Meditation Focus #84

Persevering in Service to The Light



Hello,

What follows is the 84th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, March 23, 2003.

PERSEVERING IN SERVICE TO THE LIGHT

1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this Meditation Focus




1. SUMMARY

As the world reels at the shock and horror created by the military onslaught unleashed onto Iraq by the so-called U.S.-led coalition forces over the last few days and as anti-war protests are mounted in increasing numbers around the world, the spiritual community of Light Servers is sollicited, now more than ever, to persist in serving as a channel for the universal healing energies that are the only long term antidote to the crisis afflicting planet Earth at this crucial evolutionary crossroad. The sheer magnitude of the evil forces now gathered to try to prevent the onset of an unprecedented era of Peace and Harmony on this world can only be matched and surpassed through the sheer magnitude of the Omnipotent Power of Love that is being made available in assistance to humanity's critical passage from "childhood" into mature, spiritual "adulthood". This is a critical test of our spiritual mettle and a new vital opportunity presented to learn that no matter the level of difficulty encountered in maintaining our spiritual balance and clear focus on the highest goals and ideals seeded into us through the many inner and outer sources of heavenly guidance received so far, we shall not fail to seize this opportunity and cannot even consider evading this common responsibility. This certainty that our mission of succour and enlightenment will succeed can only be bred and amplified when we attune in common purpose to the highest possible Source of Knowledge and Love to synchronistically generate a massive wave of Light enfolding and circling the globe and forever reinforcing the millions of nodes of the transmutation grid that has been created in preparation for the vibrational transition that is gradually unfolding into a higher dimension of existence for all that lives on this holy Terra Materna.

Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following one, to contribute in co-creating with millions of embodied and disembodied souls the necessary momentum that will keep propulsing all Life towards the manifestation of the Great Cosmic Shift into the fourth and fifth dimension, a process which can hardly be grasped through the narrow perceptual range of our limited intellectual abilities but which can nevertheless be sensed at the deepest, still partly dormant levels of our soulful Reality as the perfectly normal evolutionary outcome of our incremental evolutionary ascension from the material realm of experience into the ever higher spiritual realms of remembrance and embrace of our true Divine Origin. May we all bless the outer circumstances of today's global tribulations as the necessary transmutation fires that once properly channeled and directed can propel us all towards the accomplishment of our eternal Destiny, and may we all come as One, guided from the Source of Light and Love within us all, to implement, each in our unique realm of possibilities, the essential contribution we came to bring to the global awakening of Humanity into Divinity, for the Highest Good of All.

This whole Meditation Focus is also available at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus84.htm

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NOTE: It is recommended that you go read "IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MATTHEW IN HEAVEN" archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MatthewOnIraq.htm

This is an important complement to this Meditation Focus. Here is a brief quote from it:

"I don't wish ever to discourage ones from feeling hope and love and sending forth those vibrations to the universe. This must continue even after war is started as those vibrations will assist in bringing in the era of peace that will follow. (...) When it is finally seen that war is unavoidable, that same positive focus for peace STILL must be continued so the aftermath of the war's onset is lessened in duration, death, destruction and misery! (...) Except for the invasion of Iraq, all of that intended conquest is what will be thwarted by continued intense focus FOR peace, love, harmony, justice, fairness, equity of resources allocation, and the like. THAT is what your collective focusing will manifest on Earth!"

- Matthew Ward




2. MEDITATION TIMES

i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes.

ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.

These times below now correspond to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM

+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.

You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.




3. More information on this Meditation Focus

This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.

From: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030322/ap_on_re_mi_ea/war_feeding_iraq_4

It's a Bad Season for War in Hungry Iraq (Mar 22)

AMMAN, Jordan - As U.S. tanks and troops push up the Euphrates River valley toward Baghdad, they'll be rolling through a vast green plain whose hard-pressed farmers should be planting their spring vegetables and harvesting their winter grain. An Iraqi farmer's almanac would tell you it's the wrong season for war.

