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ISSUE: #. 80. April 7, 2003








By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom, Special Correspondent

1. Baghdad Beseiged; Saddam Calls for "Jihad"
2. Hideous Toll of "Collateral Damage"
3. Suicide Martyrs Speak
4. Meaningless Death
5. Smart Bombs Not So Smart
6. Umm Qasr Port Still Closed; Aid Still Stalled
7. Stephen Funk: American Hero!!!
8. Dissension in Pentagon
9. Troops Asked to Pray for Bush
10. Whither the Shi'ites?
11. Karbala and Najaf: Shi'ite Holy Cities Under Bombardment
12. Missiles Rock Cradle of Civilization
13. Iran to Intervene?
14. Chaos in Kurdistan
15. Race for Kirkuk Oil
16. U.S. Charts "Dominating Control" in Post-War Iraq
17. Post-War Planners: Fuck the French
18. Halliburton Subsidiary Seeks Iraq Contract
19. WMD: Still No "Smoking Gun"
20. Belgium Guts War Crimes Act
21. Saddam Cracks Down on Al-Jazeera
22. Peacenik Arrested with Journalists
23. More Global Protests
24. Europe Gets Stupid Again
25. American "Left" Has Its Idiots Too

1. Tul Karm Mini-Expulsion: A Rehearsal For Transfer?
2. IDF Wounds Two International Activists, One Seriously
3. IDF: Corrie Death An Accident; Driver Back At Work

1. U.S. Airstrikes in Kandahar Mountains
2. Mullah Omar Issues New Call for Jihad

1. More Terror in Mindanao

1. Is War Shadow Play Against OPEC?
2. Anglo-American Split on Iraq's Future?
3. Russian Envoy in Beijing for Talks On Iraq
4. Russia's Supreme Mufti Calls for Jihad
5. Terror Attacks in Istanbul, Lebanon, Chechnya
6. Bribery Lubricates Kazakh Oil Biz

1. "Prince Of Darkness" Perle Still in the Saddle?
2. Condi and AIPAC Meet Behind Closed Doors
3. "Rolling Victory" Or Permanent War?
4. Woolsey: World War IV Against Iraq, Iran, Syria

1. Oregon to Dumb Down "Terrorist" Definition?
2. Amnesty: War Bad for Global Human Rights--in U.S.A. Too
3. Call to War Tax Resistance

1. Sophomoric Exercise in Historical Irony
2. Fun With Anagrams


By Sunday April 6, US forces had Baghdad semi-encircled in an arc stretching from where the Tigris River enters the city in the north to where it leaves in the south, with a pocket of contested ground to the west. The US also claimed to have taken Karbala, the Shi'ite holy city to the south. Further south, British forces claimed to have taken Basra, Iraq's second city, following street-to-street battles--and still faced resistance from local Fedayeen milita forces. Regular troops were said to have abandoned the southern cities. The BBC reported thousands of Iraqi APCs and tanks destroyed in the ring around Baghdad--along with at least 20 civilian vehicles. Late Sunday night, BBC reported that US tanks had made an incursion into the center of Baghdad, attempting to seize a presidential palace and sparking a fierce gunbattle. A defiant government statement said: "Those rascals are committing suicide on the gates of Baghdad." (BBC, April 6)

Between 2,000 and 3,000 Iraqi fighters were killed as the 3rd Infantry Division moved through southwestern Baghdad, US Central Command spokesman Jim Wilkinson boasted. (AP, April 6) Iraqi forces did bring down a US Black Hawk helicopter with small arms fire March 2, killing seven on board. US and Iraqi leadership accused each other of dirty tricks--the US accusing the Fedayeen Saddam resistance movement of dressing in civilian clothes, and Baghdad charging that the US is dropping booby-traps to kill civilians and menacing mosques with dangerously low overflights. (Newsday, April 3) Iraqi missiles also brought down a US Navy Hornet April 2. (NYT, April 3)

There have been instances of US troops greeted by cheering Iraqis as they pushed up to Baghdad. The New York Times put such an account in the lead story of its special war section April 4. Meanwhile, a companion piece on the same page noted "Arab Media Portray War as Killing Field."

Amid numberless senseless casualties, some stood out in the press. Five people were injured April 6 when a convoy of vehicles with 25 Russian diplomats and journalists trying to flee Iraq was attacked as it headed for the Syrian border, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said. (CNN, April 6)

Saddam Hussein, exploiting the carnage, compared US troops to the Mongols who invaded Baghdad in 1258, and promised a decisive battle once US forces reach the city. "We will make them commit suicide on the walls of Baghdad," he vowed. (AP, April 1) In an April 1 speech attributed to Saddam but delivered by Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf the dictator said that "jihad is a duty and whoever dies will be rewarded by heaven... Take your chance, my beloved. It is your chance for immortality. Hit them. Fight them. They are cursed. They are evil. You will be victorious and they will be defeated." It ended: "Long live our nation! Long live Palestine! Long live Iraq!... Let's go and do jihad!" (BBC Monitoring, April 2) Gen. Hazem al-Rawi boasted that 4,000 have volunteered for suicide attacks. (NYT, March 31) Saddam--or a double--took a public stroll through Baghdad April 5, and was greeted by cheering supporters. (Newsday, April 6)

As of April 3, US troops killed in combat numbered 39, with five allied troops and four journalists. US troops killed by accidents and "friendly fire" number 14, with 22 allied troops. There are 15 US troops missing, with two allies and four journalists. There are seven US POWs, two allied POWs--and about 8,000 Iraqi POWs. (NY Post, April 3) The Pentagon is not keeping track of Iraqi war dead, either military or civilian. (NYT, April 2) [top]

A maternity hospital operated by the Red Crescent in Baghdad was severely damaged April 2 in an air strike on a nearby building. The clinic, which had largely been evacuated, was hit by flying glass and debris, blowing out windows and tearing open the roof. Three were killed and 25 people injured on the street below, according to reports sent to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva. New details also emerged on a raid apparently targeting Hindiya, a suburb of Hilla, which Red Cross officials said killed 33 and wounded more than 400 others. International Red Cross spokesperson in Baghdad, Roland Huguenin-Benjamin, described what his team witnessed as "truly horrific", adding: "There are dozens of bodies torn apart, limbs ripped off, 450 wounded." (UK Guardian, April 3) AP reported on the "carnage" left by an April 3 missile attack on Baghdad's Bab al-Moazam telephone exchange. "What does Bush want from us?" screamed an Iraqi woman in a black chador, standing next to the ruins. "Saddam is our choice, and even if he will have us survive on just bread, we still want him. "Would Bush do this to his people or his family?" (AP April 3)

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon suggested April 4 that mothers of Iraqi children killed by cluster bombs would "one day" thank the UK for their use. Hoon's claim came as the Defense Ministry confirmed for the first time that British forces had dropped 50 airborne cluster munitions in the south of Iraq, leaving behind up to 800 unexploded bomblets. (UK Independent, April 5)

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 877 and the maximum at 1,050.

