April 8, 2004

The Empire of Darkness Series #8: All Hell Breaking Loose!

Hello everyone

This is a heavy-duty compilation. What can I say? There is just sooo much going on right now, especially in Iraq!

Read on...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

P.S. Check for the next Meditation Focus coming your way this weekend.

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This compilation is archived at

Worthy of Your Attention

Canada's Stars Urge Paul Martin to "Keep Canada out of Star Wars"
Bryan Adams, Pierre Berton, Sarah McLachlan, others send letter to PM
Note from Jean: If you a Canadian and have not done so yet, I encourgae you to go at add your name to this letter and help prevent Canada from falling onto the slippery path of aiding and abetting global American domination. I did so and over 6,000 Canadians did so as well.

Open Gates To Allow Food Into Gaza
Sign The Petition To Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Unexplained Mysteries website
Check their "Angel Files" show. I saw it tonight. Very moving and convincing! Angelic beings do indeed come to our rescue - when necessary.

Come To Georgia To Protest The G-8 Summit June 8-10, 2004
On June 8 through June 10, the eyes of the world will be on coastal Georgia. The G8 Summit will draw thousands of journalists and activists from across the globe to Savannah and nearby towns. We invite you to seize this historic opportunity to raise your environmental and political concerns before the world...

The G8 Summit will be staged on Sea Island, 80 miles (100km) south of Savannah, much of the free speech actions in response to the G8 will take place in Savannah. There are two reasons for this scenario:
1) The region surrounding Sea Island and Brunswick will be placed under draconian security. It is probable that Brunswick will be cordoned off by blocking the highways;
2) The international press corp will be housed in Savannah. This makes Savannah the likely focus of free speech activities. FREE SPEECH SAVANNAH is the on-line voice of the various local, regional and national activist organizations which are planning non-violent free speech actions in Savannah during the G8 Summit 2004. It is our belief that a powerful statement can be made this year in Savannah about the sorry state of the world and our effective disenfranchisement from the policy-making process.

The particularly "Savannah" flavor to the G8 2004 will come from three sources:
1) Newly elected Mayor Otis Johnson has made it clear that he will do his utmost to protect the free speech rights of activists.
2) Local activists have been working to build a broad, Black and labor-led front at the neighborhood level to welcome out -of -town activists to Savannah.
3) Street actions and events will be organized to prevent police interference.
We aim to produce an INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FOR PEACE AND CIVIL LIBERTIES - For three days, the people of Savannah will welcome the people of the world to use the landscape of Coastal Georgia as their political soapbox. CLIP
Recommended by "Mark R. Elsis">


2. Emergency Iraq Protests
3. Violence in Sadr City Embitters Both Sides
4. FISK: Reaping the Whirlwind - Iraq on the Brink of Anarchy
5. Mark Elsis' 10,000,000th Unique Visitor
6. Rice Before the Committee Tomorrow? Don't even bother!
7. Richard Clarke: Against All Enemies, page 24
8. Rwanda and Sudan: A Call for Action Against Genocide
9. George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism
10. Report: President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years

See also:

US marines bomb Fallujah mosque (APRIL 07, 2004)
FALLUJAH: US marines pressing an offensive in this Iraqi town west of Baghdad bombed a central mosque on Wednesday and killed up to 40 insurgents holed up inside, a marine officer said. The bombing came after several hours of small arms and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire from insurgents, which left five marines slightly wounded, said Lieutenant Colonel Brennan Byrne. CLIP

12 US Marines killed as insurgents hit back in Iraq (April 08)
BAGHDAD: US-led forces battled a new explosion of violence in Iraq and 12 US Marines were killed by insurgents in a new trouble spot in Fallujah, Ar Ramadi and other areas. Between 60 and 70 Iraqi insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons attacked the marines in a government palace in Ar Ramadi, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Baghdad, said a US defense official in Washington. Ar Ramadi is in the strife-wracked Sunni Triangle, in west of Fallujah, where US forces were staging a separate operation to find those responsible for the killing of four US security contractors last week. More than 170 people including 30 US troops in battle started in different cities of Iraq on Sunday. Around 1200 US forces along with security force, entered in some areas of Fallujah after fierce fighting. During this 8 Iraqi killed and 20 including women and children. The force, backed by AC-130 gunships and Cobra helicopters, took six hours to secure control of the area, amid hit-and-run attacks by insurgents firing mortars and assault rifles from rooftops. US tanks and armored vehicles met heavy resistance as they rolled into Fallujah as Operation Vigilant Resolve tracked down the insurgents behind the mutilation of the four Americans.

Battles Rage Across Iraq (April 7)">">
Almost 300 people have died in clashes and attacks during the last three days in battles between occupation forces and resistance fighters including supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr across Iraq. Some 250 Iraqis have been killed across the country since clashes erupted on Sunday in the southern city of Najaf before fighting swept across the country. (...) Some 1500 protesters in Hawija denounced what they described as the US massacres in Falluja, where almost 90 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in the past three days. US forces have sealed off Falluja for three days now in an effort to crush the resistance there. CLIP

200 dead in Iraq's bloodiest days
UNITED States marines fired three rockets into a mosque compound, killing at least 40 Iraqis, as forces trying to quell an uprising of both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims fought three of the bloodiest days in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. More than 200 people, including 170 Iraqis and about 30 coalition troops, have died in attacks in seven cities across the country, sparked by the killing and mutilation of four civilian contractors last week. The toll includes 12 marines killed late on Tuesday in Ramadi, which neighbours Fallujah, where the worst of the violence has been centred.

Jonathan Schell: The tunnel at the end of the light
Here's a scenario for you: American aircraft are firing into residential neighborhoods inhabited by the very people we claim to be protecting; American casualties are spiking; local security forces we've built and supported collapse or flee the scene; American officials are confined to their "compounds" because of "security worries"; top officials are rushing on air to claim that things are not what they seem, that progress is occurring; American generals are publicly planning for the possibility of sending in more troops; the President is swearing that we will not "cut and run" but "stay the course"; pundits, editorial writers, and TV journalists are calling the situation a "quagmire"; the American public is catching all this on television, including shots of American troops battling in the streets of major cities; the latest opinion polls indicate that Americans are reconsidering their support for the ongoing war and that rising numbers -- 44% -- now claim to be in favor of pulling out American troops "as soon as possible"; under the weight of the latest war news, the President's opinion-poll popularity ratings are dropping fast.

The Battle The US Wants To Provoke,2763,1186566,00.html
Bremer Is Deliberately Pushing Iraq's Shia South Into All-Out Chaos

Blix: Iraq Worse Off Now Than With Saddam

Will The 2004 Election Be Called Off? (April 6)
Why Three Out Of Four Experts Predict A Terrorist Attack By November
(...) "If we are attacked before our election like Spain was, I am not so sure that we should go ahead with the election," he reportedly said. "We had better make plans now because it’s going to happen." And, of course, what usurpation of democracy would be complete without Rush Limbaugh weighing in? "Do [the terrorists] bide their time and wait, or do they try to replicate their success in Spain here in America before our election?" Limbaugh asked, before revealing how "titans of industry," and "international business people (who do not outsource, by the way)" were "very, very, very concerned" that one true party forever rule the Fatherland.

