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ISSUE: #. 63. Dec. 9, 2002










By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom and Subuhi Jiwani

1. West Bank Repression Continues
2. First Permanent Checkpoint for West Bank
3. Gaza Violence: Practice for Full Scale Invasion?
4. Israel Seizing More of Gaza Strip
5. Israel Destroys Warehouse With Food for Gaza's Needy
6. Netanyahu: Iraq War "An Opportunity For Us"
7. Hamas, Fatah on "Brink of Civil War"
8. Al-Qaeda Claims Kenya Attacks
9. Al-Qaeda Promises Attacks on Israel
10. Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack Israelis and Jews in Prague?
11. Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack Israeli Soccer Team?
12. Al-Qaeda in Palestine: Israeli Shadow Play?
13. Israeli Commentator Skeptical of al-Qaeda Threat
14. US Denies Israel Nabbed al-Qaeda Money Man
15. Refuseniks Get Forced Labor
16. German Neo-Nazis Exploit Palestine Solidarity Movement
17. Barghouti Calls for Regime Change
18. IDF Troops Issued Palestinian-Made Underwear?

1. Israel-Lebanon Water War on Hold--for Now
2. Blast Destroys Mosque in Armenian Village
3. Iraqi Dissident Found Dead Near Tyre
4. Israel and Hezbollah in Tit-For-Tat Attacks ?
5. Al-Qaeda in Lebanon?
6. Iran Tries to Defuse Levantine Powder Keg
7. Hezbollah Calls for World-Wide Attacks
8. Jane's Sez: Iraq Attack Could Mean War for Lebanon
9. Hezbollah Expects Israeli Attack
10. Hezbollah Sleepers in Israel to be Activated?
11. Author: Hezbollah Could Hit U.S.
12. Hezbollah TV: Terror Goes Better with Coke!

1. US Bombs Oil Facilities
2. Controversy Around Iraq's Weapons Dossier
3. Shi'ite Opposition: Saddam Has Secret Weapons
4. Saddam Protecting Secret Nuclear Backers in the West?
5. White House Advisor: Iraq Attack On, Inspections or Not
6. Iraq Faces Depleted Uranium Nightmare
7. Iraqi Defector Arrested on War Crimes Charges
8. Al-Qaeda Rocks Kurdistan
9. Human Shields Volunteer for Iraq
10. Sanctions-Busters Pledge to Resist US Fines
11. Canadians Protest War Drive
12. "Live From Baghdad": Historical Revisionism

1. RAWA Protests Warlord Rule
2. Aid Agencies Protest US Military Meddling

1. New Imperialist Carve-Up of Middle East Planned
2. Ecologists Protest Kazakh Oil Development
3. Ecologists Protest Trans-Caucasus Pipeline
4. Siberian Gas Industry: Decrepit and Deadly
5. Tibetan Lamas Face Execution

1. India and Iraq: Camaraderie in Oil
2. New York Activists Remember Babri Mosque Destruction
3. Activists Tell Corporations: "Stop Funding Hate" in India
4. Maoist Rebels Rock Southern India
5. Diego Garcia Islanders Battle to Return

1. Israeli Link to Colombian Paras
2. Colombian Guerilla Guns: Made in USA
3. FARC Slams Terror War
4. New Struggle for Venezuela's Oil
5. Populist Colonel Wins in Ecuador
6. Bolivian Death Squads Back in Action

1. Contragate Criminals Back On Top

1. Ottawa-DC Sniping Slows Military Integration
2. Canada: Terrorist Haven?
3. Canada Coddling Hezbollah?
4. Canada to Tighten Refugee Policy
5. Canadians Protest Border Militarization
6. Border Incident Leaves Locals Bitter
7. Jewish Group in Montreal Campus Controversy
8. Alberta Indians Resist NATO

1. 3rd Circuit Upholds Secret Hearings--Again
2. Class Action Suit Filed for Somalis

1. Offshore Wind Turbines Power Europe


On Dec. 3, Israel's chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon said the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) "must continue to operate offensively in the battle against the Palestinians as an effective contribution to the war on terrorism." (BBC Monitoring, Voice of Israel, Dec. 3) And so, two Palestinians were shot in the feet and another was badly beaten by Israeli forces at the Awarta checkpoint near Nablus on Dec. 3. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine, Dec. 3) The Jerusalem Post reported Dec. 4 that "IDF forces identified a suspicious terrorist in Nablus." Troops shot and wounded him. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 4) On Dec. 5, Israeli troops occupying Nablus shot and critically wounded a 15-year-old Palestinian youth after he pointed a toy gun, Palestinians said. The IDF said it fired at armed Palestinians. (AP, Dec. 5) Israeli forces searching for members of Islamic Jihad in caves in the village of Tufah came under fire on Dec. 5. The army returned fire, killing the two militants. (AP, Dec. 5) The Voice of Palestine claimed that Israeli special forces, dressed as Arabs, chased and then ran down a Palestinian man with their car in Jenin on Dec. 5. His condition was described as "clinically dead." (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine Dec. 5)

An Israeli special forces unit in civilian clothes wounded five Palestinians shopping for the Eid holiday in the old city of Nablus on Dec. 4. The shoppers were surprised when the unit opened indiscriminate fire, even though there were no confrontations taking place at the time. The same day in Tul Karm, Voice of Palestine reported "20 citizens received metal bullets and suffered toxic gas inhalation when the occupation forces stormed the city center. In the meantime, over a thousand citizens took to the city streets to protest the curfew and siege slapped on the city." (BBC Monitoring Source: Voice of Palestine, Dec. 5)

On Dec. 5, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a 95-year-old Palestinian woman in a taxi as it drove away from IDF troops in the Jelezun area, near Ramallah. The taxi did not pose an immediate threat, but was traveling on a road that had been declared a "security route" by the army, off limits to Palestinian travel. The IDF claimed a soldier fired at the tires, saying he was violating orders and used "bad judgment." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 5)

An Islamic Jihad militant, Abed al-Hady Zeyud, 21, was shot and killed in a failed arrest attempt in Silat al-Harithiya, a village six miles northwest of Jenin on Dec. 6. Five other Palestinians, mostly young stone-throwers, were injured. (AFP, Dec. 6)

An Israeli tank opened machine gun fire at Islam Jamaal, 17, in Tul Karm Dec. 6, seriously wounding him in the neck. Witnesses said Jamaal was walking through the eastern part of the city, and could not ascertain why he was fired upon. The IDF said he threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces. (AFP, Dec. 6)

A Palestinian new-born died at an Israeli checkpoint south of Jenin in the West Bank Dec. 7. Israeli forces held up the baby's mother, Munirah Izzat Kabahah, for several hours at the Jannat roadblock at Jenin's southern entrance. Last week the IDF issued "childbirth kits" to IDF doctors to help deal with babies being born while their mothers are held at checkpoints. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine, Dec. 7) (David Bloom) [top]

The IDF has set up a "permanent metal roadblock" in the city center of Nablus, the first of its kind in the West Bank. The checkpoint, set up on one of the city's main streets, opposite the Palestinian Authority administration building, will be used to check Palestinian traffic between Nablus and the surrounding refugee camps when the city is not actually under curfew. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Israel, Dec. 8) (David Bloom) [top]

Jane's Foreign Report, a publication of the respected British defense and intelligence industry analyst Jane's Information Group, says Israel is planning to use the cover of the expected US attack on Iraq to neutralize Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip. Jane's quotes Israeli military sources as saying Israel will take advantage of the moment to go into the Gaza Strip and "clear it on a house-to-house fighting basis" of the Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Palestinian security services (JFR, Nov. 21)

In the meantime, Israel is keeping lower intensity warfare constant in Gaza, with continued assassinations, demolitions, and incursions--and Palestinians continue to fight back. One of four mortar shells fired by Palestinians at Israeli targets near the Erez industrial zone in the Gaza Strip killed one Palestinian worker and wounded 12 others on Dec. 3. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 3) A Palestinian youth was injured when a tank opened fire on Palestinians in the crossing area in Rafah on Dec. 4. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Palestine, Dec. 4) A Palestinian infiltrating the Israeli kibbutz Nahal Oz near the fence with the Gaza Strip was shot and wounded on Dec. 4 (AP, Dec. 4). Rockets fired from Israeli helicopters killed Mustafa Sabah, purported member of the al-Aksa Martyr's Brigades, and wounded four others in a Dec. 4 assassination. The victims were inside a Palestinian Authority Preventive Security hut in Gaza City. The army said Sabah was responsible for three attacks on Israeli Merkava tanks, killing seven soldiers. (Ha'aretz, Dec. 4) That same day, two mortar shells were fired by Palestinian militants at Jewish settlements in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Erez checkpoint (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 4)

Israeli occupation forces stormed the al-Burayj refugee camp east of Gaza City on Dec. 6, killing ten. The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported an Israeli convoy including 30 tanks and several bulldozers, backed by Apache helicopter gunships, entered the camp before dawn, showering heavy fire and tank shells. The IDF blew up a house after planting explosives in it. Five family members were also wounded when a tank shell struck their house. Mosque loudspeakers called on camp inhabitants to defend their homes. Fierce gunbattles raged, and the IDF directed high-caliber machine gunfire at houses. (BBC Monitoring: Palestinian news agency Wafa, Dec. 6) According to Hamas, six of the dead were Hamas militants. (BBC Monitoring: Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades web site, Dec. 7) Two of the dead were Palestinians employed by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). (BBC, Dec. 5) Ha'aretz reported the IDF commander "spotted an ambush a few hundred meters away," as his troops were pulling out. He ordered a helicopter to a fire a missile at the Palestinians. A number of Palestinians were killed by the missile fire and 12 people--including two children--were injured. (Ha'aretz, Dec. 8)

Israeli forces backed by tanks and helicopters entered the al-Shaykh Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City on Dec. 5, and blew up the house of a Hamas militant. (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Israel, Dec. 5) Wafa reported Dec. 5: "The Israeli occupation forces at dawn today demolished a house south of Gaza City." It added that "the occupation forces, supported by tanks, advanced into the southern part of Gaza and asked citizens over loudspeakers to get out of their homes."(BBC Monitoring: Wafa, Dec. 5)

Israeli forces backed by helicopter gunships and "military reconnaissance planes" entered the al-Satr al-Gharbi area on the outskirts of Khan Yunis city Dec. 6 and "stormed and searched a large number of citizens' houses and assaulted a number of their owners." (BBC Monitoring: Palestinian news agency Wafa, Dec. 6)

Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian woman and wounded her three children in Tel Sultan refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip near the Jewish settlement of Rafiah Yam on Dec. 8. Another woman was also wounded in the attack. The IDF said it was a group armed Palestinians infiltrating the settlement and opened fire. But a Palestinian witness said Israeli troops simply opened fire on the refugee camp. "The woman and her family were walking in the middle of the street, and I saw her fall, and blood covering her body, and not far from her, the two children also fell." (AP, Dec. 8) (David Bloom) [top]

Speaking to the Jerusalem-based al-Quds newspaper, Brig-Gen. Usamah al-Ali, official in charge of Palestinian military liaison in the Gaza Strip, warned of an Israeli plan to demarcate new borders for the Gaza Strip, creating Israel-controlled enclaves around Jewish settlements--in effect annexing another part of the Strip: "Israel has recently seized Palestinian lands north of Gaza, constituting a 5.2 km-wide strip along the coastal line, with the aim of taking over a part of the joint Palestinian-Israeli gas field and preventing the PNA [Palestinian National Authority] from using the Palestinian part of the field," the general told the paper.

