WW3 Report # 90 July 2004

The World Economic Forum, “Humanitarian Intervention” and the Secret
Resource Wars
by Wynde Priddy

CHIAPAS: Who are the Real “Environmental Terrorists”?

by Carmelo Ruiz

James Woolsey and Subcommander Marcos Say “Four”

by Bill Weinberg


Photo essay by Teun Voeten











By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom, Wynde Priddy, and Carmelo Ruiz, Special Correspondents


1. Don’t Smoke that Ziggurat!

War Still Rocking Cradle of Civilization

2. “Iraqi National Resistance” Emerges

3. U.S. Troops Admit Shooting Iraqi Civilians

4. U.S. Troop in War Crime Inquiry

5. U.S. Spook Firm to Train New Iraqi Army

6. Netanyahu: Mosul-Haifa Pipeline “Not a Pipedream”

7. What Did Wolfowitz Really Say?

8. Marsh Arab Guerillas Threaten Resistance

9. “Kurdicization” Threatens Turkomans

10. Syria Demands Explanation In Border Skirmish

11. Will U.S. Exploit Iran Protests?

12. Did God Order Bush To Attack Iraq?


1. Condi, RAND Diss Apartheid Wall

2. Israeli Tree-Huggers Concerned about Wall’s Eco-Impacts

3. Israel Creates another Bantustan

4. Burmese Crypto-Jews Emigrating Straight to Settlements

5. Ethiopian Crypto-Jews in Limbo

6. Israel Investigates Homegrown Neo-Nazi Website

7. Qaddafi Opts for Bi-National State (Huh?)

8. Kahanists Destroy Gay Pride Flags


1. Asia Times: U.S. In Secret Meeting with Taliban

2. German Servicemen’s Group Warns of Taliban Restoration


1. New Kashmir Violence Tests Peace Process

2. India Sells Out Tibet

3. Tamil Tigers in Naval Battle off Sri Lanka


1. U.S.-Supplied F-16s Attack Aceh Separatists;
U.S. Reporter Trapped
Behind Rebel Lines


1. Morocco-Algeria Anti-Terror Axis

2. Algeria Frees Berber Activists–for Now


1. The New Scramble for Africa: The World Economic Forum,
Intervention” and the Secret Resource Wars

2. Kofi Annan Calls for Liberia Intervention Force

3. Bush Mulls Liberia Intervention

4. Serbia Conduit for Liberia Sanctions-Busters

5. Liberia Agony Fruit of U.S. Cold War Designs

6. Blair Mulls Zimbabwe Intervention

7. Sudan Attacks Terrorist Cell

8. Uganda’s Christian Rebels Attack Churches

9. Congo War: 9-11 Every Day

10. U.S. Seizes al-Qaeda Suspects from Malawi


1. Bush Wanted for War Crimes in Belgium–Almost

2. Greek Anarchists Rock E.U. Summit


1. U.S. Met Secretly with Colombian Terrorist Envoy

2. U.S. Funds Talks with Colombian Terrorists

3. Colombian Army Swears in 10,000 “Peasant Soldiers”

4. Colombian Army Brigade Accused in Massacre

5. Colombian Colonel Gets 40 Years for Massacre

6. Did U.S. Pressure Oust Dirty Colombian General?

7. FARC Calls for Latin American Summit

8. Ex-Guerilla Peace Advocate Assassinated

9. Privatized Colombian Telecom to Lay Off Thousands

10. National Strike Slams Privatization

11. Colombia Leads World in Murdered Unionists

12. Indigenous Mayoral Candidate Assassinated

13. Poet Gubernatorial Candidate Assassinated

14. Report: Panama Violated Refugee Rights

15. Colombian Court Rules Against Fumigation

16. Spook Contractors Blur Washington’s War Role

17. Judge Denies Pressure in IRA-FARC Case

18. Peru: Cabinet Resigns Amid Strike Wave

19. Bolivia: Hunger Strikes End–For Now

20. Chile: FTAA Signed


1. Lacandona: Who Are The Real “Environmental Terrorists”?

2. Mexico-Colombia Anti-Terror Axis

3. Tarahumara Activists Released From Prison; One Remains

4. ERPI Guerillas Deny Kidnappings


1. White House Censors EPA Document on Global Warming


1. Arrested al-Qaeda Suspect Was FBI Informant

2. Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Indefinite Detention

3. Supreme Court Upholds Secret Detentions

4. Appeals Court Upholds Secret Detentions




Micah Garen writes for the Baghdad Bulletin, a new English-language
independent publication monitoring the reconstruction effort in Iraq, that
looting continues at archaeological sites around the country. “The
well-documented looting of the Iraqi National Museum has received
considerable press attention. Yet the continued looting at archaeological
sites, particularly the important Sumerian and Old Babylonian sites south
of Diwaniya, seems to have drawn only moderate attention and even less
concern from coalition forces… Important sites such as Isin, Umma, Umma
Akrab and Larsa were turned into Swiss cheese by teams of looters,
reportedly up to 200 to 300 strong at times.” US Army Col. John Malay, who
commands the Marine forces in Diwaniya, admitted that the problem is not a
priority. “People being killed is the number one priority, not guarding
archaeological sites,” he told Baghdad Bulletin.

Meanwhile, archaeologists are being barred from sites which have been
secured by US troops. Austrian archaeologist Helga Trankwalder protested
that for first time in thirty years she was prevented from going into
Babylon by Marines stationed at the gate. She is harshly critical of US
forces for their lack of foresight and planning in protecting Iraq’s
relics. “The question of responsibility of all this will be raised in
Europe. We will not stop,” she said.

Specialists insist the Pentagon was provided the necessary information to
protect the archaeological sites around Iraq. McGuire Gibson from the
Oriental Institute in Chicago met with Pentagon planners prior to the war,
providing them with a detailed CD that listed all of Iraq’s archaeological
sites with grid coordinates. He also explained the importance of protecting
these sites from looting both before and after the war, and his concerns
were published in National Geographic magazine in March of 2003. “Yet,”
writes Baghdad Bulletin, “this information does not seem to have made it
into the field, and was never made a priority by the coalition.”

Coalition forces apparently would like to see the issue disappear. Italian
Ambassador Pietro Cordone, the newly appointed Iraqi Cultural Minister, has
been avoiding a press eager for answers. In response to a request for an
interview, his office told Baghdad Bulletin that Ambassador Cordone did not
wish to speak about the looting, but would be happy to talk about the
future. In the US, two Congressman have introduced a bi-partisan bill
called the Iraqi Cultural Heritage Act, which would allow the president to
act to save the cultural heritage of a country not party to the 1970 UNESCO
convention prohibiting illicit trade in cultural property. The sanctions
against Iraq made it impossible for Iraq to apply for protection under the
UNESCO convention.

