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ISSUE: #. 87. May 26, 2003






By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom, Special Correspondent

1. Iraq Sanctions Lifted; U.N. Approves Occupation
2. Local Self-Government on Hold
3. U.S. to Disband Iraqi Army; Officers Threaten Revolt
4. Civilian Death Toll: Over 10,000?
5. Gen. Franks: Saddam's Forces Bribed to Surrender
6. Reports Mount of Nuclear Contamination
7. Shi'ite Militia Refuses to Disarm
8. "Reverse Ethnic Cleasning" in Kirkuk?
9. Assyrian Christians Fear Persecution
10. Iraqi Doctors: Saddam, Not Sanctions, Killed Babies

1. Sharon to Palestinians: Arrest and Kill Hamas
2. Israel Cracks Down on Non-Violent Activism
3. Religious Zionists Speak Out Against Occupation
4. Palestinian Gets Papal Appointment

1. NYT: Saudis Ignored U.S. Terror Warnings
2. Morocco's Dwindling Jews Uneasy in Terror Wake
3. Unrest Follows Algeria Earthquake

1. Anti-U.S. Protests Follow Kabul Clash
2. Nuclear Contamination in Afghanistan

1. Indonesian Forces Attack Aceh; Atrocities Reported
2. Military to Intern Aceh Civilians
3. Protesters Arrested in Jakarta
4. Military Defends Use of British Jets
5. U.S. Military Aid on Hold--for Now

1. Zapotec Eco-Defenders Face Repression in Oaxaca

1. Ex-Police Commish to Iraq?
2. "Orange Alert" Jacks Up Paranoia
3. El Salvador Counter-Insurgency Vet to NYPD

1. Saving Private Lynch: Take Two
2. Sy Hersh: Pentagon Spook Agency Sets U.S. Policy
3. James Woolsey: War Profiteer


On May 22, the UN Security Council voted to lift the 13-year-old economic sanctions on Iraq, allowing resumption of oil exports. "The resolution establishes transparency in all processes and United Nations participation in monitoring the sale of Iraqi oil resources and expenditure of oil proceeds," said US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte. The move legitimizes the occupation of Iraq by the US and its allies, but leaves several issues unresolved--including whether UN weapons inspectors are to be allowed back in to Iraq. The UK wants them; the US does not. (UPI, May 22)

See also WW3 REPORT #85 [top]

British forces in the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr "postponed indefinitely" elections May 23 that would have been the first attempt at a democratic vote in post-Saddam Iraq, citing chaos at the polling booths, poor publicity and voting slips that failed to arrive.

Locals in the city market told the UK Telegraph they were not even aware that the elctions had been scheduled. Mohammed Sardoun, a market stallholder, said: "I am not concerned about elections. They are something to think about after we have food and running water. These things are more important than democracy."

( UK Telegraph, May 24)

Planned municipal elections by a selected group of delegates in the northern city of Kirkuk were similarly put on hold when it was revealed that five Arab delegates were former high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. Delegations had been chosen from the city's Arab and Kurdish communities in an effort to ease ethnic tensions which have led to recent violence in the city. (NYT, May 25)

See also WW3 REPORT #86 [top]

After US occupation authorities announced plans to disband Iraq's army, some 50 soldiers marched on one of Saddam's presidential palaces in Basra, now held by occupation forces, threatening to take up arms. "If they don't pay us, we'll start problems," said Lt. Col. Ahmed Muhammed. "We have guns at home." (NYT, May 25) [top]

Evidence is mounting to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the US-led Operation Iraqi Freedom. "Thousands are dead, thousands are missing, thousands are captured," said Haidar Taie, head of the tracing department for the Iraqi Red Crescent in Baghdad. "It is a big disaster." Arriving at a reliable figure is especially difficult due to the continuing chaos at Iraq's hospitals. "We had some figures from hospital sources but we realized very quickly that they were very partial," said Nada Doumani, an official with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Baghdad. "It is very difficult to keep track of everyone who was killed, and we were afraid the numbers could be misinterpreted, so we refrained from giving them out." Added Faik Amin Bakr, director of the Baghdad morgue: "During the war, some people brought bodies to the hospitals to get death certificates; others just buried them where they were found in the street, or in schools. I don't think anyone in Iraq could give you the figure of civilian deaths at the moment."

The Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) has mobilized 150 surveyors to conduct interviews with war victims. While warning that an accurate total could take months, CIVIC coordinator Marla Ruzicka said volunteers have already recorded over 1,000 civilian deaths in the southern town of Nasariyah, and almost as many in the capital.

"In Baghdad, we have discovered 1,000 graves, and that is not the final figure," said Ali Ismail, a Red Crescent official. "Every day we discover more" where local residents say civilians were buried.

Human Rights Watch researcher Marc Galasco said his team has found evidence of "massive use of cluster bombs in densely populated areas." Dispersing thousands of bomblets that shoot shards of shrapnel over an area the size of a football field, such weapons become indiscriminate and thus illegal under the laws of war if used in civilian areas, Human Rights Watch maintains.

"At one level it is unhelpful to talk about large or small numbers" of civilian casualties, said Human Rights Watch researcher Reuben Brigety. "It is more important to ask if the deaths were preventable."

Said Mahmoud Ali Hamadi, whose wife and three elder children were killed when a US missile struck their house April 5 in Rashidiya, a small agricultural village on the banks of the Tigris: "There was no military base here. We are not military personnel. This is just a peasant village." Some 100 civilians were killed in the air raid on the village.

The Christian Science Monitor cites unnamed officials involved in the casualty surveys placing the total civilian deaths at 10,000 or over. (CSM, May 23)

The web site Iraq Body Count continues to monitor world press reports to arrive at a daily update of the total Iraqi civilian dead. Each incident is listed separately, noting the location, number dead, weaponry used and media source. At press time, the minimum estimate stands at 5,425 and the maximum at 7,041.

