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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Sharon's Peace Plans Still a Mystery
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formed a right-leaning coalition Monday that could dramatically curb the role of religion in Israel, but offers only the murkiest prospects of peace overtures toward the Palestinians.

posted by Paul West 10:05 AM

Monday, February 24, 2003

US plans total war against Kim
(Ian Mather,, 23 Feb 2003)
a battle plan is already being laid in secret by military strategists at the Pentagon. . . . behind the scenes, American strategists are now weighing up the option of a pre-emptive military strike against North Korea . . . It is a terrifying scenario, with likely casualties running to one million during the first day of an attack on North Korea - most falling victim to the long-range artillery trained on its southern neighbour. . . . Japan has already drawn a line in the sand, saying it would have the legal right to strike first if it were to receive intelligence of a planned missile attack by North Korea. . . . China’s main concern is that a collapse of the North Korean economy would have a devastatingly destabilising impact on the region. It also fears a powerful re-unified neighbour. . . . The US military assets now being sent to the region could stage air and missile strikes against the nuclear plant at Yongbyon and other sites . . . But the odds are not good for the US. According to its own estimates, one million casualties could be expected in the first 24 hours of a war. . . . Even though much of North Korea’s hardware is old, its army is nearly a million strong and more than half of its soldiers are deployed within 100 miles of the demilitarised zone with 8,000 artillery pieces. It is estimated that North Korea could fire 300,000 shells an hour on to targets in the south. . . . In addition, it is believed to have about 5,000 tons of chemical and biological agents, including sarin, anthrax, smallpox and the plague. . . . Kim has pledged to respond in kind to any US military move. On Friday, North Korea condemned next month’s joint US-South Korean military exercises as a "nuclear test war" and prelude to military attack. . . . " There are few good military options available to the Bush administration. North Korea has spent the last 50 years planning for this. The missiles are already in place, and the tunnels are already dug. All they have to do is pull the trigger." . . . Kennedy added: "You have two countries, North Korea and Iraq, one with nuclear weapons and one without, one that is contained and one that is not. Yet you invade the one that has no nuclear weapons and is already contained, and you do a deal and send aid to the other."

posted by Lorenzo 4:42 PM

Does anyone else notice a pattern here?
US Ready for Iraq War, Says Rumsfeld
US Plans Total War Against North Korea
US Considers Military Intervention in Colombia
US Elite Units to Fight Philippine Rebels
Brought to you by: The Memory Hole [rescuing knowledge, freeing information]

posted by Lorenzo 4:29 PM

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Photos from Peace Demonstrations Around the World
This page lists a large number of images from the February 15th peace demonstrations. The images are indexed by city.

posted by Lorenzo 5:02 PM

UK Stop the War Coalition
If the UK goes to war, demonstrate at 6pm in you rtown centre (London: Trafalgar Square). We will call a national demo immediately.

Tony Blur had better watch out in the next election
Date of Rally Demonstrators
October 2001 50,000
November 2001 100,000
September 2002 400,000
February 2003 2,000,000

This is also a good place to keep up with major demonstrations that are planned for the UK.

posted by Lorenzo 4:24 PM

[from The Parallel YOUniversity's UP!]

The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.
--William Colby, former CIA Director

Well, the press is clearly being (forced to be) much more open and honest about the fantastically swelling Peace Movement around the world. Here’s our analysis of how the Brit press covered the hugest protest in global history.



we don’t have the time or staff to develop this further. which funded org is going to take on this vital task?!

The Sunday Mirror 2M SAY NO Are You Deaf Mr Blair? 7 pages total. Inside headlines: LISTEN TO US! / YOU ARE NOT GOD / PROTEST VIRGINS.
EDITORIAL: Two Million People Put Their Case.
VERDICT: 10. Good accurate long shot fotos. Double spread on first time middle class voters. ANTI WAR

EDITORAL: Millions Show This Is A War That Mustn’t Happen
VERDICT: 9. Fotos, articles on march VERY ACCURATE. Other articles and commentary accurate and sympathetic. ANTI-WAR

Mail On Sunday 1,500,000 SAY NO TO WAR 3 pages total. Inside headlines: People of Britain Vote for Peace + ‘If Blair thinks this is it, he’s so wrong’
EDITORIAL: (a different subject)
VERDICT: 7 Excellent crowd shots. But editorial doesn’t cover march, and few pages are given to it. ANTI WAR, but could change

The People SPICE GIRLS BACK TOGETHER 2 pages total., inside & only headline: 1 IN 50 BRITS MARCH
EDITORAL: Blair on brink of disaster if he stands by Bush
VERDICT: 6 Round-up of global demos. ANTI-WAR

EDITORAL: We Must Not Rule Out War
VERDICT: 5 Fotos, headlines, articles on march REASONABLE. Other articles and editorial PRO-WAR and insulting.

Sunday Telegraph BLAIR WARNS MARCHERS OF BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS AS UP TO ONE MILLION JOIN BIGGEST PUBLIC PROTEST IN BRITISH HISTORY 3 pages total. Other front page headline: Trendies, toffs, .students and men with impressive beards marching for Saddam.
VERDICT: 4 1 excellent long-range foto of crowd, but numbers downplayed and motives sneered at while pretending professionalism.. PRO-WAR.

