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ISSUE: No. 91, August 2003








By Bill Weinberg
with Special Correspondents David Bloom, Andrew Epstein, Subuhi Jiwani, Wynde Priddy

1. Centcom Admits: It's "Guerilla War"
2. De-Baathification: Meet the New Boss
3. Vinnell Gets Iraq Army Contract
4. Iraqi Oil Returns to Market--Despite Pipeline Attacks
5. Where is Saddam Hussein?
6. Amnesty International Probes U.S. Torture in Iraq
7. France to be Scapegoated in Uranium Scam?
8. U.N. Weapons Inspector Dead in Convenient "Suicide"

1. Border Cops Go Wilding in Jayyous
2. Ww3 Report Eats Soggy Pizza at Israeli Settlement
3. Nablus to Jayyous: Obstacle Course of Army Roadblocks
4. More Damage at Adwan's Farm
5. "A Call from the State of Walls"
6. Israeli Moms Protest Economic Squeeze

1. Afghan-Pakistan Border Skirmishes Growing
2. Pakistan's Neo-Taliban Silence Musicians

1. Maoists Accused in India Train Attacks
2. Maoists Ponder Peace Talks in Nepal

1. Reporter Billy Nessen Arrested in Aceh Sweeps

1. French Fight Hema Militia in Congo
2. More U.S. Troops to the Horn
3. Ousted Sao Tome Leader: Oil Behind Coup
4. U.S. Moves Towards Liberia Intervention
5. Kenya, Nigeria Dance to World Bank Tune

1. Uribe: "Fumigations Will Continue"
Despite Court Ruling and Peasant Protest

2. Uribe Governs from War-Torn Arauca
3. Colombian Military Seizes Oil Refinery
4. Uribe Bucks U.S. Backers on War Crimes Court Exemption
5. U.K. Provides "Secret Aid" to Uribe Regime
6. Peru: Shining Path Guerrillas Stage Comeback
7. Colombian Guerillas in Bolivia's Coca Zone?

1. Congressional Xenophobes Target Specialized Foreign Workers
2. NJ Detainees On Hunger Strike
3. ACLU Challenges Patriot Act--Again

1. Worker Killed at Ground Zero
2. Peacemaker Killed at City Hall
3. Hideous Irony: Giuliani Lectures Europe on Jew-Hatred

1. Schumer Blasts Bush for "Stalinist" Tactics in 9-11 Inquiry


With violence growing, Gen. John Abizaid, the new chief of the Pentagon's Central Command and commander of US forces in Iraq, admitted that US and allied forces face a "classical guerilla-type campaign." (Newsday, July 17) The death of a US solider July 18 brought the total US death toll in the Iraq campaign to 148--topping Desert Storm's 147. (Newsday, July 19)By July 25, the number was up to 158. (AP, July 25) There are currently 145,000 US troops in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld now says this troop level will be maintained for the "foreseeable future." (NYT, July 10)

Amid guerilla-style attacks on US troops, mysterious explosions are also terrorizing Iraq. Locals blamed the US in a June 30 blast at a mosque in Falluja, a stronghold of anti-US resistance in central Iraq, which left five dead, including an imam. The US denied local claims that the mosque was hit in an air attack, insisting the blast came from within the building. (NYT, July 2) In Baqubah July 3, an explosion killed one man and wounded five in a crowd of several hundred Iraqis demonstrating peacefully against the US Army's detention of the city's top Shiite cleric, Ali Abdul Kareem Madani. (WP, July 4) [top]

An interim Governing Council was inaugurated in Iraq just in time to abolish the two major national holidays of the Saddam era: July 14, commemorating the 1958 revolution that ousted th British-backed monarchy, and July 17, commemorating the 1968 coup that brought Saddam's Baath Party to power. The two holidays were officially replaced by April 9, commemorating the 2003 fall of Saddam to a US-led military invasion. (NYT, July 14) Selected by top Iraqi opposition groups in close consultation with US occupation authorities, the council includes 13 Shiites, five Sunni Arabs, five Kurds, one Turkoman and one Christian. It includes three women. Some half of the council members lived either in exile or in the Kurdish autonomous zone until Saddam's ouster. (Newsday, July 14)

On July 5, gunmen assassinated Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khattab, chief of Saddam Hussein's Bani al-Nasiri tribe in the ousted dictator's hometown of Tikrit, just a few weeks after he publicly disavowed Saddam. Regional governor Hussein al-Jubouri said al-Khattab's son, Odai, also was wounded when assailants fired from a pickup truck and fled the scene. Al-Khattab "had many enemies and he had confiscated a lot of properties and killed many people," the governor said. "The person who killed him could have taken revenge." Saddam still enjoys some popularity in Tikrit, where he built roads, schools and soccer fields. Local wall graffiti reads, "Pray for Saddam's victory because he's agenuine Iraqi" and "May the occupation fall and may Saddam return." (ABC, July 5)

In an ominous signal that the new boss is starting to look like the old boss, US occupation authorities have re-opened Saddam's feared Abu Ghraib prison to once again hold Iraqi prisoners. Abu Ghraib had a harsh reputation for torture and "disappearance" of prisoners during the Saddam era. (Newsday, July 3) [top]

The Pentagon has awarded a 48-million-dollar contract to train the nucleus of a new Iraqi army to Vinnell Corporation, a US firm which also trains the Saudi National Guard -- and was a target of the May terror attacks in Saudi Arabia. The Fairfax, VA-based company, a subsidiary of the US aerospace firm Northrup Grumman, said on its website it was hiring former US army and marine officers to train infantry battalions and combat support units for the new Iraqi army. The new army is expected to reach 12,000 troops within a year and 40,000 within two years. Iraq's former standing army of some 400,000 was disbanded after US-led forces ousted the Saddam Hussein regime in April. Ten Vinnell employees--two Filipinos and eight US nationals--were killed in the May 12 suicide attacks on compounds for foreign workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AFP, June 26)

See also WW3 REPORT 86 [top]

On June 22, US, Turkish and Iraqi interim officials presided over a ceremony at the Turkish port of Ceyhan as 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude were loaded onto a Turkish tanker--the first shipment of oil from Iraq to international markets since the fall of Saddam. But the oil had actually been sitting in Ceyhan since exports were halted with the US military attack on Iraq March 20. Officials are still unsure if the 600-mile pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan can be used, as Iraqi guerillas target the country's oil infrastructure. Even as the oil was loaded at Ceyhan, a huge fire burned on a fuel pipeline west of Baghdad following a sabotage attack the day before. Also uncertain is how the profits from the exports will be accounted for, although US occupation administrator Paul Bremer suggested they could be held in a national trust for the reconstruction of Iraq. (AP, June 23) [top]

The US government has offered a $25 million reward for information leading to Saddam's capture or confirming his death. The reward matches the still-outstanding offer for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden. (WP, July 4) A similar offer of $15 million for each of Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, paid off July 23 when US forcs reported that the unsavory duo were killed in a combined air and ground attack on a Mosul building where they were hiding following an informant's tip. (AP, July 23) [top]

Khraisan al-Abally, an Iraqi businessman detained during a raid on his home, says US interrogators deprived him of sleep, forced him to kneel naked and kept him bound hand and foot with a bag over his head for eight days. His story, told to an Associated Press correspondent, comes as an Amnesty International report released June 30 harshly criticizes US interrogation methods.

