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World Tribunal Rules Iraq War Unjust and Cowardly
(World Tribunal on Iraq, 27 June 2005)
With a Jury of Conscience from 10 different countries hearing the testimonies of 54 members of the Panel of Advocates who came from across the world, including Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom, this global civil initiative came to an end . . . Arundathi Roy, announced the Jury's conclusions. . . . The Jury defined this war as one of the most unjust in history: 'The Bush and Blair administrations blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated.' . . . the jury has established the following charges against the Governments of the US and the UK: Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles. . . . Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure . . . Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems . . . Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter . . . Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors . . . Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment . . . Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment . . . Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied . . . Willfully devastating the environment . . . Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded . . . Failing to protect humanity's rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq . . . Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media . . . Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions . . . The Jury also provided a number of recommendations that include recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq. . . . The session in Istanbul was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. Sessions on different topics related to the war on Iraq were held in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain. . . . They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence on the illegality of the invasion and occupation that will be recorded in a forthcoming book.
Official World Tribunal on Iraq Web site
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posted by Lorenzo 3:09 PM
What Is Bush's Agenda in Iraq?
(Paul Craig Roberts, AntiWar.com, June 21, 2005)
For what purpose has President Bush sent 1,741 U.S. troops to die in Iraq (as of June 19, 2005)? . . . For what purpose have 15,000-38,000 U.S. troops been wounded, many so seriously that they are maimed for life? . . . Why has the U.S. government thrown away $300 billion in an illegal and pointless war that cannot be won? . . . These questions are beginning to penetrate the consciousness of Americans, a majority of whom no longer support Bush's war. . . . Bush's Iraq war is the first war for which Americans have not known the reason. The reasons they were given by their president, vice president, secretary of defense, national security adviser, secretary of state, and the sycophantic media were nothing but a pack of lies. . . . The top-secret British government memos leaked to a reporter at the London Sunday Times make it completely clear that prior to the invasion President Bush knew that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. . . . The memos make it completely clear that Saddam Hussein had no responsibility whatsoever for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. . . . In his June 18 weekly radio address last Saturday, Bush again lied to the American people when he told them that the U.S. was forced into invading Iraq because of the Sept. 11 attack on the WTC. Bush, the greatest disgrace that America has ever had to suffer, actually repeated at this late date the monstrous lie for which he is infamous throughout the world: "We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens." . . . Whoever the "people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens" might be, they were not Iraqis, at least not until Bush invaded their country, killed tens of thousands and maimed tens of thousands more, detained tens of thousands others, destroyed entire cities, destroyed the country's infrastructure, and created mass unemployment, poverty, pollution, and disease. . . . The only reason Iraqis want to harm the U.S. is because George W. Bush inflicted, and continues to inflict, tremendous harm on Iraqis. . . . If the Bush administration has its way, the Iraqi insurgents will be joined by the Iranians, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. The "people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens" will increase exponentially. . . . The neocons assured Americans that the war in Iraq would be a cakewalk over in three weeks! . . . The neocons told us that only 70,000 troops were needed to bring Iraq to heel! . . . Neocons fired the top generals who had truthfully told Congress that several hundred thousand troops, at least, would be needed! . . . Neocons told Congress that Iraqi oil would pay for the invasion and that America did not have to worry about the cost! So far, that is a $300 billion mistake. . . . And Bush has retained and promoted these morons! . . . No one has been held accountable for this enormous disaster. . . . How many more American troops are going to be killed and maimed for Bush's lies? How many more Iraqi civilians must be killed, maimed, and locked up? . . . Bush's lies are discrediting and destroying democracy in America. His PATRIOT Act alone has done more damage to Americans' freedom than Osama bin Laden. . . . Why did Bush invade Iraq? Cynical Americans say the answer is oil. But $300 billion would have bought the oil without getting anyone killed, without destroying America's reputation in the world, and without stirring up countless terrorist recruits for al-Qaeda. . . . Will President Bush ever tell us the real reason why he committed America's treasure, the lives of American soldiers, and the reputation of our country to war in Iraq? . . . Does he even know?