See also WW3 REPORT #86

A reliable total for the death toll from 1991's Operation Desert Storm has still not been determined. See WW3 REPORT #67 [top]

Senior Iraqi officers who commanded troops crucial to the defence of key Iraqi cities were bribed not to fight by US Special Forces before the bombing started, US commander Gen. Tommy Franks has confirmed. "I had letters from Iraqi generals saying: 'I now work for you'," Gen. Franks said. The revelation by Franks, who has announced his intention to retire as chief of US Central Command, could explain why Iraqi forces did not make a greater stand in their defence of Baghdad. The strategy replicates methods used with success in the Afghanistan campaign, where US Special Forces carried large sums of US currency to buy off warlords. (UK Independent, May 24)

The French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche also claimed May 25 that a senior member of Saddam Hussein's government handed Baghdad over to US forces in exchange for a pay-off and a safe exit from Iraq. Citing a senior Iraqi source, the paper reported that Soufiane al-Tikriti, head of the Special Republican Guard in Baghdad, ordered his troops not to defend the capital, and particularly to hold fire against coalition helicopters circling over the city. In exchange, Le Journal claimed, Tikriti was paid several hundred thousand dollars and was escorted out of Iraq in a US aircraft April 8, along with 20 family members.

"Soufiane al Tikriti was the man of the Americans in Baghdad," the paper wrote. "He signed onto an agreement guaranteeing that the 10,000 elite soldiers of the Special Republican Guard would not fight." Le Journal said Tikriti came into contact with US intelligence officers via a close associate in London, Ezzedine al-Majid. The account claimed the Pentagon falsely told reporters that Tikriti had been killed as he fled Baghdad in a white Toyota Sedan. Tikriti's disappearance "interested nobody," Le Journal said, because he was not among the 52 most-wanted members of Saddam's regime. (UPI, May 25)

See also WW3 REPORT #83 [top]

US military inspection teams have concluded that materials looted from Iraq's main nuclear facility at Tuwaitha pose little or no danger to local residents, and cannot be converted into an effective "dirty bomb." After cleaning up two small areas of spillage outside the facility, the Washington-based Nuclear Disablement Team determined that the radiation level was no more than double the dosage every human absorbs daily, officials said. (Washington Times, May 22)

But numerous Iraqis close to the site reamin ill, and local doctors say symptoms point to acute radiation syndrome. Elifat Rusum Saber, 14, has been nauseated, tired and bleeding from the nose since her brother brought home metal and chemicals from the nearby Tuwaitha site two days after the fall of Baghdad. "I used to take care of my family and my youngest sister," Elifat told a Los Angeles Times reporter through an interpreter. "Nowadays I feel weak. I can't pick up a pot." A few blocks away, Hassan Aouda Saffah is recovering from a rash that left white blotches on his right arm. The rash appeared the same day he took a dusty generator from the nuclear site to restore electricity to his darkened village. Dr. Jaafar Nasser Suhayb, who runs a nearby clinic, said that over a five-day period he had treated some 20 patients from the neighborhood near Tuwaitha for similar symptoms-- shortness of breath, nausea, severe nosebleeds and itchy rashes. "All of the patients live near the nuclear site," Suhayb said. "Other cases maybe cannot reach the hospitals because of problems of security, postwar. In some cases maybe they are dead."

The Bush administration has finally agreed to make arrangements to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to return to Iraq to inspect the site. The IAEA has been demanding access since early April. "We're concerned about the health and safety of these people, and then we're also concerned about environmental contamination and we're also concerned that this material could be used for illicit use--a 'dirty bomb,' or even a nuclear bomb," said IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky by telephone from Vienna. The IAEA hopes to compare the stocks of radioactive materials stored at Tuwaitha to an inventory it took in January 2002. The most recent tally by the IAEA, which has monitored the site since before 1991's Operation Desert Storm, found 1.8 tons of low-grade enriched uranium and several tons of depleted uranium. The IAEA cites reports that 20% of the radioactive materials are now gone. "Radiation is cumulative," Gwozdecky said. "It's been 40 days since the looting began. That's why we need to act." (LAT, May 22)

See also WW3 REPORT #86 [top]

Iraq's largest Shiite party has refused to disarm its 25,000-strong militia--in defiance of a US directive demanding that all armed groups except the Kurdish peshmerga militias surrender their weapons. Relations between the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and US occupation authorities are reportedly at the breaking point following the group's refusal to disarm its Badr Brigades militia forces. Delegates described angry exchanges between Gen. David McKiernan, commander of allied land forces in Iraq, and SCIRI leaders at disarmament talks with the seven Iraqi opposition groups that have been invited to help form an interim administration. Said SCIRI spokesman Hamid Al-Bayati: "Over the past week US troops have stormed up to a dozen SCIRI offices across Iraq confiscating money, arms and vehicles. They have arrested members of Badr forces."

Bayati said SCIRI is losing patience with the US presence. "The longer Americans remain here, the more they are at risk from terrorist attack," he said.

He said that over the past few months SCIRI had been in meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Richard Myers. "We have committed ourselves to democracy," he said. "Of course I dream of an Islamic state but we now realise that is not an option." (UK Telegraph, May 26)

In a show of power May 19, 10,000 Shi'ites held a mass rally in Baghdad against the US occupation--the largest since the fall of Saddam. While many carried pictures of popular Shi'ite ayatollahs, a favored slogan was "No Shi'ites, No Sunnis--Just Islamic Unity." (Newsday, May 20)

Shi'ites also rallied in the sacred southern city of Karbala, where SCIRI leader Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim told 3,000 followers May 24 that Iraq must be allowed self-government. He said he wanted a representative democracy that would not be dominated by religious parties such as his own. (AP, May 24) But SCIRI's local leader in Diyala district, Abu Muslim al-Jaffari, told a Jerusalem Post reporter that Iran is a model for a "democratic state." (International Jerusalem Post, May 16)

See also WW3 REPORT #85 [top]

Kurdish leaders in Kirkuk are growing impatient with US demands they they halt their efforts to return properties which had been expropriated from Kurds and given to Arabs under Saddam Hussein's policy of "Arabization." Kurdish evictions of Arabs have led to violence in the city since the fall of Saddam. "Both the PUK [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan] and KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party] are united to reverse the policy of Arabization. This needs to be done peacefully and in an organized way, but the people are losing patience," said KDP spokesman Hoshyar Zebari. Arabs brought to Kirkuk under Saddam's relocation program should be "compensated and moved out," he said.

