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ISSUE: # 69. Jan. 20, 2003








"The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside Church, NYC, 1967

By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom and Subuhi Jiwani, Special Correspondents

1. Naval Siege of Gaza; Sweeps, Demolitions on West Bank
2. Settler Funeral Becomes Anti-Palestinian Pogrom
3. Israel Shuts Universities in Hebron
4. Israel's "Fence": Scheme to Annex Best West Bank Land?
5. Nazlet Isa Prepares to Resist Evictions
6. Israeli Court: Barghouti to Trial
7. Sharon Rejects "Road Map" to Peace
8. Mossad to Carry Out Assassinations in U.S.?
9. IDF Soldier to WW3 REPORT: Fuck Your Ass!

1. Amphibious Assault Group Heads for Gulf
2. Chemical Warheads Found?
3. Regional Summit to Head Off War?
4. France: Give Inspectors More Time
5. Germany: U.N. Approval of War "Unimaginable"
6. Moscow Oil Firms in New Iraq Contracts
7. Once-Renowned Date Groves of Basra Devastated by War
8. Global Protests Against War Drive

1. Chavez Won't Capitulate to "Fascists"
2. Persian Gulf Crisis Puts More Pressure on Andean Oil
3. U.S. Ambassador to Colombia's Petro-Zone
4. Another Mysterious Massacre in Colombia
5. Ecuador: Populist Prez Puts "Corrupt Oligarchy" on Notice
6. Bolivia: More Repression in Cochabamba

1. Passaic Detainees on Hunger Strike
2. Immigrants Head to Canada to Avoid "Registration"...
3. ...As Canada Tightens Asylum Policy
4. "Registration" Expands--Again
5. Judge Blocks Somali Deportations

1. Presidential Award Highlights FBI Hijinks
2. Senate to Block Total Information Awareness Program?
3. Desert Storm Vets Seek Data on Chemical Exposure

1. Bay Area Eco-Peaceniks: "Go Solar, Not Ballistic!"
2. Emma Goldman Prevails in Free Speech Struggle--Again!


On Jan. 17, Israeli forces on Friday imposed a naval siege on Gaza, after announcing that a booby-trapped boat was found in the area. Palestinian fishermen are barred from the sea by the blockade, destroying their livelihoods. The move came as several Palestinians were detained by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) at Doura on the West Bank. They are being held for questioning in relation to alleged planed attacks. (Arabic News, Jan. 18) Three Palestinians were killed by IDF fire on the West Bank on Jan. 15, including a 16-year-old student from Tulkarm. (Arabic News, Jan. 16)

On Jan. 16, Israeli forces demolished 16 Palestinian houses, 13 in Rafah in the Gaza Strip and the other three on the West Bank. The IDF also evacuated 40 Palestinian families from their houses in Qabatya on charges of taking part in Intifada activities. Israeli forces also arrested over 22 Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories that day. (Arabic News, Jan. 17) [top]

Hundreds marched near the West Bank city of Hebron Jan. 19 in the funeral procession of a radical Jewish settler killed two days earlier in an infiltration of the Kiryat Arba settlement by presumed Hamas gunmen. Chanting "Revenge, revenge!", mourners threw stones at several Palestinian-owned homes, smashing windows in two, while Israeli soldiers stood by. Reporters and camera crews were shoved out of the way by the rampaging settlers. Later, Israeli troops imposed a curfew on parts of Hebron in response to stone-throwing and shooting at soldiers, apparently unrelated to the funeral. The previous night, dozens of Jewish settlers rioted in Hebron, setting a wrecked car on fire and beating several Palestinians.

In the Jan. 17 infiltration attack, two Hamas gunmen knocked on the door of a house near Kiryat Arba, shooting dead Nathaniel Ozeri, 34, when he opened the door during the Sabbath dinner. Ozeri's 4-year-old daughter and two Israeli dinner guests were wounded before one of the visitors killed one of the gunmen. The second gunman fled and was later killed by pursuing Israeli troops. Ozeri and his family lived at an "illegal" outpost built without the approval of the Israeli government, just outside Kiryat Arba. Israeli media reported that Ozeri was a member of the outlawed extremist Kach group, and co-author of a book that praised Baruch Goldstein, a Kiryat Arba settler who killed 29 Palestinian worshippers in a 1994 shooting attack. Ozeri was recently released from prison after serving four months for rioting in Hebron during the funeral of an Israeli soldier killed by Palestinian gunmen. (AP, Jan. 19) [top]

The Israeli army closed Hebron University and the city's Polytechnic Institute, claiming computers and chemistry labs had been used by Hamas in preparing terror attacks. Hebron's Palestinian governor, Arid Jabari protested the closures as collective punishment. "Israel has no right to close universities, colleges and schools in the Palestinian territories," he said, invoking the Oslo Accords. (NYT, Jan. 16) [top]

The fence Israel is building to stop attacks across the Green Line is gnawing away at the most fertile land on the Palestinian side of the line, said Mustafa Barghuti, head of the main federation of Palestinian organizations. "The fence follows the Green Line very loosely and is set to cut into the West Bank in various areas, leaving at least 11 Palestinian villages on the Israeli side of the fence," Barghuti told AFP. "The area between Qalqilya and Tulkarem is the most important agricultural basket in the Palestinian territories and produces 42 percent of all fruit and vegetables in the West Bank. The area Israel plans to seize to erect its fence represents 10 percent of the West Bank and also includes the last water reservoir used for irrigation in the West Bank."

