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Resources > AWARE News Notes

Notes from last week's "war on terrorism" -- prepared
for the AWARE meeting, Sunday, September 21, 2003.

ROAD RAGE. This week, in metaphors for the Occupation, a drunk American
soldier shot and killed a rare Bengal tiger in the Baghdad zoo [MIRROR UK
0921], American soldiers open fire on the car of an Italian diplomat who
had the temerity to try to pass a US convoy, killing his driver [REUTERS
0919], and American soldiers opened fire indiscriminately on crowds after
they'd been ambushed - then rounded up all the young men in the area: "The
US authorities in Iraq - who only report their own deaths, never those of
Iraqis - acknowledged three US soldiers dead. There may be up to eight
dead, not counting the wounded ... and this on the very day that George
Bush admitted for the first time that there was no link between Saddam
Hussein and the 11 September assault on the United States." [R. FISK 0919]
On Saturday, two American soldiers were killed in a mortar attack on a US
prison (and more than a dozen wounded) and a third died from a roadside
bomb. [REUTERS 0921] "...nine gunmen this morning shot and critically
wounded Akila al-Hashemi, one of three women on the [Iraq's US-appointed]
governing body, as she was being driven to work by a driver and three
bodyguards." [NYT 0921] And our own Member of Congress tells us that the
Occupation is going well and that he did the right thing to vote for it.
[WILL 0919]. In the most frightening event of the week, the
Vice-President, once thought to be the eminence grise of this
administration, revealed himself on last Sunday's Meet the Press to be
much stupider or much more mendacious than we thought (or both) - so much
so that the President had to blurt out the truth to correct him later in
the week. He really is as smart as this group gets - and that's scary.

WHICH GOES FIRST, HIS HEART OR HIS MIND? "Vice President Dick Cheney last
Sunday aggressively defended the administration's handling of Iraq, saying
there is no reason to 'think that the strategy is flawed or needs to be
changed.' Cheney claimed that the White House, which last week asked for
$87 billion in additional funding, had not underestimated the cost of war.
He described the Iraq operation as a 'major success' and claimed that
Americans are being viewed as 'liberators' in Iraq. He also continued to
make long debunked allegations linking Iraq to the attacks of Sept. 11. At
one point Cheney claimed Iraq was the 'geographic base' for the Sept. 11
attack. And despite doubts from both the FBI and CIA, Cheney claimed that
one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, may have met with an Iraqi
intelligence officer five months before the attack. Cheney however said
little about Saudi Arabia's ties to Sept. 11. He said 'I don't want to
speculate.' He then went on to say Sept. 11 is 'over with now, it's done,
it's history and we can put it behind us.'" [DN 0915]

MAD DICK. "Cheney's appearance on Meet the Press consisted of, to be
perfectly objective, a mélange of misleading and mendacious charges. A
sampling: Cheney said that Saddam may have played a part in 9/11, that he
also may have played a part in the '93 WTC bombing, that Iraq trained
al-Qaida on biological and chemical weapons, that Mohammed Atta met with
an Iraqi intel source in Prague, and that the United States has 'found'
two mobile biological labs ... For months the WP has been more aggressive
than the other papers, most notably the NYT, and today is no exception.
The Post goes through Cheney's charges point by point, each time noting
that the evidence is murkier than Cheney presented or simply not there:
There's no publicly known info that Saddam was involved in 9/11 or
otherwise helped al-Qaida. The FBI has said that at the time of the
supposed Prague meeting, it believes Atta was in the United States. As for
the supposed mobile germ labs, Cheney might be convinced they're part of a
weapons-building program, but intel agencies are at best divided, with
many experts convinced they're for making weather balloons ... One other
note on Cheney's appearance: As the NYT and LAT mention, the vice
president acknowledged he misspoke before the war when he said once on the
Meet the Press that Saddam had 'reconstituted nuclear weapons.' During the
same program, Cheney repeatedly qualified the statement, saying that
Saddam was 'trying' to reconstitute his nuclear 'program.'" [SLATE 0915]
"Cheney justified the invasion of Iraq in his first televised interview in
six months ... claimed again Iraq tried to acquire uranium from Niger ...
professed no knowledge that White House helped evacuate 24 members of the
Bin Laden family days after 9/11. (Retired chief White House aide Richard
Clarke revealed that top White House officials approved the evacuation of
140 influential Saudis, including relatives of Osama Bin Laden, days after
the Sept. 11 attacks at a time when all commercial and private flights
were grounded.) Cheney suggested Iraq is linked to the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing through wanted Iraqi-American Abdul Rahman Yasin ... there
is a $25 million price on his head; but when Saddam Hussein offered to
hand him over, the Bush Administration said no." [DN 0916] "LAT editorial
page: The vice president's 'sweeping, unproven claims' about Saddam's
alleged connection to al-Qaida suggest that Cheney hasn't been hiding out
at a secure, undisclosed location; he's been 'stuck in a time warp.' The
editorial's title: 'CHENEY IN WONDERLAND.'" [SLATE 0916]