Seeking to put down a growing resistance movement, US troops have detained hundreds of Iraqis--some of whom have been subjected to days of harsh interrogations, rights groups charge. AP journalists have observed prisoners wearing only underwear and blindfolds, handcuffed and lying in the dirt 24 hours after their capture.

Al-Abally told the AP that US troops stormed his home April 30, shooting his brother. Al-Abally and his 80-year-old father were arrested, apparently under suspicion that they had information on the whereabouts of a top official in Saddam Hussein's regime, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri. The three men were all low-level members of Saddam's Baath Party, but al-Douri was not a family acquaintance, al-Abally told AP. The brother, Dureid, shot at the troops breaking in, apparently mistaking them for looters, the family said. Al-Abally said he was told during his interrogation at Baghdad International Airport that his brother had died.

Al-Abally, 39, said that while bound and blindfolded, he was kicked, forced to stare at a strobe light and blasted with "very loud rubbish music." "I thought I was going to lose my mind," said al-Abally, his wrists still scarred from plastic cuffs more than a month after his release. "They said, 'I want you on your knees.' After three or four days it's very painful. My knees were bleeding and swollen."

Al-Abally's interrogation came before a June 26 pledge by the Bush administration that US officials would not use cruel treatment to gain information from detainees. Human rights now charge that current US interrogation methods violate the pledge.

"When you talk of up to eight days' sleep deprivation, especially with hands and feet bound, that's already entering the realm of ill treatment," said Johanna Bjorken, a Human Rights Watch researcher in Iraq. "When you combine it with loud music, strobe lights and hooding, it's very possible you've inflicted cruel treatment, which is a violation of the Geneva Conventions." She said HRW is working on corroborating al-Abally's claims. A US Army officer, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, said US interrogators routinely used strobe lights. Bjorken said a US military criminal investigator in Baghdad also told her that loud music and sleep deprivation were acceptable interrogation techniques.

Amnesty International's report found the US military appeared to be subjecting Iraqi detainees to treatment that violates international law. A British spokesman for the US-led coalition, Lt. Col. Peregrine Lewis, denied the coalition violates human rights. "Coalition soldiers are expected to scrupulously adhere to the rule of law in the conduct of military operations," Lewis wrote in e-mail response to AP questions. "Anything which suggests otherwise is inaccurate."

US Army Maj. Toney Coleman of the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion said he took a written complaint in May from al-Abally about his treatment and his brother's disappearance. Coleman said he searched military computers for the whereabouts of al-Abally's missing brother, Dureid, a 48-year-old retired diplomat. "There's no record at all of that individual," Coleman said.

Amnesty International researchers in Baghdad said the techniques cited by al-Abally were similar to those described by Palestinian detainees interrogated by the Israeli military and Irish Republican prisoners detained by British forces. "These are known techniques that there have been a lot of debate on for the past 20 years, as to whether they constitute torture," said Elizabeth Hodgkin, Amnesty's Baghdad-based research director. Amnesty's report accuses US forces in Afghanistan of performing similar "stress and duress" interrogations on detainees, a pair of whom died in US custody. The deaths are being investigated as homicides. (AP, June 30) [top]

The Scotsman reported July 15 that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is preparing a face-saving compromise with the US in an attempt to heal the rift over whether Saddam Hussein attempted to buy uranium from Niger. France is expected to be blamed for the split between the CIA and its British counterpart MI6--on the grounds that Paris shared intelligence with London, but kept Washington in the dark. The Bush administration is under fire by the CIA's own admission that it was unable to substantiate Bush's claim about the Niger connection in his January State of the Union address. "The president said that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa. That still may be absolute fact," said Ari Fleischer in his last day as White House spokesman, adding. "This revisionist notion that somehow this is now the core of why we went to war or a fundamental underpinning of the president's decisions is a bunch of bull."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw admitted that the UK's intelligence agencies had not independently corroborated the claim. "This information on which we relied...came from foreign intelligence sources," he told BBC Radio. "We believe in the veracity of the intelligence ... it just happens to be one of the rules of liaison with foreign intelligence services that they own the intelligence." [top]

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government is still reeling over the death of former UN weapons inspector David Kelly. "The post-mortem has revealed that the cause of death was hemorrhaging from a wound to his left wrist," a police spokesman told a televised briefing. The 59-year-old microbiologist, who worked for the Ministry of Defense, disappeared on July 18. Two days before, Kelly had faced an aggressive grilling in parliament over his possible identity as the "mole" who gave the BBC a highly disputed story that Blair's communications chief Alastair Campbell "sexed up" a dossier on Saddam Hussein's arms. The charge that Campbell played up intelligence suggesting indicating Saddam could mobilize weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes is at the center of claims Blair misled the British public and parliament over the case for war. The BBC has refused to confirm whether Kelly was the "mole" for the 45-minute allegation. (Reuters, July 19) [top]


On July 20, at 1:45 AM, an Israeli border police jeep entered the West Bank village of Jayyous, and sped around town. This reporter was sleeping on the roof of a house near the town's mosque when rudely awakened by the sound of gunfire. Villagers came to their roofs to see what was happening. The jeep stopped next to the mosque, and two Border Police dismounted and began firing. They fired at least one shot in every direction--a tire on a tractor was shot out, and the windshield of a small truck was peppered with bullet holes. A single M-16 bullet penetrated a store-front across from the mosque, went through a display case in the back of the store, and made a hole in the wall. The shopkeeper showed WW3 REPORT a bullet casing he recovered from the street the next morning. A bullet also embedded in the local Khalid residence, narrowly missing the family car. Finally, the paramilitary policemen aimed their guns at the minaret of the mosque, and opened fire, apparently trying to shoot out the lights. This reporter climbed up the minaret the next morning, saw two bullet holes, and recovered a slug.

When WW3 REPORT visited Jayyous in January, such incursions were almost a nightly occurrence, terrorizing the residents. One Jayyous denizen speculated this particular incursion was attributable to alcohol consumption, or perhaps there was a new female member of the border police unit and her male colleagues wanted to impress her. Jayyous Mayor Faiz Selim thinks the incident was retaliation for the presence of international activists in Jayyous. The internationals accompany Jayyous' farmers as they attempt to enter their fields on the western, or "Israeli" side of the security wall currently under construction, and participate in non-violent demonstrations.

Angry town residents called the District Co-ordinating Office, or DCO, to complain about the shooting. The next night, July 21, Israel's Channel One TV aired an investigation of the incident in which they revealed that the Border Police unit involved claimed they were battling armed men in the village, in order to justify combat pay. (David Bloom) [top]

On July 18, WW3 REPORT visited Ariel, the second largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, just a 30-minute drive from Tel Aviv. It is a bedroom community of 19,000, with a large contingent of recent immigrants from Russia.

