, and she said, 'Oh.' "

Gordon says three uniformed members of the police then came, took their IDs, and called headquarters. They wouldn't let her even get a drink of water.

"After ten or fifteen more minutes, one of the officers told us, 'You aren't on the master list,' and they handed us back to the airline, Gordon says.

But the airline was still suspicious, and circled a big S on their boarding passes. "I assume it means search, and then a red S was put on it," Gordon adds. "In fact, at the gate we were selected for search and they did the usual search procedure, the wanding and the shoes.

Before I got on, I asked the ticket agent if this is going to happen every time. She said, 'I don't know, but I'd recommend that you get to the airport early.' "

For its part, the San Francisco police has little comment.

"We had no report of any of our officers stopping them," says Larry Ratti, a spokesperson for the police at the airport.

"Whenever anyone comes up on the No Fly list, we come out in one or two minutes and the situation is cleared up. Generally, they would make a police report if they detained people for any length of time."

Ratti says the department gets calls about suspicious people at the airport "maybe one a day, one every two days." Some of these calls come from the No Fly list, "but we don't differentiate," he says. "It's just a suspicious-type-person call."

I ask Gordon what conclusion she draws from this experience.

"This is harassment," she says. "It's to let us know that they've got their eye on us."

Adams agrees. "Nothing felt very threatening in the episode--except that they are doing it," she says. Adams adds that she was singled out for searching on her return trip from Boston, as well.

2002 The Progressive

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Blood and oil

Europe and America are taking increasingly divergent approaches to the unreliability of the Middle Eastern petroleum supply - one green, the other unrepentantly black, writes Randeep Ramesh

Thursday October 17, 2002

The question of whether oil is worth spilling blood over has been quietly raised by the foreign office minister, Peter Hain. In a speech today to the Royal United Services Institute in London, Mr Hain notes that the cost of protecting the Middle East's oil reserves, paid for mostly by the US and without which the west would grind to a halt, is as high as $25 (£16) a barrel - about the same as it costs to buy. Mr Hain, seen as an outrider for Blairite thinking, goes on to warn that no amount of money will guarantee petrol supplies to the west and consumers should be weaning themselves off the black stuff.

At present the world remains so dependent on oil for transport, it cannot stand any disruption in supplies. Remember the chaos and gridlock that the fuel protests brought to Britain? Tony Blair does and now recognises the explosive nature of rising petrol prices.

The potency of the oil weapon is not lost on Osama bin Laden, either, who has stated that crude oil should sell at $144 a barrel - about five times the price at which it currently trades. The attack on the Limburg oil tanker off Yemen's coast may prove to be al-Qaida's first targeting of the global economy.

The Bush administration prefers not to discuss the economic effects of the war on terrorism as this could sap support domestically and abroad, especially in the Arab world where critics suspect, with good reason, the US of wanting to seize its vast petroleum riches. Instead the White House prefers to talk about imposing democracy and ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction. These are noble aims, but they are undermined by leaks suggesting a bolder grab for oil riches.

Mr Bush's senior adviser on the Middle East, Zalmay Khalilzad, has pushed the idea of a post-Saddam Iraq as a colonial outpost of the American empire. Its large oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia, could be tapped more efficiently than at present and pay for the 75,000 troops required to administer the new Iraq. This both overestimates the ease of producing oil from a battle-scarred Iraq, which only manages to pump 1m barrels a day, and underestimates the risk of a global financial shock, a serious concern given that the last three big global recessions have been preceded first by a crisis in the Middle East followed by a spike in the oil price.

While bombing Iraq would not in itself cause the oil price to rise sharply, an attack by Saddam on Saudi or Kuwaiti oil fields or an uprising in Riyadh would. The loss of, say, 5m barrels a day of oil production cannot be made up quickly or easily. A big crude producer paralysed by revolution can see production fall precipitously because its workforce is out on the streets rather than manning the taps in the terminal. This is what happened in Iran during the 1979 revolution. Iranian oil production fell from 6m barrels a day to 3m and never recovered. If the same happened in Saudi Arabia, the world would see oil prices spurt upwards.

America's addiction to oil is difficult for Europeans to stomach. It is not just the consumption - a US citizen consumes 2.5 times the oil required by a British one - but the differing cultural and political beliefs of two continents. For example, green parties hold power in several nations, notably Germany, whereas Mr Bush's administration prides itself on being drawn from the oil industry. The EU has already committed itself to seeing 12% of all energy by 2010 coming from low-carbon, renewable sources in a bid to prevent climate change. Although the US Congress is considering a proposal to require utilities to supply 10% of power from renewables, the White House is suspicious of the theory of global warming and refuses to sign up to international treaties on climate change.

European politicians are increasingly concerned over the reliance on oil and gas imports from unstable regions. As production from Britain and Norway decreases, Europe will have to import more of its petroleum. More than 92% of the continent's oil and 81% of its gas will come from abroad by 2030 - putting the continent at the mercy of Opec and a nascent gas cartel led by Russia, Iraq and Algeria. The message from Europe is the need to move faster to renewable energies - more than 2bn euros will be spent on green fuels such as hydrogen in the next three years.

The Guardian UK 2002

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posted 10-18-2002 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm an American tired of American lies

Woody Harrelson
Thursday October 17, 2002
The Guardian UK

The man who drives me to and from work is named Woody too. A relief to me, as it minimises the chance of my forgetting his name. I call him Woodman and he calls me Wood. He has become my best friend here, even though he's upset that I have quit drinking beer. He's smart, funny, and there's nothing he hasn't seen in 33 years behind the wheel of his black cab. He drove me for a while before I felt confident he liked me; he doesn't like people easily, especially if they have a rap for busting up black cabs.

Woodman and I agree about a lot of things, but one thing we can never agree about is Iraq. He thinks the only language Saddam understands is brute force. I don't believe we should be bombing cities in our quest for one man. We've killed a million Iraqis since the start of the Gulf war - mostly by blocking humanitarian aid. Let's stop now. Thankfully, most of the Brits I talk to about the war are closer to me than to Woodman. Only your prime minister doesn't seem to have noticed.

I have been here three months doing a play in the West End. I am having the time of my life. I love England, the people, the parks, the theatre. The play is great and the audiences have been a dream. Probably I should just relax, be happy and talk about the weather, but this war is under my skin - it affects my sleep.

I remember playing basketball with an Iraqi in the late 80s while Iran and Iraq were at war. I didn't know at the time that the US and Britain were supplying weapons to both sides. I asked why they were always at war with each other and he said something that stayed with me: "If it were up to the people, there would be peace. It's the governments that create war." And now my government is creating its second war in less than a year. No; war requires two combatants, so I should say "its second bombing campaign".

I went to the White House when Harvey Weinstein was showing Clinton the movie Welcome to Sarejevo, which I was in. I got a few moments alone with Clinton. Saddam throwing out the weapons inspectors was all over the news and I asked what he was going to do. His answer was very revealing. He said: "Everybody is telling me to bomb him. All the military are saying, 'You gotta bomb him.' But if even one innocent person died, I couldn't bear it." And I looked in his eyes and I believed him. Little did I know he was blocking humanitarian aid at the time, allowing the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

I am a father, and no amount of propaganda can convince me that half a million dead children is acceptable "collateral damage". The fact is that Saddam Hussein was our boy. The CIA helped him to power, as they did the Shah of Iran and Noriega and Marcos and the Taliban and countless other brutal tyrants. The fact is that George Bush Sr continued to supply nerve gas and technology to Saddam even after he used it on Iran and then the Kurds in Iraq. While the Amnesty International report listing countless Saddam atrocities, including gassing and torturing Kurds, was sitting on his desk, Bush Sr pushed through a $2bn "agricultural" loan and Thatcher gave hundreds of millions in export credit to Saddam. The elder Bush then had the audacity to quote the Amnesty reports to garner support for his oil war.