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posted by Lorenzo 1:16 PM
Robert Fisk: We shelter behind the myth that progress is being made
So we are going to support the myth. As the headless bodies are found along the Tigris, as the mortuaries fill up, as the American dead grow far beyond 1,700 - and, let us remember, the Iraqi dead go into the tens of thousands - Europe and the rest of the world still support the American project. . . . The Brussels summit was - and of course I quote our good friend Mr Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations - "a clear sign that the international community will be determined and dedicated to [the Iraqis] on the tough walk ahead". . . . You can say "tough" again. How many suicide bombers have now immolated themselves against the Americans and their mercenaries and the new Iraqi army and the new Iraqi police force and their recruits? The figure appears to stand at around 420. Back in the days of Hizbollah's war against Israeli occupation in Lebanon, a suicide bomber a month was regarded as phenomenal. . . . In the Palestinian "intifada", one a week was amazing. But in Iraq, we reach seven a day; Wal-Mart suicide bombing that raises the darkest questions about out ability to crush the uprising. . . . Condoleezza Rice says she wants more Arab ambassadors in Baghdad. I bet she does. When King Abdullah of Jordan promises to send his man to Iraq "as soon as it is safe", you know that the Arabs have understood the situation in a way the Americans have not. Who wants to be a late ambassador? Who wants to put his head on the block in Baghdad? . . . The reality - unimaginable for the Americans and their self-deluding allies, tragic for the Iraqis themselves - is that Iraq is a hell-disaster. Visit any Iraqi embassy in Europe, talk to any Iraqi in Baghdad - unless they live in the dubious safety of the pallisaded "Green Zone" - and you will hear their narrative of violence and have to accept that we have failed. . . . We are to be, so the myth-makers of Brussels claimed yesterday, "a full partner in the emergence of a new Iraq", to prove that "the people of Iraq have plenty of friends". Oh yes indeed. Except that most of these "friends" dare not visit Iraq (like the putative Jordanian ambassador) lest they have their heads chopped off. . . . American journalists now writing optimistically about the war - or the "insurgency" as we still insist on calling it - either travel with US forces in Iraq or conduct a form of "hotel journalism" from their heavily guarded Baghdad hotel rooms, working their mobile phones to talk to the self-imprisoned people of Iraq or their foreign mentors. A few American reporters still venture out - may they receive their appropriate awards (preferably not in heaven) - but the voice that now speaks of Iraq is that of officialdom, the narrative written by men and women who will, so they fervently hope, never have to visit real Iraq. . . . The representatives of more than 80 countries are urging the elected Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to reach out to Sunnis - the same Sunnis who are destroying American and Iraqi lives on a shocking scale across the country - but the official line, so cringingly enunciated by the BBC last night, was that "top diplomats" (I like the "top" bit) had "thrown their weight behind US efforts to build a democratic Iraq". Only the word "efforts" suggested the truth. . . . The reality is that Iraq is more insecure than ever, that no foreigner dare now travel its highways, that few will venture into the streets of Baghdad. And we are told that things are getting better. And still we believe these lies. And still we fool ourselves in the movie-world of the Pentagon and the White House and Downing Street and, these days, the UN. . . . If all those dignitaries and puffed-up politicos and self-important diplomats were so sure that Iraq was going to be a success story, why didn't they meet in Baghdad rather than Brussels? And of course, we all know the answer.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:15 PM
U.S. Censors Iraqi Blogger Who Publishes Information about American War Crimes
(Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches, June 23, 2005)
like the other witnesses I’m being interviewed by many outlets. Today, one of them was by reporters for one of the larger newspapers in Turkey, the Yeni Safak Newspaper. . . . The newspaper has been translating various articles of mine into Turkish and running them, particularly those concerning the most recent Fallujah massacre. The report who was interviewing me today told me that the former American consulate here, Eric Edelman, asked the Prime Minister of Turkey to pressure his paper to not run so many of my stories. . . . "Why did he do this," I asked him. . . . "Edelman said it was the wrong news," he told me with a smile. . . . Turns out Edelman also asked that articles by Robert Fisk and Naomi Klein not be run so often in Yeni Safak either. . . . He smiled at me while he watched the wheels turning in my head before