EDITORIAL: This Is A Just War
VERDICT: 4 Fotos focus on arty ‘student’ types while crowd shots suggest lesser numbers. Front story turns out to be Blair’s reasons for war, and mentions ‘at least 750000’. Headline in earlier edition has A DIVIDED NATION, which is shamelessly untrue since, by every poll, the UK is 6:1 against war. PRO WAR..

Sunday Express “BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS” BLAIR’S SHOCK OUTBURST 4 ½ pages total. Inside headline: One Million Say: Don’t Go To War
EDITORAL: Blair’s First Fight Must Be For Hearts of Protesters
VERDICT: 3 Shots of international protests, numbers often downplayed, marchers’ motions respected but expected to change. PRO-WAR.

News Of The World Small Front Page Headline: YOU’RE WRONG Blair Tells 750,000 3 ½ pages total. Inside headline: 3 MILLION PROTEST FOR PEACE ACROSS GLOBE
EDITORAL: Prime Reason To Battle On
VERDICT: 1 1 because they did cover it, even on front page under EASTENDER KAT GOES TOPLESS. Fotos misleading, numbers shamelessly understated, articles and editorial PRO-WAR. Right wing cant & gibberish.

posted by Lorenzo 4:09 PM

What Mr Bush has in mind is nothing less than a reshaping of the world
(Fergal Keane, The Independent, 01 February 2003)
The op-ed pages of US newspapers have been full of sceptical pieces about Bush and the looming war. Here's Frank Rich writing in The New York Times on Pearl Harbor Day, last 7 December: "History will eventually tell us whether Pearl Harbor Day 2002 is the gateway to a war as necessary as the Second World War, or to a tragedy of unintended consequences redolent of the First World War. A savage dictator is delivering a 'full' accounting of his weapons arsenal that only a fool would take for fact, and a President of the US is pretending (not very hard) to indulge this UN rigmarole while he calls up more reserves for the confrontation he seeks." . . . Bush knew that he could depend on Saddam screwing up the inspections and delivering a plausible justification to oust him. While we can argue all day and night about the motives for ousting Saddam, don't ever doubt the goal. . . . According to the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive strike, Saddam is a potential threat and is weak enough to be attacked. North Korea, on the other hand, is also a threat but is not yet weak enough to be attacked. The US may adopt different strategies, but it has determined that the political system in North Korea is itself a weapon of mass destruction. The dear leader in Pyongyang is also being sized up for the long drop. What Mr Bush has in mind is nothing less than a reshaping of the world. He wishes to turn it into a place without enemies. Part of his strategy will be to use military as well as economic power. If he wins in Iraq with an "acceptable" level of death and destruction, the President will be emboldened and we will enter what is potentially a more dangerous period than any in the last half century. Dangerous because military success too often invites hubris and is never an automatic guarantor of a stable political order.

posted by Lorenzo 2:00 PM

Tuesday, February 18, 2003


Found in TIME Europe: Jan. 20, 2003 Vol. 161, No. 3

posted by Lorenzo 4:44 PM

Cast your vote in the Poll -- Who Is The Biggest Threat To Peace
Results as of February 18, 2003:

North Korea 6.1%
Iraq 7.2%
The United States 86.8%

Total Votes Cast: 496,744

posted by Lorenzo 4:29 PM

An American Apology To The World
From the heart of the United States, we extend a profound apology to the rest of the world for the serious failure of our political system. . . . While not receiving a majority of the popular vote and selected by the Supreme Court rather than elected, we nevertheless have ended up with a sociopath as President surrounded by religious fanatics who actively seek war and others who seek to destroy our democracy and impose authoritarian values. . . . This group is taking the world down the path to an Armageddon that they believe is the necessary and appropriate end to the world as we know it. They hate life, believe themselves to be flawed by sin, and long for a divine intervention that will make them rulers of an Earth transformed by the absence of earthiness. . . . They do not worry that an invasion of Iraq may cause outrage in the Muslim world and spread the conflict because such an expansion is part of the necessary script. . . . They do not worry about how to govern a post-war Iraq because they will be ruling the entire world and everyone will appear before them on bended knee. . . . The only thing they worry about is getting the war started before some force can prevent their usurpation of everyone's future. . . . At home, civil liberties are quickly being erased in favor of absolute government to prevent democratic discussion of and opposition to the coming holocaust and to practice for their coming domination of the world. . . . The once independent media is now a corporate conglomerate that closes more doors to truth than it opens. . . . Our people are fed lies big and small and lack access to the information they need to understand what is happening in our country. . . . All we can do is appeal to those outside our country to save the world from our government. . . . Even though we will not hear about it from our media, march in your streets. . . . Even though we will not hear about it from our media, expose the lies being told by our government and others. . . . Urge your government to vote no on any U.N. resolution furthering the Armageddon agenda. . . . We will continue to reach out to our fellow citizens within the limitations imposed on our society and do our part to bring sanity back to the human family and protect all life. . . . Our apology is an expression of our love for and unity with that family and the living Earth.