A UNESCO mission made up of international archaeologists is now scheduled
to visit Iraq, the second UNESCO mission to visit Iraq in the past two
months. It is not clear if the mission will be able survey the heavily
looted sites in the south due to security concerns. “But,” concludes
Baghdad Bulletin, “as the political wheels turn, the looting continues.”

Yigal Schleifer of the Israel bi-weekly Jerusalem Report toured Iraq
shortly after the fall of Saddam, visiting ancient Mesopotamian sites as
well as the tombs of the Jewish prophets Ezra and Ezekiel. His feature
story in the June 16 issue relates both how Saddam exploited Iraq’s
5,000-year history and how this history is being plundered in the current
war and lawlessness. At the ruins of Babylon, an hour’s drive south of
Baghdad, ancient structures were partially reconstructed by the Saddam
regime, with new bricks added in 1987 reading, “Rebuilt in the age of
Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq and protector of civilizations, the
descendant of Nebuchadnezzar.” The director of the site, Muhammed Taber
al-Kafiy, told Schleifer: “UNESCO was against this. Iraqi archaeologists
were against this, but they couldn’t say anything about it, because they
would be put in jail.” Now the US has set up military bases at both the
Babylon and Nimrud sites–which have reduced the looting, but have impacts
of their own.

At Kifl, also just south of Baghdad, Schleifer visited the tomb of the Old
Testament prophet Ezekiel, in a 750-year-old shrine still bearing Hebrew
inscriptions and glass-inlaid floral designs. Revered by Jews and Muslims
alike, the tomb is guarded by a local Muslim family which was appointed
stewardship of the site by the Ottoman sultan generations ago. The
caretaker pointed out how a house adjacent to the tomb was partially
destroyed by a missile during the recent air campaign–as were several
other homes in Kifl. One local man showed Schleifer a deep gash in his leg
and told how his two-year-old son was killed when a missile hit their home.
The tomb itself was narrowly spared damage.

At Baghdad’s Jewish cemetery, the local caretaker, an 83-year-old Muslim
named Mohammed Fadel Rhida, pointed out how both Saddam and the US forces
had desecrated the site. He showed Schleifer some 100 graves that were
demolished by the Iraqi army, which placed artillery in the cemetery. He
also indicated a large section of the cemetery’s wall that had been knocked
down by a US tank searching for Iraqi resistance fighters. A number of
tombstones have also been smashed by looters in the post-Saddam chaos.
Indicating the smashed graves, Rhida asked Schleifer, “Is this not haram?”,
the Arabic word for “forbidden.”

See also WW3 REPORT #88



Bomb and grenade ambushes and hostile fire June 26 killed two US soldiers
and two Iraqi civilians, signaling increased resistance in Iraq despite
Washington’s claims to be mopping up opposition. In one attack, a member of
a US special operations force was killed and eight injured by hostile fire
southwest of Baghdad. That same day, a bomb exploded on the Baghdad airport
road, killing a US soldier and injuring another. The road, heavily used by
US forces, has been the scene of several attacks using trip wires dangling
from overpasses or grenades tossed from bridges.

In another ambush, assailants reportedly hurled grenades at a US-escorted
Iraqi civilian convoy in west Baghdad, killing two Iraqi employees of the
national electricity
authority. One day earlier, a Marine was killed while responding to an
ambush in which three other Americans were wounded. US military spokesman
Maj. William Thurmond, played down the new violence as a “spike” and not a
trend, and is likely a response to recent US raids on Baath Party
strongholds. “There have been more attacks recently, but it’s probably
premature to say this is part of a pattern,” Thurmond said. “We’ve kicked
open the nests of some of these bad guys.”

While the US blames the attacks on isolated remnants of Saddam Hussein’s
regime, claiming there is no organized resistance, Qatar’s al-Jazeera TV,
aired statements from two previously unknown groups urging assaults on
US-led forces in Iraq. One, by a group calling itself the Mujahedeen of the
Victorious Sect, claimed responsibility for recent attacks and promised
more. The other, by the Popular Resistance for the Liberation of Iraq,
called for “revenge” against the US.

Pentagon officials also report that two US soldiers apparently have been
abducted. The men and their Humvee were stationed at an observation post
near the town of Balad, north of Baghdad, when they went noticed missing.
In another incident June 26, a US Army truck sat smoldering at the side of
a highway 20 miles south of Baghdad, apparently struck by a
rocket-propelled grenade. A day earlier, attackers threw grenades from a
Baghdad overpass onto a passing convoy of Army Humvees, said a Pentagon
source. There were no serious injuries reported.

The same day, militants ambushed Marines in Hillah, 45 miles south of
Baghdad, wounding three. Later, one Marine was killed and two were wounded
when their vehicle, part of a quick-reaction force sent in response to the
Hillah ambush, rolled over on the road’s shoulder.

On June 24, violence in the southern Iraqi town of Majar al-Kabir killed
six British soldiers and wounded eight British paratroopers. The British
military said the violence probably was sparked when the paratroopers
entered the town, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, during a “routine joint
patrol” with local militias. Townspeople apparently thought the patrol was
going to search for weapons, a source of local resentment. Soldiers
reportedly used dogs in the searches and entered women’s bedrooms in
defiance of Muslim sensibilities.

British forces in Iraq have been reduced to 15,500 from 45,000. The US has
brought home some 130,000 troops from the region, with 146,000 remaining.
The latest killings raised the US death toll to 196 since the start of the
war on March 20. At least 20 US troops have died as the result of hostile
fire since major combat was declared over in May. When the bodies of the
two disappeared GIs were found north of Baghdad June 29, this brought the
total of US dead since the start of the Iraq campaign to 200. (AP, June 26,

In a bizarre musical reprise from the film “Apocalypse Now,” US helicopters
blasted Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” as troops from the First Battalion
of the 124th Infantry Regiment rammed vehicles into metal gates and
hundreds of soldiers raided houses in the western city of Ramadi June 21 as
part of a drive to halt attacks on US forces, code-named Operation Desert
Scorpion. A US military spokesman said that 90 Desert Scorpion raids had
captured 540 Iraqis. US troops wrote ID numbers on the arms of the
detainees in black marker.