The upheaval of an invasion could interrupt the reaping and the sowing just as stored food is running out for most Iraqis. "It's a particularly bad time for both the winter crop and the spring crop," said Barry Came, a U.N. food specialist. The Iraqi government's food-rationing system, the daily sustenance for most of its people, is crumbling. That, along with the wartime threat to the grain crop, points toward a huge emergency in the coming weeks, requiring possibly "the biggest humanitarian operation in history," said Khaled Mansour, regional spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program in Amman.

In these early days of war, lines of responsibility for carrying out that operation remain unclear.

U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks said Saturday that the U.S. military, its coalition partners and civilian organizations have positioned millions of meals, medicines and other supplies for the Iraqi people.

Earlier, the U.S. government announced it was shipping 200,000 tons of wheat and rice for distribution in Iraq under the U.S. Agency for International Development. Mansour said he assumed — but couldn't confirm — that WFP would do the distributing, since it has the framework in place.

"There are so many unknowns," he said. "The length of the war, the intensity, the state of the roads, the state of storage silos. It will be a logistician's nightmare."

An internal U.N. document on the war's expected impact predicts that railways, roads, bridges and electricity production "can expect to be especially hard hit" by air bombardment and ground combat. That could cripple the farm economy, although so far the U.S. military may be minimizing attacks on such targets to help postwar recovery.

Labor could prove an even bigger problem: Farm families and field workers may be uprooted or flee ahead of advancing troops, or in civil unrest that follows, leaving fields fallow and crops to rot.

Under the United Nations' oil-for-food program, an arrangement for easing the impact of 12 years of U.N. economic sanctions, the Baghdad government exported oil and bought food and other humanitarian goods under close U.N. supervision. Some 400,000 tons of food were imported each month, and distributed through 43,000 authorized shops.

But now, "the warehouses are almost empty," Mansour said.

With Iraq's economy impoverished by the sanctions, 60 percent of its estimated 27 million people depended on government rations, the typical food basket consisted of wheat flour and rice, vegetable oil, lentils or other beans, milk, sugar and salt. But with the onset of war, the program was shut down.

Food warehouse stocks had already dwindled because of earlier problems, including delays in U.N. contract approvals, Mansour said. Meantime, the Iraqi government, preparing for war, doubled people's ration cards recently, to be exchanged for two months of food at local shops.

Because of distribution shortcomings and the fact that many poorer Iraqis sold their rations for needed cash, the WFP believes most Iraqis have food not for two months, but for less than six weeks.

In a country where child malnutrition and illness worsened after the first Gulf War and had begun to decline only in recent years, relief officials are again deeply worried.

"We know the level of fragility of the Iraqi people," Veronique Taveau, of the U.N. humanitarian coordinator's office in Baghdad, said Tuesday after leaving the Iraqi capital.

Came, who works for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, said Iraqi farmers should be planting tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, okra, cauliflower, carrots and other vegetables, the favored cash crops in the irrigated southern countryside.

By next month, they should be harvesting their winter wheat and barley. That grain crop was projected at 1.7 million tons nationally, a third of it from four Euphrates and Tigris river provinces south and southeast of Baghdad. "Iraqis depend on that crop to feed themselves," Came said.

CLIP

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From: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030323/ap_on_re_us/war_us_rallies&cid=519&ncid=1478

Peace Marchers Rally Across United States (March 23)

NEW YORK - Anti-war activists marched again Saturday in dozens of cities, marshaling well over 100,000 in Manhattan and sometimes trading insults with backers of the U.S.-led war on Iraq. War backers rallied too, often by the thousands, with American flags and chants of "USA!"

In Chicago, some of about 800 troop supporters came within 20 feet of a small group of anti-war activists outside a federal building. As the protesters shouted "killers, killers, killers," a military backer yelled back "idiots, idiots, idiots." Later, about 500 anti-war protesters marched around the same building.

Carrying peace signs and wearing costumes, demonstrators in New York spanned 30 blocks as they marched down Broadway toward Washington Square Park. Unofficial police estimates put the crowd at more than 125,000; United for Peace and Justice, the march organizers, estimated the crowd at more than 250,000.

CLIP

Tens of thousands protested in San Francisco after two days of anti-war rallies in which about 2,200 were arrested.

