Archives: April 2003

Wed Apr 30, 2003

Mother of a Baghdad under Fire


Today, with the eyes of a dying person,
not those of a killing person,

today, with the eyes of a mother
in a Baghdad under fire, who is trembling
from “shock and awe,”

Posted by: mhk on Apr 30, 03 | 11:36 pm

A Road Map to Nowhere - Or: Much Ado About Nothing

This could have been an important document, I F -

I F all the parties really wanted to achieve a fair compromise.

I F Sharon and Co. were really prepared to give back the occupied territories and dismantle the settlements.

I F the Americans were willing to exert serious pressure on Israel.

I F there were a president in Washington like Dwight Eisenhower, who did not give a damn about Jewish votes and donations.

I F George Bush were convinced that the Road Map serves his interests, instead of being a bone to throw to his British poodle.

I F Tony Blair thought that it serves his interests, instead of being a crumb to throw to his domestic rivals.

I F the United Nations had any real power.

I F Europe had any real power.

I F Russia had any real power.

I F my grandmother had wheels.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 30, 03 | 6:04 pm

Poetic Justice

What happened to that U.S. scheme
To bring to heel their Gulf War team,
And keep the doves from breaking rank
By taking peace to the West Bank?
Instead of getting tossed a bone,
The Palestinians got Sharon.
Instead of fighting war with peace,
George Bush gave hate an endless lease.


Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 30, 03 | 2:00 pm

A horse for the stranger. To an Iraqi Poet

To elegise you
I bring twenty years of love.
You were there alone
furnishing exile for our lady of lime,
a house for our master at the height of speech.

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 30, 03 | 1:41 pm

A personal song

Is it Iraq?
Blessed is the one who said
I know the road which leads to it;
Blessed is the one whose lips uttered the four
"Iraq, Iraq, nothing but Iraq." (1)

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 30, 03 | 1:36 pm

Did the US Murder Journalists?

What is a journalist's life worth? I ask this question for a number of reasons, some of them--frankly--quite revolting. Two days ago, I went to visit one of my colleagues wounded in the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Samia Nakhoul is a Reuters correspondent, a young woman reporter who is married to another colleague, the Financial Times correspondent in Beirut. Part of an American tank shell was embedded in her brain--a millimetre difference in entry point and she would have been half paralysed--after an M1A1 Abrams tank fired a round at the Reuters office in Baghdad, in the Palestine Hotel, last week. More...

Posted by: peace/justice on Apr 30, 03 | 11:09 am

Tue Apr 29, 2003

The occupation is us

For a change, here's some good news from the occupied territory: on the eve of the holiday, people from the Nature and National Parks Authority moved some Gilboa irises growing along the route of the separation fence. The rescue operation certainly pleased quite a few Israeli nature lovers for whom rescuing the flowers was the equivalent of rescuing an entire world. More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 29, 03 | 9:12 pm

No Justice No Peace

The battle for Baghdad may be over, but the war is only getting more dangerous

Go back 33 years and look at the pretexts given for the war in Indochina. See how hollow they look today? In far less than 33 years, the pretexts for the war in Iraq, which now appears to have ended, will be revealed as being equally hollow, shortsighted and mendacious. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Apr 29, 03 | 8:26 pm

Nuclear War Risk Grows as States Race to Acquire Bomb

A conference on nuclear non-proliferation began in Geneva yesterday, in the shadow of North Korea's departure from the global treaty and with the bleakest prospects for progress in the pact's 33-year history. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Apr 29, 03 | 8:03 pm

To the People of Gaza: From the Family of Rachel Corrie | April 24, 2003

"Our family wants very much to come to Rafah. We plan to do so as soon as we are able. When we come, we hope to meet the children who taught Rachel Arabic words, the grandmother who watched out for her health, and the families with whom she shared meals and tea .."

Greetings to all of our friends in the Occupied Territories:

image We, the parents, sister and brother of Rachel Corrie, want to thank you for all you did for Rachel while she was working in Rafah and for all you have done to honor her memory since she died on March 16. We understand that you will be remembering her especially on the fortieth day anniversary of her death. Know that we will be thinking of all of you.

We are grateful to those of you who became Rachel’s friends and who welcomed her into your homes and shared your tea and food with her. She wrote to us about you and about your wonderful families. She admired how you supported one another even as you struggled against the cruelties of the occupation. Writing about you, Rachel told us, “ I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity—laughter, generosity, family-time—against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death……I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances…. I think the word is dignity.”