Entering Ariel entails going down a long access road. The road is lined with ornamental trees, with an elaborate irrigation system. It is a quite a contrast to the water-deprived and parched Palestinian towns and villages of the West Bank. Before entering Ariel proper, one encounters surprised security forces who are unused to tourists coming to visit the settlement. A nearby set-back sign reads "ARIEL" in Hebrew, with a dense, irrigated lawn stretching out in front of it.

By the pedestrian mall is a large and very full swimming pool. Israeli flags and blue-and-white beach umbrellas adorn the sides of the pool, with the parched Samarian hills stretching out in the background. Walking in the mall, this reporter saw a young couple with his-and-hers M-16 automatic rifles, and numerous residents had side-arms. One young man walks by wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. WW3 REPORT was upset later when it turned out ISM activists awaiting deportation in Ariel Prison were on hunger strike "in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners", while this reporter consumed soggy pizza and Coke on the Ariel mall.

Ariel brings to mind the Monkees hit "Pleasant Valley Sunday." The sameness is numbing, and the inhabitants are expressionless. At Ariel University, WW3 REPORT encountered Uri, a young Israeli settler who said with a wry smile, "My girlfriend and I are what you call Zionists" While taking WW3 REPORT to a see a panoramic view of Ariel, Uri referred to the "so-called Occupied Territories," and wondered how this reporter, an American Jew, can possibly feel at home unless he is living in said territories. When asked to identify Palestinian villages in view next to Ariel, Uri drew a blank. He said there are a few Arabs at Ariel University, and that they play football with the Jews and there is no problem. But he added that they are mostly shy, and keep to themselves. (David Bloom) [top]

The trip to Nablus from the village of Jayyous used to take just 25 minutes each way. In the last three years, Israeli roadblocks have changed that. WW3 REPORT set out to Nablus from Jayyous with two Palestinian traveling companions, Mahmoud, 28, and Sami, 18, on July 26. It took five hours round trip. Sometime earlier in the week, a Jayyous resident who was asked how the way to Nablus was, replied to knowing laughter, "I would rather talk about death, than talk about about the way to Nablus."

We set out at 8 AM. First we wait for a servis, a Palestinian shared taxi, to the village of Azzoun. At Azzoun, a roadblock keeps Palestinian cars from exiting the village onto the settler highway, which requires a yellow Israeli license plate. Another servis with a yellow plate takes us to Al-Fundak. Another roadblock, and here we have to walk to Jeet. At Jeet, we encounter an Israeli checkpoint, consisting of two Israeli soldiers in the road, stopping Palestinians in their tracks, and one sitting under a tree and smoking. These young conscripts are clearly enjoying themselves. Palestinians are made to stand in the sun and wait, until a soldier beckoned them forward. They are quizzed and usually sent back. A married couple approaches the soldiers. The man shows a piece of paper which says in Hebrew the wife needs medical attention and has permission to travel to Nablus. But a soldier tells him they must come in an ambulance to get through the checkpoint, not on foot.

After watching this abuse for about twenty minutes, this reporter approaches the two soldiers, who appear momentarily confused. One soldier, Tomer Cohen (his name was written on his helmet), blurts out "James Bond!", apparently implying that I am some kind of adventurer. I ask Tomer where he is from, and names a nearby settlement. "It's nice here," Tomer says with a questioning intonation. I agree. His companion tells me he is an admirer of George Bush. They tell me things are pretty bad in Israel, and I readily agree. I ask if my friends can come through the checkpoint, and the soldiers agree.

We hike up a steep hill in the blazing sun. A single house, with a military encampment on the roof, along with Israeli flags, shadows the top of the hill, at the village of Sara. The house belongs to the family of a friend of Mahmoud, and the upper floors were built by a friend in Nablus expectation of getting married. Instead, two months later, it was occupied by the Israeli army. On top of the hill, another waiting game. Here we are told by Palestinians prevented from going further that only people from two villages are allowed through the checkpoint at Beit Wazzan. No taxi is willing to take us. We wait in the sun and a boy came to peddle coffee. Minor cottage industry sprouts around checkpoints, because Palestinians are so often compelled to wait there by arbitrary Israeli army rules that seem to change with each shift of soldiers.

We manage to convince a taxi to drive us near Beit Wazzan. The driver is very hesitant. If he is caught on the road by the army, he will be made to stand and wait in the sun with everyone else, and his car will be confiscated. He asks taxis coming from Beit Wazzan if the road is clear, and calls ahead to other drivers on the road. On the way there, each car we passes stops, and the drivers tell each other what lies ahead.

We walk the last few hundred meters to Beit Wazzan. We have been warned the soldiers at Beit Wazzan are particularly unfriendly that afternoon. But it turns out they are sitting in the shade on top of a hill over the checkpoint. A crowd of Palestinians waits their turn to yell up to the soldiers the reasons why they should pass. My passport earns a wave-by from the soldiers, and we continue on foot to Rafidia, to find another servis. Inside the servis, we pass around a water bottle. Finally, we arrive at Nablus, 2.5 hours after our departure.

Our destination is An-Najah University of Nablus. Before the second Intifada, the school attracted 18,000 students, including from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Now enrollment is down to about 12,000. One of my traveling companions has come to register. Israeli border police used to sit outside the school on one side and shoot at anyone who came into the nearby courtyard. But now it was quiet. Students have set up two protest tents, to show their solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. A poster of Yasser Arafat with his eyes magic-markered with sunglasses has been pretty scratched up. Surrounding it are pristine pictures of imprisoned Fatah militant Marwan Barghouti. A student wears a t-shirt emblazoned with the words "control the system." Also popular in Nablus is a girls' t-shirt that declares, "I'm from you." An-Najah is like a university anywhere, with an enormous amount of bureaucracy; the registration lines are long. A sign over the entrance read in English, "We challenge the present to shape the future" The university was invaded three times during the Intifada, and a student was killed while just standing in the courtyard.

Near the university live members of the small and ancient Samaritan community, who practice an archaic form of Judaism. A neighbor explains it was impossible to visit them that day (it is Saturday, the Samaritan Sabbath). She asks if we have come for "witchcraft." Apparently, many people come to visit the Samaritans for a form of faith healing. (See also: WW3 REPORT # 72)

After a walking tour of the well-preserved Nablus souk and some lunch, it is time to go back to Jayyous. I am apprehensive as we wait inside a very beat-up servis minivan for enough passengers to leave. But instead of heading the short way on the paved road to Beit Wazzan, the driver, after conferring with colleagues, decides we will take a dirt road that winds up the mountains ringing Nablus, bypassing the Beit Wazzan checkpoint. It is difficult to see out the front window, because an Israeli soldier attempted to smash it, leaving a radiating crack like a spider web. The road is treacherous, full of switchbacks, steep and dusty. The driver's skill navigating this obstacle course is impressive--especially where the army had recently taken chunks out of the road with a bulldozer, forcing new tire tracks around olive trees. At forks in the road, the van pauses while the occupants debate which way will be less likely to produce an encounter with soldiers. We disembark several hundred meters before Sara.