Construction began on the 220-mile high-tech security fence in June, following months of suicide bombings launched from the West Bank. Thousands of trees are being uprooted for the fence, which dips beyond the Green Line into the West Bank at several points. The Israeli government argues that the route was designed to bring isolated Jewish settlements within the fence for security reasons. But Barghuti accuses Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government of simply seizing land. "I am concerned that the fence is being used as an excuse for annexation and that the plan is to slowly starve the population and start a program of subtle ethnic cleansing," he said. (AFP, Jan. 18)

On Jan. 14, the Washington Report on Middle East issued an urgent press release demanding international intervention to prevent the destruction of the entire West Bank village of al-Daba--home to 250 Palestinians living in 42 houses--by the Israeli occupation forces. Al-Daba lies within an area where the fence extends 500 meters into the West Bank, engulfing the whole village. The Washington Report says the destruction of al-Daba constitutes a violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions--specifically Articles 17 and 49 relating to forced transfer of populations, Article 46 relating to property confiscation, and Article 53 relating to property destruction. All of these violations represent indictable war crimes punishable by imprisonment, the Washington Reports said. (Palestine Media Center, Jan. 14)

See also WW3 REPORT #40. [top]

Nazlet Isa, West Bank: In this small town near Tulkarm and the Green Line, 170 Palestinian-owned shops which attract both Jewish and Arab customers from both sides of the Line, are threatened with imminent eviction by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The stores are officially to be demolished because they fall within the 200-meter "security zone" around an IDF checkpoint. But locals charge the IDF with economic warfare against some 6,000 residents who depend on the shops for their livelihood. A demolition order came for 30 of the stores three months ago, but on Jan. 20, an IDF commander showed up in Nazlet Isa and announced that all 170 are slated for demolition. He said that if the shopkeepers failed to evacuate they will be charged for the bulldozing of their own shops, and for tariffs and rent for any goods confiscated across the Green Line to Israel by IDF troops. The shopkeepers were given 15 days to evacuate--but the commander also said he could demolish whenever he wants. Shopkeepers and residents called in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to assist in non-violent resistance, and beginning Jan. 20 the owners plan to sleep in the shops. The ISM has pledged its willingness to join the occupation and even blockade bulldozers. The joint-Arab-Jewish Israeli human rights group Ta'ayush will arrive on the morning of Tuesday Jan. 21 for a demonstration with Nazlet Isa Palestinians and international volunteers. The twelve internationals on the scene--five of them Jewish--are from the US, Canada, UK, Denmark and Spain. Adding to tensions, Israeli authorities say a round-the-clock curfew will also be imposed starting Jan. 21. "The Palestinians have asked us to tell the world what is happening here, to tell the international media," said ISM volunteers on the ground in a statement. (David Bloom on the scene at Nazlet Isa)

WW3 REPORT Special Correspondent David Bloom can be reached for commentary by the media at 011-972-56-370-288 [top]

An Israeli court in Tel Aviv ruled that Palestinian resistance leader Marwan Barghout can be tried in Israel, rejecting defense claims that it has no jurisdiction. The trial will begin April 6, and the panel of judges appointed a public defender for Barghouti, who has refused legal representation. Barghouti, West Bank leader of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, will be tried for involvement in attacks that took the lives of 26 Israelis. Barghouti maintains he was not involved in the attacks, and reiterated that he does not recognize the court's jurisdiction. "The state of Israel doesn't have the right to try me or accuse me," he told the court. "I am fighting for the rights of my people against the cruel occupation." (AP, Jan. 19)

See also WW3 REPORT #47 [top]

Ariel Sharon believes the international "road map" to Palestinian statehood drawn up by the "Quartet" of peace mediators--the US, UN, EU and Russia--is unrealistic and cannot be implemented, a senior adviser to the prime minister said Jan. 19, confirming Sharon's harshest public criticism yet of the plan. A final version of the blueprint is to be ready Feb. 22, a month after an Israeli general election Sharon is expected to win. When asked about the plan in a weekend interview with Newsweek, Sharon was quoted as saying: "Oh, the Quartet is nothing! Don't take it seriously! There is [another] plan that will work." In the Newsweek interview, Sharon said Palestinian reform--including the removal of President Yasser Arafat from power and decisive action against Palestinian militants--is a precondition for renewing peace efforts. In such a case, Israel would be willing to recognize a provisional, demilitarized Palestinian state with temporary borders. Israel would enter negotiations on a final peace deal only after prolonged calm, Sharon said. Sharon adviser Raanan Gissin said the prime minister's were "taken out of context" by Newsweek: " He meant the plan cannot be implemented--not that the Quartet is nothing." Gissin said "Israel and the United States see eye to eye," pointing to last June's speech by President Bush stating that Arafat must cede power. (See WW3 REPORT #40)

However, the White House has not distanced itself from the Quartet plan, which calls for a three-stage timetable leading to Palestinian statehood by 2005. The plan includes elements Sharon mentioned, including Palestinian reform, decisive action against militants and a provisional interim state--but also insists that Israel freeze settlement construction and withdraw from Palestinian towns and villages it now occupies. Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said Sharon's " real intention is to... make it impossible for any future negotiators to discuss peace." (AP, Jan. 19) [top]

With the appointment of Meir Dagan, the new director of the Mossad intelligence service, Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the War on Terrorism that will include assassinations in the US and other friendly countries, a former Israeli intelligence official told UPI. Sharon is also preparing "a huge budget" increase for the spy agency as part of "a tougher stance in fighting the global jihad," one Israeli official said. Another former official said that "diplomatic constraints have prevented the Mossad from carrying out 'preventive operations' [assassinations] on the soil of friendly countries until now." But now Sharon is "reversing that policy, even if it risks complications to Israel's bilateral relations." (UPI, Jan. 15)

See also WW3 REPORT # 53. [top]

WW3 REPORT correspondent David Bloom, on the scene in the occupied West Bank, sends in the following first-hand report:

On Jan. 19, I go to Jaljulya, an Arab village in Israel, with Mahmoud, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) coordinator from Qalqilya. His cousin owns an internet cafe in Qalqilya on the West Bank, and he has a permit to enter Israel, with the purpose of picking up a coffee machine from a vending company. It took Mahmoud ten days to wait for an entry permit--good for one month. He says it was given to him because he's married, with children, and older, so he is not so suspicious to the Israelis. We take a taxi to the IDF checkpoint at the edge of Qalqilya. We show our passports, but the soldiers are too busy harassing and interrogating a carload of Save the Children workers to pay much attention to us, and they just wave us through with no inspection.

On the other side of the checkpoint, we meet a Palestinian Israeli friend of Mahmoud, who ferries us to Jaljulya in his pickup. On the way, Mahmoud points out land which was appropriated from the city of Qalqilya by Israel in 1949, and given to Jews.