As the violence escalated, another previously unknown group, the Iraqi
National Front of Fedayeen, vowed to step up resistance until US forces
leave Iraq. A spokesman appeared on Lebanon’s LBC TV, his face hidden in a
red-and-white headscarf, said: “If they want their soldiers to be safe,
they must leave our pure land.” The militant, flanked by three masked men
with weapons, disavowed any link to Saddam Hussein.

Officials in Washington said Saddam’s captured former secretary Abid Hamid
Mahmud al-Tikriti had told interrogators the deposed dictator and his two
sons are alive and in Iraq. Paul Bremer, US administrator of Iraq, said the
issue of Saddam’s fate needed to be resolved, because uncertainty
emboldened supporters of the toppled regime. “It gives them an ability to
say Saddam is still alive, he’s coming back, and we’re coming back, and
what that does is it disinclines people who might otherwise want to
cooperate with us from cooperating with us,” Bremer told reporters on a
visit to neighboring Jordan.

While US officials blame the attacks on Saddam loyalists, the Shi’ites who
were bitterly persecuted by Saddam continue to protest against the US
presence in Iraq. “The Americans are occupiers and aggressors,” said Sayyid
Ali, one of about 2,000 Shi’ites who protested outside the vast palace
compound in Baghdad now used by Iraq’s US-led administration. “They were
supposed to free us from the oppressor, now they are only occupying us,” he
said. “We want to form a national government. “We want freedom and
justice.” (Reuters, June 21)

When Sen. Richard Luagr, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
arrived in Iraq for a visit with Paul Bremer June 23, he told reporters
that US forces will have to occupy the country for a long time–“as much as
five years.” (AP, June 23)

“I believe we are seeing the beginning of an Iraqi national resistance,
which will spread out and escalate throughout Iraq,” said Mohammed Aziz
Shukri, a professor of international law at Damascus University told
Lebanon’s Daily Star
in response to the attacks. Juan Cole, professor of
history at the University of Michigan and Mideast specialist, added that
“some form of forceful resistance” will continue by the more radical Sunnis
in Iraq. “The Sunni Arabs close to the former regime, as well as Sunni
fundamentalists inside and out of Iraq, have everything to lose in an
American-dominated, Shiite-majority, democratic Iraq. So, it is entirely
natural that they should continue to resist the US.” Said Nizar Hamzeh,
professor of politics at the American University of Beirut: “The resistance
is limited at the moment to Saddam loyalists and Sunni militants who may be
sympathetic to Al-Qaeda. But once the resistance becomes more influential
and strengthens, I expect it to gather support among Arabs and draw
manpower from around the Arab world.”



The UK Mirror reported June 19 that US troops admitted they routinely gun
down Iraqi civilians–some of whom are entirely innocent. “You can’t
distinguish between who’s trying to kill you and who’s not,” said Sgt.
John Meadows. “Like, the only way to get through shit like that was to
concentrate on getting through it by killing as many people as you can,
people you know are trying to kill you. Killing them first and getting
home.” Added Cpl. Michael Richardson: “There was no dilemma when it came to
shooting people who were not in uniform, I just pulled the trigger.”
Richardson also admitted shooting injured fighters and leaving them to die.
“Shit, I didn’t help any of them. I wouldn’t help the fuckers. There were
some you let die. And there were some you double-tapped.” Richardson said
the 9-11 attacks gave him his motivation to fight Iraqis. “There’s a
picture of the World Trade Center hanging up by my bed and I keep
one in my flak jacket. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at
that. I think, ‘They hit us at home and, now, it’s our turn.’ I don’t want
to say payback but, you know, it’s pretty much payback.” (UK Mirror, June

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 6,011 and the
maximum at 7,653.



US Marines Gunnery Sgt. Gus Covarrubias is under investigation for possible
war crimes committed in Iraq based on statements he made to his hometown
newspaper. Covarrubias told the Las Vegas Review-Journal how he had hunted
down and shot two Iraqi soldiers after a firefight. “A preliminary inquiry
has been initiated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to examine
the circumstances surrounding the statements made by Gunnery Sergeant
Covarrubias,” the US military statement said. “The preliminary inquiry will
determine if the actions described by Gunnery Sergeant Covarrubias during
combat operations met the established rules of engagement and complied with
the law of war.”

In the interview published on April 25, Sgt. Covarrubias said he was
searching for the source of a grenade attack April 8 and found an Iraqi
soldier in a nearby house with a grenade launcher. He told the paper he
ordered the man to stop and to turn around. “I went behind him and shot him
in the back of the head–twice,” he was quoted as saying.

He said he saw another Iraqi soldier trying to escape and also shot
him–then took their ID cards, a rifle and one of their berets for
souvenirs. He said the killings were “justice”, but the paper quoted a
military expert as saying the first one could have been a war crime. (The
Age, Australia, May 2)



The Pentagon has awarded a $48-million contract to train the nucleus of a
new Iraqi army to the Vinnell Corporation, a US Fairfax, VA-based firm
which also trains the Saudi National Guard. The company, a subsidiary of
the US aerospace firm Northrop Grumman, said on its website it was hiring
former US army and marine officers to train light infantry battalions and
combat service support units for the new Iraqi army. The new army is
expected to reach 12,000 troops within a year and swell to 40,000 within
two years. Iraq’s former standing army of some 400,000 troops was disbanded
after US-led forces ousted the ruling Baath Party regime in April. Ten of
the company’s employees–two Filipinos and eight US citizens–were among
those killed in May 12 suicide attacks on compounds for foreign workers in
Riyadh. (AFP, Juine 26)

(See also WW3 REPORT #86)



Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expects an oil pipeline
from Iraq to Israel to be reopened in the near future after being closed
when Israel became a state in 1948. “It won’t be long when you will see
Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa,” the Israeli port city, Netanyahu told a group
of British investors. “It is just a matter of time until the pipleline is
reconstituted and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean… It’s not a
pipe-dream.” In April, a source at Israel’s National Infrastructure
Ministry told Reuters Israel and Jordan would hold talks on reopening the
pipeline, which Israel believes would lower fuel costs by 25%. The source
said that the Israeli section of the pipeline was still in good condition.
Jordanian officials denied they would meet Israeli officials on the issue.
(Haaretz, June 20)

But Iraq’s US-appointed de facto oil minister Thamir Ghadhban said the
Mosul-Haifa has fallen into ruin within Iraq, with parts recycled for
pumping water. “The pipeline does not exist anymore,” Ghadhban told
reporters. He also said any decision to sell oil to Israel would be the
responsibility of an Iraqi authority or government. “This is a political
decision which is not of my affair and has to be taken by politicians.”
Ghadhban denied giving an interview to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv at a
recent economic meeting in Jordan. The paper said Baghdad would not use the
old pipeline to sell oil to Israel, attributing the statement to Ghadhban.
(Haaretz, June 24)

See also WW3 REPORT #83



On June 4, the UK Guardian’s electronic edition reported that US deputy
defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, asked why nuclear-capable North Korea was
being treated differently from Iraq, replied: “Let’s look at it simply. The
most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that
economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of
oil.” The following day, the Guardian ran a correction, stating that the
remarks had been taken out of context. According to the US Defense
Department website, what Wolfowitz really said was: “The … difference
between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options
with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North
Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I
believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with
North Korea is very different from that with Iraq.”