I smiled back and said, "That makes me very happy, it means I’m doing my ob as a journalist." . . . So the American government is pressuring foreign countries to censor their news. Aside from the fact that this act is the height of arrogance by the United States, it makes it exceedingly clear why so many Americans who rely on the corporate media for their news continue to be so misinformed/un-informed about the goings on in Iraq. If the American government is attempting to censor the news in foreign countries, you can imagine what they are doing at home. . . . Because people like Edelman don’t want citizens of the United States to know that events like the massacre of Fallujah or the atrocities in Abu Ghraib are not isolated incidents. . . . People like Edelman don’t want people to know what one of my sources in Baquba just told me today. . . . His email reads: "Near the city of Buhrez, 5 kilometers south of Baquba, two Humvess of American soldiers were destroyed recently. American and Iraqi soldiers came to the city afterwards and cut all the phones, cut the water, cut medicine from arriving in the city and told them that until the people of the city bring the "terrorists" to them, the embargo will continue." . . . The embargo has been in place now for one week now, and he continued: "The Americans still won’t [let] anyone or any medicines and supplies into Buhrez, nor will they allow any people in or out. Even the Al-Sadr followers who organized some help for the people in the city (water, food, medicine) are not being allowed into the city. Even journalists cannot enter to publish the news, and the situation there is so bad. The Americans keep asking for the people in the city to bring them the persons who were in charge of destroying the two Humvees on the other side of the city, but of course the people in the city don’t know who carried out the attack." . . . People like Edelman don’t want people to know about the recent US attacks in Al-Qa’im and Haditha either. Attacks that Iraqis are describing as just as bad as the massacre of Fallujah. . . . On Haditha and Al-Qa'im, an Iraqi doctor sent me this email yesterday: "Listen…we witnessed crimes in the west area of the country of what the bastards did in Haditha and Al-Qa'im. It was a crime, a really big crime we have witnessed and filmed in those places and recently also in Fallujah. We need big help in the western area of the country. Our doctors need urgent help there. Please, this is an URGENT humanitarian request from the hospitals in the west of the country. We have big proof on how the American troops destroyed one of our hospitals, how they burned the whole store of medication of the west area of Iraq and how they killed a patient in the ward…how they prevented us from helping the people in al-Qa'im. This is an URGENT Humanitarian request. The hospitals in the west of Iraq ask for urgent help…we are in a big humanitarian medical disaster. . . " . . . People like Edelman don’t want the public to know that the same tactics used in Fallujah by the US military-posting snipers around the city to shoot anyone who moves, targeting ambulances, impeding medical care, or the detaining of innocent civilians en masse. . . . After all, Fallujah is the model. Fallujah is our Guernica. And now, Haditha, Al-Qa’im can be added to the list, with Baquba and Buhrez under deconstruction.
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posted by Lorenzo 3:31 PM
Troop Shortage Requires Navy to Station Sailors Ashore in Iraq
(Sandra Jontz, Stars and Stripes, June 23, 2005)
U.S. Navy leaders are ready to pluck more sailors off ships and deploy them to Iraq to bolster U.S. efforts in training Iraqi forces, the chief of the U.S. Navy Reserve said Wednesday. . . . "Are we going to take some sailors from the sea and put them ashore to answer this call?" Vice Adm. John Cotton said during an interview in Naples on Wednesday. "The answer to that is a resounding yes." . . . "If that means moving more Air Force and Navy personnel to Army billets to free them up for this mission, we need to do this," Skelton said. "We need to accomplish this mission as quickly as possible because time is not on our side." . . . Cotton did not elaborate on when more sailors may be sent to Iraq, but he pointed out that the Navy Reserve already has added cargo handlers to ground missions in Kuwait." . . . The naval reserve is comprised of about 77,000 sailors, officers and enlisted, of which about 3,300 currently are mobilized, Cotton said. . . . A huge challenge is mitigating the stress put on personnel who repeatedly fill key Navy jobs and have been activated and deployed time and again, Cotton said, citing Seabees, intelligence officials, coastal warfare specialists and civil affairs as examples. . . . "What we’re doing now is focusing recruiting efforts on the communities that are stressed — so a hospital corpsman, a Seabee, an intel professional -- these are the kind of people we want to recruit, either from the active component or directly off the street to relieve the stress."