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

Iraqi TV broadcast statements by two Iraqi women who blew themselves up in an attack that killed three US soldiers in western Iraq April 3. A woman who identified herself as "martyrdom-seeker Nour Qaddour al-Shammari" swore on the Koran "to defend Iraq...and take revenge from the enemies of the [Islamic] nation, Americans, imperialists, Zionists" and Arabs who collaborate with them. "We say to our leader and holy war comrade, the hero commander Saddam Hussein, that you have sisters that you and history will boast about," said the woman, who wore the red-checked keffiyeh, an Arab headscarf. In a separate video, another woman, identified as Wadad Jamil Jassem, said: "I have devoted myself for jihad for the sake of God and against the American, British and Israeli infidels and to defend the soil of our precious and dear country." (AP, April 5)

A statement from Iraqi state TV honoring the woman began with a verse from the Koran: "Go ye forth, whether equipped lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods, and your persons, in the cause of God. That is best for you, if ye but knew." (9.41) It ended: "Blessed be the two women martyrs. May they enjoy themselves in heaven. Long live Iraq guarded by God's care and the fists of its righteous sons, led to loftiness by the audacious knight leader President Saddam Hussein, may God watch over him. God is great, God is great, God is great." (BBC Monitoring, April 4) [top]

Ten Iraqi civilians, including five children, were killed when jumpy US troops opened fire on a car at a checkpoint near Karbala March 31. (Newsday, April 1) British soldiers injured when a US "tankbuster" aircraft mistakenly attacked their convoy, killing one of their comrades, lashed out angrily at the "cowboy" pilot in an interview with the UK Guardian. (March 31) [top]

Most of the 8,000 "precision-guided" bombs and missiles loosed on Iraq so far have reportedly hit their targets. But the Pentagon admits "precision" weapons have a failure rate of over ten percent. "No weapons system is foolproof," said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Owens of US Central Command in Qatar. "We'll always have one or two that go off target." Concurs Rob Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons: "Statistically, several hundred of those have missed to some degree." (AP, April 1) [top]

The US Navy said April 1 that a "low level" threat of mines was keeping Umm Qasr, Iraq's only deepwater port, closed to commercial shipping, despite having been secured by US-led forces. Merchant ships are awaiting approval from the Pentagon before proceeding to the port, and aid agencies could face frustration for several days to come. So far just one military ship, Britain's Sir Galahad, has berthed at Umm Qasr, unloading food, medicine, blankets and water. It was delayed for days by mine-clearing operations before landing March 28. Australia has two shipments of wheat aid in the Gulf, but they cannot make for Umm Qasr until the shipping channel is cleared of explosives. That 100,000 tons of wheat, donated by the Australian government, would be the first bulk food aid to enter Iraq's only deep water port since the assault on Iraq began March 20. (Reuters, April 1)

The aid which is making it through is apparently being used as a weapon of war. Villagers are promised food and water if they identify members of the Fedayeen paramilitary resistance movement, the LA Times reported March 31. [top]

The first US conscientious objector from the Iraq war gave himself up at Camp Pendleton Marine base in California April 1. Said Stephen Eagle Funk, 20: "I believe that it is impossible to achieve peace through violence." Funk, a Marine reserve who was due to be sent for combat duty, went on "unauthorized absence" from his unit. He faces a possible court martial and time in military prison. (Reuters, April 2)

Three British soldiers in Iraq have been ordered home after protesting civilian casualties. The three soldiers, based in Colchester, Essex, face court martial and are seeking legal advice. (UK Guardian, March 31) [top]

Officers in the field are said to be grumbling that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld failed to prepare realistically for the Iraq assault. Ret. Gen Barry McCaffrey, a Desert Storm hero, spoke for many: "Their assumptions were wrong. There is a view that the nature of warfare has fundamentally changed, that numbers don't count, that armor and artillery don't count. They went into battle with a plan that put a huge air and sea force into action with an unbalanced ground combat force." (NYT, April 1) [top]

Thousands of US Marines have been given a pamphlet entitled "A Christian's Duty," a small prayer book with a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House, pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush. "I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," reads the pledge. The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president. One read: "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding." Another: "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics." (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 31) [top]

Contrary to US and British expectations, Iraq's Shiites have not rebelled against Saddam Hussein as they did at the end of 1991's Operation Desert Storm. In 1991, the rebels were left to face Saddam's forces alone and were put down brutally by the Iraqi army. This time, Shiites are holding back. Reports in the US press of a Shi'ite uprising in Iraq's south have proved to be of little substance. "Basra Shiites Stage Revolt, Attack Government Troops", announced the Wall Street Journal March 26 (Europe edition). The article starts, however, on a much less sure note: "Military officials said the Shiite population of Basra...appeared to be rising". The officials remained anonymous. It also read: "Reporters on the scene said that Iraqi troops were firing on the protesting citizens..." The reporters also remained anonymous.

On April 2, Iraqi TV broadcast images of Sheikh Mohammed Khaqani, a Shi'ite cleric from the holy city of Najaf, visibly nervous, reading out a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on the Iraqi people to defend their country. But Julie Flint of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting writes that Iraqi Shi'ites reject the decree, "insisting that it has been issued under coercion from the regime." The fatwa was reportedly signed by Iraq's five most senior Shi'ite clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, head of the entire Shi'ite religious establishment. However, Abdul Magid al-Khoei, son of Ayatollah al-Sistani's predecessor, Grand Ayatollah abu al-Qasm al-Khoei, told Flint he had spoken to representatives of the two most prominent ayatollahs named in the fatwa and had been told that neither had signed it. "It is the first time in our history that we see a fatwa signed by five people," he said, speaking from a satellite telephone in region. "This does not happen in our religion. I know Khaqani. He is a good man and he was clearly frightened. He was taken by force and by force was made to read this 'fatwa'. It has no significance because it comes from a prisoner."