Concluded the Guardian: “The sense was clearly that the US had no economic
options by means of which to achieve its objectives, not that the economic
value of the oil motivated the war.”

See also WW3 REPORT #89



In Iraq’s southern marshlands, guerrillas who resisted Saddam Hussein’s
regime for years say they fear the US-led occupation wants to take away
their weapons so that foreign troops can remain Iraq for years to come.
Al-Sayyid Kadum al-Hashimi, a leader in the town of Majar al-Kabir, south
of Amara, where six British soldiers were killed June 24, said: “It is the
belief of people here, and it is believed by all other Iraqis, that the
British want to disarm us so they can stay for a long time.” Abu Hatem
Qarim Mahoud, famed in Iraq as a guerrilla leader and known as the “lord of
the marshes,” said he hoped an agreement could be reached with the
occupation forces about weapons. But he warned that “any program for
reconstruction without an interim Iraqi government will fail.” Further
fighting around Amara, which is controlled by Abu Hatem, will be
embarrassing for the US because the guerrillas cannot be portrayed as
remnants of Saddam’s regime. “Ours is the only city which liberated itself
through its own efforts,” said Ali al-Atiyah, one of Abu Hatem’s aides.
Some guerrillas are more frank than their own leader on how they see the
future. “We will put an end to this occupation with our weapons,” said
Maythem al-Mohammed Dawi, who had been fighting in the marshes since 1998.
“If we give up our arms how can we fight them?”

Abu Hatem’s fighters–said to number 8,000–continued to resist Saddam even
after the dictator started draining the marshlands to deprive the guerillas
of cover. With the swamps destroyed, they dug a network of tunnels and
bunkers in the dry beds. After serving in the Iraqi army as a
non-commissioned officer, Aub Hatem was jailed in 1980 for seven years and
on his release started his guerrilla organization called Hizbollah
(unrelated to the Lebanese group). He captured Amara on April 7, two days
before the fall of Baghdad–but then said he received a call on his
satellite phone from a CIA agent in Kuwait whom he called Dawud. He said:
“When we were speaking, he gave me the order to leave the city within one
hour.” Abu Hatem then called Kanan Makiya, an Iraqi writer living in
Washington, asking him to use his influence to try to get the order
reversed. Amara remains under Abu Hatem’s control, and life in the city is
much more normal than elsewhere in Iraq, with no curfew. When the British
soldiers were killed in Majar al-Kabir on Tuesday, Abu Hatem was in Baghdad
meeting with Paul Bremer, leader of the US administration in Iraq. Abu
Hatem reportedly rushed back to Majar al-Kabir, where local leaders told
him they feared the confiscation of weapons meant that the US and UK would
occupy Iraq for years. (UK Independent, June 27)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 83 & 39



For nearly 30 years, Saddam Hussein implemented a policy of “Arabization”
in much of northern Iraq, bringing thousands of Arabs from southern and
central Iraq to the oil-rich northern region and expelling non-Arab
minorities–Kurds, Turkomans and Assyrians. Now, following the fall of
Saddam’s regime, there is a campaign to “Kurdicize” towns like Kirkuk and
Tuz Khurmatu, where over half the population is Turkoman.

The two main Kurdish parties, the Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic
Party (KDP) and Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), have
brought thousands of Kurdish families from the northern Kurdish autonomous
zone to ethnically-mixed towns like Kirkuk that were under Saddam’s control
until he was ousted. Occupation authorities have insisted that Kirkuk’s
city council consist of Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans and Assyrians–two members
each. But there already have been bloody clashes between Kurds and Arabs
and threats exchanged between Kurds and Turkomans. Writes Nermeen al-Mufti
for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting: “Even the walls of Kirkuk,
covered in Kurdish banners and names now, have begun to speak Kurdish.”

Turkomans are Iraq’s third largest ethnic group after Arabs and Kurds.
Originally from Central Asia, they began settling in Iraq in a long
migration that spanned centuries. They have ruled the country six times
since establishing their first state in northern Iraq around 600 BC.

The exact number of Turkomans today is contested by Kurdish leaders, who
call Kirkuk the major city of a Kurdish region. A 1957 figure of 590,000
Turkomans in an overall population of six million, this would suggest that
Iraq today has some two million Turkomans. Some half of them live on the
fringe of the Kurdish mountains, in the provinces of Mosul, Erbil and

The 1970s, the non-Arab peoples of northern Iraq were particular targets of
Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath Party, which stressed the primacy of Arabs.
Turkomans and Kurds especially were victims of the campaign to “Arabize”
the oil-rich regions where they are a majority. Thousands of villages were
destroyed and their inhabitants expelled or forcibly transferred to remote
areas of southern Iraq. Many of the limited cultural rights granted
Turkomans–Turkish language education in primary schools, daily radio and
television broadcasts and a newspaper–were taken away as early as 1972.

Human Rights Watch documented various means Saddam’s regime used to
pressure on Kurdish, Turkoman and Assyrian families to abandon their homes.
These included being compelled to change ethnicity (known as “nationality
correction”), forced recruitment into the Ba’ath Party and “volunteer”
paramilitary units, pressure on families with relatives in the Kurdish
autonomous zone, and attempts to recruit informers.

“Nationality correction,” formally introduced in 1997, required members of
ethnic groups residing in Kirkuk, Khaniqin, Makhmour, Sinjar, Tuz Khormatu
and other districts to relinquish their Kurdish, Turkoman, or Assyrian
identities and to register officially as Arabs. Unless they did so, they
were not permitted to work–even in agriculture–or buy or build a house.
Those who refused were expelled from their homes.