A decade later, Shrub follows the same line: "We have no quarrel with the Iraqi people." I'm sure half a million Iraqi parents are scratching their heads over that. I'm an American tired of lies. And with our government, it's mostly lies.

The history taught in our schools is scandalous. We grew up believing that Columbus actually discovered America. We still celebrate Columbus Day. Columbus was after one thing only - gold. As the natives were showering him with gifts and kindness, he wrote in his diary, "They do not bear arms ... They have no iron ... With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want." Columbus is the perfect symbol of US foreign policy to this day.

This is a racist and imperialist war. The warmongers who stole the White House (you call them "hawks", but I would never disparage such a fine bird) have hijacked a nation's grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist.

To the men in Washington, the world is just a giant Monopoly board. Oddly enough, Americans generally know how the government works. The politicians do everything they can for the people - the people who put them in power. The giant industries that are polluting our planet as well as violating human rights worldwide are the ones nearest and dearest to the hearts of American politicians.

But in wartime people lose their senses. There are flags and yellow ribbons and posters and every media outlet is beating the war drum and even sensible people can hear nothing else. In the US, God forbid you should suggest the war is unjust or that dropping cluster bombs from 30,000ft on a city is a cowardly act. When TV satirist Bill Maher made some dissenting remarks about the bombing of Afghanistan, Disney pulled the plug on him. In a country that lauds its freedom of speech, a word of dissent can cost you your job.

I read in a paper here about a woman who held out the part of her taxes that would go to the war effort. Something like 17%. I like that idea, though in the US it would have to be more like 50%. If you consider money as a form of energy, then we see half our taxes and half the US government's energy focused on war and weapons of mass destruction. Over the past 30 years, this amounts to more than ten trillion dollars. Imagine that money going to preserving rainforest or contributing to a sustainable economy (as opposed to the dinosaur tit we are currently in the process of sucking dry).

I give in to Woodman, and we stop for a few beers. He asks me what I'd do in Bush's shoes. Easy: I'd honour Kyoto. Join the world court. I'd stop subsidising earth rapers like Monsanto, Dupont and Exxon. I'd shut down the nuclear power plants. So I already have $200bn saved from corporate welfare. I'd save another $100bn by stopping the war on non-corporate drugs. And I'd cut the defence budget in half so they'd have to get by on a measly $200bn a year. I've already saved half a trillion bucks by saying no to polluters and warmongers.

Then I'd give $300bn back to the taxpayers. I'd take the rest and pay the people teaching our children what they deserve. I'd put $100bn into alternative fuels and renewable energy. I'd revive the Chemurgy movement, which made the farmer the root of the economy, and make paper and fuel from wheat straw, rice straw and hemp. Not only would I attend, I'd sponsor the next Earth Summit. And, of course, I'd give myself a fat raise.

Woodman drops me at home and I ask if he likes my ideas. He offers a reluctant "yes". As he pulls away he yells out, "But I'd never vote for a man who can't handle a few pints at the end of the day!"

[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 10-18-2002]

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posted 10-19-2002 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Let us pause on the eve of war to reflect on who the Americans are who will die. In any war, nearly all of the fighting and nearly all of the dying are done by the youngest soldiers who hold the lowest rank. Of the 58,152 Americans killed in the Vietnam War, three out of four were between the ages of 17 and 22, and three out of four were under the rank of staff sergeant -- corporals and privates.

Today, there are 1,182,412 enlisted men and women on active duty in the United States military. It is from their ranks that the vast majority of all American combat casualties in the next war will come. If you need further proof of the complete separation of the people in power in Washington from the people at peril in the Persian Gulf, just consider this: Not one of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives has a son or a daughter on active duty in the enlisted ranks of this nation's military.

Sgt. Brooks Johnson of the Army's 101st Airborne (187th Infantry), who has already served in Afghanistan and before that in Kosovo, Bosnia, Korea and Germany, is the only American enlisted man now on active duty who is the son of a member of Congress. His father is the incumbent senator from South Dakota, Democrat Tim Johnson.

A wise and just manpower policy is the foundation of our national defense. The all-volunteer army, it was agreed by its supporters, was to be a peacetime service. Any major military engagement was to be the signal for resumption of the military draft. The argument was straightforward: If the stated goals of the nation were worth fighting and dying for, then we must not hesitate to ask all Americans to shoulder the duty and the risk of that fighting.

That is most certainly not the case today in proudly "classless" America. In 2002, the American Establishment -- political, economic and journalistic -- has no personal stake in the men and women who defend the United States.

To be fair, Air Force Maj. Bill Bunning, an officer, is the son of the Kentucky Republican senator, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has a son and namesake who joined the Marines after Sept. 11 and is now a second lieutenant .Only one congressman, Missouri Democrat Ike Skelton, has two career-officer sons (whose names Skelton will not provide to the press) on active duty, an Army major who won the Bronze Star in the first war against Iraq and a Navy commander.

Back when the nation had a draft, fully three out of four high-school graduates and three out of four college graduates served in the military. Then, a full third of college graduates were found in the enlisted (non-officer) ranks. Then, too, in World War II and Korea the nation accepted combat casualties and deaths for causes judged to be in the vital national interest.

The country's pre-eminent military sociologist, Northwestern's Charles Moskos (himself, a former Army draftee), offers a more interesting explanation. "The answer to the question of what are vital national interests is found not so much in the cause, itself," he says, "but who is willing to die for that cause."

Moskos adds, "Only when the privileged classes perform military service, only when elite youth are on the firing line, does the country define the cause as worth young people's blood and do war losses become acceptable."

The all-volunteer force all but ensured that the children of the elites -- political, social and economic -- would not be found in the military and would be almost totally missing from the enlisted ranks, those who do most of the fighting and the dying.

Moskos concludes that "citizens accept hardships only when their leadership is viewed as self-sacrificing."

The war against Iraq, to listen to our confident leaders, contemplates no home-front shortages and no rationing, and would impose no civilian sacrifice -- not even the petty inconvenience of asking Bill Gates to forego his scheduled tax-cut. The tragedy is that nobody at any Washington dinner party tonight -- liberal or conservative, Bush appointee or Democratic holdover -- personally knows any enlisted man or woman now defending the nation. Absent the resumption of a draft without deferments, what we have is a guaranteed formula for both an indefensibly unjust military manpower policy and a national unwillingness to accept any war unless it is virtually casualty-free.

Mark Sheilds 2002

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posted 10-19-2002 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for emfx13   Email emfx13   Visit emfx13's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Bush Burns Constitution
"If this were a dictatorship,
it would be a heck of a lot easier --
just so long as I'm the dictator."
--George W. Bush (December 18, 2000)

[Edited 1 times, lastly by emfx13 on 10-20-2002]

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posted 10-20-2002 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ralph Nader Lambasts Bush Iraq Policy

San Fransico Bay Guardian October 20, 2002


Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader delivered something of a State of the Alternative Union address Wednesday night.