US Troops Train For Urban Warfare Against North Korea (April 3)

Requiem, USA (April 6)
The Constitution is under assault! The Great Wall of China was breached not by invading hordes of terrorists but by betrayal from within. The threat to freedom is not the work of al-Qaeda, terrorists of any stripe -- Israeli, Muslims, whatever -- or a North Korean dictator. The attack has been launched from within the bastion of America by self-proclaiming loyalists to our Constitution. But they lie! Super patriots, in response to this article, will raise high the flag and jeer "America - love it or leave it." But 30 second propagandistic slogans won't cut the mustard. The noose is being drawn ever tighter around the nation that no longer has a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Demagogues invading our living rooms via T.V. avow commitment to "freedom" and "democracy." But their empty words are devoid of evidence that they believe in Constitutional governance. Flag waving, supercilious morality, display of military might, claims that the economy is healthy and well do not stop the spread of the deadly cancer. Its poisonous tentacles have metastasized throughout the nation's life-stream. CLIP

Amnesty: China, Iran and U.S. Top World Executioners (April 6)
China, Iran, the United States and Vietnam were the world's top users of the death penalty in 2003, accounting for 84 percent of known executions, human rights body Amnesty International said Tuesday. More than half of known executions were in China, where the true toll could be more than 10 times higher, according to the British-based Amnesty's annual report. But during the year, six countries either abolished capital punishment or suspended it, bringing the total who have halted executions to 117 out of a total of 195, the report said. "This year's figures show that the majority of countries follow an abolitionist path, while others choose to remain on the wrong side of the justice divide," spokeswoman Judit Arenas Licea told a news briefing. The report said the number of known executions world-wide last year had dropped to 1,146 in a total of 28 countries from 1,526 in 31 countries in 2002. China was known to have executed at least 726, Iran 108, the United States 65 and Vietnam 64, according to the group. But Amnesty cautioned that its numbers -- based largely on official figures, media monitoring and private reports -- might be showing only the tip of an iceberg, especially in countries where the statistics were a closely-guarded secret. The report quoted an unidentified senior Chinese parliamentarian as saying last month that his country executed nearly 10,000 people annually. Arenas told the news briefing, called during the annual six-week session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, that Amnesty was especially concerned at the introduction of "mobile units" to speed up executions in China. These were converted minibuses with four-member teams trained to carry out death sentences rapidly by lethal injection, sometimes within little more than an hour of a hearing, and then move on to another site. In the United States, she said, very old electric chairs were still in use in some cities which take a long time to kill and inflict "excruciating suffering," while in Iran crucifixion was still on the statute books as a legal means of execution. Last year the 53-member Commission -- whose members include several other "death penalty" countries including Saudi Arabia which Amnesty says executed at least 50 people last year -- called by majority vote for a moratorium on such punishment. Amnesty said it was urging Commission members, among whom are European Union members and Australia which are strong opponents of capital punishment, to renew the appeal this year. "It is time for all governments to comply with their international obligations," Amnesty said. "The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment and a flagrant denial of the right to life."

The Journalist as War criminal (Jan 12, 2004)
(...) Israel's partisans, the media cabal that controls much of the corporate press in America and the English speaking world, need to have their day in court. We need to recognize that we live in a world where media controlled states give journalist and publishers the power to instigate war and applaud war crimes. Their ability to goad vicious serial war criminals like Sharon to use their 'talents' can have horrible consequences. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict might well have been resolved had it not been for the Likudnik bigots who hold sway at FOX, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the LA Times. CLIP

Greenland ice cap 'doomed to meltdown' (07 April 04)
The Greenland ice sheet is all but doomed to melt away to nothing, according to a new modelling study. If it does melt, global sea levels will rise by seven metres, flooding most of the world's coastal regions. Jonathan Gregory, a climatologist at the University of Reading, UK, says global warming could start runaway melting on Greenland within 50 years, and it will "probably be irreversible this side of a new ice age". The only good news is that a total meltdown is likely to take at least 1000 years. Greenland has the world's second largest ice cap, a remnant of the last ice age. It is 3000 metres high and contains 2.85 million cubic kilometres of ice. CLIP

Don't Be Fooled
The Ten Worst Greenwashers Of 2003



Date: 06 Apr 2004
From: "Dr. Betty Martini">


By Roberta Bellon
National Justice League
Web Site:

SACRAMENTO-- April 6th, Lawsuits were filed in three separate California courts against twelve companies who either produce or use the artificial sweetener aspartame as a sugar substitute in their products. The suits were filed in Shasta, Sonoma and Butte County, California.

The suits allege that the food companies committed fraud and breach of warranty by marketing products to the public such as diet Coke, diet Pepsi, sugar free gum, Flintstone's vitamins, yogurt and children's aspirin with the full knowledge that aspartame, the sweetener in them, is neurotoxic.

Aspartame is a drug masquerading as an additive. It interacts with other drugs, has a synergistic and additive effect with MSG, and is a chemical hyper-sensitization agent. As far back as 1970, Dr. John Olney founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity when he did studies on aspartic acid, which makes up 40% of aspartame, and found it caused lesions in the brains of mice. He made world news on the aspartame/brain tumor connection in l996. Dr. Ralph Walton, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine has written of the behavioral and psychiatric problems triggered by aspartame-caused depletion of serotonin.

Aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression.

Aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol. The resulting chronic methanol poisoning affects the dopamine system of the brain causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, constitutes one-third of the aspartame molecule and is classified as a severe metabolic poison and narcotic.

Recent news is full of reports of world-class athletes and other healthy consumers of aspartame suddenly dropping dead. Sudden death can occur from aspartame use because it damages the cardiac conduction system.

Dr. Woodrow Monte in the peer reviewed journal, Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health, wrote: "When diet sodas and soft drinks, sweetened with aspartame, are used to replace fluid loss during exercise and physical exertion in hot climates, the intake of methanol can exceed 250 mg/day or 32 times the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended limit of consumption for this cumulative poison."

The effects of aspartame are documented by the FDA's own data. In 1995 the agency was forced, under the Freedom Of Information Act, to release a list of ninety-two aspartame symptoms reported by thousands of victims. This is only the tip of the iceberg. H. J. Roberts, MD, published the medical text "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" -- 1,000 pages of symptoms and diseases triggered by this neurotoxin including the sordid history of its approval.

Since its discovery in 1965, controversy has raged over the health risks associated with the sugar substitute. From laboratory testing of the chemical on rats, researchers have discovered that the drug induces brain tumors. On Sept 30, l980 the Board of Inquiry of the FDA concurred and denied the petition for approval. In l981, the newly appointed FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, ignored the negative ruling and approved aspartame for dry goods. As recorded in the Congressional Record of 1985, then CEO of Searle Laboratories Donald Rumsfeld said that he would call in his markers to get aspartame approved. Rumsfeld was on President Reagan's transition team and a day after taking office appointed Hayes. No FDA Commissioner in the previous sixteen years had allowed Aspartame on the market.

In 1983, aspartame was approved for use in carbonated beverages. Today it is found in over 5000 foods, drinks and medicines.

Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD, author of "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" ( wrote about the relationship between aspartame and macular degeneration, diabetic blindness and glaucoma (all known to result from excitotoxin accumulation in the retina).

All of these neurodegenerative diseases are worsened by aspartame. In addition, we now have evidence that excitotoxins play a major role in exacerbation of MS and other demyelinating disorders including trigeminal neuraliga. Blaylock says that new studies show excitotoxins trigger significant elevation of free radicals in the lining (endothelial cells) of arteries, which means that aspartame will increase the incidence of heart attacks and strokes (atherosclerosis).

In original studies, aspartame has triggered brain, mammary, uterine, ovarian, testicular, thyroid and pancreatic tumors.

