Archives: May 2004

Sun May 30, 2004

The New York Times, in Editor's note, finds much at fault for Iraq WMD coverage

After months of criticism of The New York Times’ coverage of alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, mainly directed at star reporter Judith Miller, the paper’s editors, in an extraordinary note to readers this morning, finally tackled the subject, acknowledging it was “past time” they do so. Following the sudden fall of Ahmad Chalabi, Miller’s most famous source, last week, they probably had no choice. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 30, 04 | 1:44 pm

The (New York) Times and Iraq

Over the last year this newspaper has shone the bright light of hindsight on decisions that led the United States into Iraq. We have examined the failings of American and allied intelligence, especially on the issue of Iraq's weapons and possible Iraqi connections to international terrorists. We have studied the allegations of official gullibility and hype. It is past time we turned the same light on ourselves.

In doing so — reviewing hundreds of articles written during the prelude to war and into the early stages of the occupation — we found an enormous amount of journalism that we are proud of. In most cases, what we reported was an accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time, much of it painstakingly extracted from intelligence agencies that were themselves dependent on sketchy information. And where those articles included incomplete information or pointed in a wrong direction, they were later overtaken by more and stronger information. That is how news coverage normally unfolds. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 30, 04 | 1:08 pm

The (New York) Times and Iraq: A Sample of the Coverage

The following is a sampling of articles published by The Times about the decisions that led the United States into the war in Iraq, and especially the issue of Iraq's weapons:

The alleged Iraqi terrorist training camps, and Al Qaeda connection:

• October 26, 2001: Czechs Confirm Iraqi Agent Met With Terror Ringleader
• November 8, 2001: Defectors Cite Iraqi Training for Terrorism

The accounts of the terrorist training camp have not subsequently been verified. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 30, 04 | 12:48 pm

Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?

FROM the moment this office opened for business last December, I felt I could not write about what had been published in the paper before my arrival. Once I stepped into the past, I reasoned, I might never find my way back to the present.

Early this month, though, convinced that my territory includes what doesn't appear in the paper as well as what does, I began to look into a question arising from the past that weighs heavily on the present: Why had The Times failed to revisit its own coverage of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? To anyone who read the paper between September 2002 and June 2003, the impression that Saddam Hussein possessed, or was acquiring, a frightening arsenal of W.M.D. seemed unmistakable. Except, of course, it appears to have been mistaken. On Tuesday, May 18, I told executive editor Bill Keller I would be writing today about The Times's responsibility to address the subject. He told me that an internal examination was already under way; we then proceeded independently and did not discuss it further. The results of The Times's own examination appeared in last Wednesday's paper, and can be found online at nytimes.com/critique. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 30, 04 | 12:44 pm

Sat May 29, 2004

America's press has been too soft on Bush

Some American news organizations, including The New York Times, are currently engaged in self-criticism over the run-up to the Iraq war. They are asking, as they should, why poorly documented claims of a dire threat received prominent, uncritical coverage, while contrary evidence was either ignored or played down.

But it's not just Iraq, and it's not just The New York Times. Many American journalists seem to be having regrets about the broader context in which Iraq coverage was embedded: a climate in which the press wasn't willing to report negative information about President George W. Bush. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 29, 04 | 9:44 pm

Exiled Allawi was responsible for 45-minute WMD claim

The choice of Iyad Allawi, closely linked to the CIA and formerly to MI6, as the Prime Minister of Iraq from 30 June will make it difficult for the US and Britain to persuade the rest of the world that he is capable of leading an independent government.

He is the person through whom the controversial claim was channelled that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could be operational in 45 minutes. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 29, 04 | 3:47 pm

Mon May 24, 2004

AP: Video Shows Iraq Wedding Celebration

RAMADI, Iraq - A videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 24, 04 | 1:30 am

Sun May 23, 2004

Berkeley Professor Denounced for POW Memo

BERKELEY, Calif. - Some graduating University of California law students used their commencement Saturday to denounce a professor who helped the Bush administration develop a legal framework that critics say led to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

About one-quarter of the 270 graduates of Berkeley's Boalt School of Law donned red armbands over their black robes in a silent protest of a legal memo law professor John Yoo co-wrote when he served in the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 23, 04 | 9:39 pm