Meanwhile, Reuters published a report April 3 claiming that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged Iraqis not to resist invading US forces at the holy shrine of Najaf. Citing sources at the Al Khoei foundation in London, Reuters said the fatwa applies throughout Iraq. But a statement issued by Sistani's office and quoted by Al-Jazeera TV later that day said that reports of any a fatwa urging Iraqis not to resist were false. (BBC Monitoring)

In Tehran, Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim, leader of Iraq's Iran-backed Shi'ite opposition, issued a "message to the Iraqi people" urging followers not to collaborate with the US forces. "Foreign troops must leave Iraq at the earliest possible time. The Iraqi people will resist by all available means, including armed struggle, if these foreign forces turn into occupiers." (Newsday, March 31) [top]

With US forces seizing Karbala and Najaf, there's growing fear that the gold-domed shrines of the two Shi'ite holy cities could suffer war damage. On April 1, US forces began launching missiles toward Karbala, about 55 miles southeast of Baghdad, with circling warplanes bombing targets in the area. Karbala is home to the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad's martyred grandson, Imam Hussein. US troops also fought to isolate Najaf--the resting place of Muhammad's son-in-law, Imam Ali, 100 miles south of Baghdad. Ali's shrine in the center of Najaf, with its golden dome and silver-covered tomb, is a landmark of Islamic culture. Both Najaf and Karbala are centers of pilgrimage for Iraq's Shi'ite majority, and tens of thousands of Iranian pilgrims visit the two cities each year. "Intensifying military actions, killing civilians and attacking holy sites in Iraq will increase hostility and therefore extremism in the region," Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi warned as US forces approached the cities. "The world does not see that America and Britain are going to bring peace and democracy for Iraqis by hitting them with heavy bombs." (AP, April 1)

When over 150 Iraqi resistance fighters took refuge in Najaf's Mosque of Ali, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets April 3 to keep US troops from entering the shrine. "The city OK, the Mosque of Ali no!," the locals reportedly chanted. US helicopters flew above the shrine, dropping leaflets urging surrender by the barricaded members of the Fedayeen Saddam. Local clerics were said to be seeking a deal where the Saddam loyalists would leave the mosque in return for safe passage out of the city. (AP, April 3) But the London daily Al-Hayat later reported that the resistance fighters abandoned the mosque under pressure from the same demonstrators who had protected it from US troops. The protesters stayed at their positions all night, controlling the streets around the mosque. (Al-Hayat, April 5)

The Medina Division of the Republican Guards are stationed outside Najaf, and have come under heavy bombardment by US B-52s. The city is also surrounded by tanks of the US Seventh Cavalry. (UK Guardian, April 2)

Shrines in both Najaf and Karbala were damaged in 1991's fighting, but Saddam has since had them restored. "Iraq may have misused the sacred places, but they are defending themselves in their own country against foreign aggressors," said Shiite cleric Mousa Qorbani. "Any harm to the holy shrine will provoke unspecified severe consequences for the aggressors." (AP, April 3) [top]

With over 1,000 known archeological sites--including the remains of humanity's earliest cities, Ur, Nineveh and Babylon--Iraq contains what John Curtis of the British Museum calls "the cultural heritage of the world." Curtis warns that priceless relics from the dawn of civilization as well as Shia Islam's holiest shrines are now at risk due to US aerial bombardment. The UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has provided an inventory of cultural and archeological sites to the Pentagon, but Curtis warns that missiles go astray, and that many of the sites are near areas coming under bombardment. (BBC, April 1)

Curtis told the UK Guardian that he visited Ur last spring and believes US forces strafed the ancient city's ziggurat with heavy machine-gun fire during Operation Desert Storm. An Iraqi airbase is located near Ur, and the area is almost certainly coming under bombardment again now. (UK Guardian, April 2) [top]

Iran's senior leadership has sent paramilitary units across their border with Iraq to harass US soldiers once Saddam Hussein's regime falls, US intelligence reports say. UPI reports that on March 24, an unnamed US intelligence agency issued a "spot report" to senior administration officials detailing conversations in a meeting of the Islamic Republic's top leadership. The council, which is working on Iran's post-conflict strategy, includes Iranian President Mohammed Khatami and top cleric Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. "This confirmed all of our suspicions that the Iranians are not our friends and not for peace in the region," one anonymous US official said. "They are in fact for a piece of the region."

On March 14 Hujjat al-Islam Hassan Rowhani, Iran's national security adviser, warned in a public statement that there will be no "happy ending to the way the Americans have chosen" in Iraq. Added influential former president Hashemi Rafsanjani: "The US presence in the Middle East is worse than Saddam's weapons of mass destruction."

On March 28, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld opened his news briefing with a warning to the Badr Brigades, armed wing of an Iraqi Shi'ite opposition group that he said is "equipped and directed" by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. "The entrance into Iraq by military forces, intelligence personnel, or proxies not under the direct operational control of [Central Command Chairman] Gen. Franks will be taken as a potential threat to coalition forces," Rumsfeld said. He added that the US would hold Iran responsible for the actions of the Badr Brigades. (UPI, April 3)

Publicly, President Mohammad Khatami condemned the war in Iraq and urged an "international coalition for peace which would safeguard Iraq's territorial integrity, respect the country's national unity, and ensure that the government's future was determined on the basis of one vote for every Iraqi." (Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1, Tehran, April 3, via BBC Monitoring) Iran is officially preventing its citizens from crossing the border into Iraq to fight for Saddam Hussein, saying that would violate its neutral status (AP, April 4).

See also WW3 REPORT #76 [top]

US and British warplanes are bombing government-controlled territory in northern Iraq near Mosul, while Iraqi forces continue to withdraw south, ceding ground to advancing Kurdish peshmerga militias. (Kurdistan Satellite TV, Salah-al-Din, April 3, via BBC Monitoring) On April 6, a US warplane accidentally bombed a Kurdish convoy in the area, killing several people--possibly including US Special Forces troops who were operating with the Kurdish forces. A BBC reporter on the scene counted at least 10 bodies and several more wounded. Kurdish military commander Wajy Barzani, brother of the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), was reportedly wounded in the attack . (BBC, April 6)

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf claimed April 1 that Iraqi forces had thwarted a landing by British paratroopers near Mosul. Al-Jazeera TV reported the Iraqis had killed 10 British troops. "The British forces which were dropped there have been eliminated mostly on the [battle]field, except for those who fled," Sahaf told a news conference. (Reuters, April 1)

Iraqi forces also managed to retake one town, Khazir, after abandoning it to a combined force of US troops and KDP peshmerga. (MENA news agency, Egypt, April 5, via BBC Monitoring)

Turkish officials continue to refute claims that Turkish troops are operating in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz went on Istanbul's NTV television April 3 to deny reports that Turkish troops had opened fire on a Kurdish village in northern Iraq. He also said that a shipment of Patriot missiles recently unloaded at Iskenderun port have arrived in Turkey within the support framework provided by NATO. (BBC Monitoring, April 4) Turkey also agreed to allow provisions for US troops through its territory--but not weapons. The US Congress is considering a $1 billion aid package to Turkey. (Newsday, April 3)

Meanwhile, despite the rout of their stronghold by combined Kurdish and US forces, members of an Islamic militant group supposedly linked to al-Qaeda continue to put up resistance in the Kurd-controlled zone. About 23 members of Ansar al-Islam were killed in clashes with Kurdish peshmergas and US forces in Uraman, Sulaymaniyah province, on April 3, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported. Several foreign nationals, including Saudis, Afghans, Moroccans and Algerians, were reportedly among those killed in the operation. (BBC Monitoring, April 3)

See also WW3 REPORT #79

The pocket taken from Ansar al-Islam by a combined force of US Special Forces and PUK peshmerga sustained a great deal of damage in the battle and aerial bombardment. The headline on Newsday's April 2 coverage of the victory portrayed it as a liberation, quoting a local resident: "Our People Are Free." However, a quote hidden in the text quotes local resident Rizgar Abdullah Nader: "Our village has been destroyed. First, we had to suffer under the rule of Ansar, and now when we finally get rid of them, we can't live here anymore." [top]

Despite US air attacks around northern Iraq's oil fields, crude from the area still flows via pipeline into Turkey. Industry sources and UN officials say the oil is sitting in storage because potential buyers can't contact the Iraqi company that owns it. US and British forces say they have secured key oil facilities in southern Iraq, including 600 of the 1,000 southern wells. But Iraq still controls over 600 wells in the north. UN officials say the Iraqis are pumping crude to Ceyhan, Turkey, from fields near Kirkuk. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline is Iraq's only remaining oil export outlet. The other, the Persian Gulf port of Mina el-Bakr, is under US-British control.