San Francisco police on Friday vowed to be more aggressive in controlling the crowds. The latest demonstration was peaceful, although police arrested 10 people — mostly for failing to disperse — as the rally stretched into the evening.

"Families are coming out, kids are coming out. In deference to that, we want to keep this a positive experience," said organizer Mario Santos of International ANSWER. "There's no point to civil disobedience. It's Saturday. Everything's closed."

In Hollywood, war protesters marched down Sunset Boulevard, complaining that news coverage is slanted. One sign showed a photo of an Iraqi mother with a wounded child and said, "Collateral damage has a face."

Los Angeles police, who estimated the crowd at between 2,500 and 3,000 people, arrested 78 people, mostly for failing to disperse. Chief William Bratton, expecting larger protests Sunday during the Academy Awards, told KNBC-TV the demonstration was "good practice."

In Washington, several hundred protesters, chanting "No blood for oil," strode through the streets and rallied in front of the White House. Their pink and orange signs read "No war against Iraq" and "Money for unemployment, not war."

CLIP

Abroad, tens of thousands of angry protesters from London to Japan again marched against the war. Some denounced their governments for backing the United States.

Since the outbreak of war, peace demonstrations have spread to dozens of American cities large and small in one of the widest outpourings of anti-government protesting in many years. Anti-war activists have blocked traffic, sat in at federal buildings, prayed at somber candlelight vigils, and laid down on sidewalks to symbolize the war dead.

Mostly smaller counterdemonstrations have sprung up too, appealing for support of the invasion or U.S. troops.

Nearly all protests have been peaceful, though scuffling with police broke out on a few occasions. More than 3,000 arrests have been made, usually as police tried to clear streets and keep buildings open.

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From: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030323/ts_afp/iraq_war_demos_world&cid=1503&ncid=1473

Global protests against US-led war on Iraq (Mar 22)

LONDON (AFP) - Europe led demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands of people opposed to the US-led war against Iraq and some clashed with police.

Major rallies were held in Barcelona, where more than 500,000 people took to the streets, London, Montreal, New York, Paris, Rome, Washington and other major cities in the Middle East and Asia.

In Khartoum, a Sudanese student was fatally wounded as police tried to hold back hundreds of anti-American demonstrators from the US embassy, police said.

In the Chilean capital, Santiago, a bomb exploded outside the branch of a US bank in an act believed to be a protest against the war, police said. There were also disturbances in New York and Oslo, reports said.

An anti-war protest outside the British embassy in Bahrain spilled over into clashes with police for a second day.

Two people were injured, according to witnesses, as protestors tried to break through a cordon and hurled three petrol bombs at the embassy garden.

In Barcelona, between 500,000 and 750,000 people, according to figures given by city hall and organisers, protested against the war, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, one of the strongest pro-war allies of US President George W. Bush.

Up to 250,000 people marched through central Madrid, according to organisers, pressing the same anti-war, anti-Aznar case.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has also seen a dramatic fall in his popularity because of his support for Bush, and tens of thousands took part in a march through central London.

Police said there were fewer than the huge crowds seen at the last major peace rally, when London experienced its biggest ever street protest.

One 14-year-old girl said: "Tony Blair should listen to his people rather to his best friend Bush."

In the west of England, several thousand protesters converged on the RAF Fairford air force base, used by US B-52 bombers flying to Iraq, where they laid flowers at the main gate.

More than 100,000 anti-war protesters demonstrated in Rome, Milan and other cities in Italy, where the war has also been supported by the conservative government but is opposed by the public, according to polls.

More than 150,000 people filed through the streets of Paris and other French cities, organisers said. Police said there were 90,000 in the French capital.

Some 150,000 Germans rallied across the country, police said. About 30,000 Kurds marched in Frankfurt in solidarity with kinsmen in northern Iraq and Turkey.

Around 40,000 people attended a rally in Berlin to denounce a decision by the German government to allow US aircraft to use German airspace and bases.

Dozens of young people clashed with police in Oslo during one demonstration. About 200 people threw stones, eggs and other missiles at government buildings, police said.