Al-Quds reports that "over the past two months, the Israeli forces have penetrated deeply into the northern part of the Gaza Strip and are currently building a wide road and barbed-wire fence next to it over the lands of citizens and the debris of their properties from the Salah al-Din road up to the sea to the west...thus increasing the coastal border by 2.5 to 3 km at the expense of the strip's coastline..." Gen. al-Ali said Israeli forces have given the owners of houses and lands in the northern Strip warning that their lands will be seized and annexed to the settlements of Nisanit, Dugit, and Eley Sinay for the purpose of building a fence 2 kilometers deep into the lands under Palestinian control. Al-Ali was disturbed that no one, especially the US, has taken notice of Israel's activity, or lodged a protest with the Israeli government. (BBC Monitoring: Al-Quds, Dec. 1) (David Bloom) [top]

On Dec. 1, six Israeli tanks surrounded a warehouse in Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip, filled with food aid belonging to the World Food Program (WFP), and destroyed it. The $271,000 worth of food destroyed along with the building was earmarked for 40,000 needy Palestinians. In a statement, the WFP said the warehouse was clearly marked. The WFP also urged "the Israeli government to observe humanitarian principles and compensate the agency for its loss." The IDF said it would look into the group's complaint. (AP, Dec. 9) (David Bloom) [top]

Speaking Dec. 3 at the Herzliya Conference on "Israel's National Strength and Security," Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated that the impending US assault on Iraq could provide "an opportunity for us," explaining that Israel could use the opportunity to replace the Palestinian Authority's leadership. (Ha'aretz, Nov. 9) This is not the first time Netanyahu has seen opportunity for Israel when the world is distracted by a crisis. In 1989, when tanks were crushing pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Sqaure, Netanyahu told students at Bar-Ilan University: "Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories." (Hotam, Nov. 24, 1989) Jordanian fears of a mass expulsion, or "transfer," of Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan during an invasion of Iraq have been partially allayed by the US, which assured the Jordanians that no such plan was in place. However, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has refused to make a formal public declaration against transfer. (Ha'aretz, Nov. 28) (See WW3 REPORT# 62) [top]

A Palestinian police officer and his son, supporters of Fatah, were killed in Dec. 4 clash between Hamas and Fatah activists over who would get to write graffitti on a particular wall. The fight started off with fists, escalated to gunfire, and finally, hand grenades--which killed the two Fatah militants. (AP, Dec. 5; Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5) After the incident, some 2,000 Fatah supporters, some armed, gathered in the streets. Some attacked the house of Hamas spokesman Ismail Abu Shanab, damaging windows and frightening his children. On Dec. 6, Fatah gunmen raided the homes of three other top Hamas officials, including that of spokesman Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Dozens of Hamas supporters, some armed with rifles or pistols, repelled the attacks. Apparently, there were no injuries. Shanab now has his house surrounded by 20 armed Hamas militants. Palestinian Authority officials warn that the two sides are "on the brink of a civil war," and is calling for calm. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 8) Also appealing for calm: al-Qaeda, now courting Hamas as an ally. "We call to the mujaheddin in the al-Nusseirat camp in the Gaza Strip to immediately stop the fighting between Hamas and the people of the Palestinian Authority," says al-Qaeda's Web site. (Washington Post, Dec. 6) (David Bloom) [top]

In a departure from the shadowy organization's usual modus operandi, al-Qaeda spokesman Suliman Abu Geith claimed in a tape message broadcast on al-Jazeera satellite TV that the group was responsible for the Nov. 29 attacks in Mombassa, Kenya. "I hereby confirm what has been issued by al-Qaeda political office regarding our responsibility for the Mombasa attacks in Kenya," said the statement. Noting that al-Qaeda usually does not issue such claims, Geith said it would do so "according to the relevant circumstances." The US regards the claim to be credible. (Ha'aretz, Dec. 8) (David Bloom) [top]

A Dec. 8 statement attributed to al-Qaeda spokesman Suliman Abu Geith on an al-Qaeda website promises further attacks on Israeli interests. "The Jewish-Crusader coalition will not be safe anywhere from the fighters' attacks," the statement said, using a term common among Islamic militants for US-Israeli alliance. "We will hit the most vital centers and we will strike against its strategic operations with all possible means." Geith promised al-Qaeda "will chase the enemy with terrifying weapons. We have to widen our fighting fronts and conduct more concentrated and faster [the enemy] feels unsafe and unstable on land, air and sea." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 8)

The web site,, announced the formation of a new al-Qaeda branch, the Islamic al-Qaeda Organization in Palestine, and said it will attempt to undermine any talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The talks, now suspended, have been aimed at arranging an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for an end to Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel. "Islamic al-Qaeda in Palestine joins its voice with the voices of the mujaheddin in Palestine in its resistance to the partial and submissive solutions, and will accept nothing but the full liberation of the Palestinian land," said the al-Qaeda site. The new Palestinian arm of al-Qaeda "will defeat the Zionist Jewish invaders [and] return them to the place...whence they came," the site said.

Bruce Hoffman, an analyst with the Rand corporation, says al-Qaeda's new focus on Israel stems from "terrorists looking for work." "Al-Qaeda...wants to appear relevant, to be a player in Middle Eastern politics," Hoffman said. (Washington Post, Dec. 6) (David Bloom) [top]

An Israeli intelligence source said Dec. 8 that Israel has information that al-Qaeda is planning to attack Jews and Israelis in Prague, a popular destination for Israeli tourists. "A specific warning was received recently about plans to attack Jews and Israelis in Prague," the security source said, without giving details. (Ha'aretz, Oct. 8) (David Bloom) [top]

Israel National soccer coach Avraham Grant on Dec. 4 confirmed a Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper account that a planned October al-Qaeda attack on Israel's national soccer team in Malta was foiled by last minute arrests. "I think a day before the game, they arrested a person connected to al-Qaeda," Grant said. "[At the time] we didn't understand that there was a specific warning. We did not realize they planned an attack." Yedioth Ahronoth reported that days before the game, Italian police dismantled an alleged al-Qaeda cell and arrested four Tunisians planning attacks on unspecified European targets. A fifth Tunisian cell member was arrested in Malta. A "security source in Rome" told Yedioth Ahronoth the Italian secret service was tipped off to the attack when it overheard a phone conversation in which one suspect said, "Everything is ready for the game. The ground is ready. We will win." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 4) (David Bloom)

As a result of the threat, Israel's qualifying matches for the Euro 2004 soccer tournament will be hosted in Britain. (AP, Dec. 4) The IFA, the governing body for Israeli soccer, issued a Dec. 5 statement contradicting Yedioth's story: "The publication of unconfirmed reports could cause great harm to Israeli soccer at the international level, damage which will be very difficult to put right in the future. We were surprised to discover the publication of the apparent plot to attack the national team. But at the same time, we are unaware of any proof that the story, which relies on foreign and Internet sources, is true. There has not been any confirmation form any [Israeli] security source." (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5) (David Bloom) [top]

Two days after Israel charged al-Qaeda militants were operation in Gaza and Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority announced it had uncovered an Israeli plot to justify the claim. "The Palestinian Authority arrested a group of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel, posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories," said a PA official, on condition of anonymity. He said the alleged collaborators were going to "discredit the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide reasons to carry out a new aggression in the Gaza Strip." (Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 8)

Gaza head of preventive security Rashid Abu Shbak told reporters at a press conference that Israeli agents, posing as agents of Osama bin Laden's terrorist group, recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. "Over the past nine months, we've been investigating eight cases in which Israeli intelligence posing as Al-Qaeda operatives recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," said Abu Shbak, referring to a series of e-mails and phone conversations. Shbak said three of the eight have been detained.

"Ridiculous," replied Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Gilad Millo to the Palestinian claim, calling it "some kind of propaganda campaign." He added that "the Palestinian territories have become a breeding ground for terrorism... There is no need for Israel to make up something like this because Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah are all the same as al-Qaida." He also said: "If... Sharon has made these allegations, he must be basing it on some evidence." (AFP, Dec. 7) (David Bloom) [top]

Ha'aretz political commentator Yoel Marcus voiced skepticism Dec. 6 about the flurry of al-Qaeda news: "Day in and day out, we hear what Saddam is going to do to us with chemical and biological warheads, and that 'we are prepared.' And now, because of one attack apparently originating with al-Qaeda, we are going to get a wave of warnings about al-Qaeda, even though we haven't the foggiest notion of who they are, where they are and what they are planning. The authorities are totally discombobulated and instead of offering a defensive shield, they are telling us to shield ourselves for our own protection." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 6) (David Bloom) [top]

Israel says it arrested and deported Dr. Khaled Nazem Diab, a US citizen it claims is connected to al-Qaeda. On Dec. 5, an Israeli police spokesman said Diab had been "arrested upon his arrival in Israel on suspicion of transferring funds to terrorist organizations in general, and those connected to al-Qaeda in particular."

The 34-year-old suspect is "known to have contacts with organizations and activists connected to Hamas," the hardline Palestinian Islamist group, spokesman Gil Kleiman said. However, a US State Department source disputed the account to AFP. "Nothing that we have indicates that he is tied to terrorist organizations nor have we received any indication from the Israeli government that he was discovered to have such ties," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Likewise, a US embassy source in Israel told the Jerusalem Post, "We know of no terrorist connection. From what we know, he was doing humanitarian medical work in the West Bank." Kleiman said Diab worked for charities in Qatar and is a former employee of the al-Najda charity which was shut down in the United States after the 9-11 attacks. The Israeli Government Press Office did not say whether Diyab's alleged ties to al-Qaeda had been substantiated.(AFP, Dec. 4; Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5) (David Bloom) [top]

Yonatan Ben Artzi and Uri Ya'acobi, two young men who both already served five consecutive prison terms for refusing to be drafted into the Israeli army, were sentenced for the sixth time Dec. 8, and received respectively 35 and 28 days in Military Prison-4. Ben Artzi will at the end of this period come close to half a year in prison. No community service has been allowed for these conscientious objectors; instead they face military prison with its short nights and its long days of forced labor. The two are both members of the draft resistance movement Shministim. They join the following "refuseniks," reservists serving prison terms for refusing to serve:

** First Sgt.(res) Kobi Gabai-Yorista, sentenced to 10 days for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories, December 3.

** Major Chen Alon(res.), sentenced to 21 days for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories, November 25.

** Staff Sgt. M.G. (res.),sentenced to 21 days for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories, November 25.

** Staff Sgt. Dror Lutzatti (res.), sentenced to 18 days for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories, December 3.

** First Sgt. Eshel Herzog (res.) sentenced to 28 days for refusing to take part in the Occupation, December 3

The two re-jailed this week have both been behind bars for more than 100 days already (Ben-Artzi 126, and Ya'acobi 106). The fact that there is no sign of them being allowed to see the army's "Incompatibility Commission"--the only way out of the vicious circle--indicates that a long-standing rule of thumb has been changed. For years, such repeated imprisonments of COs would never exceed 100 days.

( Refuser Solidarity Network, text taken from Gush Shalom, New Profile and Yesh Gvul action alerts)

The Yesh Gvul conscientious objector movement said Dec. 8 that since the beginning of the Intifada in September 2000, 180 soldiers have served time for refusal to serve. 146 of them were reserve soldiers, 16 were conscripted and 18 of them were pre-draft youths. The composers of the "refuseniks letter" in January 2000, who have formed an organization called the "Courage to Refuse," say they hope to position themselves "as a significant left-wing factor, one that will stand opposite the settlers." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 8)

Amnesty International has adopted the cases of Ben Artzi and Ya'acovi. Please visit the following URLs to read more about their situations and to take action:

(David Bloom) [top]

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is in a bind. An Israeli request for armored personnel carriers is being opposed by his coalition partners the Green party, who are concerned Israel may use the APC's in the occupied territories for offensive purposes. Schroeder, who was re-elected on an anti-war platform, may damage his dovish credentials if he approves the sale. Germany, with its Holocaust guilt, has been a close ally of Israel, and has just agreed to supply it with US-built patriot missiles. Israeli president Moshe Katsav, currently on a state visit to Germany, said he would be "very disappointed" should Germany not approve the APC sale. Fortunately for Israel, among those opposing the sale are German neo-Nazis, who marched in Berlin Dec. 9 to protest to Katsav's visit. Berlin police approved the route along the central Unter Den Linden avenue with the theme "Hands off Palestine--No German Weapons for Israel." Pro-Israel counter-demonstrations are planned. Germany says the march is not unlawful. Schroeder's government is currently trying to ban the National Democratic Party (NPD), the organizers of the march, a party it says is neo-Nazi. (Ha'aretz, Dec. 9) (David Bloom) [top]

Jailed Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti called Dec. 2 for change in the Palestinian Authority's leadership. Although he didn't mention Yasser Arafat by name, he wrote in answers to questions from AP, "It is the time for many of the Palestinian leaders and officials to leave their positions after failing in their roles and responsibilities in this decisive battle. This should be done in a democratic and legal way as soon as possible." Barghouti's loyalists are trying to prevent a long list of Arafat loyalists from being elected to the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC). Barghouti rejected calls from high-profile Palesinian officials recently to stop the armed uprising, calling it a mistake.(see WW3 REPORT #62) Barghouti supports the militarization of the Intifada. "Resistance is a holy right for the Palestinian people to face the Israeli occupation," Barghouti wrote. "Nobody should forget that the Palestinian people negotiated for 10 years and accepted difficult and humiliating agreements and in the end didn't get anything except authority over the people, and no authority over land or sovereignty." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 3) When Israel found out he had given the interview, it placed Barghouti in solitary confinement for five days. (AP, Dec. 4) [top]