He blasted corporate lawbreakers, politicians of both major political parties and President Bush's war on terrorism during a wide-ranging talk at The Evergreen State College.

The longtime social activist, who ran as a Green Party candidate for president in 1996 and 2000, returned again and again to a few main themes during his 90-minute address:

- Younger generations in the United States are "growing up corporate."

- It's the responsibility of the American people to "raise our expectations" for the kind of country we want to live in.

Nader saved some of his harshest rhetoric for Bush and his administration's current move to declare war on Iraq. Nader pointed to a recent poll showing that two-thirds of the American people are opposed to a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq that could result in heavy casualties.

"You would think the Democrats would see some opportunities in this," Nader said. "But instead, most of them -- with a few wonderful exceptions -- can't wait to roll over for George W. Bush. They're cowards on steroids."

Calling the war plans a distraction from more pressing domestic problems like the faltering economy, Nader spurned arguments that Saddam Hussein is a more direct threat to U.S. security than other hostile nations.

"Hussein is a survivor," Nader said. "He likes himself more than he hates us. And he knows full well that if he makes one wrong move with a can of poisonous gas outside his border, he will be completely obliterated."

Other concerns have come up since Sept. 11, 2001, Nader said, singling out for particular criticism the "U.S. Patriot Act" implemented by the Justice Department, which he called a gross trampling of civil rights.

"It defines terrorism so broadly, if it had been in effect in 2000 it would have allowed police in Seattle to use it to arrest WTO protesters as terrorists," Nader said. He singled out other provisions that he said were previously unheard of under any understanding of the First Amendment.

As with most of his public crusades, Nader eventually blamed most societal ills on large corporations. That being the case, he was able to spin gold over the recent spate of corporate wrongdoing.

"This is the biggest grand larceny heist in the history of the world," Nader said. "We, as the American people, must mount a massive drive to bring these corporate crooks to justice, make them pay back what they stole, and send them to jail."

"What we have to realize in this country is, we have to define this country ourselves," Nader said. "We can't let it be defined by those without our best interests in mind."

After the 2000 election, many Democrats held Nader in scorn, perceiving that he peeled off enough liberal votes to rob Al Gore of the presidency. But that was not in evidence at Evergreen, where Nader received a hero's welcome and a series of standing ovations. As he entered the hall from the rear, one supporter even started whistling "Hail to the Chief."

In introducing Nader, Angela Gilliam, an Evergreen professor, said that she had asked some of her students if they had messages for him.

"One student said, 'Mr. Nader, even though many of us are frightened at the prospect of Bush getting elected, we will support you again in 2004,' " Gilliam recounted.

She then said of her own vote in 2000, "It was one of the only times in my lifetime that I was proud to vote for someone I felt represented my views almost exactly."

On the Web

In the Public Interest:

The Evergreen State College:

Ralph Nader's site:

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3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 10-25-2002 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Marches on San Francisco and Washington DC:

Saturday, October 26
11 a.m. Rally and March, Justin Herman Plaza (Embarcadero BART)
1 p.m. Rally, Civic Center

Washington D.C. To be posted.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld want war. The majority of the world wants and demands peace. Nelson Mandela spoke for most of humanity when he recently said “the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace.” Mandela called the decision to attack Iraq “clearly a desire to please the arms and oil industries of the U.S.A.“

In a war, Iraqis will suffer most, but not only Iraqis will suffer. While 148 U.S. troops died in the 1991 Gulf war, 30% of the 500,000 U.S. soldiers who were sent receive disability benefits today — many related to Gulf War Syndrome. While threatening U.S. youth, a new war will also waste $100 billion of our tax money on destruction instead of social services.

Bush rejected Iraq’s decision to allow the unconditional return of UN inspectors, exposing his phony position that a new war is to protect people from “weapons of mass destruction.” Iraq is a country weakened by 12 years of bombing and sanctions.

The U.S. on the other hand has spent $6 trillion stockpiling 6,000 nuclear weapons. The Pentagon budget is already more than the next closest 15 countries combined, and stands to get its biggest budget increase in 20 years.

Now only the intervention of the people can stop a new war against the people of Iraq. On Oct. 26, hundreds of thousands will march in Washington, San Francicso, and around the world to stop the war before it starts.

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posted 10-26-2002 05:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Thanks again are still telling it
like it is after all these years.

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posted 10-26-2002 06:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

WASHINGTON (AP) - Organizers promise an angry, loud but nonviolent protest against war in Iraq, hoping to show strong opposition to President Bush's pre-emptive war policies by drawing thousands of protesters to the capital's streets.

Saturday's march around the White House coincides with anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, Rome, Berlin, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Mexico City. Organizers say they expected the combined participation of hundreds of thousands of people.

The capital's protest rally and march opens with speeches at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Organizers billed it in advance as the largest anti-war demonstration since the Vietnam era three decades ago.

While the marchers planned to demonstrate near the White House, the president and first lady Laura Bush will not be at home to see or hear them. They are at their ranch near Crawford, Texas, where Bush met Friday with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

Rally speakers were to include the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, actor Ossie Davis and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Protest organizers said this week they expect no violence.

"We will mount an angry, loud opposition, just as we did in the Vietnam War," said Brian Becker, co-director of the of the International Action Center, one of the dozens of groups that comprise the organizing coalition, International Answer.

Activists said the size of the capital's anti-war march may be limited, in part due to fears stirred by recent deadly sniper attacks in the Washington area. Two suspects were arrested Thursday in the shootings, but rally supporters said some potential marchers may have already canceled travel plans.

Supporters of the march and the anti-war movement contended their cause is attracting significant support, a claim they said is backed by the success of recent Internet fund-raising and letter-signing efforts.

Eli Pariser, representing MoveOn.Org, said an appeal for donations for the anti-war cause resulted in thousands of contributions totaling more than $1.8 million over the first 11 days. "Clearly the peace movement is moving to put its money where its mouth is," he said.

Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches and a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, said he remains optimistic that war can be avoided. "I don't think that, just because the House and Senate voted, that the barn door is open and we're going to have war," he said.


On the Net: International Answer:


The Voice of the People

[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 10-26-2002]

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3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 10-29-2002 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Cronkite warns Iraq conflict cause WWIII

By Melissa Sullivan
October 28, 2002

CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was one of the first announcers to address the nation, with tears in his eyes, on Nov. 22, 1963, with the news that President Kennedy was dead.

With his signature sign-off, "That's the way it is," Cronkite has been telling the stories of the day to a national audience for the past 60 years. About his sign-off, Cronkite said he wanted "a line that made the audience laugh or fight a tear."

It fits either mood, he said.

The United States is at one of the most critical periods in its history, Cronkite said, speaking as part of the Wiley Lecture Series on Sunday.

"We did have the turbulent decade of the 1960s," Cronkite said. "The assassination of the president and his brother, the fight for civil rights and denying civil liberties to blacks in the south, but this period and the threat of the war with Iraq is something we must be terribly concerned about."

Donnis Baggett, publisher of the Bryan-College Station Eagle, interviewed Cronkite in front of a crowd of 150 students, faculty and community members.

Cronkite said storming Iraq with military force would result in World War III.