Defendants in the lawsuits include Coca-cola, PepsiCo, Bayer Corp., the Dannon Company, William Wrigley Jr. Company, ConAgra Foods, Wyeth, Inc., The NutraSweet Company, and Altria Corp. (parent company of Kraft Foods and Philip Morris).

Plaintiffs have asked for an injunction to stop companies from producing, manufacturing, processing, selling or using aspartame.

Plaintiffs in all three cases are seeking a jury trial.

If you would like to schedule someone from the National Justice League for an interview, please call or fax us at 208-246-1171 or 530-248 - 3483.

Roberta Bellon, Public Relations

This release is issued by courtesy of:
(for further information on this Breaking News and History of Aspartame)

2205 Hilltop Dr. Ste. 2022
Redding, Ca 96002
Phone 208-246-1171 and 530 248 - 3483




Forwarded by "Jean-Pierre Caron">

From: "A.N.S.W.E.R."
Sent: April 07, 2004
Subject: [ANSWER] Emergency Iraq Protests



To demand: - U.S. OUT OF IRAQ - Bring the Troops Home Now - Money for jobs, education and healthcare - Not for wars of aggression

*Call initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition*

See below for details of protests in New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, downloadable flyers, and a link to a form to list your city's action on the website and in future emails.

* * * * *


The Iraqi revolt against occupation is spreading in qualitative developments. The Pentagon is reacting with a murderous iron fist that is making the popular Iraqi position increasingly clear to the world: that the occupation forces are indeed an enemy - not liberators.

In the last 72 hours, as the colonial force attempts to hold the country in a tight grip, the number of casualties has mounted, as Iraqi cities are besieged and bombed by missiles and tanks. Street fighting is raging throughout the country.

In a classic demonstration of colonial practices, the U.S. is conducting a widespread reign of terror. In fact, the U.S. and its allies are now conducting military operations in Ramadi, Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Sadr, Adamiya, Kufa, Kut, Karabla, Amarah, Kirkuk, Mosul, Nasiriyah, Shula, and other cities and towns. The city of Fallujah has been exceptionally targeted. This is the same city where in the first weeks of the occupation U.S. troops took over a local school and killed 15 residents who were protesting the takeover of the facility.

Yet, this is not exactly George W. Bush's Vietnam. During Vietnam it took years for the majority of the people and most soldiers to turn against the war. This time, the people of the United States have learned within the span of only one year that the war against Iraq is not only based on outright fabrications and lies. One year after the occupation, and even before, the people of this country and the world are and have been turning against the occupation and the warmakers.

Although an allegation has been made that this is isolated "trouble" within a "Sunni Triangle," the revolt is in reality over an entire Iraqi rectangle encompassing nearly all areas - from north to south. Over the past three days, the previously simmering rejection of foreign occupation has evolved into a near full-scale revolt that has spread to many cities in the south of Iraq. All while the U.S. has implemented collective punishment against the people of Fallujah and other cities in the central part of the country.

In a predictable attempt at molding public opinion, the U.S. media continues to use racist stereotyping to characterize those who are resisting. The constant designation of the Iraqi people as "Sunnis" or "Shiites" is carefully calculated language designed to conceal the single most important fact: that the Iraqi people (Sunni and Shiite) believe that their country has been seized by foreign imperialist occupying forces and that they - as one people - are fighting to evict them.

If the analogy with Vietnam has validity, it is this: U.S. political leaders, again emboldened by arrogance and drunk with power, falsely believe that their possession of high tech weapons is sufficient to subdue small Third World countries seeking independence and sovereignty. The words associated with Vietnam - "debacle," "quagmire," etc. - are certainly apt for Bush's war and the occupation of Iraq.

But there are fundamental differences between the war in Vietnam and Iraq. The most important one being that the United States could, at the end of the day, disengage from Southeast Asia and withdraw from Vietnam. The policy planners and decision makers for the U.S. imperial establishment know full well that the United States military, political and economic structures will never voluntarily withdraw from Western Asia and Northern Africa, also known as the Middle East.

This is where the oil is. Not just in Iraq, but also throughout the Gulf region where two-thirds of the world's known petroleum reserves are located. This region is also the gateway to the rapidly expanding economies of East and Southeast Asia, the northern entrance to the African continent from Europe, and where several strategic waterways are located: the Suez Canal, Gibraltar Strait, the Red Sea, and the Gulf. The Arab portion of that region is also simmering with a popular notion of unity and desire for full sovereignty spanning northern Africa and Western Asia. It is where the Palestinian struggle anchors a populist anti-colonial sentiment, and where imposed proxy regimes are dependent in their existence directly on the U.S. In the heart of that region, there is Israel, the U.S.'s most important ally and power broker, functioning as a spearhead that simultaneously requires a political, economic and diplomatic cover and support from the U.S.

Absolute control - military control - over these highly strategic resources is the key to the exercise of hegemony in the world capitalist economy. If the United States were to leave, Japan, Germany, Britain, France would be quick to attempt to fill the void. Therefore, Bush does not contemplate withdrawing from Iraq as an option, nor would it be a considered option if Kerry replaces Bush in November.

The Bush gang opted to use naked military force as a means of further consolidating an existing U.S. dictatorship over the region. The project in Iraq was designed not only to crush the Iraqi government, it was seen as a means to a larger end. The plan was to build large-scale U.S. military bases in Iraq, establish in Baghdad the largest U.S. embassy (more than 3,000 personnel) in the world, and use Iraq as the launching pad for regime change throughout the region - the imposition of a true Pax Americana. Earlier U.S. governments, including the Clinton administration, also declared regime change in Iraq as the top priority in U.S-Iraq relations. The Bush administration, however, saw Iraq in a different light: that the conquest and takeover of Iraq would be used as a strategic pivot for the long-term reorganization and globalization of this region under U.S. authority.

This was not the first time the U.S. has utilized Iraq for this purpose. In 1955, the Baghdad Pact was orchestrated by Britain and the U.S. as a response to the emergence of the non-aligned movement that was established in Bandung, Indonesia by decolonizing movements and nations. The Iraqi people have never accepted that they should be pawns in someone else's geo-strategic chess board. They have always resisted colonialism.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died already as their country was invaded and occupied. It is clear from the events of the recent days that so many Iraqis are enraged and disgusted with the occupation of their country that thousands and thousands of people are prepared to give their life rather than accept foreign domination.

The Iraqis are paying with their lives rather than be colonial subjects. Meanwhile, the young men and women of the foreign occupying forces, including U.S. troops, really just want to go home. They and their families know that contrary to the assertions of Rumsfeld, the U.S. forces are not considered liberators by the people. This is the classic equation for an unwinnable imperialist war. In this sense too, the conflict resembles Vietnam. The Vietnamese people were prepared to endure immeasurable sacrifice to reclaim control over the country against foreign occupying forces that, in turn, only wanted only to return to their families in one piece.

In the recent days, the U.S. media establishment has been filled with analysis and stories reflecting the grave concern within the political establishment that Bush's Iraq design may be creating the biggest crisis for U.S. imperialism since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The actions of Bush and Rumsfeld have catalyzed a revolt that is moving from an embryonic stage to a potential full-scale rebellion. Unable to prevent the spread of the rebellion by other means, the U.S. military is carrying out more murderous repression against the people, which in turn will inflame the situation in Iraq and throughout the region. Under these conditions, there is no actual exit or withdrawal strategy in site. Even should the U.S. succeed in outsourcing the occupation authority from Paul Bremmer to his hand picked Iraqi proxies, there will be no actual exit of U.S. military forces from Iraq.