Aviv Kolber, 37, was doing his reserve duty in Ramallah last March when he discovered his army-issued underwear was manufactured in the Palestinian West Bank town of Beit Jala. "On the one hand, they send us to fight our so-called enemies, and on the other, they buy clothes from them. It's just crazy," he said. (AP, Dec. 5) (David Bloom) [top]


After a much-hyped opening of Lebanon's new pumping station on the Wazzani River in October, the Jerusalem Report says the pumps have not yet begun to flow. Israeli officials believe the holdup derives not from a Lebanese fear of an Israeli military response to the siphoning off of water from the river--which feed's Israel's Lake Kinneret--but is due to technical difficulties. "To their embarrassment, they just can't get the pumps to work," said an Israeli source. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has made clear Israel would not tolerate unilateral Lebanese pumping from the Wazzani, and US-led efforts to broker a diplomatic solution to the dispute have not produced results. Israeli sources indicate no action would be taken immediately, in order not to interfere with the US-led effort to get rid of Saddam Hussein. The Jerusalem Report's source says after that situation is under control, "Israel will turn its attention to the pumping station in South Lebanon." (Jerusalem Report, Dec. 16) (see WW3 REPORT #58)

Lebanon says it needs the water for municipal systems in the southern border zone formerly occupied by Israel's military. Israel's demand that Lebanon instead exploit the Litani River, which does not flow into Israeli territory, are met with protestations that the river is too polluted. In June, the Litani River Authority director-general filed a lawsuit against 265 factories, hospitals and municipalities for polluting the Litani waters and Lake Qaraoun. Litani River Authority chief Nasser Nasrallah said the pollution in the river was very serious and threatened underground water sources, adding that all industries, hospitals, farms and gas stations "let their waste mix with sewage water, which goes into the river." Nasrallah said he filed a previous lawsuit against those responsible for the pollution of the Litani in July 2000, but that investigations in the case had not yet started. (Lebanon Daily Star, June 25)

The Litani Water Authority also raised the possibility that Israel is already benefiting from Lebanese underground water sources. As part of its National Water Plan in the 1950s, Israel drained the Huleh marshes in northern Galilee--which could have increased the flow of underground water from Lebanon into Israel. "If you take water from one place, it has to be filled...from somewhere else," said Kamal Awaida, a water resources engineer with the Litani Water Authority. (Daily Star, Sept. 14)

The controversy is especially ironic coming just as Israeli Infrastructure Minister Effie Eitam ordered a ban on new Palestinian wells in the West Bank. A member of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, Abdel Rahman Tamimi, said the decree prevented many in the occupied territories from irrigating fields and would deprive some villages of their only access to water. "If they apply this thing, that means most of the Palestinian farmers in the north of the West Bank and the Jordan valley will not be able to pump water for their fields. Some of those wells are also used for drinking," he said. "If it is allowed to go on, most of the land in the north will be under threat of desertification and then people will have to leave. That's what the Israelis want, of course." (UK Guardian, Oct. 23)

(Bill Weinberg and David Bloom)

See also WW3 REPORT #58 [top]

Two bombs, consisting of nine pounds of dynamite, reduced to rubble the abandoned 800-year old al-Nabi al-Aziz mosque and shrine in the Bekaa village of Majdal Anjar on Dec. 4. Majdal Anjar is home to 3,000 Armenians, who claimed that the buildings were built illegally on Armenian land--a claim rejected by Sunni Muslims. The blast was condemned by Armenian and Muslim politicians, as well as Muslim clerics, who all said the perpetrator's aim was to "instigate strife," and dismissed the possibility of Armenian involvement in the attack. "This criminal act is part of a scheme to plunge Lebanon anew into the long-forgotten nightmare of sectarian strife," said Sunni Muslim Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Kabbani. "But let all be certain that we shall not be caught in the trap." Sheikh Bilal Said Shaaban, secretary-general of the Sunni fundamentalist Tawheed movement, described the incident as "a gutless act committed by Israeli agents." Armenian MP George Kassardji called the bombing an "attack on national unity, coexistence and the ties of brotherhood among Lebanese." Armenians have been present in Lebanon for centuries, but only arrived in large numbers a century ago to escape Turkish persecution. They are mostly Christian, Armenia having been the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion in the third century CE. Majdal Anjar was established as an Armenian village in 1939, when the Turkish troops seized the cluster of ancestral Armenian villages known as Musa Dagh, now the Turkish province of Hatay on the Syrian-Turkish border. The area was part of the French Mandate, and the French moved the Armenians to the Anjar region. Majdal Anjar managed to elude the sectarian strife of the Lebanese civil war. Majdal Anjar, close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley, is mostly controlled by Syrian soldiers, and is the headquarters of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon. (Daily Star, Dec. 5; Naharnet, Dec. 8; Daily Star, Dec. 9;; (David Bloom) [top]

Iraqi intelligence is being blamed for the Dec. 4 hanging death in southern Lebanon of Waleed Ibrahim Abbas al-Mubah al-Mayahi, a Shi'ite Iraqi dissident. Mayahi was found with a rope around his neck in the apartment he shared in the village of Abbassiyeh, near Tyre, with other Iraqi dissidents. The apartment also doubled as an office for supporters of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sader al-Sadr, a leading Iraqi Shiite cleric murdered with his two sons in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf in 1999. Mayahi was also a member of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), and it is rumored he was about to travel to the US to train with Iraqi opposition forces. One of his roommates told AP that Iraqi intelligence agents have been active throughout the area, and that he and other Iraqi dissidents had received death threats. (Naharnet, Dec. 9; Daily Star, Dec. 5) (David Bloom) [top]

A Lebanese secret service agent, Ramzi Nahra, and his nephew Elie Issa were killed by a roadside bomb in the southern Lebanese village of Ibl As-Saqi on Dec. 6. Nahra and his nephew were traveling in a black Mercedes when the bomb, designed to look like a rock, went off. Nahra was a convicted drug dealer who had served time in Israeli prisons, and had ties to Hezbollah, which sent representatives to his funeral. The attack was similar to the methods used by Israel during its occupation of southern Lebanon that ended in May 2000, and Hezbollah blamed Israel for the hit. Speaking at Issa's funeral in the Bekaa Valley, a member of Hezbollah's bloc in parliament vowed to avenge Issa's death. "We shall cut off the terrorist, criminal hand that reached to this martyr, and to the martyr Ramzi, and cut off all Zionist terrorism," declared MP Ammar al-Moussawi said. "The arm of the resistance is long and the hour of revenge is coming." Nahra was declared Hezbollah's first Christian Martyr . (Reuters, Dec. 9; Naharnet, Dec. 9)

Nicholas Blandford in a Dec. 9 Daily Star article described why Israel would have assassinated Nahra: "The Israelis have characteristically remained silent on Nohra's demise. But they had good reason to want him dead. After all, Nohra captured and turned over to the Lebanese authorities the Israeli-trained assassin of Fouad Mughnieh, whose brother Imad was a Hizbullah security chief and is considered by the United States as second only to Osama bin Laden in the 'terrorism' business. Nohra also had been implicated in the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers from the Shebaa Farms in October 2000, a charge he always denied - albeit with a twinkle in his eye. Following the Israeli troop withdrawal in May 2000, Nohra's Israeli drug smuggling connections allegedly were exploited by Hizbullah to establish an impressive intelligence gathering network. His other brother, Kamil, was named in an Israeli court last month as the link between Hizbullah and a lieutenant colonel in the Israeli Army who was arrested and charged with heading a spy ring." (Daily Star, Dec. 9)(See also : Israeli Bedouin Soldier Charged With Spying For Hezbollah,)

The response came Dec. 8, when a roadside mine close the Israeli side of the border went off, injuring two Druze IDF soldiers. A previously unheard of group, "Ramzi Nahara Martyr Organization," took responsibility. Hezbollah denied any role. The IDF believes Hezbollah, or a Palestinian group operating in the area, planted the bomb. It was the first such cross-border bombing by remote-control since Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon ended. "Lebanon and Syria are equally responsible for such Hezbollah attacks, which cannot be staged without their advance approval nod," Major-General Benny Ganz told Israel Radio. "Lebanon has to choose between living in peace and living with extremist, fundamentalist, terrorist groups who live with different game rules." Labor chief Amram Mitzna has declared support for any military retaliation against the Hezbollah. "Should Hezbollah persist in such terrorist acts of violence, the Israeli army must hit without mercy at anything moving in south Lebanon," Mitzna said. "This is something that cannot go without severe punishment." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 8; Naharnet, Dec. 9) (David Bloom)

See also WW3 REPORT #58 [top]

The security establishment in Israel believes that al-Qaeda militants in Lebanon are directing Palestinian cells based in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told a news conference Dec. 5: ''The information says that a small number entered the Gaza Strip. We know they are in Lebanon in close cooperation with Hezbollah. We know they are in the region. There's no doubt that Israel is a target for an attack." The al-Qaeda operatives in Lebanon. are said to be refugees from the US assault on Afghanistan, now working with Hezbollah. Ha'aretz says Israeli military intelligence believes al-Qaeda operatives are still active in Afghanistan, and are actively trying to establish cells in the Occupied Territories. (MSNBC, Dec. 5; Ha'aretz, Dec. 9) Hezbollah dismissed Sharon's accusation. "We have confirmed many times and on more than one occasion that the al Qaeda organization is not present in Lebanon," Hezbollah spokesman Sheikh Hassan Izz al-Dine told Reuters. "There is no relationship between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda." Lebanese president Emile Lahoud likewise dismissed the claim, saying Hezbollah has no ties to al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda is not present in Lebanon. (MSNBC, Dec. 5)

However, an Oct. 11 AP story says Lebanon has charged 22 men said to be al-Qaeda operatives--from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey and the Palestinian territories--with planning to carry out attacks and forging travel documents. Three of the men are in custody. (AP, Oct. 11) When the men were arrested Sept. 28, Lebanese officials claimed the three were al-Qaeda agents. (AP, Oct. 22) Lebanon's Daily Star also ran the same information on Oct. 2, saying the men, two Lebanese and a Saudi, planned to set up an al-Qaeda camp in Lebanon.(Daily Star, Oct. 2) (See WW3 REPORT #58) (David Bloom) [top]

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi arrived in Beirut Dec. 9 for talks with Lebanon's top leaders on how to counter Israeli charges of al-Qaeda operatives in Lebanon as a pretext to attack Hezbollah and Syrian positions in Lebanon. "From ideological and philosophic standpoints, Hezbollah cannot possibly have ties with al-Qaeda and will never have such ties," Kharazi told reporters after a Dec. 8 meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Lebanese paper an-Nahar says "Kharazi's hurriedly arranged trip was evidence that Iran has taken Sharon's charges as a serious indication of a war in the make." (Naharnet, Dec. 9) (David Bloom) [top]

The leader of Hezbollah, Shiek Hassan Nasrallah, recently made two provocative speeches carried on Hezbollah's al-Manar TV. "Martyrdom operations--suicide bombings--should be exported outside Palestine," he said. "I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide. Don't be shy about it," he added. The second remark was: "By Allah, if they touch al-Aksa [mosque] we will act everywhere around the world." The sheik has made no direct comment on the Nov. 29 attacks in Mombasa, Kenya, claimed by a previously unknown group, the Army of Palestine. But some saw a link nonetheless. "The rapid statement, and the peculiarity of Lebanese fundamentalist terminology used in that statement, leads me to believe that this was the hand of Hezbollah," said Walid Phares, a professor of Middle Eastern studies and religious conflict at Florida Atlantic University. Phares claims Hezbollah has been holding bi-monthly meetings with the Palestinian groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Lebanon, and issuing joint press statements. Islamic Jihad and Hamas both deny any intention to carry out attacks outside of Palestine and Israel. Islamic Jihad spokesman Nafez Azaam said his group's "ideology and strategy is based on fighting the occupation and liberating the Palestinian lands. We have no interest in transferring the battle to any field outside Palestine." Hamas spokesman Ismail Abu Shanab also told AP his group had "no interest in engaging in battle with anyone else outside the land of Palestine." (Washington Times, Dec. 4) (David Bloom) [top]

Hezbollah is being pressed by Iran and Syria to lie low during a US-led attack on Iraq, Jane's Foreign Report said in a Nov. 21 article. But a Hezbollah source says the organization believes Israel will get the green light for an onslaught against Hezbollah as a reward for staying out of the Iraq conflict. The source also said Hezbollah believes US hawks would not hesitate in hitting Hezbollah if they decide the group is "interfering with the strategic goal of eliminating Saddam Hussein."