[FULL DISCLOSURE by Lorenzo: Ordering the Navy Reserve into ground combat in Iraq hits close to home. Although I'm now too old to be called back to active duty (I hope :-), I formerly served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve.]
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posted by Lorenzo 10:54 AM
Baghdad reels from multiple bombs
(BBC News, 23 June 2005)
More than 30 people have been killed in a series of car bombings in Baghdad within 12 hours. . . . Three early morning blasts in the Karrada commercial district left at least 15 dead and 50 wounded. . . . The attacks targeted a Shia mosque and a police patrol, killing at least three officers. The third blast took place outside a public bath-house, or hamam. . . . The explosions came hours after at least 18 people died in five blasts in a Shia district of the city. . . . The attacks happened despite a continuing security operation in Baghdad specifically designed to reduce the number of car bombs. . . . More than 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in the two months since a Shia-led government was formed. . . . The mainly Sunni insurgents look set on trying to provoke a civil war and undermine Iraqi security services, the BBC's Jon Leyne reports from Baghdad. . . . US officials have warned that too much money earmarked for rebuilding Iraq is being diverted to tackle security demands. . . . The head of the reconstruction office said rebuilding was a costly and "risky" business, and there was "a long way to go" to provide adequate services to Iraqis. . . . A United Nations survey released last month found that Iraqi living standards have been plummeting. . . . More than two years since the war ended, just over half the population has access to safe drinking water, there are daily power cuts, and almost a quarter of young children are chronically malnourished, the survey found.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:15 AM
How America is fighting Iraq war on two fronts
(Phillip Knightley, Khaleejtimes, 18 June 2005)
AT A time when Donald Rumsfeld admits that Iraq is no safer now than it was at the end of the war, American opinion polls show that Americans think the Iraq war is turning into another Vietnam and that troops should come home, its fascinating to examine how the American administration has tried to keep secret what has been happening in Iraq. . . . A British writer Naomi Klein wrote late last year: "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies." . . . The American embassy in London complained to Naomi Klein and to the Guardian newspaper about her article, taking particular exception to her use of the word "eliminating", a euphemism, of course, for "killing". The embassy suggested that this was a baseless charge and pressed Naomi Klein to present the evidence to back her case. She has now done so. . . . She says that the first American attack on Fallujah last year caused uprisings across Iraq because of reports that the Americans had killed hundreds of civilians. This information was gathered from three main sources - Fallujah General Hospital, Arab TV journalists and clerics. The American forces withdrew from Fallujah and Donald Rumsfeld accused the Arab TV networks of vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable reporting. The Defence Department said Fallujah General Hospital was a centre of anti-American propaganda. . . . When in November last year US troops once again laid siege to Fallujah, according to Naomi Klein, they included a new tactic: "eliminating doctors, journalists and clerics who had drawn public attention to the civilian casualties the first time around. According to The New York Times the Fallujah General Hospital was selected as an early target. It was placed under American military control to prevent its staff reporting on civilian dead and wounded. . . . The Los Angeles Times quoted a doctor as saying that the Americans stole the medics mobile phones to prevent them from communicating with the outside world. And when fighting moved to Mosul, US forces immediately seized control of the hospital there. . . . Meanwhile the Arab TV network Al-Jazeera had no cameras on the ground because the Americans had banned it from reporting in Iraq indefinitely. Al-Arabiya had a reporter in Fallujah but US troops quickly arrested him and held him for the length of the siege. Likewise those clerics who spoke out against the killing in Fallujah were arrested. US forces stormed a prominent Sunni mosque killing three people and arresting 40, including the chief cleric, another opponent to the Falluja siege. . . . The image of the second siege of Fallujah came almost exclusively from American reporters imbedded by American troops and, as Klein says, independent journalists who had covered the first siege from the civilian perspective had been effectively