As we pass the occupied house that Mahmoud's friend's family lives in, a soldier on the roof calls us into the courtyard. He lowers a can tied on a string, directs me to put my passport in, and pulls it up for inspection. It is difficult to see the soldier's face, as the midday suns beats down from behind him. I shout up to him that I am an English teacher working in Jayyous. The soldier is doubtful, saying there are more beautiful places for me to be, and why don't I teach in Israel. He expresses surprise I came from Nablus and was unhurt by the people there. I tell him it was entirely to the contrary, and that the souk in Nablus was fascinating, better preserved than Jerusalem's. Now he seems interested. Mahmoud tells the soldier we will take him to Nablus and show it to him.

The owner of the house, Yahir Saleh Muhamed Turabi, 55, comes out to offer these weary travelers a glass of water. We are invited in, and enter after getting my passport back. Yahir lives on the ground floor of the building with his wife, Hanna Ahmad Kaid, 52. The second story of their house, and their roof, have been occupied for six months by 30 soldiers who are shifted every two days. Saleh, Mahmoud's university friend who built the upper floor in anticipation of being married, refuses to come back to the house, and has gone to the United States, as has another brother. Three brothers are renting an apartment in Nablus. Nearly every night, the couple says, the soldiers fire on anything that moves, so as to inhibit travel. They report that many people are injured by the random firing. Their one daughter who remains in the household, an 18-year-old, suffers from immense psychological problems, they say, and they worry about her ability to study for school. Yahir worked as a taxi driver before the occupation of his house. But now he is not allowed to leave, so he sells cold drinks to people who pass through the checkpoint. This work is scarcely enough to supply the family. He says that because he is older, he doesn't get harassed so much by the soldiers. He complains, though, that the soldiers take water and electricity without paying for it, and says they busted up some furniture. Hanna is particularly indignant over this. Yahir says he prefers to die here in his house than move out. He spent all his money on the house, and he has lived here since he was young. Hanna says, "Even if we had another house, we would stay here."

As we leave the house, a man with a broken leg stoically waits to be grilled by a soldier on the roof. It is a different soldier now. We call up to the roof and ask that the man be left to go on his way--that his leg is broken and that he has a letter in Hebrew from a doctor supporting this. The soldier says he will be let go soon, and we depart. Down the hill to the checkpoint at Jeet.

The soldiers at Jeet have been rotated since the morning. This brigade is less polite than Tomer Cohen and his companion. They refuse to let us through, saying it is forbidden, that we must go back to Nablus and go through the dreaded Huwwara checkpoint instead. We protest that we were let through that morning, and my white-skin Jewish privilege was invoked. This draws the epithet "mother fucking asshole" from one of the soldiers. Another says he doesn't care what Americans think of them. Gradually they relent, but Sami is sent back to Nablus. "He's a troublemaker," says one soldier. "He comes every day and makes trouble." Mahmoud protests that that's impossible, as Sami has never even been to Nablus before in his life. But there is no persuading the soldiers. Mahmoud tells Sami to go stay in Nablus with some students from Jayyous who rent apartments there so as not to face the checkpoints every day. We pass through the checkpoint, and a soldier sitting under a tree calls out, "Have a nice day!"

We hike to a settler road and cross it. As we climb up the path on the other side, a Border Police jeep passes. We continue walking with our eyes fixed in front, hoping not to be noticed, and the jeep continues on its way. Over another hill, and then appears a house with a servis waiting in front. This we take to al-Fundak, where we encounter an older gentleman in elaborate Islamic dress, a sheik from Jayyous. When Mahmoud tells him the story of how Sami was sent back to Nablus his first time there, the sheik looks weary and pained.

A servis from al Fundak takes us back to the roadblock at Azzoun. At the other side of the roadblock, we wait for a taxi to Jayyous. As we arrive back in Jayyous, Mahmoud tells me it was the easiest trip he has taken to Nablus in three years. (David Bloom) [top]

In January, when WW3 REPORT first visited Adwan's farm on the southern edge of Jayyous, all his fruit trees had already been wiped clear by the Israeli construction company building the "Apartheid Wall." What remained is his working farm, where he and some cousins keep animals. Six months later, in July, the fence has advanced from a dirt track. Now the wall consists of a 30-meter wide set of roads, with an electric chain link fence in the middle. On the morning of July 17, this reporter and an international observer from Boston went to Adwan's farm, to reassure his father. The previous evening, Israeli security forces had come to the farm and claimed that armed men were there. After a half hour of arguing, the Israelis fired at Adwan and his father, and they hit the ground.

The next morning the farm is quiet, except for the sounds of construction on the fence just beyond. On this day, the Israelis have strung three coils of razor wire right next to the farm. Members of Adwan's extended family wander up to watch themselves be fenced in. Border Police drive by on the other side of the wall in their Humvees. Occasionally Merkava tanks also roll by the farm.

Adwan comes back from selling yogurt in a nearby town, Falamia. He looks at the razor wire and clucks his tongue. "Can you see the land on the other side of the wall--it is unplowed," he says. Eventually, the Israelis will claim it is unused land, and it will become "state land," on its way to being turned over to an Israeli settlement.

Three days earlier, on July 14, Israeli forces came to the farm, claiming young children had been throwing stones at Caterpillar bulldozers working on the wall. The Israelis tear-gassed the farm, and broke into a neighboring house. Adwan fears that Israel may someday expand the "security wall" to include the rest of his farm. For now, Israel has created a de facto new political border five kilometers to the east of the 1967 border, or "Green Line." Jayyous, like Palestine generally, is steadily shrinking under the creeping expansionism.

Adwan relates the following story. One day while touring his land, and he met a Arab Israeli security guard . The man was sitting alone and looking sad. Adwan asked why he was sad, and the guard replied, "Do you expect me to be happy in the face of all these cut down trees? I have human feelings. I am an Arab." (David Bloom)

See also: WW3 REPORT #75 [top]

Mahmoud Kareem, an English teacher in Jayyous, says he is now a resident of the "State of Walls." He has put out the following call:

On behalf of all harmed farmers and on behalf of all nations who support peace and justice, we declare our complete rejection to the Apartheid wall on our holy land. That Aparthied wall that embodies occupation in all its ugly shapes. Occupation that helps to create hatred among different nations of different cultures. Occupation that confiscates land, water and trees and tries to alter geography, history, and demography. Occupation that cuts down trees and damages our beautiful nature. Aggressive occupation that contradicts all laws of civilization and violates all human rights.

I can't describe the sufferings of our simple farmers also I can't describe the awful future that they will face, because these farmers consider this confiscated land their main source of culture, heritage, love, dream, and life. It is shameful all aggressive and oppressive measures that are being practiced against our innocent farmers in Jayyous by the Israeli occupation that always claims it is doing this for the sake of "security and fighting against terror."