Iraqis are managing to pump some 116,000 barrels a day through the Kirkuk pipeline and into storage tanks in Ceyhan, according to officials with the UN oil-for-food program. The Kirkuk field is the biggest in northern Iraq, with an estimated 7 billion barrels of recoverable crude. That puts it in the same league as Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, during its heyday in the 1970s, according to Leo Drollas, chief economist of the Center for Global Energy Studies in London. Before military action began, its production ranged from 500,000 to 900,000 barrels a day. (AP, April 3)

See also WW3 REPORT #71 [top]

Secretary of State Colin Powell told Congress last week that the US had not taken on "this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have a significant dominating control over how it unfolds in the future." (RFE, April 3)

Philip J. Carroll, a former chief executive of the Shell Oil Company, is the leading contender to oversee Iraqi oil production after the fall of Saddam, the New York Times reports, citing industry experts. After leaving Shell, Carroll served as chairman of the Fluor Corporation, a California construction company, and now lives in Houston. Fluor confirmed recently that it was invited by the White House to bid on reconstruction work in Iraq. (NYT, April 2)

Michael Mobbs, a hawkish Pentagon lawyer, has apparently been chosen to supervise civil administration in post-Saddam Iraq. Mobbs is to take charge of 11 of the 23 Iraqi ministries under the Pentagon-controlled government-in-waiting being assembled in a cluster of seaside villas in Kuwait. During the Reagan administration, Mobbs worked at the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he was closely aligned with then-assistant defense secretary Richard Perle. Mobbs later joined a Washington law firm in which Douglas Feith--now undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon--was a partner. He was also author of what has become known as the "Mobbs declaration", a document presented to the US courts on behalf of the Pentagon claiming that the president has wide powers to indefinitely detain US citizens alleged to be enemy combatants. (UK Guardian, April 4)

Other top-level appointees to the post-Saddam administration include former CIA director James Woolsey, who has long pursued a theory that Saddam Hussein, rather than al-Qaeda, was behind the 9-11 attacks. (See related story, this issue.) Another is Zalmay Khalilzad, now US envoy to the Iraqi opposition and formerly an advisor to the Unocal oil company in its bid for a pipeline contract in Taliban Afghanistan. (See WW3 REPORT #15)

(UK Guardian, April 4)

Retired US Gen. Jay Garner, charged with overseeing the military administration of occupied Iraq, has already landed at the port of Umm Qasr. Under British pressure, he has reportedly rejected a US plan to set up local Iraqi vendors to sell water to residents in the impoverished city. Instead, he has endorsed the British plan to make water available for free. (NY Daily News, April 2) [top]

Despite a defeat in committee, Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA) is pushing ahead with a plan intended to prevent French and German companies from getting US contracts to rebuild Iraq. The proposal failed in a 35-27 vote in the House Appropriations Committee April 2, but Nethercutt said he believes support is growing and that he will prevail in the full House, where he plans to introduce an amendment to the emergency war-spending bill that would bar any rebuilding funds from going to businesses based in a country that "publicly expressed" opposition to the war. "The coalition of the unwilling should not participate in reconstruction with US tax dollars," Nethercutt said, adding that his new proposal would list France, Germany, Russia, Syria and China. (AP, April 3) [top]

Vice President Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton declined to bid for a primary contract under a State Department procedure open to only a select few firms, but is still pursuing reconstruction work in Iraq. Halliburton Co. said its KBR subsidiary "remains a potential subcontractor for this important work." Secondary contractors do not have to submit bids. The KBR subsidiary (Kellogg, Brown & Root) already has business in Iraq under a previous Defense Department contract to extinguish oil well fires. The company hired subcontractors Boots & Coots International Well Control Inc. and Wild Well Control Inc., both also of Houston, to handle the fire-fighting work. Contract controversy began when US AID sent a detailed "request for proposals" to a handful of companies for construction work that that could total $600 million. AID officials said they were prohibited by law from identifying the invited firms, but The Wall Street Journal said they included KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary; Bechtel Group Inc.; Parsons Corp.; Louis Berger Group and Fluor Corp. (two companies that have joined together for this effort), and Washington Group International. (AP, April 2)

See also WW3 REPORT #s 79 & 43 [top]

The US and UK suffered a propaganda blow March 30 when their top justification for war was undermined by reports that special forces have failed to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Senior officials in Washington said that intelligence leads about weapons of mass destruction at 10 sites had proved to be unfounded. The Washington Post reported that tests had proved negative at all "urgent" sites in the western desert. "All the searches have turned up negative," a staff officer told the newspaper. "The munitions that have been found have all been conventional." (UK Guardian, March 31)

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

Belgian lawmakers passed amendments to the nation's "universal jurisdiction" law for war crimes, making it more difficult for cases to be filed against leaders of democratic nations. The amendments are aimed at avoiding complaints such as those filed against former US President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which have drawn protests from Washington and Tel Aviv. After the 63-48 vote in Belgium's House of Representatives, which split the ruling coalition, the amendments now go to the Senate for a final vote. Approval is expected. Under the amendments, the 10-year-old law would apply only for war crimes committed in countries lacking democratic credentials and unable to carry out fair trials. (AP, April 2)

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

The Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera April 3 interrupted a newscast to announce that Iraq's Information Ministry had informed the network that correspondent Diar al-Omari, an Iraqi, could no longer report for the network and that visiting correspondent Tayseer Allouni must leave. (AP, April 3) Al-Jazeera has come under harsh criticism in the US for its perceived bias in favor of Iraq.

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

A group of four journalists, including correspondent Matthew McAllester and photographer Moises Saman of New York's Newsday, were released to Jordanian territory April 2 after a week in an Iraqi prison. They admitted they had entered Iraq using tourist visas with a group of "human shields." US peace activist Philip Latasha was also released to Jordan with the journalists. (Jordan Times, April 3) [top]

100,000 marched on the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 30, chanting "America, Number One Terrorist!" (AP, March 30) Over 15,000 Indonesians have signed up to travel to Iraq and fight the US, the militant Islam Defenders' Front claimed. The radical group's leader, Habib Muhammed Riziq Shihab, told The Australian March 25 that volunteers have signed up from throughout the country.