...IT'S THE WAY THAT YOU DO IT. "CNN's top war correspondent, Christiane
Amanpour, says that the press muzzled itself during the Iraq war. And, she
says CNN 'was intimidated' by the Bush administration and Fox News, which
'put a climate of fear and self-censorship.' As criticism of the war and
its aftermath intensifies, Amanpour joins a chorus of journalists and
pundits who charge that the media largely toed the Bush administration
line in covering the war and, by doing so, failed to aggressively question
the motives behind the invasion. On last week's Topic A With Tina Brown on
CNBC, Brown, the former Talk magazine editor, asked comedian Al Franken,
former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke and Amanpour if 'we in the media,
as much as in the administration, drank the Kool-Aid when it came to the
war.' Said Amanpour: 'I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press
self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to
a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its
foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and
self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we
did.' Brown then asked Amanpour if there was any story during the war that
she couldn't report. 'It's not a question of couldn't do it, it's a
question of tone,' Amanpour said. 'It's a question of being rigorous. It's
really a question of really asking the questions. All of the entire body
politic in my view, whether it's the administration, the intelligence, the
journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about
weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation
at the highest levels.' Clarke called the disinformation charge
'categorically untrue' and added, 'In my experience, a little over two
years at the Pentagon, I never saw them (the media) holding back. I saw
them reporting the good, the bad and the in between.' Fox News spokeswoman
Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: 'Given the choice, it's better
to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda.'"
[USAT 0914]

KAY-OWED. "Britain and America have decided to delay indefinitely the
publication of a full report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction after
inspectors found no evidence that any such weapons exist. Efforts by the
Iraq Survey Group, an Anglo-American team of 1,400 scientists, military
and intelligence experts, to scour Iraq for the past four months to
uncover evidence of chemical or biological weapons have so far ended in
failure. It had been expected that a progress report would be published
tomorrow but MPs on Westminster's security and intelligence committee have
been told that even this has been delayed and no new date set. British
defence intelligence sources confirmed last week that the final report,
which is to be submitted by David Kay, the survey group's leader, to
George Tenet, head of the CIA, had been delayed and may not necessarily
even be published. In July Kay suggested on US television that he had seen
enough evidence to convince himself that Saddam Hussein had had a
programme to produce weapons of mass destruction. He expected to find
'strong' evidence of missile delivery systems and 'probably' evidence of
biological weapons. But last week British officials said they believed Kay
had been 'kite-flying' and that no hard evidence had been uncovered."

WHAT A 'LIBERAL' JUSTICE THINKS. "The United States could learn from
compromises Israeli courts have struck to balance terrorism and human
rights concerns, Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer said Friday.
Israeli judges have adopted what Breyer called 'intermediate solutions'
that acknowledge the security risks the country faces, the justice told an
audience at Columbia Law School ... He gave an example drawn from Israeli
courts of terror defendants who might try to use visits from lawyers to
communicate terror instructions from behind bars. The security risk might
make it impossible to allow such defendants to receive visits from any
lawyer they choose, Breyer said, but not impossible to ensure a defendant
has a lawyer nonetheless. Defendants could still choose lawyers from an
approved list, Breyer said ... Without mentioning the Sept. 11 terror
attacks, Breyer said the Israeli experience is especially relevant to U.S.
courts now." [GUARDIAN 0912]

LANDSLIDE. In a Washington Post poll done Sept. 10-13, 52 percent said
they approved of the President's handling of affairs in Iraq - a figure
down 23 points since the end of the war in April. [WP 0914]

ANTI-CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION. "Negotiations at the World Trade
Organization meeting in Cancun collapsed last Sunday when delegates of the
newly formed G-22 from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia walked out of the
meeting in protest. This powerful alliance of poor but populous farming
nations emerged as the major opposition to the U.S. and European positions
and argued strongly for deeper cuts in US/EU farm protection. The collapse
of the talks comes as a major blow to the WTO that many poor countries
called a victory against the West. Thousands of anti-corporate
globalization activists and academics rejoiced last night at the meeting's
breakdown. Developing countries blamed the U.S. and Europe for being
unwilling to cut the huge subsidies paid out to their farmers. There was
also concern that new proposals on foreign investment proposed by Europe
and Japan would make it easier for foreign multinationals to take control
of industries in the global south." [DN 0915]

L'ETAT C'EST MOI. "[SOS Powell went to Iraq, where] he pooh-poohed
France's suggestion that authority should be handed over to Iraqis within
a few months. When one member of the Iraqi Governing Coalition brought up
France's suggestion, the Times says Powell, referencing France's objection
to the war, explained, 'We were right, they were wrong, and I am here.'"
[NYT 0915