Sat May 22, 2004

An Abu Ghraib Investigation

has been gratifying to see Senator John Warner, the Republican who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, lead a bipartisan effort to look into the abuse of prisoners in Iraq. The hearings have already done far more than the Pentagon ever intended to do in providing a public airing of the Abu Ghraib disaster. But with each day's horrible revelations, it seems evident that the hearings will not be enough. It is also hard to believe that the military's own investigations will yield much, given the shifting of blame offered up by top Pentagon leaders, who continue to insist that the nightmare at Abu Ghraib was an isolated case of unsanctioned behavior by a few sick soldiers. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 22, 04 | 12:47 pm

Fri May 21, 2004

George Bush never looked into Nick's eyes

"Even more than the murderers who took my son's life, I condemn those who make policies to end lives."

Michael Berg

My son, Nick, was my teacher and my hero. He was the kindest, gentlest man I know; no, the kindest, gentlest human being I have ever known. He quit the Boy Scouts of America because they wanted to teach him to fire a handgun. Nick, too, poured into me the strength I needed, and still need, to tell the world about him. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 21, 04 | 12:14 pm

Thu May 20, 2004

Power and vainglory

Iraq isn't another Vietnam - it's much worse. The images of abused prisoners demonstrate not just American depravity, says the philosopher John Gray, but the folly of waging war as a moral crusade.

Misguided from the start, the war in Iraq is spiralling out of control. Any legitimacy the occupying forces may ever have possessed has been destroyed, and there are signs that Iraqi insurgents are coming together to mount a movement of resistance that could render the country ungovernable. With even more damning images likely to find their way into the public realm in the near future, the United States is facing an historic defeat in Iraq - a blow to American power more damaging than it suffered in Vietnam, and far larger in its global implications. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 20, 04 | 6:58 pm

Sun May 16, 2004


The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror. More...

Posted by: Hazem on May 16, 04 | 8:42 pm

Fri May 14, 2004

Emasculating Arabia

Images of an American being beheaded in Iraq have horrified the west, but the photographs of prisoners being abused in Abu Ghraib jail sparked surprisingly little outrage among Arabs. Why? Because, says Jonathan Raban, it was precisely what they expected


Posted by: Hazem on May 14, 04 | 9:59 pm

The Red Cross must choose between confidentiality and effectiveness

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recently revealed just how ineffective an organization with noble aims can be. This comes as particularly bad news for the millions of people who contribute generously to sustaining the ICRC. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 14, 04 | 2:37 pm

America's Military Coup

Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, told George Bush in February about torture at Abu Ghraib prison. From the limited detail Rumsfeld recalled of that meeting, it can be deduced that Bush gave no orders, insisted on no responsibility, did not ask to see the already commissioned Taguba report. If there are exculpatory facts, Rumsfeld has failed to mention them.

For decades, Rumsfeld has had a reputation as a great white shark of the bureaucratic seas: sleek, fast-moving and voracious. As counsellor to Richard Nixon during the impeachment crisis, his deputy was the young Dick Cheney, and together they helped to right the ship of state under Gerald Ford. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 14, 04 | 2:20 pm

Sharansky and 'the New Antisemitism

Nathan Sharansky — former Soviet dissident and "Minister for The Jewish Diaspora" in the Sharon cabinet, has been touring U.S. campuses and European capitals, busily waging the "Campaign Against The New Antisemitism."

One of his arguments deserves special attention. Sharansky claims that even when criticism of Israel's policies is shown to be factually correct, voicing it may still be branded as antisemitic unless the critics can show that they devote an equal amount of time and energy to criticizing and condemning each and everyone else in the world who also deserves to be criticized. In short, "singling Israel out is antisemitism."

Neat and simple. But is it so? More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 14, 04 | 9:31 am

Wed May 12, 2004

"Smoke Him": Video Shows Wounded Iraqis Being Shot by US Helicopters

The pictures are appalling, the words devastating. As a wounded Iraqi crawls from beneath a burning truck, an American helicopter pilot tells his commander that one of three men has survived his night air attack. "Someone wounded,'' the pilot cries. Then he received the reply: "Hit him, hit the truck and him.'' As the helicopter's gun camera captures the scene on video, the pilot fires a 30mm gun at the wounded man, vaporising him in a second.