We wait at the store of Mahmoud's friend in Jajoulya for another friend, Tsvika, a Jewish Israeli, to pick us up and take us to the vending company in Hagor. Hagor is a moshav (Jewish agricultural community) near Kafr Kassem, where on Oct. 29, 1956, 47 Arab villagers were massacred by Israeli Border Police -- both Jewish and Druze -- for breaking curfew (the Palestinian Israeli population was subject to military curfews until 1967.) Tsvika is from Poland originally, and apologizes for not speaking much English. On the way to Hagor, Mahmoud explains I'm an activist from the US, and I'm in Palestine with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Tsvika starts to tell me what he thinks about the conflict. "Fuck religion. Fuck Jerusalem--who cares?", he says. "It is only 5% of the people on each side who care. My children know Mahmoud. From the TV, they can see only that Arabs are bad. The Arab children only see Israeli soldiers, so it's very difficult."

Mahmoud told me in advance that Tsvika is a "normal" person, and so he refuses to do military service in the occupied territories. But when I ask how he ended up refusing, I find out Tsvika is not the sort of refusenik that I've been reading and writing about, who signs letters and petitions. "You know what is vodka?", Tsvika asks. "I pour it over my head, and I go to the interview [with the IDF], and they think I'm an alcoholic. And they let me out!" He laughs. "It would make me crazy to go out," he adds--meaning to serve in the Occupied Territories.

I ask Tsvika what he thinks of the "security wall" Israel is building in the West Bank to keep out suicide bombers. "Fucking bullshit, in my opinion," he says. "You put up a fence around property, and the thief is one step ahead, finds a way to get around it."

Tsvika tells me that 50% of Israelis would leave Israel if they could, because the situation is so bad. I ask him who he thinks is responsible for the conflict. "It's ego games," he tells me. "The leaders on both sides are responsible. All of them. The Israeli and Palestinian parliaments--they are all getting money, all corrupt. If America wants peace, it can enforce it." I ask him what's to be done about the settlements. "Keep the large cities, and exchange for land. It's easy," he says.

Sabi, the Jewish vendor who is selling Mahmoud the coffee machine, has his own solution. "I tell you something, It's all about money." Tsvika and Mahmoud nod in agreement. "If America wanted to solve the problem tomorrow, it would come with its checkbook, and give everyone money. Whether it's in Israel, or Qalqilya, everyone is the same," Sabi says. "People just want to work, go home and eat, and watch TV." He tells me it's impossible to evacuate all the settlements, because it would take too much money. Then Sabi has an idea. "Tell Bush to give me a checkbook, and give me a job writing checks to everybody. Then I can stop working in vending machines, and you won't have to write about the conflict anymore." I tell him it's a good idea. We leave with the coffee machine.

Getting back into the West Bank and Qalqilya proves a little more challenging than leaving. After disembarking from his Palestinian Israeli friend's taxi, Mahmoud and I carry the coffee machine and a box full of coffee to the checkpoint, where we rest them on concrete blocks. We have to wait for about ten minutes, because the young soldiers manning the checkpoint are busy searching a donkey cart, and then a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance. The soldiers are jittery. A busload of Palestinian men disembark and start to walk through the checkpoint towards Qalqilya. One of the soldiers yells at them to stop, and motions for them to stand and wait. They do so stoically, used to the daily indignities of the checkpoint, and the moods and whims of soldiers.

Then Mahmoud and I are ordered to another concrete block, and we place the machine and the box up on it. I open the box, and a soldier, walking in back of me, says something in Hebrew. I don't understand, but Mahmoud speaks pretty good Hebrew, from his time spent working in Israel--and in Israeli prisons during the first Intifada, when he was busted for stone-throwing. He explains I'm a US citizen, and that I'm there visiting him. (The soldier might try to bar me from the West Bank if he realizes I'm an activist, although he cannot lawfully do so). When he hears this, the soldier says to me, "George Bush," and adds something in Hebrew. After the soldiers are done thoroughly inspecting the coffee and machine, Mahmoud and I walk off. Mahmoud looks back at the soldier and then tells me that after saying "George Bush," the soldier had said to me, "Fuck your ass!" He had then turned to Mahmoud and said with some concern, "You know Hebrew?" and barked at him not to tell me about the expletive. Mahmoud says the soldier was probably afraid that if I knew what he'd said to me, I'd contact the US consulate and complain about the verbal abuse, and he'd catch flack for it. Mahmoud and I are met by his cousin with a truck. We load the goods in and leave the checkpoint, which is now the only way in and out of Qalqilya, like a gateway to a large penal colony. [top]


Two US Navy amphibious assault ships and five other vessels carrying some 10,000 Marines and sailors departed San Diego Jan. 17 bound for the Persian Gulf. The amphibious assault ships USS Boxer and USS Bonhomme Richard were joined by the amphibious transport docks USS Cleveland and USS Dubuque, and the dock landing ships USS Anchorage, USS Comstock and USS Pearl Harbor. The US already has two aircraft carrier battle groups in the Gulf, with others placed on alert for possible deployment. In addition, the USNS Comfort hospital ship is sailing toward the region to treat causalities in any war with Iraq. (Reuters, Jan. 17)

Five US cargo ships loaded with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and other war material also entered the Suez Canal Jan. 19 en route to the Persian Gulf. Two French destroyers and two Italian warships also crossed the Canal, probably headed for the Gulf. Some 60,000 U.S. troops are already in the Gulf region and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has signed orders for deployment of an additional 67,000 over the next few weeks. The size of the US force arrayed against Iraq could reach 250,000. (AP, Jan. 19) [top]

On Jan. 16, UN weapons inspectors found 11 empty chemical warheads in "excellent" condition at Ukhaider ammunition storage area, about 75 miles south of Baghdad. UN officials are now checking whether the munitions were listed in Iraq's 12,000-page declaration on its weapons programs. Iraqi officials insisted the 122-mm shells are reported in declaration, and had been listed in previous reports to the UN. "It is no more than a tempest in a teacup," said Lt. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, chief Iraqi liaison to the inspection team. Amin claimed the boxes had been found covered with dust and bird droppings, and had never been opened. "When these boxes were opened, they found 122-mm rockets with empty warheads. No chemical or biological warheads. Just empty rockets which are expired and were imported in 1988." (Newsday, Jan. 17) [top]

Iran and Syria have joined Turkey's call for a regional summit to seek a peaceful way out of the Iraq standoff, the official Iranian news agency reported Jan. 19. "Iran welcomes whatever summit at any level to resolve the Iraqi crisis," the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi as saying. "We will discuss the details of the summit with Turkey and Syria." Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa, now visiting Iran, indicated that his government would attend the summit. Turkey has offered to host the summit, which would bring together the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Iran and Syria.