posted by Lorenzo 3:11 PM

Behind the Great Divide
(Paul Krugman, New York Times, February 18, 2003)
There has been much speculation why Europe and the U.S. are suddenly at such odds. Is it about culture? About history? But I haven't seen much discussion of an obvious point: We have different views partly because we see different news. . . . Last Saturday's huge demonstrations confirmed polls that show deep distrust of the Bush administration and skepticism about an Iraq war in all major European nations, whatever position their governments may take. In fact, the biggest demonstrations were in countries whose governments are supporting the Bush administration. . . . There were big demonstrations in America too. But distrust of the U.S. overseas has reached such a level, even among our British allies, that a recent British poll ranked the U.S. as the world's most dangerous nation — ahead of North Korea and Iraq. . . . So why don't other countries see the world the way we do? News coverage is a large part of the answer. . . . Most people, though, get their news from TV -- and there the difference is immense. The coverage of Saturday's antiwar rallies was a reminder of the extent to which U.S. cable news, in particular, seems to be reporting about a different planet than the one covered by foreign media. . . . What would someone watching cable news have seen? On Saturday, news anchors on Fox described the demonstrators in New York as "the usual protesters" or "serial protesters." CNN wasn't quite so dismissive, but on Sunday morning the headline on the network's Web site read "Antiwar rallies delight Iraq," and the accompanying picture showed marchers in Baghdad, not London or New York. . . . This wasn't at all the way the rest of the world's media reported Saturday's events, but it wasn't out of character. For months both major U.S. cable news networks have acted as if the decision to invade Iraq has already been made, and have in effect seen it as their job to prepare the American public for the coming war. . . . Europeans, who don't see the same things on TV, are far more inclined to wonder why Iraq — rather than North Korea, or for that matter Al Qaeda — has become the focus of U.S. policy. That's why so many of them question American motives, suspecting that it's all about oil or that the administration is simply picking on a convenient enemy it knows it can defeat. They don't see opposition to an Iraq war as cowardice; they see it as courage, a matter of standing up to the bullying Bush administration. . . . some U.S. media outlets -- operating in an environment in which anyone who questions the administration's foreign policy is accused of being unpatriotic -- have taken it as their assignment to sell the war, not to present a mix of information that might call the justification for war into question.

posted by Lorenzo 2:58 PM

Monday, February 17, 2003

A New Power in the Streets
(Patrick E. Tyler, New York Times, 17 February 2003)
The fracturing of the Western alliance over Iraq and the huge antiwar demonstrations around the world this weekend are reminders that there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion. . . . millions of people who flooded the streets of New York and dozens of other world cities to say they are against war based on the evidence at hand. . . . Mr. Bush's advisers are telling him to ignore them and forge ahead . . . The fresh outpouring of antiwar sentiment may not be enough to dissuade Mr. Bush or his advisers from their resolute preparations for war. But the sheer number of protesters offers a potent message that any rush to war may have political consequences for nations that support Mr. Bush's march into the Tigris and Euphrates valleys. . . . But the swell of popular opposition to war across Europe, the second negative, plus the corrosive effects of the hawkish jibes that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others have hurled across the Atlantic, have only roiled the waters further. . . . Mr. Powell promised new intelligence on connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda, but then did not provide it, at least within public view. And he did not respond to Mr. Blix when the arms inspector challenged one point of the American intelligence briefing of Feb. 5. . . . Mr. Blix pointed out that the satellite images Mr. Powell brought before the Council were shot two weeks apart and did not necessarily show Iraqi deception. A chemical decontamination truck is present in one photo and not the other. "Routine" movements were also a possible explanation, Mr. Blix pointed out, and Mr. Powell nodded. . . . It didn't help Mr. Bush or Mr. Powell that the French said their intelligence agencies found no support for the American claim of a strong connection between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden's terrorism network. It also did not help that Mr. Powell's appearance on Friday came just days after Prime Minister Tony Blair's latest intelligence white paper was found to have been plagiarized from Internet sources. . . . But the more senior members of Mr. Bush's team, especially Mr. Powell, live in the shadow of Vietnam, where their careers began and out of which they brought a determination not to take the country into war without strong public support. Given Mr. Hussein's record, the actions of Iraq over the next few weeks could conceivably resurrect that support and reverse the negative psychology and loss of momentum that the Bush administration suffered this week. . . . For the moment, an exceptional phenomenon has appeared on the streets of world cities. It may not be as profound as the people's revolutions across Eastern Europe in 1989 or in Europe's class struggles of 1848, but politicians and leaders are unlikely to ignore it.

posted by Lorenzo 3:06 PM

Blair to defy anti-war protests
(Ewen MacAskill and Michael White, The Guardian, February 17, 2003)
Tony Blair refused to blink last night in the face of the biggest anti-war demonstrations ever held in Britain and worldwide. . . . In spite of their bullishness, there were signs that the scale of the protest, combined with the report by the UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, on Friday, has disrupted US and British diplomatic plans. . . . Mr Blair will face calls to give the inspectors more time when he meets the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, and the French president, Jacques Chirac, at an EU summit on Iraq in Brussels tonight. The summit was called by Greece, which holds the EU presidency, to try to secure common ground but there was little optimism in London that it would achieve much more than a reiteration of support for existing UN resolutions. . . . The London protest attracted people with an astonishing variety of backgrounds and political viewpoints. The numbers and diversity should be a cause of worry to a prime minister who prides himself on his awareness of public opinion. . . . Mr Blair's ministers insisted public opinion could flip in favour of war, provided there was a second UN resolution. They admitted it would be problematic for Mr Blair's relationship with his party if he failed to secure that. . . . One minister said cabinet resignations were unlikely to extend beyond the leader of the house, Robin Cook, and that while ordinary members would leave the party, he doubted if it would amount to the predicted exodus.