When Kirkuk was liberated from Saddam’s rule in April, Kurdish peshmerga
militias arrived, calling the city the heart of Kurdistan. The Turkomans
have already established a local TV and radio station and a number of trade
unions. Muzaffar Arsalan, founder of the Iraqi Turkoman National Front, an
umbrella group of Turkoman parties established in exile, says he has ruled
out armed struggle to defend the community’s rights. “We have insisted on
peaceful opposition right from the beginning,” he said in an interview. “We
will obtain our rights with the support of our people. Nothing can be
gained without popular support. Saddam Hussein in the prime example of
this. He had everything but popular support. This resulted in his downfall.”

Human Rights Watch is urging the occupation forces to take measures to
defend minority rights–including preservation of all records establishing
the ethnicity and place of origin of displaced Iraqis and establishment of
a public register of all Kurds, Turkomans and Assyrians forcibly expelled
from their homes Arsalan also demands scrutiny of official documents to
determine land rights in contested areas. “The issue can be resolved by
referring to the facts,” he said. “There is no need for arms, terror or
intimidation. All Iraqis should be granted their rights under the

( Nermeen al-Mufti for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, June 25)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 87 & 83



The Syrian government is still demanding an explanation from the US a week
after five of its border guards were detained in a US special forces raid
on the frontier with Iraq. The foreign ministry has yet to receive any
response to a formal protest it lodged with US ambassador Theodore Kattouf
on June 19, the official SANA news agency said June 25. The ministry
demanded “an explanation from the US government…and the return of the
wounded soldiers for treatment in Syria in order to avoid any
misunderstanding that might lead to an escalation neither side wants,” the
SANA statement said. “The ministry is still waiting.”

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged that no wanted Iraqi
officials were found in the June 19 raid by Task Force 20, a secret unit
set up to hunt down senior members of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Other US
officials said five Syrian border guards were held in a subsequent clash,
three of whom were wounded. They admitted that the raid may even have taken
place on Syrian territory.

But Rumsfeld defended the intelligence that prompted the attack against
what he called a suspicious convoy exiting Iraq, insisting Washington was
in contact with Damascus over the incident. (AFP, June 26)

See also WW3 REPORT #84



Authorities say up to 4,000 people were arrested in protests in Iran
between June 10 and 20. The demonstrations, launched in reaction to the
government’s university privatization plan on June 10, later turned into an
a more general campaign for greater democracy. Prosecutor General Ayatollah
Abdulnabi Namazi stated that 4,000 people were arrested nationwide, 2,000
of whom have now been released. Namazi stated that of the 800 arrested in
the capital, Tehran, only a small number were students, and that most of
them were “hooligans.” The Union Reinforcement Bureau, the largest
reformist student group, indicated that number of student arrests is much
more than that declared by the authorities. (Zaman, Turkey, June 20)

The protests come just as Iran is facing international pressure over its
nuclear program–and not only from Bush, but also from Mohammad el-Baradei,
head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who urged Iran
to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow foreign inspections of its
nuclear facilities. In his annual report to the IAEA’s board of governors
in Vienna, el-Baradei said Iran “failed” to report certain materials and
activities. Meanwhile, EU ministers meeting in Luxemburg issued a statement
expressing skepticism about the stated peaceful aims of Iran’s nuclear
program. “The nature of some aspects of this program raises serious
concern,” the statement said. (New York Sun, June 17)

Dissident leaders in Iran seem cognizant of the threat that their movement
could be exploited by the US. A letter signed by over 250 dissidents and
published in the pro-reformist newspaper Yas-e-nou accused Iran’s ruling
mullahs and their doctrine of “wilayat al-faqih” (rule by clerics) of being
contrary to the true spirit of Islam: “Considering individuals to be in the
position of a divinity and absolute power…is open polytheism [in
contradiction to] almighty God, and blatant oppression of human dignity.
People [and their elected leaders] have the right to supervise fully their
rulers, criticize them, and remove them from power if they are not
satisfied.” The statement also declared support for an earlier letter
issued by parliamentarians in May, calling on President Khatami to accept
reform before “the whole establishment and the country’s independence and
territorial integrity are jeopardized.” (New York Sun, June 17)

As if to demonstrate how foreign powers could exploit the Iran unrest,
Pentagon advisor Richard Perle told the German Council on Foreign
Relations: “There may be regime change in Iran because the regime in Iran
is miserably unpopular. Young Iranians will find better uses for their
limited resources than building nuclear power in a country so rich in oil.
We can already see signs that Iranians…would like to see regime change.
They should be encouraged.” (New York Sun, June 17)

Militant protests against the Tehran regime have also broken out among
Iranian exiles in France, where Maryam Rajavi, a leader of the Mujahedeen
Khalq, an armed Iranian opposition group based in Iraq, has been
imprisoned. Several followers have launched hunger strikes to demand his
release, and eight have set themselves ablaze. Two women–one in London and
one in Paris–died of their burns. Rajavi and 150 others were detained in a
June 17 raid by French police. Eleven members were imprisoned on
terrorism-related charges. Founded in 1965 as a guerrilla group fighting
the Iranian monarchy, the Mujahedeen Khalq added a political arm in exile
in 1981, then built its army in Saddam’s Iraq. Washington and the European
Union call it a terrorist
organization. France’s intelligence agency, the DST, calls the organization
a personality cult around Maryam Rajavi–“president-elect” of a future
Iran–and her co-leader husband Massoud, still said to be in Iraq. Maryam
Rajavi, who left Iraq in April, is under investigation for “membership in a
criminal organization linked to a terrorist enterprise” and for financing
terrorism. The DST claims the group planned attacks against Iranian
diplomatic missions in Europe. Mujahedeen Khalq denies the charges, saying
the organization abides by the law in countries outside Iran. “What France
is doing is the result of a dirty deal with the mullahs at a time when the
Iranian regime is on the ropes,” said spokesman Shain Gobadi. (AP, June 27)

See also WW3 REPORT #88



On June 25, the Israeli daily Haartez quoted Palestinian Prime Minister
Mahmoud Abbas as saying that in their recent meeting President George Bush
told him: “God told me to strike at al-Qaeda and I struck them, and then he
instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to
solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if
not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”



US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice on June 29 criticized the
Israeli government’s ongoing construction of a “separation barrier,” or
security fence between Israel and the West Bank. After a meeting with
Israeli ministers, Rice said Washington saw the wall’s construction as
“problematic” because “it would create a fait accompli” and might be
considered as an intention to define an international border between the
two future states. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said
the fence “had no political significance,” and that it was only being built
because of “security concerns.” He stressed that he wouldn’t back down on
the matter, even if it caused a disagreement with Washington. (AFP, June 29)