He said journalists face the problem of protecting people's rights while at the same time trying to gather all facts so the story can be told.

"We can't do that unless we have the facts to work with," he said.

Cronkite said he is appalled that the media is not permitted to accompany U.S. troops in action.

"We might have thought we did in the Persian Gulf War because they permitted us to cover briefings and talk with troops before actually going into combat," he said. "But even then, censored officers stood within ear range."

Journalists couldn't report any losses in combat, so the history of the Persian Gulf war is incomplete, he said

Cronkite, who has also reported on the economy's ups and downs, said the nation at one time had a good surplus, but now he doubts the administration should be cutting taxes.

"We ought to pay not only the tax we have, but a higher tax," Cronkite said.

He said Cronkite has interviewed every president since Harry Truman. Ronald Reagan was the most entertaining president and Jimmy Carter was the most intelligent.

"(Carter) had the ability to absorb huge documents word for word," Cronkite said.

He said he was lucky to have good journalism teachers and editors who taught him the principles of his work.

Cronkite began his career as a journalist in the1930s. In 1951, he was hired by CBS as a reporter. In 1954, he anchored the first evening news program on television.

During his career, Cronkite covered events such as World War II bombings, the Nuremberg Trials, the acceleration of space program and the lunar landing, the assassinations of former President Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Watergate, and, most recently, Sen. John Glenn's return to space.

Over the past 20 years, Cronkite has been honored with numerous awards, including multiple Emmys.

According to Time Magazine, Cronkite is "the single most convincing and authoritative figure in television news."

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posted 10-31-2002 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The antiwar protestors came -- largest gatherings since the Vietnam War -- yet the news media hardly noticed. A report on the DC rally.

By Regis T. Sabol

More than 100,000 Americans rallied together in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to protest George Bush’s relentless desire to go to war with Iraq, although you wouldn’t know it if you watched network news or read most newspapers. A demonstration of equal size took place in San Francisco. Again, you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t there.

I was at Constitution Gardens and the Ellipse as buses rolled in from the Midwest to the East Coast, from New England to the Deep South. I met demonstrators from Texas and Vermont, Minnesota and Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina. The D. C. Metro system was clogged with demonstrators who came to raise their voices in dissent. Others drove into the city early, found a parking space and headed to the Ellipse. By 11 a.m., the scheduled starting time of the rally, demonstrators packed into the front of the speakers stand, spread out around behind it and stretched all the way down the Ellipse. But you wouldn’t know about it if you weren’t there.

Men and women who were white, brown and black; college kids; baby boomers and men and women well into their 70’s -- some so old they needed canes to walk, or carried anti-war signs from their wheelchairs like one elderly man I saw; anti-war activists from the 60’s and armed services veterans; middle class couples with their children in tow or in strollers; church groups and labor groups; Arab and Palestinian activists along with Jewish sympathizers all marched together. But you most likely didn’t see their faces on TV.

Many carried signs and placards -- some professionally printed and others hand printed -- that expressed their opposition to the Administration’s war plans and to the entire Bush domestic and foreign agenda. Quite a few placards memorialized Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, who voted against the Senate resolution giving Bush the power to make war even though it could have cost him re-election. But you wouldn’t see them if you watched the Saturday night network news.

Even the Washington police department acknowledged that the rally and protest march was the largest anti-war demonstration since the Vietnam War. In fact, the protest march was so long that those at the front of the march had to wait for participants at the tail end to leave Constitutional Gardens before they themselves could return. But the New York Times relegated an abbreviated story to its back pages, or your home town gazette may or may not have printed a word about it.

Here’s what happened, as I saw it.

When my wife Ginny and I arrived near the rally ground at about 10 o’clock, the sky was misty and the Washington Monument at the other end of the Reflecting Pool was shrouded in fog. The sky was grey and the air misty. A huge yellow crane dangled over the far end of the Pool, a tell-tale sign of the hideous World War II monument that will soon disfigure the ground between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. As we walked up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, several dozen demonstrators with signs mingled with tourists, clicking pictures of Lincoln’s statue and family members smiling in front of it.

I, too, stared at the war-worn face of the seated statue. I walked to the left side and read the Gettysburg Address engraved in the inner wall. I crossed to the opposite side and read Lincoln’s lesser known but equally eloquent Second Inaugural Address. As I absorbed the pain Lincoln so clearly suffered over the deaths of so many thousands of young men in that tragic struggle to save the Union and end slavery, I could not help but wonder if Bush or Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or Richard Perle or Paul Wolfowitz or Karl Rove had ever read or comprehended either of these magnificent speeches except as a schoolboy’s recitation exercise.

When we walked down the marble stairs of the monument, we could see long lines of buses queuing up along the curb of Constitution Avenue and disgorging their passengers. Rally organizers had set up tables to garner volunteers, distribute signs, and sell buttons. Our feet sank into the sloppy, muddy ground that had been soaked from heavy rainfall throughout most of the night.

Then the clouds lifted and the sun began to shine.

The anti-war protest had been organized by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), a coalition of clergy and religious organizations, labor groups, anti-war activists, and Islamic groups, among them Palestinian activists. I had already received an e-mail from a reader, in response to a previous article, who informed me that ANSWER was actually a radical fringe group that backed such repressive regimes as North Korea and war crimes defendant Slobodan Milosovic.

That may be true. But it was ANSWER that took the lead in mounting the massive protest. And, as I pointed out to that reader, Churchill and FDR climbed into bed with Stalin to defeat Hitler. Without the USSR as our ally, Nazi Germany would most likely have one World War II.

As the ranks of protesters filled the knoll above the Ellipse, it became clear that everyday Americans from every walk of life had come to Washington to say no to the war. They didn’t much care who organized the protest.

Before the speeches began, Ginny and I visited the Vietnam War Memorial. We, along with those others who had come to Washington, walked slowly down the ramp and back up staring at the ever rising and then narrowing wall of name after name after name of Americans whose lives had been so foolishly wasted in that misbegotten military misadventure. It reminded us why we had come to Washington.

Then the speeches began. The famous -- Patti Smith, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Jackson, Cynthia McKinney, Ramsey Clark, Al Sharpton, and the not so famous -- representatives of the Longshoreman’s’ and other unions, spokespersons for Palestinian rights, and anti-war activists exhorted the throng for more than three hours. They made clear the case against any invasion of Iraq. The reasons are abundantly clear, so there’s no sense in going over them again. If you still don’t know what they are, just read previous articles of this magazine.

After three hours and more speakers than I could count, the crowd became restless for the march to begin. I know we were. We drifted off the knoll toward the Ellipsis, along with other demonstrators, hoping that inertia would get the march started. It took Sharpton to get things going. As he walked past us, impeccably dressed as usual, several people asked him when the march would start. “It’s starting now,” Sharpton said. “Let’s go.” And we did.

It was supposed to be a march on the White House, but we never got within a block of it. From Constitution Ave. and 21st. St., the line of march moved up to Madison Ave., using 17th, H, 15th and E streets NW. And the line went on and on for more than three hours. Various contingents spread large banners across the line of march. While Palestinian banners were prominent, banners designed by ANSWER and creative designs in tempura paint proclaimed opposition to Bush’s planned war on Iraq and his domestic policies dominated the march. One placard read, “Buy Books, Not Bombs.” Another read, “What Would Jesus Do?”