When masked youths threw stones near the US embassy, Norwegian riot police used tear gas to disperse militants and seven people were arrested.

In Greece, several thousand people took part in a rally which followed two straight days of demonstration which drew 150,000 and over 200,000 people.

There were up to 50,000 protesters in Vienna, according to organisers, and two government ministers joined thousands of Swedes in their calls for the protection of civilians in Iraq.

About 10,000 people gathered near the US embassy in Copenhagen. "I'm ashamed to be Danish," declared teacher Jacob Lundgaard. The country's parliament has voted to back the US stance, sending two warships to the Gulf.

In New York, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched from Broadway to Washington Square. Media reports estimated up to 100,000 people.

Several dozen people were arrested after refused to go home and clashed with police at at the end of the rally, police sources said.

In Washington, just a few thousand turned out for a rally outside the White House in Washington. The president was at his Camp David retreat for the weekend.

In Montreal, organisers said 200,000 people took part in their anti-war rally. Police refused to give a figure.

More than 20,000 people demonstrated in Egypt. In Cairo, university students burned American, British and Israeli flags and called for President Hosni Mubarak to send military support to Iraq.

In Gaza City, nearly 10,000 people demonstrated, mostly students from the Islamic University, carrying Hamas banners as a gesture of support for the main Palestinian Islamic movement, and Iraqi flags.

In Jakarta, capital of the world's most populous Muslim nation, 3,000 protestors picketed in front of the US embassy before moving on to the nearby British embassy.

Peace protesters also staged rallies in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Australia, which has sent 2,000 combat troops to join the US-British force, there were demonstrations in four cities. In Perth, Western Australia, an estimated 10,000 people marched.

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See also:

Iraq says Saddam in control, more raids rock Baghdad (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=1514&e=3&u=/afp/20030323/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_war_baghdad_1
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq insisted Saddam Hussein still held the reins of power in Baghdad as more US air raids battered the city, setting off massive explosions that boomed through the early morning darkness.

'Baghdad is in flames' (March 21)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2874589.stm
The BBC's Paul Wood and Rageh Omaar in Baghdad have been witnessing massive air strikes as the US unleashes what it calls its "shock and awe" strategy. (...) "Wave after wave of missiles have struck all over the city. The attacks are much worse than the previous two nights.

Two Cities in Northern Iraq Are Targeted Along With Capital (March 21)
http://truthout.org/docs_03/032303B.shtml
KUWAIT — American-led coalition forces began an intense bombing campaign in Iraq tonight, blasting targets in Baghdad and at least two other cities to the north, Pentagon officials said.

Antiwar Protests at Home and Abroad (March 21)
http://truthout.org/docs_03/032303D.shtml
Protests against the war in Iraq continued around the globe today, many of them spontaneous and causing disruption in urban areas. In the most violent demonstration, at least three people were reported killed in a chaotic confrontation outside the United States Embassy in San'a, Yemen.

U.S. Battles Calls for Emergency UN Session on Iraq (March 21)
http://truthout.org/docs_03/032303E.shtml
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States has launched a worldwide diplomatic drive to head off the calling of an emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly to condemn the U.S.-led war on Iraq, diplomats said on Friday. The group of nonaligned nations at the United Nations met earlier this week to consider convening a special session of the 191-nation assembly to denounce the United States.

Arab World Erupts in Fury Over Iraq Attack (March 20)
http://truthout.org/docs_03/032203C.shtml
CAIRO, Egypt –– Hundreds of thousands of people marched on American embassies in world capitals Thursday to protest the war against Iraq, including a violent clash in Cairo, where demonstrators hurled stones and metal barricades and pounded on cars.