On behalf of all children in Palestine we call on the world to prevent this horrible crime from continuing. And on behalf of all in Palestine, we would like to inform our friends all over the world in advance that this inhumane occupation will export from our confiscated land beautiful flowers written on them, "from Israel," but we would like you, the friends of humanity, to know that these flowers are from Palestine, irrigated by our blood and tears... [top]

The newspaper Yediot Ahronot [Hebrew for the "Latest News"] reported July 18 that single mothers in Israel staged a cross-country march on Jerusalem against the economic reforms that include downsizing their welfare benefits. They march by foot from all over the country.

The Finance Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, attacked the welfare program in an interview with Yediot Ahronot: "When you live on donations, you live in misery. The children of women who live on welfare learn from them how to beg. Women on welfare become accustomed to not working, and their children become accustomed to their mothers not working. It is a dependency trap, like a thick jam, that is hard to escape. In such an environment the children learn from the adults to beg and to ask for help. I look at them and I think, God Almighty, a new generation of welfare recipients is growing up here. I have to free these children from welfare culture. So they wouldn't become part of the chain. A woman can operate a crane in a construction site. A woman can work in packaging. A woman that can march 200 kilometers to Jerusalem can do that."

In the same newspaper, Meir Shalev suggested the mothers should have marched through the West Bank, because that route would be "more relevant and educational" [T]hey would see places and territories that are the most important to the understanding of their situation. I don't mean only the roads and the military bases and the fences and the check-points and the outposts that absorbed the monies that are missing elsewhere. I mean that they could have seen the places that have transformed the values of the society in which they live, that ossified the hearts that have turned priorities upside down"

One page later, B. Michael writes on the same subject: "The rebellious women; they must be bombed. From the air. Maybe also from the sea and the land... I assume there will not be a shortage of helicopter and F-16 pilots who will agree to follow such an order" Indeed, it is likely to assume that among the dead there will be children who are allegedly innocent. But you should not forget that they were also part of the subversive struggle, and therefore there is no room to be righteous about them." He claimed that the "greedy hand" of the protesting mothers could send Israel down an economic "abyss." It was uncertain if his remarks were intended as sarcastic.

(Trans. by Nirit Ben-Ari) [top]


Afghan and Pakistani troops exchanged fire across their border July 12, with an Afghan commander claiming that encroaching Pakistani forces had been driven back. Border clashes have been erupting intermittently for several weeks, with Islamabad denying Kabul's accusations that Pakistani forces are intruding into Afghan territory. "There was an exchange of heavy fire for 45 minutes, both sides used artillery," said the commander of Afghan border forces, Haji Abdul Zahir Qadir. He said the clash took place in Yaqoobi Kandaw village of Lalapur district as his men forced Pakistani troops to pull out of an area they seized three weeks ago. He asserted that Pakistani forces still occupied some Afghan territory to the east of Jalalabad, and his men are poised to recapture the area should President Hamid Karzai give the order.

Rising tension on the border coincides with a coordinated operation by Pakistani troops and US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan to halt Taliban/al-Qaeda inflitration across the frontier. On July 8, an angry mob in Kabul forced its way into the Pakistani embassy. No one was hurt in the attack but windows and office equipment were smashed, vehicles were damaged and property looted. President Karzai condemned the action and apologized to Pakistan's ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan accused Afghan security forces of not interfering. Three men have reportedly since been arrested in the looting. (Reuters, July 12)

The US military announced July 20 that its forces had killed up to 24 presumed Taliban fighters in ground and air attacks near Spin Boldak. The skirmish reportedly began when the guerillas attacked a coalition convoy. (Reuters, July 20) [top]

The Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal, an ultra-fundamentalist religious alliance that took power in landslide October elections in Pakistan semi-autonomous Northwest Frontier Province near the Afghan border, is banning musicians from bazaars, cafes and other public places, asserting that music and dancing are un-Islamic and affront to God. Musicians and shop owners who host them have been threatened and beatened in the new crackdown. "It is more or less like th Taliban," protested Salma Anwar, chairwoman of the International Women's Organization in Peshawar. "They want to separate the sexes. How is that going to bring jobs and clean drinking water?" Local musician Khayal Gul, playing self-penned songs on his harmonium at Peshawar's bazaar in defiance of the harsh crackdown, had his own lyrical reply to the region's ruling mullahs:

"Oh sheik, oh bearded man,
You are a fool.
My lord is God.
I will ask of him and not of you."

(Newsday, July 1) [top]


Suspected Maoist guerillas of the set off multiple near-simultaneous explosions in eastern India's Samastipur region July 15, blowing up tracks and derailing three trains, police and railroad officials said. Rebels of the Maoist Communist Center reportedly left notes at the scenes of the derailments, claiming responsibility. The outlawed group, which often targets wealthy landlords and police, did not make any immediate independent claim of responsibility. There was no immediate report of casualties. (AP, July 15)

See also WW3 REPORTs 63 & 49 [top]

Nepal's Maoist guerillas have agreed to resume stalled peace talks with the government, raising hopes of an end to the seven-year insurgency that has claimed over 7,200 lives. Maoist chief Prachanda's announcement came three days after the government freed three rebel leaders and provided information on missing guerrilla, meeting some of the key demands to re-start the talks. The rebels control large areas of the Himalayan nation's countryside, but have suffered most of the 5,500 deaths in the last 20 months. The rebels are also demanding the government halt army operations and get a commitment from King Gyanendra to authorize negotiations. Among Maoist demands to be brought to the talks are elections for an assembly to prepare a new constitution and abolition of the monarchy. The rebels have held two rounds of talks with the government, but the negotiations were stalled in May over rebel demand to halt military operations. There have been no major battles or attacks since a January cease-fire, but some dozen people have been killed in sporadic clashes. The guerillas launched a series of attacks across the country in November 2001 after walking out of talks for the first time. The attacks came just months after a massacre in which most of the royal family were shot dead by a drunken crown prince. The insurgency has wrecked Nepal's economy and scared tourists away from the scenic country that is also among the world's poorest. (Reuters, July 31)

See also WW3 REPORTs 70& 39 [top]


US freelance journalist Billy Nessen is sitting in an Indonesian jail in Aceh, facing charges that could leave him behind bars for the rest of his life. Having spent time with the separatist guerillas of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), Nessen was caught in Aceh when the Indonesian government launched a counter-insurgency offensive in the region in May. He was arrested when he turned himself over to the Indonesian military on June 24. Military authorities had announced that they could not be held responsible for Nessen's safety if he remained with the guerillas. According to the Jakarta Post, national police chief Gen. Daii Bachtiar said Billy would be charged with visa violations for being in Aceh "without securing permission from the martial law administration," carrying a maximum sentence of five years and a maximum fine of almost $3000. Daii also said the police would continue to investigate Nessen's connection to the GAM, which is consistent with statements by Indonesian military officers threatening to bring espionage charges against Nessen. With travel banned to the area, Nessen's mother has not been allowed to enter Aceh to visit her son. Some 70 local civilians have been arrested in Aceh on suspicion of supporting the GAM, including a number of civil servants and town councilors.