Added Qubad Talabani, son of PUK leader Jalal Talabani: "Kirkuk is the symbol of our tragedy, our oppression at the hands of previous Iraqi governments. It is an issue that raises the level of nationalism in every Kurd." He admitted: "There aren't many successful models [of] reverse ethnic cleansing. If we do not tackle this in an orderly manner, then people will take it upon themselves to reclaim what is rightfully theirs." (Financial Times, May 25)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 86 & 85 [top]

Yonadam Kanna, leader of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM), representing Iraq's small Assyrian Christian community, warns of the re-emergence of "fossil ideology" in Iraq. The ADM, which was forced underground by Saddam's regime, has ironically set up offices in the abandoned former headquarters of the Fedayeen Saddam pro-regime militia. "There is still some of the virus that was Saddam in this region, still extremism--and frankly, we need some help to save us friom that fate." The Assyrian Christians, who number 1.25 million, consider themselves descendants of the Assyrian empire which ruled Mesopotamia 3,000 years ago. (International Jerusalem Post, May 16)

See also WW3 REPORT #82 [top]

Throughout the 13 years of UN sanctions, Iraqi doctors told the world that the sanctions were the sole cause of the rocketing mortality rate among Iarq's children. "It is one of the results of the embargo," Dr. Ghassam Rashid al-Baya toild Newsday May 9, 2001, at Baghdad's Ibn al-Baladi Hospital, just after a dehydrated baby died on his treatment table. "This is a crime on Iraq."

But now the doctors at two Baghdad hospitals--including Ibn al-Baladi--tell a different story. Along with the parents of dead children, they told Newsday's Matthew McAllester that Saddam turned the infants' deaths into propaganda--forcing hospitals to save the corpses to have them publicly paraded before TV cameras at up to 30 at a time.

The infant mortality rate in Iraq roughly doubled in the 1990s, but the reason has been hotly contested--and the new revelations by Baghdad's doctors alters the debate. Even under harsh sanctions, "We had the ability to get all the drugs we needed," said Ibn al-Baladi's chief resident, Dr. Hussein Shihab. "Instead of that, Saddam Hussein spent all the money on his military force and put all the fault on the USA. Yes, of course the sanctions hurt--but not too much, because we are a rich country and we have the ability to get everything we can by money. But instead, he spent it on his palaces." Added Dr. Azhar Abdul Khadem, a resident at Baghdad's al-Alwiya maternity hospital: "Saddam Hussein, he's the murderer, not the UN."

Doctors say they were forced to refrigerate dead babies in hospital morgues until authorities were ready to gather the little corpses for monthly parades in coffins atop taxis for Iraqi national TV and foreign journalists. Parents were rewarded with food and money for shouting at the cameras that the sanctions had killed their babies. The propaganda campaign was organized by the ministries of health and information and the secret police, or Mukhabarat.

Sometimes police were brought in to restrain greiving parents who wanted to observe Islamic practice by burying their children as soon as possible. Said Kamal Khadoum, an administrator at Ibn al-Baladi since 1983: "Some of the families tried to take their children by force, so sometimes we needed to call the police to persuade them to keep them here for the parade. They went crazy."

"I am one of the doctors who was forced to tell something wrong--that these children died from the fault of the UN," said Shihab. "But I am afraid if I tell the true thing... They will kill me. Me and my family and my uncle and my aunt--everyone." (Newsday, May 23)

See also WW3 REPORT #58 [top]


The Israeli cabinet voted May 25 to accept the US-supported "road map to peace" that would lead to a Palestinian state within three years. (CNN, May 25)

But the move comes just after new revelations that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is pressuring the Palestinian Authority for a harsh crackdown on militants. According to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, a senior envoy sent by Sharon told Mohammed Dahlan, minister for state security in the new Palestinian government, that to prove he is serious he must order his police to arrest 50 Hamas actvists. What would be ideal, the envoy recommended, would be if at least 25 Hamas militants be killed in the firefight that was sure to erupt as Hamas resisted the arrests. Dahlan "didn't know whether to laugh or cry and decided to ignore the matter," Ha'aretz reports. (Ha'aretz, May 20)(David Bloom) [top]

The Israeli army seems to be making good on its threat to obstruct the work of peace activists in the occupied territories, and deport them. Greg Rawlins, Canadian citizen and volunteer with the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) in Hebron was arrested by Israeli forces May 19 at the town's Beit Hadassa checkpoint on charges of entering a Palestinian-controlled area without authorization. CPT, which has been operating in Hebron since 1995, has recently had their movement restricted by Israeli forces, and are now not permitted to enter Area H1, the officially Palestinian-controlled zone of Hebron, where most of their work is performed. Rawlins was taken to Ma'asiyahu prison in Ramle and faces deportation. (Indymedia Israel, May 21)

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) continues to be the object of harassment by the Israeli army, effectively preventing the group from carrying out its work in the West Bank. Three ISM volunteers were arrested March 24 in Tul Karm, and two are still being held. (Ha'aretz, May 25)

A peace camp set up seven weeks ago and cooperatively maintainted by a group of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals at Mas'ha village in the West Bank to protest encroachment of the so-called "apartheid wall" on the village is being threatened with removal. An Israeli officer from the local district coordinating office called on May 24, threatening to remove the camp in order to build the wall on the section of land on where it is located. The group plans to resist the order to vacate the camp. (International Women's Peace Service, May 24)