We are grateful to those of you who cared for Rachel as she died and after. We will always remember the respect and love with which she was treated in life and in death by the people of Gaza.

We are grateful to all of you who have honored Rachel’s memory during these past weeks. It lifts our spirits to hear of the Rachel Corrie Children and Youth Cultural Center in Rafah and the Rachel Corrie Center for Women’s Empowerment. We know there are now newborn babies named Rachel and streets that bear her name, too. We cannot find adequate words to tell you how much these things mean to us. Thank you for the many ways in which you have honored our daughter and sister. More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 29, 03 | 7:41 pm

Mon Apr 28, 2003

Revealed: How the Road to War was Paved with Lies

The case for invading Iraq to remove its weapons of mass destruction was based on selective use of intelligence, exaggeration, use of sources known to be discredited and outright fabrication, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 28, 03 | 4:11 pm

Salute to Baghdad

Put your coffee aside and drink something else,
Listening to what the invaders say:
With Heaven's blessing
We are directing a preventive war, More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 28, 03 | 3:10 pm

Blair's alliance with Bush is a damaging strategic error

The moment of triumphalism must have seemed tantalisingly brief to the hawks. Within hours, the photo-op of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue was crowded out of the bulletins by scenes of looting and lawlessness. Having won the military conflict, the Bush administration appeared curiously unprepared for what to do next in Baghdad.


Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 28, 03 | 2:59 pm

Iraq: Researchers’ indignation

This is a statement which expresses researchers' indignation and outrage at the American-British-Australian invasion of Iraq and its consequences and aftermaths. If you'd like to sign, please send your full name and professional status and affiliation to randi.deguilhem@wanadoo.fr before Monday 28 April at noon (French time) since we will then be sending the statement with signatures to international and local newspapers.

STATEMENT (in English, followed by French version)

In our capacity as researchers, professors, documentalists, librarians, technical assistants and doctoral students who specialise on the Middle East and North Africa, we underline the fact that there is no war of religion or civilisation. Nonetheless, since the beginning of the 1990s, the configuration given to regional conflicts by their actors from North Africa to the Indo-Pakistan borders as well as the Korean peninsula has usually been seen in terms of clashes of civilisation which mask, in reality, shameful and scandalous strategies. This observation does not deny the development of this representation but, rather, it should serve to think critically about the signification of terms which punctuate the discourse of all sides such as “democracy”, “liberty”, “justice”, “Crusade”, “unbelievers”, “Evil”, “jihâd”, “cultural identity”, etc. in addition to the consequences of their instrumentalisation by imperialist or identity ideologies.

Current events, particularly those in the Middle East and North Africa, fall within the framework of the colonial scenario where the U.S. hyper-power takes over the hegemonic policies put into place at the conclusion of World War One by the Allies which divided up the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire among themselves (i.e. Sykes-Picot Accords and subsequent ones). Pursued during the entire 20th century, these politics led the Western powers to constantly violate the values to which they themselves lay claim in favour of material interests and immediate policy gains. This type of policy favoured authoritarian and dictatorial regimes which often resorted to violence to crush the aspirations of populations in the area. We have not forgotten of course that Saddam Hussein’s regime was tyrannical and indefensible but the means employed to overturn it by the U.S.-British-Australian forces without the support of the United Nations is completely unacceptable.

The unilateral action of the U.S. government and its allies, which has neither taken into account the aspirations of the Iraqi people – in all its components – to plan its future as it sees fit, nor the opposition of world opinion, nor the opinion of certain European partners and especially disregarding the principles of international law which is supposed to regulate the international order of which the U.S. and its allies see themselves as the champions or, at least, the police, constitutes an act of aggression as qualified by the charter of the United Nations. As human beings, we are deeply affected by the human carnage and as researchers and professors, we are particularly affected by the catastrophic destruction of the cultural and intellectual patrimony (Archaeological Museum and the libraries of Baghdad and other cities, in particular, the National Library and Archives [Dâr al-kutub wa’l-wathâ’iq]) whose protection falls entirely under the responsibility of the troops of occupation. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 28, 03 | 9:19 am

Sun Apr 27, 2003

Taking sides

The BBC was attacked by both sides over the Iraq war. It was the only news organisation apart from the Sun that was targeted by anti-war demonstrators, and senior managers apologised for the use of biased terms such as "liberate" in their coverage. Meanwhile, ministers publicly criticised the BBC's alleged bias towards Baghdad. The BBC argued that criticism from all sides showed it must be getting something right. The empirical evidence, however, suggests a pro-war orientation. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 27, 03 | 10:10 pm