Even the phony exit strategy is collapsing as the Pentagon brass ponders the current need, like General Westmoreland did 1967, to send thousands of additional troops to crush a rebellion that has its roots in the anti-colonial yearnings of an occupied people. Rumsfeld has said publicly that he is considering sending additional troops to Iraq. The Pentagon has relied not only on the 120,000-plus U.S. military forces but, according to Nightline on April 6, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 "guns for hire" - U.S., British and South African mercenaries - that are now fighting in Iraq under the euphemistic label "private contractors."

The people of the world, including the people of the U.S., created an unprecedented mass movement in the last 18 months opposing Bush's war and subsequent occupation of Iraq. At this critical time it is urgent to take to the streets in emergency mobilizations to demand: U.S. Out of Iraq; Bring the Troops Home Now; Money for jobs, education and healthcare - Not for wars of aggression.

From Friday April 9 through Monday April 12 there will be nationally-coordinated emergency local demonstrations in cities and towns throughout the country. Organize an action in your local area. To list your local action on the website and in future emails, fill out the easy-to-use form at

Friday, April 9
4:30 pm
Times Square

Saturday, April 10
12 noon
White House (Lafayette Park)

Friday, April 9
5 pm
Westwood Federal Building (Wilshire & Veteran)

Saturday, April 10
12 noon
UN Plaza (Market St. between 7th St. and Hyde. Civic
Center BART)

Downloadable flyers, other literature and more can be
found at:

Fill out the easy-to-use form at
to list your city's or campus's event! A list of national
actions will be available soon.


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

New York 212-633-6646
Washington 202-544-3389
Los Angeles 213-487-2368
San Francisco 415-821-6545

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Violence in Sadr City Embitters Both Sides

Chasm opens between community, occupying forces

BAGHDAD, April 5 -- To the soldiers inside the armored vehicles ringing with the sound of bullets, the night was one long ambush. It began with a sneak attack -- rocket-propelled grenades fired from an alley, shredding Humvees and the Americans inside -- then quickly escalated into a nightlong firefight. The battleground was the vast warren of narrow streets called Sadr City, but it suddenly reminded 1st Lt. Dave Swanson of Mogadishu.

"As soon as we came into the city, it's like the whole place came alive with fire," Swanson said of his arrival, in a 1st Cavalry Division Bradley Fighting Vehicle, in a district he used to regard with the arm's-length affection of a cop on the beat.

"In our minds, it totally changes our opinion about how we think about this area," said Swanson, from Owensville, Ohio. "In a day, we went from a humanitarian mission to combat. It's just amazing that the kids I talked with two, three days ago are the same ones that are throwing the rocks at us as hard as they can."

The people of Sadr City were no less amazed. When American tanks first rolled in a year ago, it was to the rhythmic cheers of the neighborhood's poor Shiite Muslim residents.

"When the Americans came, we applauded. We were giving the thumbs-up. We were jumping and shouting. I took a picture of Saddam Hussein and stomped on it," said Iqbal Jabbar, 38.

She lifted a foot to demonstrate on the dirty tile floor beside the hospital bed of her husband, a burly man who lay groaning, with bullet wounds in the stomach, arm, legs and feet. The fire that Americans returned into the suddenly mean streets of Sadr City caught Sabri Sharrati Badr behind the wheel of the family car; it caught 10-year-old Weaam Abdulatif Walhan in the doorway of her house; and it caught Ali Sagheer Kherallah walking home from work.

"Why do they do like this to us?" Jabbar asked.

The question was asked in a dozen different ways Monday at Chawadir Hospital, a Sadr City fixture that received 96 people wounded in the chaos that left at least 43 Iraqis dead and opened a chasm between a community and its occupiers.

U.S. commanders, who reported eight dead and 40 wounded, termed the battle for Sadr City the capital's largest and longest engagement since the fall of Baghdad almost a year ago. Between the 5 p.m. ambush and the calming of the area seven hours later after the decisive arrival of a tank column, about 1,000 American soldiers churned into the filthy streets of Sadr City to reassert authority in a slum that had become home to the Mahdi Army, an anti-American militia answering to a firebrand young Shiite cleric, Moqtada Sadr.

The militiamen who fired AK-47s from rooftops and rocket-propelled grenades from alleys probably numbered between 500 and 1,000, said Maj. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division, which patrols Baghdad with the 1st Cavalry. In the heat of battle, estimates of enemy numbers become almost impossible, the general noted.

"You're not exactly sure whether you're being shot at by three people, or hundreds," said Dempsey, later adding: "There is no more confusing moment in a man's life than when he's being shot at."

But the confusion Sunday night ran both ways.

At one point, U.S. fire tore into an ambulance driven by Raad Diaheer Lazem, who took a bullet in the abdomen. Rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun punctured the vehicle 100 yards from the entrance to Chawadir Hospital, killing a pregnant woman with a leg wound and the 6-year-old son riding with her to the hospital.

"The lights were on, the siren -- all the things an ambulance should use in a battle zone," Lazem said. "I don't know why they shot at me. When I left the hospital they saw me. I was shuttling patients back and forth all night."

Muntahah Shekhawer, who works in the children's ward, broke down in tears as she recalled children carried into the emergency room. "I felt so bad I couldn't save them," she said. "Two, 3 years old. All of them shot in the head. Always in the head.

"Even when Baghdad fell, we didn't see anything like this."

The military outcome of Sunday's battle was clear enough. U.S. troops took control of Sadr City's major streets within seven hours, fighting past three major ambushes before driving militias out of police stations they had occupied in a challenge to U.S.-led forces' dominion over the district.

As a fighting force, Sadr's militia impressed neither U.S. commanders nor the Iraqi officers at one police station they occupied for three hours.

"Mahdi Army! They're not an army!" Officer Haider Raheem said of the unemployed young men who took over one station by brandishing grenades. "They're a bunch of looters." Before running off at the sound of approaching tanks, Raheem said, they scooped up everything from rifles to food for the prisoners. "Can you believe they even stole the water cup from the restroom?" he said.

"It was really a mob," Dempsey said. "A mob with a lot of weapons."

But the battle here is not only military. At Sadr City's main patrol station, Mahdi militiamen were welcomed by Iraqi police, who said the fighters gathered to help protect the property from looting.

"We are all brothers, me and the Mahdi Army," said one uniformed officer, who declined to give his name because he said he was not authorized to speak. "These are our people."

The differing receptions reflect the division of opinions among Sadr City residents. Many of the neighborhood's perhaps 2 million residents have transferred to Sadr, 30, the respect accorded his late father, a senior cleric believed killed by Hussein's government. His militantly anti-occupation rhetoric appeals to the district's many unemployed young men, who in the months following the U.S. invasion were formed into the Mahdi Army.

Many other Shiite residents, however, regard Sadr as an upstart. These people follow more senior -- and more moderate -- clerics, especially Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. But in a showdown between a prominent cleric and U.S. forces, no Shiite cleric can side publicly with Iraq's occupiers, at least to judge by their public statements issued in the wake of the fighting.

The statements did not mention Sadr but condemned civilian casualties, an issue near the heart of the matter for many residents. U.S. commanders, however, place it lower on their list of concerns.

"I'm more concerned about making sure that we've applied combat power wherever it happens to be applied and no place else," Dempsey said. "But we didn't start this fight and had no choice but to finish it, and we did so as carefully as we could.

"You've been to Sadr City. It is a densely populated place."

And it appeared to change overnight. Monday dawned cool and clear. Men loitered on the sidewalk, feeling the rays of the sun and the pulse of the street, finely strung the morning after.

An Apache attack helicopter skimmed overhead, and two girls and a boy of grade-school age aimed their fingers toward it, shouting "Pow! Pow! Pow!"