Most protest signs connected war plans to Iraq’s oil reserves. “No Blood for Oil,” they read. “George, Would You Send Jenna?” asked one sign. “West Point Alumni Against the War,” read another. Several placards were reminiscent of Vietnam anti-war demonstrations. There were, of course, the ubiquitous “Make Love, Not War” signs, as well as “War is Not Good for Children and Other Living Things.” My favorite was, “Fighting for peace is like ***** for virginity.”

In front of us, one of the Palestinian contingents, encouraged by a man with a megaphone, shouted anti-Bush slogans in English and Arabic. Other marchers chimed into the anti-war rallying cries of “What do we want?” “Peace!” “When do we want it?” Now?” “What do we want?” “Peace!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” Behind us, we heard a choir of voices echoing John Lennon’s anthem, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

In some ways, it was as much a parade as a protest march. A contingent of students from a small college in Indiana shook pom-poms to anti-war cheers. Some participants maneuvered huge paper Mache’ effigies. An Uncle Sam on stilts marched by. Another Uncle Sam figure trooped by wearing a Pinnochio nose.

Conspicuously absent from the anti-war protest were the vitriolic counter demonstrations so common during the Vietnam War. No epithets. No boos. No tomatoes thrown at the marchers. I read in the Washington Post that a scuffle broke out between the demonstrators and a small band of Iraqis opposed to Saddam Hussein, but I didn’t see it.

Police -- on foot, mounted on horses, or wearing SWAT team gear -- lined the route. They prevented marchers from entering Lafayette Park even though empty park benches beckoned to the exhausted. Ginny and I were among the exhausted, so when we reached the corner of the park, we simply veered right into the park. No police noticed or, if they did, none seemed to care.

We claimed a park seat and struck up conversations with other weary demonstrators. One woman, well into her sixties, said she came in one of three buses from Buffalo, N.Y. She said this was the first time she had ever participated in a protest march. Another woman of a similar age from New York City was a veteran of protest rallies dating back to the sixties. We had learned earlier that at least 100 buses carried protesters from the New York area. Three Vietnam War veterans from New Jersey were checking out a city map, looking for the Metro subway that would take them back to their starting point.

We sat there watching the demonstrators march by. It seemed as if the line would never end. And it wasn’t until well after 5 p.m. when the last stragglers brought up the rear.

As Ginny and I rested our weary bones, we looked across the park to the White House, the forbidden zone. We saw a small group of people gathered around a section of the black, wrought iron fence. Could they be protesters defying police mandates? We walked past the fountain and crossed the street to find out what was going on.

“They’re tourists,” Ginny said. That didn’t make sense to me. One of the group -- the protest leader? -- used a small megaphone to speak to the men and women around him.

“After President Kennedy’s body arrived,” he explained in a distinct British accent, “it was taken through the far gate and up into the White House." They were tourists, British tourists. After leading the tour group through a quick review of what happened to JFK’s body, the tour guide led his charges across the street to the park to show them more of the sites.

I was dumbfounded. Well over 100,000 Americans were barred from anywhere close to the White House, the home of their nation’s ostensible president, to exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, yet these British tourists could walk right up to the fence. That didn’t make sense to me. It still doesn’t.

And so, while George Bush continues, without much success, to attempt to strong arm other nations into going along with his intention to make war on Iraq, Americans by the hundreds of thousands from Washington to San Francisco are saying no. Bush isn’t paying any attention to them. Even worse, the news media that can speak the truth because of the same Constitutional guarantees that demonstrators attempted to exercise, chose to say little, if anything at all.

What is going on here?

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posted 11-01-2002 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Anti-war protesters plan day of civil disobedience

Matthew Tempest
Thursday October 31, 2002

Thousands of people were today expected to take part in a series of demonstrations up and down Britain to protest against military action on Iraq.

The Stop the War umbrella group was hoping for "the largest protest of direct action and disobedience there has been in Britain for decades", with mini-protests, sit-downs and occupations "from Beccles to Bournemouth, Canterbury to Aberdeen".

The spark for today's day of action came from comments made by Tony Benn last summer.

In a departure from his normal aversion to civil disobedience as a form of protest, the former Labour cabinet minister said: "Non-violent resistance to the government will show they cannot do this in our name. We should stop the buses, stop the trains, stop the schools."

Following last month's Stop the War march in London, attended by up to 400,000 protesters, the group has called on supporters to organise their own local acts of civil disobedience. It advocates three forms of protest:

· Meetings in or near the workplace with anti-war speakers, perhaps with a local march
•: College occupations and teach-ins
· Evening protests in town centres, where demonstrators are urged by Stop the War to sit down and block traffic.

In London, protesters will rally at Parliament Square, as MPs leave the Commons for their constituencies at the end of the parliamentary working week.

Stop the War has called for all protests to be peaceful and urged demonstrators to bring banners, whistles, drums and candles.

Occupation of Goldsmiths college
Occupation of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Kings College Strand site Stop the War meeting

Protest outside Camberwell Art College followed by march into Peckham to join council workers protest
Southgate College (Enfield) StW meeting

Kings College (Guys site) StW rally in central square
Elephant & Castle roundabout, students from Southbank and London College of Printing converge
LSE Student Union meeting - vote on occupation
Wimbledon Art College StW meeting
Queen Mary University student union meeting - vote on occupation
Middlesex University, Tottenham campus, StW conga starts
Greenwich University StW meeting
University of North London - protest outside Tower building
Westminster University StW meeting
Paul Foot, campaigner and journalist, holds public meeting at the Stephen Lacey gallery, Crawford Passage, EC1

LSE occupation begins

Rally in main square at UCL, followed by march down to LSE

All London students assemble at LSE for march down Embankment to parliament

Not all the capital's events are student-initiated. In Brixton there is a rally at noon outside the town hall, followed by a march and possible attempt to stop traffic outside the Ritzy cinema at 5pm. There are similar rallies in Wandsworth and Peckham, Dulwich and Croydon and the East End.

Other major cities

· Manchester: Don't Attack Iraq Protest, All Saints Park, Oxford Road 6pm
· Nottingham: "day of general mayhem", Market Square, 5pm onwards
· Plymouth: march, rally and vigil, Pier Approach 5.30pm
· Sheffield: mass rally, followed by other action at 6pm, Town Hall steps - from 4.30pm
· Leeds: Pedal for Peace, Briggate city Centre, 3pm
· Birmingham: mass die in - and fall over, Waterstones bookshop, New Street 5pm
· Liverpool: protest and non-violent disobedience, St George's Plateau (opposite Lime Street station), 6pm
· Newcastle: march through city, Monument 6pm
· Middlesbrough: "noisy vigil", Forces Recruitment Office, Borough Road 6pm
· Bournemouth rally: speakers & candlelit vigil at the war memorial in the middle gardens 6pm


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posted 11-02-2002 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The Wild, Wild Bush Boyz
by Derrick Z. Jackson

THE BUSH BOYZ took over the wild, wild Western world 20 months ago, and gunsmoke is still billowing out of the streets. The saloon still reeks of thirsty charlatans. The town remains without a physician to stop the bleeding. The only Bush rolling down the street is tumbleweed.

You may recall that when our president strode into town to snuff out the liberal lawlessness of the Clinton years, he said these things in his inaugural address:

''We will control weapons of mass destruction so that a new century is spared new horrors.''

''Today we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through civility.''

''Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.''