But Libyan leader Moamar Qaddafi, who was not among those invited to Turkey, said he did not think the meeting would be useful. "What could this summit do? What is it going to demand from Saddam Hussein after he opened his country for inspections ... and opened his house and his office for inspections? What more are they going to demand from him? Suicide?" Qaddafi said. (AP, Jan. 19) [top]

French President Jacques Chirac called for UN weapons inspectors to be given the necessary time to complete their work in Iraq. "The inspectors have asked for more time... Wisdom obliges us to respond to their request and give them the necessary time to be able to deliver serious conclusions which can convince the international community,'' Chirac told a news conference. He spoke beside chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, who was in Paris to brief the French government. Chirac also expressed his misgivings about the drive towards war. "We believe that if there had to be military action, this could only be authorized by the Security Council on the basis of reports by the inspectors,'' Chirac said. "For France, war is always the confirmation of failure and is always the worst solution and has human costs difficult to justify." (Reuters, Jan. 17) [top]

Germany, which joined the UN Security Council on Jan. 1, is set to play a pivotal role in diplomacy over Iraq when it chairs the council next month. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has hinted that Germany will refuse to support a war resolution in the council, but Defense Minister Peter Struck was more direct in comments published Jan. 17. "The final decision can only be made when it's clear what we are voting on,'' he told the Rheinpfalz daily. "But a 'yes' is basically not imaginable anymore.''

Schroeder, while not stating explicitly how Germany would vote on a new Security Council resolution, publicly opposes an attack on Iraq, and has ruled out a German combat role. He is also calling for UN inspectors to be given more time to search for any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq--a stance shared by French President Jacques Chirac and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The inspectors have said that search could take months. (AP, Jan. 17) [top]

Relations between Moscow and Baghdad have been strained on the economic front after Iraq cancelled a key oilfield contract with a Russian company in December. But Iraq has just signed a new development deal with Russian oil and gas construction company Stroitransgaz to develop "block four" in Iraq's Western Desert. Baghdad also started negotiations with Zarubezhneft, Russia's umbrella company, for development of Iraq's giant Bin Umar field. The Russians apparently beat out French oil major Totalfinaelf which has long been earmarked for the $3.4 billion Bin Umar development. Contracts are also in the works with Soyuzneftegaz for the 100,000-barrel-a-day Rafidain field in southern Iraq and with Tatneft for "block nine" in the Western Desert.

The deals, signed by Russia's deputy energy minister Ivan Matlashov and Iraq's oil ministry undersecretary Hussein al- Hadithi, boost relations with Moscow as Baghdad seeks to prevent a new military assault. The deals come after Iraq's cancellation of the prized contract for its biggest prospect, West Qurna. Rights to the $3.7 billion development were held by Lukoil until mid-December when Baghdad pulled the plug, saying the Russian company had failed to meet the terms of the deal by failing to start development on schedule. Matlashov said there was now new hope the contract could be restored to Lukoil. "The door is still open for Lukoil," he told reporters after the signing ceremony. "We don't want Iraq to give the contract to another company."

After the West Qurna cancellation there was speculation that Baghdad had taken offence at contact between Lukoil chief Vagit Alekperov and Iraqi opposition leaders. Since the cancellation, long-standing Iraqi oil minister Amir al-Rasheed has been replaced by Samir al-Najm, an old hand from Saddam's presidential office. Iraq's oil reserves are only second to those of Saudi Arabia. (Europe CNN, Jan. 17)

See also WW3 REPORT #68 [top]

Once-prosperous date-growers in Iraq's southern region of Basra are resorting to subterfuges such as re-export under labels from the United Arab Emirates to elude sanctions and get their product to market. "Nobody wants to hear about anything called Iraqi dates" lamented Fathi Atallah Raja of the Iraqi Date Processing & Marketing Company. In contrast, just a generation ago Basra dates were renowned and coveted throughout the Arab world, and hundreds of date palm saplings were even exported to California in the 1930s to start that state's date industry. The official date encyclopedia lists 627 varieties in Iraq, with local farmers and connoisseurs each boasting a favorite. The Barhi variety is especially highly-prized throughout the Middle East. But now the Basra date industry is devastated by a generation of war, as well as economic sanctions, with exports less than a fifth of what they were in 1980.

The world's largest date forest once sat on the Fao peninsula, where the Shatt al-Arab waterway meets the sea--precisely the area contested during Iraq's grueling 1980-88 war with Iran. Millions of trees were burned or felled by shrapnel in the conflict. Writes the New York Times: "What were once majestic stands of palms are gone, replaced by a stunted, nightmarish landscape of decapitated trunks and blackened stumps. The former population of 16 million date palms around Basra is now estimated at 3 million." Immediately after 1991's Operation Desert Storm, the palm forests were further devastated by a mysterious outbreak of the fusarium fungus, which rots the crowns till they fall of the tree and is known locally as Mad Palm Disease. "We link it to the war because we didn't know this disease before," said Abbas Mahdi Jassim, director of the Center for the Study of Date Palms at the University of Basra." Some researchers have traced the outbreak to contamination by depleted uranium shells. Many Basra varieties are now being grown in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, but Iraqi growers insist that others can never replicate the unique conditions that give Basra dates their luscious, chewy quality. "Sure other countries can grow the trees, but the dates of Basra have a special taste," boasted Sayid Abdel Risa al-Moosawi, patriarch of the clan that founded Basra's first date-processing factory in 1959. Moosawi railed against what he called American piracy in the Persian Gulf, with ships halting agricultural products like dates. But he was also guardedly optimistic. "One day we will regain the same reputation, the position," he predicted. "It will probably take 25 years to get back where it was." (NYT, Jan. 13) [top]