[Comment: A frequent cheer heard at Peace marches was, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Bush and Blair have got to go!" . . . and where should they go? how about sending these chickenhawks to the front lines.]

posted by Lorenzo 2:59 PM

Feb 15 Marks an Historic Day of Protest!
In a day of protest like the world has never seen, millions upon millions filled city streets around the globe denouncing the Bush Administration's call to war. From Buenos Aires to Helsinki to Paris to Los Angeles, throngs of citizens came out to join this global effort to turn the tide toward peace. At nearly a million people, London saw its largest protest ever, 500,000 in New York City, 1-2 million in Rome, Barcelona and Madrid, and hundreds of thousands in at least 600 cities across the United States and the World.

posted by Lorenzo 1:25 PM

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Millions Join World Protests Against Iraq War
(Paul Majendie and Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters, 15 February 2003)
More than six million demonstrators turned out across the world on Saturday in a wave of protest supporting international leaders in urging the United States not to rush into a war against Iraq. . . . From Canberra to Cape Town, from Karachi to Chicago, people from all walks of life took to the streets to pillory President Bush as a bloodthirsty warmonger in the biggest demonstration of 'people power' since the Vietnam War. . . . A million people marched the streets of Rome, 1.3 million paraded in Barcelona, two million in Madrid, and in New York, officials estimated the turnout there at 250,000. . . . "I hope this demonstration will show Muslims it is our government that wants the war, not the British people," said protester Richard Shirres, rallying in London with his six-year-old son. London Mayor Ken Livingstone said the rally was the largest peace demonstration in British political history. . . . "France is giving peace a chance. France is giving hope to the world and all over the world people are looking to France ...," Raffarin told parliament. . . . But French commentators said Baghdad had probably won only a brief reprieve. . . . Secretary of State Colin Powell told CNN that Washington was still thinking of giving Iraq just weeks to comply with U.N. disarmament demands. . . . Iraqi media said the reactions to the much-anticipated inspectors' report to the United Nations showed the United States and Britain were isolated and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz hailed the worldwide protests. . . . In Spain, Oscar-nominated film director Pedro Almodovar whipped up the crowd of two million in Madrid with chants of "No to war!" . . . "We don't understand the concept of a preventive war. The only preventive war is called peace," Almodovar told those demonstrating on a cold but clear day.

posted by Lorenzo 5:49 PM

India won't support U.S. attack on Iraq
(UPI, 15 February 2003)
India's government said Saturday it will not support any U.S.-led attack on Iraq without the approval first of the United Nations, adding it would be "inconceivable" the United States should act as long as U.N. inspectors in Iraq find no weapons of mass destruction. . . . "It would be inconceivable that the U.S. should take any action after what has been submitted to the U.N. Security Council yesterday by all those who were concerned with the search and also by the stand that has been taken by the members of the Security Council like France, Germany, Russia and China and other countries that have been associated with this opposition (to war)," Defense Minister George Fernandes told the Press Trust of India news agency in the southern city of Bangalore. . . . "It is an obvious situation where Iraq has been found to be without any weapons of mass destruction," the PTI quoted Indian defense minister as saying. "How can India support... (the United States against Iraq)?" . . . New Delhi has maintained the Iraq issue must be resolved amicably. . . . India is home to the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia and it still has an Iraqi embassy in the capital, New Delhi. The government's decision to allow U.S. airplanes to refuel at Indian facilities during the 1991 Persian Gulf War caused domestic political turmoil.

posted by Lorenzo 5:42 PM

Rattled by an outpouring of anti-war sentiment, Britain Reworking Iraq Resolution
Before Friday's dramatic Security Council meeting, where weapons inspectors gave a relatively favorable accounting of Iraq's recent cooperation, U.S. and British diplomats said they had been preparing a toughly worded resolution that would give them U.N. backing for military action. . . . But the measured reports by inspectors, in addition to massive global opposition to war - expressed both in the council and in the streets - came as a blow to their plans. . . . British and American diplomats conceded they would need to go home, consider the views of others and soften the tone of the draft. . . . While Secretary of State Colin Powell said after Friday's meeting that there was no talk of compromise yet, some diplomats said privately that it was the responsibility of the five council powers - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - to negotiate a way out of the impasse over Iraq. . . . U.N. backing is particularly important for the British government, which faces strong public opposition to a war. More than 750,000 people attended an anti-war protest in London on Saturday, police said, and millions more joined in similar demonstrations across the globe. . . . Noting the opposition, diplomats from Mexico, Chile, Angola and Bulgaria - key swing votes thought by the United States to be likely supporters - were considering abstaining in a vote as long as the five powers were unable to agree. . . . All sides acknowledge they want to avoid forcing France, Russia or China to veto the resolution. So the draft will have to be considerably reworked or be designed to be withdrawn - a diplomatic strategy that would demonstrate Britain and the United States want U.N. support but not at any cost.