Two blocks from Sadr's headquarters, a column of oily black smoke went up from a tire burning in front of an M1-A1 Abrams tank. A torrent of children chucked rocks at it, as the turret swung back and forth in a metronome of menace.

A small boy ran down a side street shouting, "Jihad! Jihad!"

"Well, they see a lot of al-Jazeera [television] and they kind of emulate the Palestinians throwing rocks at the Israeli tanks," said Capt. George Lewis, standing behind a Bradley at the police station he had guarded since midnight.

In Chawadir Hospital, angry young men regarded the Palestinians as victims, not role models.

"They want to make us like Palestine, but no way," said Mohammad Abdulwahid, in a hospital ward where his uncle was the only patient not wounded the night before. "We will not be like Palestine."

Abdulwahid's gaze was flat as he contemplated the occupiers and vowed: "We will change their night into day."


See also:

Sadr: A new Arab hero in the making
The ancient Romans used to "divide and conquer" to defeat their enemies. During the course of the past few centuries, all foreign and domestic powers that came to rule Iraq, from the Arabs, to the Ottomans, and from the British to Saddam Hussein's Baathists, followed that same doctrine by promoting division between the country's Shiite majority and the Sunni minority. Now, Iraq's firebrand, fiercely anti-American Shiite cleric, Moqtada Sadr, is using the Romans' principle, but in reverse, to unite the two communities in the face of their common enemy, the United States. Unite and resist. (...) Allowing Sadr to remain at large now only amplifies his status as a leader of the revolt. By Tuesday afternoon, the revolt appeared to be expanding with Sadr's followers reported to have captured a number of official buildings in the holy city of Najaf. Already, a number of Sunni chiefs have accepted Sadr as the unchallenged new leader of Iraq's resistance to the American-led occupation. The events of the last few days have, in short, given the Iraqi resistance a face and an icon it was missing. On the other hand, if the Americans capture him, they will only encourage further acts of resistance and possibly incite new acts of terrorism against Coalition troops by Sadr's supporters demanding his release. If the coalition were to kill him while attempting to capture him, they would create an even more volatile situation. The Shiite would never believe Sadr's death was not intentional and besides inciting an unprecedented level of violence, his death would raise his standing to that of a martyred imam. "We must be careful not to make a martyr out of Sadr," cautioned Clare Lopez, an intelligence analyst with Hawkeye Systems, a high-tech consulting firm in Alexandria, Va., that specializes in counter-terrorism issues. No matter how you look at it, the outcome may spell trouble in the days and weeks ahead. As of Tuesday, the death toll stood at 20 dead Americans and more than 60 killed Iraqis. Finally, continued violence in Iraq greatly reduces the chances of internationalizing the conflict, or involving the United Nations, something the Bush administration would very much like to see happen as another countdown nears -- the one to the November U.S. presidential election.

Analysis: A mini-Tet offensive in Iraq?
Any seasoned reporter covering the Tet offensive in Vietnam 36 years ago is well over 60 and presumably retired or teaching journalism is one of America's 4,200 colleges and universities. Before plunging into an orgy of erroneous and invidious historical parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, a reminder about what led to the U.S. defeat in Southeast Asia is timely. Iraq will only be another Vietnam if the home front collapses, as it did following the Tet offensive, which began on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 1968.

Former Iraqi enemies unite to fight U.S.
The American dream to bridge ancient Iraqi sectarian rivalries turned nightmarish Tuesday as Shiite and Sunni religious and tribal figures put aside their differences and publicly aligned against the occupation, vowing to rid Iraq of the American-led invaders. In the past 72 hours over 18 U.S. soldiers and well over 100 Iraqis have died in vicious fighting across Iraq. U.S. aligned coalition forces also took significant casualties of an unconfirmed number in fighting in four southern cities. Before last week the primary forces resisting the U.S. occupation were a combination of former Baath Party members and Sunni religious figures, but after fighting broke out between the coalition and a militia led by a young radical Shiite cleric, much of Iraq turned to complete chaos.

Baghdad tense amid Sadr standoff
U.S. troops supported by Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M-1 tanks surrounded Tuesday the office of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr while a large-scale demonstration of his heavily armed supporters is under way.



Meeting fierce resistance from Iraqi fighters, U.S. occupation forces bombarded late Tuesday, April 6 , the western city of Fallujah with tanks and warplanes, killing scores of Iraqi citizens. At least ten Iraqis died when American forces shelled the Golan neighborhood, reported the Doha-based Aljazeera television. Hospital doctors said another 15 civilians had been killed and dozens injured in the American offensive over the past 48 hours. The U.S. army reported six Iraqis killed in fighting Monday, though residents said five of them were killed when helicopters hit a residential area.

Supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ringed the Polish-led military force's headquarters south of Baghdad for several hours Tuesday before withdrawing peacefully, Polish media reported. Some 150 cars surrounded Camp Bablyon, the headquarters of the 9,500-strong force and remained there. No shots were exchanged, Polish news reports said.,1280,-3948241,00.html

Fighting has erupted between Italian troops and Iraqi gunmen in the southern city of Nasiriyah (nah-sih-REE'-uh). A coalition spokeswoman tells Italian media that at least 15 Iraqis were killed.She says insurgents used civilians as human shields, and two children and a woman are among the dead. (Human shields don't mean much to Italian soldiers, apparently -- or did a coalition order come from the top?)

The American dream to bridge ancient Iraqi sectarian rivalries turned nightmarish Tuesday as Shiite and Sunni religious and tribal figures put aside their differences and publicly aligned against the occupation, vowing to rid Iraq of the American-led invaders. In the past 72 hours over 18 U.S. soldiers and well over 100 Iraqis have died in vicious fighting across Iraq. U.S. aligned coalition forces also took significant casualties of an unconfirmed number in fighting in four southern cities. Before last week the primary forces resisting the U.S. occupation were a combination of former Baath Party members and Sunni religious figures, but after fighting broke out between the coalition and a militia led by a young radical Shiite cleric, much of Iraq turned to complete chaos.

Paul Wolfowitz: "There 's not going to be any difference in our military posture on July 1st from what it is on June 30th, except that we will be there then at the invitation of a sovereign Iraqi government, which I am quite sure will want us to stay there until killers like the ones who perpetrated these atrocities in Fallujah are brought under control. Thank you."

On the streets of Baghdad neighborhoods long defined by differences of faith and politics, signs are emerging that resistance to the U.S. occupation may be growing from a sporadic, underground effort to a broader insurrection by militiamen who claim to be fighting in the name of their common faith, Islam.  On Monday, residents of Adhamiya, a largely Sunni section of northern Baghdad, marched with followers of Moqtada Sadr, the militant Shiite cleric whose call for armed resistance was answered by local Sunnis the same afternoon, residents said. As protesters chanted anti-occupation slogans in Abu Hanifa Square, militants were seen hustling toward the site carrying AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, residents said. The guerrillas opened fire on the U.S. armor deployed near the demonstration, attacking from positions in a neighborhood where militants appear to be not just tolerated but encouraged.

Almost a year ago, the Shiites of Sadr City threw flowers at the American tanks that rumbled into Baghdad and ended the rule of their oppressor, Saddam Hussein. This week, however, many Iraqis were filling plain wooden coffins with the corpses of their kin, killed in a firefight with the U.S. forces that now patrol their impoverished neighborhood.
"After American forces ended the regime, we wanted to welcome them," Mohsin Ghassab, a 42-year-old unemployed resident of the district, said Monday.
"But now there is no stability. They have to withdraw."
Eight U.S. soldiers and about two dozen Iraqis died in the firefight that erupted on Sunday in the teeming district of Sadr City, which lies on Baghdad's northeastern rim and is home to more than two million Shiites.

