April 4, 2003
The U.S. Army of Mass Destruction Series #5: The Abominable Killing Machine
While things seems to be going the U.S. way in Iraq - according to the Pentagonized embedded U.S. media! - there are as usual a whole bunch of things that happen below the radar of most media. Some of it is featured below.
And it's just a glimpse!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MassDestruction5.htm
Check also my latest Media Compilation #127: The Trigger-happy "Liberators" - archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation127.htm
IMPORTANT: Don't forget to check your emails Sunday for the next Meditation Focus!
1. TV Nation : Circling the Cathode Drain
2. IRAQWAR.RU - March 30 Update
3. Boycotting America
4. US seeks help blocking Human Rights Tribunal
5. Congressman Jim McDermott Introduces Depleted Uranium Bill HR 1483
SUBTLE NEWS! The Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz CA is temporarily changing the name of their fries to "Fuck George Bush Fries," with 5% of the profits going to the Impeachment Fund. Details at http://www.saturncafe.com/
NOTE FROM JEAN: If you want to have a good idea of the barely reported bloody mayhem going on right now all over Iraq, just read the entire "US MARINES TURN FIRE ON CIVILIANS AT THE BRIDGE OF DEATH" below. The movie Saving Private Ryan pales in comparison with this gut-wrenching story of the unbelievable and escalating savagery of this war.
ALL BELOW ARE *MUST SEE*!...
US MARINES TURN FIRE ON CIVILIANS AT THE BRIDGE OF DEATH (March 30)
THE light was a strange yellowy grey and the wind was coming up, the beginnings of a sandstorm. The silence felt almost eerie after a night of shooting so intense it hurt the eardrums and shattered the nerves. My footsteps felt heavy on the hot, dusty asphalt as I walked slowly towards the bridge at Nasiriya. A horrific scene lay ahead. Some 15 vehicles, including a minivan and a couple of trucks, blocked the road. They were riddled with bullet holes. Some had caught fire and turned into piles of black twisted metal. Others were still burning. Amid the wreckage I counted 12 dead civilians, lying in the road or in nearby ditches. All had been trying to leave this southern town overnight, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks and heavy artillery. Their mistake had been to flee over a bridge that is crucial to the coalition's supply lines and to run into a group of shell-shocked young American marines with orders to shoot anything that moved. One man's body was still in flames. It gave out a hissing sound. Tucked away in his breast pocket, thick wads of banknotes were turning to ashes. His savings, perhaps. Down the road, a little girl, no older than five and dressed in a pretty orange and gold dress, lay dead in a ditch next to the body of a man who may have been her father. Half his head was missing. Nearby, in a battered old Volga, peppered with ammunition holes, an Iraqi woman - perhaps the girl's mother - was dead, slumped in the back seat. A US Abrams tank nicknamed Ghetto Fabulous drove past the bodies. This was not the only family who had taken what they thought was a last chance for safety. A father, baby girl and boy lay in a shallow grave. On the bridge itself a dead Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey. As I walked away, Lieutenant Matt Martin, whose third child, Isabella, was born while he was on board ship en route to the Gulf, appeared beside me. "Did you see all that?" he asked, his eyes filled with tears. "Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice." Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. "The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him." CLIP - Go read the horrifying rest at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-628258,00.html
Robert Fisk: Wailing children, the wounded, the dead: victims of the day cluster bombs rained on Babylon (April 3)
The wounds are vicious and deep, a rash of scarlet spots on the back and thighs or face, the shards of shrapnel from the cluster bombs buried an inch or more in the flesh. The wards of the Hillah teaching hospital are proof that something illegal something quite outside the Geneva Conventions occurred in the villages around the city once known as Babylon. The wailing children, the young women with breast and leg wounds, the 10 patients upon whom doctors had to perform brain surgery to remove metal from their heads, talk of the days and nights when the explosives fell "like grapes" from the sky. Cluster bombs, the doctors say and the detritus of the air raids around the hamlets of Nadr and Djifil and Akramin and Mahawil and Mohandesin and Hail Askeri shows that they are right. Were they American or British aircraft that showered these villages with one of the most lethal weapons of modern warfare? The 61 dead who have passed through the Hillah hospital since Saturday night cannot tell us. Nor can the survivors who, in many cases, were sitting in their homes when the white canisters opened high above their village, spilling thousands of bomblets into the sky, exploding in the air, soaring through windows and doorways to burst indoors or bouncing off the roofs of the concrete huts to blow up later in the roadways. (...) Heartbreaking is the only word to describe 10-year-old Maryam Nasr and her five-year-old sister Hoda. Maryam has a patch over her right eye where a piece of bomblet embedded itself. She also had wounds to the stomach and thighs. (...) something terrible happened around Hillah this week, something unforgivable and something contrary to international law. CLIP
US Accused Of Using Illegal Cluster Bombs (March 29)
Unprecedented onslaught on Baghdad (31 March)
America unleashed all three types of its hi-tech long-range bombers today in an unprecedented onslaught in and around Baghdad. The US Central Command said the attacks were carried out simultaneously by multiple B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, adding that it was the first time all three long-range strike aircraft had targeted the same area at the same time.