emasculated. At stake here are several important issues. . . . First is that the Americans are determined that the public should not judge the progress of the war, as it did in Vietnam, by how many of the enemy the Americans killed. As General Tommy Franks of US Central Command has emphasised: "We dont do body counts". As Klein says: "The question is; what happens to the people who insist on counting the bodies - the doctors who must pronounce their patients dead, the journalists who document these losses, the clerics who denounce them?" . . . She makes a convincing case that these voices are being systematically silenced by a variety of means from mass arrests to raids on hospitals, media censorship, bans, and even overt physical attacks. In her reply to the US embassy she accuses the American administration of waging two wars in Iraq: a war against the Iraqi people which has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives, and a war on witnesses. In my view she makes her case.
Phillip Knightley is a widely published columnist based in London . . . Khaleej Times is the No.1 English language daily newspaper published from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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posted by Lorenzo 4:56 AM
Zionist Mossad has assassinated 530 Iraq scientists and professors in last seven months
Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 15 June 2005.
Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr,member, editorial board, The Free Arab Voice
There have been persistent reports for many months that Zionist hit squads have been active in Iraq assassinating Iraqi scientists and intellectuals. The latest chapter in that continuing story appeared on Tuesday, 14 June 2005, when the Palestine Information Center posted information that it said came from a report compiled by the United States Department of State and intended for the American President. . . . The report stated that agents of the Zionist foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad, in cooperation with US military forces in Iraq had assassinated 350 Iraqi scientists and more than 200 university professors in scientific and other disciplines. . . . The Palestine Information Center quoted the report as saying that units of the Mossad and "Israeli" commandos had been operating on Iraqi territory for more than a year, the focus of their activities being the assassination of Iraqi scientists and intellectuals. The Zionists resorted to the large-scale assassination campaign, the report said, after the failure of American efforts that started immediately after the American occupation of Iraq aimed at attracting a number of Iraqi scientists to cooperate and go to work in the United States. . . . The report stated that although a few Iraqi scientists did go to work in US government centers, the vast majority of them later refused to cooperate with US scientists in various experiments and fled the United States for other countries. . . . Those Iraqis who chose to remain in their country were subjected to long sessions of interrogation and investigation by US occupation authorities. Some were subjected to torture. The Zionist Mossad, however, came to believe that allowing those scientists to remain alive could constitute a future threat to the security of the Zionist entity. . . . The Mossad believed that the best way to deal with Iraqi scientists was to physically eliminate them, taking advantage of the violence already present in the country. . . . The report said that more than seven months ago the American Defense Department expressed its agreement with the point of view of the Zionist Mossad. Along those lines it was decided to form Zionist commando detachments to assassinate Iraqi scientists. Those detachments were to be aided in their mission by US military forces. Accordingly, the American security service compiled and provided to the Zionists complete biographies on the scientists as well as ways to get to them. . . . This joint assassination campaign has been underway for more than seven months. Over that period of time 350 Iraqi scientists and 200 university professors have been assassinated in Iraqi streets when they were away from home. The report indicated that the families of the scientists believed that their loved ones had been killed or died in the crossfire of Resistance attacks. . . . The campaign to eliminate Iraqi scientists is still underway, according to the report. Systematic Zionist commando assassinations continue >with the support and assistance of the Pentagon. The campaign reportedly has targeted more than 1,000 Iraqi scientists and it is said that one reason for some of the explosions in Iraqi streets that appear to be random and without clear target has been the assassination of the individuals on the US-supplied Mossad hit list.