Armed followers of the firebrand Shi'ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr took full control of the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala yesterday as the radical cleric sought to broaden support for his uprising among fellow Muslim leaders. With Sadr's supporters demanding the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country, coalition troops remained outside the cities to avoid provoking clashes, while Iraqi police withdrew in fear of his well-organised and heavily armed fighters. Last night they took over all government buildings in Najaf.
"Sadr demands the withdrawal of all coalition forces from Iraq - or face destruction," said Sheikh Qasi al-Khazali, Sadr's representative in the city.

The word went out on Tuesday at noon, with the blast of the call to prayer: American soldiers had raided an office of Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric, and torn up a poster of his father, one of Iraq's most revered martyrs. The Khadamiya bazaar exploded in a frenzy. Shopkeepers reached beneath stacks of sandals for Kalashnikov rifles. Boys wrapped their faces in black cloth. Men raced through the streets, kicking over crates and setting up barriers. Some handed out grenades. Within minutes this entire Shiite neighborhood in central Baghdad had mobilized for war. "We're going to attack a tank!" yelled Majid Hamid, 32, waving an assault rifle.

Shiite radical cleric Moqtada Sadr, wanted by coalition forces in Iraq, ended his sit-in at a mosque in Kufa and travelled to the holy city of Najaf "to prevent more bloodshed". "I have taken it upon myself to prevent more bloodshed," he said in a statement, expressing concern the "sacred site of the mosque not be violated ... by people who do not back down from anything" out of respect for holy places.
Sadr said his decision to "observe a peaceful sit-in" at the mosque was taken to protest against "the aggressions committed by the infidel occupier against civilians".

Iraqi forces were in full control Wednesday of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, a day after 12 US marines were killed and two dozen wounded in fighting with anti-coaliton insurgents, a marine statement said. In Washington Tuesday, a Defense Department official who requested anonymity said: "We had about 12 dead and a couple dozen wounded at the governor's palace in Ar Ramadi," some 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of the Iraqi capital.

Since the US invaded Iraq, the US Congress has approved about $US100 billion to pay for military operations, as well as $US23 billion for Iraqi reconstruction. Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments defence analyst Steven Kosiak said the war had already cost far more than the 1991 Gulf War - which cost about $US84 billion and was paid for largely by US allies.


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: FISK: Reaping the Whirlwind - Iraq on the Brink of Anarchy
Date: 6 Apr 2004


Reaping the Whirlwind

Iraq on the Brink of Anarchy


The Independent

Fallujah, Iraq.

Not content with surrounding the largest Sunni city west of Baghdad with tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavy machine guns, US forces used Apache helicopters to attack the Shia Muslim slums of Shoula yesterday, sent dozens of their main battle tanks into the hovels of Sadr City and then slapped an arrest warrant on the Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr--who must dearly have wanted the United States to do just that.

Gun battles in Sadr City overnight had cost the lives of up to 40 Iraqis and at least eight Americans, but in the sewage-damp streets yesterday, they were handing out letters, allegedly written by the Sunni townspeople of Fallujah, newly surrounded by 1,200 marines. "We support you, our brothers, in your struggle," the letters said. If they are authentic, it should be enough to make the US proconsul, Paul Bremer, wonder if he can ever extricate Washington from Iraq. The British took three years to turn both the Sunnis and the Shias into their enemies in 1920. The Americans are achieving it in just under a year.

Anarchy has been a condition of our occupation from the very first days when we let the looters and arsonists destroy Iraq's infrastructure and history. But that lawlessness is now coming back to haunt us. Anarchy is what we are now being plunged into in Iraq, among a people with whom we share no common language, no common religion and no common culture.

Officially, Mr Bremer and his president are standing tall, claiming they will not "tolerate" violence and those who oppose democracy, but occupation officials--in anticipation of a far more violent insurrection--have been privately discussing the legalities of martial law. And although Mr Bremer and President George Bush are publicly insisting that the notional "handover" of Iraq's "sovereignty" will still take place on 30 June, legal experts attached to the American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council have also been considering a delay of further months. Many Iraqis are now asking if the Americans want disaster in Iraq. Surely not, but yesterday's violence told its own story of blundering military operations and political provocations that will undoubtedly add to the support for the charmless and provocative Shia cleric whom Mr Bremer now wants to lock up--allegedly for plotting the murder of a pro-Western Shia cleric, Abdul-Majid el-Khoi. Sadr was surrounded by his militiamen yesterday, in a mosque in Kufa from where he issues regular denunciations of the occupation.

Dan Senor, a spokesman for the occupying power, would not tell anyone exactly what the evidence against Sadr was--even though it has supposedly existed since an Iraqi judge issued the warrant some months ago.

The US military response to the atrocities committed against four American mercenaries in Fallujah last week has been to surround the entire city and to announce the cutting off of the neighbouring international highway link between Baghdad, Amman and Damascus--thus bringing to a halt almost all economic trade between Iraq and its two western neighbours.

What good this will do "new" Iraq is anyone's guess. Vast concrete walls have been lowered across the road and military vehicles have been used to chase away civilians trying to bypass them. A prolonged series of Israeli-style house raids are now apparently planned for the people of Fallujah to seek out the gunmen who first attacked the four Americans. The corpses were stripped, mutilated and hanged.

The helicopter attacks in Shoula--by ghastly coincidence the very same Shoula suburb in which civilians were slaughtered by an American aircraft during last year's invasion--looked like a copy of every Israeli raid on the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, Iraqis are well aware that the US military asked for--and received--Israel's "rules of engagement" from Ariel Sharon's government.

America's losses over the past 48 hours--at least 12 soldiers killed and many wounded--come nowhere near the number of Iraqi victims over the same period.

US forces in Sadr City believe they were fighting up to 500 militia men from Sadr's black-uniformed Army of Mehdi early yesterday. Even so, using Apache helicopters in a heavily populated district to hunt for gunmen raises new questions about the rules to which occupation troops are supposed to adhere.

The British fared less badly in Basra, Iraq's second city, where they avoided violence with militiamen who had taken over the town hall and wounded no one in a brief gun battle. Spanish troops were again involved in shooting with militiamen in Najaf. The grim truth, however, is that the occupying powers are now facing insurrection of various strengths in almost every big city in Iraq.

Yet they are still not confronting that truth. For the past nine nights, for example, the main US base close to Baghdad airport--and the area around the terminals--has come under mortar fire.

But the occupying powers have kept this secret. "Things are getting very bad and they're going to get worse," a special forces officer said close to the airport yesterday. "But no one is saying that--either because they don't know or because they don't want you to know."

As for Sadr, he will, no doubt, try to surround himself with squads of gunmen and supporters in the hope that the Americans will not dare to shoot their way in to him.

Or he will go underground and we'll have another "enemy of democracy" to bestialise in the approach to the American elections. Or--much more serious perhaps--his capture may unleash far more violence from his supporters.

And all this because Mr Bremer decided to ban Sadr's trashy 10,000-circulation weekly newspaper for "inciting violence."


Robert Fisk is a reporter for The Independent and author of Pity the Nation. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's hot new book, The Politics of Anti-Semitism.



