Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

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April 2003 Archives, Page Two

Bush is a terrorist
Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein in happier times

Bush: US in 'final stages of diplomacy' [When did the diplomacy start? We must have missed that.] March 17: The diplomatic window has closed. [When was the diplomatic window open? We must have missed that.]

"The tyrant will soon be gone." Does Bush really miss the irony in his statements?

"The United States is going to leave Iraq with its tail between its legs, defeated. It is a war we can not win." --former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter, March 25, 2003 Link

UN heads for new rift over Iraq role The Bush dictatorship is preparing a draft security council resolution that would reduce the United Nations to a marginal role advising the US on running Iraq until the creation of a new government, diplomats and regime officials said yesterday.

Bush hints Iraq has destroyed chemical, biological weapons Dictator Bush today raised the possibility that Saddam Hussein's government destroyed the prohibited chemical and biological weapons that were the justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

U.S. Plans to Add to Teams to Hunt for Iraqi Weapons [LOL!] The Bush dictatorship, concerned about the failure to find unconventional weapons in Iraq, is moving to triple the size of the team searching for scientists and for incriminating lethal materials. Some officials are even saying that they are losing hope of finding actual weapons.

Finding banned weapons in Iraq irrelevant, British official claims War's legitimacy debated: Straw says Saddam's defiance of UN was reason enough --Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary, lashed out at critics yesterday for claiming the discovery of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was necessary to justify the U.S.-led invasion.

Why won't Washington allow the UN weapons inspectors into Iraq? --by Peter Symonds "There is simply no credible justification for the refusal of the Bush administration this week to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq. In fact, White House spokesmen have not even bothered to try."

Rumsfeld's rejection of Islamic state angers Shias "I thought the Americans said they wanted a democracy in Iraq," said Kassem al-Sa'adi, a 41-year-old merchant. "If it is a democracy, why are they allowed to make the rules?" About 13,000 people gathered outside the mosque where the imam, Jabal al-Khafji called for an Islamic state in Iraq.

Fury Rages After U.S. Forces Display Iraqi Thieves Naked The United States was at the center of a new human rights row after four alleged Iraqi thieves were paraded naked in a Baghdad park by U.S. occupation forces on Friday, April 25.

US Forces Make Iraqis Strip and Walk Naked in Public On 25 April 2003, the newspaper Dagbladet (Norway) published photos of armed US soldiers forcing Iraqi men to walk naked through a park. On the chests of the men had been scrawled an Arabic phrase that translates as "Ali Baba - Thief." A military officer states that the men are thieves, and that this technique will be used again.

US Fascists Humiliate Iraqis

Iraq: Stripped naked and humiliated by US soldiers (Amnesty International Press Release) "Amnesty International expressed concern today at the disturbing article and images portrayed in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet which show American soldiers escorting naked Iraqi men through a park in Baghdad. The pictures reveal that someone has written the words 'Ali Baba - Haram(i)' (which means Ali Baba - thief) in Arabic on the prisoners' chests."

Iraqis in anti-American protest after arms blast About 500 Iraqi men, chanting anti-American, pro-Islam slogans, drove in a convoy of trucks, buses and cars out of the Baghdad suburb hit by a huge arms dump blast on Saturday.

Arms Dump Blast Fuels Fury At least 12 Iraqis died yesterday when an arms dump exploded on the edge of Baghdad, sending rockets scything into nearby houses, and residents blamed the Americans for the carnage.

Iraqi Civilians Killed in Blast at Ammunition Storage Site At least six Iraqi civilians were killed on the outskirts of Baghdad today when explosions ripped through an ammunition dump guarded by American troops in their neighborhood.

How U.S. soldiers helped themselves to found cash and got caught The word went out: Hundreds of millions of dollars in cash were left behind in bricked-up buildings inside one of fallen President Saddam Hussein's palace compounds. Before long, U.S. officers said, a half-dozen U.S. soldiers had stashed away $12.3 million in two separate capers.

U.S. Will Remain in Iraq, Afghanistan U.S. troops will stay in Iraq and Afghanistan until stable [?!?], democratic governments have taken control, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saturday.

Bush on a revenge mission American anger at France over its refusal to support war in Iraq reached new heights yesterday when Dictator George Bush took a direct swipe at President Chirac.

Bush, master of the snub An expert at bullying his way through, he has now perfected his use of another tool for punishing those who stand in his way --Nearly two and a half years after taking office, US Dictator George W. Bush has mastered not just the 'bully pulpit' of the White House, but also its quieter cousin, the snub.

Protesters pay Sup. Tony Hall tries to create new fines for civil disobedience (CA) Despite admonitions from activist groups that reining in protesters could result in violations of First Amendment rights, Sup. Tony Hall has mounted a frontal assault aimed at curtailing acts of civil disobedience and holding protesters responsible for costs associated with their activities.

U.S. Cites Pesticides in Gulf War Illness Tens of thousands of soldiers in the first Gulf War may have been overexposed to pesticides and that may have contributed to some veterans' unexplained illnesses, the Pentagon says in a report.

McCain: N.Korea Bigger Threat Than Iraq North Korea's atomic weapons stash is a bigger threat to America than was pre-war Iraq, said Sen. John McCain said Friday.

North Korea's nuclear boast defies belief Bush cries blackmail as dismayed neighbours await confirmation of Pyongyang's corridor comment --South Korea and Japan expressed disbelief and dismay yesterday at the news that their paranoid, impoverished and belligerent neighbour North Korea had declared itself the latest member of the nuclear weapons club.

US challenged over boy prisoners A senior United Nations envoy has called on the United States to take prompt action over the fate of three teenage boys being held with other terror suspects in its prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Illegal Aliens Can Be Held Indefinitely, Ashcroft Says Attorney General John Ashcroft has ruled that illegal immigrants who have no known links to terrorist groups can be detained indefinitely to address national security concerns.

Monster backpedals on listings purge (April 25), the popular career Web site, has partially backed away from a decision to limit which nations could be listed on résumés and job postings.'s resume purge draws fire (April 23) Job-hunters at who happened to go to school in Syria or Iran may be in for an unpleasant surprise on Thursday. Monster pointed to a federal list of sanctioned countries that restricts U.S. companies from engaging in certain business activities.

Panel's Lack of Access to 9/11 Papers is Decried One member's attempt to review confidential transcripts exposed a rift yesterday within the independent commission examining the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The commission's executive director, Philip Zelikow said the panel will fight any attempt by Congress or the White House to keep the documents secret.

Rumsfeld fired Army secretary Thomas White Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fired Army Secretary Thomas White, whose tenure as civilian chief of the military's largest service was marked by tensions with his boss, a Pentagon official said Saturday.

White Quits as U.S. Army Secretary The civilian who oversees the U.S. Army, Thomas White, has submitted his resignation, the Defense Department said on Friday, after controversy over his role in the failed energy trader Enron Corp. and support for an artillery system killed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Secret exposure: U.S. tested chemical weapons on own citizens Earlier this year news that the army would conduct bio-terrorism tests in central Oklahoma sent a near panic through some communities... In the 1950's, the U.S. government was preparing for germ warfare by secretly spraying biological agents on its own citizens. The tests were conducted in 239 cities, including one of Oklahoma's most prominent communities.

EPA investigators diverted for Whitman security get list of do's and don'ts Environmental Protection Agency criminal agents are being diverted from their normal investigative work to provide security and drivers for agency chief Christie Whitman -- and getting long lists of do's and don'ts to keep her happy.

Forest Service Blocks E-Mail Comments In a move criticized by both environmentalists and business groups, the U.S. Forest Service is rejecting public comments on proposed rule changes when they come from certain e-mail servers or on preprinted post cards.

Interior Gets Break in Trust Fund Case Judges Halt Work of Special Master --A long-running battle between a federal judge and the Interior and Justice departments went before a federal appeals panel yesterday, as government lawyers sought the reversal of fraud and contempt rulings in the Indian trust fund case against Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton.

Bush: Harming a Fetus Should Be Fed Crime The White House urged Congress on Friday to pass a law making it a federal crime to harm a fetus during an assault on its mother, a subject currently in the news in connection with a California murder case.

Budget cuts taking toll on foster care (NY) The Administration for Children's Services (ACS), whose budget has been slashed by $185 million since last year, is facing another $31 million in cuts in the coming fiscal year. Among the cuts is an 18 percent reduction in preventive programs to keep children out of foster care.

Out of Touch You press the screen. The machine tells you that your vote has been counted. But how can you be sure? --by Wyatt Olson "...exit polling by media outlets -- which is one of the few methods available to detect ballot-box anomalies -- is waning. The nation's switchover to touch-screen computers will likely speed up as billions of dollars authorized by Congress become available for the new technology."

Dean Calls for Santorum to Leave Post Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on Wednesday called for Republican Sen. Rick Santorum to resign his leadership post after the lawmaker compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

WHO warns of 'explosive’ SARS epidemic as 14 more deaths reported The World Health Organisation (WHO) called for a global hunt to track down every possible SARS case Saturday after revealing a sharp rise in the mortality rate from the disease.

Sars death rate 'higher' The death rate for Sars could be significantly higher than previously thought, according to an British expert's study into the pneumonia-like virus.

Bush briefed on SARS outbreak The White House said Friday that Dictator George W. Bush was receiving routine briefings on the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, from government and scientific experts. [And, after the words "acute" "respiratory" and "syndrome" were explained to him, the briefing went on as planned. --Lori Price]

Laws Not Up to SARS Epidemic Quarantining the Infected and the Exposed May Trample Civil Liberties --With the spread of the highly contagious SARS virus from Asia to Toronto, federal officials here say this nation's patchwork of public health laws, many 100 years old and possibly unconstitutional, has left the United States ill-prepared to handle a major epidemic.

Chinese set roadblocks around Beijing China yesterday denied it was about to declare martial law in Beijing to counter the threat of the Sars virus but started erecting roadblocks around the capital to halt the spread of the disease.

Beijing's 'hell of forced isolation' WHO says compulsory quarantine is 'victimising' thousands --Sars suspects are being victimised in Beijing, where thousands have now been put in compulsory quarantine, a World Health Organisation specialist, Dr Wolfgang Preiser, said yesterday.

4,000 Quarantined in Beijing as Suspected SARS Cases Climb At least 4,000 Beijing residents with exposure to a contagious respiratory disease are being kept in isolation, often in their own homes, health authorities said today, and a second major hospital was put under total quarantine, with virtually no one allowed to enter or leave.

Bush: Iraq may have destroyed arms US dictator George W. Bush nearly declared the war in Iraq over, and for the first time suggested Baghdad may have destroyed the banned arms at the core of his argument for military action. [Hello, McFly? Didn't the Idiot Usurping Dictatorial Weasel wage W-ar on Iraq because Saddam Hussein allegedly *refused* to destroy the WMD??]

Banned weapons may never be found in Iraq: Bush U.S. Dictator George W. Bush has hinted that chemical and biological weapons might not be found in Iraq, saying the arsenal could have been destroyed or moved out of the country.

Britain: Blair under pressure over failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq Every day that has passed since United States and British forces seized control of Iraq has left the claims that war was waged in order to eliminate the threat from weapons of mass destruction looking more threadbare.

Bush Aims to Say Military Part of War Over Next Week, Aides Say Dictator George W. Bush intends to use a speech aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier next week to declare that the military phase of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq has come to an end, two regime officials said.

Muslim Clerics Call for Unity - and an Islamic State - in Iraq Hundreds of white-clad worshippers sat cross-legged on a boulevard in this war-shattered city Friday and listened to a cleric's exhortation: Iraqis must unite to create an Islamic state.

Rumsfeld says U.S. expects democracy, not theocracy, in Iraq The United States expects an eventual government of Iraq to be a democracy where the rights of minorities are guaranteed, not a theocracy run by clerics such as in neighboring Iran, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says.

Powell defends attack on Baghdad hotel American secretary of state Colin Powell has written to Spain's foreign minister defending the decision by US troops to open fire on a hotel in Baghdad used as a base for foreign journalists.

Troops Net Aziz, Iraqi Cleric Blasts U.S. 'Tyranny' American forces have netted a former Iraqi top spy hours after capturing Tareq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's best-known apologist, but a senior Muslim cleric likened the U.S. presence in Iraq to Saddam's tyranny.

Tariq Aziz gives himself up to US Iraq's former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, has surrendered to US forces in Baghdad, it was reported last night. He is the highest-profile member of the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein to have fallen into Washington's hands.

Iraqi deputy prime minister surrenders to U.S. Tariq Aziz, perhaps the best-known Iraqi official after Saddam Hussein, has surrendered to U.S. authorities in Baghdad, U.S. Central Command confirmed late Thursday.

Iraq's Aziz Held, New Government Coming in Baghdad The United States said on Thursday Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, the internationally best-known face of Saddam Hussein's toppled inner circle, has surrendered to U.S. forces and the process of setting up a new government in Baghdad will start next week.

Don't Go Up Against U.S., UK's Straw Tells France British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned France on Thursday against trying to rival the United States and said he understood anger in Washington at French opposition to the war in Iraq.

Bush: Chirac Not Coming to Ranch Any Time Soon Dictator Bush, miffed over France's opposition to the Iraq war, said on Thursday French President Jacques Chirac should not expect an invitation to his Texas ranch any time soon.

Blair's secret war meetings with Clinton Poodle Tony Blair took repeated secret advice from the former American president Bill Clinton on how to unlock the diplomatic impasse between Europe and the US in the build-up to the war on Iraq, the Guardian can reveal.

MSNBC's Banfield: Media filtered realities of war War's sobering realities never reached American TV screens during the recent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield.

BBC Chief Attacks U.S. Media War Coverage U.S. broadcasters' coverage of the Iraq war was so unquestioningly patriotic and so lacking in impartiality that it threatened the credibility of America's electronic media, the head of the BBC said on Thursday.

[George] Galloway's a crook - how convenient These dramatic revelations come just when Britain needs an outspoken voice of dissent more than ever --by Scott Ritter "Having been on the receiving end of smear campaigns designed to assassinate the character of someone in opposition to the powers that be, I have grown highly suspicious of dramatic revelations conveniently timed to silence a vocal voice of dissent."

Reason for War? To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush dictatorship argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war — a global show of American power and democracy.

The Busher of Baghdad Liberating Iraq by Caesarean section --by Alan Bisbort "More than 170,000 priceless items have been stolen, some dating back 9,000 years to the origins of Mesopotamia... Iraq's Oil Ministry, of course, was ringed by American troops and not a single paper clip was disturbed there. To the victors go the spoils, er, oils. Bush can now reward his corporate cronies -- including his father, who lends his eminence to the Carlyle Group -- with rebuilding contracts."

Gulf troops face tests for cancer (UK) Soldiers returning from the Gulf will be offered tests to check levels of depleted uranium in their bodies to assess whether they are in danger of suffering kidney damage and lung cancer as a result of exposure, the Ministry of Defence said last night.

Gingrich accused of idiocy, McCarthyism for criticism of State Department Former congressman Newt Gingrich, already under fire for his scathing attack on the US State Department this week, was pilloried anew in two separate, withering dressings down.

Turner Calls Rival Media Mogul Murdoch 'Warmonger' Ted Turner said on Thursday too few people owned too many media organizations and called rival media baron Rupert Murdoch a warmonger for what he said was Murdoch's promotion of the U.S. war in Iraq.

Playing Card Deck Shows Way to U.S. Regime Change In the wake of the U.S.'s "pre-emptive" destruction of Iraq, her people, and her culture, the Trade Regulation Organization is issuing a "55 most wanted" playing-card deck similar to the one that the Pentagon issued two weeks ago in Iraq.

Dixie Chicks' nude protest The three women of country music band the Dixie Chicks appear nude on the cover of a weekly showbiz magazine in a defiant answer to a backlash over their opposition to the war in Iraq.

Dixie sluts fight on with naked defiance They have been called Saddam's Angels and the Dixie Sluts, traitors and big mouths, all because they made a disparaging remark about Dictator Bush at a concert in London last month. Now the Texas-based Dixie Chicks are fighting back. They have posed for the cover of next week's Entertainment Weekly cheerfully wearing nothing but the epithets they have attracted and vowing to continue to speak their minds.

North Korea threatens to demonstrate its nukes North Korea has made the stunning admission that it already has nuclear weapons and could make a "physical demonstration" of them, the United States said yesterday.

North Korea pushing ahead with "deterrence," says forces battle-ready North Korea said Friday that it was pushing ahead building military "deterrence" a day after US sources said the North Korean government had admitted it possessed nuclear weapons.

North Korea threatens test explosion of nuclear weapons North Korea has used this week's evidently stormy talks with the US to assert what Washington has long assumed – that the reclusive Communist state already has nuclear weapons.

U.S. 'Miss' Hits Afghan Civilians An American warplane mistakenly bombed a house, killing 11 civilians near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

Afghan security deteriorates as Taliban regroup (Jane's) After a winter punctuated by scattered attacks, March and April saw the closest to a co-ordinated offensive the anti-Kabul opposition has yet achieved. This left no doubt that the predominantly Pashtun forces aligned against the western-backed government of President Hamid

Two US soldiers killed, several wounded in Afghan clash Two US soldiers were killed and several other US and Afghan soldiers were wounded in a clash with unknown attackers in southeast Afghanistan, the US military said.

Afghan firefight kills 2 U.S. soldiers A firefight near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan's Paktika province killed two U.S. soldiers Friday and wounded several others, including at least one Afghan soldier, U.S. Central Command said.

DARPA-Developed Device Bridges Language Divides (DoD) Non-linguist U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have been able to communicate with local citizens by using a paperback-book-sized device called the phraselator.

While senator, Wellstone got at least 6 death threats Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., received at least a half-dozen death threats from anonymous callers during his 12 years in the Senate, according to FBI records made public Wednesday.

Bush Praises Santorum As 'Inclusive Man' The White House said GOP Sen. Rick Santorum is doing a good job as party leader and is "an inclusive man," despite his controversial remarks on homosexuality.

A Republican Group Demands That Senator Apologize to Gays A Republican group whose officials include former President Gerald R. Ford and Mary Cheney, the daughter of the vice president, demanded today that Senator Rick Santorum apologize to gays for his remarks equating homosexuality with bigamy and incest.

House Ethics Committee: Black leader blasts Lindner Remarks by Rep. Arlon Lindner last month about AIDS and Africa, the Holocaust and homosexuals may have been outrageous but don't merit punishment, a four-member House panel voted Thursday. The 2-2 Ethics Committee vote, which split along party lines, effectively kills House Democrats' complaint against Lindner. At issue were remarks that Lindner, a six-term Corcoran [Nazi] Republican, made to the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune and on the House floor in March, questioning whether gay people were victims of the Holocaust. On the House floor, he also warned that if the state did not adopt his bill stripping gay people of specific human rights protections, America could become "another African continent."

Democrat calls for release of redistricting maps The controversy over U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's efforts to push the state House into congressional redistricting re-emerged last week after U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Dallas, obtained a copy of a map that likely would eliminate five Democratic congressmen.

Voting machine maker hires top Albany lobbyist With New York poised to spend $150 million to replace all of its voting machines, a leading manufacturer has hired a lobbyist with deep ties to the [GOP] Pataki administration, records show.

I.R.S. to Ask Working Poor for Proof on Tax Credits The Internal Revenue Service is planning to ask more than four million of the working poor who now claim a special tax credit to provide the most exhaustive proof of eligibility ever demanded of any class of taxpayers.

American Airlines CEO Donald Carty resigns American Airlines chairman and chief executive Donald J. Carty resigned today as the carrier struggled to conclude cost-cutting deals with labor unions and avoid bankruptcy.

The Bush Administration's Anti-Environmental Actions As Commented On By America's Editorial Pages --March 2001 - April 2003 "Despite the recent decision by President [sic] Bush's Environmental Protection Agency to restrict diesel emissions from off-road vehicles -- and does anybody think, in an administration that calculates everything to the nth degree, that the pre-Earth Day timing wasn't planned? -- the president [sic] has compiled a lengthy record of actions that could only be described as inimical to environmental protection."

Shell Goes into Shell over its Promises The oil giant Shell is failing to protect communities living around its installations, says a new report from Friends of the Earth. Emissions from Shell oil refineries and depots are behind high incidence of cancer, asthma and skin conditions, according to environmental activists.