Protesters turned out Jan. 17 in Bahrain and the Gaza Strip to rally against the looming military attack on Iraq, as demonstrators prepared to take to the streets in several European cities the following day. In Bahrain's capital, Manama, over 1,500 marched, calling on their government to expel US forces from the kingdom.. 3,500 Palestinians marched in Gaza City, filling the narrow streets with Iraqi flags and portraits of Saddam Hussein. Many chanted, "Our beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv," reviving a slogan from the 1991 Gulf War. "The Palestinian people and Iraqi people are in the same trench of resistance against the aggression and against injustice," said Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi. (AP, Jan. 17)

Jan. 18 protests in several European cities coincided with massive demonstrations in the US. Anti-war marches were reported from Paris, Brussels, Hamburg, Cologne, Bonn, Goteborg, and Moscow, as well as outside the US Army's European headquarters in Heidelberg, and a military base near London. In Tokyo, marchers carried toy guns with flowers stuck in the barrels. About 100 from Turkey's Green Party marched in Istanbul, symbolically throwing toy guns into a trash can. Protests that day in Cairo, Beirut and several Pakistani cities had a more pro-Saddam tone, echoing the slogans heard the previous day in Gaza. (AP, Jan. 17, 19)

In the U.S., large anti-war protests were reported from Washington DC and San Francisco, with smaller ones in Chicago and Tampa. (Reuters, Jan. 19) New York's WBAI Radio gave all-day coverage to the national march in DC, which brought out 500,000 (by organizers' estimates). But the sycophantically uncritical coverage failed to mention that the DC protest was organized by a coalition, International ANSWER, led at its core by the International Action Center (IAC), front group for the Stalin-nostalgist, genocide-apologist Workers World Party (WWP), which supports Slobodan Milosevic and (somewhat less enthusiastically) Saddam Hussein.

See also WW3 REPORT #57 [top]



Several countries, including the US, Mexico, Brazil and Spain, agreed to create a "Group of Friends of Venezuela" to seek a solution to the ongoing strike that has ground the nation's economy to a halt. President Hugo Chavez welcomed foreign help to end the national strike but cautioned that his government "won't accept any restrictions from the Friends" group or be forced into negotiating with the opposition. "Each country must make a great effort to understand what is happening in Venezuela," Chavez said in his annual state of the nation address to Congress. "This is a democratic government, a democratic republic, confronting fascists, confronting terrorists, confronting coup plotters." In his speech, Chavez accused Venezuela's news media of conspiring to oust him, and threatened to yank the licenses of stations broadcasting "propaganda" against his government. He referred to four opposition TV stations as "the four horsemen of the Apocalypse."

Opposition leaders called the strike Dec. 2 to urge Chavez to accept a referendum on his presidency Feb. 2. Chavez says Venezuela's constitution only allows a referendum halfway into a six-year presidential term, which will be in August. The strike has so far cost Venezuela at least $4 billion and led to food and gasoline shortages. Chavez called the strike leaders were "cruel" for inflicting pain on Venezuelans, and insisted his government is reviving oil production in spite of the strike. Before the strike, Venezuela produced 3 million barrels a day of crude, and was the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and the No. 4 crude exporter to the US. Production is now down to around a half million barrels a day according to strike leaders, and around 800,000 barrels a day according to Energy and Mines Minister Rafael Ramirez. About 35,000 oil workers, including executives, have joined the strike. Domestic gasoline supply still depends mostly on imports because only one refinery is operating. Motorists wait hours in line to fill up. The crisis has also impacted international prices. Gasoline prices in the US have risen to an average $1.50 a gallon since the strike began. (AP, Jan. 17)

Meanwhile, on the evening of Jan. 18, at least 100,000 anti-government protesters marched in Caracas, converging on a city highway, blocking traffic waving national flags, flashlights and flaming torches to demand Chavez step down or recognize the proposed referendum on his rule. (AP, Jan. 19)

See also WW3 REPORT #68 [top]

With the retail price of gasoline up ten cents per gallon since the Venezuelan strike started, experts say the crisis is complicating the Bush administration's plan to rely on Venezuela to ride out a new Middle East oil shock caused by a new war in the Persian Gulf. Said Larry Goldstein, president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation: "A few months ago everybody thought that if we went to war in Iraq oil wouldn't be a major problem, because there was enough to spare capacity to make up for lost Iraqi oil. But no one then was contemplating lost Venezuelan oil... Now we won't have enough spare capacity to take care of both those events." Venezuela is the USA's fourth largest supplier, after Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The fifth through tenth largest suppliers are, respectively, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Norway, Angola and Algeria. (NYT, Jan. 11) [top]

On Jan. 17, US Ambassador Anne Patterson, guarded by US Special Forces in a machine-gun mounted Humvee, arrived in Arauca department, one of Colombia's bloodiest war zone, to meet with Pentagon advisors training Colombian troops. Patterson told reporters 70 US Army trainers had arrived in Arauca over the past few days, to stay for three months to train 6,500 Colombian troops to protect a key oil pipeline from attacks by guerillas. The deployment of members of the 7th Special Forces Group, based at Fort Bragg, NC, followed a decision by the Bush administration, with Congressional approval, to expand US military aid to help Colombia combat the guerillas. Previously, US military aid and training was officially restricted to fighting cocaine production. Colombian Defense Minister Martha Lucia Ramirez said the expanded military aid will "make our actions against these groups much more effective and allow us to obtain the result we want, which is to hit these groups hard." Ramirez told the AP she believed the US military trainers would be safe in Arauca, which has been declared a special security zone by President Alvaro Uribe.

The US advisors in Arauca are to train two Colombian army brigades to protect the Cano Limon pipeline, which carries oil for Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum across northern Colombia to a seaside depot, where it is pumped onto US-bound tankers. Colombia is the 10th-largest supplier of oil to the US, and guerilla attacks on the pipeline have reduced its output.