'Something Deeply Corrupt is Consuming Journalism'

A war so one-sided - it was hardly a war - was reported like a Formula One race, as the teams sped to the chequered flag in Baghdad...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 27, 03 | 9:26 pm

Anchor: Coverage was biased

MANHATTAN -- War's sobering realities never reached American TV screens during the recent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 27, 03 | 9:04 pm

The Decline and Fall of American Journalism (Part LXV): the Case of Judy Miller

As a million Shi'ite pilgrims streamed toward Karbala earlier this week, shouting "No to America, no to Saddam, no to tyranny, no to Israel!" (slogans recorded by a reporter for Agence France Presse) can't you just imagine the plash of complacent 'I Told Him So's' from the lips of George Bush Sr., on the phone to Brent Scowcroft and other members of the old gang like Bush Sr.'s Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who recently took audible pleasure in telling the BBC that "If George Bush [Jr.] decided he was going to turn the troops loose on Syria and Iran after that he would last in office for about fifteen minutes. In fact if President Bush were to try that now even I would think that he ought to be impeached. You can't get away with that sort of thing in this democracy." More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 27, 03 | 8:53 pm

Sat Apr 26, 2003

Chasing Chimeras? The Road Map to More Conflict

Let me state at the outset that I write this as a friend and supporter of those who seek to resolve differences between nations peacefully. I count numberless millions of Europeans, Americans, Asians and Africans in this group and salute their efforts to make this a better world for all. Also I write this as an opponent of the policies of successive US governments which over many decades have demonstrated an insatiable greed for seizing the resources of other nations, worked to topple several democratically elected governments, shown callous indifference to human life and rights and perpetrated crimes against humanity in various parts of the globe, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Latin America, Africa, Afghanistan, and, lastly, Iraq -- to mention a few examples. More...

Posted by: Ismail Ibrahim Nawwab on Apr 26, 03 | 9:58 pm

SF Chronicle' Reporter Says He Was Fired

SAN FRANCISCO -- (AP) A San Francisco Chronicle reporter who was arrested while participating in an anti-war demonstration last month said he has been fired for falsifying his timesheet. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 26, 03 | 2:16 pm

Fri Apr 25, 2003

Abu Against Abu

The clash between Abu-1 and Abu-2 – Abu-Amar v. Abu-Mazen – is not a personal matter, as it is presented by journalists in Israel and all over the world. Of course, the egos of the two personalities do play a role, as in all political fights. But the controversy itself goes much deeper. It reflects the unique situation of the Palestinian people. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Apr 25, 03 | 12:52 am

Thu Apr 24, 2003

Advice to Iraqi women

A new theatre piece by Martin Crimp, presented this week at the Royal Court


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 24, 03 | 5:28 pm

The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is an accomplished man. Not only is he guiding the war in Iraq, he has been a pilot, a congressman, an ambassador, a businessman, and a civil servant. But few Americans know that he is also a poet.

Until now, the secretary's poetry has found only a small and skeptical audience: the Pentagon press corps. Every day, Rumsfeld regales reporters with his jazzy, impromptu riffs. Few of them seem to appreciate it.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 24, 03 | 5:22 pm


Go round to Downing St, get Tony Blair's hard disc

Here's certainly a man from whom children are at risk.

Blair's a 'risk to children' with his Iraqi war.

I trust he's being fingered by Operation Ore.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 24, 03 | 5:10 pm

Wed Apr 23, 2003

Until the Bulldozers Stop

I met M. last month at an Israeli-Palestinian encounter at Neve Shalom. It seemed that most of the Israelis who came to the weekend did so mostly out of curiosity.

The Palestinian participants, however, most of whom were students from Nablus, had left at seven in the morning in order to arrive by the afternoon: They walked for hours and ran the risk of arrest just to have the chance to tell the Israelis their occupation stories, in the naive belief that anyone who heard them could no longer remain silent. More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 23, 03 | 7:15 am

Tue Apr 22, 2003

Our last occupation

Gas, chemicals, bombs: Britain has used them all before in Iraq.

No one, least of all the British, should be surprised at the state of anarchy in Iraq. We have been here before. We know the territory, its long and miasmic history, the all-but-impossible diplomatic balance to be struck between the cultures and ambitions of Arabs, Kurds, Shia and Sunni, of Assyrians, Turks, Americans, French, Russians and of our own desire to keep an economic and strategic presence there. More...