Pull the Plug --by Bob Herbert "It is time to pull the plug on the death penalty in the United States. Shut it down. It is never going to work properly. There are too many passions and prejudices involved (and far too many incompetent lawyers, prosecutors, judges and jurors) for it to ever be administered with any consistent degree of fairness and justice."

Gag order for EMS crews on suspected SARS calls (HI) The state Department of Health (DOH) issued an SARS update Tuesday instructing emergency medical service personnel not to communicate possible SARS cases over medicom radios.

Strong Steps Taken Against SARS The French government has ordered immediate hospitalisation of anyone showing SARS symptoms even though the condition is not considered a major health risk within France.

Liberation animation by Eric Blumrich *warning: graphic images within animation

US back in nuclear bomb-making business The United States says it has regained the capability to make nuclear weapons for the first time in 14 years and has resumed production of plutonium parts for bombs.

U.S. restarts production of plutonium parts for bombs The United States has regained the capability to make nuclear weapons for the first time in 14 years and has restarted production of plutonium parts for bombs, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

Embattled Lab Unveils New Nukes The United States' arsenal of 10,000 nuclear weapons isn't enough. The country needs more bombs, and the place to make them is the scandal-plagued Los Alamos National Laboratory.

N Korea talks over: Powell US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that three-way talks between North Korea, China and the United States had ended a day earlier than expected and warned Pyongyang that Washington would not respond to threats.

U.S., North Korea End Nuclear Talks in Beijing North Korea and the United States ended talks in Beijing on issues including North Korea's nuclear programs on Thursday, one day earlier than originally planned, Secretary of State Colin Powell said.

N Korea warns of war 'at any moment' Important talks between North Korea and the United States are continuing in Beijing, with Pyongyang warning that war could break out at any point.

N. Korea: U.S. Leading Region Toward War North Korea accused the United States of leading the region toward war Thursday in an apparent attempt by the nation to increase pressure on negotiators holding a second day of talks on its nuclear programs.

Russian official predicts 'catastrophic' events A top Russian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying yesterday in Tokyo that a "catastrophic" development of events in the US-North Korean nuclear standoff was imminent and could occur within the next day.

Annan says coalition [US-UK invasion forces] is an 'occupying power' The United States has reacted angrily to comments today by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, that the coalition in Iraq is an "occupying power" and must respect international law. Last week, Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks, the deputy operations director at US Central Command, said that the United States did not consider itself an occupying power in Iraq, instead seeing the coalition as a "liberating force" - a classification that does not exist in the Geneva or Hague Conventions.

U.S. Warns Iraqis Against Claiming Authority in Void The American military moved today to strip Baghdad's self-appointed administrator of his authority and warned Iraqi factions not to take advantage of the confusion and the political void in the country by trying to grab power. [The American military is warning *Iraqis* (in their *own country*) not to 'grab power', after the United States (a foreign power) carried out the ultimate 'power grab' in Iraq an illegal invasion and occupation!]

US recruits Ba'athist police and functionaries for new Iraqi state The Bush regime intends to enforce the US occupation of the country with substantial elements of Saddam Hussein’s repressive apparatus.

U.S. Comes Up Empty in Iraq Weapons Hunt American forces are changing their search strategy after coming up empty at most of the top suspected weapons sites in Iraq, officials said Wednesday.

US Biological Weapon Sales To Iraq -- Transcript Wednesday, 23 October 2002, 2:50 pm Press Release: Gulf War Veterans (Transcript of Joyce Riley of the American Gulf War Veterans Association, on Art Bell, June 3, 1997) *See also… )

Haliburton, Bechtel & the Spoils of War --by Dr. Mohammad T. Al-Rasheed "Haliburton and Bechtel, to name but two, have landed sizeable contracts from the fallen Babylonian cow. Dick Cheney and George Shultz (Reagan’s man) have undeniable ties with those two companies. Ahmed Chalabi, the Bush administration’s choice to lead Iraq, is a figure out of Enron itself. The Swiss have just come out with information about him that would make the Houston executives proud. How do we square this activity with the declared aim of WMD, terrorist attacks, and regional peace?"

Families told: Don't send flea collars to troops Good intentions aside, the Pentagon is once again warning family members not to send U.S. troops in the Gulf flea and tick collars designed for pets.

F.B.I. Opens Inquiry Into Seizure of Documents From Associated Press The F.B.I. has opened an internal ethics investigation to determine whether its agents abused their authority by secretly seizing from a news organization documents on international terrorism, officials said today. An Associated Press reporter in the Philippines sent an unclassified F.B.I. document to another A.P. reporter in Washington last September as part of research for an article, but the package never arrived. FedEx originally said the parcel might have fallen off its delivery van. [LOL!] But the F.B.I., in an April 3 letter released today, acknowledged that its agents had confiscated the package.

Habla usted Clear Channel? If the FCC allows the two biggest Spanish-language media companies in the U.S. to merge, it'll create a media conglomerate that will dwarf all competitors -- and could help GOP-friendly radio titan Clear Channel deliver Hispanic votes for Bush in '04. (* 'Premium' article)

The press and freedom: some disturbing trends --by Bob Edwards "Good Evening, and thank you for being here tonight. A pleasure to be embedded with you this evening... Now why are the tough questions not being asked? Do journalists wearing their flag lapel pins on TV not want to appear unpatriotic in time of war? The answer is yes."

Fired --by Henry Norr "Almost four weeks after suspending me for participating in an antiwar demonstration, the San Francisco Chronicle this week officially fired me from my job as a technology reporter and columnist. I consider this punishment a violation of my rights as a citizen and as an employee, and I intend to fight it with all the means available to me." [Quick action! Tell the San Francisco Chronicle what you think of this illegal firing!(415) 777-1111; letters to the editor intended for publication go to; Phil Bronstein, editor;Robert Rosenthal, managing editor,;feedback,]

25 protesters arrested at Lockheed Police today arrested about 25 demonstrators protesting Lockheed Martin Space Systems for its alleged creation of weapons of mass destruction.

Amnesty International renews local call for torture probe Amnesty International's Norwegian unit is asking local authorities to investigate claims that the US is torturing prisoners of war in Cuba and Afghanistan. Some POWs are believed to have been killed.

Children held at Guantanamo Bay Children younger than 16 are being held as "enemy combatants" in the American detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, the US military admitted yesterday, a practice human rights groups condemned as repugnant and illegal. [just like the Bush dictatorship]

ACLU Sues FBI Over Secret 'No-Fly' Air Passenger List ACLU Seeks Gov't Data on 'No-Fly' List --The American Civil Liberties Union sued the FBI and other government agencies Tuesday on behalf of two peace activists detained at an airport because their names popped up on a secret "no-fly" list.

Why a 'No Fly List' Aimed At Terrorists Delays Others There are about 300 people world-wide the U.S. considers so dangerous to civil aviation it has them on a "No Fly List." Larry Musarra, retired Coast Guard commander and father of three, isn't one of them...

Men released after videotaping incident; no charges filed Two Arab-American men who police said had suspected explosives, a collapsible baton and shotgun shells in their car when they were spotted videotaping the Ambassador Bridge were released from custody Tuesday morning. Neither man was charged with a crime.

Leave Home Without It Credit card companies cancel on Muslim New Yorkers --If you're Pakistani, or Muslim, or both, you might just find your credit cards cancelled, despite the good credit you've worked hard to build.

Mohamed Atta Worked for Elite U.S.—German Government Exchange Program For at least four years while living in Hamburg during the 1990’s terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta was part of a 'joint venture' between the U.S. and German Governments, the MadCowMorningNews has learned, an elite international "exchange" program run by a little-known private organization with close ties to powerful American political figures like David Rockefeller and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

GOP Whackjob Alerts for Thurs., April 24:

Santorum defends comments on homosexuality Sen. Rick Santorum on Wednesday complained that his remarks about homosexuality -- under fire by gay rights groups and some Democrats -- were "taken out of context," but at the same time he defended them as an accurate reflection of the law on the matter.

Fund-raiser for GOP pleads guilty in case of child pornography Delgaudio took pictures of a 16-year-old girl --A prominent Republican fund-raiser who once said former President Bill Clinton was "a lawbreaker and a terrible example to our nation's young people" pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to production of child pornography.

Jobless Claims Soared to Highest in Over a Year The number of Americans lining up for state unemployment benefits last week rose more than expected to the highest level in more than a year, the government said on Thursday in a report showing further labor market erosion.

George W. Bush's Resume –-by Kelley Kramer "I started wondering ... what would a George W. Bush resume look like exactly?"

GOP memo predicts drop in Bush poll numbers A GOP memo being sent to Republicans across the country predicts that Dictator Bush's high approval ratings will soon "drop to more realistic levels" and that some polls may show him behind Democratic rivals, but cautions that such a development should not be cause for alarm.

London Satire Pokes Fun at 'George Dubya' A British play that pokes fun at Dictator Bush and Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair is slowly becoming a popular diversion.

Arizona Gov. Vetoes Primary Bill Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano on Friday vetoed Republican-backed legislation that would have eliminated Arizona's presidential primary.

Ill. to Maintain Death Penalty Moratorium Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday he will not lift the three-year execution ban in Illinois even if the Legislature passes bills aimed at improving the death penalty system. He said the changes don't go far enough.

Protest Targets Rowland (CT) Demonstrators Use Symbols of Recent Scandals, Inquiries --Armed with shovels, sifters and metal detectors, protesters angry about the state bid-rigging scandal and budget crisis converged in front of GOP Gov. John G. Rowland's gated mansion Tuesday to taunt him by "digging for gold."

Political tides keep turning left After 18 months under a conservative coalition government, it appears Norwegians are turning to the left. A new poll shows Labour and the Socialist Left winning enough support to form a new government.

Argentine protestors torch cars Protestors fighting their eviction from a bankrupt Argentine factory torched cars and lobbed Molotov cocktails at riot police on Monday as social tensions simmered ahead of Sunday's presidential elections.

SARS Bug Deadlier Than AIDS Says Doc A leading doctor has warned the SARS virus could be more devastating than AIDS. Dr Dixon, a fellow at the Centre for Management Development at London Business School, said if current trends continued, there could be a billion cases within 60 weeks.

China Quarantines Thousands in Beijing in Bid to Curb SARS China put into effect a sweeping quarantine today on thousands of Beijing residents who have had contact with suspected carriers of a highly infectious respiratory illness, as the government began using its huge police powers to combat a national health crisis.

SARS Fear Closes Beijing Hospital Authorities closed a major hospital Thursday and put patients and 2,000 workers under observation for the SARS virus, while across the city, anxious residents emptied grocery stores of rice, oil and frozen food in a bout of panic-buying.

China Seals Hospital Over SARS; WHO Angers Canada China sealed off a major Beijing hospital on Thursday to quarantine SARS-affected areas, and angry Canadian officials rejected the World Health Organization's warning to travelers to stay away from Toronto, now one of the epicenters of the virus.

SARS Fears Spreading Through Major Leagues Major League Baseball was left scrambling to calm fears over the spread of SARS on Wednesday after the World Health Organisation warned against unnecessary travel to Toronto.

Bush bars UN weapons teams from Iraq The United States will not permit United Nations weapons inspectors to return to Iraq, saying the US military has taken over the role of searching for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

US, Britain differ on new UN inspections An apparent split emerged yesterday between American and British officials over whether United Nations weapons inspectors should return to Iraq, as a top British diplomat signaled his support for inviting the UN team to help uncover Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction and a US official expressed continued American opposition to opening up the hunt.

Banishing Hans Blix (The New York Times) "Having won a military victory in Iraq without the support of the United Nations, the Bush administration now seems determined to search for Baghdad's unconventional weapons without help from Hans Blix and his team of international inspectors. That is too bad. The hunt for these weapons would be aided by the presence of independent experts, and the credibility of any discoveries would be much enhanced if they were confirmed by the U.N."

Case for war built on fake reports, claims Blix The chief United Nations weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has questioned the intelligence used by the United States and Britain to justify attacking Iraq for concealing weapons of mass destruction.

Blix attacks US war intelligence The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has claimed that the US tried to discredit his team and used "shaky" intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.

Hunt for Iraqi Arms Erodes Assumptions With little to show after 30 days, the Bush dictatorship is losing confidence in its prewar belief that it had strong clues pointing to the whereabouts of weapons of mass destruction concealed in Iraq, according to planners and participants in the hunt.

Manufacturing the news: New York Times report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction --by Patrick Martin "The most extraordinary thing about this article is that it presents no facts to confirm either the existence of the weapons, or the 'building blocks' of such weapons (whatever that might mean) or the scientist who supposedly uncovered them. All that is offered by Times reporter Judith Miller is an unsupported and undocumented assertion by members of the American military unit, Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha.

US signals action against France American Secretary of State Colin Powell has said France will suffer consequences for having opposed the US over the war with Iraq.

Pentagon adviser berates Moscow and Paris Amerika's diplomatic rift with Russia widened yesterday as Moscow insisted that sanctions against Iraq stay in force until United Nations weapons inspectors have declared the country free of weapons of mass destruction.

Emmanuel Todd points to imminent end of US as world's policeman Prominent French historian Emmanuel Todd predicted the imminent end of the United States as the global policeman, citing the country's deep economic problems.

Released Shi'ite Leader, US Worse than Hussein A prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric, saying he was detained and beaten by US forces, charged that American methods were "worse" than those employed by the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein.

U.S. grows worried as Iraqi Shiites gain clout Fundamentalism A Growing Concern --As Iraqi Shiite demands for a dominant role in Iraq's future mount, Bush regime officials say they underestimated the Shiites' organizational strength and are unprepared to prevent the rise of an anti-American, Islamic fundamentalist government in the country.

Muslim Rivals Unite Against US Occupation Tens of thousands of Muslims, protesting against losing their position in Iraqi society staged their first public show of force Friday, April 18, 2003. They marched through the streets of Baghdad, protesting the U.S. military occupation, and demanded a Muslim state without distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Shias stage anti-US protest Protests against the US presence in Iraq have been staged by Shias in the central city of Karbala at the climax of a pilgrimage that has attracted up to one million people.

Iran is Said to Send Agents Into Southern Iraq Iranian-trained agents have crossed into southern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein and are working in the cities of Najaf, Karbala and Basra to promote friendly Shiite clerics and advance Iranian interests, according to defense and other United States government officials.

Missed Opportunity? U.S. Attack May Have Ended Saddam Surrender Attempt --Saddam Hussein's intelligence chief sought help last week to arrange some kind of a deal between the United States and Saddam, leaders of the prominent Iraqi Dulaym Tribe told ABCNEWS. The tribe made contact with, among others, Bob Baer, a former CIA officer with whom they had worked secretly in the past.

Oil Flows Again From Iraqi Fields Oil from Iraq's southern fields began flowing through pipelines Wednesday for the first time since the war, and power at last was restored to parts of Baghdad. In the holy city of Karbala, thousands of Shiite Muslims demonstrated against the United States.

Post-war reconstruction contracts and grants Washington officials estimate that the reconstruction programme for Iraq could cost more than $100bn, the biggest since the Marshall plan to rebuild post-war Europe. Initial contracts worth $900m are being awarded through the US Agency for International Development.

Cholera, typhoid suspected in Baghdad, lights on for lucky few Baghdad celebrated the beginning of the end Tuesday of a devastating 3-week-old power outage. But more than 80 percent of the city remained in darkness - and doctors reported the first suspected cases of feared epidemics of cholera and typhoid, with no clean water yet running.

As Baghdad Awaits Aid, Feeling Grows Against U.S. Islamic religious passions escalated today in Karbala, a city holy to the country's majority Shiites, while here in the capital Iraqis awaited material help from the United States but were wary of American political influence.

Was There a Deal Between Saddam and Bush? --by Sam Hamod "Saddam didn’t blow any bridges, didn’t use any of the 100s of airplanes he had, didn’t set any major oil wells on fire, his troops left thousands of weapons, rounds of ammunition, tanks, armored vehicles behind and never used them in battle. Something is strange in this 'war.' ...How is it that the thieves who invaded the Museum of Antiquities had keys, knew where many treasures were secretly hidden and stole only the genuine pieces, not the copies of originals that were in other museums?"

Chest Banging, Here and There --by Maureen Dowd "The Bushies pretend that we don't want an all-access pass to Iraqi bases (we do); that we are not interested in influencing the disposition of Iraqi oil (we are); that we will stay out of Iraqi politics, even if they go fundamentalist (we won't); and that we will leave Iraq soon (we can't). Even as they stifle their Pax Americana impulses in Iraq, the imperialists swagger with a Pox Americana at home. Karl Rove has broken creative new ground in appalling political opportunism by pushing back the Republican National Convention in New York City to September 2004, the latest date for a convention in the party's history and only days away from you-know-when."

A New War in Washington The Pentagon is already embroiled in a new war, this time with the State Department. The opening salvo was delivered Tuesday morning by the former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995-98) and member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Newt Gingrich, at the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Gingrich blasts 'diplomatic failure' at State Department Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blasted the State Department Tuesday for a series of what he described as diplomatic failures leading up to the war with Iraq, and warned that the pattern is poised to repeat itself.

'NK Poses Threats to Global Security' North Korea poses numerous threats to global security with an economy on the brink of collapse and an active nuclear weapons program, Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, said yesterday.

Faux News Engineer Charged With Smuggling A television news engineer for Faux cable news network faces smuggling charges after attempting to bring into the United States 12 stolen Iraqi paintings, monetary bonds and other items, federal officials said Wednesday. [LOL! His promotion to Faux coordinating producer must be imminent. --Lori Price]

Iraqi force members arrested for looting Fighters are part of group supported by Pentagon --U.S. troops arrested fighters of the U.S.-backed Free Iraqi Forces yesterday after they were found looting abandoned homes of former members of Saddam Hussein's regime.

GIs Arrested in $1M Swag Snag Four GIs have been arrested for trying to steal nearly $1 million of the $700 million in cold cash found hidden on the grounds of several estates in Baghdad, Army officials said yesterday.

Army Refutes 'Baptismal Coercion' An Army chaplain said to have made a baptisms-for-baths offer to soldiers in Iraq has been cleared of any wrongdoing. Llano's ministry came under scrutiny after he was reported as saying: "It's simple: They want water; I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized." The account in The Miami Herald went on to say that baptism candidates had to sit through an hour-and-a-half sermon.

Anti-war protesters hit Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale (CA) Traffic on Mathilda Avenue near Third Street in Sunnyvale was disrupted this morning because of a gathering of anti-war protesters at Lockheed Martin offices.

'Protest' drinks range targets Muslims A Derbyshire company is launching a range of "Muslim-friendly" drinks as part of a backlash against American brands including Coca-Cola. The Qibla Cola Company claims its products are an alternative for people who "reject injustice and exploitation" and as a means of protesting against what it calls the "colonial" administration of Dictator Bush. [Qibla Cola needs to be sold in United States! <g>]

Cdn. shops can't keep American Psycho top picturing U.S. president [sic] in stock When the bombing in Iraq began, Naomi MacDougall dressed a mannequin in an American Psycho T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of George W. Bush and strategically positioned it in the window of her downtown shop. Ever since, they've been selling in Canada like duct tape in the United States: fast.

Stupid is as stupid does: rightwing sickkos want to "revoke" Michael Moore's Oscar (online campaign)

"Climate of fear" rules Afghanistan - rights group Warlords terrorise the population with a "climate of fear" and religious fundamentalism is rising in Afghanistan 18 months after U.S. forces toppled the ruling Taliban regime, a rights watchdog said on Tuesday.

US detains children at Guantanamo Bay The US military has admitted that children aged 16 years and younger are among the detainees being interrogated at its prison [concentration] camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

'No Fly' List Is Challenged in a Lawsuit Civil rights advocates demanded today that the federal government explain how hundreds of people — some of them vocal critics of the Bush dictatorship — have ended up on a list used to stop people suspected of having terrorist links from boarding commercial air flights.

Federal terrorism case unravels Chechen pleads guilty to fake check scam; all terrorism ties dismissed --A federal terrorism investigation against a Chechen immigrant ended Monday with a guilty plea in a counterfeit-check conspiracy.