Rabbi Erik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights, working for the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICHAD), said in a May 23 communique that members of his group are being called in for interrogation by Shabak, the Israeli internal security service. "This along with the systematic use of 'Closed Military Area' orders, etc., indicates that the Israeli government is not content to shut down the activities of foreign activists ... but to shut down the activities of Israeli organizations as well. The intent is not only to stop activities which can be seen as 'illegal,' but to also prevent humanitarian activities, the work of [Arab-Jewish peace group] Taayush to accompany children to school, etc. Ultimately, it may be that the goal is to prevent any 'seeing eye.' witnessing what is happening in the Occupied Territories." (Indymedia Israel, May 23) (David Bloom)

See also WW3 REPORT# 85 [top]

A six-page manifesto of religious Zionist dissidents was published in Israel's largest paper, Yediot Aharanot, and in Ha'aretz on May 9. Religious Zionists are the ideological bulwark of the settler movment, and the 170 signatories to the manifesto have been the subjects of further interviews in Israel. The Manifesto reads, in part:

"The fact that Israel maintains its rule over more than three million people against their will, denying their basic rights, raises difficult moral issues. Already for more than three decades it denies Israel the possibility of seriously dealing with basic existential problems such as the relations between religion and state, the education of the young, the gap between rich and poor and other issues defining the life of Jews in their own country. All these issues have disappeared from the view of the leaders and rabbis of Religious Zionism, who raise the single flag of settlement in Judea and Samaria and are captives of the pseudo-religious view...that [views] settlement as the be-all and end-all. Few scholars dare to look reality in the face, and their voice is hardly heard.

"In the absence of a worthy Religious Zionist leadership at this time, we have no choice but to take the initiative: We call upon the Religious Zionist public to recognize the necessity of giving up our rule in the Territories and turn its energy to dealing with the pressing and neglected issues on its own and on the general Israeli agenda..."

The following personal account, included with the manifesto, is from signatory Shlomo Wagman, 28-year-old economic consultant:

"Most of my life was spent at Alon Shvut, a settlement in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem. Thousands of times I have passed army checkpoints. Thousands of times I saw, without really noticing, the young Arabs crouching at the roadside, waiting for the checking to

end so that they could pass through. They were a kind of transparent part of the landscape. I saw them but did not feel any deep empathy... And then, one day, I saw at a checkpoint an old man with a young girl child. They were not being specially mistreated. They were just told to wait and obeyed with weary resignation... And suddenly something clicked into place in my mind. I suddenly understood that this was not an issue of security. That all this enormous military activity was needed so that I could live in a beautiful villa, with a terrific view from the windows... That hundreds of thousands of human beings--old people, women, children, people who are no kind of security risk--had to pay the price for our life there. That they had to endure checkpoints, searches, closure and curfew so that I could have a quiet life as an observant Jew in my beautiful settlement. I decided to stage my own unilateral withdrawal. I left Alon Shvut very soon afterwards, though I knew I would miss a place which I love. I now live in an ugly urban center inside the Green Line. I can't explain my own past blindness and the present blindness of my family and friends who still live there. We just don't see the same reality."

Ilon Langbeim, teacer and physics student in Jerusalem:

"When I saw the violence of these settler youths, I felt that I must cry out: I am not one of them. It hurt me when people see me wearing a skullcap and automatically assume I belong to the extreme right. I did not refuse to serve in the territories. I went to the checkpoint and tried to show empathy to the people which I had to check, not to keep them too long in the sun. Then I heard an officer talk about me: 'This useless softie with his scruples, I did not expect such behavior from somebody like him.' I teach in in two Religious Zionist schools in Jerusalem. I got hints already that my signing this manifesto may cost me my job, but I am willing to pay the price."

(David Bloom) [top]

Pope John Paul II has appointed Father Elias Michael Chacour as a consultant to the Holy See committee promoting dialogue between Christians and Jews--the first Palestinian to be appointed to the five-year post. Chacour is founder of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in the town of Ibillin in the Galilee, and a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize (1986, 1089 and 1994). He is also the author of two best-selling memoirs, "Blood Brothers" (1984) and "We Belong to the Land" (1990). The first book is an account of his family's displacement from the Galilee town of Biram, where he was born in 1939, in the wake of the 1948 war. He says the title comes from his belief that Jews and Arabs "are blood brothers, each claiming to be the children of one father whose name was Abraham." The book has been translated into 28 languages.

Profiled in the Internationalo Jerusalem Post in 2001, Chacour was asked how he viewed the identity of Israel's Christian Arabs: "From the religious point of view, we are not an import. Everything started with a young rabbi here in Galilee. This is very important. The pope of Rome comes here to kneel down as a pilgrim in the Holy Land. We are descendants of the first disciples of Jesus Christ. And they were Jews. I want our Jewish friends to understand that we are aware of our roots."

Chacour is an ordained priest in the Melkite Catholic Church, a Byzantine rite that recognizes Rome. The Mar Elias Campus in Ibillin--covering all grades from elementary school through a technical college--has a combined enrollment of 4,000 students, with a program for gifted Arab children and a center for religious pluralism. Chacour is currently working on establishing an Arab Christian university in the Galilee. (International Jerusalem Post, May 16) [top]


As a team of FBI investigators arrived in Saudi Arabia to help local authorities probe last week's deadly coordinated terror attacks, the New York Times reported May 16 that Saudi officials had ignored five requests from the US to deploy armed and uniformed government guards around all potential Western targets. Citing unnamed White House officials, the paper said one request came from Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, who was diverted to Saudi Arabia during a trip to Moscow and Israel and instructed to meet direclty with de-facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah.

