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ISSUE: #. 55. Oct. 14, 2002




by David Bloom, Subuhi Jiwani, and Sarah Ferguson, Special Correspondents

1. Deadly Missile Strike in Gaza
2. West Bank Occupation, Violence Continue
3. Suicide Attacks Continue
4. Scuffles at Al-Aksa Mosque
5. Is the IDF Practicing for Ethnic Cleansing?
6. Israel Number Two Threat to World Peace: French
7. Wife of Euro Central Bank Head under Fire for Anti-Semitism

1. French Tanker Attacked off Yemen Coast
2. U.S. Marines Attacked in Kuwait

1. Fractured Poll Results in Kashmir

1. Bali Blast Kills almost 200, Al-Qaeda Suspected

1. New Jersey Groups Say Illegal Detentions are un-American
2. Peace Movement Emerges


A ten-year-old Palestinian girl was shot in killed by Israeli forces Oct. 8 at the Gaza-Egypt border. Residents and doctors said the soldiers fired at stone-throwing youths, and hit the girl near her house. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said two soldiers were injured in the clash. (AP, Oct. 9) The army said the soldiers were attacked with machinegun fire and grenades. (Reuters, Oct. 8)

Israeli attacks on Khan Younis Oct. 7 killed sixteen, including seven who were 17 and under. AP conducted "dozens" of interviews Oct. 9 with friends, relatives, and associates of the dead, concluding none were of those killed could indisputably be described as members of Hamas, who Israel said were the target of the raid. One mother of eight, Rahima Salama,51, was shot while trying to close the door of her house. Her husband, Sabah Salama, a nurse at a local hospital, was handcuffed as IDF troops searched the house for their 15-year-old son, wanted by Israel for Hamas-related activity. "She bled for more than an hour while they prevented us from getting close to her," said Salama. "What cuts at my heart is that I work to help save the lives of others, and I could not save my wife."

At the end of the raid, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile at a dense crowd of people. Israel claims the crowd directed gunfire and grenades at withdrawing Israeli tanks. Dozens of Palestinian witnesses disputed that, saying the tanks withdrew 15 minutes earlier, and crowd had come out to survey the damage. "When we heard about the withdrawal, we started to come out to see what had happened. A huge number of people came out," said Nasser al-Astal, who lost three nephews and a cousin in the rocket attack. "Suddenly an Israeli helicopter fired a rocket," he said (AP, Oct. 9) Two of the sixteen dead were killed at a local hospital. (NY Daily News, Oct. 10) WAFA noted Oct. 11 the number of dead raised to 17, with 50 injured, some critically. (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Oct. 11)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pronounced the Khan Younis mission ''important and successful,'' and promised further such operations. ''There is a need to be certain that terrorist organizations will not have the freedom to carry out intentional murder,'' Sharon said. The US State Department said it was "deeply troubled" by the use of force so close to civilians, and called for an investigation. (NYT, Oct. 9)

Israeli forces attacked Khan Younis again on Oct. 9 with tank shells and heavy machine-gun fire. Several houses and "civlian installations" were damaged. (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Oct. 9)

WAFA reported nine Palestinians, including four children, were wounded in the Suq al-Arbi'a [Wednesday market] in the center of Khan Younis Oct. 9 when Israeli troops fired from a 30-metre high mobile tower in the Neve Deqalim settlement. (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Oct. 9) WAFA reported Oct. 9: "The Israeli occupation troops opened heavy machine-gun fire on residential areas southwest of Dayr al-Balah, in the central region of the Gaza Strip, this evening." Wafa added: "Houses were heavily damaged by the shelling, which caused panic among the population of the area, especially among the children and elderly." (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Oct. 9)

The pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Center web site reported Oct. 10 that Hamas' military wing, Martyr Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades blew up an Israeli Merkava 3 tank with a 120-kg explosive near Rafah. "The occupation troops are still trying to collect what remains of the tank," the statement said. It concluded by saying "Martyr Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades asserts the continuation of jihad and resistance until the call of prayer is heard on the coasts of Haifa." (BBC Monitoring, Oct. 10)

IDF reservist soldiers stopped two armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate and Israeli agricultural settlement on the Gaza border Oct. 13.