Posted by: peace/justice on Apr 22, 03 | 7:36 pm

Blair's alliance with Bush is a damaging strategic error

The moment of triumphalism must have seemed tantalisingly brief to the hawks. Within hours, the photo-op of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue was crowded out of the bulletins by scenes of looting and lawlessness. Having won the military conflict, the Bush administration appeared curiously unprepared for what to do next in Baghdad. More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 22, 03 | 5:39 pm

Missing Weapons Cast Doubt on War

The remarkable images of the fall of Baghdad, while not signaling the end of “Operation Iraqi Freedom,’’ do bring to an end a critical phase of the military operation — that in which coalition forces wore special protective equipment in anticipation of the use by Iraq of chemical and/or biological weapons. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Apr 22, 03 | 2:55 am

Mon Apr 21, 2003

Letter from Michael Moore

Dear friends,
It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude -- and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.

So, where are all those weapons of mass destruction that were the pretense for this war? Ha! There is so much to say about all this, but I will save it for later.

Posted by: peace/justice on Apr 21, 03 | 5:55 pm

'Our voices are lost in the tide of intolerance sweeping America'

For all the ugliness and tragedy of 9/11, there was a brief period when, in the midst of the tears and the shock, I held on to a glimmer of hope in the naive assumption that something good could come out of it. More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 21, 03 | 5:01 am

Sun Apr 20, 2003

At Midnight, A Knock on the Door

It was an almost unbelievable news story: in order to trim the national budget, the Ministry of Education had decided to dismiss hundreds of teachers. A private company got the job of delivering the bitter news to the dismissed teachers. Two days before Passover – one of the highpoints of the Jewish calendar, both for religious and secular Jews, when families sit together around the table for the joyous Seder ceremony – the messengers of the company spread out to do their job. They knocked on the doors at midnight and delivered the notices. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Apr 20, 03 | 5:25 pm

The Weird Men Behind George W. Bush's War

America's allies and enemies alike are baffled. What is going on in the United States? Who is making foreign policy? And what are they trying to achieve? Quasi-Marxist explanations involving big oil or American capitalism are mistaken. Yes, American oil companies and contractors will accept the spoils of the kill in Iraq. But the oil business, with its Arabist bias, did not push for this war any more than it supports the Bush administration's close alliance with Ariel Sharon. Further, President Bush and Vice-President Cheney are not genuine "Texas oil men" but career politicians who, in between stints in public life, would have used their connections to enrich themselves as figureheads in the wheat business, if they had been residents of Kansas, or in tech companies, had they been Californians. More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 20, 03 | 1:26 am

Fri Apr 18, 2003

Statement by the Blue Triangle Network on the Arrest of Professor Sami Al-Arian

The Blue Triangle Network expresses grave concern over the arrest of Professor Sami Al-Arian in Tampa, Florida and four others on terrorism-related allegations. Professor Al-Arian has undertaken a hunger strike in jail to protest his arrest, and this too is a cause for concern.

After his arrest, Al-Arian made this statement: “I’m crucified today because of who I am: a stateless Palestinian, an Arab, a Muslim, an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights, but more significantly a persistent defender of civil and constitutional rights on the home front.”


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 18, 03 | 7:51 pm

International Solidarity Movement Action Alert - April 12, 2003

Our friend and colleague Tom Hurndall lies comatose – “clinically dead” in Saroka Hospital; Brian Avery has just undergone reconstructive surgery in his face, and will have to undergo a series of reconstructive surgeries over the next few months to repair his face from the bullet image that shattered it; Rachel Corrie died almost instantly after being crushed by a gigantic bulldozer, but her memory lives on in all those working for peace and human rights.

Three serious injuries and deaths in less than four weeks to nonviolent peace activists. Three individuals, clearly visible and identifiable, posing no threat to the security of Israeli soldiers in their tanks, bulldozers and military guard towers The kind of violence that we have been working to prevent and end, is now being directed at us. This is the kind of violence that anyone living or residing even temporarily in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is daily witness to. We know that we are operating in a racist system, not only within the Israeli military but also in the international community. We know that Palestinians that are beaten, randomly arrested and shot down are not paid attention to. Israeli soldiers have no problem image disregarding Palestinian human rights and the international community has shown zero willingness to hold Israel accountable for the well-being of the Palestinian people and for violations of their basic rights. It is this kind of blatant disregard for human life based on religion and ethnicity that we have been combating with our actions and our message. It is for this reason that international peace activists have joined us in the Occupied Territories – to use their voice and their bodies to send a message to the Israelis and to the world. Due to the failure of the international community to provide a protection force for the Palestinian people who have long been pleading for international help, and in light of the US veto on the resolution to send an international monitoring force to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to witness the reality of the situation on the ground, international civilians from all over the world have stepped in.

image People from around the world have given of their hearts and minds to be with us, knowing the danger involved yet believing in the justness of the cause. The international volunteers of the International Solidarity Movement count on their governments and on you not to stay silent when unarmed civilians are shot down – we are counting on you now.