From an Arauca military base, Patterson flew on an Occidental helicopter to the Cano Limon oil field, where she greeted 20 newly arrived US military advisors. Travel by road is dangerous in region. In December, suspected guerillas set off a bomb next to a bus carrying Cano Limon workers, killing two of them and injuring 11. US special forces already have trained a 2,000-member Colombian army counter-narcotics brigade as part of almost $2 billion in mostly military aid Washington has given Colombia over the past three years. Washington has officially ruled out a direct combat role for US troops in Colombia's 39-year civil war, in which some 3,500 people die each year. (AP, Jan. 17)

See also WW3 REPORT #59 [top]

Unknown gunmen entered a small village of Dos Quebradas, 100 miles north of Bogota, and killed a dozen people, authorities said Jan. 17. Army troops are headed to the region to investigate and provide security for surviving villagers, said Defense Minister Martha Lucia Ramirez. "There is a lot of fear. The people are in their homes, waiting for the authorities to come to provide security," said Hugo Hernando Posada, a municipal official in the town of San Carlos, where survivors from Dos Quebradas fled. But the right-wing paramilitaries which have committed the vast majority of the massacres in Colombia in recent years have often actively collaborated with government forces. (AP, Jan. 17)

The following day, AP reported that survivors of the massacre told local authorities that fighters from the left-wing Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) rounded up the victims, accused them of being members of a rival right-wing paramilitary army and summarily shot them in the head. Soldiers were deployed to patrol the region "to protect the population and finish off these bandits," army commander Gen. Carlos Ospina told reporters. (AP, Jan. 18) [top]

Lucio Gutierrez, a former colonel who took part in a populist uprising that brought down Ecuador's government in 2000, was sworn in as the new president Jan 15, and immediately issued a warning to the "corrupt oligarchy that has stolen our money, our dreams and the right of Ecuadoreans to have dignified lives." Gutierrez pledged to work for social justice for Ecuador's poor and Indians. (NYT, Jan. 16)

See also WW3 REPORT #63 [top]

Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba Jan. 17 in the fifth straight day of demonstrations against a coca eradication program. Protesters have shut down the main highway linking Cochabamba to Santa Cruz, 200 miles to the east, erecting barricades of boulders and logs along the road to oppose a US-sponsored plan to destroy illegal coca crops. Helmeted police chased demonstrators through the streets, firing tear gas into crowds gathered behind barricades of garbage cans and burning tires. The local Dr. Eduardo Arnez said he treated three young men for shotgun wounds, claiming police fired on the crowd. The independent Permanent Assembly of Human Rights for Bolivia says security forces shot and killed five protesters. The government has no confirmed the number of casualties.

Evo Morales, a Bolivian congressman and leader of the country's coca farmers, is leading the protests, which began after talks between the government and coca growers collapsed in December. Thousands of Bolivians angered by the government's decision to sign a hemispheric free trade agreement have also taken to the streets. (AP, Jan. 17)

See also WW3 REPORT # 46 [top]


Seven Muslim detainees at Passaic County Jail began a hunger strike Jan. 14 to protest their continued captivity and demand that INS officials to be punished for their mistreatment. The strikers include Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian activist suing the government for holding him beyond the normal limit for immigration violations. The detainees' statement reads: "We denounce the gross violations of our human rights. We are being held without adequate ventilation, in unclean and unhealthy quarters. We are being denied medical care, visitation, and Islamic services. The food is completely inadequate and non-nutritious. We ask all people to defend our rights and to demand our freedom."

The detainees are demanding their immediate release, and release of all other detainees who have not been charged with crimes. Most of the detainees arrested in the government's post-9-11 sweep are held on immigration violations. "They said they're sacrificing their bodies in order to gain their rights," said Namita Chad, of the South Asian advocacy group DRUM. "They said they're going to continue the strike until someone from the INS meets with them." Bernard McFall, Abdel-Muhti's former roommate in Queens, expressed concerns for his friend. "His health was not that good before he went to jail," McFall said. "His blood pressure is high and he's not eating right or getting any exercise."

INS Kerry Gill said INS guidelines define a hunger strike as a refusal of food or drink lasting 72 hours or more. "At this time, no detainees in the Newark district have missed meals over a 72-hour period," he said. (AP, Jan. 14)

As WW3 REPORT goes to press, the strike is approaching the 72-hour mark, and authorities have increased the pressure. On Jan. 16 Wilfredo Diaz of the New York INS regional office served Abdel-Muhti with a "first warning for failure to depart," threatening him with up to four years in prison for his alleged refusal to cooperate with his deportation. Abdel-Muhti said he would not sign the document without consulting his attorney. On Jan. 17 Deportation Officer Frantz Jeudi visited Abdel-Muhti and made a second attempt to get the detainee's signature. Abdel-Muhti again insisted on his right to an attorney, and says Jeudi then became abusive and said that if he refused, "you will lose everything."

The INS may be trying to interfere with a habeas corpus petition Abdel-Muhti filed on Nov. 6, which charges that he has been held unlawfully beyond the six-month period the Supreme Court set as a standard in the 2001 Zadvydas case. Abdel-Muhti does not wish to leave the US, where he has lived for more than 25 years, but insists he has cooperated fully with efforts to deport him. Abdel-Muhti is a stateless Palestinian, and the INS has failed in several efforts to deport him since the 1970s because no country would accept him.

Five of the striking detainees have accepted the INS's offer of transfer to the Hudson County Jail, also in New Jersey--but INS officials insist they must end their strike before they are transferred. INS spokesperson Kerry Gill called the hunger strike "disruptive behavior." The strikers have also been strip-searched and placed in solitary confinement. One of the original seven has since taken food, due to health concerns.

"The INS is playing hardball by saying it won't even transfer the detainees until they end the hunger strike," said Jane Guskin of the Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI). "But it's the INS that provoked this strike in the first place. They know that conditions in Passaic are below even their own low standards... This time they pushed a group of detainees to the point where they're willing to risk their health, even their lives. In Farouk's case and many others, the INS is flaunting the law by refusing to abide by the Zadvydas decision. The INS needs to stop criticizing the detainees for taking this desperate measure and start obeying the law."

(Committee for the Release of Farouk Abdel-Muhti, Jan. 18)

Abdel-Muhti's supporters are urging pressure on INS District Director Andrea Quarantillo, politley but firmly demanding respect for the strikers' minimum demands:

1. improvements in food,
2. adequate and safe medical care,
3. proper air quality in the units,
4. contact family visits,
5. a resumption of the Friday Islamic services suspended a month ago
6. separate living quarters for post-9-11 detainees.

Andrea Quarantillo
District Director, INS
Newark District
970 Broad St. Rm. 136
Newark, NJ 07102

Also contact INS assistant commissioner David Venturella in Washington (fax: 202-353-9435; phone: 202-305-2734; email: Your message can be as short as "Free Farouk Abdel-Muhti and all INS Detainees!"