Anti-War Protests Sweep Globe Following Launch of Strikes in Iraq (March 20)
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=1425

Anti-War Protests Swell After Iraq Attack (March 21)
Galvanized by the American attack on Iraq, thousands of anti-war activists around the country set off their own barrage of street protests, chaining themselves together, blocking workers and traffic, walking out of classes, and parading in mock chemical suits. More than 1,500 people were arrested from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. But the anti-war groundswell brought out thousands of counterdemonstrators. One in Mississippi carried a sign saying, "Support the U.S. or keep your mouth shut." Thursday was one of the heaviest days of anti-government protesting in years. CLIP

Make sure to check the Independent News Media website
http://www.indymedia.org/

People around the world engaged in massive and peaceful marches Saturday, demonstrating continued resistance to the invasion of Iraq. Reports of those actions are posted at http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=301569&group=webcast

Fighting South of Baghdad as City Bombed Again (March 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&e=1&u=/nm/20030323/ts_nm/iraq_fighting_dc_2
SOUTHERN IRAQ (Reuters) - Iraqi troops fought U.S. forces overnight near the central Shi'ite city of Najaf as American bombs again shook Baghdad, briefly knocking out parts of the power grid. CLIP

Iraqi Minister Says U.S. Raids Hit Civilian Homes (March 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=574&e=6&u=/nm/20030323/wl_nm/iraq_minister_dc_2

Al-Jazeera shows images of "collateral damage" (March 22)
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/2003/03/000463.html
While CNN footage of the destruction in Iraq looks as usual more like a pyrotechnic display, Arabs in the Middle East are looking at gruesome footage of dead and wounded civilians, including what the Arab network claims are 50 casualties in the town of Basra. According to Reuters, one angry woman told al-Jazeera, standing among the wounded, "It's a huge mass of civilians. It was a massacre."

Iraq Body Count (Amazing picture of a U.S. stealth bomber!)
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
The B-2 bomber carries sixteen 2'000 lb. JDAM bombs. If all goes 100% as planned (the bomb does not fall outside of its specified margin of error of 13 meters, and the GPS guidance system is not foiled by a $50 radio jammer kit, easily purchased), then here is what one such bomb does:  everyone within a 120 meter radius is killed; to be safe from serious shrapnel damage, a person must be at least 365 meters away; to be really safe from all effects of fragmentation, a person must be 1000 meters away, according to Admiral Stufflebeem. The B-2s will be used upon targets within Baghdad.

Pentagon Strategy Creates Rift Among Hawks (March 21)
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15439
The U.S. military's attempts to "decapitate" the Iraqi leadership is worrying the neoconservatives who are hoping for an all-out war. The face of Iraqi suffering Robert Fisk toured a Baghdad hospital the day after the bombing. He writes in the Independent (U.K.), "There is something sick, obscene about these hospital visits. We bomb. They suffer. Then we turn up and take pictures of their wounded children." Read about five-year old Doha Suleil who has lost all movement in her left leg because of sharpnel from the cruise missile attack.

Protesting the military network
http://www.winwithoutwarus.org

The Win Without War coalition is planning to take the protests right to the military. Starting today, peace activists will begin holding demonstrations outside military bases and defense manufacturers during the coming week. In St. Charles, Miss., on Sunday, hundreds are expected to hold a mock funeral march at Boeing Missile Plant, which produces the guidance system used to target missiles. Meanwhile, thousands held a peaceful demonstration in San Francisco on Saturday. March 22, 2003 @ 9:02PM

Complete Iraq Coverage by Alternet
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/

The face of Iraqi suffering (Mar 22)
http://argument.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/story.jsp?story=389918
Robert Fisk toured a Baghdad hospital the day after the bombing. He writes in the Independent (U.K.), "There is something sick, obscene about these hospital visits. We bomb. They suffer. Then we turn up and take pictures of their wounded children." Read about five-year old Doha Suleil who has lost all movement in her left leg because of sharpnel from the cruise missile attack.

Fisk reports from Baghdad
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=1455
Robert Fisk describes the heaviest bombing Baghdad has suffered in more than 20 years: "How, I ask myself, does one describe this outside the language of a military report, the definition of the colour, the decibels of the explosions? When the cruise missiles came in it sounded as if someone was ripping to pieces huge curtains of silk in the sky and the blast waves became a kind of frightening counterpoint to the flames."