British and most European television stations censored the tape off the air last night on the grounds that the pictures were too terrible to show. But deliberately shooting a wounded man is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and this extraordinary film of US air crews in action over Iraq is likely to create yet another international outcry. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 12, 04 | 9:02 pm

A Political Obituary: Powell, D.O.A.

“You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people. You will own all their hopes, aspirations and problems. You'll own it all.”

—Powell statement to US President George Bush as quoted by Woodward [1].

Sometimes it is worth writing someone's obituary ahead of schedule. In the case of politicians, the purpose of an obituary is to serve as a warning against the political zombies – those politicians who are politically spent or have lost their souls. There are many of them around today, e.g., Jose Ma Aznar, Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Kofi Annan, Javier Solana… and Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State.

One could almost feel sorry for General Powell. In 2000, Powell had the useful face and the useful stars, attractive attributes required for electoral purposes. Recruited into office amidst much fanfare, he has duly proven a useful political fig leaf over a foreign policy determined by others. Today he is a discredited spokesman of a bankrupt foreign policy, a token captain remote from the rudder of a foundering ship. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 12, 04 | 8:08 pm

Sun May 09, 2004

The Great Satan

Thanks to Bush's neocon cabal, the Arab world now hates the U.S. as much as it does Israel.

May 7, 2004  |  It is hard to sleep while traveling in the Arab world -- not because of the ubiquitous street noise of Cairo, the deafening quiet of Doha or the searing heat and humidity of Bahrain but, rather, because of the images on Arab news networks. Two stories in succession: soldiers entering a home in the middle of the night ... terrified women and children ... all the men of the household rousted from their beds, handcuffed, blindfolded and led away to detention. Bethlehem? Ramadi? What difference does it make to viewers of Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya? In Arab eyes, the United States and Israel are now one. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 09, 04 | 4:55 pm

The Misunderestimated Man: How Bush chose stupidity

The question I am most frequently asked about Bushisms is, 'Do you really think the president of the United States is dumb?'

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is yes and no. More...

Posted by: Hazem on May 09, 04 | 12:06 am

Sat May 08, 2004

Are there times when we have to accept torture?

Is torture ever justified? That is the dirty question left out of the universal protestations of disgust, revulsion and shame that has greeted the release of photos showing British and American soldiers tormenting prisoners in Iraq.

It is a question that was most unforgettably put forward over 130 years ago by Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov. In that novel, the saintly Alyosha Karamazov is tempted by his brother Ivan, confronted with an unbearable choice. Let us suppose, Ivan says, that in order to bring men eternal happiness, it was essential and inevitable to torture to death one tiny creature, only one small child. Would you consent? More...

Posted by: adminr on May 08, 04 | 1:31 pm

If we see our enemies as inhuman, then we ourselves end up as savages

The present-day equivalent of the soldier in my father’s book is Hollywood, with its poisonous, racist portrayal of Arabs and Muslims

Less than six month before the outbreak of the First World War, my grandmother, Margaret Fisk, gave my father William a 360-page book of imperial adventure, Tom Graham VC, A Story of the Afghan War. "Presented to Willie by his Mother," she wrote in thick pencil inside the front cover. "Willie" would have been almost 15 years old. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 08, 04 | 9:42 am

Fri May 07, 2004


Violence, humiliation only aggravate the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1939, I left the village of Kippenheim, Germany, on a Kindertransport - a small group of children allowed to go to England - thus surviving the Holocaust. In December, I went to Israel to honor the memory of my parents, Ella and Hugo Wachenheimer, who did not survive the war against the Jews. At a monument near Jerusalem, I lit candles for my parents and for the other 80,000 Jews deported from France to the death camps.

It is impossible to visit Israel these days without being aware of the constant threat posed by terrorists. Suicide bombs kill and maim innocent persons riding in buses or taking a meal in a restaurant. We Jews who survived the Shoah know all too well that the intentional targeting of civilians is illegal and immoral. So I grieve the loss of life in Jerusalem from the suicide bombs.

But I also grieve the loss of life in Palestine, which occurs almost on a daily basis. So I went to Palestine as a member of the International Solidarity Movement to observe the difficult conditions of daily life under military occupation. It would have been enough to reach out and touch just one Palestinian and place my hand on her shoulder and tell her that I was with her in her pain. But I saw and did much more.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 07, 04 | 11:07 pm



I) What is Apartheid?