US Use Of DU Illegal (March 31)
BRITISH and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq and deliberately flouting a United Nations resolution which classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction.
British troops say attacked by U.S. "cowboy" pilot
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - British soldiers wounded by "friendly fire" in Iraq said their convoy had been hit by a U.S. aircraft and one of them called the pilot a "cowboy" with no regard for human life, the Times newspaper reported on Monday. The Times carried accounts by the survivors which tallied with earlier British media reports that an American A10 "tankbuster" plane had strafed a convoy of British armoured vehicles.
Search for smoking gun draws a blank (March 31)
US and Britain's case for war undermined by special forces' failure to find illegal arms at 10 suspected sites. Britain and the United States suffered a fresh blow last night when their
main justification for war was undermined by reports that special forces have failed to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As Tony Blair launched a charm offensive to persuade the Arab world to understand his decision to go to war, senior officials in Washington said that intelligence information about weapons of mass destruction at 10 sites had proved to be unfounded.
American support waning
ABOUT 55 per cent of the US public believe that Washington had falsely raised expectations about the war, with 29 per cent saying that officials did so to increase public support, according to a Time magazine/CNN poll.
Top US army intelligence officer admits serious miscalculations (March 31)
Rumsfeld's advisors are Pentagon contractors (March 31)
Weather window is closing fast
THE so-called "weather window" for British and US forces in Iraq is closing fast, amid warnings that the onset of some of the worlds highest temperatures could have a major impact on their effectiveness. Heat exhaustion is likely to impede fighting ability as temperatures climb towards a peak of 43C (109F), while sandstorms decimate visibility .
How far can U.S. military resources stretch? (March 31)
WASHINGTON - With an additional 120,000 troops having been ordered to start moving toward the Persian Gulf, the U.S. military may not have enough soldiers, tanks, warplanes and ships left to deal with a major emergency elsewhere, say in North Korea. Sixty percent of the Marine Corps' power is already deployed overseas, mostly in Iraq. Half the Navy's aircraft carrier battle groups and the bulk of the Air Force's B-1 and B-2 heavy bombers are engaged in the war. Four of 10 15,000-person Army divisions are in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, and elements of three other divisions are en route to the Persian Gulf.
Operation Enduring Boredom
Subsisting on junk food and catnaps, US-led coalition forces fighting off Iraqi troops while marching towards Baghdad are beginning to resemble walking zombies.
A Strange Kind Of Freedom (April 2 by Arundhati Roy)
U.S. military will start shoot on sight to prevent future suicide attacks in Iraq (Mar 30)
We don't understand Iraqis, admits US officer, Regime not about to collapse, war planner concedes (April 2)
Terrorist actions would violate rules of war: US (March 31)
(...) US forces have begun rounding up Iraqis in civilian clothes who are suspected of involvement with paramilitary squads and may ship them to the US Navy base in Guantanamo.
Read The Small Print - US Wants To Privatize Iraq's Oil, No One Here Believes This Is A Humanitarian War (March 31)
Urgently needed to help win the war...
WASHINGTON - The shortages are already showing up near the front.
US draws up secret plan to impose regime on Iraq (April 1)
A disagreement has broken out at a senior level within the Bush administration over a new government that the US is secretly planning in Kuwait to rule Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Under the plan, the government will consist of 23 ministries, each headed by an American.