LIBERATION US-STYLE. "The LAT's Jeffrey Fleishman visits Baghdad's morgue
and looks at the numbers: Before the war, the city had an average of 20
deaths per month caused by guns. In June, it was 389 and in August 518.
Suspicious deaths went from 250 this time last year to 872 in August."
[SLATE 0916]

THE REAL ENEMY. "New intelligence assessments are warning that the United
States' most formidable foe in Iraq in the months ahead may be the
resentment of ordinary Iraqis increasingly hostile to the American
military occupation, Defense Department officials said Tuesday. That
picture, shared with American military commanders in Iraq, is very
different from the public view currently being presented by senior Bush
administration officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld,
who once again today listed only 'dead-enders, foreign terrorists and
criminal gangs' as opponents of the American occupation. The defense
officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were concerned
about retribution for straying from the official line. They said it was a
mistake for the administration to discount the role of ordinary Iraqis who
have little in common with the groups Mr. Rumsfeld cited, but whose anger
over the American presence appears to be kindling some sympathy for those
attacking American forces. Other United States government officials said
some of the concerns had been prompted by recent polling in Iraq by the
State Department's intelligence branch. The findings, which remain
classified, include significant levels of hostility to the American
presence. The officials said indications of that hostility extended well
beyond the Sunni heartland of Iraq, which has been the main setting for
attacks on American forces, to include the Shiite-dominated south, whose
citizens have been more supportive of the American military presence but
have also protested loudly about raids and other American actions. As
reasons for Iraqi hostility, the defense officials cited not just
disaffection over a lack of electricity and other essential services in
the months since the war, but cultural factors that magnify anger about
the foreign military presence. 'To a lot of Iraqis, we're no longer the
guys who threw out Saddam, but the ones who are busting down doors and
barging in on their wives and daughters,' one defense official said." [NYT

LET'S DO IT AGAIN. "A top Bush administration official, John Bolton,
testified Tuesday before Congress that Syria has an ambitious program to
develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. New York Times reporter
Judith Miller obtained a draft of Bolton's statements in which he also
suggests that Syria is partly responsible for the ongoing attacks of U.S.
troops in Iraq because, he claims, Syria has failed to stop militants from
entering and fighting in Iraq. Bolton says that Syria has 'a stockpile of
the nerve agent sarin that can be delivered by aircraft or ballistic
missiles, and has engaged in the research and development of more toxic
and persistent nerve agents such as VX.'" [DN 0916]

OH, ALL RIGHT, WE WON'T. "Coming under international criticism, the
Israeli government reversed itself Monday and claimed the government's
official policy on controlling Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat did not
include the option of assassinating him." [DN 0916]

BUT WE WON'T FORCE YOU. "The United States on Tuesday vetoed a United
Nations Security Council resolution that called on Israel to drop its
threat to harm or expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The U.S. was the
only Security Council member to oppose the resolution. Three countries
abstained from the vote." [DN 0917]

LIBERATION, US-STYLE (II). "The U.S. military is now holding 10,000
prisoners in Iraq including six people claiming to be US citizens and two
who say they are British. The number of prisoners is twice as high as
previously reported." [DN 0917] "A front-page NYT piece says the U.S. is
holding 4,400 'security detainees' in Iraq ... The Pentagon says the men
are suspected of attacking or planning to attack U.S. or other friendly
forces. As the Times suggests, 'security detainee' seems to be the new,
less baggage-laden label for 'enemy combatant.' One general explained that
by not designating the detainees POWs, the military has a bit more freedom
during interrogations. 'It's not that they don't have rights,' she said,
'they have fewer rights.'" [SLATE 0917]

TERRORISTS WITH WMDS. "The Senate by a 53-41 voted yesterday to rejected a
measure that would have put a ban on 'bunker buster' nuclear bombs.
Senator Ted Kennedy, who called for the ban, warned that the US is
starting a new nuclear arms race. Kennedy said 'At the very time when we
are urging other nations to halt their own nuclear weapons programs, the
administration is rushing forward to develop our own new nuclear
weapons.'" [DN 0917]

LAND OF THE FREE. "Federal agents in Connecticut are now arresting all
illegal immigrants as soon as they are issued orders of deportation,
marking a major policy shift. Until now most immigrants have been allowed
to remain free while they appeal their deportation order. The Department
of Homeland Security is testing a pilot program in Connecticut which is
scheduled to begin nationally on Sept. 30. The Department estimates there
are 400,000 cases where immigrants in the US have ignored deportation
orders." [DN 0917]

BAD PR. " is reporting that the Senate has slashed hundreds of
millions of dollars from the budget of DARPA or the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency. The Pentagon's office had come under great
criticism over the past year for proposing programs such as the Big
Brother-like Total Information Awareness. DARPA's Information Awareness
Office, which was until last month headed by John Poindexter, will face
the largest budget cuts." [DN 0917]