The Hezbollah source told Foreign Report: "The Israelis believe that we will not have more than two hours to hit them before their air force turns Lebanon into a parking lot and annihilates us. We are aware of their targets list, which also includes Lebanese civilians. They know we can hurt them badly but they still don't know where our arsenals are. They will go for blanket bombing instead. They figure that if they hit the civilian targets, Lebanese people will turn against Hezbollah. They may have a point, and that is why we are going to make it extremely expensive for them."

Jane's says Hezbollah has been studying the US campaign in Afghanistan, and that it knows Israel has plans to use saturation bombing to neutralize its thousands of Katyusha-type rockets aimed at northern Israel. For months, Hezbollah has been improving the natural caves of south Lebanon not only to shield their missiles, but to launch them from. It is terrain ideally suited to guerilla warfare, difficult to attack with helicopters. Said the Hezbollah source: "We will find a way to live through that. Naturally, a unilateral US action against Lebanon will give us the right to defend ourselves by attacking Israel..."

Jane's prediction: "The current calm and quiet in south Lebanon will continue. Hizbullah, out of domestic considerations and under Syrian-Iranian guidance, will not react to developments out of Lebanon although the rhetoric might indicate otherwise. The militant Shi'ites are digging in to survive a US and/or Israeli onslaught to hit back at Israel in a way that the Jewish state has never experienced, they say cryptically. Or as one Hizbullah military thinker in Beirut said: 'We are not dreamers. We know that Israel and US could bomb us into oblivion. But guess who is coming down with us?'" (Jane's Foreign Report, Nov. 21)

A source told Jane's "that Israel will take advantage of the war in Iraq to punish Hezbollah for all its crimes 'once and for all.'" Military sources tell Jane's that Israel will call the entire Israeli population in the north into shelters, and then launch devastating attacks against Hezbollah. It is possible that if Hezbollah responds with rocket fire into Israel, the Israelis will destroy power stations throughout Lebanon, especially Beirut, to force the central government to finally rein in the militant group. (Jane's Foreign Report, Nov. 27) (David Bloom) [top]

Hezbollah leader Sheik Nasrallah told a Hezbollah gathering in November he is expecting an Israeli attack. "I want to sound the alarm bell and say that we smell from these daily Israeli accusations [about Hezbollah possessing long-range missiles] preparations for an aggression on Lebanon and subsequently, on Syria to coincide with a possible and expected American aggression on Iraq," Nasrallah told the faithful during Iftar, a feast to break the Ramadan fast. Nasrallah warned Israel would face "dangerous strategic consequences" if it attacked Lebanon. "The Israeli enemy must understand that its war on Lebanon is more difficult and complicated than it can imagine," he said, drawing cheers from supporters. (AP, Nov. 26) (David Bloom) [top]

In a Dec. 5 article, Jane's Foreign Report cites indications Hezbollah is stepping up operations in support for the Palestinian Intifada--for its own purposes. In Israel, Jane's says there is growing concern Hezbollah will take advantage of US actions against Iraq to step up its activities, although European diplomats say the regimes in Damascus and Tehran will not allow major Hezbollah military operations along the Lebanon-Israel border. Jane's cites the arrest of an Israeli Bedouin spy-ring that cooperated with Lebanon. Jane's says a sleeper cell led by Hezbollah agent Fawzi Ayoub, currently in Israeli prison for planning glider attacks in Israel, may be activated. (see WW3 REPORT# 58) Ayoub's cell of seven agents, recruited for their ability to pass as Westerners, underwent a ten week training course in firearms, explosives, clandestine communications and stalking techniques at a Hezbollah camp at Janta in the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold. Jane's says the six who are unaccounted for "may well be 'sleepers' in Israel, or somewhere else, establishing new identities and waiting to be activated. The anticipated upheaval in the coming months might be the catalyst for their reactivation." (Jane's Foreign Report, Dec. 5) (David Bloom) [top]

In a Nov. 21 interview on CNN with anchorwoman Paula Zahn, author Jeffrey Goldberg, who recently wrote a two-part series on Hezbollah for the New Yorker, said Hezbollah has sleeper cells in the US that can become operational if ordered. He said the cells would be activated in response to an attack on Iran, should the US decide to change their regime after Iraq:

GOLDBERG: These guys were involved in cigarette smuggling. They would smuggle cigarettes out of North Carolina to Michigan, take the profits and use some of those profits to buy military equipment for Hezbollah and have it shipped back to Lebanon. The interesting question, and this is, American intelligence officials believe that this cell had operational capability, as well. In other words, it wasn't simply a fundraising cell, but that it could have, if receiving an order, say, from Lebanon or from Iran, which is the sponsor of Hezbollah, it could have gone operational and conducted a terrorist attack.

ZAHN: Of what kind? Car bombings? Truck bombings? What do we believe they are capable of pulling off?

GOLDBERG: Hezbollah is very good at, Hezbollah invented, essentially, the suicide bomb. So they're obviously capable of that. They're capable of acquiring explosives and detonating them. I don't think that they're capable of committing a terror attack the size of the World Trade Center, but of course, you know, I could be wrong about that. (CNN, Nov. 21) [top]

Until recently, several US corporations were advertising their products on Hezbollah's TV station, al-Manar--known for broadcasting programs encouraging Palestinian suicide attacks on Israel Pepsi, Coke, Proctor & Gamble, and Western Union all advertised on al-Manar, and Swiss-based Nestle is still advertising there. Coca-Cola spokesman Steve Leroy said his company had run a "handful" of ads on the station in recent months but wasn't now, "for business reasons." He would not promise the company wouldn't advertise with al-Manar again. Al-Manar is not on the US Treasury Department terrorism list, though Hezbollah itself is. Leroy said al-Manar was licensed by the Lebanese government and that Coke's business decisions are "based on the consumer groups we're trying to reach in Lebanon." (NY Daily News, Nov. 21) [top]


US and British planes attacked an oil installation in the southern Iraqi city of Basra Dec. 1, killing at least four people, local residents reported. Locals said the raid hit installations of the Southern Oil Company--which supervises Iraq's oil exports under an oil-for-food deal with the UN. (BBC, Dec. 1) [top]

Iraq's Gen. Amir al-Saadi, submitting details of the weapons declaration to the UN Dec. 7--one day before the deadline--in a 12,000-page document, challenged the US to provide evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. If they do, "they should come up [with the evidence] forthwith. The sooner they do it, the better for all concerned," he said at a Baghdad news conference. (BBC, Dec. 8)

Meanwhile chief weapons inspector Hans Blix sparked a firestorm at the UN by denying the US and Britain full access to Iraq's declaration. White House officials complained that they had been "blind-sided" by Blix's decision to provide only what one UN official called a "sanitized version" of the declaration to the 15 members of the Security Council. Blix, the head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic), said inspectors would vet the declaration before it is passed on, because of the risk that details of Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs could be used as a "cookbook" by other states or terrorists trying to build weapons. The US, while agreeing the complete document should be withheld from Security Council member Syria, insisted that the five permanent members--the US, UK, France, Russia and China--should have access to it. (UK Telegraph, Dec. 8) In a surprise decision late Dec. 8, the Security Council agreed to give all five permanent full access to the dossier. The other 10 council members, including Syria, will only see the declaration once it is translated, analyzed and censored of sensitive material including possible instructions on bomb-making. (AP, Dec. 9) [top]

"We have strong evidence proving that Saddam does have weapons of mass destruction and is hiding them from the UN arms inspectors," Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Teheran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, told AP. He said his group's information was new and came "from inside Iraq." He did not elaborate further, but said he was prepared to turn documentation over to the UN. (AP, Dec. 9) [top]

Wrote analyst Ze'ev Schiff in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz Dec. 8:

"Iraq's declaration of its activities in pursuit of nuclear arms sphere did not provide any details about the states and private companies that supplied its procurement program. For reasons that remain unclear, the United Nations Security Council failed to demand that Baghdad divulge such details. American researchers and experts in nuclear affairs who have been monitoring Iraq's nuclear efforts have concluded that 15 companies from various countries, including Germany, Switzerland and also the U.S., were involved in the transfer of know-how and equipment to Baghdad's nuclear program before the Persian Gulf War. Though this list has never been released, it can be assumed that it is known to the main national intelligence services around the world. It cannot be assumed that companies on this list were privy to Iraq's secret nuclear projects, but some of them certainly would have been in a position early on to draw conclusions about Iraq's suspicious behavior. The International Atomic Energy Agency, headed by Hans Blix - who now leads UN Security Council team of inspectors - cleared Iraq of any wrongdoing after an agency inspection found evidence of nuclear arms production during a visit to the country. After his appointment to his current Security Council team post, Blix noted that evidence compiled at the time of the Gulf War established that Iraq was about a year away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon. Saddam Hussein's progress in this area, Blix has added, would not have been detected by inspectors from the Atomic Energy Agency." [top]

Top White House advisor Richard Perle told British MPs last month that even a "clean bill of health" from UN weapons inspectors would not halt the US war drive on Iraq. Said Perle: "I cannot see how [weapons inspector] Hans Blix can state more than he can know. All he can know is the results of his own investigations. And that does not prove Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction... Suppose we are able to find someone who has been involved in the development of weapons and he says there are stores of nerve agents. But you cannot find them because they are so well hidden. Do you actually have to take possession of the nerve agents to convince? We are not dealing with a situation where you can expect co-operation." (UK Daily Mirror, Nov. 22)

Richard Perle is a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq , a Reagan-era nuclear hardliner and a noted chicken-hawk [top]

International experts are increasingly concerned about the impact of shells and missiles containing depleted uranium (DU) in Iraq. DU shell holes in the vehicles along the Highway of Death--where retreating Iraqi troops were bombed by the US during Operation Desert Storm--are 1,000 times more radioactive than background radiation, according to Geiger counter readings done for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Dr. Khajak Vartaanian, a nuclear medicine expert from the Iraq Department of Radiation Protection in Basra, and Col. Amal Kassim of the Iraqi navy. The desert around the vehicles was 100 times more radioactive than background radiation. Basra, a city of 1 million people, some 125 miles away, registered slightly above background radiation level. Up to 70% of a DU shell can burn up on impact, creating a firestorm of DU oxide particles. The residue of this firestorm is an extremely fine ceramic uranium dust that can be spread by the wind, inhaled and absorbed into the human body and absorbed by plants and animals, becoming part of the food chain. Once mixed in the soil, the munitions can create a hundredfold increase in uranium levels in ground water, according to the UN Environmental Program. At the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra, British-trained oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali has documented a surge in local birth defects since Desert Storm--from 11 per 100,000 births in 1989 to 116 per 100,000 births in 2001. Local cancer deaths have also soared in southern Iraq, from 34 in 1988, to 450 in 1998, to 603 in 2001. "The cause of all of these cancers and deformities remains theoretical because we can't confirm the presence of uranium in tissue or urine with the equipment we have," said Al-Ali. "And because of the sanctions, we can't get the equipment we need." In 1999, following the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia, a UN subcommission called for an initiative banning DU use worldwide. The initiative remains in committee, blocked primarily by the United States, according to Karen Parker, a lawyer with the International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project, which has consultative status at the UN. Parker contends that DU "violates the existing law and customs of war." In Ocober 2001, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) introduced a bill calling for "the suspension of the use, sale, development, production, testing, and export of depleted uranium munitions pending the outcome of certain studies of the health effects of such munitions. . . ." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Nov. 12) [top]

An exiled Iraqi general named as a possible replacement for Saddam Hussein was arrested on war crimes charges by Danish police, crushing hopes that he could lead a coup d'etat against the dictator. Gen. Nizar Khazraji, the former Iraqi Chief-of-Staff and the most senior officer to defect from Baghdad, faces charges of overseeing the chemical weapons attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988, instantly killing 5,000 civilians. Khazraji, seeking asylum in Denmark since defecting from Iraq, is accused of violations of the Geneva conventions. (London Times, Nov. 20) [top]

Dozens were killed in battles for two hilltop positions seized by the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam in northern Iraq. Village militiamen of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) recaptured the hilltops taken by Ansar guerrillas a day earlier, PUK commander Sheik Jaffer Mustafa said. In one village Dec. 4, funeral processions for PUK fighters mingled with the festivities of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim feast that marks the end of Ramadan. Ansar al-Islam is believed to be part of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. (AP, Dec. 6)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 53 and 52 [top]