A three-year old boy was killed in his bed when Israeli troops blew up the house next to his in Rafah. (Ha'aretz, Oct. 13)(David Bloom) [top]

On Oct. 7, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Ahmed Eid, 42, at a roadblock near the village of Jit. He was driving back from Nablus, after a curfew had been partially lifted. (AFP, Oct. 7) The Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said Eid was killed "after the Israeli troops stationed at a checkpoint in Jit village opened fire extensively on citizens." (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Oct. 7)

Samir Abu Al-Rob, 37, a Palestinian freelance journalist working for AP was wounded Oct. 7 when Israeli tanks fired down a street where journalists had gathered. (Reuters, Oct. 7)

An Israeli was killed, and three were wounded, when their car was attacked on Oct. 8 by Palestinian gunmen at the Zif checkpoint, near Hebron. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for the Oct. 7 raid in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip that left 17 Palestinians dead. (AFP, Oct. 9) After the attack, angry settlers surged though downtown Hebron, scuffling with Palestinians and smashing car windshields. (NY Post, Oct. 9) Clashes between Palestinian gunmen and the IDF ensued. Samer Badr, 12, was seriously wounded by gunfire as he stood on the balcony of his home. The IDF said the boy was shot "by mistake" by Palestinian gunmen. Palestinian medical sources said it was not clear who shot the boy. (AFP, Oct. 8)

Israeli troops killed a potential suicide bomber Oct. 7 who tried to enter Israel north of Tulkarm. Soldiers spotted him hear Hermesh and opened fire. Palestinians in the area reported hearing a loud explosion, possibly his bomb triggered off by the gunfire. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 9)

On Oct. 9, shots were fired at an IDF base near Ramallah, at the settlement of Kadim near Jenin, and at a Border Police base near Tulkarm. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 9)

According the Palestinian radio station Voice of Palestine, eight students were injured by heavy machine-gun fire from Israeli tanks in the city center of Jenin Oct. 9. (BBC Monitoring: Voice Of Palestine, Oct. 9) WAFA said the students were headed to school when they were hit. (BBC Monitoring: WAFA, Oct. 9)

The same day, an unidentified Palestinian youth was killed near the town of Ya'bad. The radio station said the IDF prevented ambulances from reaching the victim. Israeli troops also advanced into the towns of Kfar Ra'i and Al-Ramah, and stormed residents houses. IDF bulldozers demolished houses in Salfit city. (BBC Monitoring: Voice Of Palestine, Oct. 9)

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) claimed Oct. 11 "our military group ambushed two settler taxis near Nitzanit, opened fire and threw hand grenades, injuring one settler." The attack took place near Beit Hanoun. Following the attack, Israeli tanks entered the area and fired heavy machine guns and five shells. Some houses were damaged. (AFP, Sept. 11)

In Nablus, Israeli soldiers in a jeep stopped in front of the home of a Palestinian woman, Shaden Abu Hisli, 60. A soldier opened fire at her as she had coffee on her porch with her husband and son, according to Palestinian medical sources, her family, and Electronic Intifada diarist Sam Bahour. (AFP, Oct. 11; Electronic Intifada, Oct. 12)

On Oct. 12, the IDF shot and killed a 21-year-old Palestinian man they said was with a group digging in a "forbidden area" where bombs were previously planted. They fired at the group, who ran away, only to return soon after. At this point, the army fired again and killed the man. His family said he was working at the family farm. (AP, Oct. 12)(David Bloom) [top]

A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up Oct. 10 in suburban Tel Aviv, killing an Israeli woman, and wounding 29 others. The bombing would have been worse, but the bomber slipped and fell before boarding a bus, and was thrown off by the bus' driver and passengers who saw his explosive belt. They shouted and fled, and the bomber ran off to a group of people standing nearby, and blew himself up amongst them. (AFP, Oct. 11)

Also on Oct. 11, a suicide attack was averted on a Tel Aviv cafe, located near the US embassy. "At first the terrorist tried to enter the Hatayelet cafe. It's a very large cafe," said police spokeswoman Shlomit Herzberg.