posted by Lorenzo 5:39 PM

Thursday, February 13, 2003

10 million join world protest rallies
(John Vidal, The Guardian, February 13, 2003)
Up to 10 million people on five continents are expected to demonstrate against the probable war in Iraq on Saturday, in some of the largest peace marches ever known. . . . Yesterday, up to 400 cities in 60 countries, from Antarctica to Pacific islands, confirmed that peace rallies, vigils and marches would take place. Of all major countries, only China is absent from the growing list which includes more than 300 cities in Europe and north America, 50 in Asia and Latin America, 10 in Africa and 20 in Australia and Oceania. . . . What is extraordinary, say the organisers, is the depth and breadth of opposition that the US and Britain are meeting across the world before a war has even started. . . . "This is unprecedented. Demonstrations only got this large against the Vietnam war at the height of the conflict, years after it started," said a spokesman for Answer, a coalition of US peace groups which helped organise a march of 200,000 people last month in Washington. . . . "The internationalism of the opposition is the most powerful weapon people have. It's all we have. We think that Bush and Blair are well aware that global opposition is mounting fast and that they are now desperate to start the war before they are completely isolated by world opinion," . . . In Germany, more than 300 towns are sending coaches to Berlin, where more than 100,000 people are expected to march. . . . A spokeswoman for the SWTC said: "We do think there will be a whole wave of civil disobedience if war breaks out. People want to be peaceful and are quite slow to anger, but they will be very angry if after Saturday's mass show of opposition Tony Blair refuses to listen."

posted by Lorenzo 4:59 PM

From Lisbon to Ljubljana, San Francisco to Manhattan, protesters gather to stop the bombs
(Peter Popham and Andrew Gumbel, The Independent, 13 February 2003)
In a co-ordinated expression of anger, anti-war protesters are preparing to swarm through dozens of cities across the globe over the next few days. . . . In Europe, Italian organisers predict one and a half million people will stream through the streets of Rome on Saturday. In November, more than 400,000 anti-war protesters attended a demonstration in Florence. . . . In the United States, some unwelcome intervention from the courts and sectarian in-fighting among left-wing organisers have partly soured plans for a massive weekend of action against the war in up to 300 cities. A major march and rally planned in the heart of Manhattan on Saturday has had to be modified after a federal judge upheld New York City's right to refuse to issue a marching permit because of security concerns. Instead, protesters will gather on First Avenue for a stationary rally. . . . "We are appalled by this attack on our basic First Amendment rights, and we are asking all of our supporters to protest vigorously against this attempt to stifle the growing opposition to Bush's war," the rally's organisers, United for Peace and Justice, said in a statement.

posted by Lorenzo 4:50 PM

Edward Said: America is a monument to hypocrisy
(Edward Said, Al-Ahram Weekly, 13 - 19 February 2003)
Colin Powell's UN speech, designed obviously to outrage the American people and bludgeon the UN into going to war, seems to me to have been a new low point in moral hypocrisy and political manipulation. But Donald Rumsfeld's lectures in Munich this past weekend went one step further than the bumbling Powell in unctuous sermonising and bullying derision. . . . I shall discount George Bush and his coterie of advisers . . . they seem to me slaves of power perfectly embodied in the repetitive monotone of their collective spokesman Ari Fliescher (who I believe is also an Israeli citizen). Bush is, he has said, in direct contact with God, or if not God, then at least Providence. Perhaps only Israeli settlers can converse with him. . . . First, a few preliminaries. The US has clearly decided on war: there seem to be no two ways about it. . . . Second, the planners of this war, as Ralph Nader has forcefully said, are chicken hawks, that is, hawks who are too cowardly to do any fighting themselves. Wolfowitz, Perle, Bush, Cheney and others of that entirely civilian group were to a man in strong favour of the Vietnam War, yet each of them got a deferment based on privilege, and therefore never fought or so much as even served in the armed forces. . . . It's particularly galling that Perle, about as unqualified a person as it is imaginable to be on any subject touching on democracy and justice, should have been an election adviser to Netanyahu's extreme right- wing government during the period 1996-9, in which he counseled the renegade Israeli to scrap any and all peace attempts, to annex the West Bank and Gaza, and try to get rid of as many Palestinians as possible. This man now talks about bringing democracy to the Middle East, and does so without provoking the slightest objection from any of the media pundits who politely (abjectly) quiz him on national television. . . . This is an unconscionable record to hold against the US, and Mr Powell as its human symbol in particular. As the person in charge of US foreign policy, it is his specific responsibility to uphold the laws of this country, and to make sure that the enforcement of human rights and the promotion of freedom -- the proclaimed central plank in the US's foreign policy since at least 1976 -- is applied uniformly, without exception or condition. How he and his bosses and co- workers can stand up before the world and righteously sermonise against Iraq while at the same time completely ignoring the ongoing American partnership in human rights abuses with Israel defies credibility. . . . The Palestinian territories today are witnessing the onset of a mass famine; there is a health crisis of catastrophic proportions; there is a civilian death toll that totals at least a dozen to 20 people a week; the economy has collapsed; hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are unable to work, study, or move about as curfews and at least 300 barricades impede their daily lives; houses are blown up or bulldozed on a mass basis (60 yesterday). And all of it with US equipment, US political support, US finances. . . . We cannot in any way lend our silence to a policy of war that the White House has openly announced will include three to five hundred cruise missiles a day (800 of them during the first 48 hours of the war) raining down on the civilian population of Baghdad in order to produce "Shock and Awe", or even a human cataclysm that will produce, as its boastful planner a certain Mr (or is it Dr?) Harlan Ullman has said, a Hiroshima-style effect on the Iraqi people. Note that during the 1991 Gulf War after 41 days of bombing Iraq this scale of human devastation was not even approached. And the US has 6000 "smart" missiles ready to do the job. What sort of God would want this to be a formulated and announced policy for His people? And what sort of God would claim that this was going to bring democracy and freedom to the people not only of Iraq but to the rest of the Middle East? . . . I do know that if anything like this is going to be visited on any population on earth it would be a criminal act, and its perpetrators and planners war criminals according to the Nuremberg Laws that the US itself was crucial in formulating. Not for nothing do General Sharon and Shaul Mofaz welcome the war and praise George Bush. Who knows what more evil will be done in the name of Good? Every one of us must raise our voices, and march in protest, now and again and again. We need creative thinking and bold action to stave off the nightmares planned by a docile, professionalised staff in places like Washington and Tel Aviv and Baghdad. For if what they have in mind is what they call "greater security" then words have no meaning at all in the ordinary sense. That Bush and Sharon have contempt for the non-white people of this world is clear. The question is, how long can they keep getting away with it?