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posted by Lorenzo 10:17 AM
Dowing Street Memo Hearing Video from CSPAN3
Rep. John Conyers, House Judiciary Cmte. Ranking Member, chairs a meeting on the Downing Street Memo and pre-Iraq War intelligence. Witnesses include former ambassador Joe Wilson, CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen American soldier, and constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz.
[CLICK the link above to view a CSPAN video of this very important, and unusual, hearing. This is a smoking gun if there ever was one. If our benevolent dictator can survive impeachment after this hearing, our republic is really in serious trouble.]
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posted by Lorenzo 4:15 PM
Berg decapitation video was filmed inside the Abu Ghraib prison
(Hector Carreon, La Voz de Aztlan, Los Angeles, Alta California - May 16, 2004)
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: I'm not personally endorsing the following story, but it sure seems convincing to me. If you are interested, I recommend clicking the link above to read the entire article, which is accompanied by photos to back up the story.]
There is now ample evidence that the video showing the decapitation of 26 year old Nicholas Berg of Philadelphia by purported Al queda members is a complete fraud. The real Nick Berg may or may not be dead, but the heavily edited video is nothing but a fake. This is the conclusion of La Voz de Aztlan after a frame by frame analysis and the conclusion of hundreds of film, medical and other experts world wide who downloaded, viewed and analyzed the video as well. . . . With the advent of the Internet, computers and sophisticated programs it has become increasingly difficult for governments to "pull the wool" over the eyes of their citizens. The Internet has essentially allowed freedom loving people around the world to form communication networks that can now out compete the best intelligence government agencies or special operations groups. This has certainly been the case with the hastily released and shoddy video showing five phoney Al queda members participating in the decapitation of Nicholas Berg that was intended, exclusively, to defray attention from the scandalous sexual abuses of Iraqi POW's that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. Evidence in fact shows that the Berg decapitation was filmed inside the walls of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison . . . It is now known that the opportune decapitation video was first uploaded from London, England to a now defunct website in a server located in Malaysia. The website at http://www.al-asnar.biz was shut down as soon as conservative news outlets like CNN and Fox News were notified. These two news services wasted no time in coming out with headlines like "Islamic Terrorists Decapitate an American in Iraq". Within minutes, local news services from New York to Los Angeles were screaming "Muslim Animals Chop Off the Head of an American" and were showing only short segments of the fake video. Pro-Zionist radio stations in Los Angeles have spent literally days since then talking about the Muslim barbarians and why it is so important to support the war in Iraq. . . . La Voz de Aztlan became mighty suspicious when we first saw a photograph of the purported Nicholas Berg sitting in front of his captors on a white plastic chair that looked very familiar. In addition, the orange prison overalls he was wearing in the video looked mighty familiar as well. . . . Some peculiar anomalies became readily apparent after watching the video and others followed after careful analysis. Many of the anomalies were pointed out to us by our readers who responded after downloading and viewing the video themselves. Please refer to the photographs published, along with this article on our website . . . The most telling evidence that the video of the decapitation of Nicholas Berg was taken inside the Abu Ghraib prison can only be detected by performing a frame by frame analysis. La Voz de Aztlan did just that and some revealing frames came up that are difficult to see if the video is played on normal speed. Towards the end of the video, at frames 9306 through 9368, a person with a US military cap temporarily pokes about a quarter of his left head into the video. His neck, left ear and part of his cap and visor can be seen. We have prepared an animated gif with just the relevant frames that clearly shows this at Animated Photo 7. Look at the right hand side as someone with a military cap, possibly with a second video camera, pokes his head into the video. Also, Photo 9 shows part of his military jacket. Compare this animated gif with the MP whose cap is circled on Photo 4. . . . Anyone who views the video will see that it is phoney. The five so call terrorists are phoney. The one on the extreme right in Photo 6 is pudgy and is wearing very clean tennis shoes. This will not be the case with an Al queda fighter. Also, Photo 6 shows that at least three of them are wearing Israeli Uzi ammunition clips. The Uzi can been seen when the operative on the extreme right adjusts the assault rifle. Look at the garb that all five are wearing. They look like Halloween costumes. . . . For the time being, the mainstream media is totally ignoring the above evidence. Hopefully soon some brave mainstream publisher will dare to bring this important information to the American people. The nation needs to know who was and what really happened to Nicholas Berg.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:50 PM
Bush's Evil Actions Laid Bare by Downing Street Memo
(Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, June 1, 2005)