See also WW3 REPORT #86 [top]

In the wake of the coordinated May 16 terror attacks in Casablanca, Moroccan authorities have arrested over 30 in raids acorss the country. The 14 bombers who died in the virtually simultaneous attacks, and one would-be bomber who was arrested, were all said to be Moroccan. But authorities said the attacks on five targets--a hotel, a Jewish club and cemetery, a Spanish club and the Belgian consulate--bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda. Officials also said all the bombers were from the Casablanca suburb of Sidi Moumen, said to be a stronghold of a small fundamentalist movement, Salafiya Jihadiya, which has been the target of a recent government crackdown, with top leaders arrested. (Financial Times, May 19)

There were no Jews among the 28 victims of the attack [accounts of the death toll vary widely in media reports], but Casablanca's dwindling Jewish community notes that at least three of the five targets were Jewish-linked: the Jewish social club and restaurant, the Jewish cemetary and a Jewish-owned Italian restaurant. Just two nights before the attacks, over 200 local Jews had been at the Cercle de l'Alliance social club for its weekly Chinese kosher dinner.

Jews first arrived in Morocco after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Roman empire in 70 CE, and in 1948 there were over 250,000 Moroccan Jews out of a total population of 7 million. Today there are at most 5,000 Jews--and perhaps as few as 3,500--out of a total population of 30 million. But there is a strong campaign to revitalize the community. Casablanca is home to five main synagogues and several smaller ones, and a new synagogue and Jewish museum were inaugurated last year. Morocco's monarchy makes much of its support of the kingdom's Jews as a symbol of its tolerance and Western values. Serge Berdugo, president of the Jewish Community of Morocco, whose family emigrated when Spain expelled the Jews in 1492, is a former minister of tourism and fervent supporter of the king. (NYT, May 20)

See also WW3 REPORT#86 [top]

When Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika visited the town of Boumerdes days after it was devastated by a May 21 6.8-magnitude earthquake, he was met by angry crowds that hurled debris and insults, charging his military-backed government with inadequate aid efforts. The quake has left nearly 2,000 dead, and many more without food or water. Protesters taunted Bouteflika with shouts of "pouvoir, assassin!" Pouvoir, French for "power," is a popular name for the circle of corrupt generals that runs Algeria's government. (AP, May 24)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 68 & 17 [top]


Angry Afghans hurled stones at the US embassy in Kabul May 24 to protest the shooting deaths of three Afghan soldiers by US Marines outside the heavily-guarded compound days earlier. Carrying banners reading "Death to America, Death to [President Hamid] Karzai," the protesters marched through downtown Kabul for several hours. On a street near the embassy, they threw rocks at passing vehicles of the 5,000-strong international peacekeeping force that patrols the city, shattering windows in at least two. One peacekeeper was reportedly treated at a hospital for minor wounds. "Why are Americans killing us inside our home, inside Afghanistan?" said Gul Ahmad, a 20-year-old protester. "What about human rights? We want the killers to be handed over to the courts." The text of the AP report on the incident said the protesters numbered "around 80", but a photo caption accompanying the same story on the ABC News web site put the figure at 200.

Qatar-based al-Jazeera cable TV network reported that the incident began when "drunken" US soldiers opened fire at Afghan troops standing oustide the embassy May 21, with accounts differing on whether the Afghans fired or not. A French military vehicle with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was also reportedly caught in the crossfire, with the French troops having to stop the vehicle and take cover.

The BBC's Kylie Morris in Kabul said that after the shooting, tensions on the streets were high as local police officers and soldiers moved to disperse the crowd that gathered outside the embassy. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is reportedly planning a formal investigation of the incident.

( Palestine Chronicle, from IslamOnline, May 22) [top]

A small sample of Afghan civilians have shown "astonishing" levels of uranium in their urine, according to Dr. Asaf Durakovic of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) based in Washington DC. Dr. Durakovic, a former US army colonel, said in 2000 he had found similar "significant" levels in two-thirds of the 17 Desert Storm veterans he had tested, who showed symptoms of the so-called "Gulf War Syndrome." In May 2002 he sent a team to Afghanistan to interview and examine civilians there. The UMRC says: "Independent monitoring of the weapon types and delivery systems indicate that radioactive, toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads were being used by the coalition forces."

The study says Nangarhar province was a strategic target zone during the US military campaign for the deployment of a new generation of deep-penetrating "cave-busting" and seismic shock warheads. The UMRC says its team identified several hundred people suffering from illnesses and conditions similar to those of Desert Storm veterans, probably because they had inhaled uranium dust. To test its hypothesis that some form of uranium weapon had been used, the UMRC sent urine specimens from 17 Afghans for analysis at an independent UK laboratory. The group says: "Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination... The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999... If UMRC's Nangarhar findings are corroborated in other communities across Afghanistan, the country faces a severe public health disaster... Every subsequent generation is at risk."

The team used as a control group three Afghans who showed no signs of contamination, who averaged 9.4 nanograms of uranium per liter of urine. The average for the 17 "randomly-selected" patients was 315.5 nanograms. Some were from Jalalabad, and others from Kabul, Tora Bora, and Mazar-e-Sharif. A 12-year-old boy living near Kabul had 2,031 nanograms. The maximum permissible level for members of the public in the US is 12 nanograms per liter.

A second UMRC visit to Afghanistan in September 2002 found "a potentially much broader area and larger population of contamination." It collected 25 more urine samples, which bore out the findings from the first group.

Dr. Durakovic told BBC News Online: "In Afghanistan there were no oil fires, no pesticides, nobody had been vaccinated--all explanations suggesed for the Gulf veterans' condition. But people had exactly the same symptoms. I'm certainly not saying Afghanistan was a vast experiment with new uranium weapons. But use your common sense."

Both the US and UK denied that their military forces had used depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan. (BBC, May 22)

See also WW3 REPORT #68 [top]


Indonesian forces are accused of massacring civilians in the new military campaign against separatist guerillas in Aceh province. The 18 killings--including the reported shooting of two 12-year-old boys at point-blank range--took place May 19 during dawn raids in four villages in Bireuen district, villagers said.

Residents of Cot Raboe, a village six miles from the town of Bireuen, said they were woken at 5.30 AM by the sound of gunfire outside their homes. Musafari, a community leader, told the UK Guardian: "There were well over 100 soldiers charging through the village, and a helicopter hovering overhead. We were all too afraid to come out of our houses to see what was really going on."