(, July 1; ZNet Commentary by Peter Bohmer, July 15; BBC, June 24)


See also WW3 REPORT 90 [top]


On July 11, the French-led UN force in Congo's eastern Ituri region attacked a camp belonging to the UPC, the main ethnic Hema militia, killing at least three. The following day, presumed UPC gunmen opened fire near Bunia, where the French force is deployed. French military sources say that at least one UPC fighter was killed in return fire. The UPC had controlled Bunia after chasing their Lendu rivals out in May. But the multinational force is attempting to impose a weapons ban in the town. France is supposedly pulling out of Congo in September, to be replaced by a Bangladeshi force. (Reuters, July 12) A transition government took power in Congo July 18, with guerilla leaders Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Uganda-backed Congolse Liberation Movement and Azarias Ruberwa of the Rwanda-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy joining President Joseph Kabila's government as vice presidents. But the transition has failed to stop the violence in Ituri. (AP, July 18) [top]

The Pentagon is sending new troops to the Horn of Africa to pursue international terrorists more aggressively, according to the senior US commander in the region. "We've been in a more aggressive posture for over a month," Marine Brig. Gen. Mastin Robeson, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, told AP in a telephone interview from his base in Djibouti. "We're talking about the opportunity for the first time to be able to push down, for selected time periods, small numbers of aircraft to work operational missions here," he said. He referred to taking "selective actions" against al-Qaeda and related terrorist networks in the Horn of Africa, citing "a pretty active flow" of terrorist operatives through the region in recent months. "We've definitely seen an increase not just in presence but in active transnational terrorist planning," he said. The Horn of Africa task force has been operating from Djibouti since December. Some 1,600 US troops are at Djibouti's Camp Lemonier, also France's largest base in Africa. The troops include infantry and special operations forces from all the services. Helicopters and refueling aircraft are also based there. A team of Air Force personnel recently visited Camp Lemonier to assess the availability of ramp space, fuel and ordnance storage for fighter jets and bombers. "Pushing fighters down here from time to time certainly adds to my ability to give a more aggressive air defense posture against a jetliner that might try to come in here and crash into the camp," Robeson said. (AP, July 11)

See also WW3 REPORT 86 [top]

The ousted president of Sao Tome and Principe claims the coup plotters who overthrew him on Wednesday TK have designs on the island's oil, and called on the international community to restore democracy to the potentially oil-rich island state south of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea.

"I want the international community to put democratic order back in the country without bloodshed and to make the military understand that they are there to defend the institution of democratically elected government," Fradique de Menezes told Reuters Television. "It's because of oil that they want to take over power," said de Menezes, describing the coup leaders as "small groups of oil-smelling people."

De Menezes appealed for help before Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, chairman of the 53-member African Union, flew to Nigeria for talks with President Olusegun Obasanjo on possible military action to restore the elected president to power. The US has condemned the coup. (Reuters, July 17) [top]

The Bush administration has thus far resisted entreaties from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to deploy US peacekeeping forces in Liberia. But as rebel factions attacking the capital Monrovia announced a temporary cease-fire, Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters that Bush had promised to support peacekeepers from the member nations from the Nigeria-led Economic Community of West African States. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld also signed an order July 19 moving an amphibious group led by the USS Iwo Jima with 2,200 Marines from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean so it can continue to Liberia if Bush decides to send troops ashore. (Washington Post, July 23)

(Wynde Priddy) [top]

The World Bank announced recently that it will resume lending to Kenya after a four-year aid embargo. The decision was made due to the Kenyan government's commitment to implement what the bank considers sound economic policies. World Bank President James Wolfensohn said the bank is currently preparing a full country assistance strategy paper for Kenya in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and explained that the strategy paper would detail the Bank‚s agendas on various sectors including judicial and financial reform, HIV/AIDS and the privatization program.

Addressing a joint news conference with President Emilio Mwai Kibaki, Wolfensohn said the reason for stopping the lending programs four years ago was Kenya‚s failure to meet the World Bank demands. He said the bank has beenencouraged by the commitment of the new administration to fulfill campaign pledges of compliance. Wolfensohn announced that he held a meeting with members of Kenya's private sector, and that they were optimistic on the government's commitment to change. (The East African Standard, July 24)

In Nigera, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, current vice president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group has recently been appointed as the new Minister of Finance and Economy. World Bank President Wolfensohn referred to her 20-year career at the Bank as "highly successful" and said that Okonjo-Iweala has made an impact in "many areas." In 2000, during a leave of absence from the bank, Okonjo-Iweala served as adviser on economic issues to the President of Nigeria, where she dealt mostly with management of the country's debt. An avid supporter of the World Bank, Okonjo-Iweala said that she valued the opportunity to return home and make a contribution. (, June 29)

(Wynde Priddy) [top]


Despite Court Ruling and Peasant Protest

by Andrew Epstein, WW3 REPORT Special Correspondent in Colombia

According to the United Nations report, Global Illicit Drug Trends 2003, coca production in Colombia has been reduced by an impressive 37%. However, the US fumigation program, supposedly responsible for this dramatic decrease, has also ironically been destroying US-funded alternative development projects. Meanwhile, the Colombian drug economy has diversified, with the expansion from coca leaf to opium poppy gaining pace.

The Putumayo region of Colombia is where the fumigation program has claimed its greatest success, eliminating 33,000 hectares between 2000 and 2002. Don Ismael Cuaran of Putumayo is a former coca grower who was one of the first farmers to pull up his own crop and try the alternatives. He has tried corn, pepper, heart-of-palm and even raising a few cattle--alternative development projects funded through Plan Colombia and administered by local non-governmental organizations. Despite the fact that Don Ismael has no coca growing on his land, he says has been fumigated five separate times by a program the US Embassy in Bogota calls "extremely accurate."

The Embassy has set up a program for farmers, such as Don Ismael, to lodge complaints about licit crops that are sprayed by fumigation planes. Over the past three years 8,000 such complaints have been filed. To this day only two people have been compensated for a total of $5,000, an Embassy official said on condition of anonymity. According to an Embassy official in charge of compensation, Dyncorp, the US company that carries out the fumigation, is supposed to report to the Embassy when they fumigate licit crops. The motivation for reporting such mistakes is small since the error is then deducted from Dyncorp's contract-the company fined and the pilots docked pay. The Embassy says that acceptable drift from the spray lane is approximately 7 meters. However, they admit that the crop-dusters used in the fumigation will only fly as low as the highest "obstacle" -- referring to native trees which can measure up to 80 feet. The Embassy maintains that the program is accurate, and even claims that farmers are altering the appearance of their land after their coca has been sprayed to make it seem like they were growing licit crops.

While the fumigation has appeared to decrease coca production within Colombia, it has also diversified it. In 2000, there were 12 coca-growing regions within Colombia; that number has grown to 21 by the end of 2002. Colombia is also becoming one of the leading poppy-producing countries in the world (Latin American Poppy Fields Undermine U.S. Drug Battle, NYT, June 8). Unlike coca, which needs plenty of light to grow, poppy is almost impossible to fumigate. It can be grown in small patches, under the cover of trees, and on steep mountainsides.