Thanks to: Committee for the Release of Farouk Abdel-Muhti PO Box 20587, Tompkins Square Station, New York, NY 10009
Phone: 212-674-9499
E-mail: [top]

To avoid detention or deportation as a result of the newly expanded INS "special registration" put into effect in December, Pakistani businessmen and homeowners from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have fled to Plattsburgh, NY, on Lake Champlain just 20 miles south of the Canadian border, in hope of seeking political asylum. Canadian refugee law allows anyone claiming refugee status immediate entry into the country, to await a court hearing where the need for asylum must be proved to a judge. In 2002, 13,000 people residing in the US applied for asylum in Canada at US border. New York City's Pakistan Post reports that 70 claims for asylum have been filed with the Montreal Immigration office this year alone. (Pakistan Post, Jan. 8, trans. from Urdu by Rehan Ansari for Voices that Must be Heard: The Best of New York's Ethnic and Immigrant Press, Independent Press Association)

See also WW3 REPORT #68

(Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

In August 2002, the US and Canada signed a "Safe Third Country" Agreement which allows Canadian Immigration to turn people back at the border and forces refugees to file for asylum from the US. The new policy, approved by the Canadian Parliament, will take effect in the Spring. Eleanor Acer, Director of the Asylum Program at the Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights (LCHR), called the agreement "unnecessary and inhumane," arguing that it will actually make the border between the two countries less secure." A Dec. 4 LCHR press release states that US officials were unable to present adequate need for such an agreement, and were prepared to "sacrifice the interests of refugees as 'bargaining chip' in the broader US-Canada border discussions." LCHR predicts that this agreement will make refugees vulnerable to "smugglers who may transport them across the border illegally" and will unfairly bind their asylum applications to the harsher US Immigration and Naturalization Service. (Press Release, Dec. 4, 2002, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights)

See also WW3 REPORT #63

(Subuhi Jiwani) [top]

In the Jan. 16 edition of the Federal Register, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced that five more countries would be added to the list of 20 countries whose male nationals are required to submit to "special call-in registration." Males 16 years or older who are nationals or citizens of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, or Kuwait ("Group 4" countries) and who entered the US on visitor, student or work visas before September 20, 2003, are required to register between Feb. 24 and Mar. 28, 2003.

In the same announcement, the INS extended the registration deadline for nationals of the countries listed in "Group 1" (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria) and "Group 2" (Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). Nationals from both groups may now register between Jan. 27 and Feb. 7. Nationals of "Group 3" countries (Pakistan and Saudi Arabia) are required to register between Jan. 13 and Feb. 21. Women of all ages and boys under 16 are exempt from the registration requirement, as are US citizens and permanent legal residents.

On Jan. 17, the Washington Post reported that federal officials had acknowledged that the INS had detained 1,169 men during the first two rounds of special registration. Nearly all were detained for immigration violations. Some were held just a few hours, then released and ordered to appear for deportation hearings. Some 170 are still in custody, a senior Justice Department official said.

(Immigration News Briefs, Jan. 18) [top]

On Jan. 14, US district judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle extended a preliminary injunction barring the INS from deporting Somali nationals, and extended the protected class to include all Somalis facing deportation. The ruling came in a class action lawsuit filed in November. Pechman agreed with the plaintiffs that without a functioning government, Somalia could not be considered to "accept" deportees. Pechman warned that the risk of harm and irreparable injury to the Somali deportees was high, and expressed concern that "the government appears to have no idea of what happened to persons previously deported. It's as if they've fallen into a black hole." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 15)

(Immigration News Briefs, Jan. 18)

See also WW3 REPORT #64 [top]


Congressional critics of the FBI are raising questions about a presidential citation and large cash bonus awarded to Marion "Spike" Bowman, the FBI supervisor whose unit denied a pre-9-11 search warrant on Zacarias Moussaoui, now the accused "20th hijacker." FBI general counsel Bowman was among nine current and former Bureau officials who received a Presidential Rank Award in December, including a cash bonus of up to 30% of annual salary. Bowman, head of the FBI's National Security Law Unit, was praised for efforts to build "a staff of attorneys to examine diverse and highly complex issues for which little or no formal legal education has been available." FBI Director Robert Mueller recommended Bowman to the White House for the award. Critics say Bowman's lawyers improperly rejected a search warrant request by FBI agents in Minnesota investigating Moussaoui in August 2001. Bowman maintains there never was enough evidence for the warrant under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). But Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), complained in a letter to the FBI director: "You are sending the wrong signal to those agents who fought--sometimes against senior FBI bureaucrats at headquarters--to prevent the attacks."

A Senate investigation last fall also criticized Bowman's unit for blocking an urgent request on Aug. 29, 2001 by FBI agents in New York to begin searching for Khalid Almihdar, one of the hijackers on the American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon. An FBI agent, not identified publicly, testified Bowman's lawyers decided information linking Almihdar to terrorism had been obtained through intelligence surveillance and could not legally be used in a criminal investigation. "Some day, someone will die...and the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain problems," the agent wrote in an e-mail to FBI headquarters.

While these politicians were outraged by inadequate surveillance, civil liberties defenders point to instances of illegal over-reach by agents overseen by Bowman's unit, which approves or rejects requests for secret surveillance warrants under FISA, forwarding approvals to the Justice Department. In early 2000, Bowman's unit acknowledged numerous blunders in counter-terrorist surveillance. Among the problems, outlined in an April 2000 memorandum were agents illegally videotaping suspects, intercepting e-mails without court permission and recording the wrong phone conversations. The unit also acknowledged, in a separate memo, that agents mistakenly intercepted e-mails of innocent citizens in a Denver investigation by its Osama bin Laden Unit and International Terrorism Operations Section. It indicated the FBI incorrectly used its "Carnivore" Internet surveillance software, now called "DCS-1000," capturing too many e-mails. (AP, Jan. 10)

See also WW3 REPORT #37 [top]

Raising the alarm that privacy rights are threatened, Senate Democrats set out Jan. 16 to halt a proposed Pentagon database that would sift through consumer and government records on the entire US populace. The Defense Department says the aim of the Total Information Awareness office, under former national security adviser John Poindexter, is to seek patterns in transactions data like credit card bills to finger terrorists. But Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin vowed to block funding for the program, now still under development, until Congress can give it a thorough review. "Our country must fight terrorism, but America should not unleash virtual bloodhounds to sniff into the financial, educational, travel and medical records of millions of Americans,'' Wyden told reporters on Capitol Hill. Wyden has introduced an amendment to a large spending package that would ban any funding for the program. Feingold introduced separate legislation to suspend the project until Congress gets oversight of it. A third Democrat, Sen. Jon Corzine, dubbed the Total Information Awareness project ``Orwellian.''