March 30 also saw large protests in several cities in Pakistan. In Multan, protesters burned an American flag and an effigy of President Bush. Demonstrators also offered Muslim funeral prayers for Iraqi victims. About 70,000 marched in Peshawar in a protest organized by hardline Islamic leaders. The march was the fourth such protest in Pakistan organized by the Mutahida Majlis-i-Amal, or United Action Forum. "We will destroy America. We will fight jihad against America. I will be the first to die," said Shabbir Ahmed Khan, a member of Pakistani parliament from the Jamaat-i-Islami party. (AP, March 30)

March 30 also saw protests in Seoul, South Korea, where up to 50,000 marched In a rare instance of political protest permitted by Chinese authorities, about two dozen students at Beijing University staged a quiet demonstration. Police dispersed anti-war protesters who sought to gather in other parts of the city, detaining at least 10. (AP, March 30)

The 16th day of the on-going anti-war protests in Dhaka, Bangladesh, turned violent April 4, with police using tear gas shells and batons to clear the streets and demonstrators responding with home-made fire-bombs. (BBC Monitoring, April 5)

Following an appeal by the country's Muslim scholars, 3,000 took to the streets of Djibouti to protest the war April 4. They condemned what the Djibouti news agency ADI called "massacres perpetrated by Anglo-American forces against innocent civilian victims." (BBC Monitoring, April 5)

Anti-war protests following Friday prayers have become routine in Cairo, despite harsh police repression. Human rights groups say hundreds have been arrested at unofficial protests in Egypt since the war began. (VOA, April 6) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Washington that a long war will be disastrous: "If there is one bin Laden now, there will be 100 bin Ladens afterward." (NY Daily News, April 1)

On March 27, hundreds confronted riot police at an anti-war demonstration in Algiers, defying a ban on all street protests . (AFP, March 30) The leader of Algeria's secular Republican National Alliance, Redha Malek, described the war in Iraq as a "colonial invasion in its blatant form". (Algerian TV, April 3, via BBC Monitoring)

At the UK's Akrotiri Air Base in Cyprus, about 5,000 Greek Cypriots held the largest protest on the island since the war started March 30, holding banners reading "Bush murderer of children," and "Close the bases of death." Akrotiri -- the largest British air base outside the UK--has been used extensively as a refueling and resupply base for allied aircraft and warships. (AP, March 30)

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

At a March 22 anti-war rally in Paris, four Jews were violently attacked by protesters, leaving fellow protester Noam Levy with 10 stitches in his head. Levy, a longtime member of the leftist Jewish group Hashomer Hatzair, which supports the Palestinian cause, arrived at the protest just as a fellow Hashomer member--this one wearing a yarmulke--was assaulted. Levy ran to his aid and got caught in the attack. "They were shouting 'Death to the Jews' and 'You and your kippah [yarmulke] have no place here,'" Levy recalled, saying the assailants were mostly North African men carrying metal pipes. Authorities widely condemned the attacks. A new report by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), the French official human rights watchdog group, found that of 313 acts of racist violence last year, 193 were against Jews. "If the increase in the number of attacks aimed at the immigrant community is significant, the quantity of attacks aimed at the Jewish community has truly exploded," the report states. About 5 million Muslims and 600,000 Jews--the largest of both populations in Western Europe--live in France. (CSM, April 4)

The 313 racist attacks recorded in France in 2002 compares with just 71 in 2001. The only death recorded in the report was that of a North African immigrant. While Muslims and right-wing French ultra-nationalists alike have targeted Jews, right-wing thugs often target Muslim immigrants as well . (AP, March 27)

The graves of British soldiers in France from World War II were also vandalized, prompting President Jaques Chirac to formally apologize to Queen Elizabeth. The stones were scrawled with red swastikas and graffiti reading "Saddam will win, and he will make you bleed." Another read: "Dig up your garbage, it is contaminating our soil." (NYT, April 4)

Meanwhile in Austria, far-right politician Jorg Haider and a branch of his anti-immigrant Freedom Party have launched a campaign to raise money for children in Iraq. Haider said he would gladly take in Iraq's Foreign Minister Naji Sabri if the high-ranking member of Saddam Hussein's regime chooses to go into exile. "There's always room in my home for a friend," Haider told reporters. (AP, April 2)

See also WW3 REPORT #31 [top]

Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark--now a leader of the anti-war movement--defended Saddam Hussein March 28, dismissing reports of his brutality as part of a US disinformation campaign. Asked about the death of an Iraqi dissident who was reportedly put in a glass cage and eaten alive by dogs while Saddam and other top leaders watched, Clark told WLIE-NY radio's Mike Siegel: "That's the most absurd story I've heard in a long time... Propaganda can be pretty vicious. If you believe that, you're a hopeless case."

Clark did acknowledge the veracity of reports that Saddam's son-in-law was murdered after he defected in the 1990s, but he declined to pin the blame on Saddam, saying the assassination was carried out by "people working for the [Iraqi] government, apparently." Asked if Saddam controlled the government, Clark responded, "The government is a lot of people."

Asked about other accounts of Saddam's brutality from defectors, Clark responded: "I've worked with problems of defection and informers for years and years and they're not generally reliable. You have to be careful about who you're talking to. I also recognize propaganda. And I hear more garbage and propaganda coming out about how evil the Iraqi people are." He then chastised Siegel: "I think you're just fantasizing with propaganda. It shows your own hatred and narrow-mindedness." (, March 30)

WW3 REPORT was unable to independently verify the glass cage incident, but it is sort of beside the point. Many allegations against Saddam are doubtless disinformation, but implying that all of them are is also disinformation.

See also WW3 REPORTS #s 53 & 49 [top]


At 3 AM on April 2, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) troops and border police invaded the West Bank's Tul Karm refugee camp from all sides. Gunfire, stun grenades and helicopters woke the camp's residents. On loudspeakers, the Israelis gathered all male residents of the camp, age 15-40. The males arrived at the gathering point, a school in the middle of the camp, where their ID's and mobile phones were taken, returned only after their phone logs were recorded. Those aged 15-20 were separated and brought inside the school, where they were forced to rip pictures of shaheeds (martyrs) off the walls, and step on them.

A Druze Israeli officer reportedly told a few hundred men on site: "You are leaving the camp. Don't come back until it is all over." Abd a-Latif a-Sudani, 30, recalls: "We asked him--'Where are we to go? To Baghdad?' And he said: `You'd be better off there.'" Trucks ferried the men to Nur Shams refugee camp, over a mile away. No exact numbers of how many men were expelled, but estimates range up to 2,000.