Men detained after videotaping Ambassador Bridge (MI) FBI says it's unclear if incident has any ties to terrorism --Joint Terrorism Task Force agents were questioning two men who were caught videotaping the Ambassador Bridge and found with dynamite and shotgun shells in their car.

Case of the Homeland Whodunnit --by Randy Schultz "News reports suggest that the anthrax may have come from the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (AMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md. It would be shocking and embarrassing to find that a former federal employee used government-made anthrax to kill Americans. So one reason for their $50 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the government, says the family's attorney, Richard Schuler,'is to make sure the investigation continues.'"

Suspicious powders test nontoxic Incidents under investigation in Florida, Washington state --Comprehensive testing of a suspicious powdery substance found in two envelopes at a mail distribution center in Tacoma, Washington, determined the substance was not toxic, officials of the federal Homeland Security Department said Tuesday.

Interior Dept. Sanitized Reports to Judge A judge was kept in the dark about failures in a computer system created to help track royalty payments that were owed to American Indians, a court-appointed investigator reported Monday. Last September, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said Interior Secretary Gale Norton had defrauded the court by making misleading statements about the department's efforts to fix management problems of oil, gas, mining, timber and other royalties from Indian lands.

Democratic candidate Dean calls for Republican to resign leadership post Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on Wednesday called for Republican Sen. Rick Santorum to resign his leadership post after the lawmaker compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

Sen. Sickko Santorum Defends Remarks in Gay Court Case Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania on Tuesday ignored calls that he apologize and resign from his Senate leadership post as he defended comments he made comparing homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

Family Values Drive Pa. Sen. Santorum [Really? I myself think it is the full moon that drives him. --Lori Price] "Sen. Rick Santorum, a self-described compassionate conservative intent on climbing the Republican leadership ladder, filters all politics and policy through one guiding principle: what is best for the American family. Two-parent families, says Santorum, are good. Requiring people to work is good. So is banning late-term abortions and giving religion a greater role in government. Traditional welfare, on the other hand, hurts the family. Homosexuality, feminism, liberalism all undermine the family. Even parts of the Constitution can harm the family. 'If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything,' the Pennsylvania lawmaker said in a recent interview..." [Send Sickko Santorum an email; For Inquiries and Comments on Legislation; Tell Santorum That Anti-Gay Is Not The Way (free fax/sample letter page from Human Rights Campaign)]

Senator Santorum Sounds Off (The New York Times) "Hear ye, hear ye: Senator Rick Santorum feels obliged to offer gratuitous guidance to the Supreme Court in the form of an ad hoc, highly unlearned ruling that equates homosexuality with bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery... How about the right to homophobia as exercised by yet another ranking member of the Republican leadership?"

Touché! Kerry fires back at Bush camp Responding to a taunt by the White House that he "looks French," U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday brushed off the political insult - saying it's part of an expected barrage of Republican attacks on his character. "It means the White House has started the politics of personal destruction," Kerry said of the comment by an unnamed Bush adviser. [Started?!? These are "Rove's Trolls" that said John McCain was proposing to cut breast cancer research funding in the 2000 GOP primary! --Lori Price]

Bush ups ante to £125m for 2004 George Bush’s advisers are planning to spend $200 million (£125 million) on his bid to secure the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, even though he faces no serious competition for the post. [Karl Rove needs the 'dirty tricks' kitty filled to the brim in order to reinstall the Idiot Usurper. --Lori Price]

No President [sic] Bush on Alabama ballot? GOP tries to fix it Unless Alabama's election law is changed, Dictator Bush could be left off the state's presidential election ballot in 2004. The problem is that the Republican National Convention is being held later than usual to avoid conflict with the Olympics and the GOP won't choose a candidate until Sept. 2 - two days after Alabama's Aug. 31 deadline to certify presidential candidates.

Drug Makers Expand Their Medicaid Role A growing number of pharmaceutical companies are offering to take on prominent public health roles in helping to care for the sickest poor patients in some states... Critics say there is no proof that the programs save money, and that states could save far more by demanding lower prices from the pharmaceutical companies.

Quick Action! Tell Dictator Bush and Congress: Jobs, not tax cuts for the rich! (online petition on the AFL-CIO website) "At the same time new data reveal the average corporate CEO’s pay deal was worth more than $10.8 million last year, the big tax cut proposal advanced by President [sic] Bush and Republicans leaders would give hundreds of billions of dollars MORE to these CEOs and other wealthy taxpayers."

State Budget: Controller Could Issue 'IOU's' to Vendors Amid Budget Crisis California could completely run out of money soon. Back from the holiday break, state lawmakers have a tall order as they are charged with coming up with a fiscal budget or the state could technically go completely broke. [Thanks to Dick Cheney's "Energy Task Force" corporate welfare recipients. --Lori Price]

Cash-Strapped Schools Turn to Busing Fees (MA) Cash-strapped public schools trying to hang on to their teachers are increasingly turning to busing fees to raise money. The move has angered parents and raised concerns that children may be forced to use more dangerous means - like walking - to get to school.

Beijing Closes Schools and Posts Another Sharp Rise in SARS The city of Beijing closed all its primary and secondary schools until May 7 at least, declaring that the 1.7 million affected students should study at home. Later in the day, officials posted yet another large increase in confirmed patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome in the city.

US blueprint to bomb N Korea The Pentagon has produced detailed plans to bomb North Korea's nuclear plant at Yongbyon if the communist rogue state goes ahead with reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods that would yield it enough plutonium for half a dozen nuclear weapons within six months. The Pentagon hawks believe the precision strikes envisaged in the plan would not lead to North Korea's initiating a general war it would be certain to lose.

Rumsfeld calls for regime change in North Korea A secret Donald Rumsfeld memorandum calling for regime change in North Korea was leaked yesterday, opening a fresh foreign policy split in the Bush dictatorship.

Children held at Camp Xray, US admits The US military has revealed it is holding juveniles at its high-security prison for terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, known as Camp Xray. The commander of the joint task force at Guantanamo, Major General Geoffrey Miller, says more than one child under the age of 16 is at the detention centre. [It is time to liberate 'Camp X-ray.' --Lori Price]

Santorum trying again on Syria sanctions bill Sen. Rick Santorum, R- Rightwing - Pa, after an appearance at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute in Oakland [Pittsburgh], said pressure to change Syria's behavior should be the Bush regime's first priority as it moves to exploit its military victory in neighboring Iraq.

Blix: U.S. Tried to Discredit U.N. Inspectors (2nd article on page) Earlier, Blix told the British Broadcasting Corp. that U.S. officials tried to discredit his inspectors in an effort to win Security Council support for military action in Iraq. Blix also said the United States and Britain used forged documents to prove Iraq had prohibited weapons.

Blix says U.S. intelligence 'shaky' (scroll to 'Shaky Intelligence?') In an interview with BBC, chief U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix said that it was "very, very disturbing" that U.S. intelligence failed to identify as fakes documents suggesting Iraq tried to buy uranium from the West African nation of Niger while suggesting U.S. officials tried to undermine his inspection team.

France Proposes Suspending Iraq Sanctions In a surprise move, France on Tuesday proposed immediately suspending U.N. sanctions targeting Iraqi civilians, an important step toward the U.S. goal of ending trade embargoes that have crippled the country's economy.

U.S. Balks at Proposals to Return UN Inspectors to Iraq The United States on Tuesday balked at proposals to quickly return U.N. inspectors to Iraq, setting the stage for a new confrontation between Washington and U.N. Security Council members Russia, Germany and France.

Bush believes he is leading a holy war --by Lee McAuliffe Rambo "From the beginning, President [sic] Bush insisted that the war on terrorism was not a war against the world's 1 billion Muslims. But, as he consoled and rallied the nation, the president [sic] increasingly relied on a rhetoric favored by evangelical Christians, at once his biggest supporters and Islam's harshest critics.

Cultural Regime Change New Pro-American Textbooks on Their Way to Iraqi Schools --U.S. agencies are preparing to help schools reopen for a new year, with new textbooks. But to many in Iraq, such efforts will surely feel like an unwelcome cultural invasion.

Iraqi Pilgrims Denounce U.S. 'Occupation' Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim majority cast off 25 years of repression by Saddam Hussein and celebrated a major pilgrimage with religious fervor on Tuesday, but many demanded U.S. troops leave the country. [We denounce the Bush occupation in the United States, as well! --Lori Price]

Iraqis protest for water and power Angry Iraqis demand the restoration of electricity and water outside the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad today. A Muslim pilgrimage in the holy city of Karbala also took on a anti-American tone.

U.S. Forces Hold $600M Found in Baghdad U.S. forces are trying to determine whether more than $600 million in $100 bills found behind a false wall in Baghdad is counterfeit, but if it's real, it belongs to the Iraqi people, U.S. Central Command officials said Tuesday.

Ex-general to head Iraq's OPEC delegation A former Iraqi general who says he is the deputy governor of post-war Baghdad says he will head a delegation to an international oil industry meeting in Vienna this week. The choice of representatives had presented Washington with an awkward diplomatic problem. [LOL!]

Air Force Embeds Artists Hundreds of embedded reporters are on their way out of Iraq as the military action winds down, and now those with brushes and paint are ready to get embedded where the reporters were positioned.

NBC Denies POW Payoff Did NBC News pay the family of former POW Shoshana Johnson $5,000 to use their house for interviews?

The Deal "The Americans could see that they were facing a force with high military preparedness, one that was well trained and could inflict tremendous losses on the American forces whenever they tried to enter Baghdad. The offer proposed by the American command in Iraq to the Republican Guard and Saddam's Fedayeen was generous. The offers were run past Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who okayed them immediately. The provided for: 1. In return for not opposing American forces and for laying down their weapons, the United States will give the following: ..."

Hollywood revives McCarthyist climate by silencing and sacking war critics Hollywood has long been a favourite target of conservatives, who have repeatedly blamed the entertainment industry for gun violence, or drugs, or sexual promiscuity. Now there is an attempt to dismiss the anti-war celebrities in similar fashion –as morally irresponsible, overpaid know-nothings who would do better to keep their mouths shut.

Message from Bruce Springsteen ( "The pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war and politics goes against everything that this country is about - namely freedom. Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home..."

Chicks Tix Going Quick Despite Bush Controversy (Billboard) - Despite some backlash at radio and retail for negative comments about Dictator Bush, the Dixie Chicks are flying high in preparation for their upcoming arena tour, according to Rob Light, the act's agent.

The bottom dollar There is only one way to check American power and that is to support the euro --by George Monbiot "...there is little doubt about the scope of the US government's ambitions. Already, it has begun to execute a slow but comprehensive coup against the international order, destroying or undermining the institutions that might have sought to restrain it... America's threat to the peace and stability of the rest of the world is likely to persist, whether George Bush wins the next election or not. The critical question is how we stop it."

Rumsfeld denies U.S. plans to retain bases in Iraq Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld assailed on Monday what he said were suggestions that the United States was planning to retain a sizable military presence in Iraq long after the vestiges of Saddam Hussein’s regime were swept away.

Army contract for Feinstein's husband Blum is a director of firm that will get up to $600 million --URS Corp., a San Francisco planning and engineering firm partially owned by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband, landed an Army contract Monday worth up to $600 million.

Rights Group: 'Climate of Fear' Rules Afghanistan Warlords terrorize the population with a "climate of fear" and religious fundamentalism is rising in Afghanistan 18 months after U.S. forces toppled the ruling Taliban regime, a rights watchdog said on Tuesday.

Rally Rails Against Patriot Act Sen. Orrin Hatch missed a good old-fashioned political rally Saturday at the Utah Capitol, and it is a good thing. His name was taken in vain at least a dozen times during a rally on what some see as civil rights infringements being foisted on the country by the USA Patriot Act of 2001.

Breast-feeding in a time of war Deborah Wolfe, a Canadian citizen who was just breast-feeding her son and changing his diaper while en route between Houston and Vancouver, says her "subversive" actions led to her being threatened with detainment, RCMP involvement and legal charges for terrorist action against a U.S. citizen in international airspace while on an American flight during a time of war.

Dems Call for Santorum to Quit Leadership The Senate Democrats' political organization on Tuesday called for Republican Sen. Rick Santorum to resign his leadership position after the lawmaker compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. [Can we take it a step further and remove this whackjob from the Senate? --Lori Price]

Gay Groups Want Santorum Out of Leadership Gay-rights groups, fuming over Sen. Rick Santorum's comparison of homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery, urged Republican leaders Monday to consider removing the Pennsylvania lawmaker from the GOP Senate leadership.

Bush's Top IT Security Adviser to Resign White House cybersecurity adviser Howard Schmidt will resign from his post at the end of the month, raising concerns about the Bush regime's commitment to implementing its strategy for protecting [?!?] the nation's critical information infrastructure.

Bush's Aides Plan Late Campaign Sprint in '04 Dictator Bush's advisers have drafted a re-s-election strategy built around staging the latest nominating convention in the party's history, allowing Mr. Bush to begin his formal campaign near the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and to enhance his fund-raising advantage, Republicans close to the White House say. [I think the anniversary of 9-11 should be the date to launch Bush's treason trial. --Lori Price]

Feds: No Sign of Biotoxins in Powder at Wash. Mail Facility Preliminary Tests Suggested Presence of Toxins in Tacoma --A federal Homeland Security official said Tuesday that comprehensive testing of a suspicious powder found at a Tacoma, Wash., mail-handling facility found no signs of biotoxins.

Mail Hub in Tacoma Evacuated After Powder is Found A mail distribution facility was evacuated early Tuesday after some white powder was found at the building. A preliminary test indicated the powder might be a biotoxin, a fire department spokeswoman said.

Powder Found at Fla. Airport Six people were taken to hospital, one with nasal irritation, after a white powdery substance was found Tuesday in a cargo building at Southwest Florida International Airport at Fort Myers, airport officials and medical personnel said.

Bush Backs Greenspan for Another Term as Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan got the backing of Dictator Bush today for another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs --by Paul Krugman "Aside from their cruelty and their adverse effect on the quality of life, these [proposed tax] cuts will be a major drag on the national economy. So if the administration really cared about jobs, it would provide an emergency package of aid to state governments — not to pay for new spending, but simply to maintain basic services. How about $78 billion — the same sum just allocated for the Iraq war?"

Drug Cuts Devastate Patients' Income Susie Owens, a diabetic who has had two kidney transplants, will be expected to live on $470 a month. About 26,000 people in Florida are 12 days away from the same crisis.

Anger rising over CEO pay Shareholder proposals on curbing management pay hit record, tracking group says. Outrage over rising executive pay has led to a record number of shareholder requests to curb CEO compensation.

Is anybody surprised that big bosses would line their pockets first? --by Bill McClellan "[American Airlines]'s big boss, Donald Carty, told the workers that they would have to accept new contracts giving the troubled airline concessions amounting to $9.6 billion over six years. Those kind of dollars mean major sacrifices... After the workers agreed to these Draconian cuts, somebody happened to read the company's latest report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The big bosses were going to get bonuses equal to twice their base salary!"

Bush Pursues Offshore Oil Drilling in Alaska With the Arctic refuge off-limits, the White House sets its sights on the Beaufort Sea. Blocked by stiff congressional opposition to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, the Bush dictatorship is moving on its own to promote energy exploration in the icy waters off Alaska.

Commentary --by Jim DeFede "Enough of DCF's 'isolated' incidents --We are told the death of 5-year-old Zachary Bennett was an isolated incident. We are told this isolated incident does not represent the fine efforts of Gov. Jeb Bush and Jerry Regier, the secretary of the Department of Children & Families, to reform that troubled agency. We are told this by none other than Jeb Bush. 'What happens when these things occur is it lessens the positive things that are going on inside the department,' Bush said. One hopes Zachary understood the bigger picture as he felt and heard his ribs breaking from a beating the coroner said was 'consistent with having been stomped on,' a beating that caused his liver to rupture and his brain to bleed."

Malaria control 'may require use of DDT' (Johnnesburg) At the recent launch of the "Racing Against Malaria" campaign, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang called on countries in the region to use the much vilified insecticide DDT to combat malaria.

Secret US file: oust regime in Pyongyang The United States should team up with China [?!?] to press for the removal of North Korea's leadership, according to a classified memo circulated by the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

Lugar says N. Korea nukes beg war option The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said yesterday that the United States should consider war if North Korea does not stop developing nuclear weapons, but Dictator Bush expressed optimism that the four-power talks set for this week would defuse the standoff.

N.Korea Issues Anti-U.S. Slogans Before Likely Talks North Korea, which is expected to hold nuclear talks with the United States this week, filled its newspapers on Monday with blood-curdling anti-U.S. slogans to mark the 55th anniversary this year of the communist state.

Ba'athists slip quietly back into control Less than two weeks after the collapse of the regime, thousands of members of the Arab Ba'ath Socialist party, the all too willing instrument of Saddam, are resuming their roles as the men and women who run Iraq.

'Russian spies told Saddam how Bush would justify war' The full extent of the help given to Saddam Hussein by Russia's intelligence services is laid bare in secret documents uncovered by The Telegraph. As well as spying on Poodle Tony Blair, Russian agents reported to Iraq that Dictator George W. Bush hoped to justify war by provoking a conflict with the UN weapons inspectors. The documents were obtained from the smoking ruins of the federal headquarters of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (Iris) in central Baghdad.

Russia briefed Iraq on US tactics to justify invasion Russian agents reported to Iraq that the US Dictator, George Bush, hoped to justify war by provoking a conflict with United Nations weapons inspectors, according to Iraqi intelligence documents.

Confusion over who controls Iraq's oil ministry Ringed by US tanks and guarded by US soldiers with a very exclusive admission list, Iraq's oil ministry on Sunday appeared secluded from the disorder that reigns in the rest of Baghdad.

US wants to keep Iraqi bases The United States will seek continuing access to military bases in Iraq to maintain its strong Middle East presence, despite growing anti-American sentiment inside and outside Iraq.

Smart bombs aimed at Saddam killed families An air strike which American spokesmen were confident had killed Saddam Hussein in a Baghdad restaurant missed its target and hit nearby homes, killing at least eight people.

Children main victims of cluster bombs The people of liberated al-Nasiriyah face a new source of misery: unexploded American cluster bombs. Al-Tadhiya slum is in the centre of al-Nasiriyah, but for the past month it has literally been a minefield.

Playing With Death Horror mine toll as Iraq's war children invent new games --In the city of Kirkuk in the past seven days, 52 people have been killed and 63 injured by mines and dangerously unstable unexploded munitions. Most of the victims were children.

Baghdad conditions 'appalling': UN Aid agencies have described the basic infrastructure conditions in Baghdad as appalling.

Tikrit Residents Mourn Fallen Statue of Saddam Hussein In contrast to the reported and aired live jubilant scenes of tearing down the symbols of the outgoing regime of Iraq, residents of Saddam Hussein's hometown mourned their deposed leader after U.S. troops toppled one of his statues in Tikrit Saturday, April 19.

Tank captain admits firing on media hotel A US army captain has admitted that an Abrams tank under his command fired on the Palestine hotel in Baghdad, killing two journalists, but said he had not been told that the hotel was home to the international press.

Al-Jazeera correspondent detained in Basra British forces detained Al-Jazeera TV correspondent Mohammad Al-Sayed Mohsen on Sunday in the Iraqi city of Basra where he is covering the US-led occupation. The Al-Jazeera correspondent said it was the third time British forces had harassed him.

UN raises the stakes with call to Blix The United Nations Security Council has asked the head of the UN weapons inspection team, Hans Blix, to a meeting early next week to discuss the readiness of his team to return to Iraq.

Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert "A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said... An American military team hunting for unconventional weapons in Iraq, the Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, or MET Alpha, which found the scientist, declined to identify him... Under the terms of her accreditation to report on the activities of MET Alpha, this reporter was not permitted to interview the scientist or visit his home. Nor was she permitted to write about the discovery of the scientist for three days, and the copy was then submitted for a check by military officials." [ROFL!! The New York Times 'lead story' is more 'in-bed' propaganda. --Lori Price]

Bush Needed a Patsy...He Got a Jessica --Jessica Lynch, American Icon --by Kin O'Brien "The media has become so corrupt and soaked in oil, we must DEMAND that the public airwaves, that legitimately BELONG TO THE PEOPLE, be RETURNED TO THE PEOPLE...Jessica's story will be told the way this war has been fought...with lies, deception, and shame."