John Major: Imposing Democracy in Iraq Nearly Impossible
Le Figaro: Coalition Troops Have Committed Hitler's Mistake
Baghdad assault 'delayed for up to 40 days'
Bush reportedly shielded from dire Iraq forecast (29 March)
The Miscalculations of Yes-Men (31 March)
It is becoming difficult to tally all of the decisions made by the Bush administration that have turned out to be dead wrong. Walking away from North Korea at the outset of the administration has blossomed into an embarrassing tactical and diplomatic imbroglio with nukes prominently on the table. The massive trillion-dollar tax cut, feted by the administration as an economic cure-all, has become a crushing millstone on the back of an already murderously overburdened federal budget. The decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Treaty, and to be generally disdainful of the international community as a matter of course, led to the utterly humiliating series of diplomatic defeats America has suffered on the matter of Iraq. Little in the last two years of folly can compare, however, to the disastrous miscalculations made by the Bush administration regarding their military attack upon Iraq. This is what the highest members of the administration, as well as opinion-makers favorable to the war, were saying about the ease with which we would take Iraq:
- Vice President Dick Cheney, in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on March 16th, said, "The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but that they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."
- In an opinion piece for the Washington Post published February 13, 2002, former U.N. ambassador Ken Adelman said, "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons:
(1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps."
- Christopher Hitchens, writer for Vanity Fair said on January 28, 2003, "This will be no war -- there will be a fairly brief and ruthless military intervention. The president will give an order. It will be rapid, accurate and dazzling ... It will be greeted by the majority of the Iraqi people as an emancipation. And I say, bring it on."
- Richard Perle, chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board until his recent resignation amid accusations of financial conflicts of interest, said in a July 11, 2002 PBS interview, "Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991. But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder." This is the same Richard Perle who told David Corn in May of 2002 that Iraq could be taken with a light force of 40,000 American troops. "We don't need anyone else," he said.
Bush's Best Evidence Against Iraq Is Fake
U.S. news criticized for sterility
The Euro And The War On Iraq (3-29-3)
In November 2000, Iraq began selling its oil for euros, moving away from the post-World War II standard of the US dollar as the currency of international trade. Whilst seen by many at the time as a bizarre act of political defiance, it has proved beneficial for Iraq, with the euro gaining almost 25% against the dollar during 2001. It now costs around USD$1.05 to buy one Euro. Iraq's move towards the euro is indicative of a growing trend. Iran has already converted the majority of its central bank reserve funds to the euro, and has hinted at adopting the euro for all oil sales. On December 7th, 2002, the third member of the axis of evil, North Korea, officially dropped the dollar and began using euros for trade. Venezuela, not a member of the axis of evil yet, but a large oil producer nonetheless, is also considering a switch to the euro. More importantly, at its April 14th, 2002 meeting in Spain, OPEC expressed an interest in leaving the dollar in favour of the euro. If OPEC were to switch to the euro as the standard for oil transactions, it would have serious ramifications for the US economy. Oil-consuming economies would have to flush the dollars out of their central bank holdings and convert them to euros. Some economists estimate that with the market flooded, the US dollar could drop up to 40% in value. As the currency falls, there would be a monetary evacuation by foreign investors abandoning the US stock markets and dollar-denominated assets. Imported products would cost Americans a lot more, and the trade deficit would be magnified. It is foreign demand for the US dollar that funds the US federal budget deficits. Foreign investors flush with dollars typically look to US treasury securities as a means of secure investment. With a large reduction in such investment, the country could potentially go into default. Things could turn very bad, very quickly. In May 2004 an additional 10 member nations will join the European Union. At that point, the EU will represent an oil consumer 33% larger than the United States. In order to mitigate currency risks, the Europeans will increasingly pressure OPEC to trade in euros, and with the EU at that stage buying over half of OPEC oil production, such a change seems likely. This is a scenario that America cannot afford to see eventuate. The US will go to any length to fend off an attempt by OPEC to dump greenbacks as its reserve currency. Attacking Iraq and installing a client regime in Baghdad may have a preventative effect. It will certainly ensure that Iraq returns to using dollars and provide a violent example to any other nation in the region contemplating a migration to the euro. An American-backed junta in Iraq would also enable the US to smash OPEC's hold over oil prices. The US or its client regime could increase Iraqi oil production to levels well beyond OPEC quotas, driving prices down worldwide and weakening the economies of the oil producing nations, thus lessening their likelihood of abandoning the dollar. It would have the short term effect of reducing the profits of domestic oil companies, but the long term effect of securing America's economic hegemony.
Global rallies protest Iraq war (March 30)
Crisis Newsletter: War Roundup and April 12 March in London
Cat Stevens back in studio
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has recorded his first pop song for 25 years to raise money for children in Iraq. He has joined stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, David Bowie and George Michael in donating tracks to an album for the War Child charity. (...) There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again. It will feature on a 17-track album entitled Hope due for release on 21 April. CLIP