Rice requested of Sharon that the route of the fence be reconsidered with
“greater sensitivity.” Ha’aretz noted that Israel’s Foreign Minister Silvan
Shalom “also spoke about the continuing incitement in the Palestinian
press, and reminded Rice that a Palestinian newspaper had recently called
her ‘the black widow.’ Rice said that she had been told of the epithet and
found it shocking .”(Ha’aretz, June 30)

Aluf Benn, writing in Ha’aretz, had the following observation: “Rice may
have read assessment of the situation by the experts at Rand, one of the
most important strategic research institutes in the US, in the latest issue
of the Atlantic Monthly, which put the
separation fence at the top of the list of global security problems that
are not getting sufficient attention. The author warned that building the
fence will lead to an escalation of Palestinian terror, in the territories
and abroad.” (Ha’aretz, June 30)

If Israel completes the fence according to its current plan, less than 50%
of the West Bank will be left for the creation of a Palestinian state. US
President George Bush and Tony Blair have also criticized the fence. “We
are interested in progress in the peace process that will render the
fence’s security arrangements unnecessary,” Blair said at the recent Aqaba
summit. (Ha’aretz, June 17)

( http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=303973&contrassID=2&subCo

A UN official also criticized the wall. “It potentially separates tens of
thousands of Palestinians from their agricultural lands, wells, markets,
schools, health clinics and hospitals,” said Undersecretary-General for
Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast to the Security Council on Friday,
June 14. “By the end of July, 12,000 Palestinians in 15 villages could find
themselves wedged between the wall and the Green Line,” he said. “A further
138,000 Palestinians in 16 localities could be surrounded on three sides by
the wall.” (AP, June 14)

The fence has also been criticized, at long last, by the official
Palestinian leadership. Edward F. Sheehan, in the New York Review of Books,
reports having the following exchange with Palestinian President Yasser
Arafat and Prime Minister Abu Mazen:

“I described my visit to Qalqilya and asked whether the Israeli fence could
be accepted as the border of a Palestinian state.

“Abu Mazen: Impossible.

“Arafat: The Israelis are controlling our water and diverting it to Israeli
wells. They are taking our best farmlands in the West Bank. They are
building a Berlin Wall around Jerusalem. Unbelievable! Who can accept this?
Who can accept this? Bethlehem and Hebron are separated from the north.
Jerusalem is completely separated from the West Bank by more than six
kilometers of expropriated land….

“E.S.: For a final peace, what should be done with the fence?

“Arafat and Abu Mazen: It must be removed.”( NYRB, July 3)

Lastly, officialdom just seems to be catching up in its criticism of the
fence with the US president’s wife. Before the fence’s construction even
began, US First Lady Laura Bush, in a rare comment on foreign policy, said
on the American Urban Radio Network June 17, 2002, “I don’t know that a
fence will be some long-lasting sign of
peace.”(NYT, June 18 2002) (David Bloom)



The center-left Israeli daily Ha’aretz in a June 21 article worried about
the environmental damage the Apartheid wall will cause. “The separation
fence severs the continuity of open areas and is harmful to the landscape,
the flora and fauna, the ecological corridors and the drainage of the
creeks,” the article begins. “The protective
system will irreversibly affect the land resource and create enclaves of
communities that are cut off from their surroundings.” Environment Minister
Yehudit Naot (Shinui) is considered “environmentally sensitive,” says
Ha’aretz. “I certainly don’t want to stop or delay the building of the
fence, because it is essential and will save lives,” she claims. “On the
other hand, I am disturbed by the environmental damage involved. Therefore,
what remains is to do the maximum to save what can possibly be saved.” Also
very concerned about the environmental damage is Aharon Nachmais, director
of Israel’s parks. He’s worried about what the wall will do to wild
animals, which will be cut off from their natural habitats by the fence.
“The animals don’t know that there is now a border,” Nachmias explains.
“They are used to a certain living space, and what we are concerned about
is that their genetic diversity will be affected because different
population groups will not be able to mate and reproduce. Isolating the
populations on two sides of a fence definitely creates a genetic problem.”
To counter this problem, Israel will create 17 centimeter holes in the
wall, so small animals, rodents, crocodiles, and foxes will be able to get
through. (Ha’aretz, June 21)

The Israeli concern for animals and genetic diversity doesn’t seem to
extend to human beings. On June 18, a law forbidding Palestinians from the
territories from getting Israeli citizenship by marrying Israeli spouses
passed its first reading in the Knesset. If
the bill becomes law, Palestinian Israelis will no longer be able to marry
Palestinians from the territories and have their spouse live with them in
Israel. They will have to move to the territories if they want to be
together. Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada says that with this
proposed law, “Israel takes another leap towards institutionalized
apartheid.” (Lebanon Daily Star, June 26) (David Bloom)



Baka al-Garbiyeh is a Palestinian Israeli village inside the Green
Line–that is, within Israel proper. Just across the Green Line is Baka
al-Sharqiyeh, and Nazlat Isa, Palestinian villages that abut the Green
Line, in Palestinian “area C” in the northern West Bank. Israel’s
Separation Fence, or “Apartheid Wall” as the Palestinians call it, is being
built several kilometers to the east of the villages, cutting them off from
the rest of Palestinian territory. Now Israel has announced it is fencing
off the villages on the Palestinian side from Baka al-Garbiyeh on the
Israeli side. This time, the fence will indeed be built on the Green Line;
in the process, dozens of dunams (1 acre = 4 dunams) will be seized from
both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. 7,700 Palestinian residents of
Nazlat Isa and Baka al-Sharqiyeh will be completely walled inside a
Ghetto-Bantustan–with the only way out being a to-be-announced gate to the

“Welcome to prison,” said Samir al-Assad, an accountant from Nazlat Isa.
“Soon there will be such a high wall here that even a bird won’t be able to
escape.” On Jan. 21, the Israeli army came and destroyed 62 shops housed in
28 buildings in Nazlat Isa. At the time, local merchants surmised to WW3
REPORT that the army’s real intention in destroying the town’s commercial
center was the eventual creation of a settler-only highway to run on the
route passing through the middle of the town. “Security,” was the reason
soldiers gave to protestors for all the destruction. “Israel plans to build
a road to Jordan that will restrict the town from the south,” Ha’aretz

The 800-meter-long and six-meter-high wall will also destroy the close-knit
relationship that each of the communities has across the Green Line. “This
ghetto plan will affect our economy and our relations with the Jews. It
increases the hatred and tension,” said Hassan Mawassi, a local journalist.
(Ha’aretz, June 27) (David Bloom)

See also: Demolitions At Nazlet Isa–Despite Non-Violent Resistance


About 5,000
members of the Burmese community known as Bnei Menashe are currently
waiting in India for emigration to Israel. At a Knesset Immigration
Absorption Committee debate in June, Labor MK Ophir Pines-Paz protested
that several dozen Bnei Menashe members had recently been brought to
settlements, where they had undergone “hasty” conversion.