''If we permit our economy to drift and decline, the vulnerable will suffer the most.''

''When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side.''

Since then, this world has become a place where women are yanking their children off the street even faster. As Bush forces the entire planet to dance to his war drums against Iraq, our local weapons of mass destruction are causing new horrors. The D.C. sniper kills 10 and wounds three. A nursing student shoots three professors and himself to death at the University of Arizona. A member of the rap group Run DMC is shot to death in Queens.

A teenager in Oklahoma stole his father's shotgun and went on a rampage, killing two people and wounding eight. Despite the heightened security of our courthouses, a man in Dayton, Ohio, got his hands on the gun of a deputy and shot the officer in the calf before he himself was shot to death by other officers. In Michigan, two men walked into a gun store. One of them opened fire with an assault rifle, killing the owner and wounding the owner's son. The two men ran off with some money and at least 10 handguns.

At Lincoln High School in Jersey City, N.J., a student was showing off a handgun to a friend when the gun went off, wounding the friend in the abdomen. Once the wounded was swept away in the ambulance, classes continued as normal. Just another day in the wild, wild Western world. Only a massacre gets our attention.

Republicans always promise law and order. But last year, homicide, rape, robberies, burglaries, car thefts, and petty thefts all went up for the first time in 10 years. While those supposedly out-of-control big Eastern cities - which harbor the people least supportive of Bush in the 2000 presidential election - continued to have decreases in homicides, the Bush strongholds of the West, Midwest, and South had the biggest increases.

Now that we have more wounded travelers, neighbors, classmates, and teachers on the road to Jericho, the Bush Boyz are still on the other side. The economy has continued to drift and decline. The number of Americans without health insurance rose last year from 39.8 million to 41.2 million, or from 14.2 percent to 14.6 percent. The number of people living in poverty rose last year from 31.6 million to 32.9 million, or from 11.4 percent to 11.7 percent.

Median income fell nearly $1,000, from $43,162 to $42,228. This has been of no concern to the Bush Boyz. Sheriff George is still counting his pennies from the $848,000 he got selling Harken Energy stock, a sale that according to a recent report in the Globe looks more and more like a case of insider trading.

Deputy Cheney is still dragging his feet on releasing documents that might show whether his energy task force meetings had any influence on the administration's allegiance to Big Oil and its nearly complete dismissal of concerns about the environment. Facing a Nov. 5 deadline for releasing the documents, the Bush administration said this week it had only reviewed two of 12 boxes.

This does not exactly inspire trust over cynicism.

That is not to say that a lot of shootings and chicanery did not occur during the Clinton years. But the Bush Boyz rode into town on a wagon train of values. They told us they knew what the meaning of is is. Nearly two years later, with the midterm elections upon us, the streets remain much too wild.

While the Bush Boyz tell us how evil and oppressive Saddam Hussein is, corrupt CEOs continue to spill out of the saloon, angry people are blasting away from coast to coast, the dollar is shrinking, and health insurance is disappearing. That does not sound like a community overcoming chaos. That is a great way to create a ghost town, turning promises into tumbleweed.

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posted 11-03-2002 05:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

[Edited 2 times, lastly by Mech on 11-03-2002]

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posted 11-04-2002 05:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
13,000+ New Englanders Rally for Peace in Boston
by Matthew Williams

Boston, MA; 11/03/02--Over 13,000 people from across New England gathered on the Boston Common for a peace rally, starting at 1:00 and running until about 5:00. The rally was organized by United for Justice with Peace, a coalition of Boston metro area peace groups. In addition to numerous speakers and musical performers, there was a lively march through Boston--down Tremont Street, turning around at Copley Square, and coming back up Boylston St. Although predominantly white, the crowd included people of all ages, from small children to the gray-haired. A great diversity of signs, some of them highly creative, voiced people’s opposition to a war on Iraq. Some carried signs calling for working through the UN for weapons inspections and against a first strike, while others were simply opposed to all war; most of the rally’s speakers fell towards the second end of the spectrum.

Howard Zinn, an eminent radical historian whose own experiences as a bomber during World War II turned him against war, asked the gathering, “Are we going to overthrow Hussein and create a democracy? That would be something new in our foreign policy. We have supported military dictatorships and overthrown democratic governments often in the past. If our government wants democracy in Iraq, it should lift the sanctions and in their own time Iraqis will overthrow Hussein. When you go to war against a tyrant, you are killing the victims of that tyrant.” Zinn was referring to the US government’s bloody track record in foreign policy, which includes the overthrow of an elected socialist government in Chile and nationalist one in Iran, replacing them with brutal dictators--Pinochet in Chile and the Shah in Iran. Hussein himself was a US ally through his worst atrocities--including gassing both Iranian soldiers and Iraqi Kurds--until his invasion of Kuwait upset the balance of power in the Middle East. The Gulf War killed thousands of civilians and devastated Iraq, destroying the civilian infrastructure as the US government deliberately targeted hospitals, roads, sewage treatment plants, and electrical generation plants; the sanctions have prevented Iraq from rebuilding.

As I came out of the subway stop at Park St., I was immediately greeted with a crowd. A large group was gathered around members of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, playing a guitar and singing such songs as “Ain’t going to study war no more”. I continued on to the Boston Common bandstand, where the Joint Chiefs were playing reggae. Shortly thereafter the speakers got under way. The gathering was huge--organizers placed it at well over the 10,000 they had been expecting; an IMC audio reporter’s grid count put it at 13,400 and police estimated 15,000. Actor Tim Robbins--star of the Shawshank Redemption and director of Dead Man Walking, as well as a long time peace activist--noted, “It took years of involvement in Vietnam to build up to this number of people at protests. To have this many before the war has started is essential.”

Layla Cable, a Boston-area teacher with family in both Kuwait and Iraq, told of what her relatives endure under sanctions. “My uncle went in for a minor eye surgery and died three days later from an infection because of the lack of antibiotics. My cousins’ children don’t want to go to school. They say that they don’t see the point--there are no jobs and no food. Imagine a war on top of that.” By conservative estimates, the sanctions have killed 300,000 children under five through malnutrition and lack of basic medical care. Although the Iraqi government has been able to import food and medicine under the food-for-oil program since 1996, the amount is no where near enough and essential items are often placed on hold by the US and British governments. Because of the devastation of the civilian infrastructure, the unemployment rate runs as high as 60% in some areas. As a result, most people are dependent on government-distributed rations--provided by the food-for-oil program--for their survival.

There was a forest of signs. There was the old favorite, “No blood for oil.” Others held American flags with the stars replaced by a peace sign. Many of the signs were electoral in orientation, including not just those supporting Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for governor of Massachusetts, and Randall Forsberg, the write-in candidate challenging Senator Kerry because of his pro-war vote, but others reading “Regime change begins at home: Vote.” Others were more creative and a great deal of work had obviously gone into some. My favorite was one reading, “Remember Vietnam. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Unfortunately, those of us who remember it are condemned to relive it with them.” There was also a small group with different variations of the anarchist black flag.