Apartheid is originally an Afrikaans word and this denotes the origin of the concept in the political system created by white (mainly Dutch and later English) South Africans. The word literally means “aparthood.” In the West it has come to denote a “legally sanctioned system of racial segregation.” However, because legal systems can be manipulated or ignored, we should look beyond the legal aspect of any apartheid system. It is the effect, or the real life consequences, of this sort of system that alerts us to its presence. As the International Criminal Court phrases it, apartheid is “the systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Whether the nation enacting it bothers to create formal laws for its enforcement, or leaves that to culture, tradition, or shall we say, “unwritten law,” is secondary. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 07, 04 | 9:17 pm

Israeli lessons for the US in Iraq

The torturing of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghuraib prison by US occupying forces has shocked the world - but for most Palestinians they come as no surprise.

In fact, tens of thousands of Palestinians who have served time in Israeli prisons and detention centres see striking similarities between Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners and American treatment of Iraqi detainees.

In some cases, the torture technique or form of mistreatment is almost identical, some former Palestinian prisoners told Aljazeera.net. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 07, 04 | 5:56 pm

Donald Rumsfeld Should Go

There was a moment about a year ago, in the days of "Mission Accomplished," when Donald Rumsfeld looked like a brilliant tactician. American troops — the lean, mean fighting machine Mr. Rumsfeld assembled — swept into Baghdad with a speed that surprised even the most optimistic hawks. It was crystal clear that the Defense Department, not State and certainly not the United Nations, would control the start of nation-building. Mr. Rumsfeld, with his steely grin and tell-it-like-it-is press conferences, was the closest thing to a rock star the Bush cabinet would ever see.

That was then. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 07, 04 | 10:47 am

An illegal and immoral war, betrayed by images that reveal our racism

First, our enemies created the suicide bomber. Now, we have our own digital suicide bomber, the camera. Just look at the way US army reservist Lynndie England holds the leash of the naked, bearded Iraqi. Take a close look at the leather strap, the pain on the prisoner's face. No sadistic movie could outdo the damage of this image. In September 2001, the planes smashed into the buildings; today, Lynndie smashes to pieces our entire morality with just one tug on the leash. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 07, 04 | 9:29 am

An Army in Disgrace, a Policy in Tatters, the Real Prospect of Defeat


Wisps of grey smoke were still rising from the wreckage of four Humvees caught by the blast of a bomb which had just killed two US soldiers and wounded another five. It seemed they had been caught in a trap. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 07, 04 | 12:55 am

Thu May 06, 2004

Biddu: The struggle against the wall

Biddu is a beautiful Palestinian village, surrounded with vines and fruit orchards, a few miles to the east of the Israeli border of 1967. In the last couple of months, the village, that has lived in peace with its Israeli neighbors even during the present Intifada, has become yet another symbol in the history of Israel/Palestine.

The misfortune of this village is that its lands, as well as the lands of the other small Palestinian villages nearby, border the "Jerusalem corridor" - a sequence of Israeli neighborhoods to the North of Jerusalem. Israeli control of this land would enable territorial continuity "clean of Palestinians" from this corridor to the settlement of Givat Zeev, built deep inside the occupied West Bank, close to Ramallah. In the massive annexation project of Sharon and the Israeli army, this is the kind of land one "does not give up". For this reason, Israel is imprisoning the villagers inside a wall, and is grabbing their land. Biddu, and the ten villages around it, are allowed only one option - to sit quietly and watch as the fruit orchards that they have nourished from one generation to another, turn into the real-estate reserves of the Jerusalem corridor.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 04 | 7:10 pm

Alhurra—Dialogue with the Deaf

The United States Government's new Arabic-language satellite television channel claims to be bringing something new to the Arab world. The message is impossible to miss, as it is incessantly hyped in the clumsily cued station promos: If you look, you must surely see; a new horizon; a new window on the world. Think. Contemplate. Choose. You are free. Imagine an uncensored dialogue, a dialogue not afraid of crossing red lines. Imagine the truth as it is. Imagine no more.

From now on Alhurra is here to promote that dialogue. More...