One Tul Karm camp resident, Abu Said, said the following: "All at once all the memories and stories my father and grandfather told me as a child about the Naqba [disaster, 1948 expulsions]. We were all afraid that now we were being deported, and it was even scarier thinking of the three-year-old girl and the wife you are leaving behind. But what choice did we have but to get on the truck?" (Ha'aretz, Apr. 4)

Once at Nur Shams, the men were given what shelter was available, but some slept in orchards, in olive groves, on the ground. Hakem Talib, 38, said he spent the nights in the hills. "I found myself outside the camp not knowing anyone, so I went with a friend to sleep in the hills of Iktana village, while others went to Danaba village. The army had imposed a curfew on these villages, banning the residents from hosting us... so we had to sleep in the hills, and we also went around the village houses to ask for food." (AFP, Apr. 4)

Israeli left opposition groups were appalled. Yossi Beilin, leader of the pro-peace Shahar movement, said the action "conjures up chilling memories" and that "only a twisted mind could have come up with such a plan." The activist group Gush Shalom called the incident a "violation of international law," and warned the action is the IDF's first attempt at a population transfer. Keller said he thinks the army removed such a large group of men as a test case, to see what kind of reaction there would be. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2) The leadership of the left-opposition Meretz party said in an announcement, "Anyone who today expels 1,000 residents from Tul Karm, might tomorrow do the same in Tel Aviv." (Ha'aretz, Apr. 2)

Israeli forces also surrounded Thabet Thabet hospital, and beat up a Palestinian in front of activists of the Interational Solidarity Movement (ISM). The Israelis ordered all men to leave the hospital, but ISM members refused to leave the premises, and said the attempt to evacuate the hospital constituted a war crime. The Israelis backed down after a few hours, though they threatened to return. (ISM, Apr. 2)

On April 4, Israeli West Bank district commander, Brig-Gen Yitzhaq Gershon was asked if the expulsion constituted a new modus operandi for the army. "No, not at all," he told Army radio. "We use this method selectively. We were forced to do it this time because we did not possess accurate intelligence information on the whereabouts of the [local] Islamic Jihad leader [Anwar Ilyan] and since we wished to avoid harming innocent civilians, we had absolutely no choice but to encourage the men to leave for three days." (BBC Monitoring: Voice of Israel, Apr. 4)

After 48 hours, the army allowed the men to return to Tul Karm camp. Many of them were tired and dirtied from having slept outside. Some found thier homes ransacked with walls separating the closely-built houses smashed through, a method the Israeli army uses so as to avoid going through the streets and alleys of the camp. 21 Palestinian men were arrested by the Israelis during invasion, including a leading Fatah activist and an Islamic Jihad militant. (ISM, AFP, April 4) (David Bloom) [top]

On April 5, the Israeli army shot and wounded two activists of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), one seriously. 24-year-old Brian Avery of the US was wounded in the face by large-caliber fire from an Israeli armored personnel carrier. Avery and his companions had gone outside during curfew in Jenin to investigate sounds of gunfire. Two APC's rounded the corner, and opened fire on the activists, even though they were wearing florescent vests and had thier hands up. The ISM reported no militant activity in the vicinity when the incident took place. Avery is in Haifa hospital undergoing facial reconstructive surgery. The army is investigating. (ISM, APF, April 5, 6) Earlier in the day, a Danish activist, Lassel Smith, was wounded in the leg by IDF fire. (Ha'aretz, Apr. 5) (David Bloom) [top]

The Israeli army has yet to reveal the results of its investigation into the death of US activist Rachel Corrie. However, according to Israel's Channel 2 TV, the army has already concluded that Corrie's death was an accident, and that "activists were endangering their own lives," as reported by AFP on April 6. On April 5, the Israeli army announced that the bulldozer driver who killed Corrie is back on the job. (AP, Apr. 5) (David Bloom)

See Also: US Activist Murdered by Israeli Army Bulldozer [top]


Two dozen US Special Forces troops and hundreds of Afghan allies attacked a village on the Pakistan border April 2 to drive out Taliban/al-Qaeda fighters. At least eight Afghan soldiers and as many Taliban fighters were wounded. Six Taliban were captured and arrested, but another 60 were entrenched in the rugged Tor Ghar mountains, which were pounded by US air strikes from two A-10 fighter jets and two Apache helicopters. Taliban/al-Qaeda are said to be regrouping after a US military campaign drove them from power 18 months ago. Rebel commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is said to be leading veteran Taliban fighters.

In the past two weeks in southern Afghanistan, a Red Cross worker was waylaid and murdered, and two US soldiers were killed in an ambush on their convoy. The Red Cross worker, Ricardo Munguia of El Salvador, was shot 20 times and the vehicles in his convoy were torched. The International Committee of the Red Cross ordered its workers not to travel until further notice. (AP, April 2)

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

Fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has issued a new call for a holy war against US troops and Afghans who collaborate with them. His latest decree, released in posters widely displayed in eastern Afghanistan, carries the signatures of 600 Islamic clerics. "Whenever the non-Muslims attack a Muslim land it is the duty of everyone to rise up against the aggressor," reads the black-and-white poster reportedly written by Omar. "We were blamed for Osama bin Laden because they said he was a terrorist and he was taking shelter with us. But what is the fault of Iraq? Iraq has no Osama bin Laden in his country." (AP, March 31) [top]


Bombs exploded outside three mosques in the Philippine city of Davao April 3, a day after an explosion at a wharf and ferry terminal left 16 dead and 50 injured. The mosque attacks preceded the arrival of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the predominantly Christian city, which is the commercial capital of the southern island of Mindanao. No group has claimed responsibility, but Arroyo said the blasts were the work of "terrorists." Eid Kabalu of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country's largest Muslim separatist group, warned that the bombings "could have been aimed at really igniting a Muslim-Christian war." (UK Daily Telegraph, April 4)

See also WW3 REPORT #74 [top]


Writes Der Spiegel journalist Lutz C Kleveman in the April edition of England's The Ecologist magazine:

"'No blood for oil' was a common slogan at the recent anti-war demos around the globe. Yet few people have an idea of just how momentous a strategic struggle is being waged behind the rhetoric of weapons inspections and human rights. What is at stake is nothing less than who controls the earth's remaining energy reserves. This new 'Great Game' (a modern variant of the imperial rivalry between Great Britain and Tsarist Russia in 19th-century Central Asia) is about to enter a crucial stage. However vehement the denials by the Bush administration, Washington's true intention is to turn Iraq into an alternative to Saudi Arabia: a strategic oil supplier for its economy and a key US ally in the Middle East.

"The new Great Game is being played out not only in the Middle East but also in other energy-rich regions such as West Africa and the Caspian Sea. There, too, the scramble for petrol reserves and pipeline routes is producing bloody conflicts. Iraq, however, has become the linchpin in a US strategy to secure cheap oil while breaking the clout of the Arab-dominated oil cartel OPEC. It sits on an astronomical 112 billion barrels of crude. At 12 percent of the world's reserves, this is the second largest proven source in the world. Only Saudi Arabia (with 262 billion barrels and roughly one quarter of the earth's total resources) has more oil...

"Last September George Bush's former economic adviser Larry Lindsey put the war aim bluntly when he said: 'When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three to five million barrels of production to world supply [per day]. The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy.'