It was a huge air assault: Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace. . . . But there was a catch: The war hadn't started yet, at least not officially. This was September 2002--a month before Congress had voted to give President Bush the authority he used to invade Iraq, two months before the United Nations brought the matter to a vote and more than six months before "shock and awe" officially began. . . . At the time, the Bush Administration publicly played down the extent of the air strikes, claiming the United States was just defending the so-called no-fly zones. But new information that has come out in response to the Downing Street memo reveals that, by this time, the war was already a foregone conclusion and attacks were no less than the undeclared beginning of the invasion of Iraq. . . . The Sunday Times of London recently reported on new evidence showing that "The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war." The paper cites newly released statistics from the British Defense Ministry showing that "the Allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001" and that "a full air offensive" was under way months before the invasion had officially begun. . . . The implications of this information for US lawmakers are profound. It was already well known in Washington and international diplomatic circles that the real aim of the US attacks in the no-fly zones was not to protect Shiites and Kurds. But the new disclosures prove that while Congress debated whether to grant Bush the authority to go to war, while Hans Blix had his UN weapons-inspection teams scrutinizing Iraq and while international diplomats scurried to broker an eleventh-hour peace deal, the Bush Administration was already in full combat mode--not just building the dossier of manipulated intelligence, as the Downing Street memo demonstrated, but acting on it by beginning the war itself. And according to the Sunday Times article, the Administration even hoped the attacks would push Saddam into a response that could be used to justify a war the Administration was struggling to sell. . . . On the eve of the official invasion, on March 8, 2003, Bush said in his national radio address: "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force." Bush said this after nearly a year of systematic, aggressive bombings of Iraq, during which Iraq was already being disarmed by force, in preparation for the invasion to come. By the Pentagon's own admission, it carried out seventy-eight individual, offensive airstrikes against Iraq in 2002 alone. . . . These attacks were barely covered in the press and Von Sponeck says that as far back as 1999, the United States and Britain pressured the UN not to call attention to them. During his time in Iraq, Von Sponeck began documenting each of the airstrikes, showing "regular attacks on civilian installations including food warehouses, residences, mosques, roads and people." . . . Rear Admiral David Gove, former deputy director of global operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on November 20, 2002, that US and British pilots were "essentially flying combat missions." On October 3, 2002, the New York Times reported that US pilots were using southern Iraq for "practice runs, mock strikes and real attacks" against a variety of targets. But the full significance of this dramatic change in policy toward Iraq only became clear last month, with the release of the Downing Street memo. In it, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon is reported to have said in 2002, after meeting with US officials, that "the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime," a reference to the stepped-up airstrikes. Now the Sunday Times of London has revealed that these spikes "had become a full air offensive"--in other words, a war. . . . Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers has called the latest revelations about these attacks "the smoking bullet in the smoking gun," irrefutable proof that President Bush misled Congress before the vote on Iraq. When Bush asked Congress to authorize the use of force in Iraq, he also said he would use it only as a last resort, after all other avenues had been exhausted. But the Downing Street memo reveals that the Administration had already decided to topple Saddam by force and was manipulating intelligence to justify the decision. That information puts the increase in unprovoked air attacks in the year prior to the war in an entirely new light: The Bush Administration was not only determined to wage war on Iraq, regardless of the evidence; it had already started that war months before it was put to a vote in Congress. It only takes one member of Congress to begin an impeachment process, and Conyers is said to be considering the option. The process would certainly be revealing. Congress could subpoena Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Richard Myers, Gen.Tommy Franks and all of the military commanders and pilots involved with the no-fly zone bombings going back into the late 1990s. What were their orders, both given and received? In those answers might lie a case for impeachment. . . . But another question looms, particularly for Democrats who voted for the war and now say they were misled: Why weren't these unprovoked and unauthorized attacks investigated when they were happening, when it might have had a real impact on the Administration's drive to war? Perhaps that's why the growing grassroots campaign to use the Downing Street memo to impeach Bush can't get a hearing on Capitol Hill. A real probing of this "smoking gun" would not be uncomfortable only for Republicans. The truth is that Bush, like President Bill Clinton before him, oversaw the longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam against a sovereign country with no international or US mandate. That gun is probably too hot for either party to touch.