First Newspaper to Hit Baghdad's Streets is Red It would not be Washington's first choice, but the long-banned Iraq Communist Party on Sunday won the race to publish the first newspaper in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

U.S. Marines Guard $1B in Gold in Iraq U.S. Marines with machine guns and tanks stood watch Friday over what they estimated was $1 billion in gold — safeguarding bank vaults that withstood direct rocket-propelled grenade hits by robbers determined to fight their way in [so that the neo-conservative chicken-hawks in Washington get it. --Lori Price]

IRAQ: Garner's Office Warned Commanders Museum Would be Looted Two weeks before Baghdad fell to U.S.-British troops and looters stole tens of thousands of irreplaceable artifacts from Iraq's National Museum, the U.S. Defense Department's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance warned top U.S. commanders in Iraq the museum and other cultural sites would be looted if left unprotected.

Fast food comes to Iraq Basra: Fastfood giants Pizza Hut and Burger King have set up their first franchises inside war-torn Iraq, even as many aid convoys waited on the borders for the war to officially end.

US multinational companies wary of backlash A blast at a McDonald's in Turkey last week is the latest in a string of terror attacks on US commercial interests. There have been bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia, Moscow, Beirut, and Xian, China, and three bombs in Istanbul. KFC outlets have been bomb targets in Indonesia, Lebanon, Greece, and Pakistan. A Pizza Hut was bombed in Lebanon.

The Boondocks --by Aaron McGruder, April 21 edition

Ex-CIA chief gets tough on Syria Says nation 'needs regime change' --Calls Baathists 'fascist parties' --Former CIA director James Woolsey, touted to play a senior role in Iraq's interim administration, yesterday called Syrian President Bashar Assad a terrorist-supporting "fascist" whose country "needs a regime change." [Can we please get one? A regime change? Amerika needs one more than any other country. --Lori Price]

Biotoxins Fall Into Private Hands Global Risk Seen in S. African Poisons --In three days of secret meetings last July, the man known throughout South Africa as "Doctor Death" astounded U.S. law enforcement officials with tales of how the former white-minority government carried out unique experiments with chemical and biological weapons.

Bioweapons for sale S. African scientist offered U.S. agents cache of pathogens --Daan Goosen’s calling card to the FBI was a vial of bacteria he had freeze-dried and hidden inside a toothpaste tube for secret passage to the United States...

Supreme Court to reconsider scope of Miranda rights The Whore Court said Monday it would reconsider the scope of the familiar police warnings that begin, "You have the right to remain silent." The court will look at whether physical evidence seized without such warnings can be used at trial.

Local Officials Rise Up to Defy the Patriot Act Arcarta, Calif. (pop.: 16,000) has become the first in the nation to pass an ordinance that outlaws voluntary compliance with the Patriot Act... To date, 89 cities have passed resolutions condemning the Patriot Act, with at least a dozen more in the works and a statewide resolution against the act close to being passed in Hawaii.

Jesus Plus Nothing Undercover among America's secret theocrats --by Jeffrey Sharlet "Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries... In the process of introducing powerful men to Jesus, the Family has managed to effect a number of behind-the-scenes acts of diplomacy. " [a must read]

Religious Group Helps Lawmakers With Rent Six members of Congress live in a $1.1 million Capitol Hill town house that is subsidized by a secretive religious organization, tax records show.

White House rides brakes on '04 run The [Bush] fund-raising operation that raised a record $101 million in his last s-election is quietly being organized for activation by early summer with a target of $250 million.

2000 Presidential Race Contributions from Selected Industries

Bill to Bar Suits Against Gun Industry Stuns Crime Victims Last week the House of Representatives, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, passed a bill granting the gun industry nationwide immunity from virtually all lawsuits. The Senate is expected to take up the bill after the Easter recess.

States, Facing Budget Shortfalls, Cut the Major and the Mundane It is not just that states are withdrawing health care for the poor and mentally ill. They are also dismissing state troopers, closing parks and schools, dropping bus routes, eliminating college scholarships and slashing a host of other services that have long been taken for granted.

Federal deficit running nearly twice last year's pace The government ran up a deficit of $252.6 billion in the first six months of the 2003 budget year, nearly twice the total for the same period a year earlier.

Tax breaks sought for golf carts The juiced-up golf carts that tool around Celebration and other rich communities across Florida would become tax-free, if the Disney town's powerful state representative gets his way.

Energy Bill Offers Billions for N-Power Congressional Republicans want to promote construction of the next generation of nuclear power plants by promising potentially billions of dollars for research and development of projects.

U.S. Limiting Costs of Drugs for Medicare In a fundamental change, the Bush dictatorship has begun to weigh cost as a factor in deciding whether Medicare should pay for new drugs and medical procedures.

Economies Sickened by a Virus, and Fear SARS is causing the worst economic crisis in Southeast Asia since the wave of bank failures and currency devaluations that swept the region five years ago.

Beijing's Mayor Fired As SARS Worsens Beijing's mayor was fired, state-run newspapers reported Monday, a day after he and China's health minister were sacked from key Communist Party posts amid criticism over the government's handling of the SARS outbreak.

Canada to phase out toxic dry cleaning chemical Canada's environment minister is announcing new regulations limiting the use of perchloroethylene, or perc, by dry cleaners.

Franks faces Belgium 'genocide' case US Allied Forces Commander, General Tommy Franks, and a second, unnamed party, could face trial in Belgium for war crimes under the country's amended genocide law after four Belgian doctors lodged a complaint in Brussels.

Anthrax, chemicals and nerve gas: who is lying? Growing evidence of deception by Washington --If US and British forces are scratching their heads at their inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, perhaps they should talk to Scott Ritter, the United Nations weapons inspector who famously quit in 1998, after seven years on the job.

The unthinkable is becoming normal. Do not forget the horror The saving of one little boy must not be a cover for the crime of this war --by John Pilger "We must not forget that a British defence secretary has announced, for the first time, that his government is prepared to launch an attack with nuclear weapons. He echoes Bush, of course. An ascendant mafia now rules the United States, and the Prime Minister is in thrall to it. Together, they empty noble words – liberation, freedom and democracy – of their true meaning. The unspoken truth is that behind the bloody conquest of Iraq is the conquest of us all: of our minds, our humanity and our self-respect at the very least. If we say and do nothing, victory over us is assured.

Iraq war: Unanswered questions Some war events turned out to be not quite what they seemed, others are still surrounded by confusion. Was this the fog of war, effects-based warfare, propaganda, or error?

Blair 'no' to Iraq arms inquiry Poodle Tony Blair has ruled out an inquiry into allegations that the public was misled about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the main justification for the war.

US bars access to oil ministry, power plant While many Iraqis began returning to work, oil ministry employees were wondering why US forces, heavily guarding their offices, barred them from re-entering the building on Saturday. It was also unclear why a Baghdad power station had apparently been booby-trapped by occupation troops.

Lost Viruses? Looters May Have Stolen Dangerous Strains From Baghdad Lab --Dangerous strains of cholera, black fever, HIV, polio and hepatitis may have been lost during the postwar looting of Iraq's key disease-control facility, ABCNEWS has learned. The U.S. military is worried they may be used as weapons [by the US military, who likely supplied Iraq with the viruses in some Cheney-Rumsfeld whackjob trade in the late 1980's. --Lori Price]

Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq The United States is planning a long-term military relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant the Pentagon access to military bases and project American influence into the heart of the unsettled region, senior Bush regime officials say.

No role for UN in weapons hunt The United Nations is to be cut out of any involvement in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction 'for the foreseeable future', after Washington made it clear it sees no role for Hans Blix or the Unmovic inspections team. [Right. Can't have any UN witnesses when Rumsfeld has the WMD planted, to "validate" the illegal US police massacre in Iraq. --Lori Price]

Minister says banned weapons will be found (UK) The government says it will take a great deal of time and effort [LOL!] to find the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that were cited as a key justification of the war.

Pope urges Iraq to take charge of future Pope John Paul has made a ringing call for peace around the world in his Easter message and urged Iraqis have to take charge of the rebuilding of their country with the help of the international community.

U.S. offering secret deals for Iraq work A subsidiary of El Segundo, Calif.-based Computer Sciences Corp. is among a handful of U.S. defense contractors secretly invited to submit bids for a long-term contract to rebuild Iraq's national police force, prisons and judiciary, according to State Department officials.

Politics a must for firms bidding to rebuild Iraq Halliburton Co., which capped Iraqi oil well fires, has a former chief executive officer, Dick Cheney, now serving as America's vice pResident. Fluor Corp., which bid on the reconstruction job landed by Bechtel, has a former head of the National Security Agency and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency on its board. Bechtel has executives serving on Dictator Bush's export council and the Defense Policy Board, an influential Pentagon advisory panel...

US risks provoking Kurds with peacekeeping request Turkey has been asked to send peacekeeping troops into Iraq by the United States. The presence of Turkish troops in Iraq could prove controversial with the Kurdish minority there.

U.S. Misjudged Start of Iraq Transition - Republican Lawmaker A senior U.S. lawmaker said on Sunday the United States had underestimated the first phase of what he envisaged could be a four to five-year effort to rebuild Iraq after American-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.

Senator: New Iraq Government Could Take Five Years Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar said the U.S. effort led by retired Gen. Jay Garner to begin rebuilding post-war Iraq had "started very late" and gaps were being filled by Shi'ite Muslims and others who seek a theocratic state over a democracy.

Water, Electricity Top List of Iraq's Needs Iraq's collapsed infrastructure means the re-establishment of basic services and civil authorities are more urgent priorities than food aid, humanitarian workers said on Saturday.

Plea to end Baghdad chaos The International Red Cross has urged US forces to restore the Iraqi capital's power supply and other basic services as the threat to public health grows daily.

U.S. victory has steep price in maintaining safe Iraq peace International law places demands on occupier --As their soldiers police Baghdad and their engineers grapple with the city's failing water and electrical systems, American military officials in Iraq are acting out of more than simply humanitarian good will - they are required to repair the country under international law.

US army was told to protect looted museum The United States army ignored warnings from its own civilian advisers that could have stopped the looting of priceless artefacts in Baghdad, according to leaked documents seen by The Observer.

Looted paintings seized by customs Jordanian customs officials have seized 42 paintings believed to have been looted from Iraq's national museum. [They may also want to check the Crawford Ranch, <g>. Oh, never mind. Bush is too stupid to recognize artwork. --Lori Price]

Baghdad's Banks Stripped As US Soldiers Stand By A wave of brazen bank robberies has swept through the centre of Baghdad in the past few days in full view of the occupying American forces, and the astonishing dimensions are only now becoming clear.

A Tale of Two Fridays --by Maureen Dowd "Instead of hectoring those who expressed any doubt about the difficulty of occupying Iraq, the conservatives should worry about their own self-parody: pandering to the base by blessing evangelical Christians who want to proselytize Muslims; protecting their interests by backing a shady expat puppet; pleasing their contributors by pre-emptively awarding rebuilding contracts to Halliburton and Bechtel; and swaggering like Goths as Iraq's cultural heritage goes up in flames."

The Destruction of Iraqi History and Culture Proves... U.S. Is Led By Tyrants --by Tina Staik "Well documented in social science texts, one of the most effective ways TYRANTS maintain power over a particular group of people is by depriving them of the knowledge of their own history... Thus, the recent burning and looting of museums and libraries in Iraq were NOT coincidental, when viewed from an understanding of how tyrants operate."

So who really did save Private Jessica? Doctor claims that soldiers terrorised unarmed staff --The rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, which inspired America during one of the most difficult periods of the war, was not the heroic Hollywood story told by the US military, but a staged operation that terrified patients and victimised the doctors who had struggled to save her life, according to Iraqi witnesses.

He rallied for the troops and lied about his past Don Neddo, the force behind the region's biggest pro-U.S. troops rallies, will no longer organize the demonstrations after admitting Thursday that he fabricated his combat service.

U.S. seeks Hussein's billions Iraqi police have captured Saddam Hussein's finance minister and turned him over to U.S. forces, raising hopes of tracing billions of dollars the deposed Iraqi leader is believed to have stashed in offshore bank accounts.

Christian Missionaries Already Making Gains in Muslim Countries With allied troops in control of Iraq, many Muslims worry another invasion will soon follow, this time by U.S.-based Christian evangelists trying to spread their faith throughout the country.

Chaplain's hasty retreat stuns troops Minister's gone; no one's sure why --The 500 soldiers in the Army's 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor have broken through Iraqi strongholds a dozen times with their tanks and other armored assault vehicles. It's not a unit for the faint of heart... But what happens when it's the chaplain who can't deal with the horrors of war and quits the battlefield?

Three Americans injured in attack on US helicopter in Pakistan Three Americans soldiers were injured when a US military helicopter was struck by groundfire while on a reconnaissance flight in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, security officials said on Saturday.

Short in Cabinet peril over new war outburst Clare Short's future as a member of the Government appeared to be in peril last night after she reiterated her criticisms of the war against Iraq, only to withdraw them an hour later and say she had 'always been willing to contemplate the use of force'.

Divisions in regime cloud direction of U.S. foreign policy A small but powerful group of neoconservatives around Vice pResident Cheney and defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is pushing an ambitious - critics say audacious - agenda that includes remodeling the Middle East and renovating the international institutions that were created after World War II.

Oregon Muslims Protest Monthlong Detention Without a Charge Behind the metal doors of a federal penitentiary near here, Maher Hawash has been imprisoned for 29 days without charge, linked to a terrorist plot in ways that the government refuses to describe.

Liberation Begins at Home --by Ciro Scotti "But as enunciated by one of the egghead architects of the Iraq attack, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, eliminating the regime of Saddam Hussein was and is also about creating a template for democracy in a region where freedom has not rung since Abraham was a pup. And what do we mean by freedom, boys and girls? Well, a couple of the things we mean are freedom of expression and freedom of speech..."

Protests are fine; just not here --by Reggie Rivers "If you criticize the Bush administration, Congress or U.S. foreign policy, you're being unsupportive of the troops and the police may visit you. If you protest through diplomatic channels - as France, Germany and Russia have done - you're cowardly and disloyal, and you'll be punished later when contracts are awarded in the rebuilding of Iraq. If you go on Iraqi TV and criticize the war, as NBC's Peter Arnett did, you'll lose your job..."

Bestseller success for anti-US war books Beneath the uniformity of a US media high on victory in Iraq, a wave of books of a heretical flavour is flooding the bestseller lists.

As Luck Would Have It . . . A 9/11 victim testifies that the carnage could have been averted --by Howard Blume "On the Chicago Board Options Exchange during the week before September 11, put options were purchased on American and United Airlines, the two airlines involved in the attacks. The investors who placed these orders were gambling that, in the short term, the stock prices of both airlines would plummet. Never before on the Chicago Exchange were such large amounts of United and American Airlines options traded. These investors netted a profit of at least $5 million after the September 11 attacks. Interestingly, the names of the investors remain undisclosed, and the $5 million remains unclaimed. Why were these aberrant trades not discovered prior to 9/11? Who were the individuals who placed these trades? Have they been investigated?"

The System That Doesn't Safeguard Travel All told, some 13 million people (equivalent to 4.5% of the U.S. population) are now on the terror watch list. Security experts and common sense say 99% of those pinpointed aren't terrorists. The heedless march toward database surveillance will only lead to more cases like Rochester (N.Y.) resident Asif Iqbal who, unfortunately for him, shares his name with a terrorist that's in custody at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba...

Conservatives Attack Two GOP Senators With Electronically Doctored Images With the help of a little digital wizardry, the conservative Club for Growth is airing ads showing Republican Sens. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) and George V. Voinovich (Ohio) in proximity to French flags in order to disparage their resistance to Dictator Bush's tax-cut plans.

Flight attendants accuse American of 'corporate terrorism' St. Louis-based American Airlines flight attendants said they were not surprised by the recent revelation that the airline planned to give bonuses and other perks to top executives. In interviews Saturday at Lambert Airport, they said it was one more sign of the "corporate terrorism" inflicted on them since American bought out Trans World Airlines, around which they'd built decades-long careers.

2nd tot in week beaten to death (FL) The case drew the attention of Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday because the boy's father gained custody despite an arrest record that included drug sales and assault charges. Two Department of Children & Families workers resigned Friday in connection with the case. Whackjob Governor Jeb Bush commented on the tragedy: ''What happens when these things occur is it lessens the positive things that are going on inside the department.''

More Scientists Say SARS Is a BioWeapon The deadly pneumonia that has killed more than 100 people around the world may be a man-made biological weapon, Russian experts said on Friday.

Sars deaths leap in Hong Kong As the Sars crisis intensified with record deaths in Hong Kong, a suspected New Zealand case remained in isolation in Dunedin Hospital last night.

Insurers Exclude SARS Virus From Coverage Insurers have begun excluding SARS virus coverage from policies written for sponsors of special events such as concerts, trade shows and conventions because they know too little about the disease and its risks.

Doonesbury for April 20

Threat to Syria Denounced The foreign ministers of eight Arab and Islamic countries strongly rejected the US threat against Syria at a meeting here yesterday. They also urged the occupation forces to leave Iraq as soon as possible.

Goodbye, Coke. Hello, Mecca Cola This Boycott of U.S. Products Could Really Do Some Damage --In the Arab world, and more seriously in the rich markets of Europe, American companies and their famous brands have been at the receiving end of a small but highly visible boycott movement.

US airline pilots trained to carry firearms US airline pilots have started federal training to use arms and the first pilots will carry guns in their cockpit as early as today, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said yesterday.

Ashcroft Remarks 'Distress' Federal Judge A federal judge said Friday he was "distressed" by Attorney General John Ashcroft's public praise of a key government witness at the trial of four men accused of acting as a "sleeper" terrorist cell.

Certain Words Can Trip Up AIDS Grants, Scientists Say Scientists who study AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases say they have been warned by federal health officials that their research may come under unusual scrutiny by the Department of Health and Human Services or by members of Congress, because the topics are politically controversial.

Judges Question U.S. Move in Cheney Suit Panel Criticizes Request for Intervention in Two Groups' Bid for Task Force Data --A government lawyer for Vice pResident Cheney received a scolding yesterday from a panel of federal appeals judges over the Bush dictatorship's use of an unusual legal maneuver to avoid disclosing information about Cheney's energy policy task force.

US: $58 Billion Budget Shortfall in March The U.S. government posted a deficit in March of $58.71 billion, the Treasury Department said on Friday, bringing the year-to-date fiscal shortfall to more than a quarter of a trillion dollars.

Bush Aides Downplay Hope for Postwar Economic Surge [Duh!] Dictator Bush's advisers are playing down prospects for a postwar economic rebound, and some Republicans fear time is running out for a broad-based recovery ahead of his 2004 re-s-election bid.

White House Reshapes Environmental Policy The Bush dictatorship is quietly reshaping environmental policy to expand logging and other development by settling a series of lawsuits, many of them filed by industry groups.

Texas Nuclear Reactor Is Leaking Water A nuclear reactor in Texas is leaking cooling water from the bottom of its giant reactor vessel, a development that experts view with concern because they have never seen it before, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said today.

Pilot Whales Stranded in Florida Keys At least 28 pilot whales stranded themselves Friday in shallow water off the Florida Keys and four have died, officials said.

Study Finds Asthma in 25% of Children in Central Harlem A study has found that one of every four children in central Harlem has asthma, which is double the rate researchers expected to find and, experts say, is one of the highest rates ever documented for an American neighborhood.

Wider Fallout Seen From Race-Neutral Admissions Fewer Minority MDs, Lawyers May Be Result --If race-conscious admissions are eliminated at the nation's professional schools, the United States will likely witness a dramatic decline in the number of black and Hispanic doctors and lawyers, according to forecasts prepared by associations representing medical and law schools.

Pyongyang must dismantle nuclear weapons: Bush Dictator George Bush has instructed the team that will negotiate with North Korea that the United States will not settle for another freeze on the country's nuclear program.