From: "LOVEARTH NETWORK -- Mark R. Elsis">
Subject: Our 10,000,000th Unique Visitor
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From: "Dick Eastman">
Subject: Rice Before the Committee Tomorrow? Don't even bother!
Date: 7 Apr 2004

Rice Before the Committee Tomorrow? Don't even bother!

by Dick Eastman

On Thrusday you will watch a scripted show in which Condoleezza Rice before a handpicked cast of softball playing obstruction of justice accomplices, in a morality play in which the national security adviser assure the committee that the Bush Administration was competently alert in the days before the Bush Administration perpetrated -- she will not say this -- the 9-11 mass-murder frame-up devised by the Neo-Khan Pentagon. That will take all of fifteen minutes. Rice will fill the rest of the two and a half hours engaged in mock conflict response to the groundwork and stage setting of with co-conspirator RIchard Clarke, the "limited hangout" spin agent whose successfully executed job has been to define the hearings in the public mind as an inquiry into whether 9-11 "could have been prevented," and away from the much more potentially precipitating topic of "what went wrong"," or, the topic that could lead the entire bi-partisan ruling oligarchy into free fall to the center of the earth, "what actually happened on September 11, 2001?" Remember, Al Falzenberg has directed all information directed by citizen investigators working from the photographic evidence to "black-hole" oblivion -- for example, the Pentagon pictures showing too-small a plane, distinctive trail of missile smoke followed by a huge white-hot explosion characteristic only of military explosives of the type packed in missile warheads; of damage to the Pentagon wall inconsistent with the crash of a two- engine 757 jetliner; of a path of downed lampposts that is not the approach path that witnesses saw the Boeing take, and much much more that Condoleezza Rice will not have to take questions on -- nor will anyone else in the administration take questions on this so-obvious and so-conclusive evidence -- it simply proof of guilt that by tacit consent will not be admitted by consideration by criminal investigators of a criminal administration guilty of the most horrible and profitable murder crime in American history.

And what of the unfortunate Sibel Edmonds? An FBI translator who saw documents specifically warning of airplanes used as weapons in acts of terror against skyscrapers and government buildings in New York and Washington D.C. and observed an administration brushing aside the information, Edmonds naming names, as if, I conclude, it might interfer with other things they had going on -- a real risk, which if diligently guarded against would have interfered with the real frame-up in the works -- Edmonds remarks are going to be given the last 15 minutes and they will be put by a questioner who will make more statements puffing the committee than actually asking pointed questions -- Rice will say she did not know about it and she will infer that untraceable human error led to her not being informed and then the bell will ring and by signed agreement Condoleezza will be free for the rest of her life from any further questioning by Congress on the topic of 9-11.

And yes, the entire Commission report will be censored line by line by the White House -- not that that is necessary with a commission headed by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton and the sleezy crooked and perverse characters cast in this charade directed by Al Falzenberg who actually controlled the input so that there will be very little output that the Whitehouse will have to vet.

The Administration's guilt has been proven by citizen investigators working with the ample photo evidence and witness accounts already in the pubic domaine -- the Committee is merely your tax dollars spent to keep you from bothering to look at the easily comprehended conclusive evidence presented, for example, here:

and here:


See also:

Rice plans no apology in 9/11 testimony

20 Questions For Condi

The 9/11 Evidence That May Hang George W. Bush

New Evidence Bush Pushed Iraq War Right After 9/11

'The Extreme Right Wing In The White House' by Senator Edward M. Kennedy


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Richard Clarke: Against All Enemies, page 24
Date: 6 Apr 2004

From Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies, page 24:

"When, later in the discussion {on the evening of Sept. 11, with Bush and his crisis advisors}, Secretary Rumsfeld noted that international law allowed the use of force only to prevent future attacks and not for retribution, Bush nearly bit his head off. "No," the President yelled in the narrow conference room, 'I don't care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.' " Notice that Rumsfeld was correct in his opinion: International law only permits the use of force in self-defense, not for retribution; and retribution is never self-defense. In addition, Rumsfeld clearly advised Bush and his top advisers that a war against Afghanistan for retribution would be illegal. But Bush made it quite clear that he knew his war against Afghanistan would be illegal, that he did not care about international law and international lawyers , and that his primary motivation for going to war was to kick some asses of Muslims/Asians of Color in Afghanistan. So much for the putative legality of the Bush war against Afghanistan. It is yet another US racist war of aggression against People of Color in a Third World Country. And so much for those shameless legal apologists of the Bush Jr. war of aggression against Afghanistan. They just wanted to kick some ass too--so long as it was Muslims/Asians of Color. They are just a gang of bigots, racists, and war-mongers.


Date: 7 Apr 2004
Subject: Rwanda and Sudan: A Call for Action Against Genocide

Rwanda and Sudan: A Call for Action Against Genocide

by Rene Wadlow

April 7th 2004 marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda in which between 800,000 to a million persons were killed. The nature of the genocide and the lack of national responses has led to serious study within the UN system as to why preventive measures were not taken, for there were UN peace-keeping troops in the country during the lead up to the genocide. During the early months of 1994, there were daily calls of hate upon radio and written in the press. Reports on the tensions and violence in Rwanda had been presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. It was known to diplomatic, Church, and UN authorities in Rwanda that lists of names of those to be killed in priority were circulating to militia commanders and political groups. Thus, the genocide in Rwanda was due to a failure of properly evaluating the signs of the coming destruction of people and a lack of will to take action on the ground.

Today, in western Sudan, in Darfur, a large region the size of France, there is a situation which close observers consider to be genocidal. The UN resident co-ordinator to Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, stated that more than a million people were being affected by the violence. He stated to the BBC "It is more than just a conflict. It is an organised attempt to do away with a group of people...This is the world's greatest humanitarian crisis, and I don't know why the world isn't doing more about it."

Eight Special Rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights, in a rare joint appeal, called for UN action in Darfur.

In a statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights, Rene Wadlow stated
"We have repeatedly stressed the need for UN mechanisms to investigate serious accusations of genocide. There are serious indications of genocidal intent in the violence against the Zaghawa, Massaliet, and Fur tribal groups in Darfur. This massive violence seems not to be only the chronic clashes between farming communities and cattle herders frequent in Darfur, fuelled by rivalry over dwindling water resources and pasture caused by desertification, but also an effort to destroy the very structure of the agricultural society. Unlike the "North-South" civil war of Sudan, where differences in religion are a factor in the conflict, the Darfur struggles are between groups which are basically Muslim. While it is not the role of our Association to judge if genocide is the prime intent of the violence in Daefur, we nonetheless call for clear mechanisms now to study serious accusations of genocide."

Letters of support for speedy UN action in Darfur and the creation of permanent mechanisms to study serious accusations of genocide should be sent to the Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights, His Excellency Mike Smith, Commission on Human Rights, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland


Rene Wadlow, editor of, is Chief Representative of the Association of World Citizens to the United Nations, Geneva


See also:

World Could Have Stopped Rwanda Genocide
Ex-UN Troops Commander General Romeo Dallaire