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posted by Lorenzo 3:11 PM
US Admits Insurgents' Resources Increasing
(Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, 02 June 2005)
Suicide Attacks Rising Rapidly . . . Increasingly, the bombers are Iraqis instead of foreign infiltrators. Civilians and police, not GIs, are the prime targets. . . . Suicide bombings have surged to become the Iraqi insurgency's weapon of choice, with a staggering 90 attacks accounting for most of last month's 750 deaths at the militants' hands. . . . Suicide attacks outpaced car bombings almost 2-to-1 in May, according to figures compiled by the U.S. military, The Times and other media outlets. In April, there were 69 suicide attacks, more than in the entire year preceding the June 28, 2004, hand-over of sovereignty. . . . The frequency of suicide bombings here is unprecedented, exceeding that of Palestinian attacks against Israel and of other militant insurgencies, such as the Chechen rebellion in Russia. Baghdad saw five suicide bombings in a six-hour span Sunday. . . . U.S. officials and Iraqi analysts say the insurgents' resources are increasing on several fronts: money to buy vehicles and explosives, expertise in wiring car and human bombs and intelligence leaks that help them target U.S. and Iraqi forces. . . . Suicide attacks are on the rise because the explosive devices "are simple to construct and easy to operate, thus making suicide bombers difficult to detect," said Navy Cmdr. Fred Gaghan . . . "There's a kind of axiom out there that says Iraqis aren't suicide bombers," Gen. George W. Casey, commander of multinational forces in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad this year. "I'm not sure that's the case. I believe there are Iraqi Islamic extremists - that are very capable of getting into cars and blowing themselves up." . . . "Often with suicide bombers, there's not enough left of them to be identified," one senior U.S. military official said. With rare exceptions, the perpetrators wage their final battle in anonymity, traveling to their targets without identity papers to deprive police of any intelligence in the event of their capture. . . . "They are trying to penetrate defensive measures by conducting more complex attacks, double suicide attacks or suicide attacks combined with other weapons such as small-arms fire or mortar attacks," said Gaghan, the Navy officer. . . . In Hillah, south of Baghdad, where two suicide bombers killed dozens at a demonstration Monday, the second bomber followed the fleeing crowd. . . . At the scene of another recent bombing, police found a foot duct-taped to the car's accelerator and hands fastened to the steering wheel. . . . Such restriction, perhaps the result of coercion, would hinder the effectiveness of a suicide strike because the driver would have no control over the detonation, Gaghan noted. Other analysts speculated that the measure wasn't evidence of forced participation but was taken to ensure that the vehicle reached its target even if the driver was shot while approaching. . . . But those privy to the bombing investigations say that drivers are sometimes duped into deadly bombings. . . . "Some who drive car bombs don't know they are going to blow up. They are told to take a car to a certain location and that they will receive further information afterward," said Kamil Abdulmajeed, chief judge for the 2nd Iraqi Central Criminal Court. "When they arrive, the car is suddenly detonated by remote control."
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posted by Lorenzo 12:14 PM