We have no plans to abandon our efforts and we renew our call for you to join us if you can. If you can’t please consider one or more of the following actions to support our work: More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 18, 03 | 7:56 am

Thu Apr 17, 2003

For the people on the streets, this is not liberation but a new colonial oppression

America's war of 'liberation' may be over. But Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans is just about to begin.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 17, 03 | 3:36 pm

Wed Apr 16, 2003

Regime Change

Advancing down the road from Niniveh
Death paused a while and said 'Now listen here.

You see the names of places roundabout?
They're mine now, and I've turned them inside out.

Take Eden, further south: at dawn today
I ordered up my troops to tear away

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 16, 03 | 7:58 pm

War of words

In the last Gulf war, poet Tony Harrison was pretty much a lone voice. His poem "A Cold Coming" was commissioned by this newspaper in response to a photograph of an Iraqi soldier burned to death at the wheel of his vehicle. The rarity value of Harrison's subsequent 1991 collection, A Cold Coming: Gulf War Poems (Bloodaxe), is shown by the fact that a signed, limited edition of this 20-page book will set you back £75 today.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 16, 03 | 7:51 pm

Baghdad Lullaby

A poem by Tony Harrison
(in response to Hoon saying on Radio 4's Today programme last week that Iraqi mothers would thank him forusing cluster bombs.)


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 16, 03 | 7:49 pm

Library books, letters and priceless documents are set ablaze in final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad

So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives - a priceless treasure of Ottoman historical documents, including the old royal archives of Iraq - were turned to ashes in 3,000 degrees of heat. Then the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment were set ablaze. More...

Posted by: peace/justice on Apr 16, 03 | 5:49 pm

US rejects Iraq DU clean-up

The US says it has no plans to remove the debris left over from depleted uranium (DU) weapons it is using in Iraq.


Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 16, 03 | 11:33 am

Tue Apr 15, 2003

US Troops Encouraged Ransacking

This is a translation of an article from April 11 from Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest newspaper, based in Stockholm. The article was written by Ole Rothenborg and translated by Joe Valasek. Khaled Bayomi, has taught and researched on Middle Eastern conflicts for ten years at the University of Lund where he is also working on his doctorate. He has given his permission for this interview to be widely disseminated.

Khaled Bayomi looks surprised when the American officer on TV complains that they don't have the resources to stop the plundering in Baghdad. "I happened to be right there just as the American troops encouraged people to begin the plundering."


Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 15, 03 | 11:20 pm

Symbolic Proceedings

Arab lawyers are seeking to have George Bush and Tony Blair stand trial as war criminals.

Filled with rage at the brutal military aggression against Iraq, the Arab Lawyers Federation in coordination with the Egyptian Bar Association are now preparing a lawsuit that they intend to file with international courts against US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for war crimes in Iraq. More...

Posted by: salama-carr on Apr 15, 03 | 10:14 pm

The White Man's Burden

A depressing thought: the Iraq war proves that in the year 2003 AD, the world has not essentially changed since 2003 BC. A military power can attack a weak nation, conquer its territory and plunder its resources. There is no world law, no world moral order. Might is right. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Apr 15, 03 | 1:15 pm

US Hires Controversial Company To Police Iraq

As looters in Baghdad have ransacked hospitals and medical facilities, endangering the health of the local population, the US and British forces continue to refrain from their duties as occupying powers to ensure the safety of the civilian population in Iraq. US Secretary of Defense said this week that "one can understand the pentup feelings that may result from decades of repression and people who have had members of their family killed by that regime, for them to be taking their feelings out on that regime." However, that is not the complete story. The British daily The Observer recently revealed that US military contractor Dyncorp has won a multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Apr 15, 03 | 12:46 pm

Mon Apr 14, 2003

Phase Two Begins

The 'liberators' of the Middle East are ready for the next stage in their campaign to make the world safe for Israel.