"The security guard at the entrance to the cafe searched him and when he found the explosive vest, the man ran away and the guard chased him while calling for help from security personnel of the American embassy." The guard at the cafe was Michael Sarkisov, a recent immigrant from Turkmenistan. "He tried to come in and I checked him with a metal detector and he beeped," said Sarkisov.

"I asked him, 'What's that?' And he said, 'It's mine.'

"I said, 'I didn't ask whose it was, I said what is it?'" recalled Sarkisov.

"He put his hand in his pocket. I know what a bomb is. I was an officer in the Russian army."

Sarkisov tried to grab the attacker, who rushed off towards the US embassy. "I yelled, 'Terrorist!' and ran after him," he said. Sarkisov and US embassy guards subdued the man, who was then taken away by police. (Ha'aretz, Oct. 12) Israeli security sources claim the last three suicide missions were carried out by the same Hamas cell, from Nablus. (Ha'aretz, Oct. 14)(David Bloom) [top]

On Oct. 11, a scuffle broke out between Palestinians attempting to enter al-Aksa Mosque compound for prayers. About 200 angry young Palestinians were driven back by police. Israel has temporarily barred male Muslim worshippers under age 40 from entering the compound after the events of the previous week, in which Palestinian worshippers stoned police guarding the Western Wall plaza below. Police then stormed the compound, dispersing the stone-throwers with stun grenades. (Reuters, Oct. 11)(David Bloom) [top]

A post on Israel Indymedia titled, "Is the IDF practicing for ethnic cleansing?" is based on the poster's translation of an article in the Hebrew-language daily Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot. The poster, identified only as Daniel, writes:

"There is an article about the IDF's preparations for the coming 'crucial year' in its fight to crush the Palestinian uprising. The article begins by describing an exercise performed the day before for an audience including the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and roughly half of Sharon's cabinet.

"The scenario for the exercise was an all-out assault on a village that has been abandoned by its inhabitants, with only armed fighters remaining. The Israeli soldiers come in with the newest and heaviest weaponry and bulldozers they have, and basically flatten the place.

"To anyone that has been observing the fighting of the last two years, and the Israeli incursions into Palestinian towns under the pretext of chasing terrorists since early 2002, this scene should seem very strange. The IDF, in all the recent fighting, has been operating in more or less heavily populated civilian areas, and has never had the luxury of assaulting a village that had been cleared of its residents. This exercise is certainly not practice for the kind of situations these soldiers have found themselves in up to now.

"In my mind this raises the question: is this a situation that the IDF expects to encounter in the coming rounds of fighting? And what basis do they have for expecting to encounter villages emptied of their inhabitants, other than a plan to actively drive out the civilian inhabitants before flushing out the remaining fighters, demolishing many of the homes in the process? The exercise described in the article looks eerily like 1948, when the Israeli army cleared hundreds of villages of their inhabitants through scare tactics, before coming in and trashing what remained." (Indymedia Israel, Oct. 10)(David Bloom) [top]

A recent survey conducted by French newspapers concluded the state of Israel ranks just behind Iraq as a threat to world peace. After Iraq and Israel, in order, the French fear Afghanistan, the United States, Palestine, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria, and Libya. Syria is ranked number 12 on the list. "There is no doubt that distortions in the French media influence the survey," Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior said in response to the list. "Even if there is a legitimate criticism of Israel, in many cases we see a distortion of reality in the French media, which explains the absurd results of the survey. In any event, we do not apologize for our existence." (Ha'aretz, Oct. 8)(David Bloom) [top]

Gretta Duisenberg-Bedier de Prairie, the wife of European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg is being sued by a prominent Dutch lawyer for alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Duisenberg-Bedier de Prairie, who supports the Palestinian cause, recently initiated a petition against Israeli military action against the Palestinians. A radio reporter asked how many signatures she hoped to collect. After a pause, she answered, "Six million," and laughed.