AS THEY SAID. "Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix believes that
Iraq destroyed most of its weapons of mass destruction 10 years ago, but
kept up the appearance that it had them to deter a military attack. In an
interview with an Australian radio station broadcast Wednesday, Blix said
it was unlikely that the U.S and British teams now searching for weapons
in Iraq would find more than some 'documents of interest.' 'I'm certainly
more and more to the conclusion that Iraq has, as they maintained,
destroyed all, almost, of what they had in the summer of 1991,' Blix told
Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio." [AP 0917]

SO BAD EVEN CAPITALISTS SAY SO. "Billionaire George Soros reportedly is
putting together a $10 million warchest to prevent U.S. President George
Bush from winning a second term. Soros, who in 1992 made $1 billion in a
single day through currency speculation that drove down the British pound,
along with a group of philanthropists and trade unions, is mounting a
campaign to unseat Bush for what he sees as the administration's misuse of
power, Canada's National Post reported. 'You passed the U.S.A. Patriot Act
without proper discussion,' Soros said in a recent interview with PBS.
'Anyone who opposed it was accused of giving aid and comfort to the
terrorists. I think we've gone off the rail in this country. Lawmakers
didn't even get a copy of the bill. They couldn't even read it before it
was passed.' The Hungarian-born Soros is estimated to be worth $5 billion
and has been involved in philanthropic activities -- largely in Eastern
Europe -- since 1979." [UPI 0917]

SO BAD EVEN SPOOKS SAY SO. "Former CIA analysts Ray McGovern and David
MacMichael accuse President Bush of waging the Iraq war based on a series
of lies, discuss the unprecedented pressure that VP Dick Cheney put on the
CIA before the invasion and call on CIA analysts and agents to come
forward with information that will reveal the lies of the Bush
administration." [DN 0917]

SO BAD EVEN BUSH SAYS SO. "President Bush distanced himself on Wednesday
from comments by Vice President Dick Cheney that left the impression he
saw a possible link between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
'We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11,' Bush
told reporters as he met members of Congress on energy legislation ...
Bush said Cheney was right about suspicions of an Iraq-al Qaeda link,
citing the case of Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, a leader of an Islamic
group in northern Iraq called Ansar al-Islam, believed to have links to al
Qaeda. The United States believes Zarqawi received medical treatment in
Baghdad and helped orchestrate the assassination of a U.S. diplomat in
Jordan. 'There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties,' Bush
said ... In recent speeches, he has called Iraq the 'central front' in the
war on terror, saying U.S. occupation forces face 'a foreign element' as
well as Saddam loyalists. But the U.S. authorities have yet to produce any
foreigners known to have participated in any recent military operation ...
Bush said, 'The key is to make sure that the political situation in Iraq
evolves in a way that will lead to a free society.'" [REUTERS 0917]

HOW TO BUY OFF THE US. "South Korea is leaning toward sending 10,000
troops to Iraq, many of them special forces. In return, says the LAT, the
White House has agreed to mellow its stance toward North Korea and be open
to negotiations. [SLATE 0917]

HOW TO HOLD THE US OFF. "The Guardian of London is reporting that Saudi
Arabia is considering acquiring nuclear weapons to counter the possible
nuclear threat from Israel and Iran. Meanwhile, Arab countries yesterday
urged the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy
Authority, to force Israel to less inspector assess its nuclear program as
it is doing with Iran." [DN 0918]

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. Angry protests mounted this week among families of
Army National Guard and Reserve troops as the full impact of a new policy
requiring those forces to serve year-long tours in Iraq began to hit home
across the country ... in Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson (D) said after meeting
with angry National Guard families in Orlando and Tampa that he would put
a hold on the nomination of James G. Roche to become Army secretary if the
policy is not modified. "You can't rely on these occupations in the future
to be done by the Guard and Reserves," Nelson said Friday in an interview.
"They have a specialized niche, and in times of war, that's one thing. But
in times of long, lengthy occupations, you can't take them away from their
employers [and their families]. Otherwise, they're not going to reenlist."
[WP 0920]

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS (II). "American Family Voices will launch a television
advertisement asking the government to take care of America's troops and
families instead of taking care of Halliburton. The ad, which began
running Thursday in Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, Iowa, Missouri, and
Wisconsin notes the sweetheart deals Halliburton is receiving from the
U.S. government while budgets for education, healthcare and even veteran's
benefits are being slashed across the country ... American Family Voices
(AFV) is a 501(c)4 non-profit, issue advocacy organization created to
focus attention on the economic and family issues most important to the
quality of middle class working families' lives."