Despite a recent court order to suspend the fumigations, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had only a few words to say on the subject during a recent trip to the Putumayo region: "I am very sorry, but while I am President, the fumigations will not be suspended." (El Tiempo, Bogota. June 29)

See recent photos of fumigated land where licit crops were being grown. [top]

President Alvaro Uribe, seeking to demonstrate that he is in control of the national territory, announced in mid-July that he will govern Colombia for a week from an army base in Arauca, a war-torn province near the Venezuelan border. When Uribe last visited Arauca in October, guerillas exploded a car bomb outside a school hours before the president's plane landed, killing two police officers and wounding 11 others. (Reuters, July 15)

See also WW3 REPORT 70 [top]

On June 20, the Colombian government locked out unionized workers and imposed military control at the state oil company Ecopetrol refinery in Barrancabermeja, Santander department. Non-union employees were allowed to continue working. The move came a day after Colombia state workers held a 24-hour national general strike to protest the govrnment's June semi-privatization of the state telecommunications company, Telecom, which resulted in massive lay-offs, as well the pending dismantling of other state enterprises. When some 2,000 oil workrs and their families gathered outside the refinery gates to protst the seizure of the plant, security forces used tear gas and water cannons in an unsucessful attempt to disperse them. They were finally dispersed the following day, following violent contrfontations with security forces. (Colombia Indymedia; AP, June 24)

Since early June, the United Workers Union (USO), which represents around half of Ecopetrol's some 7,000 employees, had been warning that the government was planning to dismantle the company. On June 25, over 8,000 people marched in Barrancabermeja to protest th militarization and privatization plan. (Vanguardia Liberal, Bucaramanga, June 26)

( Weekly News Update on the Americas, June 29) [top]

While Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador have joined 30 countries around the world which have entered into agreements with the US not to send any US citizens from its territory to face charges at the newly-created International Criminal Court, the White House announced July 1 that it is cutting off aid to 35 countries which have failed to sign the accord, including Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Costa Rica--and Colombia, which stands to lose $5 million in military aid this fiscal year for training an elite unit to guard oil installations in war-torn Arauca province. (Combined sources, via Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 6) [top]

The UK is "secretly" stepping up military aid to Colombia, the Guardian reported July 9, with Prime Minister Tony Blair encouraging the Foreign Office to hold an international conference on support for the war-torn South American nation. Whitehall refused to disclose the extent of British military involvement on the grounds of national security. "We provide some military aid but we don't talk about the details," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. But the Guardian claims to have identified a number of key areas of UK support, including:

Š SAS training of the elite narcotics police, the Fuerza Jungla.

Š Military advice to the army's new counter-guerrilla mountain units.

Š A surge in the supply of military hardware and intelligence equipment.

Š Assistance in setting up an intelligence center and a joint intelligence committee.

The Foreign Office did confirm four years ago that the UK had given training and advice on urban warfare techniques, counter-guerrilla strategy and "psychiatry." But the activities of Britain's elite SAS units are never never formally acknowledged. Sent by Margaret Thatcher in 1989 to fight the drug cartels, they are now believed to have extended their role to counter-insurgency training. The new intelligence assistance builds on work begun in the early 1990s when an M16 station head was sent to Bogota to start an anti-narcotic operation. After Labour came to power it was apparently considerably expanded.

Before Blair hosted the mid-July conference on boosting international aid to Colombia, Amnesty International called on western governments to stop giving military aid, because of the increasing human rights abuses by the security forces. It said: "The Colombian government has not implemented the UN human rights recommendations and military assistance only gives a green light to the army to carry on as before." But Blair has stepped up aid in the form of military equipment and advisors. Sir John Steele, head of security at the Northern Ireland Office, Gen. Sir Michael Rose, a former SAS commander, and Gen. Sir Roger Wheeler, former chief of the army general staff, were all sent to Bogota to give advice during failed peace negotiations with the FARC guerillas. At least one Colombian general has been received in Belfast. The official intention of the exchanges was partially to improve the Colombian security forces' respect for democratic government and human rights. Britain also allows US technicians and pilots involved in aerial spraying in Colombia to be employed through a British-registered company, DynCorp Aerospace Operations (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of DynCorp International, one of the US government's biggest military contractors. It has a two-story office building in Aldershot, the home of the British army.

President Uribe's election seems to have strengthened relations with Britain. The son of a wealthy Colombian landowner who was killed by guerillas in the early 1980s, he recently spent a year lecturing in Latin American studies at St Antony's College, Oxford. Blair's July conference brought together representatives from the EU, US, Latin American countries and the IMF . (UK Guardian, July 9) [top]

On July 10, Maoist Shining Path guerrillas ambushed a 30-man marine patrol in a mountainous jungle area of Peru, killing seven and wounding 10, military officials announced. It was the Peruvian military's worst loss to rebels in at least four years. A marine captain, four other marines and two civilian guides were killed in the attack in the Ayacucho region. Guerillas reportedly opened fire after the patrol stopped to take a break in a clearing. The attack was the latest sign of a resurgence in Shining Path activity. In June, 71 pipeline workers were kidnapped by guerrillas at a remote construction site in Ayacucho. They were released a day later. Since then, military patrols have been combing the jungle-covered gorges in search of the kidnappers. One soldier has been killed and at least two wounded on patrols.

The patrol had been dropped by helicopter after reports indicated rebels were spotted buying supplies across the river in the village of Matucana, one officer said. "Bullets were coming in from every direction," the officer told AP outside the Pichari counterinsurgency base on the Apurimac River, about 220 miles southeast of Lima. The marines were unable to see the rebels, who were hidden in thick underbrush, the officer said. Local community self-defense leaders-- "ronderos" -- report that the guerillas are now using new, modern weapons. During the height of their campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the guerrillas relied on weapons stolen from police and soldiers.

In October 1999, three army officers and a military pilot were killed when guerillas opened fire on their helicopter as it landed in a clearing in the same general region. Fighting in Peru, although abated since The violence dropped significantly with the capture of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman in 1992, has left about 30,000 dead since 1980, including soldiers, guerillas and civilians. (AP, July 11)

The attack came five days after Peru's anti-trrorism police arrested Florentino Cerron Cardozo, AKA "Comrade Marcelo" of the Shining Path, in a raid on a house in Huancayo. A seven-yar-old child was also taken by the government in the raid, belivd to be the daughter of Cardozo and another high-ranking Shining Path militant, "Rosa." Cerron, charged with 122 killings, 92 "subversive attacks" and 91 othr armed incidents, is actually from a wing of the fragmented movement which suspended armed actions in 1997 undr the "peace accord" that Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman ("Presidente Gonzalo") proposed following his 1992 arrest. Rival leader Oscar Ramirez Durand ("Feliciano") continued to carry out attacks until hiw own arrest in 1999, when he was turned in by yet another rival, Jorge Quispe Palomino ("Raul") who was arrested in 1997 and started cooperating with the authorities. He has since returned to the active armed faction of Shining Path and reportedly helped set up the October 1999 ambush of an army helicopter in Satipo province, Junin department. He may also be behind the recent attacks. The army claims to have killed his brothr Victor Quispe Palomino ("Martin" or "Jose") in combat July 4, again in Satipo. "Martin" is identified as leader of the Shining Path column that that kidnapped 71 people June 9 from a natural gas pipeline camp operated by the Argentine company Techint in Toccate, Ayacucho department. (La Republica, Lima, July 5-13, via Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 6, 13)