As the phony "liberation" of Iraq takes place against a backdrop of frenzied looting and clueless gloating, any doubt as to the real provenance of this war should be erased for good. This was and is a proxy war waged on behalf of Israeli interests, and Washington's next target ? clearly, Syria ? ought to make that obvious to even the densest of the pro-war conservatives and the "war for oil" crowd. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 11:36 pm

Might As Well Get To Know It

Now that our president has embedded us in the Middle East for an indefinite future, you might as well start trying to educate yourself about the area and its conflicts. As one can say about so many problems in this world, it all began with the British Empire. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 11:29 pm

U.S. readies "Iraqi PATRIOT Act" to protect democracy, freedom

Humor Alert:

Thu, 10 Apr 2003

BAGHDAD (Routers) -- A team of Coalition legislators, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges has been air-dropped into Firbol Square to take charge of Saddam's statue's head and to prepare Iraqi democracy for the post-liberation era.


Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 11:22 pm

America targeted 14,000 sites. So where are the weapons of mass destruction?

They were the reason the United States and Britain were in such a hurry to go to war, the threat the rank-and-file troops feared most. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 11:12 pm

A civilisation torn to pieces

They lie across the floor in tens of thousands of pieces, the priceless antiquities of Iraq's history. The looters had gone from shelf to shelf, systematically pulling down the statues and pots and amphorae of the Assyrians and the Babylonians, the Sumerians, the Medes, the Persians and the Greeks and hurling them on to the concrete. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 11:05 pm

Count your remaining liberties at the next security checkpoint Count your remaining liberties at the next security checkpoint Count your remaining liberties at the next security checkpoint Count your remaining liberties at the next security checkpoint

ON THE LAST morning of the Maryland legislative session, this bunch of kids, dripping wet, giddy with laughter, ducked out of a leaden morning rain and ran into the modern America: a line that stopped at a security checkpoint in the State House basement and backed up all the way to the door. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 11:00 pm

Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum of Its Treasure

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 12 - The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 50,000 artifacts carried away by looters. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 10:45 pm

The Girl with Yellow Flowers in Her Hair

She's the nightmare that's been clawing at your sleep lately, George W, and she's ... coming to get you!


Posted by: nachoua on Apr 14, 03 | 10:36 pm

The more you watch, the less you know

The confusion that has characterised reporting on the US-led war on Iraq on news channels over the past week has also been reflected in the papers, with reports of each side making conflicting declarations. However, while the Arab press remains firm in its support for the Iraqi people and in its denunciation of the Anglo- American invasion, developments on the ground have forced journalists and commentators to move from stressing the illegitimacy of the war and the steadfastness of Iraqi resistance to focus instead on the equally troubling shape of post- war Iraq. News of that is coming, inevitably, from American and British sources More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 14, 03 | 4:22 pm

Day of the chicken hawks

The Iraqi people fought and died for the sake of us all -- martyrs in the Christian, no less than in the Muslim sense of the word. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the "chicken hawks" junta that seized the American administration illegally by rigging the 2000 presidential election are totally deranged, totally corrupt and totally cynical. Their blueprint for world domination (set out in black and white in a September 2000 document) is a Mein Kampf. Their corporate linkages are so blatantly venal as to be the envy of a Somoza, while their intricate web of lies and deception would make an amateur out of a Goebbels. Courtesy of another band of maniacal marauders -- Bin Laden and co -- they got their Reichstag fire.

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 14, 03 | 4:17 pm


In the imagocratic world which inhabits us, one image is usually repeated ad nauseam until it secures its permanent place in this or that grand narrative as the moment par excellence. Such is the case with the toppling of Saddam's statue at Al-Firdaws Square in my hometown of Baghdad a few days ago. For the majority of this planet's inhabitants that image will crystallize the so-called "liberation" of Iraq and the end of Saddam's dictatorship.

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 14, 03 | 4:10 pm

Policing the academy

As I was reading one of the latest death threats I received via e-mail, I remembered the defamatory campaigns to which Edward Said has been subjected since the 1970s and which included the firebombing of his office in the 1980s. Since last summer, apologists for Israel's "right" to be a racist state (and to use whatever violence it can muster in defence of that "right") have begun a campaign of defamation against anyone in the US academy who dares to question any Israeli action or practice. This campaign is part of a larger effort to discredit US universities as arenas for independent scholarship and thought. It also aims to delegitimise universities who refuse to serve the interests of either the national security state or the Israeli government. The fact that those spearheading this campaign are almost exclusively part of a large conglomerate known as the pro-Israel lobby in the US is hardly surprising. Since 11 September, the campaign has expanded to include any academic who believes that Islam is not a terroristic evil religion bent on murdering the "civilised", and that Muslims and Arabs are humans who are entitled to civil, political, and human rights in their own countries as well as in the United States. More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 14, 03 | 4:07 pm

Jews out of court

Josh Ruebner*, in an open letter, calls upon Paul Wolfowitz to resign, now More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 14, 03 | 3:59 pm

IQRA: Iraq Is Free

Iqra, recite, proclaim, affirm, avow, declare: Iraq is free.