CAN OUR 'DEMOCRACY' EXPRESS THIS? "President Bush's approval rating on
handling Iraq has fallen to its lowest level ever, and his overall
approval rating is the lowest it has been since the 2001 terrorist
attacks, according to a CBS News poll. The poll also finds that a
declining number of Americans think the U.S. is in control of the
situation in Iraq, and only 22% think the Bush administration has a clear
plan for rebuilding ... most do not think the United States will be any
safer from terrorism even if Iraq does become a stable democracy. But many
Americans do believe the rebuilding process in Iraq will force tough
financial tradeoffs back at home - tradeoffs they would be unwilling to
make. In this poll, President Bush receives his lowest rating on his
handling of the situation in Iraq since CBS News began asking the question
in February. American opinion is now evenly divided ..., with 46%
approving and 47% disapproving. Bush's approval rating on Iraq has dropped
11 points since last month and 33 points since April, when he received his
highest rating." [CBS 0917]

SLOWLY IT TRIES. "President Bush's $87 billion request for Iraq is coming
under intense criticism from some Democratic legislators on capitol hill.
Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin issued the report showing how Bush is
spending more money per person in Iraq than in the United States in areas
such as hospitals and sewage improvements. Senator Joseph Biden of
Delaware introduced legislation that would reduce the size of the Bush tax
cut to the wealthiest 1% in order to pay for the $87 billion." [DN 0918]

Department reported that for the first time in history the annual federal
deficit had blown through the $400 billion mark and the White House
estimates the deficit could reach $535 billion in the next fiscal year."
[DN 0918]
LIBERATION, US-STYLE (III). "Agence France Presse is reporting that U.S.
soldiers shot dead a teenager and wounded four others when troops opened
fire at a wedding celebration in Fallujah. The shooting came on the same
day that a tape emerged purportedly from Saddam Hussein that called on
Iraqis to fight the occupation and for the U.S. to leave Iraq. Meanwhile,
the U.S. is stepping up plans to create a 40,000 strong new Iraqi Army to
relieve some of the pressure on U.S. Troops." [DN 0918] "As the number of
U.S. troops killed in Iraq approaches 300 ... London Independent reporter
Robert Fisk [reports] on the virtually unreported number of Iraqis killed
in feuds, looting, revenge killings and raids by U.S. Troops: 'What is
happening is an absolute slaughter every night of Iraqi people.'" [DN
0918] Fisk attributes 40% of the killings to US soldiers at
"check-points," etc.

A CONSPIRACY SO VAST... US government "sets up massive watchlist of 'known
and suspected terrorists.' The watch list of over 100,000 names will be
widely accessible to law enforcement agents, border police, airport
workers as well as some private industries. It will contain the names of
both international and domestic 'suspects.'" [DN 0918]

CAN THEY BE STOPPED? "Amid growing concerns that hawks in the
administration of President George W. Bush may have misled the U.S. public
about the war in Iraq, a prominent U.S. arms-control group has called for
Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and his chief deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, to be
'summarily fired.' The Washington-based Council for a Livable World (CLW),
which has long charged that administration officials exaggerated the
threat posed by Iraq to the United States and its allies, said the
Pentagon's senior leadership had also failed to anticipate and plan
adequately for post-war Iraq and the problems faced by U.S. troops there
... Earlier this month, Rep. David Obey, the ranking member of the Foreign
Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, also
singled out Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz in a letter to Bush ... Earlier this
week, Rep. John Murtha, the hawkish ranking member of the powerful
Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, and a decorated Vietnam veteran who
strongly supported the war, also called for high-level resignations in
light of what he called both the misrepresentations by the administration
that led to the war and the situation in its aftermath. Murtha said he
accepted blame for believing what the administration told him before the
war. 'I am part of it. I admit the mistake.' 'Some bureaucrat in
Washington has to start paying the price,' Murtha said. 'We cannot allow
these bureaucrats to get off when these young people are paying such a
price.'" [ONEWORLD.NET 0918]

BLAME FRANCE. Thomas Friedman: "If you add up how France behaved in the
run-up to the Iraq war (making it impossible for the Security Council to
put a real ultimatum to Saddam Hussein that might have avoided a war), and
if you look at how France behaved during the war (when its foreign
minister, Dominique de Villepin, refused to answer the question of whether
he wanted Saddam or America to win in Iraq), and if you watch how France
is behaving today (demanding some kind of loopy symbolic transfer of Iraqi
sovereignty to some kind of hastily thrown together Iraqi provisional
government, with the rest of Iraq's transition to democracy to be overseen
more by a divided U.N. than by America), then there is only one conclusion
one can draw: France wants America to fail in Iraq. France wants America
to sink in a quagmire there in the crazy hope that a weakened U.S. will
pave the way for France to assume its 'rightful' place as America's equal,
if not superior, in shaping world affairs." [NYT 0918]