Thousands of people across the United States and the world were arrested as part of nonviolent protests and direct actions since the US-led invasion began. Many of these people intended to get arrested to show their level of dissent. Get and add specific numbers at http://indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=301107&group=webcast

For a complete list of upcoming actions, check out:
http://www.protest.net

Check also the Iraq Peace Team
http://www.iraqpeaceteam.org/

Bush Meets With War Council at Camp David (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=540&ncid=703&e=1&u=/ap/20030322/ap_on_re_mi_ea/war_us_iraq
President Bush, meeting with his war advisers, monitored developments in Iraq on Saturday and promised Americans an unrelenting military campaign regardless of the difficulties ahead. Full Coverage at http://story.news.yahoo.com/fc?cid=34&tmpl=fc&in=World&cat=Iraq

Pope breaks silence on war, calling it a threat to humanity (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/afp/20030322/en_afp/iraq_war_pope&e=4
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope John Paul II, making his first public statement since the outbreak of the war in Iraq, warned that the conflict threatened "the destiny of humanity". "Violence and weapons can never resolve the problems of men," the 82-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church told a Vatican audience comprising journalists from an Italian Catholic television channel and their families. "When war, as at this time in Iraq, threatens the destiny of humanity, it is even more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that peace alone is the way to construct a united and just society," John Paul II said. The pope had maintained a public silence since his clear moral voice against the war was drowned out in the maelstrom of terrifying firepower unleashed by US President George W. Bush's forces on Baghdad early Thursday.

Red Cross Sees 200 Baghdad 'War-Wounded' (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030322/wl_nm/iraq_aid_medical_dc_2

Most Canadians Back Staying Out of Iraq War--Polls (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030323/wl_canada_nm/canada_iraq_poll_col_2

U.S. Strikes Qaeda-Linked Group in N. Iraq (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=4&u=/nm/20030322/ts_nm/iraq_kurds_missiles_dc_2

Baghdad Hit by Wave of Raids, Trenches Ablaze (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=2&u=/nm/20030322/ts_nm/iraq_baghdad_dc_23

Quick Progress Vs. Iraq Oil Well Fires (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030322/bs_nm/iraq_oil_control_dc_4
KUWAIT CITY (Reuters) - Fires burning at oil wells in southern Iraq could be brought under control and capped in 30-45 days, an expert team brought in to fight the blazes said on Saturday. Damage to Iraqi oil export terminals also appears minimal, a team member said at a briefing. U.S. and British officials were worried Iraqi forces might try to sabotage the country's oil infrastructure after U.S. and British forces invaded the country on Thursday. But military and political officials have said the damage does not appear to be extensive, with fires burning at fewer than 10 oil wells in the Rumaila oilfields, one of Iraq's most vital production areas. CLIP U.S. Central Command in Qatar said U.S. Marines has secured the gas oil separation plants (GOSPS), crude export facilities and Rumaila field's 1,074 wells. The fields are capable of pumping more than one million barrels per day (bpd). Iraq's total output before the outbreak of hostilities had been running at some 2.5 million bpd. Earlier Iraq denied torching oil wells, saying instead that it had set oil-filled trenches ablaze in an effort to prevent U.S. and British warplanes from finding their targets.

Anti-war protestors out in force across Arab world to back Iraq (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=1514&e=82&u=/afp/20030322/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_war_demos_mideast_1

Turkey Denies Troops Sent to Iraq, West Gets Tough (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=2&u=/nm/20030322/ts_nm/iraq_turkey_dc_62

No Sign of Scuds or Banned Arms in Iraq Yet -U.S. (Mar 22)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030323/ts_nm/iraq_scuds_dc&cid=564&ncid=1473

Key Developments (AP)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/war_developments

Maps: Baghdad (AP)
http://personal.news.yahoo.com/man/baghdad_map/index.html

Maps: Iraq
http://dir.yahoo.com/Government/Military/War_in_Iraq/Maps_of_Iraq

Key Developments Concerning Iraq
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/war_developments&cid=540&ncid=1480
Coalition forces pounded Baghdad with impunity in the first daylight air raids of the war. American forces have progressed 150 miles into Iraq, halfway to Baghdad, and American ships and warplanes have launched 500 cruise missiles and several hundred precision weapons on Iraq over the past day, the Pentagon said Saturday.

Special coverage on Iraq
http://news.yahoo.com/iraq




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