posted by Lorenzo 4:29 PM

Ramsey Clark's Letter to the United Nations

Only firm opposition to war can serve and save the United Nations.

The peoples and nations of the world are looking to the United Nations to prevent the United States from waging a war of aggression against Iraq. This is the purpose for which the United Nations was created. To fail to firmly oppose military action against Iraq as a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law will propel the United Nations toward irrelevancy, or worse, apologist for an aggressor Superpower. . . . By saying "no" to the scourge of war, the United Nations may save the United States from its own misguided leadership. . . . If the United Nations yields its authority to United States aggression, it may never achieve independence to pursue its founding purpose, a world free of war and the domination of violent forces. Better to oppose U.S. aggression and struggle to preserve the principles and major participation of peoples and nations in its cause than yield to the coercive will of the Bush Administration. . . . More deadly than that bombing, twelve years of sanctions have inflicted death on over 1,500,000 people in Iraq, the majority children under 5 years old. . . . You must remember the enormity of this genocide as you consider whether to agree to another major U.S. military assault on Iraq. U.S. plans for intense bombardment of Iraq followed by land invasion discussed daily in the media would take thousands of Iraqi lives, however successfully executed. Violence that could radiate out from such a criminal assault may have catastrophic effect far more deadly and long lasting than the sanctions on Iraq. . . . The Only Rational Explanation For President Bush's Obsession With Attacking Iraq Is Oil And Related Geo-Political Power. . . . Secretary Powell's charts, photos and electronic intercepts of conversations require authentication. They are repetitious of old tactics like the U.S. claim North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked U.S. Navy ships in the Tonkin Gulf in 1964.Only later the U.S. admitted there were "no boats" there. Or the U.S. claim in early August 1990 that 250,000 Iraqi troops were poised to invade on Saudi Arabia's border, disproved by commercial satellite photos that showed no troops were there. . . . And if everything Secretary Powell feared and professed to find was true, an attack on Iraq would still be unlawful. International law does not permit a war of aggression for non violent acts in the absence of an imminent threat of violence. . . . President Bush was speaking of summary executions, or pre-emptive murder in the language of a grade B Hollywood movie on organized crime. His doctrine of "pre-emptive" or "first strike" war makes war prevention impossible and international law meaningless. His doctrine has increased violence, or the threat of violence in occupied Palestine, between India and Pakistan, on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere. It promises the reign of violence and lawlessness. . . . The United Nations and each of its nations must say "No" to war.

posted by Lorenzo 12:15 PM

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The spectacle of the United States, armed with its weapons of mass destruction, acting without Security Council authority to invade a country in the heartland of Arabia and, if necessary, use its weapons of mass destruction to win that battle, is something that will so deeply violate any notion of fairness in this world that I strongly suspect it could set loose forces that we would deeply live to regret.
--Richard Butler, former U.N. arms inspector

posted by Lorenzo 4:28 PM

The widening Atlantic: Iraq split points to far deeper divisions
(The Guardian, February 11, 2003)
Amid talk of Nato's imminent disintegration, transatlantic trench warfare and the UN's collapse into League of Nations oblivion, it is vital to stay focused on the issue from which these disputes directly stem: US plans to wage war on Iraq. . . . Recent public recriminations and yesterday's Nato row over Turkey show how broadly damaging and divisive the Iraq issue is. This makes it even more important, not least for Britain, to agree an Iraq policy that most, if not all, can support. . . . It is now plain that Mr Bush and Tony Blair have largely failed to persuade Europe, the Arab world (and many Americans) that there is no alternative to the early use of pre-emptive force. It is evident that the objection of France, Germany, Russia and China to a premature aborting of UN inspections is but the tip, to use Hans Blix's metaphor, of an iceberg of popular opposition. It is condescending to imply, as Mr Blair seems to, that people have not understood what is at stake. They do. . . . The US was wrong to dismiss out-of-hand the Franco-German proposals for expanded inspections. If Colin Powell believes inspections, enhanced or not, can never work, then why did the US back them last autumn? Perhaps it really is all a US charade, as Iraq suspects. It is dishonest to urge a second UN vote authorising force yet simultaneously vow to attack if one is not agreed. . . . There is no dispute about the need for Iraq to disarm. The argument is about the best means to attain that aim. The US and Britain must persevere down the UN route of intensified inspections, containment and diplomatic pressure. At present, this is a reasonable alternative to war. But it is also a unifying policy that most UN, Nato and EU states and most people can rally behind. Plainly, bridging these divisions is greatly in Britain's interest. Equally, if the US presses on regardless, Mr Blair may soon have to decide where his interest lies: following Mr Bush or leading the British people.