Irene Vandas, a 32-year-old registered nurse, and Jennifer Ziemann, a 30-year-old home-care worker, both of Vancouver, are flying to Iraq to join friends Linda Morgan and Irene MacInnes, two Canadians who travelled to Iraq in mid-November. Sponsored by the anti-war organization Voices in the Wilderness, the four Canadians will be living with Iraqi civilians to serve as human shields in an effort to prevent a new military attack on Iraq. "I'm not too scared," Vandas told CBC News Online the day before she left. "I think it will be a powerful experience." Vandas and Ziemann have agreed to stay in Baghdad through the end of the year, working with two Canadian doctors, Amir Khadir and David Swann. Another group of Canadians will go to Iraq later this month, joining some 30-40 young protesters from the US and the UK. (CBC News Online, Dec. 5) [top]

Two peace activists from the Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness group are refusing to pay $30,000 in federal fines for traveling to Iraq to provide medicine in violation of US sanctions. "We don't believe it's a crime" to give medicine to needy people, said Voices in the Wilderness founder Kathy Kelly in a telephone interview from Baghdad. "Giving money to the US government is pretty repugnant to us right now." Kelly and her group were fined $20,000, and Dan Handelman, a longtime Portland peace activist associated with the group, was fined $10,000 in connection with their travels to Iraq. On Nov. 4, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, part of the Treasury Department, issued orders to Handelman, Kelly and the Voices group to pay the fines within 30 days. The fine against Handelman stems from a November 1997 trip he made to Iraq to distribute 500 pounds of medicine. Customs officials seized photographs and videotapes he made there, and he was later fined for travel-related expenses prohibited by the US sanctions . (The Oregonian, Dec. 5) [top]

Over 33,000 people across Canada braved wind, rain and snow to protest Canadian involvement in a war on Iraq. At least 30 cities and towns across the country participated in the weekend of peace activities, called by the Canadian Network to End Sanctions on Iraq and the Canadian Peace Alliance. (Alberta Independent Media Center, Nov. 20)

One bunch of smart-aleck Canadian peaceniks calling themselves Rooting Out Evil announced their intention to send an international team of volunteer weapons inspectors to the US. Said spokesperson Christy Ferguson: "Our action has been inspired by none other than George W. Bush. The Bush administration has repeatedly declared that the most dangerous rogue nations are those that: 1) have massive stockpiles of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; 2) ignore due process at the United Nations; 3) refuse to sign and honor international treaties; and 4) have come to power through illegitimate means. On the basis of President Bush's guidelines, it is clear that the current US administration poses a great threat to global security." Added colleague David Langille: "We're following Bush's lead and demanding that the U.S. grant our inspectors immediate and unfettered access to any site in the country--including all presidential compounds--so that we can identify the weapons of mass destruction in this rogue state." The Rooting Out Evil coalition includes Greenpeace Canada, the Centre for Social Justice, and the Toronto Committee Against War and Sanctions on Iraq. [top]

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) reports that the fraudulent story of Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators during the 1990 occupation of Kuwait is depicted as if it were true in "Live from Baghdad," the HBO film now premiering on the cable network that purports to tell the story behind CNN's coverage of Desert Storm. HBO and CNN are both owned by the AOL Time Warner media conglomerate. In the months before the 1991 Gulf War, media uncritically repeated the claim that Iraqi soldiers were removing Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The story was launched by the testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in October 1990. As repeated in the media by the first President Bush and others, it was embellished to involve over 300 Kuwaiti babies. What was not reported at the time was the fact that the public relations company Hill & Knowlton was partly behind the effort, and the girl who testified was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington. Subsequent investigations, including one by Amnesty International, found no evidence for the claims (ABC World News Tonight, March 15, 1991).

In the film, the story is turned upside down, portrayed as a deft public relations move by the Iraqi government, who grant CNN access to Kuwait in a calculated attempt to discredit the rumors that their soldiers were pulling babies from incubators. CNN reporters are ushered to a hospital in Kuwait, where a doctor, under obvious pressure from Iraqi soldiers, tells the reporters that no babies had been pulled from the incubators. The CNN team does not believe the obviously nervous doctor, and the Iraqi officials pick up on this, cutting the interview short. The scene ends with the doctor being led away by Iraqi officials. Later, the CNN crew listens to a BBC report suggesting that CNN had debunked the story of Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies--and the CNN reporters are upset that they've been used by the Iraqi officials. A review of the movie in the Indianapolis Star (Dec. 1) accepted this version of reality, noting that CNN "played into the Iraqis' hands on a couple of occasions, including an ill-fated trip to Kuwait where the Iraqis used the CNN crew to counter reports that their soldiers had been removing Kuwaiti babies from hospital incubators and leaving them on the floor to die."

"Live from Baghdad" is a dramatization, not a documentary, but it is being presented by HBO as a "behind-the-scenes true story" of the Gulf War. Protests FAIR: "HBO's version of history never makes clear that the incubator story was fraudulent, and in fact had been managed by an American PR firm, not Iraq." Even Robert Wiener, the former CNN producer who co-wrote "Live from Baghdad," told CNN's Wolf Blitzer (Nov. 21), "that story turned out to be false because those accusations were made by the daughter of the Kuwaiti minister of information and were never proven." (FAIR press release, Dec. 4) [top]


In a Nov. 23 statement, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), the dissident group exiled in Pakistan, accused Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai of appeasing the warlords who control most of the country, and responding to human rights abuses with minor bureaucratic reshuffling--replacing police and customs officials instead of the local strongmen they answer to. The statement, "Don't be Afraid Mr. Karzai! Target the Sharks Not the Fish!," appealed to the president to isolate the warlords and support a civil upsurge against their rule. It also accused the US and other Western powers of propping up terroristic warlords:

"Of course the foreign supporters of Mr. Karzai...had their hand in letting loose these criminals against our people. Wasn't it the US Secretary of Defense, Mr. Donald Rumsfeld who, after his meeting with warlord Ismail Khan, named him an 'appealing person, thoughtful, measured and self-confident' while the Human Rights Watch very simply named him an 'enemy of human rights in the west of Afghanistan' and stated that it was Iran and the US which placed him (Ismail Khan) in such a position."

"Mr. Karzai, you are completely wrong if you think by setting up a national army the situation will change. Everyone knows that right now warlords have placed their gunmen in the army and all high positions are in their hands. As long as these criminals are in power, foreign governments will also not heed our people's requests to provide funds for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Many NGOs can't provide effective help to people outside Kabul due to grave security threats and obstacles by warlords, who don't have any feelings towards the tragic situation of our people. The sun of democracy and freedom only will shine on the horizons of our ravaged and blood-soaked country if the shadow of fundamentalist hangmen is removed once and for all. Don't be afraid Mr. Karzai! ...The important thing is that you, rather than chasing fish while dressed to endear the sharks, must concentrate and insist on the struggle against these fundamentalists as resolutely as possible so that you can play a practical and real role in the rebuilding of our destroyed land and the securing of our national unity." [top]

The Agency Coordination Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR) says plans by the US military to shift its focus in Afghanistan from security to reconstruction could undermine existing aid efforts and create security risks. ACBAR, representing numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in Afghanistan, said: "Local populations on the ground often cannot or will not distinguish between soldiers and civilian aid workers engaged in humanitarian and reconstruction activities. NGOs support the overall goal of the military to bring a just peace to Afghanistan. We are concerned, however, that using military structures to provide assistance and reconstruction support will both prematurely deflect attention from Afghanistan's deteriorating security situation and will also engage the military in a range of activities for which others are best suited." US troops, operating in Afghanistan for over a year as part of a coalition force hunting down Taliban/al-Qaeda remnant forces, are now launching a pilot civil project in the restive southeastern city of Gardez. (AFP, Dec. 5) [top]


In an analysis for the LA Times, Sandy Tolan, an IF Stone Fellow at UC Berkeley, joins those who see an imperialist plot to redraw the boundaries of the Middle East behind the Iraq war drive:

"The plan is, in its way, as ambitious as the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement between the empires of Britain and France, which carved up the region at the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The neo-imperial vision, which can be ascertained from the writings of key administration figures and their covisionaries in influential conservative think tanks, includes not only regime change in Iraq but control of Iraqi oil, a possible end to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and newly compliant governments in Syria and Iran -- either by force or internal rebellion....

"After removing Saddam, US forces are planning for an open-ended occupation of Iraq, according to senior administration officials who spoke to The New York Times. The invasion, said Iraqi dissident Kanan Makiya, would be 'a historic opportunity that is as large as anything that has happened in the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.' Makiya spoke at an October 'Post-Saddam Iraq' conference attended by [White House advisor Richard] Perle and sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute."

Tolan sees seizing Iraq's vast oil reserves--the second largest in the world and worth nearly $3 trillion at current prices-- as "a huge strategic prize" against OPEC.

"Some analysts believe that additional production in Iraq could drive world prices down to as low as $10 a barrel and precipitate Iraq's departure from OPEC, possibly undermining the cartel. This, together with Russia's new willingness to become a major US oil supplier, could establish a long-sought counterweight to Saudi Arabia, still the biggest influence by far on global oil prices. It would be consistent with the plan released by Vice President Dick Cheney's team in June, which underscored 'energy security' as central to US foreign policy. 'The gulf will be a primary focus of US international energy policy,' the report states."

Tolan quotes one analyst who disagrees with his thesis--Patrick Clawson of the elite Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who told a conference: "It is fashionable among anti-American circles to assume that US foreign policy is driven by commercial considerations," while oil "has barely been on the administration's horizon in considering Iraq policy. US foreign policy is not driven by concern for promoting the interests of specific US firms." But the same Clawson told a Capitol Hill forum on a post-Saddam Iraq in 1999: "US oil companies would have an opportunity to make significant profits. We should not be embarrassed about the commercial advantages that would come from a reintegration of Iraq into the world economy. Iraq, post-Saddam, is highly likely to be interested in inviting international oil companies to invest in Iraq. This would be very useful for US oil companies, which are well positioned to compete there, and very useful for the world's energy-security situation."

Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi, the would-be "Iraqi Karzai," has made it clear he would give preference to a US-led oil consortium once installed in power--and suggests that previous deals with Russian and French firms could be voided. Top Iraqi exiles are to meet later this month with oil executives at an English country retreat to discuss the future of Iraq's petro-resources. The conference, sponsored by the Center for Global Energy Studies and chaired by former Saudi oil minister Sheik Zaki Yamani, will feature Maj. Gen. Wafiq Samarrai, the former head of Iraqi military intelligence, and former Iraqi Oil Minister Fadhil Chalabi, now executive director of the center.

But Tolan sees evidence that seizing Iraq will just be the beginning:

"'The War Won't End in Baghdad,' wrote the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Ledeen in The Wall Street Journal. In 1985, as a consultant to the National Security Council and Oliver North, Ledeen helped broker the illegal arms-for-hostages deal with Iran by setting up meetings between weapons dealers and Israel. In the current war, he argues, 'we must also topple terror states in Tehran and Damascus... If we come to Baghdad, Damascus and Tehran as liberators, we can expect overwhelming popular support.' Perle concurs on Iraq--'The Arab world will consider honor and dignity has been restored'--as well as Iran: 'It is the beginning of the end for the Iranian regime.' Now, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has joined the call against Tehran, arguing in a November interview with The Times of London that the United States should shift its focus to Iran 'the day after' the Iraq war ends."

And despite the talk of US occupation forces being welcomed as liberators, the war planners seem ready to accept a regional explosion in the Middle East. "One can only hope that we turn the region into a caldron, and faster, please," Ledeen wrote for National Review Online last August. "That's our mission in the war against terror."

These perspectives were echoed in a Dec. 5 commentary by Ed Blanche in Lebanon's Daily Star:

"As George W. Bush gears up for war against Iraq, to liberate it from Saddam Hussein's grotesque regime, the Middle East faces a crisis of immense proportions, one in which the 50-year conflict with Israel pales into virtual insignificance. Few in the Arab world or Iran have any love for Saddam and most grieve for Iraq's long-suffering people. But across the Middle East, the 'Bush Doctrine,' unveiled in September, is viewed as a blueprint for catastrophe that the region's leaders fear is aimed at bringing about wide-scale 'regime change' not only in Iraq, but in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Palestine as well. This, say critics of Bush and the powerful coterie of hard-line, pro-Israel neo-conservatives who are defining US policy these days, will intensify the anti-American hostility that is swelling across the region and play right into the hands of Osama bin Laden and Islamic militants whose tentacles, more than a year after Sept. 11, are reaching out the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe."