Recently, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat suggested naming a new human rights institute after Duisenberg-Bedier de Prairie. (AP, Oct. 4)(David Bloom) [top]


On Oct. 6, the Limburg, a French tanker off the coast of Yemen was hit with an explosion that killed one crew member. Yemeni authorities are ruling out the possibility of a suicide attack from an explosives-laden boat, such as the one used on the USS Cole two years ago off the coast of Yemen. At least seven fishermen saw a flash when the explosion occurred, but saw no boat speeding towards it, Yemeni officials said. Authorities are considering whether the blast may have been triggered by remote control. (AP, Oct. 14)(David Bloom)

A spokesman for the Islamic Army of Aden,who claimed responsibility, told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper yesterday: "We would have preferred to hit a US frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels." (London Times, Oct.12) [top]

Three attacks on US Marines in the last week in Kuwait are being blamed on al-Qaeda. On Oct. 8, one marine was killed and a second was wounded when two Kuwaitis ambushed them during a training exercise. The attackers were killed by marines. On Oct. 9, US soldiers traveling in a Humvee shot a vehicle trying to overtake theirs. An occupant of that vehicle had reportedly pointed a gun at the troops. The occupants claim they were only holding a cell phone. On Oct. 13, US troops again came under fire, this time from two civilian vehicles in a training area in northern Kuwait. There were no injuries. Kuwait is holding 15 men it says have confessed to the Oct. 8 shooting, and that "five or ten" of them are affiliated with the al-Qaeda network. (CBS, Oct. 14)(David Bloom) [top]


State elections in Indian-controlled Kashmir ended Oct. 12 with a defeat for the ruling party, the National Conference, which has governed the state for the last 50 years. The NC won a total of 28 seats in the State Assembly, preceded by the post-election coalition of the Congress Party and the People's Democratic Party, which won a total of 36 seats. The hardline Hindu Nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) ended up winning only one seat. (BBC, Oct. 11)

While the Congress Party and the PDP were to form the state government, the election of Ghulam Nabi Azad by Congress party members as the new chief minister for the state has made relations between the two parties tense. The PDP holds that it can best represent the wishes of Kashmiris and that the new chief minister should be a PDP member. Omar Abdullah, the NC candidate urged the governer of Jammu and Kashmir G.C. Saxena to ensure that the NC form the next state government since it has the largest number of seats. (Hindustan Times, Oct. 14)

Former All Parties Hurriet Conference (APHC) chariman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq issued a statement Oct. 13 saying that the elections could not guarantee peace for Jammu and Kashmir; a dialogue process needed to be initiated between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri political parties. "Prime Minister Vajpayee has been talking repeatedly of free and fair elections but it is not a solution to the crisis at all. Unless New Delhi enters into a dialogue with the people of the state and Pakistan, no free and fair election can bring peace to Jammu and Kashmir." (Kashmir Times, Oct. 13)

Current APHC chairman Prof. Abdul Gani, who considers the elections insignificant said Oct. 12 that a referendum should be declared in Jammu and Kashmir as promised by the UN resolution of 1949. The APHC stated that it would respect the result of the referndum, which would allow Kashmiris to democratically vote to become a part of India, Pakistan or simply independent. "Elections cannot be misconstrued as a substitute for plebiscite. Prime Minister of India claims that people have voted for democracy and for the unity of the country. But we contest [the elections]. I challenge [the government of India] to organize a referendum here and if people will vote for it, we will respect the verdict." (Kashmir Times, Oct. 12)

The third round of polling was marked by waves of violence from suspected separatist militant outfits such as the Hizbul Mujahideen, who not only boycotted the election but also threatened voters from visiting polling stations with violence. The Independent notes that the number of individuals killed since August 22 when the elections were announced is 600; the dead include civilians, political activists, workers at polling stations, militants and members of the armed forces. From Oct. 1 to Oct. 3, almost 30 people were killed in bombings and shootings carried out by the different militant outfits, the bloodiest onslaught since the elections began. (UK Independent, Oct.3) (Subuhi Jiwani) [top]


Two bombs went off at Kuta beach, a tourist resort popular with westerners on the Indonesian island of Bali Oct. 12. At least 182 were killed, and hundreds injured. A third bomb went off near the honorary US consulate in Sanur, 30 minutes from Kuta. No one was hurt in that explosion. No one has claimed responsibility. (Reuters, Oct. 13)

"I believe the attack on the French vessel was a terrorist attack," Mr. Bush said. "Obviously, the attack on our marines in Kuwait was a terrorist attack. The attack in Bali appears to be an Al Qaeda-type terrorist - definitely a terrorist attack, whether it's Al Qaeda-related or not, I would assume it is. And therefore it does look like a pattern of attacks that the enemy, albeit on the run, is trying to once again frighten and kill freedom-loving people." (NYT, Oct. 15)