“This is an amazing and infuriating story,” said Pines-Paz. “How is it
possible that hundreds of people are being brought from India to go to
settlements? They are arriving clandestinely… It is a disgrace. This is
illegal immigration and it must stop immediately.” Pines opined that new
immigrants should first be brought to places in Israel proper like Afula or
Petah Tikva, “to understand the normal life of the country,” and then be
given the choice to decide where to live. “I think the whole thing is
something that is totally unacceptable. You bring people from all over the
world–from Mexico, from India, from whatever–straight to the
settlements.” Pines added.

Committee chair MK Colette Avital (Labor) said it was clear the newcomers
were being brought to Israel to bolster the settlements in the occupied
territories. “Simple Indians are being brought here to save the settlement
movement,” she said. “There are many millions of people in India who would
prefer to go the suburbs of Gaza than to remain in the reality of Kashmir.
Is it possible that the chief rabbis are lending a hand to missionary

Rabbi Eliahu Avihail, whose work involves bringing far-flung purported
members of the lost tribes of Israel “back” to the modern state of Israel,
says that only the settlements are prepared to take in the Bnei Menashe,
because they exist in a penurious state. There are now some 750 Bnei
Menashe living in the settlements of Kiryat Arba, Gush Katif, and Beit El.
(Ha’aretz, June 19; Arutzsheva.com, June 18)

The Bnei Menashe, or “children of Menassah,” believe they are descended
from the Jewish tribe of Menassah who fled the northern Kingdom of Israel
under Assyrian attack in 744 BCE. They first were exiled to Assyria (now
Iraq) and four hundred years later, still further east to escape the armies
of Alexander the Great–first to Afghanistan, and eventually across the
Himalayas and into China. They believed they were the only Jews left, and
lived quietly under Chinese rule, until late in the 13th century CE, when
they encountered western missionaries who threatened to convert them to
Christianity. To escape persecution they went to live in caves in southern
China, where they acquired the name “Shinlung,” which means “cave
covering.” About 500 to 600 years ago, the Chinese found the Shinlung,
seized their holy parchment [which according to Shinlung tradition was
their Torah] and drove them into today’s Thailand and Burma–although some
are thought to have traveled down the Mekong River into Vietnam, the
Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. From Thailand and Burma, many Shinlung
migrated to the northeast Indian provinces of Mizoram and Manipur [nowhere
near Kashmir], where an estimated 1.25 to 4 million Shinlung live today.
Although most were Christianized in the last centuries, 10,000 live as
actively Jewish Bnei Menashe in 13 towns. Of this number some thousands
have formally converted to orthodox Judaism, and many of them want to
emigrate to Israel.

According to Rabbi Avihail, Jewish customs that have survived through the
Christianization of the Bnei Menashe include circumcision–performed with
rocks, in a manner consistent with the Torah but without reference to the
Rabinnic and Halachic traditions which they were not exposed to in their
exile. Their priest mentions in services the Patriarch Abram and Moriah [a
reference to the prevention of the sacrifice of Isaac at Mount Moriah]. The
priest also mentions Mount Sinai and Mount Zion, and uses the Hebrew word
for God. Under Avihail’s direction, several thousand have adopted
Rabinnic-Halachic modern Judaism. (Ha’aretz, Aug. 16, 1999; Hadassah
Magazine, 1999; See also: http://www.bneimenashe.com/)

For further reading, see “Across the Sabbath River” by Hillel Halkin
(Houghton-Mifflin, 2002)



Like Burma’s Bnei Menash, the Falash Mura of Ethiopia–Christians who are
the descendants of Ethiopian Jews–are in a controversy surrounding their
Israeli immigration status. Forced to convert to Christianity under
economic duress or even death threats from Christian neighbors, the Falash
Mura secretly remained Jews. 18,000 of the Falash Mura now await emigration
to Israel. Loolwa Khazzoom, writing for the Pacific News Service June 18,
notes that Israel’s chief rabbi said May 23 that the Falash Mura are “one
hundred percent Jews, without a doubt” and should “immediately be brought
to Israel … to rescue them from the jaws of death.” The Falash Mura, many
with relatives in Israel, have gathered in Addis Abbaba and are awaiting
emigration under poor living conditions. But Israel has so far hedged on
the Falash Mura’s emigration, and a six-month-old emigration plan has

Some have charged racism: In the Israeli Knesset, one member of the Shas
party, representing the country’s Sephardic and Oriental religious Jews,
challenged the country’s new Interior minister, from the anti-religious
Shinui party. “If they were Romanian you would find the money,” said Shas
lawmaker Nissim Ze’ev, referring to Interior Minister Avraham Poraz’s
country of origin. “Tell the truth. You don’t want blacks here.” (The
Forward, June 27)

Another official argument is economics: “Falash Mura come from another kind
of culture, another kind of country and society,” said Aric Puder,
spokesman for the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption. “We need to give
a lot of special programs in order to absorb them into the Israeli society.”

Yet Khazzoom points out that Israel “actively scouted out and absorbed one
million Jewish immigrants from Russia” in the last decade, and according to
the group Jewish Agency for Israel, almost 250,000 were in fact non-Jews.
(Pacific News Service)
These non-Jews have been described as a “demographic time-bomb.”(Jerusalem
Post, June 22, 2001)



The problem of a quarter of a million “non-Jews” arriving with the
million-strong aliyah (emigration to Israel) from the former Soviet Union
has long been controversial in Israel. Now it appears that a group of
Russian “non-Jews” have formed an Israeli neo-Nazi group.

The UK Guardian notes that it is an “open secret” that many of the Russians
have only distant ties to Judaism, and that some brought “forged birth
certificates.” The Guardian charges that “the Israeli government, desperate
for new immigrants to counter the burgeoning Palestinian population, turned
a blind eye.” (UK Guardian, June 24)

In a June 22, 2001 Jerusalem Post article, Jonathan Rosenblum describes how
the “Law of Return” of Jews to the modern state of Israel gets a little
complicated: “Initially adopted in 1950, the Law of Return gave every Jew
the right to immigrate to Israel. An amendment in 1970 extended that right
to non-Jews who had a Jewish parent or grandparent, their spouses and the
spouses of Jews. Of the 250,000 non-Jewish Russian immigrants, about 30,000
fall under the ‘grandfather clause.’ The rest are spouses or children of
Jews. Assuming half of those 250,000 are women of childbearing age, the
figures mean that in coming generations, the Jewish State will be producing
non-Jews, since halachah [rabbinic Jewish law] does not accept the children
of non-Jewish mothers as Jews.”