Other villagers reported that soldiers barged into their homes, pulled out residents and beat them. "They kept asking where the rebels were," said one resident. "I said there weren't any, but they didn't listen."

The shooting lasted over 30 minutes. Villagers said that when they emerged from their homes they saw that one young man had been killed, and three teenagers and two 12-year-olds lay dead in the rice paddies and fish ponds. "My son, Annas Nazir Abdurrahman, had been shot four times, in the head, chest, thigh and calf," said Mohammed Nazir of one of the youngest victims.

Similar scenes were reported that day in the nearby villages of Cot Bate, where eight people were killed, and Pata Mamplam and Pulo Naleng, where two people were killed in each village. Residents said they believed the helicopter was coordinating the attacks.

Indonesia's military commander in Aceh, Major Gen. Endang Suwarya, said there were no civilian casualties in the province that day, but that nine separatist guerillas had been killed in military operations in Bireuen district. He also warned that journalists who quoted guerilla leaders would be banned from the province.

Indonesia launched its military campaign against the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) on May 19. Military commanders insist civilians will not be targeted, but that GAM members will be "crushed" if they did not surrender. Residents in the raided villages denied that any of the victims were GAM members.

Aceh's rebel prime minister Mahmood Malik, GAM's civil leader, urged the UN to intervene immediately, calling for an international fact-finding mission to be sent to the province to investigate the "crimes against humanity that have been committed." (UK Guardian, May 22)

Indonesian warships are also reportedly shelling rebel positions. Human rights workers say almost 10,000 people have fled their homes since the fighting started. Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri has imposed martial law, giving the military sweeping powers to make arrests, impose curfews and restrict travel. (BBC, May 23)

The Indonesian armed forces claim GAM guerillas have burned down 248 schools in Aceh in response to the new military campaign. Armed forces chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto said: "People in Bireuen are also uncooperative with us, but I hope they will learn now that GAM has caused suffering to them."

The UN announced May 21 that it is dispatching 300 emergency school kits along with 50 school tents to Aceh for displaced students, and called on both warring parties to protect educational facilities from destruction .(Jakarta Post, May 21)

The new military offensive in Aceh began after talks with rebel negotiators broke down, ending a five-month-old peace deal that had raised hopes of a permanent resolution to the 26-year conflict. The failed peace deal, signed in December, offered Aceh an autonomous government by 2004, which would have been allowed to keep 70% of the revenue generated from the province's rich oil reserves. (BBC, May 23) [top]

The Indonesian government says that up to 200,000 civilians are to be taken from their homes and put into tent camps guarded by military troops to give the armed forces a free hand in the Aceh conflict. Said Bachtiar Chamsyah Indonesia's Minister of Social Affairs: "We are waiting for an order from the military administration. Should they want to comb a certain area, we will move people from their homes." The government says it has arranged for about 4,000 tents to be sent to more than 80 sites across the province .(London Times, May 22) [top]

A protest against the Aceh repression in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, ended in the arrest of four foreign and two Indonesian participants May 21. Some 50 demonstrators marched to the presidential palace after a rally in front of the US embassy. Dozens of riot police dispersed the demonstrators, who included members of the opposition Democratic People's Party (PRD), the the Indonesian Transportation Workers Union and the Democratic Students Network. The four foreigners, in town for an international peace conference, were Australians Nick Everett and Kylie Moon of the Walk Against War Coalition, South African Lydia Cairncross of the Antiwar Coalition, and Yong Chan of South Korea. Also arrested were Zeli Ariane, chairwoman of Jakarta chapter of PRD and an unidentified labor union activist. (Jakarta Post, May 22) [top]

Indonesia's military chief warned the UK not to try to dictate how he should use his country's British-made Hawk fighter jets in operations against separatists in Aceh. Gen. Endriartono Sutarto told the Guardian during a visit to Aceh that he was not concerned about promises made before the purchase. "In order to cover the whole region and complete the job, I am going to use what I have," he said. "After all, I have paid already." While denying the Hawks had been used in air-to-ground attacks, he gave no promises about their future use. "If we don't use them [for air-to-ground operations], we don't use them," he said. "But who knows?"

Britain sold the fighters to Jakarta on the understanding that they would not be used in offensive operations within Indonesia. In the first three days of the new offensive in Aceh, the Indonesian military repeatedly used four of the aircraft against the GAM, although allegedly not in air-to-ground attacks. (UK Guardian, May 22) [top]

As the Aceh offensive began, the Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN) and East Timor Action Network (ETAN) issued a statement praising the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee for reinstating a ban on military training for Indonesia. On May 21, the committee unanimously agreed to an amendment restricting International Military Education and Training (IMET) for Indonesia until President Bush certifies that Indonesia is "taking effective measures" to fully investigate and criminally prosecute those responsible for the August 2002 attack on US citizens--including the murder of two--in West Papua.

"The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sent the Indonesian government and military a strong bipartisan message that the TNI cannot get away with murder. Indonesian authorities must understand that this is no longer business as usual," said Kurt Biddle of IHRN.

Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) proposed the amendment to the Foreign Assistance Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 with support from committee chair Richard Lugar (R-IN) and ranking member Joseph Biden (D-DE).

"The amendment reflects a growing disgust with the failure of Indonesia to meet a wide range of conditions placed on military assistance by Congress in recent years," said Karen Orenstein, ETAN's Washington coordinator. "Never before has the Indonesian military displayed such boldness in attacking U.S. citizens as it did in 2002. It is not difficult to imagine how the TNI [Indonesian military] treats Indonesian citizens."

The rights groups note that the Indonesian military is using US-supplied war material in the Aceh offensive, including OV-10 Bronco aircraft (used to rocket villages) and C-130 Hercules transport planes (to drop paratroopers). The military has ordered troops to "exterminate" the rebels within six months. "The failure to hold the TNI accountable for its abuses continues," said Orenstein. "An Indonesian court today acquitted General Tono Suratman of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor in 1999." Suratman, the former military commander for East Timor, was the twelfth Indonesian and highest-ranking military officer acquitted by the widely-criticized Indonesian court.