U.S. official: N. Korea move 'insulting' North Korea's announcement Friday that it has begun reprocessing spent fuel rods to make nuclear weapons has put talks scheduled among the U.S., North Korea and China next week in jeopardy, a senior Bush regime official tells CNN.

Prove Iraqi guilt, MPs tell Blair Poodle Tony Blair is facing the threat of a fresh rebellion from Labour backbenchers who are growing increasingly alarmed that the failure to uncover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will confirm that the war was illegal.

Iraq - Did Portugal have all the facts? The Portugal News has received a full transcript of a report by a former CIA senior political analyst that states that Iran was responsible for the mass murder of 5,000 Kurds by chemicals at the Iraqi township of Halabja in 1988. The Halabja massacre was one of the pretexts put forward by the US Government for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Some political commentators are saying that if the report had been made public before the build up to the present conflict in Iraq, Portugal and Spain might well have had second thoughts about supporting the US and British invasion.

Iraqis Accuse US of Cultural 'Crime of the Century' US troops committed the cultural "crime of the century" when they failed to protect priceless Iraqi artifacts from looters and likely trampled archaeological sites during the invasion, top antiquities officials here charged yesterday.

The looting of Baghdad’s museum and library US government implicated in planned theft of Iraqi artistic treasures As the full extent of the looting of Iraq’s National Museum in Baghdad emerges, it becomes clear that there was nothing accidental about it. Rather it was the result of a long planned project to plunder the artistic and historical treasures that are held in the museums of Iraq.

US culture advisers resign in protest over looting of Iraqi museums Three members of the White House Cultural Property Advisory Committee have resigned in protest over US complicity in the looting of the Iraqi National Museum of Antiquities.

US firms hog Iraq rebuilding contracts Controversy is growing over the US Government's apparent "closed shop" approach to the rebuilding of Iraq. Cynics may say it was inevitable, but all the lucrative contracts so far have been given to giant American multinationals with close connections to George W Bush's Republican Party. [Cynics?] *See Secret Bids Companies, Including Big GOP Donors, Invited to Vie for Iraq Contracts Weeks before the first bombs dropped in Iraq, the Bush regime began rebuilding plans. ABCNEWS has obtained a copy of a 99-page contract worth $600 million. Among the companies believed to be bidding are Bechtel, Fluor, Parsons, the Washington Group and Halliburton, Vice pResident Dick Cheney's old [and current] firm. *See Contracts to Rebuild Iraq Go to Chosen Few KBR, the company the U.S. government picked this week to put out oil-field fires in Iraq, has a long history of working for the military on big projects in foreign hot spots. The former Kellogg Brown & Root -- a subsidiary of Houston-based energy services firm Halliburton Co., which Vice pResident Cheney headed from 1995 until 2000 [and still receives money from] -- developed a contingency plan for extinguishing the fires as part of a 10-year Pentagon logistics contract it was awarded in 2001.

U.S. told to leave Iraq Iraq's neighbours, led by Saudi Arabia, are telling the United States to get out of the country as soon as possible and keep its hands off Iraqi oil. [Well said! --Lori Price]

Iraq's Neighbors Call for U.S. Withdrawal U.S. and British occupation forces should quickly leave Iraq and the United Nations should have a central role in the creation of a new Iraqi government, foreign ministers from the region said early Saturday.

Mosul Still Violent as Locals Reject US Rule Deadly gunfire broke out in Mosul for a second day yesterday, and some of the wounded said they were shot by American troops deployed to restore order in Iraq’s third-largest city. "They are killing us and no one's talking about it," Zahra Yassin said at a city hospital with her wounded son. "We want Saddam back. At least there was security."

Sunnis and Shiites Unite to Protest U.S. and Hussein The struggle for power in postwar Iraq came sharply into focus today as Shiite and Sunni Muslims united in a demonstration that railed against both the United States and Saddam Hussein, while an Iraqi exile backed by the Pentagon emerged from well-guarded seclusion in an exclusive club to stake a claim to a role in Iraq's future.

Iraqis Rally to Demand Swift U.S. Pullout Less than 10 days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, thousands of Iraqis marched in downtown Baghdad on Friday to demand a rapid U.S. troop withdrawal and a prominent opposition leader said he expects Americans to relinquish most government functions within weeks.

Iraqis demand end to American occupation Friday’s prayer sessions in Baghdad were followed by a mass demonstration of the Iraqi people’s hostility toward the US invasion.

Exiled Shiite Chief: Iraqis Should Rebel Exiled Shiite Opposition Leader Calls on Iraqis to Oppose U.S.-Led Interim Regime --The exiled leader of the biggest Iraqi opposition group called Thursday on Iraqis to converge in the Shiite holy city of Karbala to oppose a U.S.-led interim regime and defend Iraq's independence.

Pilgrimage of Sorrow: Shiite Faithful Bury Dead The U.S. military has said it has no plans to count the number of Iraqi civilians killed in the three-week war, and the final toll may never be determined. Many cemetery workers said they had no idea how many bodies have arrived. One said that over the past week, each of the six workers was washing 45 bodies a day. Others spoke of hundreds, even thousands being buried from dawn to dusk.

Pope Recalls War Victims on Good Friday Iraqi families helped ailing Pope John Paul II carry the cross in the traditional procession on Good Friday as the pontiff asked God to bless "victims of hate, war and terrorism."

US marines hunt gazelles with rocks US marines in Iraq are hunting gazelles with rocks and pistols - to avoid having to eat ready-made military rations.

Iraq War Quiz --by Stephen Shalom "How has the Bush administration shown its support for our troops? a. The Republican-controlled House Budget Committee voted to cut $25 billion in veterans benefits over the next 10 years. b. The Bush administration proposed cutting $172 million from impact aid programs which provide school funding for children of military personnel. c. The administration ordered the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to stop publicizing health benefits available to veterans. d. All of the above."

Saddam and Bin Laden: Still Missing, to Bush Regime Chagrin The Bush dictatorship may be wondering whether Saddam, like Osama bin Laden before him, may never really go away but will just keep popping up on tape.

Military drops project's funding after anti-war comments The U.S. military's research agency cut off grant money for helping to develop a secure, free operating system after a top programmer made anti-war statements to a major newspaper.

Barred! US military bans peace team members from Palestine Hotel Less than 24 hours after issuing a press release highlighting the failures of the U.S. military's attempts to oversee humanitarian intervention in Iraq, Voices in the Wilderness was banned from meeting with the U.S. Civil Military Operations Center, or with international journalists working out of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

TV's Military 'Embeds' --by Colman McCarthy "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been unhappy with the criticism of their war effort by former military men appearing on television. So am I, but for a different reason. The top people at the Pentagon are wondering why these ex-military talkers can't follow the company line on how well the war has been fought. I'm wondering why these spokesmen for militarism are on TV in the first place."

Israeli Soldier Kills Journalist in West Bank An Israeli soldier shot and killed a cameraman with Associated Press Television News who was covering a skirmish between troops and rock-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday, witnesses said.

Al-Jazeerah Editor Threatened Media campaign against --by Al-Jazeerah Editor, Dr. Hassan A. El-Najjar "The Editor of Al-Jazeerah has received life threats through emails and on his answering machine at home... The Al-Jazeerah Editor reiterates that the goal of this website is promoting peace between the United States and the Arab and Muslim Worlds."

The editor of a Web site that included criticism of the U.S. war against Iraq said Thursday he has shut the site down after receiving threats against his life. "I want to tell the people of Dalton that I am a citizen of the United States, I love this country and that's why I'm here, and I expressed my right within the constitutional right of freedom of expression," Hassan A. El-Najjar, a sociology professor at Dalton State College, said.

New online harassment involves provocative messages sent under guise of activists Arab-American activist Nawar Shora checked his e-mail one day and found scores of angry messages asking why he hated Americans and Jews. The messages were responding to e-mails marked as coming from him. Only one big problem: Shora never sent the hate mail.

Did CNN Turn Up The Boos During Michael Moore's Speech? Michael Moore At The Oscars: ABC's Live Audio vs. CNN's Re-broadcast

Hall president apologizes for not calling actors before canceling 'Bull Durham' event Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon got their apology from the baseball Hall of Fame president, sort of.

At Least 7 Iraqi Leaders Believed to Be in Syria The United States believes that at least seven senior Iraqi officials are now in Syria, including a figure who is No. 8 on the American wanted list, defense officials said today.

U.S. concentrating forces near Syrian border The United States has bolstered its military presence near the Iraqi- Syrian border. U.S. officials said Central Command has ordered a buildup of assets in western Iraq.

Some Looters Had Keys to Iraqi Museum Vaults, Experts Say Some of the looters who ravaged Iraqi antiquities appeared highly organized and even had keys to museum vaults and were able to take pieces from safes, experts said Thursday at an international meeting. One expert said he suspected the looting was organized outside the country.

US accused of plans to loot Iraqi antiques (April 6, 2003) Fears that Iraq's heritage will face widespread looting at the end of the Gulf war have been heightened after a group of wealthy art dealers secured a high-level meeting with the US regime.

Bush Panel Members Quit Over Looting Cultural Advisers Say U.S. Military Could Have Prevented Museum Losses --Citing "the wanton and preventable destruction" of Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities, the chairman of the President's Advisory Committee on Cultural Property has submitted his resignation to Dictator Bush. Another of the committee's nine members is also resigning over the issue.

Pressure to find weapons mounts A month after the outbreak of war, arms control specialists and former United Nations weapons inspectors are increasingly critical of the Bush dictatorship for its failure to substantiate prewar claims of a hidden weapons arsenal, the principal argument for going to war against Saddam Hussein.

So who really did save Private Jessica? The rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, which inspired America during one of the most difficult periods of the war, was not the heroic Hollywood story told by the US military, but a staged operation that terrified patients and victimised the doctors who had struggled to save her life, according to Iraqi witnesses. [a must read]

EU to organise airlift for wounded Iraqis: Chirac The European Union plans to organise an airlift to allow wounded Iraqis to get medical treatment in Europe, French President Jacques Chirac said after EU leaders held their first talks since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

War in Iraq could cost Arab countries a trillion dollars The US-led war on Iraq could cost as much as 1,000 billion dollars in lost production in Arab countries, a UN economic seminar was told.

A dissenter looks at war's consequences --by Robert Steinback "No hawk has asked me if war was the only way, or the best way, to liberate the Iraqi people. Had we no other alternative than to rain 20,000 bombs down on Iraq, to instigate the deaths of hundreds of civilians and thousands of misguided Iraqi soldiers and to sacrifice the lives of 118 young American servicemen and women?"

Dixie Chicks Embraced by Wisconsin City Council The City Council in Madison, Wisconsin would like to offer the Dixie Chicks their city as a safe haven for the award-winning trio after coming under fire for lead singer Natalie Maines's recent anti-Dictator Bush comment while performing in London.

[*Speaking* of Weapons of Mass Destruction:] Agent Orange use 'understated' The United States military used much more Agent Orange and other defoliant spray during the Vietnam war than previously thought, scientists say.

U.S. Used More Agent Orange Than Thought Scientists have increased their estimate of how much Agent Orange and other dioxin-tainted defoliants the U.S. military sprayed during the Vietnam War.

US will not cross Syrian border to hunt Saddam Hussein United States Central Command officials denied reports that authorisation has been given to commanders to launch a "snatch-and-shoot" raid for Saddam Hussein if they track him to a hide-out in neighbouring Syria.

Pentagon Muslims Angered by Rev. Graham Invitation Muslims at the Pentagon are incensed by what they say is an insensitive invitation to evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham, who has called Islam an "evil religion," to preach on Good Friday at the Defense Department.

Hatch Leading Charge to '1984,' Critics Warn At the same time coalition forces are bringing liberty to Iraqis, organizations on both the left and right of the U.S. political spectrum say members of Congress led by Sen. Orrin Hatch are trying to strip precious rights from Americans.

Ashcroft's New Ally Senator Schumer Pushes to Make Covert Surveillance Easier --by Chisun Lee "To the consternation of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Human Rights Watch, among others, the senator is spearheading a bill that would enable federal agents to more easily monitor individuals in the U.S. using powerful foreign intelligence surveillance warrants.

Judge Scolds Cheney Lawyers in Energy Case Appeal An appeals judge told lawyers for Vice pResident Richard [Richard??? What happened to Dick?] Cheney on Thursday they had no basis to ask the court to intervene in a suit seeking White House energy policy papers, saying "You pretend there is no law on the books. You have no case."

Judges Question Bid to Stop Cheney Suit A federal appeals court Thursday questioned the Bush regime's request to stop a lawsuit delving into Vice pResident Dick Cheney's contacts with energy industry executives and lobbyists.

Drug giants in $350m fraud rap Two European pharmaceutical firms have been ordered to pay record fines for allegedly defrauding the US health care system Medicaid.

Officials Reject Plan to Fix Voting Machines The city won't fix its broken voting machines after all, and one elections commissioner alleged it's because Republicans want to keep voters confused. The Board of Elections yesterday reversed a plan that would have repaired devices on the 7,000 machines, which people accidentally left without voting.

Proposed Districts in Texas Irks Dems A top congressional Democrat says a redistricting map that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay sent state lawmakers would eliminate five Democratic congressmen and provides no new representation for minorities.

Wisconsin GOP Drops Controversial Cartoon The state Republican Party dropped a cartoon from its Web site that claimed taxpayers were "scalped" by the governor's new gaming compact with an Indian tribe after complaints it was racist and derogatory.

[More GOP racism:] The Unfunny Factor --by Lloyd Grove "Maybe Bill O'Reilly should declare a 'No-Quip Zone.'...Members of the 'Best Men,' as the sixth-to-eighth-grade boys in the program are called, were delayed getting onstage to perform a lip-synced rendition of the Four Tops standard 'Reach Out (I'll Be There).' O'Reilly ad-libbed: 'Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they're not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.'" [In Bill O'Really-Rigthwing-Media-Whore's case, his Factor should be dubbed, the "No-Brain Zone". --Lori Price]

Jobless Claims Climb Last Week, Point to Sluggish Job Market New claims for unemployment insurance shot up last week to their second-highest level of this year, a fresh sign of the difficulties facing workers as companies, trying to cope with a listless economy, seek leaner work forces.

Global warming still a top concern (Middle Tennessee State University Student Newspaper) "Occasional professor and former Vice President [President] Al Gore has picked up where he left off on environmental issues, claiming that the oil and coal industries, along with the Republican party, have worked to muddle the facts in the debate on global warming. Gore's most damning piece of evidence was a National Desk article concerning a Republican memorandum, which said a lack of clear evidence on the causes of global warming is paramount to winning the long-running public debate on global warming." *See Luntz memo exposes Bush's new green strategy The Republican party is changing tactics on the environment, avoiding "frightening" phrases such as global warming, after a confidential party memo warned that it is the domestic issue on which George Bush is most vulnerable. The memo, by the leading Republican consultant Frank Luntz, concedes the party has "lost the environmental communications battle" and urges its politicians to encourage the public in the view that there is no scientific consensus on the dangers of greenhouse gases.

Groups Warn of Diesel Health Risks Citing health risks from diesel-powered vehicles, two advocacy groups urged the government Tuesday to impose tough emissions and clean-fuel requirements for off-road construction, surface mining and farm vehicles.

Report: SARS Likely Spread Through Pipes A SARS patient with diarrhea infected other people in a Hong Kong apartment complex as the disease apparently spread into homes through a sewage pipe linked to poorly sealed water drains, an official report said Thursday.

Thousands of Iraqis Demand U.S. Withdrawal Tens of thousands of Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad on Friday to demand the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, as the American military announced the arrest of another wanted associate of Saddam Hussein.

Anti-US Protest Flares in Baghdad After Prayers Muslims poured out of mosques and into the streets of Baghdad, calling for an Islamic state to be established, after the first Friday prayers since U.S. forces took control of the Iraqi capital.

Iraqi demonstrators carry an anti-George Bush and anti-Saddam Hussein banner as they march after Friday prayers at the Abu-Hanifa mosque in Baghdad Friday, April 18, 2003. Thousands of Muslim demonstrators, both Sunni and Shiite, marched in Baghdad outside the mosque calling for the expulsion of American forces from Iraq.

More troops set for Iraq Australia is to contribute about 1200 troops to a peacekeeping and occupation force in Iraq, even though the Government has announced the withdrawal of most of its contribution to the coalition force led by the United States.

U.S. Bombs Iranian Guerrilla Forces Based in Iraq American forces have bombed the bases of the main armed Iranian opposition group in Iraq, a guerrilla organization that maintained thousands of fighters with tanks and artillery along Iraq's border with Iran for more than a decade.

British Aid Plane Prevented from Entering Iraq U.S. forces have refused a Save the Children plane permission to land in northern Iraq to deliver aid, breaching the Geneva Convention and "costing children their lives," the British aid agency said on Thursday. [Dictator Bush violates the Geneva Convention approximately every five pico-seconds. --Lori Price]

Israel Approaches Turkey for Reactivation of Mosul-Haifa Pipeline Israel has made an offer to Turkish contacting firms to reactivate the Mosul-Haifa pipeline, which has been closed for the last 55 years. Not only the Israeli government but also Israeli firms have reportedly approached Turkish companies for an oil pipeline that would provide transportation of 5 million barrels of oil from northern Iraq to the Israeli port of Haifa. [Holy Cui Bono, Batman!! --Lori Price]

Israel wants strike on Syria while iron's hot --by Robert Novak "Coinciding with the Bush administration's tough talk about Syria, a senior Israeli official Monday exposed a smoking gun. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Tel Aviv newspaper Maariv: 'We have a long list of issues we are thinking of demanding of the Syrians, and it would be best done through the Americans.'"

Hawkish Perle Calls For "Syrian Liberation Act" As the U.S. has intensified its volley of scathing criticism against Syria, talk over war against the Arab country has emerged. Among the neoconservative hawks in the U.S. regime, Richard Perle pops up as a leading supporter for war against Syria after Iraq.

Lebanon unveils most pro-Syrian cabinet ever amid US warnings to Damascus Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri formed a new government, the most pro-Syrian yet since Damascus imposed its will on its smaller neighbor more than a decade ago, and amid US threats against Syria.

Ex-Mufti Proposes Int'l Council Against U.S. Colonialism Only three days after he was sacked as Mufti of Russia for urging Muslims to declare Jihad against the American occupation forces in Iraq, Tala't Tagudin called for establishing a world Shura (consultative) council to stand against Washington's colonial policies.

Former U.S. official says CIA aided Iraqi Baathists Roger Morris, former State Department foreign service officer who was on the National Security Council staff during the Johnson and Nixon administrations, says the CIA had a hand in two coups in Iraq during the darkest days of the Cold War, including a 1968 putsch that set Saddam Hussein firmly on the path to power.

Hussein Sealed Betrayal Deal: Iraqi Diplomat The U.S. occupation of Baghdad is the result of eight-hour tough negotiations held by the members of the Iraqi regime, who decided to give up Baghdad to the U.S. in return for providing safe haven for the Iraqi president and his top aides, an Iraqi diplomat in Paris told, but refused to be named. "The Americans ensured the safety of Saddam Hussein and helped him leave Baghdad," the diplomat said.

[The We-Saw-This-One-Marching-Down-Broadway-A-Mile-Away article:] Bechtel Wins Iraq Reconstruction Contract Bechtel Wins Iraq Reconstruction Contract That Could Be Worth Up to $680 Million --The government on Thursday awarded a big contract to evaluate and repair Iraq's power, water and sewage systems to Bechtel Restoration of San Francisco. [LOL, if it wasn't so pathetic. *See Ultimate Insiders --by Bob Herbert " The primary goal of Mr. [Donald] Rumsfeld's visit to Baghdad [in December, 1983] was to improve relations with Iraq. But another matter was also quietly discussed. The powerful Bechtel Group in San Francisco, of which Secretary Shultz had been president before joining the Reagan administration, wanted to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, near the Red Sea. It was a billion-dollar project and the U.S. government wanted Saddam to sign off on it."]

U.S. Gives Bechtel a Major Contract in Rebuilding Iraq The Bush dictatorship awarded the Bechtel Group of San Francisco the first major contract today in a vast reconstruction plan for Iraq that assigns no position of authority to the United Nations or Europe.