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. "The cyber-anti-war group MoveOn launched a new
website and email service at that will track
controversial statements by Bush in the run-up to the 2004 elections. In a
full-page ad that appeared in the New York Times, the group, which claims
almost two million members who contributed some $6.5 million dollars in
campaign funding during a drive earlier this year, said, said, 'The
President says things that are misleading or just plain wrong every day,
but most of these statements are never challenged.'" [ONEWORLD.NET 0918]

PART OF HORSE ON A WHITE HORSE? "General Wesley Clark -- the former
Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and the man who led the 78-day bombing of
Yugoslavia in 1999 -- announced his candidacy for president Wednesday,
bringing to 10 the number of Democratic candidates. Clark is the first
four-star general in history to run for President as a Democrat. [DN 0918]
On Wednesday the WP and LAT front retired four-star general Wesley Clark's
decision go for the White House and hop into the Democratic primaries.
He's going to make it official today. A front-page WP profile paints Clark
as brilliant, ambitious, and (according to anonymous military snipers) a
jerk." [SLATE 0917] "Gen. Wesley K. Clark said Thursday that he would have
supported the Congressional resolution that authorized the United States
to invade Iraq, even as he presented himself as one of the sharpest
critics of the war effort in the Democratic presidential race. General
Clark also said in an interview that he would probably oppose President
Bush's request for $87 billion to finance the recovery effort in Iraq,
though he said he could see circumstances in which he might support
sending even more money into the country." [NYT 0919] "Democratic
presidential candidate Wesley Clark backtracked from a day-old statement
that he probably would have voted for the congressional resolution
authorizing the use of force in Iraq, saying Friday he 'would never have
voted for this war.' The retired Army general, an opponent of the
conflict, surprised supporters when he indicated in an interview with
reporters Thursday that he likely would have supported the resolution. On
Friday, Clark sought to clarify his comments in an interview with The
Associated Press. 'Let's make one thing real clear, I would never have
voted for this war,' Clark said before a speech at the University of Iowa.
'I've gotten a very consistent record on this. There was no imminent
threat. This was not a case of pre-emptive war. I would have voted for the
right kind of leverage to get a diplomatic solution, an international
solution to the challenge of Saddam Hussein.' [AP 0919]

KILLINGS. On Thursday "guerrillas killed three American soldiers near
Tikrit with small-arms fire. Two others were wounded. Two additional U.S.
soldiers were hurt when remote-controlled bombs blew up as their convoy
traveled a highway in Khaldiya ... The NYT reports that Israeli troops
killed a Hamas militant in the largest raid into the Gaza Strip since
June. In Gaza City, Palestinian security forces also fought Hamas gunmen
after Hamas captured a Palestinian security official, the Palestinian
interior ministry said." [SLATE 0919] At least eight Afghan nomads,
including women and children, were killed in a U.S. air strike in
Afghanistan that also killed two Taliban guerrillas, Afghan officials said
on Saturday. [REUTERS 0920]

DANGER. "The International Monetary Fund Thursday warned that the colossal
United States trade deficit was a noose around the neck of the economy,
emphasising that the once mighty dollar could collapse at any moment.
Arguing that the world's big economies were already too dependent on the
willingness of American consumers to live beyond their means, the IMF said
the US could not continue to run a current account deficit of 5% of GDP.
The IMF's chief economist Kenneth Rogoff said that it was just a matter of
time before the gap closed, tipping the dollar into a potentially steep
fall." [GUARDIAN 0919]

WHO PROFITS? "The world economy is poised for growth this year and in 2004
as the U.S. economy gains pace, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said
Thursday. But critics of the financial powerhouse say in a new
'alternative outlook', that the global economy -- as structured by
politicians and bankers in the North -- is actually fueled by 'sucking'
wealth from poor countries and re-channeling it to an elite in the richest
nations, particularly the United States. Global gross domestic product
(GDP) will grow at 3.2 percent in 2003, rising to 4.1 percent next year,
the IMF said in its twice-yearly high profile World Economic Outlook
(WEO), which gauges the health of the world economy from the perspective
of the nations that dominate the Fund's executive board ... The recovery
will be powered by reduced 'geopolitical uncertainties' after the end of
the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent decline in oil prices --
which is expected to spark economic activity -- the Outlook predicted ...
The Fund and its sister institution, the World Bank, are holding their
annual meetings in [the Arab city-state of Dubai] this weekend ... the
recovery would be concentrated in the United States and Asia-Pacific ...
But as the Fund was releasing its report, economists and activists from
the so-called global justice movement that opposes the corporate-led drive
towards globalization issued their first 'Real World Economic Outlook'
(RWEO). Published by Jubilee Research at the London-based New Economics
Foundation, the report -- released in London and New York -- seeks to
present an alternative view to the one offered by the Fund and other
custodians of the global economic system. 'Despite much rigging of
statistics, the "trickle down" effect has not been proven. Instead, as the
World Bank's own data illustrates, poor countries are lenders to the rich
-- unwittingly financing opulent living standards in the U.S. and
elsewhere,' said RWEO Editor Ann Pettifor, in a press release from Dubai
... According to the report, this vacuum effect of the global economy is
achieved largely by an international financial structure skewed to benefit
the rich. The dollar-dominated global financial system means that poor and
rich countries alike are obliged to continue financing the U.S. deficit,
through the purchase of U.S. 'IOUs' (treasury bills). In the absence of a
global key currency standard, those treasury bills now play the part that
gold once held in the global economy, the RWEO says. Poor nations 'are, in
effect, making very low interest rate loans to the United States, while at
the same time borrowing from abroad (including from the United States, the
World Bank, and the IMF) at very high rates of interest.' In addition,
capital totaling 97.8 billion dollars departs poor countries for banks in
Switzerland, Britain and, especially, the United States every year in the
form of foreign direct investment (FDI), it adds. Some of this money is
legal investments made by residents of developing countries, 'but much of
it is illegal capital that finds its way into the accounts of all too
willing banks in the North'. Remittances of multinational corporations
from profits they make in developing countries also impoverish poor
countries, according to the RWEO. It estimates those remittances equaled
55 billion dollars in 2001. The end result: increased transfer of
resources from poor countries, and the concentration of wealth in rich
ones. 'There is a net flow of 48 billion dollars every year from the
poorest people to the richest, easily outstripping annual aid grants of 32
billion dollars,' it concludes." [IPS 0919]