But the Star did see one glimmer of hope: "Ironically, even some US military commanders, notably General Anthony Zinni, former head of the US Central Command, which covers the Middle East, are questioning the wisdom of this new strategy. Analyst Geoffrey Kemp of the Nixon Center told the Washington-based Middle East Institute's annual conference in October during a debate on the NSS that the institution least enamored with attacking Iraq is the military because they know what their limits are.'"

Iraqi exile Kanan Makiya, whose best-selling book about Saddam Hussein, "Republic of Fear," was published under a pseudonym in 1989, is now coordinating the State Department's Future of Iraq initiative. On Oct. 7 he told National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" he favored a federal solution for post-Saddam Iraq, saying "it is viewed by many Iraqis as the only way to hold the country together in a way that contrasts completely with the highly centralized, extremely autocratic system of Saddam Hussein. So it's a major, major revolution because it's a completely new concept in Arab politics. We have no federal experiences at all, and it breaks new ground. It truly breaks the mold of Arab politics."

See also WW3 REPORT #s 58 and 62 [top]

The biggest oil find in over 20 years--nearly the size of the world's largest, the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia--is currently under development in the Caspian Sea. The first oil from the Kashagan field, in Kazakhstan's sector of the Caspian, is expected to be brought ashore by 2005, providing a strategic alternative to the Middle East. The scramble for the gas and oil riches of the Caspian Sea has dubbed the region the "wild east," and local environmentalists fear the development will take a grave toll. The Kashagan field is at the mouth of the Ural River, the last natural breeding ground of the famed but endangered beluga sturgeon, which produce the world's most expensive caviar--and a spill could potentially wipe out the industry. Worse still, Professor Muftach Diarov, director of Kazakhstan's Atyrau Institute of Oil and Gas, believes that exploiting the field in a known seismic zone could trigger a massive earthquake, noting that the oil is under high pressure and extremely hot. "This is a volatile area in geological terms. We had an earthquake here in 2000... Releasing oil at 1,000 atmosphere pressure is like releasing a genie in a bottle. Who knows what will happen? If there is another earthquake, the new pressures created in the oilfield could trigger a man-made earthquake. Oil would spill out into the sea and cause an environmental catastrophe." Diarov is also concerned that the five nations that border the Caspian--Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran--have no joint agreements about the safety of the sea or conservation. "It is only oil dollars that talk round here," he said. (UK Guardian, Dec. 4) [top]

The Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project has been given a green light by local governments and international developers, but local environmentalists "are still seeing red," writes Gennady Abarovich for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting Dec. 5. Objections by environmentalists were swept aside in early December as the international consortium behind the project secured the right to start work early in 2003. A commission of experts in Georgia ended a marathon 35-hour debate about the route of the $3 billion pipeline linking Azerbaijan's Caspian port of Baku with Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Georgia's environment minister Nino Chkhobadze announced Dec. 2 that her government had given project leader BP official approval. But environmentalists are outraged by the proposed route through the Borzhomi Valley, famous for the forests and springs that produce Georgia's best-known brand of mineral water.

The minister said that while the authorities had agreed to all of BP's major demands, they presented the company with 16 pages of their own demands for additional environmental protection and, saying if any of these were not fulfilled Georgia would have the right to withdraw from the agreement. "The demands should be much tougher," Chkhobadze admitted. "But we gave in to pressure from the investors, who were threatening to pull out of the project altogether."

Environmentalists vow to carry on fighting the proposed pipeline route. "We are capable of creating very big problems for the investors in negotiations with international financial institutions," warned Manana Kochladze, head of the group Green Alternative. BP spokesperson Rusudan Medzmariashvili told IWPR the company "did not make any concessions," but insisted it put an extremely high level of environmental protection in place. The company's assessment document, published Oct. 16, contained the first detailed route for the pipeline. On reviewing it, environmentalists demanded the route be diverted away from the Borzhomi Valley. "According to data given by BP itself, if there is an accident in the pipeline, oil will run down the hillsides and reach the center of Borzhomi in four hours," said mineral water producer Mamuka Khazaradze. "Even a small spill would be enough to do irreparable damage both to the gorge itself and to the mineral water sources."

But BP assures environmentalists that the pipeline's route is some 15 kilometers from the Borzhomi springs, will be built of thick protective steel, and equipped with sensors warning of any imminent problems. [top]

A series of natural gas explosions Dec. 5 destroyed 11 homes in eastern Siberia, killing at least three in the village of Markh outside of Yakutsk. Officials are investigating whether recent repair work had left the gas pressure set too high, causing the pipes to burst. Meanwhile, in the Siberian city of Omsk, problems with gas pipes threatened to cut off heat and hot water to over 100 homes, three medical centers, eight kindergartens and six schools. The problems were blamed on cold temperatures. Most Russian apartments use natural gas for cooking, and explosions occur frequently, killing and injuring scores every year . (AP, Dec, 5) [top]

Two lamas in Eastern Tibet, Trulku Tenzin Delek (aka: Angag Tashi) and Lobsang Dhondup, face execution after being convicted of involvement in an April bomb blast in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. They are also accused of "illegal possession of arms" and "engaging in splittist activities." Trulku, who was held incommunicado for eight months before his trial, accused the court of using false evidence against him, and shouted, "Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!" before being gagged and dragged off by security officials. Unrest is spreading in eastern Tibet and western Sichuan since the Chinese government embarked on a campaign of destroying Tibetan monasteries in the region and accelerating its colonization by ethnic Han. The campaign co-incides with a stepped up crackdown on "terrorism." A law adopted in December 2001 imposes up to life imprisonment for "organizing or leading a terrorist organization"--but does not define "terrorist organization." Lobsang Dhondup faces immediate execution, and the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy is calling on supporters to call US Secretary of State Colin Powell at 202-647-5291 and ask him to pressure the Chinese government for clemency. (TCHRD press release, Dec. 5)

For more on the case see:

For more on Chinese colonization of Eastern Tibet, see: [top]


On Nov. 28 Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha announced in the upper house of Parliament that India opposes a US-led military incursion in Iraq, stating that Saddam Hussein "has been a friend of India." He insisted that any action taken against his regime if Iraq is found in violation of the UN resolution should be peaceful. The Middle East--including Iraq--provides 70% of India's crude oil needs. The 3.5 million Indians who live in the Middle East, send between $7 billion and $8 billion back home. Sinha said: "Any military conflict in that area is going to be disastrous from our point of view. We would not like to be faced with a consequence of spiralling international oil prices, we buy most of our oil from that part of the world." (The Hindu, Nov. 28;, Nov 28) (Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

A crowd of 25 protestors affiliated with the International South Asia Forum (INSAF) convened Dec, 8 on the streets of Jackson Heights--a Queens neighborhood with a large South Asian immigrant population--to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Dec. 6, 1992, when the Babri Mosque was demolished by mobs of rightist Hindu militants in Ayodhdya, in the nothern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Babri mosque, built in memory of Moghul emperor Babur, was portrayed as a symbol of the Muslim invaders of the India by the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, dedicated to re-building a temple to Lord Ram at this disputed site, reputed to be the god's birthplace. The demolition sparked an escalation of communal riots throughout India that cost the lives of close to 2,000 people, mostly Muslims.

INSAF, which was denied a permit by Police Precinct 115, has been leafleting at street corners in Jackson Heights since September to raise awareness in the South Asian community about violence directed against ethnic and religious minorities as well as lower caste groups in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. INSAF's Junaid Rana said that the organization's aim is "transcending national boundaries" to advocate "peace in South Asia." On-lookers affiliated with India's Hindu right have displayed "passive-aggressive behaviors, such as elaborately tearing up our flyers," said INSAF's member Raza Mir.

Meanwhile, in India the government took dramatic security arrangements in and around the twin cities of Ayodhya and Faizabad, where the Babri Mosque had once stood, and the entire country was on high security alert. Mohd Yunus Siddiqui of the Babri Masjid (Mosque) Action Committee--one of the many committees under the umbrella of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board--sent a memorandum to the government stating that Muslims would continue to observe Dec. 6, 1992 as "black day" until the mosque was reconstructed. The Ram Janmabhoomi Trust reiterated the stance--shared by the hardline party Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)--that the temple would be constructed in place of the mosque.

(Subuhi Jiwani on the scene in Jackson Heights) [top]

The Campaign to Stop Funding Hate , a US-based group of scholars, artists and activists, has released a 91-page report entitled "A Foreign Exchange of Hate," detailing the channeling of funds donated by US corporations for "philanthropic" work in India into Sangh Parivar, the network of organizations affiliated with the Hindu rightist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sabha (RSS), accused of fueling "sectarian hate in India." The Maryland-based India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) is accused of redirecting the funds--ostensibly donated for "secular" charities--to Sangh Parivar. (The Times of India, Nov. 22)

Stop Funding Hate spokesperson Biju Mathew said: "Many large US corporations such as CISCO, Sun, Oracle, and Hewlett-Packard 'match' employee contributions to US-based charity non-profit organizations. Unsuspecting corporations end up giving large amounts of money as matching funds to IDRF as employees of these firms direct funds to IDRF." The report states that in 1999 Cisco gave "about $70,000 to IDRF," which, when added to employee contributions, amounts to $133,000 for the 1999-2000 financial cycle. Mathew states that stateside Indians registered as volunteers or "swayamsevaks" for the Sangh advocate "IDRF as the best and only way to provide funding for development and relief work in India, thus causing not only other unsuspecting employees but also the corporation to fund the Sangh in India." (, Nov. 20)

Both Sun Microsystems and Cisco have put their donations to IDRF on hold. The IDRF's immediate response was one of denial, saying that the report was a product of "leftist groups" and that it is "pure concoction, untruthful and self-contradictory." In response to IDRF's rejoinder, Stop Funding Hate said: "If IDRF is indeed what it purports to be, it needs to challenge the report with facts and with a clear articulation of its relationship with the Sangh."

The IDRF has also initiated a " Stop Hatred and Let India Develop " petition, which has collected 3600 signatures "to protest the ongoing intellectual violence in the name of Mahatma Gandhi and the subsequent hate campaign started by Biju Mathew, a 'Forum of Indian Leftists' member and his Communist/Marxist supporters against the IDRF." Stop Funding Hate member Satish Kolluri told WW3 REPORT that "most signatures on the petition are those of Hindus. You cannot find one Muslim signature. The signatures are also those of upper caste, Brahmanical Hindus. This is very reflective of the upper caste, Brahmanical nature of Hindutava or Hindu fundamentalism, itself." In contrast, Stop Funding Hate's petition contains signatures from a variety of religious communities.

Stop Funding Hate states on its website that while it does not agree with the politics of the Sangh or the IDRF, those individuals "who want to send their money to the Sangh Parivar through the IDRF should be able to do so, based on informed consent. Our campaign is directed against the deception that the IDRF employs to cloak its political affinity."

Biju Mathew also points out that the IDRF made no attempts to collect funds for the victims of the VHP-engineered sectarian violence in Gujarat earlier this year. The IDRF has helped to raise funds for Bangladeshi Hindu victims of communal violence, Kashmiri Hindu victims of terrorism and post-9-ll relief efforts in the US. "In all three cases," Mathew said, "the people responsible for perpetrating the disaster were Muslims and the victims largely non-Muslim."

(Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

Suspected Maoist rebels of the Naxalite People's War Group (PWG) attacked the Tummala Cheruvu railway station in southern India's Guntur district, blowing up a building and disrupting rail traffic on the Hyderabad-Guntur line. The attack came just a day after 14 were killed in a landmine attack on a passenger bus, also blamed on the rebels. The attack also came days after police killed five rebels, including two women, in the area. More than 6,000 people have been killed in fighting since the Naxalite People's War Group began its uprising over 20 years ago. (BBC, Nov. 20) [top]

Exiled residents from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia are launching legal action in a London court, seeking to return to their homeland and receive compensation from Britain for being deported. Nearly 2,000 people from the Chagos Islands were moved to Mauritius and the Seychelles 30 years ago to make way for a military base on Diego Garcia, which the US leases from Britain. Most now live in slum conditions in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Two years ago, a London court ruled that the deportation was illegal, striking down the 1971 Immigration Ordinance, which authorized it. The islanders are now seeking the right to return to all of the islands--including Diego Garcia. But the government does not want the islanders back on Diego Garcia--which could be used as a base for a US attack on Iraq. The US is already planning to move B-2 bombers to the island base in preparation for the Iraq campaign. (BBC, Oct. 31) [top]


Panamanian authorities have arrested an Israeli businessman in connection with a cache of weapons ostensibly bought by Panamanian police but shipped to Colombia instead. Shimon Yelinek was arrested on arrival at Tocumen International Airport. His attorney Sidney Sitton said the arrest was warrantless and illegal, and has filed a writ of habeas corpus. National Police Chief Carlos Bares told the press Yelinek was being interrogated by Panama's anti-drug prosecutor, Patricio Candanedo, who is leading the investigation into the weapons deal. The scandal broke on April 21, when Colombia's El Tiempo newspaper reported that 3,000 AK-47 rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition purchased in Nicaragua had been delivered to ultra-right paramilitaries of United Colombian Self-Defense (AUC) in November 2001, transported on a Panamanian-registered ship. In May, Israeli businessmen Oris Zoller and Uzi Kisslevich, representing a Guatemalan company, told the press that Panama's National Police had hired them to broker the weapons deal. Panamanian police denied involvement, and showed the press copies of the documents used by the businessmen, which they claimed were forged. On July 7, the foreign ministries of Colombia, Nicaragua and Panama asked the Organization of American States (OAS) for aid in investigating the affair, and veteran US diplomat Morris Busby was put in charge of the probe. (Haaretz, Nov. 24)

As reported in WW3 REPORT #42, a private Israeli spook firm, Spearhead Ltd., was instrumental in training the Colombian paramilitaries when they were being established in the 1980s as an armed wing of the cocaine cartels. In a 1993 interview with WW3 REPORT editor Bill Weinberg, former Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe (author of "Profits of War: Inside the Secret US-Israeli Arms Network," Sheridan Square Press 1992) said that Spearhead was part of a semi-private Israeli spy network in Latin America which was working with Lt. Col. Oliver North's network, the Manuel Noriega dictatorship in Panama and the Colombian cartels to fund the right-wing contra guerillas in Nicaragua. Ben-Menashe named current Israeli Primer Minister Ariel Sharon (defense minister from 1981-3) as the "boss" of the network. Asked if Colombian cocaine profits were used to fund contra arms shipments, Ben-Menashe replied: "Right. Which Ariel Sharon's network in Latin America was involved in. His influence in Tel Aviv kept the government from cracking down on Spearhead, a private Israeli firm made up of ex-Military Intelligence people which provided paramilitary training to the Medellin Cartel." (High Times, March 1993) [top]

Write Jake Bergman and Julia Reynolds in the Nov. 14 edition of The Nation:

"A few years ago, the government of Colombia asked the United States to trace nearly fifty MAK-90 rifles it had seized from the National Liberation Army, or ELN. It turned out these rifles had been obtained by Colombian gun traffickers after being purchased at retail stores in the Miami area. The ELN is on the State Department's foreign terror watch list. Yet, like many other underground armies around the world, it buys its weapons in one of the world's freest arms markets...

"The story of a ragtag South Florida outfit called Lobster Air International illustrates just how easy US gun purchases can be. In the summer of 1998 Stephen Jorgensen began buying the first of what were eventually more than 800 MAK-90 semiautomatic rifles at a store called Gun Land in Kissimmee, Florida. He did not have a resale permit--known as a Federal Firearms License, or FFL--and he was not required to present one. But Jorgensen wasn't stockpiling the guns for his personal use; he was taking them to Opa-Locka airport near Miami and loading them aboard a light airplane headed for airstrips in Venezuela and Colombia, via Haiti.... In 1998 several meetings took place in Dallas, Miami and Caracas to orchestrate a deal, which included setting up Lobster Air to import lobsters to the United States from Haiti. According to Jorgensen, [a] Venezuelan colonel and the interests he represented put up the money to buy an Aero Commander aircraft. Jorgensen contracted boat operators to circle Haiti and collect lobsters from remote villages, but that part of the plan never went forward. Lobster Air was apparently not in the business of selling lobsters. On January 3, 1999, US Customs agents, acting on what they thought was a drug tip, stopped the Aero Commander, bound for South America, on a runway at Opa-Locka. But there were no drugs; instead, the plane was loaded with seventy-eight disassembled MAK-90s inside blue gym bags, along with 9,000 rounds of ammunition. Customs and ATF sources now say that Lobster Air's weapons were headed to Colombia's FARC rebels, another group on the State Department's terror list... Jorgensen was detained and interrogated. Facing indictment on weapons and conspiracy charges, he quickly agreed to cooperate with what was now a US Customs-ATF investigation..."

Wearing a wire when he went back to his connections for further deals, Jorgensen and a Cuban-American middle man, Rafael Ceruelos, were both indicted--"not for buying the guns, but for violating the Arms Export Control Act. Ceruelos served fifteen months and Jorgensen received only probation, thanks to his cooperation and what he describes as a 'sterling military record.' It may be surprising to learn that buying hundreds of MAK-90s and thousands of rounds of ammunition that could supply US-designated terrorist organizations doesn't raise any eyebrows. But there is simply no requirement for gun stores to report suspicious activity. If a customer buys more than one handgun in five days, the store must report the sales to ATF, but the MAK-90 comes with no such restriction. Nor does ammunition. Some gun-store owners say they voluntarily tip off ATF to suspicious buyers, usually after the sale is made and the money collected."

Former ATF agent Daniel McBride recalled a bloody 1985 attack by the M-19, a now-disbanded Colombian guerilla group: "The M-19 raided and assaulted the Palace of Justice in Colombia, killing 115 people, eleven Supreme Court justices, and wiped out the Supreme Court of the country of Colombia. And these were guns that were subsequently traced back to the United States." [top]

The International Commission of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces-People's Army (FARC-EP) called the "alleged war on terrorism" a cover for state terrorism. In a message dated December 2002, "Document for the 11th Sao Paulo Forum", the FARC-EP said the UN and the OAS had become political agents of the US. The statement to the international leftist forum, held this year in Guatemala, read: "Anti-terrorist policy is immediate objective of anti-imperialist struggle. In this world of capitalist, unipolar globalization, with an empire which is very dangerous because of its crisis and despair and which has taken on the role of global policeman and is employing its war machinery as an insatiable big stick against all those who oppose its plans, whether they be states, organizations or persons, the urgent need arises to build the societies that we deserve and for which we are struggling."

(New Colombia News Agency [Anncol] via BBC Monitoring, Dec. 5) [top]

With Venezuela's oil industry paralyzed by a general strike, severely affecting exports to the US, President Hugo Chavez ordered National Guardsmen to patrol the streets, gasoline stations and the offices of the state company Petroleos de Venezuela. Company management is supporting the strike, and a protest by white-collar workers outside its offices was broken up by Guardsmen who hurled tear gas Dec. 3. "They want to shut down the oil industry to generate chaos," Chavez announced on the radio days later. "I call on all Venezuelans to defend our oil industry." Both sides have agreed to mediation by the Organization of American States, as the entire national economy is in danger of grinding to a halt. (NYT, Dec. 4, 9)

See also WW3 REPORT #30 [top]

Ecuador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced Nov. 24 that retired Col. Lucio Gutierrez had won that day's presidential run-off with 54% of the valid votes, squeezing our rival Alvaro Noboa, a millionaire banana mogul. (Reuters, Nov. 24) Although since winning the first round on Oct. 20 he has sought to re-assure foreign investors of his commitment to fiscal discipline, Col. Gutierrez was involved in an abortive left-wing military coup in support of a January 2000 popular uprising which ousted President Jamil Mahuad. See WW3 REPORT #59

(From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Nov. 24) [top]

In the wee hours of Nov. 17, at least 30 hooded and armed assailants entered Los Yukis peasant settlement in Bolivia's Ichilo province, Santa Cruz department, and opened fire, killing campesino Luciano Jaldin with a bullet to the chest. The Colonizers Federation of Yapacani, a local campesino group, responded by blocking a highway in protest. Federation leaders say the attack was but the most recent of several in recent weeks--both by hooded paramilitaries and uniformed army and police troops--aimed at driving local peasant settlers from their lands. In recent violence, several houses were destroyed, residents beaten and tortured, and 18-year old Wilber Nunez "disappeared." Federation leaders accused the government of working with big land-owners to provoke the campesinos and justify stationing a base in the area of the feared Mobile Rural Patrol Unit (UMOPAR).

In a Nov. 14 attack in nearby Sara province, the campesino settlement of New Jerusalem was attacked, forcing the residents to flee to a neighboring community. The dislocated peasants briefly took four police agents hostage to pressure local political boss Angel Paz--believed to have sent the gunmen--to negotiate a return to their homes. The campesinos were charged with kidnapping, while Paz faces no charges for the destruction of their property.

Hundreds of marchers from Bolivia's Movement of the Landless (MST) arrived in the city of Tarija Nov. 21 after walking nine days to demand justice for the Nov. 9, 2001 massacre in Pananti, in which paramilitary troops hired by local landowners murdered at least six campesinos and wounded some 20 others. The MST protested that the killers were sentenced to just three years, with the possibility of serving them outside prison--while several campesinos who survived the massacre were sentenced to eight years for beating to death the military commander who led the paramilitary troops. If authorities don't respond to their demands, the marchers pledged to continue on to La Paz, the national capital.

( Weekly News Update on the Americas, Nov. 24)

See also WW3 REPORT #49 [top]


With the November selection of Elliot Abrams as President Bush's director of Middle Eastern affairs, yet another convicted "Contragate" felon assumed a high position on the White House staff. Abrams, President Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, pleaded guilty in 1987 to withholding information from Congress, before being pardoned by the first President Bush in 1992. This brings to four the number of officials now in the Bush administration who were key players in the Reagan-era scandal. The others are:

*John Negroponte, now US Ambassador to the UN; then Ambassador to Honduras, where he oversaw the establishment of the country as a staging ground for the right-wing Nicaraguan guerillas known as the "Contras."

*John Poindexter, now director of the Pentagon's Information Awareness Office; then National Security Adviser. Poindexter was convicted in 1990 of five felonies, including making false statements to Congress. The convictions were later overturned on grounds that he had been granted immunity in exchange for his Congressional testimony on the scandal.

*Otto Reich, now Special Envoy for Western Hemisphere Affairs; then director of the State Department Office of Public Diplomacy--which was found to have engaged in prohibited acts of domestic propaganda to generate support for the Contras. (UK Observer, Dec. 8)

Reich suddenly lost his job as Assistant Secretary of State for Hemisphere Affairs just before Congress adjourned on Nov. 22. He was still awaiting approval by Congress for that position. He has presumably been temporarily demoted to Special Envoy until Congress re-adjourns under a Republican majority--when Bush will likely re-appoint him Assistant Secretary. The Cuban-born Reich made waves in September when he complained about Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's plan to travel to Cuba for an agricultural trade show, and warned him not to engage in "sexual tourism" there. (Miami Herald, Nov. 23)

Poindexter, whose sinister Pentagon surveillance office currently awaits approval to launch operations, was barred for life from setting foot in Costa Rica after a special 1989 government investigation there found him guilty of operating a cocaine-for-weapons ring to arm the Contras. (See Bill Weinberg's " War on the Land: Ecology and Politics in Central America " Zed Books, 1991, p. 120)

Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, recently appointed to lead the official investigation into 9-11 intelligence lapses was during the Reagan era head of the National Bipartisan Committee on Central America, which charted the policy of destabilizing the Nicaraguan regime with a proxy guerilla army. (See Weinberg's "War on the Land," p. 4)

The only key Contragate figure left out of the fun is Lt. Col. (ret.) Oliver North, who closely oversaw re-supply of the Contra guerillas as a National Security Council agent. Convicted of three felonies but cleared on appeal, he has since become a radio and TV personality, and ran for the US Senate in Virginia in 1994. He is currently leading a special cruise to the island of Grenada for his supporters, to commemorate the 1983 US invasion which helped "reverse the communist takeover." Passengers include Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre. Former President Reagan's eldest son, Michael, is also invited. (UK Guardian, Nov. 21) [top]


Ottawa's top military brass are pushing to put Canadian troops and warships on the front lines under a US plan for an integrated, continental defense structure in the War on Terrorism--known as the "Americas Command." The joint command would be stationed at the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) bunker deep under Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain. NORAD is already a joint US-Canadian operation. "We declared ourselves ready to consider an arrangement that could extend to land and sea," Canadian Vice-Chief of Defense Staff George Macdonald said in Washington DC as part of a top-level Canadian delegation to discuss a continental-defense command last January. (Toronto Globe and Mail, Jan. 29, 2002)

But at the November NATO summit in Prague, Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum told President Bush to stop lecturing Canada about increased military spending. His comments followed the US president's speech, in which he urged NATO allies to shoulder a greater burden in the War on Terrorism. McCallum also accused US ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci of undue pressure to beef up the military budget. "I would not urge the president of the United States or the U.S. ambassador to Canada to do my job to ask for more defense spending. I think that is a Canadian matter," Mr. McCallum told reporters. "I think a number of Canadians were a little bit ticked off when the ambassador keeps pushing." (Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 21)

The Prague meeting became more embarrassing still when Francoise Ducros resigned as Prime Minister Jean Chretien's communications director after referring to Bush as "a moron" at the summit. Chretien was forced to say that President Bush is "a friend of mine. He's not a moron at all." (CBC, Nov. 26)

Chretien was already under fire from critics in the US for remarks he made on the 9-11 anniversary "You know," Chretien told the CBC, "you cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for others... I do think the Western world is getting too rich in relation to the poor world and necessarily, you know, we're looked upon as being arrogant, self-satisfied greedy and with no limits. And September 11 is an occasion for me to realize it even more." (BBC, Sept. 13)

For more on NORAD re-organization, see WW3 REPORT #44 [top]

Canada's Immigration Department has allowed 81 former members of terrorist organizations to settle in the country on the grounds that they no longer posed a risk to national security, Montreal La Presse reported Dec. 4. Citing an internal Immigration Canada document obtained under the Access to Information Act, La Presse said Immigration Canada was prepared to admit 25 ex-members of known terrorist groups into Canada every year, as long as they posed no security threat. "Former members of terrorist organizations who have renounced violence and who now accept democratic principles can obtain an exemption from the minister,'' said the document, with the caveat that individuals must have no "personal history of violence'' to be granted an exemption.