Rumsfeld: Bioweapons May Be Hard to Find The U.S. military's search for chemical and biological weapons is unlikely to succeed until Iraqis lead American forces to them, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. "I don't think we'll discover anything, myself,'' Rumsfeld said at a town hall-style meeting with Pentagon employees. [LOL! I don't think so, either --that is, until Rumsfeld has the WMD planted in Iraq. --Lori Price]

US should be "embarrassed" over failure to find WMDs: ex-spies The US government should be "embarrassed" over the apparent failure to uncover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the main justification for going to war, retired intelligence officials said Thursday.

Blair: I was ready to quit over Iraq British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an interview published that he had instructed officials to prepare for his resignation if he lost a crucial parliamentary vote on war with Iraq.

Sony Drops Bid to Trademark 'Shock and Awe' Sony Corp. said its U.S. video game unit would withdraw an application to use "shock and awe" as a trademark, describing the move to capitalize on the catchword of the war in Iraq as "an exercise of regrettable bad judgment." [...just like the W-ar itself. --Lori Price]

Bush Art Advisers Quit Over Iraq Looting Three members of the White House Cultural Property Advisory Committee have resigned to protest the looting of Baghdad's National Museum of Antiquities.

Bush Cultural Advisers Quit Over Iraq Museum Theft Two cultural advisers to the Bush regime have resigned in protest over the failure of U.S. forces to prevent the wholesale looting of priceless treasures from Baghdad's antiquities museum.

Looters May Have Destroyed Priceless Cuneiform Archive Looters at Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities pillaged and, perhaps, destroyed an archive of more than 100,000 cuneiform clay tablets -- a unique and priceless trove of ancient Mesopotamian writings that included the "Sippar Library," the oldest library ever found intact on its original shelves. [All for Bechtel and the Exxon-Mobil...]

Antiquities experts: Some looting was 'commissioned' Experts call for ban on export of Iraqi cultural objects --A panel of antiquities experts said Thursday it suspected some of the recent looting of Iraqi museums had been "commissioned" by collectors who had anticipated the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. *See US accused of plans to loot Iraqi antiques (April 6, 2003) Fears that Iraq's heritage will face widespread looting at the end of the Gulf war have been heightened after a group of wealthy art dealers secured a high-level meeting with the US regime.

Review of Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance authored by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade --with L.A. "Bud" Edney, Fred M. Franks, Charles A. Horner, Jonathan T. Howe, and Keith Brendley --by Marta Steele "In choosing Iraq as a target of demolition, are they deliberately murdering history? Iraq is the sight of ancient Sumeria, the wellspring of western civilization. It is filled with archaeological artifacts. It is ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the ancient Tigris and Euphrates Rivers."

U.S. Army dismisses more gay linguists With 15 recent discharges, the Army continues to dismiss gay and lesbian linguists from the military, bringing the total to 24, with a majority trained in Arabic and Korean.

Indonesia May Dump Dollar; Rest of Asia Too? Pertamina, Indonesia's state oil company, dropped a bombshell recently. It's considering dropping the U.S. dollar for the euro in its oil and gas trades.

Bush: It's Not Just His Doctrine That's Wrong --by Howard Dean "When Congress approved the President[sic]’s authorization to go to war in Iraq – no matter how well-intentioned – it was giving the green light to the President [sic] to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list. The Bush Doctrine must be stopped here."

Another Sign of the "End Times" for American Journalism Lap Dogs to Power in a Climate of Fear --by Wayne Madsen "It is a sad state of affairs when a movie actor must tell a group of assembled journalists that they missed the mark on covering a huge voting scandal in Florida's 2000 presidential election. Speaking at the National Press Club on April 15, actor Tim Robbins exhorted the media to investigate why 50,000 mostly African-American voters were scrubbed from the electoral rolls before Election Day."

Sarandon Thaws and Talks Politics At the end of the day, Susan Sarandon is happier talking about politics, even if gets her in trouble. The actress has been in the middle of a storm for months, as one of the most outspoken liberals in a creative community of outspoken liberals, and has experienced a backlash in unexpected ways.

Judges question Bush regime's attempt to block lawsuit against Cheney The Bush dictatorship ran into strong opposition in federal appeals court Thursday as government lawyers tried to stop a lawsuit delving into Vice pResident Dick Cheney's contacts with energy industry executives and lobbyists.

'Time-Traveler' Busted For Insider Trading Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256. [Too bad the SEC doesn't do it's job and arrest Dick Cheney, et al., instead of 'time-travelers'. --Lori Price]

Lawmaker Urges Probe of Philip Morris E-Mails The top Democrat on a U.S. House of Representatives government oversight committee on Thursday called for a probe into destruction of Philip Morris documents related to a $289 billion federal lawsuit.

American's Pension Move Angers Employees American Airlines, which dodged bankruptcy this week, finds itself in the middle of another firestorm as employees facing huge pay cuts reacted angrily to news that top executives were promised big bonuses.

American Airlines deal in jeopardy Unions outraged by executive pension arrangements --The union that represents 35,000 American Airlines ground staff said Thursday it would not sign a deal to help save the ailing air carrier after finding out about a special arrangement that would preserve some top executives’ pensions even if the airline went bankrupt.

County Nixes Coffee Breaks for Workers (NY) In an effort to squeeze more work hours from public employees, a county executive has canceled all coffee breaks for employees.

Disabling Organized Labor --by E. J. Dionne Jr "Now comes a group of 28 House Republicans who think that the administration should pull away from its assault on the American labor movement... American workers deserve honest unions. That means they also deserve an administration that doesn't see disabling the labor movement as one of its essential political goals."

10 New Nations Join European Union In the heart of the city that gave birth to European democracy, leaders of 25 nations signed treaties Wednesday sweeping away the 20th century's Iron Curtain divide.

Probe: British army, police aided Protestant killers in Belfast Intelligence agents of the British army and police helped Protestant extremists kill Catholics in the late 1980s, including a lawyer well-known for defending IRA suspects, a four-year official investigation concluded Thursday.

Lawyer: Neil Bush, wife reach divorce settlement The dictator's younger brother and his estranged wife signed an "amicable, irrevocable" mediated divorce settlement ending 23 years of marriage, Neil Bush's lawyer said today.

Venezuela has proof Washington was behind failed coup, general A senior Venezuelan army general said the government of the South American country has proof the United States was involved in a short-lived coup against President Hugo Chavez last year.

War crimes case planned against U.S. A coalition of lawyers and human rights groups yesterday unveiled a bid to use the UN's new International Criminal Court as a tool to restrain American military power.

Blair's Former Minister Hits Out at Bush Alliance Former British Foreign Minister Robin Cook, who resigned from the cabinet last month in protest against the government's stance on Iraq, urged Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair on Thursday to distance himself from Washington.

France left out of Iraq stability force The rift in Europe over Iraq reopened last night after America's friends began to assemble a stabilisation force to back coalition troops, but left out France.

Convention backs Blair's plan for EU presidency Poodle Tony Blair’s plans for a powerful new full-time president of Europe look set to become reality after the man charged with drafting a European Union constitution backed the project yesterday.

UN Nuclear Inspectors Get Silent Treatment from U.S. The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has met with silence after calling on the United States to let U.N. nuclear inspectors return to Iraq after the war to resume their hunt for Baghdad's alleged atomic arms program.

Many Iraqis Turn Anger Toward the U.S. Just days ago, U.S. troops were cheered and kissed [in staged US propaganda sessions for the media "in beds"] as they destroyed the symbols of Saddam Hussein's regime. Today, after a week of chaos, it's a whole different story.

Nothing left to drink in Basra Outside the International Committee for the Red Cross building in Basra, a man is standing with a newborn baby in his arms. She is ill and in desperate need of water and re-hydration. [I am sure Jay Garner will fix it. Bush will have US taxpayers pay Monsanto to repair the water pipes that the US blew up, and then charge the Iraqi citizens for the water, with the money going to Monsanto. All set.]

Privatization in Disguise --by Naomi Klein "...The US Agency for International Development has invited US multinationals to bid on everything from rebuilding roads and bridges to printing textbooks. Most of these contracts are for about a year, but some have options that extend up to four. How long before they meld into long-term contracts for privatized water services, transit systems, roads, schools and phones? When does reconstruction turn into privatization in disguise?"

In bombed neighborhoods, everyone 'wants to kill Americans' In Baghdad's al Kharnouq neighborhood, five unexploded American-made cluster bomblets perch precariously in Qusai Abdel Majid's lemon tree and the flower bed beneath it. Stepping carefully, one can follow a trail of dozens of the 2-inch-long black bombs that have killed four of his neighbors so far. "A year ago, on these streets, we would have yawned if someone had mentioned America to us," Khalid Tarah said. "Now, look what they have done to us. Everyone feels this pain. Everyone here now wants to kill. Everyone here now wants to kill Americans."

For the people on the streets, this is not liberation but a new colonial oppression --America's war of 'liberation' may be over. But Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans is just about to begin --by Robert Fisk "It's going wrong, faster than anyone could have imagined. The army of 'liberation' has already turned into the army of occupation. The Shias are threatening to fight the Americans, to create their own war of 'liberation'."

Experts say gangs behind some Iraqi museum looting World antiquities experts called on Thursday for U.S. and British forces [?!? WHY ask Bush the Barbarian's trolls to step in? They US-UK invasion forces encouraged and/or stood by while the looting took place] in Iraq to guard cultural sites, saying organised criminal gangs were behind some of the looting of priceless artefacts. *See How and why the US encouraged looting in Iraq --by Patrick Martin "The widespread looting in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and other Iraqi cities, following the collapse of the Ba’athist regime of President Saddam Hussein, was not merely an incidental byproduct of the US military conquest of Iraq. It was deliberately encouraged and fostered by the Bush administration and the Pentagon for definite political and economic reasons."

America would enter Syria to snatch Saddam Hussein American commanders have promised to launch a "snatch-and-shoot" raid for Saddam Hussein if they track him to a hiding place in Syria. The proposal, which will fuel tensions between Washington and Damascus, was condemned by British military officers as a breach of international law that would add to regional instability.

10 Iraqis Killed, 100 Wounded As US Fires On Crowd United States troops opened fire on a crowd hostile to the new pro-US governor in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring as many as 100, said witnesses and doctors.

4 Iraqis Killed By U.S. Fire In Mosul: Al-Jazeera Four Iraqis were killed and several others wounded Wednesday, April 16, by U.S. fire near a government building in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the second such attack in less than 48 hours, Al-Jazeera satellite channel reported.

U.S. Admits Killing Civilians in Mosul The U.S. army confirmed Wednesday killing several Iraqi demonstrators in Mosul Tuesday, April 15.

American troops massacre Iraqi protesters in Mosul American troops opened fire on anti-US protesters in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing at least 10. Hours earlier, 20,000 people marched through the southern city of Nasiriyah to oppose Washington’s plans to install a puppet government. In Baghdad, the US military tried to prevent journalists from reporting on the third straight day of anti-US demonstrations.

'No to Saddam, No to US' Thousands of demonstrators gathered yesterday on the road leading to a hastily constructed air base outside Nassiriyah, the location of a meeting between US government representatives and members of the opposition Iraqi National Congress. Many Iraqis boycotted the meeting in opposition to US plans to install retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner atop an interim administration.

US Out of Iraq!
Nassiriyah residents protest on Tuesday against the presence of US troops in Iraq. (AFP)

We want an Islamic state, say protesters As America gathered its chosen leaders for the new Iraq behind barbed wire checkpoints on an airbase in the desert, the seeds of a new democracy were being scattered on the streets of Nasiriyah yesterday. Chanting "Yes, Yes, Islam, No America, No Saddam", Shia religious leaders led a demonstration of more than 3,000 men to protest against the US-led attempts to build a new government.

Shiite Muslim Cleric Claims to Be in Control of Eastern Iraqi City of Kut A Shiite Muslim cleric who has occupied city hall to stake his claim to local control insisted Wednesday that he was chosen to lead by Kut's people, who he said don't want the U.S. military to be in charge.

Shiite Clerics Rise to Power in Iraq's Holy Cities In this holiest of Muslim Shiite cities, clerics are running a self-declared government. It's the same in nearby Karbala, another sacred Shiite city.

Tests rule out suspect bio-labs in Iraq The buried labs U.S. troops found last week, about 50 miles south of Baghdad, were not the mobile chemical and biological weapons labs one U.S. Army general suspected, according to the head of an expert team brought in to examine them.

Iraq has fallen. Saddam is deposed. But, after 27 days of war, little else is resolved ( Where are the weapons of mass destruction? "The real question might be, 'Were there ever any'? Not a single confirmed finding has been made of weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, or nuclear, the supposed existence of which was the formal, casus belli and, as the heart of UN resolution 1441, the sole legal justification for the war."

Missing Arms Cast Doubt on War --by Scott Ritter "...the total lack of chemical weapons on the battlefield, combined with the inability of the coalition [sic], to date, to uncover any of the massive stockpiles of prohibited weapons or weapons-manufacturing capability, raises disturbing questions about what was supposed to be the main justification for the American-led military action: disarming a recalcitrant dictator."

Grisly Results of U.S. Cluster Bombs The little boy wailed and moaned and squirmed on the hospital bed stained with his own blood. A doctor struggled to hold a gauze bandage over the boys' eyes, which no longer existed.

Boy Who Lost Arms in US Missile Attack Evacuated to Kuwait A 12-year-old Iraqi boy who lost both his arms and his family in a missile attack on his home in Baghdad was expected in Kuwait late yesterday for treatment, a Health Ministry spokesman said here.

Embedded Photographer: "I Saw Marines Kill Civilians" --by Michel Guerrin for Le Monde "With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane."

Marines Raid Journalists' Baghdad Hotel U.S. Marines looking for hardcore Iraqi fighters searched rooms early Tuesday in the hotel that serves as headquarters for most foreign journalists in Baghdad, apparently taking some people into custody. The Marines had keys to the rooms, but in cases where the doors were bolted, they kicked them down, rousting journalists from their beds and pointing M-16s in their faces, footage from Associated Press Television News showed.

US Fascists in Action
AP Photo Click on image for larger view.

Leaving a Mess in Mesopotamia Long-Term Damage From a Short-Term War --Iraq doesn't look as bad as a smoky Kuwait did in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, but Iraq's air, land, and water have been battered in 2003, and some experts say more Iraqi civilians will die from post-war environmental problems than have been killed during the fighting.

The sacking of Iraq's museums: US wages war against culture and history --by Patrick Martin "The looting of Iraq’s museums and National Library, with the destruction of much of Iraq’s cultural heritage, is a historic crime for which the Bush administration is responsible."

"Looting" --by Mark Fiore (animation)

Qatar FM: U.S. are occupation troops Qatar's foreign minister labeled Iraq as an "occupied" country and called on the U.S.-led coalition to hand over power as soon as possible to the Iraqis.

IRAQ: Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers Emerge as Conscientious Objectors Although only a handful of them have gone public, at least several hundred U.S. soldiers have applied for conscientious objector (CO) status since January, says a rights group.

Bush Signs $79 Billion Wartime Supplemental Budget (DoD) Dictator Bush signed a $79 billion wartime supplemental at the White House this morning "to cover the needs directly arising from Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reconstruction of Iraq," he said in St. Louis this afternoon.

Bush regime puts Syria in its gunsights Flush with its initial success in occupying Baghdad and reducing much of Iraq to chaos and ruin, the Bush regime is already setting its sights further afield—on Syria in particular.

Syria Divides Democratic Candidates A new military issue is dividing Democrats running for president, how to deal with Syria. Presidential candidate Bob Graham, a Florida senator who voted against the resolution authorizing force against Iraq, suggested military action against Syria might be necessary. [LOL! Why bother to have two parties, at all?]

Syria Denies Accusations as U.S. Service to Israel Charges of Chemical Weapons, Sheltering Iraqis Rejected --Syria today condemned U.S. charges that the country was developing chemical weapons, claiming the accusations were unfounded and aimed at serving the interests of Israel.

World Alarmed Over Growing US War Appetite World leaders and press reacted with a mixture of caution and dismay yesterday to the United States’ escalating threats to Syria, which it accuses of harboring Iraqi leaders and chemical weapons.

Clinton blasts US approach to international affairs Former US President Bill Clinton blasted US foreign policy adopted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, arguing the United States cannot kill, jail or occupy all of its adversaries.

Coalition in the dock There is a strong war crimes case against US and British leaders, but big powers have immunity --by Richard Overy "A good deal of informed opinion worldwide regards the Anglo-American invasion and conquest of Iraq as an illegal act of aggression, in the course of which it is coalition [sic: US-UK invasion] forces that have perpetrated numerous war crimes while pulverising Iraqi resistance."

US prosecuted Nazi propagandists as war criminals The Nuremberg tribunal and the role of the media --by David Walsh "In the period leading up to the invasion, the American media uncritically advanced the Bush administration’s arguments, rooted in lies, distortions and half-truths, for an attack on Iraq. It virtually excluded all critical viewpoints, to the point of blacking out news of mass antiwar demonstrations and any other facts that contradicted the propaganda from the White House and Pentagon."

Powell Regrets 1973 U.S. Actions in Chile When a student asked Secretary of State Colin Powell about the 1973 military coup in Chile, the retired general turned diplomat made no secret of his deep misgivings about the U.S. role in that upheaval.

Key Republican Not Sure on Patriot Act The Bush dictatorship's plans to expand a post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism law face resistance from a powerful House Republican who says he's not even sure he wants the government to keep its new powers.

White House seeks to expand DNA database DNA profiles from juvenile offenders and from adults who have been arrested but not convicted would be added to the FBI's national DNA database under a Bush dictatorship proposal.

'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...' Transcript of the speech given by actor Tim Robbins to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2003 "In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred. Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state."

Dick Cheney's Obit as Prepared by CNN The folks at CNN inadvertently gave the Internet-surfing public a chance to preview how the network's web site would note the demise of Vice pResident Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, and a few other prominent figures.

Neil Bush split offer: petty cash It's getting ugly for Neil Bush. The former Denverite and first brother is in the middle of a messy divorce from Sharon, his wife of 23 years. They have three kids - budding supermodel Lauren and teenagers Pierce and Ashley.

Sharon Bush plans tell-all book about Bush family Sharon Bush, the estranged wife of Dictator George W. Bush’s younger brother Neil, is planning to write a tell-all book about her two decades with the Bush family, The Observer has learned.

Gephardt Wants to Scrap Income Tax Cuts to Pay for Health Care Democratic Rep. Dick Gephardt said Wednesday that if elected president, he would move to scrap Dictator Bush's reduction of income tax rates in favor of a tax credit to help businesses pay for health care.

State HMO profits increase nearly 400% in '02 Arizona's HMOs made a robust financial recovery in 2002: their after-tax annual profits increased by almost 400 percent, according to figures released Wednesday by the state insurance department.

U.S. health workers seek better SARS protection U.S. health-care workers, edgy over the contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness SARS, are pushing U.S. regulators to require isolation rooms and other safeguards to give hospital employees better protection from exposure to infected patients.

Shock and awe --by Paul Harris "Those are the two emotions many feel after reading of an execution that took place March 26 in Texas. Nobody doubts that James Colburn was mentally ill; evidence of his illness is manifest and most would agree that when he killed Peggy Murphy in 1994, he was suffering the effects of his illness. But for Texas, maybe the thinking is that if mental illness doesn't prevent you from holding the state's highest office, or the Oval Office, it shouldn't keep you away from the executioner either."

Large traces of Iraqi, world history wiped out When mobs in Baghdad entered the Iraqi national museum and destroyed the artifacts, little did they know that they were wiping out large traces of history. Not just of Iraq, but that of the entire world.

Library books, letters and priceless documents are set ablaze in final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad --by Robert Fisk "So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives – a priceless treasure of Ottoman historical documents, including the old royal archives of Iraq – were turned to ashes in 3,000 degrees of heat. Then the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment were set ablaze... And the Americans did nothing. All over the filthy yard they blew, letters of recommendation to the courts of Arabia, demands for ammunition for troops, reports on the theft of camels and attacks on pilgrims, all in delicate hand-written Arabic script. I was holding in my hands the last Baghdad vestiges of Iraq's written history."

Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters --by Robert Fisk "[The Americans] did nothing to prevent looters from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq's history in the Baghdad Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul, or from looting three hospitals... which ministries proved to be so important for the Americans? Why, the Ministry of Interior, of course – with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq – and the Ministry of Oil. The archives and files of Iraq's most valuable asset – its oilfields and, even more important, its massive reserves – are safe and sound, sealed off from the mobs and looters, and safe to be shared, as Washington almost certainly intends, with American oil companies."

How and why the US encouraged looting in Iraq --by Patrick Martin "The widespread looting in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and other Iraqi cities, following the collapse of the Ba’athist regime of President Saddam Hussein, was not merely an incidental byproduct of the US military conquest of Iraq. It was deliberately encouraged and fostered by the Bush administration and the Pentagon for definite political and economic reasons."

Iraqis plead for law and order The looting has begun in Tikrit a day after US marines overran Iraqi loyalists in the Saddam Hussein stronghold.

In pictures: Baghdad protests Baghdadis have complained that US troops have done little to prevent looting of Iraq's cultural sites.

US army hampers coverage of Iraqi protests United States forces on Tuesday tried to hamper the media from covering a third day of anti-American protests by Iraqis outside a hotel housing a US operations base, an AFP correspondent said.

US troops accused of carnage United States troops opened fire on a crowd hostile to the new pro-American governor in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul yesterday, killing at least 10 people and injuring as many as 100, witnesses and doctors said.

Clash in Mosul Complicates Already Troubled U.S. Arrival At least 10 Iraqis were reported killed and 16 injured today in a clash in northern Iraq that Marines called a gun battle and Iraqis described as the shooting of unarmed civilians. The deaths further complicated the already troubled arrival of American troops in Mosul, a city considered a center of Iraqi nationalism.

Three U.S. Soldiers Killed Near Baghdad Three soldiers with the U.S. Army's V Corps were killed and three wounded Monday in two apparent accidents, U.S. Central Command said.

U.S. Central Command: All Oil Fields in Iraq Now in Areas Under Control of U.S. and Allies All oil fields in Iraq now fall within areas controlled by the U.S. coalition, a U.S. general announced Monday. [Thank heavens! I was concerned that the Iraqi oil wells were not 'liberated' during the torching of the library of Korans and the Ottoman historical documents! No one needs hand written ten-thousand year old Arabic script, anyway. As long as the *oil wells* are safe and secure under Halliburton's control and DynCorp's policing, all is well! --Lori Price]

Iran continues to raise secret deal claim An Iranian news agency close to top conservative military figures attributed the fall of Baghdad to a secret tripartite agreement between Saddam Hussain, Russia and the U.S.

Republican Guard commander cut deal with US forces The French daily, Le Monde, reports that Maher Sufyan, Commander of the Republican Guard reached an agreement with American forces in which he ordered his forces to surrender in exchange for his transfer via an American Apache helicopter to an undisclosed safe haven.

Baghdad Did Not Fall - It Was Handed Over --by Jalal Ghazi "Arabic media are using the word 'safqa' to explain the sudden collapse of Baghdad and the Iraqi regime. Translated into English, 'safqa' means 'a deal made fast and in secrecy.'" Arabic media are speculating that a 'safqa' -- Arabic for a secret deal -- was arranged between the United States and the Baath regime to hand over Baghdad."

US networks agree to serve as Pentagon propaganda tool in Iraq In the name of providing Iraq’s people with a taste of a "free press," ABC, CBS, Faux and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) have decided to provide content for a Pentagon-controlled television service in Iraq.

You've broken your word, says Baghdad boy who lost his arms Ali Ismail Abbas, the 12-year-old Baghdad boy who lost his arms in a US air strike, yesterday accused the media of letting him down... Ali has already been moved once, after looters ransacked one hospital.

Disappointed Marines learn stay in Baghdad may be indefinite U.S. Marines got a visit from their top general in the region Saturday but were disappointed when he didn't give them a firm date for their departure from Iraq.

Mother sees no honor in death of her soldier son Other parents also struggle to find meaning in loss --Ruth Aitken's grief has an extra ingredient. She is one of a small number of these military family members who said they opposed the war.

Iraqis Say Lynch Raid Faced No Resistance "They made a big show," said Haitham Gizzy, a physician at the public hospital here who treated Pfc. Jessica Lynch for her injuries at Saddam Hospital. "It was just a drama," he said. "A big, dramatic show." Gizzy and other doctors said no Iraqi soldiers or militiamen were at the hospital that night, April 1, when the U.S. Special Operations forces came in helicopters to carry out the midnight rescue.

People in Basra Contest Official View of Siege Life Was Mostly Normal, Residents Say; Doctors Report Many Civilians Killed There was nothing resembling a popular uprising against the Iraqi militiamen who controlled this city during its 13-day siege by British forces... People expressed more dismay at the looting and general lawlessness that followed the British entry into the city on April 6 than at the behavior of the Iraqi militiamen.

"A rapacious colonial war": Interview with Arab journalist Said Dudin on US bombing of Al Jazeera A WSWS team spoke with Arab journalist and writer Said Dudin last week on the Iraq war and the intimidation of Arab journalists, which culminated in the US bombing of the Al Jazeera media centre in Baghdad on April 8... Dudin emphasised there could be no doubt that the aim of the US bombing of Al Jazeera was the decapitation of its work in Iraq.

Arab world set to foot the war bill The US-led war on Iraq could cost as much as $1,000 billion in lost production in Arab countries, a UN economic seminar in Beirut warned on Monday.

Saddam Hussein's lions, tigers and bears go hungry Two of Saddam Hussein's leopards stare out glumly from a cage surrounded by netting on the grounds of the presidential palace in the heart of Baghdad.

Keep your eye on the ball --by Brent Flynn " many Americans have forgotten that it was a CIA coup that brought Saddam Hussein's Baath party into power in the first place? How many have forgotten that it was the United States that helped Saddam consolidate his power as a counter balance to the Islamic fundamentalist government of Iran? But more importantly, how many times did our government and media remind us of these historical facts?"

Ultimate Insiders --by Bob Herbert " The primary goal of Mr. [Donald] Rumsfeld's visit to Baghdad [in December, 1983] was to improve relations with Iraq. But another matter was also quietly discussed. The powerful Bechtel Group in San Francisco, of which Secretary Shultz had been president before joining the Reagan administration, wanted to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, near the Red Sea. It was a billion-dollar project and the U.S. government wanted Saddam to sign off on it."

The other Saddam --by Mani Shankar Aiyar "[President] Saddam ran a brutal dictatorship. That, however, caused no concern to the hordes of Western businessmen who descended in droves on Iraq to siphon what they could of Iraq's newfound oil wealth through lucrative contracts for everything."

International protests against the US-led war on Iraq Reports from Spain, India, and Los Angeles from this past weekend

Hundreds of war protesters protest at Chevron gates (CA) Chanting "No Blood for Oil," hundreds of war protesters blocked the gates at Chevron's world headquarters in San Ramon on Monday.

Anti-war protesters rally at oil company, dozens arrested (CA) As the Pentagon declared an end to the ground war in Iraq, anti-war protesters took their pleas for peace to the headquarters of one of the world's biggest oil companies.

Moore slams Bush in Texas Filmmaker Michael Moore continued his criticism before a university crowd in Mr. Bush’s home state. Moore said the United States is at war with Iraq because Mr. Bush needed to keep the public’s eye off his domestic failures as president [sic].

Kazakh challenges Bush to saber duel A retired colonel who fought in World War II and who opposes U.S. intervention in Iraq has challenged Dictator George W. Bush to a duel with sabers, media reported Tuesday.

Hall's Petroskey Throws Wild Pitch The tables turned on National Baseball Hall of Fame president [and assistant press secretary for Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s] Dale Petroskey Monday. He had been scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Mets-Expos game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, but officials in Puerto Rico, after consulting with Major League Baseball, decided the timing was not right...

U.S. Allies Also Have Chemical Weapons A list of countries with likely chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs is not confined to nations Washington may consider hostile. It also includes such U.S. allies as Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, India and Taiwan. [Oh, but the embedded hypocrisy is embedded with the in-bedded "journalists..." --Lori Price]

US blocks Syria pipeline The US says it has blocked a pipeline used to pump Iraqi oil to Syria. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed a pipeline had been "shut off", but said no Iraqi infrastructure had been destroyed.

U.S. also denies Iraqi oil to Lebanon The United States has halted the flow of Iraqi oil to Lebanon. Arab diplomatic sources said the U.S.-led invasion forces in Iraq shut down the Iraqi-Syrian oil pipeline that extended from Kirkuk to the Syrian port city of Banyas.

Bush vetoes Syria war plan The White House has privately ruled out suggestions that the US should go to war against Syria following its military success in Iraq, and has blocked preliminary planning for such a campaign in the Pentagon, the Guardian learned yesterday.

U.S. Threatens Syria With Sanctions The Bush dictatorship is demanding that Syria stop sponsoring terrorism and harboring remnants of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime or face diplomatic or economic sanctions.

Bush's Call to Syrians Lawrence Eagleburger, Secretary of State under George Bush Senior, said American public opinion would not tolerate action against Syria or Iran."This is still a democracy and public opinion rules. If George Bush decided he was going to turn troops on Syria now and then Iran he'd be in office about 15 minutes. "If President [sic] Bush were to try it now, even I would feel he should be impeached. You can't get away with that sort off thing in a democracy."

EU to U.S.: 'Cool it' over Syria European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg Monday urged Washington to tone down its confrontational rhetoric towards Syria as they attempted to carve out a role for the 15-member bloc in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.

Britain and US split on Syria A marked difference in emphasis emerged between Britain and America yesterday over the possible extension of war in Iraq to military action against Syria.

U.S. Sharply Scolds Syria and Threatens Sanctions The Bush regime sharply scolded Syria today, warning it to "ponder the implications" of what Washington says is that country's support of terrorism, its development of chemical weapons and its harboring of fugitives from the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Syria risks 'pariah' status, warns US Syria faces economic sanctions and risks becoming a pariah state if it refuses to hand over Iraqi officials and abandon its suspected chemical weapons programme, America said yesterday.

Three US Marines Killed In Afghanistan On Saturday Taliban militants killed three and wounded two US marines in the Afghan province of Kunar bordering on Pakistan, the Pakistani NNI news agency reports.

Graham Invitation Irks Muslims at Pentagon Clergyman Has Called Islam 'Evil' Muslim employees of the Defense Department are protesting plans for the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has called Islam an evil religion, to lead Good Friday prayers at the Pentagon.

New U.S. Medical Privacy Rules Take Effect Monday The federal rules were issued by former President Bill Clinton shortly before he left office in January 2001. The Bush dictatorship agreed to implement them but made changes that critics said significantly weakened the protections.

Scandal-hit US firm wins key contracts A US military contractor accused of human rights violations has won a multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq, The Observer can reveal. DynCorp, which has donated more than £100,000 to the Republican Party, began recruiting for a private police force in Iraq last week on behalf of the US State Department. While the US has promised help in bringing law and order to Iraq, the involvement of DynCorp has caused concern as it has been involved in a series of recent high-profile scandals involving personnel in sensitive missions overseas. DynCorp personnel contracted to the United Nations police service in Bosnia were implicated in buying and selling prostitutes, including a girl as young as 12. Several DynCorp employees were also accused of videotaping the rape of one of the women.

As looting continues, US hires controversial company to police As looters in Baghdad have ransacked hospitals and medical facilities, endangering the health of the local population, the US and British forces continue to refrain from their duties as occupying powers to ensure the safety of the civilian population in Iraq.

U.S. Threatens Iraqi Scientists Appealing to the world community to protect them from the U.S. aggression aimed at obliterating Iraq’s minds, a number of Iraqi scientists and university professors sent an SOS e-mail complaining American occupation forces were threatening their lives.

Secret deals alleged between US, Iraqi generals The low level of resistance against the US-led invasion could be because Iraqi generals struck secret deals with Washington, Russia's Ambassador in Iraq, Vladimir TItirenko who returned home from the war-zone said today.

Dictators' Collusion --by Parviz Esmaeili "Almost 10 days ago, there was a halt in U.S.-British operations in Iraq. However, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chief of the U.S. Central Command, General Tommy Franks, in their interviews with the media never elaborated on the issue, but instead tried to mislead world public opinion in order to hide a greater secret decision from them."

Display of U.S. Flag Barred After Unfurling on Statue Today, the Army, seeking to demonstrate that its troops in Iraq are liberators and not conquerors [LOL!], barred any display of the American flag on vehicles, buildings, statues and command posts.

Bomb before you buy What is being planned in Iraq is not reconstruction but robbery --by Naomi Klein "Some argue that it's too simplistic to say this war is about oil. They're right. It's about oil, water, roads, trains, phones, ports and drugs. And if this process isn't halted, 'free Iraq' will be the most sold country on earth.

Financial scandal claims hang over leader in waiting Pentagon's choice to succeed Saddam was found guilty over $200m bank losses --Allegations of financial impropriety linger over Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, the most important of which concern a $200m (£127m) banking scandal in Jordan.

Worldwide protests against invasion and occupation of Iraq Several million people took part in demonstrations April 12-13 against the US-British invasion and conquest of Iraq. There were large demonstrations in Europe, South Asia, Australia and North America.

Tens of thousands march in Washington against Iraq slaughter A crowd estimated at 30,000 marched through the streets of Washington April 12 to condemn the slaughter of Iraqis by the US military and oppose the Bush regime’s plans for protracted occupation of that country and future wars elsewhere.

Occupation Is Not Liberation The protest persists in sixty countries and the U.S.: ANSWER rally and march --by Marta Steele "The Washington, DC, spring was an oxymoron yesterday as thousands (the ANSWER estimate was twenty-five thousand, another reported thirty thousand) of Americans marched against corporate profiteers, the pro-war media, and empire building, heavily saddened over the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis slain despite our best efforts toward peace."

Thirty thousand demonstrate in Washington DC to say "Occupation is Not Liberation, No War for Empire" --Thirty thousand demonstrate in Washington DC to say "Occupation is Not Liberation, No War for Empire." --Demonstrations in sixty countries on April 12 oppose US invasion and occupation of Iraq (A.N.S.W.E.R. report)

Yahoo Picture Gallery -- 4/12 DC and World Wide Anti-War Protests

Washington DC march April 12, 2003 (photolog from

Thousands of San Francisco antiwar protesters march in rainstorm Despite pouring rain, over 5,000 demonstrators assembled in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza for a two-and-a-half-mile march to Mission Dolores Park.

Thousands protest war and Patriot Act Portland, Ore. --About 2,000 people marched through downtown on Saturday to protest the war with Iraq and an erosion of civil liberties under the USA Patriot Act.

Antiwar Groups Shifting Their Focus to Bush Voter Registration, Search for Congressional Candidates Among Strategies Considered --Many more of the protesters' placards took aim directly at Dictator Bush: "Bush Must Go!" "Impeach Bush!" Voter registration tables urging protesters to "Vote for change!" also dotted the city park that served as the rallying point.

Peace campaigners grieve for Iraqis Only the placards had changed: "Stop the War" had almost seamlessly become "End the Occupation". The war in Iraq may be all but over, but that did not stop the third major protest in less than two months bringing central London to a standstill again yesterday.

Britain: Determined opposition to US-UK occupation of Iraq An estimated 100,000 to 150,000 protesters marched through London against the occupation of Iraq.

Canada: Thousands protest against occupation of Iraq Thousands of people marched Saturday in cities across Canada to protest against the US-British invasion and occupation of Iraq.

US Ambassador slams anti-war Belgium The US Ambassador to Belgium has sent an angry letter to the Belgian government, accusing it of blatantly supporting the Iraqi regime. Foreign Affairs Minister Louis Michel, who came out in support of France and Germany in early February, condemning a war in Iraq without UN approval, was said to be 'astonished' by the letter’s content.

I was only asking In a dispatch from the million-dollar media centre at Qatar, Michael Wolff recounts how he angered the US right "The next person to buttonhole me was the Centcom uber-civilian, a thirty-ish Republican operative. He was more full-metal-jacket in his approach (although he was a civilian he was, inexplicably, in uniform - making him, I suppose a sort of para-military figure): 'I have a brother who is in a Hummer at the front, so don't talk to me about too much fucking air-conditioning.' And: 'A lot of people don't like you.' And then: 'Don't f*ck with things you don't understand.' And too: 'This is f*cking war, a*shole.'"

Baseball Hall of Fame cancels film ceremony in attack on antiwar performers The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame has abruptly canceled a planned ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the film Bull Durham because Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, who starred in the film and were scheduled to participate in the April 26-27 celebration, have made statements opposing the war.

Hate speech shocks Yale campus In response to violent message, 'drastic action' planned for today. Eventually the intruders—one of whom wielded a two-by-four—gave up. But they left a menacing note on an Asian American anti-war activist's door: "I love kicking the Muslims a*s b*tches a*s! They should all die with Mohammad. We as Americans should destroy them and launch so many missiles their mothers don't produce healthy offspring. F*ck Iraqi Saddam following f*cks. I hate you, GO AMERICA."

Iraqi theme song: "We Won't Get Fooled Again!" "We'll be fighting in the streets With our children at our feet/ And the morals that they worship will be gone/ And the men who spurred us on/ Sit in judgement of all wrong/ They decide and the shotgun sings the song ... Meet the new boss [Bush], Same as the old boss [Hussein]" Iraqi demonstrators chant anti-US slogans comparing Bush to Saddam Hussein. "The United States is a liar," Adnan said. "They are not going to make anything better."

Rumsfeld Says Syria Conducts Chemical Arms Tests Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday accused Syria of carrying out tests involving chemical weapons over the past 12 to 15 months and allowing some Iraqis to flee into Syrian territory. [And we're just hearing about this today, when the Iraqi oil wells have been "liberated"? ROFL! WHY haven't we heard about these "tests" for the past "12 to 15 months"??? --Lori Price]

Israel Demands Syria to Destroy Hezbollah Israel plans to deliver a list of demands to Syria through the United States, including ousting Hezbollah guerrillas from southern Lebanon and expelling Palestinian militant groups from Damascus, Israel's defense minister said in remarks published Monday.

US tells Syria to co-operate or risk conflict Dictator Bush yesterday accused Syria of having chemical weapons. In the clearest sign yet that Washington is turning its sights on Damascus’ "links to terrorism" [?!?], two of his most senior Cabinet members also warned the country against harbouring Iraqi officials.

U.S. Ratchets Up Pressure on Syria The United States ratcheted up the pressure on Syria on Monday by threatening sanctions over charges that Damascus is harboring Iraqi leaders, developing chemical weapons and supporting terrorism.

Powell Says U.S. Considering Sanctions Against Syria The United States will examine possible diplomatic or economic measures against Syria, which the United States suspects of developing chemical weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday.

Syrian situation will be dealt with, warns Bush Dictator George W Bush upped the rhetorical stakes in Washington's confrontation with Syria yesterday as a flurry of diplomatic visitors headed for the Middle East.

Syria, U.S. exchange charges on weapons Syria denies allegations --The Bush dictatorship and the Syrian government over the weekend traded allegations on whether Syria possesses weapon of mass destruction, and whether Syria is harboring fleeing members of Saddam Hussein's regime. [Syria *can't* be harboring members of Saddam Hussein's regime as Hoon is too busy appointing them to top 'coalition-created' positions in the new Oil Oligarchy of Iraq: Hoon backs ex-Saddam loyalists to rebuild nation Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon says it is time to allow Iraqis to start 'building from the bottom', as members of the Ba'ath party are to be used to restore order. --Lori Price]

Syria Denies Having Chemical Weapons, Hussein Link Syria denied on Monday U.S. charges that it had chemical weapons and, brushing aside British allegations, said it had never cooperated with Saddam Hussein's administration.

Syria is 'not next coalition [sic] target' - Straw Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said today that Syria, which has been accused by the United States of harbouring Iraqi leaders and having chemical weapons, was not the next US-UK invaders' target after the war on Iraq.

Britain: There Are No Plans to Invade Syria Next Top British officials said on Monday that Washington and London had no plans to invade Syria, but Damascus had "important questions" to answer about its own weapons programs.