Both Indonesian police and independent human rights investigations point to military responsibility for the murder of two US citizens and one Indonesian in West Papua last August 31, 2002. Another eight US citizens, including a six-year-old child, and three Indonesians were wounded in the ambush in the mining operations area of the Louisiana-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc.

Congress first voted to restrict Indonesia's participation in the IMET program, which brings foreign military officers to the US for training, in response to the November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of over 270 civilians in East Timor. All military ties were severed in September 1999 as the Indonesian military and its militia proxies carried out widespread atrocities in East Timor following its pro-independence vote. (IHRN press release, May 22)

See also WW3 REPORT #49 [top]


On May 15, 300 local residents peacefully blocking the Pan American highway in the state of Oaxaca to demand the release of a political prisoner were violently attacked by police, who fired fired tear gas and beat women and children in an attempt to break up the protest. The blockaders, from the indigenous Zapotec town of Union Hidalgo, who had closed down traffic on the highway from 10 AM until the attack at 4 PM, were protesting the political repression by the Juchitan municipal police force.

On the previous day, May 14, Juchitan police had illegally detained indigneous leader Carlos Manzo, member of the Union Hidalgo Citizen Council (CCU). According to eye witness testimony, Carlos Manzo was leaving a bank in Juchitan, a city near his hometown of Union Hidalgo, when eight police officers stopped him, saying they had a warrant for his arrest on charges of robbery and deprivation of liberty.

Since the police attack on May 15, two other indigenous activists have been arrested--Luis Alberto Marin and Francisco de la Rosa, also of the CCU. Manzo, Marin and de la Rosa are three of 37 local indigenous leaders and environmental activists who had warrants for their arrests issued by the Oaxaca state attorney general.

The CCU was formed in February 2003, after a conflict between Union Hidalgo community members and the municipal government over the suspected misuse of funds by Municipal President (mayor) Armando Sanchez Ruiz of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Mexico's national political machine which until recently held a monopoly on power. On February 13, 2003, the mayor ordered police to fire into a crowd that was demonstrating in front of the municipal palace, killing one protestor and injuring nine. The CCU immediately demanded the mayor leave his post. The ongoing political struggle led the Oaxaca state government--known for both corruption and repression-- to issue arrest warrants on trumped-up charges for CCU supporters.

Many of the CCU leaders have been active in a two-year battle to stop an environmentally harmful shrimp farm from being built in Union Hidalgo. The community is an indigenous Zapotec fishing village, and the proposed industrial shrimp farm--heavily promoted by mayor Armando Sanchez Ruiz--would be illegally built on communal lands. Activists charge it would destroy the local economy. They also see it as a step towards the industrial development program known as the Puebla Panama Plan (PPP), being pushed by the Interamerican Development Bank for southern Mexico and Central America. (ASEJ/ACERCA action alert, May 20)

See also WW3 REPORT #60

For more on the Puebla-Panama Plan, go to:

In English:

In Spanish: [top]


Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik announced May 15 that he is leaving for Iraq to become interior minister in the occupation government. He recently returned from Mexico City, where he was working with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Giuliani Partners' $4.3 million contract to overhaul the city's police force. (See WW3 REPORT #64) Kerik, who works as an anti-terrorism consultant in Giuliani Partners, said he would be in Iraq "at least six months--until the job is done." Pentagon officials would not confirm his appointment. (Newsday, May 16) [top]

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced beefed-up patrols and surveillance at landmarks, subway stations, bridges and tunnels May 21 in response to an FBI warning that a terror attack on US soil is "likely." That same day, service was delayed for hours on the Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit commuter lines following the evacuation of a DC-Boston Amtrak train and the arrest of a "suspicious" man with a knapsack. The knapsack contained nothing threatening, Amtrak sources said.

Kelly's announcement came a day after the federal Homeland Security Department jacked the national color-coded terrorist alert up from yellow ("elevated") to orange ("high")--although New York City has remained at orange even as the rest of the country was back to yellow for several weeks. But Vincent Cannistrano, former CIA anti-terrorism chief, criticized the orange alert as politically-motivated: "There's no substantial intelligence indicating an imminent threat. They did this on the basis of the level of [terrorist] activity abroad and on Kerry's attack on the president." Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), a presidential hopeful, criticized President Bush for neglecting the domestic terrorist threat by being "overly focused on Iraq." (Newsday, May 21)

See also WW3 REPORT #82 [top]

As New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced new anti-terrorism measures, he also told a City Hall briefing that a career military man has been chosen to head the NYPD's Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Michael Sheehan, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who until recently served as assistant UN secretary general for peacekeeping operations, will replace Frank Libutti, a former Marine lieutenant general who has been nominated by President Bush to a post at the Homeland Security Department. Sheehan, a New Jersey native and West Point graduate who will begin his $146,000-a-year job in June, was a formerly a Special Forces commander in Panama and a counter-insurgency advisor in El Salvador.(Newsday, May 21)

Sheehan also served two stints on the White House National Security Council staff, and was the State Department's counter-terrorism coordinator from 1998 to 2000. Sheehan worked with Kelly in Haiti in 1994, when Kelly headed a State Department-coordinated team of international police observers to oversee the country's transition to democracy and Sheehan was on the staff of then-US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright. (NYT, May 20)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 73 & 50 [top]


After a thorough investigation, the BBC has presented a shocking dissection of the "heroic" rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch, who was famously taken prisoner by Saddam's forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The BBC calls her story "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived." Adds the Los Angeles Times' Robert Scheer, commenting on the BBC report: "Lynch, who says she has no memory of the events in question, has suffered enough in the line of duty without being reduced to a propaganda pawn. Sadly, almost nothing fed to reporters about either Lynch's original capture by Iraqi forces or her 'rescue' by US forces turns out to be true."