US-Canada tensions also persist over Canada's refusal to extradite Liban Hussein, a Somali-born Canadian who lives in Ottawa and faces charges in the US of using an immigrant money-wiring service , Barakaat North America, to transfer funds to supporters of Osama bin Laden in the United Arab Emirates, where Barakaat is based. Canadian Justice Department officials said they could find no evidence linking the Hussein, to terrorist activity. "Based on the information provided by the US authorities, we followed the procedure and determined there was no reasonable ground to proceed with the extradition," department spokesman Patrick Charette said. (Washington Post, June 5)

Investigators probing April terror attack on a Tunisian synagogue have also linked Islamic militants based in Montreal to the operation. See WW3 REPORT #44 [top]

The Canadian government, in a shift of policy, says it is considering whether to totally ban Hezbollah after the Lebanese guerrilla group urged Palestinians to carry out more suicide attacks in Israel. Ottawa banned Hezbollah's military wing in 2001 but has resisted pressure to outlaw the political wing, which Foreign Minister Bill Graham has described as a legitimate movement. But Graham changed his tone after Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah caled on Palestinians to ignore international criticism of suicide attacks. Graham told reporters that Nasrallah's "statements are totally contrary to Canadian government policy and to our War On Terrorism, and those statements will clearly be factored into our decision-making in terms of what we will do with Hezbollah. That decision is being made by cabinet." The Jewish organization B'nai Brith launched a lawsuit against Ottawa and took out full-page newspaper advertisements criticizing Graham after Canada added six groups--including Hamas and Islamic Jihad but not Hezbollah--to a list of entities banned for involvement "in terrorist activity." (Reuters, Dec. 5) [top]

A Canadian House of Commons committee is set to release a report on a controversial plan to send most refugee claimants who arrive in Canada by way of the US back south of the border to make claims there. The Liberal government has argued the so-called "safe third country accord" will increase security at the border by helping to prevent entry by terrorists. Last year, about 14,000 refugee claimants entered Canada through border crossings with the US. The figure for the first eight months of this year was more than 7,000. Under Canada's existing system, virtually everyone who shows up and makes a claim is entitled to a refugee hearing, unless excluded on terrorism or security grounds. A report by the Commons immigration committee will offer recommendations on implementing the accord once it is signed by the US and Canada. (Guelph Mercury, Dec. 3) [top]

Rohinton Mistry, one of Canada's most celebrated authors, recently cancelled his US book tour, saying he said he couldn't face the "unbearable" humiliation of racial profiling in stateside airports. Mistry, who was born in India and was nominated for this year's Man Booker prize for his novel "Family Matters," is not alone in protesting US border policies. Canadians born in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan face long delays and interrogations at the border. Earlier this year, the US began to automatically fingerprint, photograph, and register Canadian citizens born in these predominately Muslim countries. Their treatment led to an official protest by the Canadian government that caused the US to modify its approach, saying it would not stop all Canadians from the five countries as a matter of policy. But reports of border harassment continue. Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian engineer was on his way home when his plane stopped in New York. He was detained, interrogated and deported to Syria on the suspicion of terrorist ties. He faced a prison term in Syria because he avoided military service as a young man, and is still being held by Syrian authorities . (UK Guardian, Nov. 18) See also WW3 REPORT #39: WW3 REPORT #39: [top]

In the small border town of Pohenegamook, the entrance to the gas station is on Canadian soil, but the pumps are in the US. When Michel Jalbert, a resident of the Quebec side, pulled in to fill up--as he had hundreds of times before--he was arrested and put in jail for 35 days. Jalbert was charged with immigration and weapons offenses for failing to report to the US customs office a kilometer down the road, and for keeping a hunting rifle in his truck. He was dressed for a hunting trip at the time. Francophone Jalbert, who speaks no English, became depressed in jail. He has a young daughter and his wife is pregnant--but US prosecutors served notice they would challenge his bail application. He wouldn't have made it home for Christmas if the US Secretary of State Colin Powell had not intervened. "Don't go to the United States any more," he told his friends upon his tearful return to Canada. Residents of Maine, the state that borders Pohenegamook, were angered at Jalbert's treatment, and plan to raise money for his defense. He is to appear in court in January. (UK Guardian, Nov. 18) [top]

The Jewish group Hillel had its privileges revoked at Montreal's Concordia University, charged with on-campus recruiting of volunteers for the Israeli Defense Forces' Nahal combat units, which patrol Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. The student union says the pamphlets violate Canadian law, and also accuses the group of spreading hate material. In defiance, Hillel staged a Hanukkah celebration on campus, sparking loud verbal exchanges with pro-Palestinian students as riot police stood by. The Canadian Press reports that the incident comes "three months after a violent pro-Palestinian protest at the university." (CBC, Dec. 5; Canadian Press, Toronto Globe & Mail, Dec. 6) [top]

For over six months last year, the Dene Suline of Cold Lake, Alberta, reoccupied their traditional territory at the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range in protest of the NATO bombing of their territory. The Dene Suline established a camp at the main entrance of the weapons range, accusing the Canadian government of illegally holding the land in violation of an expired 20-year lease. Dene burial sites, and hunting and fishing grounds are destroyed by the daily NATO bombing practice runs, and the Dene have been reduced to poverty in their own land, with alarmingly high rates of alcoholism and suicide. On June 3, 2001, the Dene Suline also blocked an Alberta Energy Corporation (AEC) access road in the area and established a camp there, re-asserting their title to their homelands under the 1997 Delgamuukw Canadian Supreme Court decision, which affirmed the inherent rights of Native peoples. AEC is exploiting oil in the area, and has access to the Weapons Range, while the Dene do not. (Alberta Independent Media Centre, Nov. 28, 2001) [top]


Citing reasons of national security, the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia voted 6-5 to deny a rehearing in a case involving the US attorney general's right to close INS hearings for all so-called "special interest" cases. The ruling upholds an Oct. 8 decision by a three-judge panel of the same court, reversing a New Jersey judge's May 29 determination that the secret proceedings were unconstitutional. The New Jersey case was argued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of two New Jersey media companies, the New Jersey Law Journal and the North Jersey Media Group, which publishes the Bergen County Record and the Passaic County Herald News. The ACLU said it would consider appealing the decision to the US Supreme Court.

On Aug. 26 the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a lower court ruling to open the deportation hearings in a similar case involving Rabih Haddad, a Muslim activist from Ann Arbor, MI. On Oct. 24 the Justice Department asked the 6th Circuit court to reconsider, and a decision is pending. "If the court denies that request, the Supreme Court will have to resolve the conflict in the federal appeals courts," said Herschel Fink, an attorney for the Detroit Free Press, which brought the suit. (AP; Bergen County Record, Dec. 5)

(From Immigration News Briefs, Dec. 6)

See also WW3 REPORT # 56 [top]

On Nov. 26, pro-bono attorneys from the law firm of Perkins Coie filed a petition in federal court in Seattle, seeking to expand a Nov. 13 habeas corpus lawsuit on behalf of five Seattle-area Somali immigrants into a national class-action suit on behalf of all Somalis with final orders of deportation or exclusion. The expanded suit charges that any deportation to Somalia violates Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) statutes because Somalia does not have a functioning government. The suit also argues that the practice violates international law and US treaties, including the UN Convention Against Torture. At least one Somali deported by INS was reportedly killed after arriving in Mogadishu. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec. 6)

(From Immigration News Briefs, Dec. 6) [top]


Across wind-swept Northern Europe, hundreds of high-powered offshore turbines are planned or are under construction. "Going offshore is the new trend, and it's huge," said Bruce Douglas of the Brussels-based European Wind Energy Association. "The demonstration projects out at sea have been a success. Now people are going for full-scale marine wind parks" Europe's wind-driven energy is growing at 40% a year. With a capacity of over 20,000 megawatts installed on land, Europe now represents three-fourths of the world's total wind-power output. European leaders hopes to raise this to 60,000 megawatts in the next six years. "It's going so fast now because there is a race to go offshore, with manufacturers and utilities competing for the jobs," said Corin Millais of the European Wind Energy Association. "Companies are now talking of wind fields, like oil reserves or coal reserves, waiting to be tapped. The beauty of it is that it is inexhaustible." (NYT. Dec. 8) [top]


Despite a weekly circulation of over 3,000, WW3 REPORT has received approximately fifty (50) donations since its inception two weeks after the 9-11 disaster--not nearly enough to sustain what is essentially a full-time job for co-editors Bill Weinberg and David Bloom (much less pay our contributors like Subuhi Jiwani). Following an in-depth analysis of who gets funded and why in the genre of left journalism, WW3 REPORT has concluded that our failure is virtually inevitable for ten reasons.

10 reasons WW3 REPORT will never succeed:

1. We are writers and researchers, not salesmen, and we have neither the time nor inclination to schmooze the Soros machine for a fat hand-out. We cling to the democratic ethic that a radical anti-war newsweekly should be sustained by its readers, not corporate foundations. But readers apparently have no incentive to pay for something we make available for free on the web--even though donations will obviously make the difference in terms of our survival.

2. We are diligent, comprehensive and fact-oriented, while left, right and center media alike all want opinionated spewing and couldn't care less about facts.

3. We trust our readers enough to let them make up their own minds, encouraging dialogue by raising questions instead of telling people what to think, while nearly all successful left media ventures these days engage almost exclusively in preachy condescension.

4. We are concerned with anti-Semitism, which makes us unacceptable to the radical left, while we cut Israel no slack, which makes us unacceptable to the liberal left--and all points further right until one arrives at the Nazis.

5. We call out the crypto-Stalinist leadership of the morally bankrupt so-called "peace movement," which makes us unacceptable to the radical left, while we are unequivocally anti-war, which makes us unacceptable to the liberal left, et al.

6. We refuse to ignore or downplay the hideous crimes of Saddam Hussein, which makes us unacceptable to the radical left, while we refuse to ignore or downplay the hideous crimes of US aggression in Iraq, which makes us unacceptable to the liberal left, et al.

7. We cover rights abuses in obscure places like Xinjiang and Turkmenistan, which makes us unacceptable to the radical left--which can't stand the thought of any evil in the world other than Big Daddy US Imperialism--while we are forthrightly anti-imperialist, which makes us unacceptable to the liberal left, et al.

8. We call out irresponsible conspiracy-mongers like Mike Ruppert on their disingenuous BS which makes us unacceptable to the conspiracy crowd, but we raise inconvenient questions about actual US government complicity with terrorists, which makes us unacceptable to the Consensus Reality crowd.

9. We refuse to loan any propaganda cover whatsoever to either the terrorism of al-Qaeda/al-Aksa/Hamas/FARC/etc. or the state terror of US imperialism and its clients like Israel and Colombia.

10. We consistently oppose mass murder while nearly all political tendencies are seeking to cut slack for mass murderers of either one faction or another.

So we have concluded that our failure is the greatest vindication of our principles, and that success would only indicate that we had betrayed everything we stand for. Therefore, we urgently appeal to our readers: PLEASE DO NOT SEND US ANY MONEY!!! SEND NO CHECKS, MONEY ORDERS, FAN MAIL OR STEAMY LOVE LETTERS TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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