WHO PAYS? Goldman Sachs writes in its weekly economic commentary: "We
estimate that relocation of US production to overseas affiliates accounts
for 300,000-500,000 job losses over the past three years. This trend
historically has been confined to the factory sector, but cheap
telecommunications and huge potential savings will encourage offshoring of
service functions to grow rapidly. Even so, international relocation is
quite small compared to the size of the US economy-worth about 0.1% of
employment per year.  It is one factor behind the current 'jobless
recovery,' but hardly the only one." [LBO-TALK 0919]

FRAUD. "The case for going to war against Iraq was a fraud 'made up in
Texas' to give Republicans a political boost, Sen. Edward Kennedy said
Thursday.  In an interview with The Associated Press, Kennedy also said
the Bush administration has failed to account for nearly half of the $4
billion the war is costing each month. He said he believes much of the
unaccounted-for money is being used to bribe foreign leaders to send in
troops ... The Massachusetts Democrat also expressed doubts about how
serious a threat Saddam Hussein posed to the United States in its battle
against terrorism. He said administration officials relied on 'distortion,
misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence' to justify their case for
war. 'There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced
in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place
and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud,'
Kennedy said." [AP 0919]
ONGOING FRAUD. From a review of a recent book on the US coup against Iran,
50 years ago: "In many ways America's obsession with terrorism since
September 11 is an echo of its obsession with communism fifty years ago.
Today the United States and Britain claim they must occupy Iraq because of
the threat of terrorism. Officially, both say they want to get out as soon
as possible; but ideologues in the Pentagon dream of Iraq advancing
America's interests, and Israel's too, in the Persian Gulf as the Shah
once did. Talk of a new American imperialism is becoming fashionable among
conservative academics, some of them in power." [NYRB 0925]

HAVING IT BOTH WAYS. "A Washington Post editorial defends the Patriot Act
provision allowing the government to examine library records, then rips
into Attorney General John Ashcroft for jeering at the law's critics. This
week, the editors remind us, Ashcroft unexpectedly declassified records
revealing that the Justice Department has never actually used the library
provision. He then announced that 'the charges of the hysterics are
revealed for what they are: castles in the air,' and concluded that only
those who 'enjoy swapping recipes for chemical weapons from [their] Joy of
Jihad cookbook' need fear the law. 'The first question,' the Post notes,
'is why this fact was ever classified if its disclosure would not harm
national security. ^Ĺ The attorney general ought to manage to debate
important policy without selectively declassifying to serve his own
interests and then throwing a temper tantrum at the controversy that
results.'" [SLATE 0920]

A LOCAL VOICE. Tim Predmore, a 36-year-old member of the 101st Airborne
Division in Iraq, wrote the following in his home newspaper, the Peoria
Journal Star: "For the last six months I have participated in what I
believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom ... Was this
invasion because of weapons of mass destruction, as we so often have
heard? If so, where are they? Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his
regime because they were closely associated with Osama bin Laden? If so,
where is the proof? ... This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free
an oppressed people or to rid the world of a demonic dictator relentless
in his pursuit of conquest and domination but a crusade to control another
nation's natural resource. At least to me, oil seems to be the reason for
our presence. There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying.
There are 10 to 14 attacks on our servicemen and -women daily in Iraq, and
it would appear that there is no end in sight. I once believed that I
served for a cause: 'to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United
States.' Now I no longer believe that; I have lost my conviction, as well
as my determination. I can no longer justify my service for what I believe
to be half-truths and bold lies ... How many more must die? How many more
tears must be shed before Americans awake and demand the return of the men
and women whose job it is to protect them rather than their leader's
interest?" [LAT 0917]