Critics also recall that Poindexter was convicted of lying to Congress in the Contragate scandal. His conviction was only overturned on the grounds his immunized congressional testimony had been used against him. "It's ironic that Admiral Poindexter is leading the charge,'' Corzine said. "That speaks for itself (Reuters, Jan. 16)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 63 & 59 [top]

Over 5,000 veterans of Operation Desert Storm are plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing US and European companies of helping Saddam Hussein build his chemical warfare arsenal. The plaintiffs are among the tens of thousands who came down with "Gulf War Illness," a debilitating series of ailments that can include chronic fatigue, skin rashes, muscle joint pain, memory loss and even brain damage. Now, plaintiffs' attorneys have acquired, what they believe is strong evidence of which companies supplied Iraq chemicals that might have been used to produce mustard gas, sarin nerve gas and VX. The supplier list, shown to CNN, is included in Iraq's 1998 weapons declaration to the UN, parts of which were re-submitted to weapons inspectors last month. Sources tell CNN the list is an authentic document, but attorneys for the companies question its veracity and say the lawsuit is without merit. The Iraqi list names 56 suppliers of chemicals and equipment to process them. A majority are based in Europe. "If they are hit in the pocketbook, if they know the dictator they provide this stuff to is eventually gonna turn them over to the public and they are gonna be held accountable for what they've done, they're less likely to sell these things to Saddam or somebody like [him] in the future," plaintiffs' attorney Gary Pitts said.

The suit, first filed by Pitts in a civil court in Brazoria County, TX, in 1994, alleges that companies knew "products and/or manufacturing facilities supplied...were to be used to produce chemical and biological weapons." The suit seeks at least $1 billion in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Seven companies in the Iraqi declaration have been named defendants so far.

Most major suppliers listed in the 1998 declaration are based in Germany. The Netherlands and Switzerland each are home to three companies on the list. France, Austria and the United States each are home to two. Also listed are companies based in Singapore, India, Egypt, Spain and Luxembourg. The lawsuit has moved slowly for eight years, with neither the US government nor the UN weapons inspection agency--formerly the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and now the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission--would share supplier information requested by Pitts. (CNN, Jan. 18) [top]


In the international day of protest against the Iraq war drive Jan. 18, drivers of fuel-efficient hybrid cars in San Francisco had their vehicles blessed at Grace Cathedral, and then rolled down Nob Hill in the company of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition--making the point that the alternatives to oil-gluttony are already here. Banners read "go solar, not ballistic." (UK Independent, Jan. 18) [top]

Notorious anarchist Emma Goldman was on the front page of the New York Times Jan. 14, probably for the first time since her death in 1940. It seems the University of California at Berkeley--home to the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s--moved to censor a bulk-mail fund-raising appeal by the University's Emma Goldman Papers Project, which is collecting and archiving her essays and letters. The appeal included three quotes from Emma, two of which the University insisted be dropped. The first, written in 1915--shortly before she was imprisoned and deported for opposing US involvement in WW I--called on those "not yet overcome by war madness to raise their voice of protest, to call the attention of the people to the crime and outrage which are about to be perpetrated on them." The second, also censored, warned that advocates of free speech "shall soon be obliged to meet in cellars, or in darkened rooms with closed doors, and speak in whispers lest our next-door neighbors should hear what free-born citizens dare not speak in the open." Only the third was left uncensored: "The most violent element in society is ignorance." UC Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Price said the first two quotes were inappropriate because they were "making a political point."

Other UC Berkeley researchers came to the defense of the Emma Goldman Papers Project and its director Dr. Candace Falk. Said Robert Hirst, general editor of the university's Mark Twain Project: "I feel this is not the way the university either should or wants to operate. We just got through creating the Free Speech Cafe on campus, and we have a free speech archive. How many times does this have to happen at Berkeley before they learn?" Two days after the Times story, the university relented and allowed the mailing to go out uncensored. 400 of the censored letters had already been mailed. (NYT, Jan. 14, 17)

The most ironic thing about the episode is that the quote which was deemed acceptable was from the 1917 essay "Anarchism: What it Really Stands For", which accused the press and mainstream opinion of hypocrisy in condemning the "violence" of anarchists (much as they today bait radical environmentalists as "terrorists"--see WW3 REPORT #22):

"Anarchism represents to the unthinking...a black monster bent on swallowing everything; in short, destruction and violence. Destruction and violence! How is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorance; that its power of destruction is the very thing Anarchism is combating? Nor is he aware that Anarchism, whose roots, as it were, are part of nature's forces, destroys, not healthful tissue, but parasitic growths that feed on the life's essence of society. It is merely clearing the soil from weeds and sagebrush, that it may eventually bear healthy fruit."

The second quote was from Emma's 1902 essay "Free Speech in Chicago", which protested the closure of her meetings by the police in that city--much as Chicago police are today seeking greater power to harass and intimidate activists. (See WW3 REPORT # 59.)

The first quote was from the essay "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter", written one year into WW I, which also includes the following prophetic statement:

"Since the war began, miles of paper and oceans of ink have been used to prove the barbarity, the cruelty, the oppression of Prussian militarism. Conservatives and radicals alike are giving their support to the Allies for no other reason than to help crush that militarism, in the presence of which, they say, there can be no peace or progress in Europe. But though America grows fat on the manufacture of munitions and war loans to the Allies to help crush Prussians the same cry is now being raised in America which, if carried into national action, would build up an American militarism far more terrible than German or Prussian militarism could ever be, and that because nowhere in the world has capitalism become so brazen in its greed and nowhere is the state so ready to kneel at the feet of capital."




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