posted by Lorenzo 1:46 PM

"Being allies implies dialogue with partners and respect for them," the French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, told a press conference in Munich. "It is not enough to simply say: my plans are the best and everybody who disagrees with me should step aside."

posted by Lorenzo 1:00 PM

Make a difference
(Paul Foot, The Guardian, February 12, 2003)
Saturday's anti-war demonstration is vital because it could change the whole course of politics. . . . I wrote here several months ago of the importance of demonstrating against the war. There can be no doubt that the vast demonstration last September altered the government view about the opposition to war. This was not a barmy army, but a vast array of anxious people. Official catcalls of "appeasers!" and "pacifists!" were replaced with more presentable arguments. Now the stakes are much higher, and so is the mounting tide of outrage. . . . Why is Britain the first to rush to the aid of the United States adventure? Why are our troops going to the Gulf when even the troops of countries whose governments are ostensibly in favour of the war are tactfully held back? Are there any depths to which the government information and intelligence services will not sink in their campaign to halt the irresistible rise in hostility to the war? . . . And above all what can people do about it? How can voters respond when their sheepish representatives can't even debate the matter in parliament? These are questions that are no longer restricted to a small coterie of people who are "interested in politics". . . . It seems suddenly that everyone is interested; everyone except Julie Burchill and Ian Duncan Smith is shocked and everyone wants to do something about it. On Saturday, the cliché will become the truth. . . . The eyes and ears of the world will be fixed on the London streets and on Hyde Park. The size and fury of the demonstration will have an impact on real events the like of which I have not experienced in a lifetime of protest. Hyde Park will once again host a demonstration, like that of the Reform League in 1867 or the suffragettes in 1908, that can change the whole course of politics. Go to it.

posted by Lorenzo 12:23 PM Open Letter to Europe
[Click on the above link to send the following letter to your mailing list.]

Dear Friend:

Many of us in America are doing everything in our power to change our government's policy toward Iraq. However, we fear this war cannot be stopped without the strong support of the people of European nations., and other organizations are sponsoring a letter/petition asking our friends in Europe to stand in solidarity with us against the Bush administration's push to make war on Iraq. A compiled petition will be presented to citizens and media in European capitals representing the feelings of support from people in the U.S.

Unity among the countries of the world can help us avoid this war and the terrible spiral of violence that could engulf the Middle East, the United States and the world.

Please join me in signing this letter/petition, at:

Here's the text of the letter:

We, the undersigned citizens of the United States of America, are writing to ask for your help.

We are already grateful for your principled opposition to our government's misguided and dangerous policy toward Iraq. Despite the deceptive claims of the Bush Administration and the poor coverage of the crisis by our media, huge numbers of Americans have evaluated the facts for themselves and join with you to oppose our government's drive toward war.

Like many of you, we believe that war will not lead to future peace in the Middle East but to more violence and death -- not just in Iraq but eventually throughout the region, as well as in the United States and across the globe. With you, we believe that war will not bring about the liberation of the Iraqi people but visit upon them even greater catastrophe than in the past.

We are doing everything within our power here in America to change our government's policy. However, we fear this war cannot be stopped without strong opposition from the nations of Europe.

We, and the rest of the world, therefore look to you for support in this daunting task we share.

We ask that you attend the antiwar rallies this Saturday, Feb. 15 in London, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Warsaw and other cities across Europe. An overwhelming turnout in the streets will show your governments and the world that Europe says no to preemptive war. Before and after the demonstrations, write, speak out and protest in every way possible.

We ask also that you demand that your governments support the French-German initiative for additional inspections. If your government currently backs the Bush Administration, make it clear that they should withdraw this support. If your government is standing against the Bush Administration, make it clear that you support their actions and call upon them to stand firm.

Finally, we ask that, when the threat of war recedes, you join together with us in non-violent efforts to help the long-suffering Iraqi people in their struggle for democracy and freedom.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we were deeply moved by Europe's messages of sympathy and support. Those of us who visited the sites of the attacks in the weeks that followed will always remember the comfort we took in the letters posted nearby sent from your families to ours.

Today, we need your unity more than ever -- or we fear that Sept. 11 will be only the beginning of a terrible spiral of violence that will engulf the Middle East, the United States and the world.

However, we believe this frightening vision of the future need not come to pass. As former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who was Commander General of the Allied Forces in World War II once said, "I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."