The April 3 Washington Post story on her capture, headlined "She Was Fighting to the Death," reported--based on unnamed military sources--that Lynch "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds," adding that she was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in. The BBC contends that Lynch was neither shot nor stabbed, but rather suffered accident injuries when her vehicle overturned. A medical checkup by US doctors confirmed the account of the Iraqi doctors, who said they had carefully tended her injuries--a broken arm and thigh and a dislocated ankle. US media reports, in contrast, claimed that Iraqi doctors had ignored Lynch.

News media nationwide also claimed Lynch was slapped by an Iraqi security guard. The US military later insisted that an Iraqi lawyer witnessed this incident and informed US forces of Lynch's whereabouts. His credibility as a source, however, is difficult to verify. He and his family were whisked to the US, where he was immediately granted political asylum, and has refused all interview requests. His future was assured with a job with a lobbying firm run by former Republican Rep.Bob Livingstone that represents the defense industry and a $500,000 book contract with HarperCollins--a company owned by Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox network did much to hype Lynch's story.

"But where the manipulation of this saga really gets ugly is in the premeditated manufacture of the rescue itself," writes Scheer. Eight days after her capture, the US media trumpeted the military's story that Lynch was saved by Special Forces that stormed the hospital and--in the face of heavy hostile fire--managed to scoop her up and helicopter her out. BBC, which interviewed the hospital's staff, says that Iraqi forces had abandoned the area before the rescue effort--and that the hospital's staff had informed US forces of this and made arrangements two days before the raid to turn Lynch over. Writes BBC: "But as the ambulance, with Pvt. Lynch inside, approached the checkpoint, American troops opened fire, forcing it to flee back to the hospital. The Americans had almost killed their prize catch."

"We were surprised," Dr. Anmar Uday told the BBC about the supposed rescue. "There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital. It was like a Hollywood film. [The US troops] cried 'Go, go, go,' with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show for the American attack on the hospital, [like] action movies [starring] Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan."

The footage from the raid, shot not by journalists but by soldiers with night-vision cameras, was fed in real time to the Central Command operations center in Qatar. Writes Scheer: "The video was artfully edited by the Pentagon and released as proof that a battle to free Lynch had occurred when it had not. This fabrication has already been celebrated by an A&E special and will soon be an NBC movie. The Lynch rescue story--a made-for-TV bit of official propaganda--will probably survive as the war's most heroic moment, despite proving as fictitious as the stated rationales for the invasion itself." (LAT, May 20)

For more possible Pentagon media-manipulation ops, see WW3 REPORT #81 [top]

US insistence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was based on intelligence from a little-known Pentagon committee, the Office of Special Plans (OSP), which increasingly dominates US foreign policy, according to a May 12 report in The New Yorker magazine by journalist Seymour Hersh. By late last year, the OSP had become President Bush's main intelligence source, particularly over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the country's links to al-Qaeda, according to Hersh's investigation. But the OSP, the brainchild of Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, relied on questionable intelligence from the Iraqi National Congress (INC), the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi.

Said one anonymous former CIA Middle East specialist quoted in the story: "You had to treat them with suspicion. The INC has a track record of manipulating intelligence because it has an agenda. It's a political unit, not an intelligence agency... One of the reasons I left was my sense that they [the Pentagon] were using the intelligence from the CIA and the other agencies only when it fit their agenda. They didn't like the intelligence they were getting and so they brought people in to write the stuff... They were so crazed and far out and so difficult to reason with, to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God."

W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the DIA, said the SPO's influence has spread beyond Iraq. "The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government's foreign policy, and they've pulled it off ... The DIA has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there's no guts at all in the CIA."

But an official who works with the OSP supervisor and Under Secretary of Defence William Luti, said such arguments were just bureaucratic sour grapes. He said OSP director Abram "Shulsky and Luti won the policy debate... There's no mystery why they won--because they were more effective in making their arguments." (AFP, May 4)

On the March 9 CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Pentagon advisor Richard Perle, commenting on a New Yorker expose of his business interests which stood to profit from a war in Iraq (see WW3 REPORT #79), said: "Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly." [top]

James Woolsey, former CIA chief and a top adviser to President Bush, is a director of a US firm seeking to make millions of dollars from the War on Terror, according to the UK Observer. Woolsey, a key member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, is a director of the DC-based private equity firm Paladin Capital, established three months after the 9-11 attacks. The firm boasts that the aftermath of the attacks "offer[s] substantial promise for homeland security investment." The first priority of Paladin is "to invest in companies with immediate solutions designed to prevent harmful attacks, defend against attacks, cope with the aftermath of attack or disaster and recover from terrorist attacks and other threats to homeland security."

Paladin, which is expected to raise $300 million from investors this year, calculates that in the next few years the US will spend $60 billion on counter-terrorism, and that corporations will spend twice that amount to ensure their security and continuity in case of attack.

Woolsey recently told CNN that Saddam Hussein attempted to produce a genetically modified strain of anthrax: "I would be more worried over the mid to long term about biological weapons, because the chemical gear, we're--I think we're pretty well equipped to deal with. But there have been stories that Saddam has been working on genetically modifying some of these biological agents, making anthrax resistant to vaccines or antibiotics."

One of Paladin's first investments was $10.5 million in AgION Technologies, a firm devising anti-germ technology that it hopes will "be the leader in the fight against bacterial attacks initiated by terrorists on unsuspecting civilian and military personnel." (UK Observer, May 11)



1. Will NBC, Fox and A&E reconsider their portrayals of the rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch in light of new evidence that the affair was actually a carefully-managed Pentagon propaganda operation?

2. Will International Action Center, Voices in the Wilderness, Democracy Now! and all the other lefty groups and commentators who have been crying "sanctions are genocide" for the past 13 years reconsider their portrayals of the issue in light of new evidence that the Baghdad regime bore greater responsibility for the doubling of Iraq's infant mortality, and that the processions of dead babies and greiving parents were actually a carefully-managed Saddam Hussein propaganda operation?

3. Does anybody on either the right or left actually give a shit about the truth, or has the very notion become nothing more than a quaint anachronism in this post-modern age?

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