Posted by: Hazem on May 06, 04 | 4:21 pm

Victims of Our Own High-Flown Morality

The "Good Guys" Who Can Do No Wrong


Why are we surprised at their racism, their brutality, their sheer callousness towards Arabs? Those American soldiers in Saddam's old prison at Abu Ghraib, those young British squaddies in Basra came -- as soldiers often come -- from towns and cities where race hatred has a home: Tennessee and Lancashire. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 06, 04 | 1:48 pm

Why I won't vote for Kerry

YellowTimes.org) -- Last summer I was in Nablus during one of the regular Israeli army raids that are destroying any semblance of normal life for the town. Hundreds of angry and courageous people gathered in the afternoon to confront the tanks that took over the main street. The crowds were swirling in large and furious circles, improving their positions, finding cover or attacking, evading the border police jeeps that were scurrying around, dispensing shock grenades and tear gas More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 06, 04 | 1:37 pm

Iraq déjà vu Vietnam

By David Antoon, Colonel, USAF Ret.
YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (United States)

(YellowTimes.org) – When I was an innocent and naïve young man, I served three tours of duty in Vietnam, an immoral war that left some fifty thousand Americans and three million Vietnamese dead. Each of these deaths, both American and Vietnamese, represented the loss of a relative -- grandparent, parent, son, daughter, brother, or sister -- and left a void only known by those families who have suffered such losses. Today, Vietnamese children suffer birth mutations, cancers, and untimely deaths from the Agent Orange that was deposited in their ground water by America decades ago. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 06, 04 | 1:30 pm

Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush

WASHINGTON, May 4: The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 06, 04 | 1:24 pm

This torture started at the very top: A profound racism infects the US and British establishments

The media in this country is politely shocked at photos of Iraqis being tortured and humiliated by US and British soldiers. A BBC1 news presenter says the pictures seem to have been "merely mementos". That's all right, then. The folks at home will have a good laugh and paste them into the family album.

In the first half of the last century, the French in Algeria and Morocco used to send home postcards of prostitutes posing sullenly, with breasts bared and skirts pulled up to their thighs, over captions like "Le harem Arabe" or "Fille Mauresque". The Americans have pushed it further: their pornography of occupation is at once more childish, playful, crude and sinister than that of "old Europe". Also, we assume the prostitutes were paid. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 06, 04 | 12:43 pm

The Military Death Toll While Enforcing the Occupation of Iraq

“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
—Barbara Bush, ABC’s Good Morning America, Mar. 18, 2003.

While attention remains riveted on the rising count of Americans killed in action – more than 100 so far in April – doctors at the main combat support hospital in Iraq are reeling from a stream of young soldiers with wounds so devastating that they probably would have been fatal in any previous war. More and more in Iraq, combat surgeons say, the wounds involve severe damage to the head and eyes – injuries that leave soldiers brain damaged or blind, or both, and the doctors who see them first struggling against despair.” More...

Posted by: adminr on May 06, 04 | 12:05 pm

Tue May 04, 2004

War Propaganda

If you step back a moment and think about it, you will realize that you are constantly being propagandized to approve of war – not just the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but war generically. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 04, 04 | 6:00 pm

Mon May 03, 2004

Glossary of the Iraqi Occupation

Any time there is war or an occupation of another country, propagandists or their media surrogates require language that mollifies, exculpates and hides the grim reality or sordid deeds. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of what is really happening in Iraq, this glossary elucidates the terminology commonly used in the media. Its aim is to enable us to peer through the linguistic fog. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 03, 04 | 10:56 am

Sun May 02, 2004

Is America a Servant to the Will of Israel? Is America a servant of Israel's Will?

The myth of America as an honest broker in the supposed Palestinian-Israeli peace process has been completely shattered. Not only is the Untied States the financial backer of Israel's brutal oppression of Palestinians, to the tune of $14 to $15 billion per year, the United States no longer recognizes anyone but Israel as a partner to the charade. The absurdity of this position may boggle the mind, but clearly reflects the thinking of George Bush as dictated to him by the Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon.

Posted by: nachoua on May 02, 04 | 11:59 pm

Mutiny is the Only Way Out of Iraq's Inferno

Saturday May 1, 2004 "The Guardian" -- Can we please stop calling it a quagmire? The United States isn't mired in a bog in Iraq, or a marsh; it is free-falling off a cliff. The only question now is: who will follow the Bush clan off this precipice, and who will refuse to jump?

Posted by: nachoua on May 02, 04 | 11:53 pm

Torture in Abu Ghraib

American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?