Rosenblum adds that “as a consequence of the Jewish Agency’s focus on
numbers, Israel’s churches are now filled, the sight of soldiers wearing
large crucifixes no longer surprises, and over 20% of new immigrants
inducted in January demanded to take their induction oath on the New
Testament.” Rosenblum adds that the derogatory Russian term for Jews,
“Zhid”, is often heard in the Russian-speaking sections of Ashkelon and
Asdod, and anti-Semitic graffiti can often be seen in these Israeli cities.
(Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2001)

An organization calling itself “The White Israel Union” has put up a
neo-Nazi web site in based in Israel, according to May 23 Ha’aretz. The
site contains racist comments against both Arabs and Jews. It lists
addresses where Holocaust denial literature can be bought, as well as
displays of neo-Nazi poetry. The site has a picture of activists of the
White Israel Union who can be seen in the uniform of the Israeli Defense
Forces (IDF). The activists have their
arms raised in a Nazi salute. The managers of the site introduce themselves
as “Ilya from Haifa and Andrei from Arad,” and describe themselves as
“people who have pride in themselves and are sick of living among the dirty
bastards.” The “Who our enemies are” section describes Jews, Arabs,
immigrants from Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union, Moroccans and
foreign workers. The White Israel Union calls all these groups “the
black-asses.” The Israeli Attorney-general has ordered an investigation
into the web site. (Ha’aretz, May 23; Ha’aretz, June 24)

Lilly Galli, writing in Ha’aretz May 23 says “the site resembles neo-Nazi
sites in Russia, and strong connections exist between the activists here
and the activists there. In the forum on the local site, there is an
ambivalent attitude toward the fact that these proud white people are
living in Israel… The members who live in Israel explain that they want
to defend the true Russian person on Israeli soil. They have a mission.”
(Ha’aretz, May 23)(David Bloom)



Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, in the past a strong “rejectionist,” has
recommended a complete overhaul of the “roadmap.” In a speech delivered via
satellite link from Tripoli to an academic conference in London, Qaddafi
called for one unified state for both the Palestinian and Israeli people.
The Libyan dictator noted that the territory comprised by Israel and the
occupied Palestinian territories was simply too small to accommodate two
states. “The territory is too narrow to accommodate two states, and they
would fight,” Qaddafi said. The new name for the binational state? Qaddafi
suggests “Israteen.” (Jerusalem Post, Jun. 28)

The irony here is that Qaddafi is an adherent and proselytizer of “third
position” ideology, an offshoot of National Socialism. According to
Political Research Associates,
which monitors the Far Right’s attempted
appropriation of the Left, “Qaddafi has sponsored several international
conferences promoting his special variation of racial nationalism and
cultivating ideas congruent with Third Position ideology.” Qaddafi’s brand of Third
Positionism has won him admirers from a wide variety of racial separatists,
including Nick Griffin of the racist British National Party (BNP),
ultra-fascist Roberto Fiore of the Interational Third Position (ITP), and
US-based black separatist Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.

Can it be that Qaddafi, who once said: “Were it not for the problem of
Palestine, I would be the first to defend the Jews in the world,”
(International Herald Tribune,4/16/1993) has changed his racialist spots?
Or is he perhaps finding a complex way to weasel his way off the greater
Axis-of-Evil list, at the risk of alienating his crypto-fascist friends and
fellow travelers around the world? (David Bloom)

For more on Fiore, Griffin and the Third Position



Several days before the second annual June 27 Gay Pride march in Jerusalem,
members of the outlawed far-right Kach party–followers of the late
extremist rabbi Meir Kahane–ripped down and burned many of the
rainbow-colored pride flags that had been placed along the parade’s route.
(JTA, June 26) In a statement sent to Ma’ariv on June 18, Kach stated,
“It’s disgraceful that gay pride flags should fly in Jerusalem,
particularly when there is an ultra-orthodox mayor.” It added, “We will not
permit the Jewish character of the city to be undermined.” (Advocate.com,
June 18)
The recently elected ultra-orthodox mayor of Jerusalem, Uri
Lupolianski, ignored calls
from the Jerusalem’s orthodox community to ban the march, but he did call
it “an abomination.” (JTA, June 26) Opined far-right activist and
self-declared former Kach spokesman Itamar Ben-Gvir, “This is a disgusting
parade which has no place in a Jewish state.” Ben-Gvir claimed to have
removed 30 flags himself.

The director of Jerusalem’s Gay and Lesbian Center filed a complaint
against the Kahanists for breaking the law. “The rule of law will overcome
this racist movement,” Hagai El-Ad said, adding that the gay pride flags
were “the most prominent symbol for tolerance and openness.” (Jerusalem
Post, June 26) (David Bloom)




Asia Times reports that, faced with growing unrest and resistance, US and
Pakistani intelligence officials have secretly met with Taliban leaders “in
an effort to devise a political solution to prevent the country from being
further ripped apart.” Asia Times said its sources was “a Pakistani jihadi
leader who played a role in setting up the communication, the meeting took
place recently between representatives of Pakistan’s Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Taliban
leaders at the Pakistan Air Force base of Samungli, near Quetta.”

The source told Asia Times that conditions were put to the Taliban before
any reconciliation can take place that could potentially lead to them
having a role in the Kabul government, including: Mullah Omar must be
removed as supreme leader of the Taliban; all Pakistani, Arab and other
foreign fighters currently engaged in operations against international
troops in Afghanistan must be expelled from the country; and any US or
allied soldiers held captive must be released. The Taliban was said to have
refused the first condition point blank, but “showed some flexibility on
the other terms.” (Syed Saleem Shahzad for Asia Times, June 14)



Following a 7 June terror attack that killed four German soldiers,
Germany’s main servicemen’s group, Armed Forces Association, has declared
the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan a failure this week and called for
Germany to either win greater powers for the force or pull out all 2,300
personnel. The AFA’s president, Bernhard Gertz, told the press agency DPA
that the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
should be extended beyond Kabul–but with a military rather than a
reconstruction mission. “The civilian staff and soldiers would go there cap
in hand, with no authority, and be only able to make empty threats,” he
said. He warned that the potential disaster of the Taliban returning to
was already well advanced. (DPA, June 26)