The rise of the Washington 'neo-cons' (The Guardian) A small group of rightwingers, known as neo-conservatives, is shaping US foreign policy. Who are they, and what is their agenda?

The top 100 offenders This table ranks human rights abusers in descending order; the figures in the right-hand column are obtained by multipying a weighted score of abuses by the Human Development Index.

Israeli report clears troops over US death An Israeli army investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist, has concluded that its forces were not to blame for her death. It accused Corrie and other members of the International Solidarity Movement of "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous" behaviour.

US alarmed by India's war threats Minister's remark that Pakistan is a fit case for pre-emptive action prompts senior US officials into counselling calm --Top Bush regime officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell or his deputy Richard Armitage, may fly down to South Asia within the next fortnight amid growing concern in Washington that the situation in the region is taking a turn for the worse.

Poll Finds Opposition to More Tax Cuts Six in 10 Americans say they are against more tax cuts when the country is at war and already faces budget deficits, according to an Associated Press poll.

Environment under unilateral attack in America --by Victor B. Flatt " the long run, it is possible that this president[sic]'s administration will be remembered not for a war with Iraq, or a change in tax law, but in the aggressive way it is pursuing alterations to our nation's environmental policies."

GOP Eyeing Jeb Bush for 2008 White House run Whispers is told that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush looks strong. "If Jeb is in the mix" for the nomination, says a top GOP official, "it's his." ["This sucks worse than anything has ever sucked before"--Beavis, discovering his T.V. has been stolen. (thanks to J. Hoaglund, Ph.D., for this quote)]

Jeb's Budget Cuts Would Destroy 2000 Ballots The Florida presidential ballots and other nationally significant 2000 election materials are under the supervision of the Florida Division of Library and Information Services, one of the agencies slotted to be abolished by the governor. [Well, they were already destroyed once, in the 2000 coup d'etat. --Lori Price]

Possible Michael Moore Dinner Invite Upsets White House Officials White House officials are growing concerned that DirectorActivist Michael Moore may soon find his way in to the same room as Dictator Bush --at this year's White House Correspondents Dinner.

Bush ready to fight war on two fronts The friends of Dictator Bush have grand plans to create an Amerikan Imperium - and to consolidate their power at home. --The last shot of the war in Iraq will be the starting pistol for two further campaigns by the regime of Dictator George W Bush. One will be fought in the region: no one really believes Amerika's project is confined to Iraq. The toppling of Saddam Hussein is first base in what Michael Ledeen, leading thinker among the neo-conservatives driving foreign policy, calls 'a war to remake the world'.

Syria could be next, warns Washington The United States has pledged to tackle the Syrian-backed Hizbollah group in the next phase of its 'war on terror' in a move which could threaten military action against President Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus.

Most Americans say they don't want or expect another war Two-thirds of Americans have little stomach for extending the Iraq war to other so-called rogue nations that might aid terrorists or develop weapons of mass destruction, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows.

Catholic leader wants Bush to be tried Says international court should prosecute dictator as war criminal --The director of a U.S. Catholic archdiocese ministry wants to put Dictator George W. Bush on trial for war crimes because of his Iraq policy.

Former Congressman Takes Bush To Court For 'War Crimes' Federal Judges Have 60 Days To Respond --Former Nebraska Congressman Clair Callan wants a judge to determine if Dictator George W. Bush is guilty of war crimes in Iraq.

800 bodies of US troops shifted to Kuwait: Tehran Radio Hundreds of dead bodies of US troops have been shifted from Iraq to Kuwait under tight security. However, the Pentagon has claimed that so far less than 140 British and US troops have died in the war, reported Radio Tehran.

Official UK-US invaders' losses in Iraqi war

US Troops Take Control of 408 Oil Wells Around Kirkuk US troops took control of 408 oil wells around the town of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas reported on Saturday. [Hmmm. That's odd, as I thought this was not a war for oil.]

Hoon backs ex-Saddam loyalists to rebuild nation Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon says it is time to allow Iraqis to start 'building from the bottom', as members of the Ba'ath party are to be used to restore order.

Shi'ite leader ordered to quit Iraq Armed radical groups have surrounded the house of Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric in the central city of Najaf, giving him 48 hours to leave the country, aides to the cleric say.

Admiral says banned arms claims were exaggerated Military chiefs have tried to limit expectations of the weapons of mass destruction secreted in Iraq. Insisting they were there and would be found [when Rumsfeld has them planted], Admiral Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord and former Chief of Defence Intelligence, hinted that the numbers and scale of Saddam Hussein's biological, chemical and nuclear programmes may have been exaggerated.

Baghdad Seethes With Anger Toward U.S. At first they cheered, smiled, offered hearty thumbs-ups to the U.S. soldiers newly in their midst. But across Iraq's lawless capital, that sentiment is evaporating as quickly as Saddam Hussein's government melted away.

Iraqi demonstrators chant anti-US slogans For the first time since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqis have demonstrated against the US forces in Baghdad. Several dozen protesters angered by the wide-spread looting and a lack of security chanted anti-American slogans comparing Bush to Saddam Hussein.

U.S. Uses Iraqi TV to Send Its Message [Propaganda] The Bush dictatorship took over Iraqi state television yesterday, replacing tributes to Saddam Hussein with conciliatory greetings from Dictator Bush, the Pentagon and British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair.

Conquest and Neglect --by Paul Krugman "The scary thing is that this slash-and-burn approach to governing may continue to work for Mr. Bush's people because the initial triumphs get all the headlines. Unfortunately, the rest of the world has to live in the wreckage they leave behind."

Revealed: Russia spied on Blair for Saddam Top secret documents obtained by The Telegraph in Baghdad show that Russia provided Saddam Hussein's regime with wide-ranging assistance in the months leading up to the war, including intelligence on private conversations between Poodle Tony Blair and other Western leaders.

The Poisons That Came From the West As allied troops interview Iraqi scientists, the chances grow of finding the chemical weaponry that Western governments believe Saddam Hussein was hiding since the gulf war of 1991. If the troops do find it, they will also find something else: that the means for making it came primarily from Western companies years ago.

Saddam Hussein's science adviser surrenders Saddam Hussein's science adviser surrendered to US military authorities last night, insisting that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and the US-led invasion was unjustified.

Syrian foreign minister accuses U.S of wanting to destroy Iraq Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa said on Saturday that Amerika's war aim was to destroy Iraq, not oust Saddam Hussein's regime.

Mythical Garden of Eden now a wasteland It is believed to be the Garden of Eden, the mythic place where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers join, the cradle of mankind where Adam came to pray to God. Today it is a desolate wasteland of excrement, cracked paving stones and bullet holes [thanks to Bush].

'Our Heritage Is Finished' Looters Destroyed What War Did Not --At the National Museum of Antiquities, where priceless artifacts had been wrapped in foam and secured in windowless storage rooms to protect them against U.S. bombs, an army of looters perpetrated what war did not: They smashed hundreds of irreplaceable treasures, including Sumerian clay pots, Assyrian marble carvings, Babylonian statues and a massive stone tablet with intricate cuneiform writing. "Our heritage is finished," lamented Nabhal Amin, the museum's deputy director, as she surveyed a Sumerian tablet that had been cracked in two. "Why did they do this? Why? Why?" [Why? Because Bush the Barbarian has been let loose on civilization. --Lori Price]

Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum of Its Treasure The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once Amerikan troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters.

Looters strip Iraqi National Museum of its antiquities Looters have ransacked the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, stealing or destroying thousands of priceless artefacts. Surveying the smashed display cases at the museum last night, Nabhal Amin, the deputy director, struggled to hold back the tears. "They have looted or destroyed 170,000 items of antiquity dating back thousands of years," she said. "They were worth billions of dollars."[What took thousands of years to create took Bush the Moron two weeks to destroy.]

Canada offers to send Mounties Canada said yesterday that it was ready, if asked, to send its Mounties to help restore order in lawless Iraq, but renewed its criticism of Dictator Bush's insistence on regime change there. [I, myself, insist on regime change *here*.]

Despite fall of Iraq regime, anti-war groups keep on marching Hundreds of thousands of opponents of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq held new anti-war protests across Europe and the Americas, arguing that the regime's collapse was no reason to let up the pressure. [And yet, MoreSh*tNoBrainsCable fails to report the protests... they are too busy being "in bed-ded" with the Bush dictatorship to notice. --Lori Price]

Worldwide Anti-War Protests Continue Anti-war protesters marched in major cities around the world to commemorate those killed during the war in Iraq and urge foreign troops to leave the war-torn nation soon.

Thousands of war protesters gather in Seattle An estimated 3,000 anti-war protesters marched peacefully through the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood Saturday afternoon in what organizers billed as part of an international day of protest.

Excellent pictures from weekend anti-war protests (

Dean: War Continues to Divide Democrats Presidential candidate Howard Dean said Friday that the U.S.-led war against Iraq will remain a divisive issue for Democrats despite the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Senator seeks to charge war protesters for costs Fed up by war protesters clogging streets with their signs and traffic-obstructing tactics [carrying out their Constitutional rights], the Republican leader of the state Senate has filed legislation to force them to pay the law enforcement costs of their demonstrations.

Democrats Assail Corporate Expatriates American corporations shouldn't be able to avoid paying U.S. taxes just because they buy a mailbox in another country, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee said Saturday.

Outspoken Yellowstone Ranger Loses Job An outspoken Yellowstone National Park ranger who criticized unscrupulous hunters was not rehired this year for the first time in more than 30 years and a government watchdog group wants an investigation.

Senate OKs Budget, Slashes Bush Tax Cut Congressional passage of a 2004 budget that would allow up to half a trillion dollars in new tax cuts has Republicans fighting among themselves over a promise to Senate moderates to restrict the reductions to just $350 billion. Vice pResident Dick Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the budget in the Senate, 51-50.

Congress approves $80 billion measure to fund war, airlines Moving quickly to support U.S. troops in Iraq, Congress on Saturday approved an $80 billion measure to pay for the war, to begin rebuilding Iraq and to provide corporate welfare to bail out America's struggling airlines.

Money for job searches gets ax Budget doesn't include Bush's proposal for the unemployed --An idea to give unemployed Americans up to $3,000 for job search expenses and let them keep what's left over if they find work and stay employed, widely touted by the White House in January, was missing from the record $2.27 trillion federal budget that Congress approved Friday.

Dictator for life??? 108th CONGRESS 1st Session H. J. RES. 11 --Proposing an amendment (.pdf) to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President. [Or, in Bush's case, *dictator*. *Click here for link, then type the following information into the "Bill Number" submission window: H. J. RES. 11, then click on "search".]

British-appointed Basra chief exposed as former Ba'athist Troops protect sheikh after mob attack --Violence broke out in Basra after a sheikh asked by British commanders to become the new leader of the province was revealed to be a former brigadier-general in Saddam Hussein's army and a one-time member of the Ba'ath party.

US aims to run Iraqi oil until new authority formed The United States plans to run Iraq's oil industry until an Iraqi interim authority can be formed to take it over, sources familiar with the evolving plan said today.

Blix: US was bent on war War against Iraq was a foregone conclusion months before the first shot was fired, the chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has claimed.

US-UK weapons teams scour Iraq Secret units in desperate hunt for banned arsenal --Britain and the United States have bypassed the United Nations to establish a secret team of inspectors to resume the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Iraq's neighbours fear which is next on the US hit list Saddam Hussein's regime has gone. Now the region fears the US-UK invaders may have a hit list and be about to move to its next target.

U.S. Adviser Perle Warns Syria Over Iraqi Weapons Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, a key architect of the U.S.-led drive to topple Saddam Hussein, said in remarks published on Saturday Syria would be a possible military target if it was found harboring Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. [Oh-oh. Perle is thinking, time to get a mind-controlled "the-duck-is-in-the-noose" CIA operative on the case to start planting those ever-elusive WMDs in Syria. --Lori Price]

Syria puts its foot down Syria, a staunch opponent of the United States-led war on Iraq, has said that it would consider any post-war administration run by the United States military in Baghdad as an "occupation government".

Britain cuts back forces in the Gulf Britain has started to to scale back its forces in the Gulf, armed forces minister Adam Ingram said today.

US 'threatens' to drop massive bomb on Tikrit In what looked like a calculated propaganda move as US-led forces continued to bomb Tikrit, the Pentagon issued a thinly veiled threat to deploy - for the first time in the war - its biggest non-nuclear bomb.

America issues decks of cards showing Iraq's 'most wanted' American commanders displayed a pack of cards yesterday showing the photographs of the 55 "most wanted" Iraqis. They said the cards had been issued to troops in the continuing hunt for top members of Saddam Hussein's regime.

A city in flames. A nation in chaos Baghdad: Regime buildings are set ablaze; fears mount as looters run amok Mosul: City captured by Kurdish forces; banks and shops ransacked by mob Kirkuk: Marines take control of oilfields; anarchy as Kurdish troops begin pull-out Basra: Looters shot dead by British forces

Flames engulf the symbols of power --by Robert Fisk "When I tried to reach the old Saddam hospital opposite the Ministry of Defence, American rifle-fire was hissing through the trees opposite the administrative block; they were, two nurses trying to flee the building said, shooting at any moving car because they believed Iraqi soldiers were hiding there. I saw none."

Horror for family as three shot by marines There may be scenes of jubilation in central Baghdad but in some parts of the city, the horror of war lingers. An Iraqi family is grief stricken after learning that three members of the extended clan - a father, his teenage son and another male - were killed by US soldiers in a street incident.

Two Iraqi children killed in US checkpoint error US Marines said they killed two children at a checkpoint in Iraq today, when the driver of the vehicle in which the youngsters were travelling ignored warnings to stop, creating fears of a suicide attack.

Marines Shoot Children Two children were killed and nine other civilians injured when US marines opened fire on a minibus approaching a checkpoint in Iraq.

A Shrapnel Victim Shows His Mettle Still carrying 30 fragments from a 1999 explosion that killed his brother, an Iraqi boy arrives in L.A. for surgery. Mostafa is a wide-eyed 8-year-old Iraqi boy riddled with sharp, twisted metal that has sliced so close to his spine that doctors fear he will be paralyzed if it moves farther...

Looters Ransack Baghdad's Antiquities Museum Looters have sacked Baghdad's antiquities museum, plundering treasures dating back thousands of years to the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia, museum staff said on Saturday.

Rumsfeld on looting in Iraq: 'Stuff happens' Declaring that freedom is "untidy," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday the looting in Iraq was a result of "pent-up feelings" of oppression and that it would subside as Iraqis adjusted to life without Saddam Hussein. Looting, he added, was not uncommon for countries that experience significant social upheaval. "Stuff happens," Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld cracks jokes, but Iraqis aren't laughing --by Lawrence Smallman "If ever an Oscar was deserved for minimizing catastrophic reports coming out of Iraq with jocular 'henny penny' disbelief, then Rumsfeld has a date with Hollywood... Flippant remarks cannot replace priceless artefacts that have disappeared from the National Museum in Baghdad, or the books of the University of Mosul – one of the oldest and best universities in the whole of the Middle East."

Baghdad: the day after Arson, anarchy, fear, hatred, hysteria, looting, revenge, savagery, suspicion and a suicide bombing --by Robert Fisk "The Americans may think they have 'liberated' Baghdad but the tens of thousands of thieves – they came in families and cruised the city in trucks and cars searching for booty – seem to have a different idea of what liberation means. American control of the city is, at best, tenuous – a fact underlined after several marines were killed last night by a suicide bomber close to the square where a statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Wednesday, in the most staged photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima."

Free to do bad things War leaders are trying to damp down bad news coming out of post-invasion Iraq, writes Brian Whitaker "On one of the bleakest days since the invasion began, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday shrugged off turmoil and looting in Iraq as signs of the people's freedom."

Mexico's view of the looting in Iraq (political cartoon)

The Hoodwinking Continues --by Dennis Rahkonen "What is propaganda? It's when ordinary people fighting fiercely but futilely with AK-47's against an army of invading tanks are never given media credit for being 'patriots,' but are invariably portrayed as 'ruthless fedayeen' and worse... This war has been a cruel, soul-devouring fraud from the start."

Protesters Call for Return of Soldiers Having failed to keep U.S. troops out of Iraq, anti-war protesters are marching to bring them home.

War Protesters Sue Chicago Over Arrests Anti-war demonstrators arrested during a downtown Chicago protest sued the city Thursday, saying their protest had been peaceful and police violated a promise to let them march.

Journalists snub Straw and Spanish premier Journalists in Madrid have snubbed Jack Straw and Spain's prime minister in protest at the death of a Spanish cameraman killed in a Baghdad hotel by a US tank shell.

Journalists protest act of US terrorism
Premier Jose Maria Aznar arrived at the Senate to find the floor outside the chamber littered with notebooks and cameras and up to 40 journalists standing in stony silence. AP

War veterans in Hilo protest war in Iraq The day after U.S. forces liberated Baghdad, American veterans from three wars gathered in Hilo to demand a cease - fire in Iraq. The harshest anti - war statements were made by Kelii "Skippy" Ioane, another Vietnam veteran. "When I look at the Iraqi people, I feel envious that they are free from their oppressor," he said. "The United States is our Saddam [Hussein]. We need somebody who will come free us from [Dictator] George Bush." [From Ioane's mouth to God's ears, <g> --Lori Price]

High Price of Empire: the new White House bunker mentality (photolog by Reverend Chuck0) "As Bush builds his fundamentalist global empire, there are increasing signs that he distrusts the American people, most of whom never voted for him in 2000. These signs are more evident than ever with a new fence that has gone up around the White House compound."

The Thirty-Year Itch --by Robert Dreyfuss "Three decades ago, in the throes of the energy crisis, Washington's hawks conceived of a strategy for US control of the Persian Gulf's oil. Now, with the same strategists firmly in control of the White House, the Bush administration is playing out their script for global dominance."

Fundamentally Inconsistent --by the Gypsy "If, indeed, George W. Bush is so smitten with Jesus that he feels he has been called to be the instrument of His Second Coming, would we not expect him to be a little less cavalier with his analysis, not to mention our tax dollars?"

137 More Oil Wells Liberated For Democracy (humor) The U.S. continued to make progress in its fight against totalitarianism Tuesday, when 137 more oil wells were liberated for democracy. "We must remember that there are many, many oil wells living under oppression all across the world, not just in Iraq," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. "Until every oil well enjoys the fruits of democracy, no oil well is truly free."

Israeli army sniper leaves British peace activist brain-dead A British peace activist was pronounced brain-dead yesterday after being shot in the head by an Israeli army sniper.

British peace activist shot dead in Gaza Strip Israeli troops shot a British peace activist working with the International Solidarity Movement today - the second activist to be shot in less than a month in the Gaza Strip, witnesses said. Doctors said the Briton was brain dead.

Suspected Ricin Find in Paris Train Station Turns Out to Be Wheat Germ Vials of what was suspected as the poison ricin found in train station locker last month turned out to be wheat germ and barley, officials said Friday.

Lawmaker Questions Halliburton Contract Government work granted without competition to a Halliburton Co. subsidiary to fight oil well fires in Iraq could be worth as much as $7 billion over two years, but just a fraction of that has been spent, the Army Corps of Engineers has disclosed.

Reagan Redux Bush wants to starve social programs to pay for massive tax cuts. At least the Gipper was candid about it --This is the first war where the rich have been called upon to do less. The rest of America will pay the surcharge for Iraq when services are cut and benefits reduced to make room for the next wave of Bush tax cuts.

Senate GOP Slashes Tax Cut Senate GOP leaders agreed yesterday to block any tax cut that exceeds $350 billion, slashing Dictator Bush's proposed tax reduction by more than half and dealing him a rare setback at the hand of fellow Republicans.

Disney: SARS May Worsen Theme Parks Slump Fear of SARS, the pneumonia-like illness sweeping Asia, could deliver another blow to already slumping visits to Walt Disney World, No. 1 theme park operator Walt Disney Co. told securities regulators.

Singapore traces Sars 'super spreader' Singapore's largest hospital struggled to contain the Sars virus yesterday after tracing the origin of a mysterious batch of infections - a man in his 60s whose multiple ailments masked the illness while he unwittingly passed it on to 19 people.


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