"Americans currently burn 21 million barrels of oil a day, roughly half of which is imported... Since the 1973 oil crisis, OPEC has used oil as a pawn to gain leverage over the West. In an effort to decrease its dependency on the sheikhs, the US has sought for years to 'diversify its oil supplies.' The problem is that many non-OPEC oil fields, such as those in the North Sea, are approaching depletion. At the same time...booming economic growth in countries such as China and India is likely to cause a surge in global oil consumption from today's 73 million barrels per day to 90 million in 2020... Already, the US imports about 2.6 million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia every day...

"It is not unlikely that a US-backed government in Baghdad would pull Iraq out of OPEC lest foreign investors would be burdened by production limits. In that case, Iraq would serve as an OPEC-buster. As one of a block of non-OPEC producers--including Russia and the Caspian countries--it would churn out enough oil to undermine the cartel's high-price agreements. The clout of OPEC and Saudi Arabia would be broken, and oil would once again flow freely to the West."

See also WW3 REPORT #s 63 & 13 [top]

Writing in the April 4 edition of Al-Hayat, the London-based Arabic daily, Patrick Seale notes an irony in what he calls "Bush's Dangerous Colonial Adventure." While US strategies are modeled on earlier British imperial designs in the Middle East, Britain itself is at odds with Washington over Iraq's post-Saddam future:

"What is to happen in Iraq after the war? This is now the subject of intense debate between the allies. As both the Pentagon and Colin Powell have made clear, the United States wants 'dominant control' over a post-Saddam Iraq. It appears to be planning direct rule, somewhat on the model of British colonial rule in Egypt after the 1882 occupation. The civil administration of Iraq, as well as humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, will be the responsibility of retired Lt-General Jay Garner, a man notorious for his arms-dealing and his close personal ties with Israel's Likudniks, acting as a sort of pro-consul on the model of Lord Cromer in Egypt. Meanwhile, military affairs and the security of Iraq will be the responsibility of General Franks' deputy in CentCom, Lt-General John Abizaid (apparently on the strength of his knowledge of Arabic!) on the model of Britain's Field Marshal Lord Kitchener. Thus, two American generals, Garner and Abizaid, both strikingly ill-fit for the job, will have the destiny of Iraq in their hands... No role seems to be in consideration for US-backed Iraqi opposition figures, like Ahmad Chalabi or Kanan Makiya who, if they make an appearance at all, will almost certainly be considered traitors and quislings by the Iraqi population. General Franks himself is expected to go home once the war is won.

"The British view about 'the day after' is quite different. Prime Minister Tony Blair is pressing for a UN-sponsored conference of all Iraq's political groups to decide the shape of a post-Saddam administration. He wants the UN, not the US, to play the leading role... Blair does not want British troops, already stretched to the limit, to be given policing duties in occupied Iraq, where they would inevitably be seen as lackeys of an American colonial-type administration. British opinion would rebel against any such thankless and subordinate role...

"[T]he United States has embarked on a colonial misadventure. It has always opposed the emergence of an Arab power able to challenge its interests. But now we are witnessing a qualitative change in American policy. The United States already has a military presence in almost every Arab country, and exerts enormous influence--political, economic and cultural--everywhere. Bush has gone further still. He is applying naked military force against a major Arab country in pursuit of unchallenged hegemony. The coming months are likely to prove the folly of his gamble." [top]

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov arrived in China April 3 for talks on the US-led war on Iraq. Russia and China, both veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council, both oppose the war. But China, wary of straining relations with the US, has taken a less vocal stand than Russia, France and Germany, forbidding most public protests. Fedotov's visit coincides with one by South Korean national security adviser Ra Jong-yil for talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis. Ra had also visited Moscow early in the week. But a Russian official said the talks "specifically" involved Iraq. (Reuters, April 3)

See also WW3 REPORT #68 [top]

Russian Supreme Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin announced a jihad against the US April 3, warning that Russian Muslims have "levers of influence on the United States" and that they would raise money "to buy armaments for fighting America and food for the people of Iraq." The Russian Prosecutor General's Office said it is investigating whether the Supreme Mufti broke the law in his announcement. The last time jihad was declared by Russia's Muslims was in 1941 against the Germans. (London Times, April 4)

But rival Russian mufti Ravil Gaynutdin said that Tadzhuddin's declaration is a manifestation of political extremism, claiming that Tadzhuddin had contacts with the bin Ladin family in early 1990s. He also claimed that Tadzhuddin's Central Spiritual Board of Muslims of Holy Russia was an empty body that represented few Muslims. (Ren TV, Moscow, April 3, via BBC Monitoring) [top]

Bombs exploded within hours of each other April 3 at the British consulate and outside a UPS office in Istanbul, causing damage but no injuries. In the first blast, an assailant hurled a bomb at the consulate, shattering windows and damaging a gate and walls of the building in the downtown Beyoglu district, police said. The blast at the United Parcel Service office blew out the windows of two nearby shops. It was unclear if the two attacks were linked. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the consulate attack, which came hours after Turkey's 2-0 defeat by England in a Euro 2004 soccer qualifier in England. (AP, April 3)

On April 5, an explosion ripped through a McDonald's restaurant in the El Dourah district of Beirut, injuring three people. Security forces later found a small quantity of dynamite which had been planted in the toilets of the restaurant. (Tele-Liban TV, Beirut, April 5, via BBC Monitoring)

An explosion ripped on a bus taking construction workers home from a Russian military base in Chechnya killed eight and injuring another eight April 3. The blast in Chechnya's devastated capital Grozny was the most serious attack since Chechens voted last month in favor of a new constitution emphasizing permanent union with Russia. Separatists denounced the referendum and vow to continue their campaign against the Russian military presence in the region. (Reuters, April 3)

Eleven al-Qaeda suspects were also reported arrested at various locations across Yemen April 1. (AP, April 1) [top]

US businessman James H. Giffen was released on $10 million bond after being arrested at Kennedy Airport on charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. US prosecutors say Giffen transfered $20.5 million in 1997 to a Swiss bank account controlled by "a senior Kazakh official" and "his heirs." Swiss authorities named the official as President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Giffen and his Mercator Corporation worked for the Kazakh government from 1992, generating $67 million in commissions and fees. Giffen is accused of using funds from Mobil Oil (now part of ExxonMobil) as kickbacks in exchange for a 25% share in Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil filed. (NYT, April 3) [top]


Richard Perle remains a member of Defense Policy Board and continues to generate controversy despite stepping down as the board's chair. Canadians were alarmed when he warned April 3 that Ottawa's refusal to back the US-led war in Iraq "does have implications for US-Canadian relations." (CTV, April 4) Many of his public comments in the immediate prelude of his resignation were especially hubristic. In a commentary printed by the UK Guardian March 21, "Thank God for the Death of the UN," Perle wrote: "Its abject failure gave us only anarchy. The world needs order... Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The 'good works' part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage of the liberal conceit of safety through international law administered by international institutions."