VOICES NATIONWIDE.. "Bush's recent prime-time address on Iraq seems to
have crystallized doubts about his postwar plans and fueled worries about
the cost. A parade of polls taken since the Sept. 7 speech has found
notable erosion in public approval for Bush's handling of Iraq, with a
minority of Americans supporting the $87 billion budget for reconstruction
and the war on terrorism that he unveiled." [WP 0920]

VS. MILITARISM. "A nationwide group of law professors, law schools, and
students filed suit yesterday against the US Department of Defense and
other government agencies, charging them with violating the First
Amendment by forcing law schools to allow military recruiters on campus.
The suit, led by Kent Greenfield, a Boston college law professor, marks
the first widespread effort to challenge the Defense Department, which
last year began threatening to yank virtually all federal funds from
colleges whose law schools continued to bar military recruiters from
on-campus job interviews." [BG 0920]

MURDERS BASED ON A LIE. "On March 18th, George W. Bush wrote to the
Speaker of the House (Hastert) and the President of the Senate (Cheney)
invoking the powers granted him by Public Law 107-243. Initiating the
invasion of Iraq, he wrote: "...I determine that:... [Declaring war on
Iraq and] acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is
consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take
the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist
organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who
planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that
occurred on September 11, 2001." Thus the invasion of Iraq and seizure of
its oil fields, was, according to George W. Bush, legally justified by
9/11. But now he says there's no connection between Iraq and 9/11. Which
will inevitably raise the question for many in Congress: Did George Bush
deceive them and the nation in October of 2002 and March of 2003, and, in
response to a reporter's question, inadvertently blurt out an admission of
that deception on September 16, 2003?" [CD 0919]

AND EVEN THE PRESS NOTICES. An editorial in the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer: "Were we misled on the very justifications for war? If
so, the administration should face a stern reckoning, as will those in
Congress who had the power to question -- if not stop -- the rush to war.
We may yet recognize the wisdom of those who stood against the tide [like]
West Virginia's Sen. Robert Byrd..." [SPI 0919]

A PROFITABLE LIE. "On 'Meet the Press' last Sunday, Vice President Dick
Cheney said, 'Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice
president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my
financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any
kind and haven't had now, for over three years.' That is the latest White
House lie. Within 48 hours, Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New
Jersey pointed reporters toward Cheney's public financial disclosure
sheets filed with the US Office of Government Ethics. The sheets show that
in 2002, Cheney received $162,392 in deferred salary from Halliburton, the
oil and military contracting company he ran before running for vice
president. In 2001, Cheney received $205,298 in deferred salary from
Halliburton. The 2001 salary was more than Cheney's vice presidential
salary of $198,600. Cheney also is still holding 433,333 stock options.
Flushed into the open, Cheney spokeswoman Catherine Martin said the vice
president will continue to receive about $150,000 a year from Halliburton
in 2003, 2004, and 2005 ... Halliburton ... is by far the largest
beneficiary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. With no-bid,
no-ceiling contracts, the company has already amassed $2 billion in work.
It is doing everything from restoring oil facilities to providing toilets
for troops. A year ago Halliburton was staring at nearly a half-billion
dollars in losses. In the second quarter of 2003 it posted a profit of $26
million." [BG 0919]

The long-time AP reporter, Walter Mears, on fair and balanced
"The average between a lie and the truth is still a lie."

SOME MORE LIES. "At an November 7, 2002, press conference, Bush said that
Saddam Hussein was 'a threat because he is dealing with al Qaeda' ...
former deputy CIA chief Richard Kerr, who has been reviewing the prewar
intelligence, has said that US intelligence did not establish a direct
operational link between Hussein and al Qaeda.
"On February 7, Bush said Iraq was 'harboring a terrorist network,
headed by a senior al Qaeda terrorist planner.' But his own CIA director,
George Tenet, while testifying before Congress, reported that the
terrorist and network Bush had in mind were 'independent' of al Qaeda.
"During his State of the Union Speech last January -- when he made
his now-infamous remark about Iraq shopping for uranium in Niger -- Bush
said that the International Atomic Energy Agency 'confirmed in the 1990s
that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program.'
He neglected to note that the IAEA reported that it had dismantled this
program ...
"In his speech at the UN a year ago, he cited the findings of UN
inspectors in asserting that Iraq had 'a massive stockpile of biological
weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing
millions.' But the UN inspectors had not said such a stockpile existed.
"In a speech two days before he invaded Iraq, Bush said,
'Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that
the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal
weapons ever devised.'
--David Corn, Alternet.