Both Stein and Forsberg spoke are the rally. Forsberg said that a new war would devastate not only Iraq, but would harm the US as well: “A war on Iraq would not only be wrong, a war on Iraq would be dumb. It would wreak havoc with our economy by driving up oil prices, throwing the stock market into turmoil, eliminating the capital investment we need to create jobs. It will send us into a depression, not just a recession.” Episcopalian bishop and monk Thomas Shaw warned of other dangers besides economic ones: “What is driving this war is fear and anxiety. Saddam Hussein has replaced Osama bin Laden as our demon. Our government tells us that if we eliminate Hussein our lives will go as they did before September 11, and we can continue to consume a disproportionate share of the world’s resources. But if we continue of this course, we will not be able to continue on with our lives. We will create more terrorists. The people of the world who hate us will still hate us.”

As a break from the speakers--and to keep everyone warm in the chilly fall air--there was a permitted march through the streets of Boston, lead by Buddhist drummers from the Peace Pagoda in Leverett. At the points I was able to take a good look from the middle of the march, I was unable to make out either its start or its end. Some people simply chatted, while others chanted such things as, “Hey Bush, we know you! Your daddy killed for oil too!” Iraq contains the world’s second largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, where the US already has large numbers of troops stationed, propping up its Islamic fundamentalist monarchy. Despite the rhetorical claims of the Bush and Blair administrations, there is no concrete evidence that Iraq actually possesses nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The Bush administration, however, has been intent on setting up military bases in oil rich regions; the war on Afghanistan resulted in US bases throughout oil rich Central Asia.

Robbins said, “I do not like fundamentalism of any kind--in al-Qaeda or in our government. Our government’s fundamentalism is business fundamentalism, the unfettered expansion of economic system across the globe. Our resistance should be resistance to placing profit over human life. That is what is going on in this war--business. The economic scandals surrounding Halliburton and Harken have disappeared from the papers.” Most members of the Bush administration have ties to major oil companies, including Vice President Cheney’s to Halliburton and President Bush’s to Harken.

The march eventually returned to the Boston Common. The official program continued with more speakers. Off to the side, a large group gathered to drum and dance, periodically calling out “No attack on Iraq!” and generating a lot of good energy. As MC Brian Corr of Peace Action and the American Friends Service Committee said to loud applause, “We are going to stop this war before it starts. We are not going away.”


To get in touch with the rally organizers, United for Justice with Peace, see their website at For more information on Iraq, see the Iraq Action Coalition website or ZNet’s Iraq Watch page,

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posted 11-07-2002 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TEXT-S&P says Iraq war could lead to energy crisis

Reuters, 11.06.02, 12:07 PM ET

NEW YORK, Nov 6 - Depending on how long battle lasted and what countries were involved, a war between the U.S. and Iraq could raise oil prices briefly, Standard & Poor's Rating Services said in a report released today. Terrorism expands the number of war scenarios, however, and attacks on oil fields or tankers could lead to an energy crisis. "The expectation is that a conflict would be contained within Iraq," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst John Thieroff said in the report, "U.S.-Iraq War Could Bring Brief Oil Price Spike or Energy Crisis." "If there were terrorist activities to export terminals in Saudi Arabia, extremely high oil prices would follow, with substantial concerns about energy security."

World oil prices have risen steadily during the past few months, reflecting fear that war might disrupt Iraq's oil exports. Oil producers have profited from the rise in oil prices and have used the windfall cash flow to solidify their balance sheets or to fund business-enhancing acquisitions.

If the U.S. military were to strike Iraq in a contained conflict in which no countries came to Iraq's aid, oil prices would likely rise for about two weeks. Oil prices could either spike from about $28 a barrel-which includes a "war premium" of about $4-$6 a barrel-or drop to below $20 per barrel, as players liquidate supplies that had been purchased as a safeguard against an interruption of oil exports.

In a second scenario, in which Iraq received cooperation from other countries or independent terrorist groups spread war, an oil price increase might last longer. A third scenario would be a significant disruption of a tanker fleet. "There are tankers all over the world, and they are difficult to guard," Mr. Thieroff said.

Copyright 2002, Reuters News Service

[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 11-07-2002]

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posted 11-10-2002 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

U.S. Plans 250,000 Troops for Iraq
Sat Nov 9, 4:53 PM ET

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Pentagon plan for invading Iraq, should the new U.N. arms inspection effort fail, calls for a land, sea and air force of 200,000 to 250,000 troops, officials said Saturday.

President Bush, who has publicly acknowledged having received a war plan without mentioning details, approved it prior to the U.N. Security Council's vote Friday to force Iraq to disarm, The New York Times reported Saturday on its Web site.

The president has not, however, ordered the Pentagon to carry out the plan. He will wait to see whether Iraq accepts and abides by the terms of the U.N. resolution. If arms inspections go forward without interference, a decision to go to war could be put off for several months, officials have said.

War planning goes on, however, to ensure that the military is ready to act if commanded to do so by Bush.

Several White House officials reached Saturday declined to comment on the Times report that Bush has approved the plan, or on other details.

Pentagon planners had considered an approach that would have used 100,000 or fewer troops, but they settled on a much larger force favored by Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the Central Command that would run any war in Iraq, said defense officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Bush said Friday he prefers a peaceful approach to disarming Iraq but if that proves futile the military is prepared to "move swiftly with force" to ensure the regime of Saddam Hussein is stripped of its weapons of mass destruction and its ability to produce more in the future.

The Times report said Pentagon officials are still working on some details of the war plan, but the basic approach is to begin with an air campaign, then quickly seize bases in northern, western and southern Iraq from which U.S. and allied forces could operate. A key early objective would be to cut off the Iraqi leadership in Baghdad in hopes of a rapid collapse of the government.

A major uncertainty, however, is whether Saddam would order the early use of the chemical and biological weapons that American intelligence believes he retains in defiance of previous U.N. disarmament demands.

As previously reported, a major strategic aim of a war in Iraq would be to avoid causing major damage to civilian infrastructure such as water and electricity supplies. The United States hopes that by focusing the war on Saddam's ruling elite it can avoid an anti-U.S. backlash.

The Times reported that Saddam is preparing thousands of civilian volunteers to fill "martyrs' brigades" and sacrifice their lives to bombs and advancing troops. Some of these volunteers would hope to slow the American-led offensive by acting as suicide bombers or fighting in neighborhood defense squads, but their true strategic goal would be to generate anti-American feelings in the region.

The Pentagon already is moving forces into position to ensure that it will be capable of launching swift strikes into Iraq, should Bush decide on war. The Navy has two aircraft carriers within striking range of Iraq and two more are scheduled to arrive in the area next month.

The Air Force says it is preparing to deploy B-2 stealth bombers to the central Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, where they could operate from special hangars now under construction. Other Air Force warplanes are in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Gulf.

In addition to thousands of Air Force and Navy personnel active in the Gulf region, the Army and Marine Corps already have thousands of ground troops in the area and additional equipment and supplies are heading there.

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posted 11-14-2002 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Iraq war 'could kill 500,000'

14:00 14 November 02 news service

A war against Iraq could kill half a million people, warns a new report by
medical experts - and most would be civilians.

The report claims as many as 260,000 could die in the conflict and its
three-month aftermath, with a further 200,000 at risk in the longer term
from famine and disease. A civil war in Iraq could add another 20,000

Collateral Damage is being published on Tuesday in 14 countries and has been
compiled by Medact, an organisation of British health professionals. It
comes as the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, is deciding how to respond to a
series of deadlines on weapons inspections imposed by the United Nations.

If he fails to meet any conditions, the US and the UK have threatened to
destroy Iraq's presumed weapons of mass destruction using military force.