Let this be the moment when the people of the world, for the first time, truly come together to force our governments to give us peace. Please stand with us on February 15 and in the future, as we stand with you.

posted by Lorenzo 11:07 AM

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Certified lunatics are shut up because of their proneness to violence when their pretensions are questioned; the uncertified variety are given the control of powerful armies, and can inflict death and disaster upon all sane men within their reach.
--Bertrand Russell

posted by Lorenzo 6:24 PM

Mandate for war will fail, predicts Germany
(David Usborne, Tony Paterson and Stephen Castle, The Independent, 12 February 2003)
Germany said yesterday that a clear majority of nations on the UN Security Council will oppose a new resolution authorising war on Iraq, heralding a political catastrophe for Tony Blair. . . . Only four of the 15, the US, Britain, Spain and Bulgaria, were opposed to the German position, a senior source claimed. . . . For a resolution to pass, it needs a minimum of nine votes and the absence of a veto by any of the five permanent members. . . . On Monday, Germany, Russia and France issued a joint call for inspections to be pursued and reinforced with extra manpower and technology.

posted by Lorenzo 6:01 PM


posted by Lorenzo 4:57 PM

Monday, February 10, 2003

Robert Fisk: You wanted to believe Powell – but it was like something out of Beckett
(Robert Fisk, The Independent, 06 February 2003)
Colin Powell's terror talk to the United Nations Security Council yesterday sounded like one of those government-inspired reports on the front page of The New York Times . . . Because Colin Powell is supposed to be the good cop to the Bush-Rumsfeld bad cop routine, one wanted to believe him. The Iraqi officer's telephoned order to his subordinate – "remove 'nerve agents' whenever it comes up in the wireless instructions" – looked as if the Americans had indeed spotted a nasty new little line in Iraqi deception. But a dramatic picture of a pilotless Iraqi aircraft capable of spraying poison chemicals turned out to be the imaginative work of a Pentagon artist. . . . And when General Powell started blathering on about "decades'' of contact between Saddam and al-Qa'ida, things went wrong for the Secretary of State. Al-Qa'ida only came into existence five years ago, since Bin Laden – "decades" ago – was working against the Russians for the CIA, whose present day director was sitting grave-faced behind General Powell. And Colin Powell's new version of his President's State of the Union lie – that the "scientists" interviewed by UN inspectors had been Iraqi intelligence agents in disguise – was singularly unimpressive. . . . The worst moment came when General Powell started talking about anthrax and the 2001 anthrax attacks in Washington and New York, pathetically holding up a teaspoon of the imaginary spores and – while not precisely saying so – fraudulently suggesting a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 2001 anthrax scare. . . . These elegantly dressed statesmen were constructing the framework that would allow them to kill quite a lot of people, the monstrous Saddam perhaps, with his cronies, but a considerable number of innocents as well.

posted by Lorenzo 2:50 PM

Sunday, February 02, 2003

TIA and the Kiwis
Trading our privacy for security
- 01.02.2003
By ROGER FRANKLIN - New Zealand Herald
Read this story on the internet, rather than its ink-and-paper version, and the day may not be that far off when, no matter where in the world you log on, an unseen but all-seeing presence in the United States will be looking over your shoulder. George Orwell would have recognised the watcher as Big Brother, but the author of 1984, who died more than half a century ago, didn't know the half of what computers would someday bring. Where Orwell erred was in imagining that the watchers would only be able to peep through keyholes. Even Winston Smith, 1984's doomed hero, enjoyed a blind nook in his flat where he could scratch forbidden thoughts in his journal without alerting the Telescreen that observed every other mundane detail of his drab life. If the Bush Administration's plans to introduce something it calls the Total Information Awareness programme come to pass, however, almost no private place anywhere in the world will be left unscanned. More than all-seeing, the battery of computer scanners the US wants to assemble will be all-knowing. "The current fuss," he told the Weekend Herald late last week, "concerns the ease with which elites, the agents of governments' security apparatus in this case, can gain access - not the access itself. "The information about every one of us is already there, so this is an abstract, artificial debate about the formality of getting a search warrant. If the ideological opponents of surveillance win, those fighting TIA will have achieved a terrible and pyrrhic victory. His solution, which he raised at what must have been a less-than-cordial meeting with Poindexter [...tried to commit suicide rather than testify against his president. He's a man, in other words, who knows his duty rather better than he understands the law] late last year, is panels of citizens chosen by lot and modelled on America's grand jury system. "One hundred of your neighbours with red badges and the right to demand immediate access to Big Brother's activities. Like a grand jury, it would operate behind closed doors - except if cause was found to bring charges into the open of the courtroom."

****Don't hold your breath****

posted by A Curmudgeon 6:16 AM

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Mandela: "Bush can't think properly"
(afrol News, 30 January 2003)
South African ex-President Nelson Mandela at a conference blasted US policies towards Iraq, saying it was all about oil. A unilateral attack on Iraq may lead the world into a "holocaust", he said. Also the current South African administration is increasingly rejecting US polices on Iraq. . . . ". . . what I condemn is one power with a president who can't think properly and wants to plant the world into holocaust," Mr Mandela said. . . . He added that war "would be devastating not just to Iraq but also to the whole of the Middle East and to other countries of the world." The ex-President feared both the human suffering in Iraq and the consequences for regional stability of attacking Iraq and at the same time supporting Israel. . . . Naming the US "arrogant" and Mr Blair a "US Foreign Minister," the Nobel Peace Price winner asked: why US was behaving this way. "Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because it's their ally they won't ask the UN to get rid of them. They just want the oil. We must expose this as much as possible," he concluded. . . . In his weekly letter on the ANC website, President Mbeki called on all South Africans to join the international peace movement. "We have insisted that the Iraq question must be solved through the United Nations," wrote the President.

posted by Lorenzo 12:26 PM

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