On March 27, the same day he resigned, Perle told BBC: "This will be the short war I and others predicted... I don't believe it will be months. I believed all along that it will be a quick war, and I continue to believe that."

Many analysts say the current strategy for US domination of Iraq originates in a plan drafted in 1997, when the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) sent a letter to then-President Clinton in 1998 urging him to take action to oust Saddam Hussein. The group also suggests the "democratization" of Syria and Iran. Among the 40 neo-conservatives in the think tank were 10 present members of the Bush administration--including Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Perle. ( KOMO TV news, Seattle April 3)

See also WW3 REPORT #79 [top]

When National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gave a speech March 31 to roughly 4,000 members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), her remarks were closed to the media and the public, as the White House told journalists several days beforehand. The White House termed the decision routine, but it not exactly likely to calm fears that the war on Iraq is part of a "Jewish conspiracy." (Chicago Tribune, March 28)

See WW3 REPORT # 77 [top]

Wrote the Washington Post April 4: "The Bush administration has devised a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country, officials said yesterday. The concept of a 'rolling' victory contemplates a time--not yet determined--when US forces control significant territory and have eliminated a critical mass of Iraqi resistance. US military commanders would establish a base of operations, perhaps outside Baghdad, and assert that a new era has begun. Even then, tens of thousands of US soldiers would remain to help maintain order and provide humanitarian assistance." [top]

Former CIA Director James Woolsey told a group of UCLA students April 3 that the US is engaged in World War IV, and that it could continue for years. "This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War." He said the new war is actually against several enemies: the religious rulers of Iran, the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al Qaeda. "As we move toward a new Middle East," Woolsey said, "over the years and, I think, over the decades to come...we will make a lot of people very nervous." Singling out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the leaders of Saudi Arabia, he said, "We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you--the Mubaraks, the Saudi Royal family-- most fear: We're on the side of your own people."

Woolsey was speaking at a UCLA "teach-in" organized by "Americans for Victory Over Terrorism" and the Bruin Republicans. The group was founded by former Education Secretary William Bennett, who also took part in the event, along with Paul Bremer, a U.S. ambassador during the Reagan administration and the former chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism. (CNN, April 3)

See also WW3 REPORT #44 [top]


An Oregon anti-terrorism bill would jail street-blocking protesters for at least 25 years in a thinly veiled effort to discourage anti-war protests, critics say. The bill, introduced by the state senate judiciary committee chairman, Republican John Minnis, identifies a terrorist as a person who "plans or participates in an act that is intended, by at least one of its participants, to disrupt" business, transportation, schools, government, or free assembly. (Reuters, April 2)

See also WW3 REPORT #79

Since the military action began in Iraq on March 20, a backlash against human rights has been witnessed around the world, Amnesty International reports in a March 31 press release. The report cites attacks on the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, excessive use of force by police against anti-war demonstrators, and restriction of asylum rights in several countries. Writes Amnesty: "With the spotlight focused on the theatre of war, such abuses of human rights have been largely ignored."

The USA has been no exception. "Operation Liberty Shield", announced by the US Department of Homeland Security on March 17, mandates the detention of new asylum-seekers from Iraq and at least 33 other countries. The policy allows the immigration authorities to detain "for the duration of their processing period" such asylum applicants "from nations where al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda sympathizers, and other terrorist groups are known to have operated," according to a Department of Homeland Security statement. In effect, this presumes guilt by association and does so on the basis of nationality. The policy does not cover people whose cases are pending or those who arrive in the USA and apply for asylum after entry, but it offers no discretion and no assessment of the circumstances of individual detainees. Amnesty International calls this "a clear breach of international legal standards, which prohibits detention that is arbitrary and unlawful."

See also WW3 REPORT #78 [top]

A group opposing the war in Iraq has launched a petition drive to enlist support for those who choose to withhold federal income taxes in protest against the war. Called "An Appeal to Conscience," the petition states that the signatories, "believing that war tax refusal under the present circumstances is fully justified on moral and ethical grounds, publicly declare our encouragement of, and willingness to lend support to, those persons of conscience who choose to take this step."

A partial list of signatories to the Appeal to Conscience includes: Joan Baez; Fr. Daniel Berrigan; Noam Chomsky; Rev. William Sloane Coffin; Mary Morgan; Dave Dellinger; Daniel Ellsberg; Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton; David McReynlds, Grace Paley and Robert Nichols; Utah Phillips; Bill ("Rev. Billy") Talen; and Howard Zinn.

The Appeal was inspired by a similar declaration circulated during the Vietnam War in support of young men refusing to serve in the military. Entitled "Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority," it noted that "an ever growing number of young American men are finding that the American war in Vietnam so outrages their deepest moral and religious sense that they cannot contribute to it in any way." Four of the Call's signatories, including then Yale University chaplain Rev. William Sloane Coffin and famed baby doctor Benjamin Spock, were indicted for "conspiracy" to violate the draft laws by President Johnson's Justice Department. Following a much-publicized trial, two of the four were subsequently acquitted by a federal appeals court, and the cases of the other two were dropped. Rev. Coffin and Mary Morgan, the widow of Dr. Spock, are signatories to the current Appeal to Conscience.

Nineteenth century American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau was jailed for refusing to pay a federal tax that was to be used to finance the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. In his famous essay, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience," Thoreau wrote: "If a thousand [people] were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them and enable the state to commit violence and shed innocent blood."

More than a century later, following the huge rally for nuclear disarmament in New York City's Central Park on June 12, 1982, Gen. Alexander Haig, then Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, is alleged to have remarked, "Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes."

The Appeal is a project of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC), a clearinghouse and resource center for conscientious objectors to war taxes.

NWTRCC press release, April 4

For more information, see the War Resisters League [top]


"Our position is that whatever grievances a nation may have, however objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare is an illegal means for settling those grievances or for altering those conditions."

Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, US prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, in his opening statement to the tribunal, Nov. 21, 1945 [top]

Religious fanatics and paranoiacs will have fun with the electronic anagram generator at It seems GEORGE W BUSH can be rearranged to read HEBREW GOG US--an ominous message. GOG obviously refers to the Gog and Magog mentioned in Ezekiel, the two great nations that will unleash the final battle. US of course refers to the U.S. HEBREW refers to the secret Jewish control of The Beast. Get it? Other anagrams for our fearless leader are WHERE BUGS GO and HE GREW BOGUS.

But WW3 REPORT questions the objectivity of the anagram generator--it fails to note that GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH (the former president and incumbent's dad) translates as the irresistible HUGE BERSERK REBEL WARTHOG. Fans of such arcana will also recall that RONALD WILSON REAGAN is an anagram for INSANE ANGLO WARLORD.

RONALD WILSON REAGAN also works out numerologically as 666, mark of The Beast referenced in Revelations whose appearance would spark the End Times.

RONALD REAGAN is also almost an anagram for RED DRAGON, another sign of the End Times from Revelations. [top]


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