Western Leaders Absent as Rwanda Recalls Genocide
(Apr 7, 2004)
KIGALI (Reuters) - With Western leaders conspicuous by their absence, Rwanda marked the 10th anniversary of its genocide on Wednesday as bewildered and angry as ever at the world's failure to stop one of the 20th century's great crimes. "Women and girls were gang raped, tortured and maimed for life, if not murdered. The victims were forced to kill their kin or dig their own graves before they were buried alive," President Paul Kagame told 28,000 mourners gathered at a stadium in the capital Kigali. "We will see each other again in heaven," a choir sang at the memorial site where a crowd of barefoot Rwandans in tattered clothes watched from a hilltop as African presidents arrived in gleaming four-wheel-drive vehicles. In Geneva, U.N. chief Kofi Annan said the risk of genocide remained frighteningly real in parts of the world, explaining that Rwanda-style ethnic massacres may be in the making in Sudan and international military force could be needed to stop it. The U.N. Secretary-General sounded the alarm in a speech on the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by Hutu extremists. He left no doubt he feared something similar might be under way in west Sudan, where U.N. officials say "ethnic cleansing" is carried out by government-backed Arab militias. Khartoum denies it has any role in unlawful killings in the region. Annan's initiative on Sudan stood in stark contrast to the low-key approach adopted by the international community on Rwanda in the months leading up the genocide, a failure seen by many Rwandans as a disastrous abdication of responsibility. Kagame singled out France for particular scorn, reiterating an accusation that it had helped train the killers knowing that they would commit a genocide -- a charge France strongly denies. "As for the French, their role in what happened in Rwanda is self-evident," Kagame said. "They knowingly trained and armed government soldiers and militia who were going to commit genocide, and they knew they would commit a genocide." CLIP

Sudan, Congo could be next Rwanda: Annan (Apr. 7, 2004)

Sudan Government Begins Talks With Rebels (Apr. 7, 2004),1280,-3951073,00.html
N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) - Sudan began direct talks with rebels fighting a yearlong insurgency, as President Bush and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on the government Wednesday to give humanitarian aid agencies unrestricted access to western Sudan. Sudanese government officials and members of two rebel groups met face-to-face late Tuesday for the first time since talks mediated by Chad and the African Union began March 31, officials said Wednesday. ''I make a solemn appeal to the two parties to cease hostilities for at least two weeks to allow negotiations to continue and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid'' into western Sudan, Chadian President Idriss Deby told the negotiators. Since rebels took up arms in February 2003, thousands of people have been killed and more than 800,000 others forced to flee their homes in Darfur, an impoverished western region that borders Chad. The rebel groups - the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army - and refugees have accused the government of deliberately bombing and attacking civilians. The government has denied the allegations. The United States, United Nations and international aid groups have said the fighting has created a humanitarian catastrophe. Aid agencies have had only limited access to the region, and more than 110,000 Sudanese have fled into Chad. On Wednesday, Bush said the Sudanese government must stop militias in the Darfur region from committing atrocities against the local population. (...) U.N. officials and human rights groups have said Arab militia groups, reportedly with government backing, are engaged in ``ethnic cleansing'' against Africans in Darfur province. ''Such reports leave me with a deep sense of foreboding,'' Annan said Wednesday during a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. "Whatever terms it uses to describe the situation, the international community cannot stand idle.'' Sudanese authorities, which deny the claims, have invited Annan to send a high-level mission to Darfur. So far, however, they have restricted access to the region for aid groups and journalists. ''It is vital that international humanitarian workers and human rights experts be given full access to the region, and to the victims, without further delay,'' Annan said. ''If that is denied, the international community must be prepared to take swift and appropriate action. By 'action' in such situations I mean a continuum of steps, which may include military action. But the latter should always be seen as an extreme measure, to be used only in extreme cases.'' Reed Brody, special counsel for the pressure group Human Rights Watch, welcomed Annan's remarks. ''This was a bold speech,'' he told The Associated Press. ''The best way to honor the dead in Rwanda and show that we have learned from our failures is to stop the massacres being carried out in Sudan. The secretary-general gave a clear warning today that if we don't do that we will have again failed the victims.'' Chad hosted talks between the government and rebels last year, but they collapsed last December.


From: "Boudewijn Wegerif">
Subject: George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism
Date: 7 Apr 2004



Rev. Rich Lang -
Trinity United Methodist Church Seattle.
February 14, 2004

The men who wrote the Constitution of the United States knew that we human beings have a tendency to 'not get along with each other'. They knew that if power accrued into the hands of an elite the experiment of democracy (power spread out into the realm of the people) would be over. So they created a system of checks and balances which blocked access to any one person, or any one special interest or elite gaining too much power over others. Thus our executive, legislative and judicial branches of government "checked" each other. The media was yet another "check" on the accrual of too much power as was the Bill of Rights which was written into the Constitution. The system wasn't perfect but it kept alive the possibility of true democracy. It kept alive the dream that one day "we the people" could live in a peaceful commonwealth where every person has what they need to survive and thrive.

That dream died in December 2000 when the checks and balances of our Constitution collapsed and George Bush was inserted into the Presidency of the United States. September 11, 2001 furthered the atrophying of democracy handing the country into the hands of an emerging Corporate (and I say Christian) Fascism.

Since that time we have witnessed and have been unable to prevent the emergence of an Imperial Presidency that has the unrestricted power to declare war against any country he chooses. The Imperial Presidency has brought to an end the Constitutional mandate that 'ONLY CONGRESS' has the authority to declare war. It has furthered weakened international law and has undermined the potential of the United Nations to spread democracy throughout the earth.

The President has also gained unrestricted power to round up unlimited numbers of American citizens and incarcerate them in military brigs or concentration camps for the rest of their lives. He can keep them from ever again communicating with friends, families, and attorneys, simply on the president's certification that the incarcerated are "terrorists," as he has done with Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi. The President may also now kill American citizens abroad solely on the basis of his certification that the one killed is a "terrorist". Just ask the family and friends of Ahmed Hijazi, an American killed with a U.S.-fired missile in Yemen. Therefore suspending the Constitutional right: "no person shall be denied life, liberty or property without due process of law."

Ominous signs are all around us concerning the accrual of power into the hands of the Presidency. If Mr. Bush stays in office I think our future will continue to witness shrinking political rights, financial collapse and endless war. Part of the power and seduction of this administration emerges from its diabolical manipulation of Christian rhetoric. I want to flesh out the ideology of the Christian Fascism that Mr. Bush articulates. It is a form of Christianity that is the mirror opposite of what Jesus embodied. It is, indeed, the materialization of the spirit of antichrist: a perversion of Christian faith and practice.

CLIP - Read the rest at


Forwarded by Ken> on April 6


The Pennsylvania Court Observer, 7-10-01

University Notes Contributors: Cristina L. Borenstein, Lana Taamar

Report: President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years

If late night TV comedy is an indicator, then there has never been as widespread a perception that a president is not intellectually qualified for the position he holds as there is with President GW Bush. In a report published Monday, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania detailed its findings of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush. Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published it's research to the education community on each new president, which includes the famous "IQ" report among others. According to statements in the report, there have been twelve presidents over the past 50 years, from F. D. Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were all rated based on scholarly achievements, writings that they alone produced without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity, and several other psychological factors which were then scored in the Swanson/Crain system of intelligence ranking. The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage points:

147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
132 Harry Truman (D)
122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (r)
174 John F. Kennedy (D)
126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
155 Richard M. Nixon (r)
121 Gerald Ford (r)
175 James E. Carter (D)
105 Ronald Reagan (r)
098 George HW Bush (r)
182 William J. Clinton (D)
091 George W. Bush (r)

The six Republican presidents of the past 50 years had an average IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President G. W. Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91. The six Democrat presidents had IQs with an average of 156, with President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182. President Lyndon B. Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of 126.

Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW Bush, his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary (6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis. The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and voice stress confidence analysis. "All the Presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education or early careers. Not so with President Bush," Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has no published works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult to arrive at an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts of his unscripted public speaking." The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania think tank includes high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are Dr. Werner R. Lovenstein, world-renowned sociologist, and Professor Patricia F. Dilliams, a world-respected psychiatrist.

This study was commissioned on February 13, 2001 and released on July 9, 2001 to subscribing member universities and organizations within the education community.


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