Iraq has been freed from ten thousand years of tyranny; freed from darkest infamy; freed from cold villainy; freed from centuries of stasis; freed from nights of searing pain; freed from terrible torture; freed from sanctioned starvation; freed from laser-guided precision; freed from bombs that explode with shock and awe.

Posted by: Shahid Alam on Apr 14, 03 | 12:00 am

Sun Apr 13, 2003

When east never meets west

MY EIGHT-month-old daughter still does not have a birth certificate. Although a seemingly routine task to accomplish for new parents, we have found obtaining this innocuous piece of paper to be a daunting and essentially fruitless effort.

My children, like their father, were born in East Jerusalem, which means that their birth certificate must be issued by the Israeli interior ministry. Since I am not an official resident (for countless reasons), the certificate is only issued at the ministry itself, as opposed to receiving it by mail. Easy enough, one may say. But anyone who actually goes to the cold, gray building with an iron turnstile on Nablus Road knows that a trip to the interior ministry is nothing but heartache.

Posted by: peace/justice on Apr 13, 03 | 7:26 pm

Record of Correspondence between Daniel Amit and the Editor of Physical Review

This is the exchange of correspondence between Dr. Daniel Amit and Dr. Martin Blume of Physical Review E regarding the former's reasons for boycotting his services from Physical Review, the premier journal of physics research. Dr Amit has encouraged spreading his position widely.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 13, 03 | 6:40 pm

Fri Apr 11, 2003

The moral decline of a superpower

BEHLENDORF, Germany A war long sought and planned is now under way. All deliberations and warnings of the United Nations notwithstanding, an overpowering military apparatus has attacked preemptively in violation of international law. No objections were heeded. The Security Council was disdained and scorned as irrelevant. As the bombs fall and the battle for Baghdad continues, the law of might prevails.

Based on this injustice, the mighty have the power to buy and reward those who might be willing and to disdain and even punish the unwilling. The words of the current American president - "Those who are not with us are against us" - weigh on current events with the resonance of barbaric times. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 11, 03 | 5:13 pm

The campaign for Israeli divestment and the charge of anti-Semitism

In response to an escalation of Israeli aggression over the past year, a growing movement has emerged on American campuses opposing the oppression of the Palestinian population. Student groups have held numerous protests at universities throughout the country, and most recently a movement has gained force that calls for the divestment of university assets from Israeli corporations and US firms doing business with Israel.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Apr 11, 03 | 5:04 pm

Thu Apr 10, 2003

I was a human shield

The death of human rights activist Rachel Corrie, crushed to death while trying to stop an IDF bulldozer, was reason for Billie Moskona-Lerman to go to the Rafah Refugee Camp and to spend 24 hours at the most miserable place in the Gaza Strip. A place where shooting never stops, where shells whistle by the windows, the walls are covered with bloodstains on the walls, houses turn into ruins and people walk the streets barefooted and desperate. She came back a different person. In a rare human document she describes her encounter with death. More...

Posted by: Sami on Apr 10, 03 | 8:11 am

Jews Settle in Palestinian Jerusalem

Ariel Sharon has brushed aside an appeal by the White House to stop an unprecedented move by Jewish settlers into a Palestinian district of Jersualem which his critics say will further hinder a political settlement. More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Apr 10, 03 | 7:25 am

Tue Apr 08, 2003

Blair The War Criminal

My constituency Labour party has just voted to recommend that Tony Blair reconsider his position as party leader because he gave British backing to a war against Iraq without clearly expressed support from the UN.

I agree with this motion. I also believe that since Mr Blair is going ahead with his support for a US attack without unambiguous UN authorisation, he should be branded as a war criminal and sent to The Hague.