Previously Indonesia has been reluctant to acknowledge the threat of Islamic extremism. "I am not afraid to say, though many have refused to say, that an al-Qaeda network exists in Indonesia," Defense Minister Matori Abdul Djalil said in Jakarta. "The Bali bomb blast is related to al-Qaeda with the co-operation of local terrorists." (BBC, Oct. 15)(David Bloom) [top]


Fifty energetic protestors rallied outside the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, NJ on a drizzly October 13 to demonstrate the illegal detention of hundreds of South Asian, Arab and Muslim immigrants in county jails throughout New Jersey since September 11. While the coalition had a permit to demonstrate on Main Ave, in front of jail, the Paterson police and Sheriff's department forced protestors to move to the back of the jail. They had blocked off the street and posted snipers on the fourth floor roof of a building on that same block.

The first protest organized by New Jersey Action Network, a coalition of Jersey-based community organizations and student groups. Jeanette Gabriel, of the Workers Democracy Network said its purpose was not just to bring attention to the "overcrowded and horrible" living conditions inside the jail, but rather to free all INS detainees. "People are being illegally held without being convicted of any crime and without any charges being brought against them," Gabriel said. "We do not want to make conditions better for the detainees. We want to free the detainees."

Other protestors expressed that it was "un-American" to strip away the civil rights guaranteed to individuals residing in the US by the Constitution: the right to due process, the right to adequate legal counsel, the right to open and public hearings.

The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled October 8 that the Attorney General can close any hearings of INS detainees for reasons of national security, overturning a May 29 ruling by Judge John W. Bissell of New Jersey, which stated that the Justice Department could not categorically close all deportation hearings.

(from Immigration News Briefs, Oct. 11)

County jails receive $139 per day for holding one INS detainee: $77 from the INS and $62 as reimbursement from the state, which according to Gabriel explains the overcrowded living conditions. "Many county jails are not equipped to handle the INS cases, which they are getting." Gabriel said. "But they are getting so much money from the INS that they are willing to put the detainees in totally overcrowded conditions."

An evocative and powerful speaker at the rally was Hani Awadallah, President of the Paterson-based Arab-American Civic Organization. Awadallah made statements about Bush's policy of military aggression towards Iraq, now approved by the U.S. Senate (NY Times, Oct. 11). "Iraq is saying come in, bring the inspectors’ team, we are open. This guy [Bush] cannot take 'yes' for an answer." Awadallah reminded protestors of an October 11 article in the NY Times which detailed the Bush’s plan to appoint an US-led military government in Iraq after Saddam Hussein had been toppled, a plan similar to the one drawn up for the post World War II occupation of Japan. (NY Times, Oct. 11)

He emphasized a message of peace, as a Muslim and as a protestor contradicting bigoted statements made by Reverend Jerry Falwell, a leading member of the Southern Baptist Convention, who said in a television interview that the Prophet Mohammed was "a terrorist, a violent man, a man of war." (BBC, Oct. 7) Awadallah reiterated the words of the Prophet for the audience and underlined Islam's message of peace. "He who kills a single person, kills the whole world." (Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

In the first major sign of popular opposition to a unilateral war with Iraq, an estimated 20,000 people filled the East Meadow of Central Park on Sunday to pledge their resistance to President George Bush's military plans.

The diverse crowd ranged from seasoned activists--many of them veterans of Vietnam War protests--to college and high school students, business professionals, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and concerned parents, some of whom traveled from the Midwest to voice their dissent.

"I've been waiting for this since 9/12," said Bruce Olin, 52, who flew in from Springfield, Illinois. "The reason the terrorists did what they did was to provoke the exact response that America has had. They were relying on the fact that we have an idiot for a president," said Olin, who owns a pharmaceutical testing verification firm.

Beverly Walker, a 50-year-old customer service rep from Crown Heights, had never attended an antiwar rally. But she felt compelled to come out on behalf of her sons who are of draft age.