In the era of Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, twenty miles west of Baghdad, was one of the world’s most notorious prisons, with torture, weekl executions, and vile living conditions. As many as fifty thousand men and women—no accurate count is possible—were jammed into Ab Ghraib at one time, in twelve-by-twelve-foot cells that were little more than human holding pits. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 02, 04 | 6:48 pm

Israel emptying Jerusalem of Palestinians by bulldozing their homes

Orders from the Israeli Interior Ministry distributed yesterday stipulate the demolition of a further 24 Palestinian houses in the East Jerusalem communities of Beit Hanina, Shu'fat, and Al Isawiya.

The destruction of these East Jerusalem houses clearly illustrates the political agenda driving Israel’s relentless demolition policy. As Zaid Hamouri explained, the real issue behind these demolitions is Israel’s attempt to alter the demographic make-up of the city. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 02, 04 | 1:22 pm

Sat May 01, 2004

Fallujah Residents Report U.S. Forces Engaged in Collective Punishment

Baghdad , Apr 23 - Three families of refugees from the besieged city of Fallujah who are seeking refuge in the Al-Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad, described the conditions in the embattled city of Fallujah as "a horrible disaster." A man called Khaled Abu Mujahed, speaking from Fallujah on behalf of the Islamic Party, stated that while some relief supplies are getting inside the city, a great number of families remain trapped in their homes, and the stench of dead bodies has become overpowering.

Refugees streamed out of Fallujah when fighting began after United States Marines placed the city under siege, cut off power supplies and began an invasion of the city. Resistance forces referred to by locals as mujahideen fought back, killing scores of US troops. Americans killed hundreds of Iraqi civilians, plus an unknown number of Iraqi fighters. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 01, 04 | 8:19 pm

Their beliefs are bonkers, but they are at the heart of power

To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican party conventions last month. Take a look, for example, at the decisions made in Harris County, which covers much of Houston.

The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters: homosexuality is contrary to the truths ordained by God; "any mechanism to process, license, record, register or monitor the ownership of guns" should be repealed; income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax should be abolished; and immigrants should be deterred by electric fences. Thus fortified, they turned to the real issue: the affairs of a small state 7,000 miles away. It was then, according to a participant, that the "screaming and near fist fights" began. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 01, 04 | 7:53 pm

Marine Corps snipers aim to strike fear

FALLOUJA, Iraq – Taking a short breather Friday, the 21-year-old Marine corporal explained what it was like to practice his lethal skill in the battle for this city.

'It's a sniper's dream,' he said in polite, matter-of-fact tones. 'You can go anywhere and there are so many ways to fire at the enemy without him knowing where you are.'

Sniping – killing an enemy from long distance with a single shot – has become a significant tactic for Marines in this Sunni Triangle city as three battalions skirmish daily with armed fighters who can find cover among buildings, walls and trees. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 01, 04 | 7:43 pm

US general suspended over abuse

Brigadier General Janice Karpinski is among seven officers being investigated following claims that soldiers under their command mistreated detainees.

The army confirmed the suspension after US television broadcast images of US soldiers allegedly abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 01, 04 | 7:34 pm


Everything I say here is based on my love of Israel and my wish to protect her and the life of all those in Israel. My name is Jonathan Shapiro, and I have taken part in the Occupation for the past ten years as an officer in the Israeli Defence Forces, as an Air Force helicopter pilot. More...

Posted by: adminr on May 01, 04 | 7:28 pm

As long as the plan contains the magic term 'withdrawal', it is seen as a good thing

Ilan Pappe warns that Israel is heading for disaster

The day after the assassination in Gaza of the Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, Yuval Steinitz was interviewed on Israeli radio. Steinitz is the Likud chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee in the Knesset. Before that he taught Western philosophy at the University of Haifa, where his epistemological world-view was shaped by romantic nationalists such as Gobineau and Fichte, who stressed purity of race as a precondition for national excellence. The translation of these European notions of racial superiority to Israel became evident as soon as the interviewer asked him about the government's plans for the remaining Palestinian leaders. Interviewer and interviewee giggled and agreed that the policy will be, as it should be, the assassination or expulsion of the entire current leadership: namely, all the members of the Palestinian Authority - about forty thousand people. 'I am so happy,' Steinitz said, 'that the Americans have finally come to their senses and are fully supporting our policies.' More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 01, 04 | 9:00 am