Posted by: Dimitris Asimakoulas on Apr 08, 03 | 7:16 pm

Mon Apr 07, 2003

Drowning in Salem - In Order for Life to Continue

Earlier this week I received an urgent call from my young friend, Feras al Bakri (the courageous UPMRC Ambulance Driver)--"An'ne, where are you now? Come on, quickly, quickly to my home! Today I am nearly killed". A 10-minute sprint through the Old City, flights of stairs taken two at a time, and there he is, pale and exhausted, lying on a sofa in front of a gas heater, wrapped in blankets and quilts, and very, very cold. Stressed and shocked, he wants to tell me of his day (though he interrupts his story frequently with--"really, I don't want to remember"), skipping briefly over the morning which, anywhere else, would be a story in itself. More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Apr 07, 03 | 8:09 am

Sat Apr 05, 2003

Poor pay with their lives in cratered suburbia

Yesterday's strike took out two homes of an extended family of about a dozen. Tuesday's raid destroyed the local school, and on Monday a poor baklava seller, pitied by the entire neighbourhood, lost his wife, mother, sister, nephew, and two sons to American missiles. More...

Posted by: peace/justice on Apr 05, 03 | 11:01 am

Fri Apr 04, 2003


Posted to commemorate the anniversary of the Jenin massacre...

Oh, child, what will you remember
When you recall your sixteenth year
The horrid sound of helicopter gunships
The rumble of the tanks as they drew near
As the world went about it's business
And I burned another tank of gasoline
The Dow Jones lost a couple points that day
While you were crying in the City of Jenin

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Apr 04, 03 | 7:30 pm

Thu Apr 03, 2003

Presidential Quarantine

George W. Bush is under an international quarantine. It is not security concerns that prevent him from going overseas, nor is it the unseemly appearance of leaving the White House while our troops fight along the Euphrates. Rather, Bush can't leave America because his policies are intensely unpopular in almost every country on earth. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 03, 03 | 11:59 pm

In bed with the military

Embedded with the military must be a euphemism for in bed with the military, which is how a truly shameful episode in American TV journalism is shaping up. For journalistic jingoism, it's hard to find a better example than the coverage of the high-tech media extravaganza known as "Operation Iraqi Freedom." What makes the supposed American champions of objectivity so much more obnoxious is that they parade flagrant bias as gritty and honest reporting. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 03, 03 | 11:43 pm

Our Flag, Too

The residents of an unassuming house, tucked away in a quiet corner of a small New England college campus, have found themselves at the center of a disturbing fight for the basic right to express their opinion as Americans.  Seven students at 44 Howard Street on the Wheaton College campus, located in the rural community of Norton, Massachusetts, have discovered, with suddenness and fury, how difficult it is today to speak your mind in a nation divided by war. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 03, 03 | 11:32 pm

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
All is lost, see our plight.
Round our towns Israelis patrol,
Of our lives they have full control.
Let us live in peace,
Let us sleep in peace. More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Apr 03, 03 | 6:37 pm

Pressing on with the protests

With hopes of a lightning allied victory over Iraq dashed by the surprise spirited Iraqi resistance, peace activists around the world are upbeat about the global anti-war campaign, writes Gamal Nkrumah. More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 03, 03 | 1:16 pm

Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates

How many children, in how many classrooms, over how many centuries, have hang-glided through the past, transported on the wings of these words? And now the bombs are falling, incinerating and humiliating that ancient civilisation

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 03, 03 | 12:20 pm

Children killed in US assault

Dozens of Iraqi villagers were killed and injured in a ferocious American air and land assault near the Iraqi city of Babylon, hospital officials in the town said yesterday. More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 03, 03 | 10:15 am

Israel spending £27,000 a month on protection for lone settler

A Jewish settler living alone on a hill in the West Bank is being guarded by six Israeli soldiers. The cost is about £27,000 a month, an opposition member of parliament says.


Posted by: sameh fekry on Apr 03, 03 | 10:07 am

Wed Apr 02, 2003

Premeditated Ethnocataclasm and the "War Against Terror"

What is "Ethnocataclasm"?

Ethnos in Greek means "nation",

Kata means "down", and

Klaein means "to break".

Ethnocataclasm is the breaking-down of a nation

Ethnocataclasm is when bulldozers enter refugee camps of peoples displaced from their rightful homelands by force, Ethnocataclasm is when tanks fire on the sprouting buds of a nation, little, stone-throwing children, standing in the way of US-made main battle-tanks, bravely defending their parents' shanties, the only homes they have ever known, but their sweet homes, where all the love they have ever known on this earth has been shown them, in the quiet interludes between atrocities against them, all skinny arms and legs, covered in the pitiful rags which are the best their parents could afford for them, a tiny, dusty pebble clutched in fingers worn thin by hunger and too much grief, and being ruthlessly gunned-down by professional soldiers, just for having been a spark of joy to their mothers. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Apr 02, 03 | 8:49 pm