"I think there should be long and patient negotiations in the U.N. to decide how to best deal with Iraq. We need to give peace a chance," said Walker, adding, "People are suffering already in Iraq. This is going to make it 10 times worse." The rally, which was organized by a diverse coalition of groups operating as the Not In Our Name project, coincided with smaller peace rallies in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and other communities.

In New York, organizers were joined by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and several celebrity activists, including Martin Sheen, who plays the U.S. president on NBC's The West Wing.

Sheen read an excerpt of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and invoked the diplomacy used by President Kennedy to avert war during the Cuban missile crisis.

"This is the first public debate that I've really seen," Sheen commented backstage, "so I'm grateful to New Yorkers for being here today. I can't remember a time in my country, in my life, when there has been such an overall stifling of public debate on such a critical issue."

Taking on Bush's effort to impose a new U.S. doctrine of preemptive strikes, actress Susan Sarandon demanded, "Do we the people really want to be a new Rome that imposes its rule by the use of overwhelming force whenever its interests are threatened? Even perceived potential threats? We do not want endless warfare."

Calling the proposed military action in Iraq a "war for oil," Sarandon gave out the phone numbers for local Congress members and urged people to "make trouble!"

But Sarandon's companion, Tim Robbins, also cautioned the antiwar crowd to be careful in the way it frames its dissent. "This is not the chickens coming home to roost," Robbins said. "Al Qaeda's actions have hurt this burgeoning peace movement more than any other.

"Our resistance to this war should be our resistance to profit at the cost of human life," Robbins argued. "Because that is what these drums beating over Iraq are all about . . . . In the name of fear and fighting terror, we are giving the reins to oil men looking for a distraction from their disastrous economic performance."

There were also heartrending testimonials from relatives of victims of the World Trade Center attacks who oppose military action, and Afghan women who had lost family members during the bombing campaigns against Al Qeada.

Shokriea Yaghi, an Afghan immigrant, spoke out on behalf of her Jordanian husband, a pizza parlor owner in New York for the last 15 years who was deported in July after being detained for nine months without charges.

"I have not seen my husband for 15 months," said Yaghi, a mother of three. "Now we are being told that he cannot return to this country for 10 years. I am here to fight for my husband's rights," she cried in tears. "I am here to fight for my children's rights. My father and brother died in Afghanistan trying to run away from the civil war there. I was orphaned at 10. I do not want that to happen to my children or to the children in Iraq. I want my husband home."

At a time when polls show the majority of Americans do not support a unilateral invasion of Iraq, many in the crowd voiced their frustration with Congress for not representing their views.

"We were promised a real debate and a statement from the president about why Iraq is such a threat now, and we're not getting it," said Rick Jones of Highlands, New Jersey, who sported a homemade sandwich board that read: "Hey Congress! Killing Iraqis for Votes Is Pathetic!"

Jones said he had been calling his New Jersey representatives every day for the last three weeks to ask their position on a war with Iraq, but has so far received no responses. "Getting re-elected seems to be their only concern. They're all sitting on the fence, hoping to wait it out."

There was also widespread anger at the mainstream media for failing to represent antiwar views. "The establishment--AOL, Disney, GE, Viacom, Murdoch media--they're not going to bring us pictures of the Iraqi dead and dying any more than they did in 1991 [during the Gulf War]," said Laura Flanders of New Yorkers Say No to War.

"They aren't going to show us Iraq any more than we've seen the bombings of Kandahar or Tora Bora or Mazar-e Sharif," she told the cheering crowd. Many said they were skeptical about the real motives behind President Bush's stepped-up campaign against Saddam Hussein.

"If he had the proof of all of what he's been saying about Saddam, why would the rest of the U.N. be against him? It doesn't make sense," said Mark Shafer, an 86-year-old veteran of World War II.

There were some off-key moments on stage, like the anti-cop rhetoric of some Boston rappers, or the throwback stridency of one young woman from the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade.

Her curse-filled tirade was overshadowed by the simple speech given by a nine-year-old girl: "We have more than enough money to buy oil," she told the crowd. "So why do we choose to steal it?" (Sarah Ferguson) [top]



EXIT POLL: Boycotting ANSWER/IAC's march on Washington doesn't seem too popular an idea. How about we all just moon Ramsey Clark as he speaks, instead?

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