The report has been commended by both medical and military specialists. "It
is really important that people understand the consequences of war," says
Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical

"All doctors look at war with a very large degree of horror because they
know the meaning of casualties," she told New Scientist. "Even in the
cleanest, most limited conflicts, people die and people suffer."

General Pete Gration, former Chief of the Australian Defence Forces and an
opponent of a war on Iraq, adds: "This is no exaggerated tract by a bunch of
zealots. It is a coldly factual report by health professionals who draw on
the best evidence available."

Nuclear attack

The report assumes an attack on Iraq will begin with sustained air strikes,
followed by an invasion of ground troops and culminating in the overthrow of

It concludes that the resulting death toll will be much higher than either
the 1991 Gulf War, which killed around 200,000 Iraqis, or the war on
Afghanistan, which has so far left less than 5000 dead.

In the report's worst-case scenario, nuclear weapons are fired on Iraq in
response to a chemical and biological attack on Kuwait and Israel, leaving a
massive 3.9 million people dead. But the report states that even the
best-case estimates for a short war would initially kill 10,000 people,
"more than three times the number who died on September 11".

The report argues that the 1991 war led to the severe weakening of the
health of Iraq's people and the country's healthcare infrastructure, and
that this would mean higher casualties in any new war.

"Casualties, the cycle of violence and other consequences continue to affect
generation after generation," says the report's author, health consultant
Jane Salvage.

Rob Edwards

[Edited 5 times, lastly by Mech on 11-19-2002]

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posted 11-19-2002 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

By Neil Mackay

President Bush's Cabinet agreed in April 2001 that 'Iraq remains a destabilising influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East' and because this is an unacceptable risk to the US 'military intervention' is necessary.

Vice-president Dick Cheney, who chairs the White House Energy Policy Development Group, commissioned a report on 'energy security' from the Baker Institute for Public Policy, a think-tank set up by James Baker, the former US secretary of state under George Bush Snr.

The report, Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century, concludes: 'The United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a de- stabilising influence to ... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the US should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/ diplomatic assessments.

'The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia, and with key countries in the Middle East, to restate goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies.'

Baker who delivered the recommendations to Cheney, the former chief executive of Texas oil firm Halliburton, was advised by Kenneth Lay, the disgraced former chief executive of Enron, the US energy giant which went bankrupt after carrying out massive accountancy fraud.

The other advisers to Baker were: Luis Giusti, a Shell non-executive director; John Manzoni, regional president of BP and David O'Reilly, chief executive of ChevronTexaco. Another name linked to the document is Sheikh Saud Al Nasser Al Sabah, the former Kuwaiti oil minister and a fellow of the Baker Institute.

President Bush also has strong connections to the US oil industry and once owned the oil company Spectrum 7.

The Baker report highlights massive shortages in world oil supplies which now leave the US facing 'unprecedented energy price volatility' and has led to recurring electricity black-outs in areas such as California.

The report refers to the impact of fuel shortages on voters. It recommends a 'new and viable US energy policy central to America's domestic economy and to [the] nation's security and foreign policy'.

Iraq, the report says, 'turns its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest to do so', adding that there is a 'possibility that Saddam Hussein may remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time' in order to damage prices.

The report also says that Cheney should integrate energy and security to stop 'manipulations of markets by any state', and suggests that Cheney's Energy Policy Group includes 'representation from the Department of Defence'.

'Unless the United States assumes a leadership role in the formation of new rules of the game,' the report says, 'US firms, US consumers and the US government [will be left] in a weaker position.'

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ SOMETHING STINKS!!

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3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 11-19-2002 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bush may have had eye on Iraq all along

Badger Herald 11/18/02: Derek Montgomery

Original Link:

A war against Iraq may have been in the works before President George W. Bush took office. A report by the Project for the New American Century reveals a plan for U.S. global domination written for Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other White House staffers.

The plan revealed Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region regardless of who was ruling Iraq.

"The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein," the report reads.

The report also notes U.S. dominance must be advanced "as far into the future as possible."

While the Bush administration has been quiet on the report, others have not.

"This is garbage from right-wing think tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks--men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam War," said Tam Dalyell, father of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, to the Sunday Herald.

"This is a blueprint for U.S. world domination--a new world order of their making."

Rosemarie Carbino, a professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin, said the sudden spotlight on Iraq would do no good for anyone.

"Our sudden national response seems unjust, irrational and probably ineffective in establishing peace or safety for anyone," Carbino said.

However, John M. Cooper Jr., a UW professor of history, said Iraq has been the Bush administration's biggest foreign-policy change, and when Bush took office regime change was not his policy.

"The policy wasn't his originally. It was only after 9/11 that he decided to [change his policy]. It was pretty much like Saddam Hussein was being treated like a regional nuisance. This single-minded pursuit of Saddam is a big change."

Motivation behind a war on Iraq may come from an equally large foreign-policy change as preemptive attacks by the United States are gaining popularity as a means to prevent future attacks like 9/11.

"...Given the goals of rogue states and terrorists, the United States can no longer rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past. The inability to deter a potential attacker, the immediacy of today's threats and the magnitude of potential harm that could be caused by our adversaries' choice of weapons, do not permit that option. We cannot let our enemies strike first..." said the 2002 Bush administration National Security Strategy.

"To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."


[Edited 3 times, lastly by Mech on 11-19-2002]

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Resisting the NWO

Northeast USA
3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 11-24-2002 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Bush Aide: Inspections or Not, We'll Attack Iraq
posted by bangarang on Sunday November 24 2002 @ 08:20AM PST

Bush aide: Inspections or not, we'll attack Iraq

Exclusive By Paul Gilfeather, Whitehall Editor, The Mirror

GEORGE Bush's top security adviser last night admitted the US would attack Iraq even if UN inspectors fail to find weapons.

Dr Richard Perle stunned MPs by insisting a "clean bill of health" from UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix would not halt America's war machine.

Evidence from ONE witness on Saddam Hussein's weapons programme will be enough to trigger a fresh military onslaught, he told an all- party meeting on global security.

Former defence minister and Labour backbencher Peter Kilfoyle said: "America is duping the world into believing it supports these inspections. President Bush intends to go to war even if inspectors find nothing.

"This make a mockery of the whole process and exposes America's real determination to bomb Iraq."

Dr Perle told MPs: "I cannot see how Hans Blix can state more than he can know. All he can know is the results of his own investigations. And that does not prove Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction."

The chairman of America's defence policy board said: "Suppose we are able to find someone who has been involved in the development of weapons and he says there are stores of nerve agents. But you cannot find them because they are so well hidden.

"Do you actually have to take possession of the nerve agents to convince? We are not dealing with a situation where you can expect co-operation."

Mr Kilfoyle said MPs would be horrified at the admission. He added: "Because Saddam is so hated in Iraq, it would be easy to find someone to say they witnessed weapons building.

"Perle says the Americans would be satisfied with such claims even if no real evidence was produced.

"That's a terrifying prospect."


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Resisting the NWO

Northeast USA
3907 posts, Sep 2002

posted 11-24-2002 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mech   Visit Mech's Homepage!   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Chancellor of Germany

"--------Germany is prepared to take risks in the fight against terrorism in military terms but NOT "adventures".----"

BUSH and his chickenhawk cowboys clearly want an adventure.

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