On July 3, Spanish police arrested Peruvian exile Adolfo Hector Olaechea Cahuas at the hotel where he was vacationing in Almeria, for extradition to Peru on charges of carrying out propaganda and fundraising for th Shining Path in Europe. Olaechea lives in London, where he runs the organization Justice Intrnational. In October 1992, Peru's Supreme Council of Military Justice sentenced him for treason, but a 1994 extradition request was denied by th UK for lack of evidence. Two weeks before Olaechea's arrest, another Peruvian exile, Pablo Francisco La Torr Carrasco, was arrested by Italian police at his home in the northern town of Porcia, also for extradition to Peru, where he is wanted on murdr charges rlated to Shining Path activity. (La Republica, July 5, 6, June 22, via Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 6) [top]

On June 14, unidentifid assailants threw an explosive device at a military vehicle in the Bolivian coca-growing region of Chapare, killing two army conscripts and wounding three other soldiers and four police agents. The vehicle was part of a convoy of some 240 combined police and army troops from the elite Joint Task Force, on a coca-eradication mission in San Jose Union, a peasant community in the Chipiriri area. Government Minister Yerko Kukoc said the attackers were cocaleros who threw dynamite at the vehicle. Kukoc specifically blamed cocalero leader Evo Morales for the attack. "These acts of violence are instructed by him," said Kukoc, noting that the attack coincided with the 7th congress of the Six Federations of the Cochabamba Tropics, attended by some 600 cocalero representatives in Cochabamba, the department capital. (EFE, June 15, Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, June 16, 17)

Kukoc also suggested the atackers had been trained by Jose Francisco Cortes Aguilar, a representative of the Colombian peasant organization National Campesino Association-Unity and Reconstruction (ANUC-UR)who was arrested April 10 with two cocalero activists in El Alto, near La Paz. The Bolivian government claims Cortes is a member of the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia's second largst guerilla group. (El Diario, La Paz, June 17)ANCUR-UR and Via Campesina, an international network of pesant organizations, are campaigning in defense of Cortes. Demonstrations protesting his arrest were held June 19 at the Bolivian consulate in Barcelona, Spain, an at the Bolivian consulate to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. (Colombia Indymedia, June 19)

On June 16, Evo Morales was re-elected president of the coordinating committe of the Six Federations of the Cochabamba Tropics. Morales said the Six Federations are demanding a government investigation to determine who really carried out the attack. "Otherwise, I am going to sue the ministers of defnse and government for slandr, injury and defamation," warned Morales, who is also a national legislative deputy representing the Movement to Socialism (MAS). (Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, June 17)

(From Weekly News Update on the Americas, June 22) [top]



by Subuhi Jiwani

On a long line outside the entrance to the US Consulate General in Mumbai, India, I waited -- -a potential H-1B candidate -- -with prospective tourists, sari-clad old women awaiting reunions with their "techie" sons in USA, and bespectacled dads eager to pamper their Columbia-admitted kids, now applying for the F-1 student visa. It is monsoon season, and intermittent rain falls as we wait on line. We're directed by the Indian security guards not to use our cell phones in front of the building. No loud talking, no haphazard line formation, no argument with the security guards. I blurt the question, "Why such brash behavior with us, Indians, when the white Americans interviewing us are civil?" (A civility related, of course, by my acquired Americanisms which loosened up the Louisiana-raised Foreign Service officer doing his mandatory year at the consulate.) "We will lose our jobs," he says, unwilling to disclose his name for "security reasons." "We‚re paid to treat you badly. The goras [whites] get to do the cushy job of interviewing and we have to do the dirty work." Dirty work includes crowd control of the hundreds of applicants who wait anxiously for hours outside the US Consulate to simply drop off a visa application. The application process introduced recently necessitates that all applicants schedule an in-person interview with a Consular officer at least a few days in advance.

Since 9-11, all male foreign nationals have been required to complete Form DS-157, entitled "Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application." This form provides information about their travel itineraries, previous educational history, participation in violent acts (either as an actor or a victim), and (not surprisingly) knowledge of or experience with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Before issuing an F-1 Student visa, consular officers are required to double-check the applicant‚s information with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information Service (SEVIS)- -- an on-line database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and universities in the US with updates on a foreign student‚s whereabouts and academic progress. Finally, the Homeland Security Department's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) has instituted its infamous Registration Process, requiring men 16 years and over from 26 Islamic nations to "voluntarily" congregate in long lines in front of its offices and record their "biometric identifiers" (fingerpritns, etc.). The rest of us "non-resident alines" will also eventually be invited to this pary. By the year 2005, the Department of Homeland Security aims at extending the registration process to include all of the estimated 35 million foreign visitors who enter or exit the USA's borders every year.

H1-B -- the title for a specialized foreign worker in the US -- is a non-immigrant visa issued by a company to an individual who qualifies for it only if the company can prove a shortage of applicants for that position. It has caused much uproar in the office of anti-immigrant right-winger Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado; in US trade union lobbies; and in conference rooms of multinational corporations.

Tancredo and his team presented a 15-line bill July 9 to the House of Representatives calling for elimination of the H-1B. A mere 24 hours later, Connecticut's Rep. Rosa DeLauro introduced the L-1 Non-Immigration Reform Act which would increase the restrictions on the L-1 business visa issued to foreign companies and firms looking to do business in the US. Another ban-the-L-1 bill was introduced by Rep. John Mica of Florida. All three bills await consideration by the House Judiciary Committee with public hearings scheduled in September.

During the digital tech boom of the 1990s, corporations lobbied Congress to increase the annual quota of H-1B candidates from 69,000 to 1,95,000. This October, the quota will be reduced to its original number. Indians have occupied a majority of H-1B visas issued over the years -- nearly 50 percent. But with US hi-tech corporations outsourcing their branches to countries like India, the push from US labor unions and anti-immigrants groups touting the line "Be American; Hire American" is strong.

Said Gopal Raju, chairman of the Indian-American Center for Political Awareness, in a press release: "Congressman Tancredo has argued that current unemployment levels in the United States warrant an outright cancellation of the H1B program in order to save those jobs for American engineers and programmers. This move is patently unfair and will not help unemployment. Rather, it will cripple the hi-tech and other technical industries and undercut the American hi-tech industry‚s ability to be a competitive global leader. There is little evidence that these jobs could be filled immediately by permanent residents and citizens. These jobs would most likely be outsourced, further hurting the economy by removing a substantial tax base. This bill is an anti-immigration, anti-tech move disguised as an economic stimulus."

In the months to come, we will see whether corporate interests will overcome rising xenophobia. Meanwhile, H-1B candidates at US Consulates around the world continue to face humiliations. [top]

As of July 3, Nigel Maccado was in his 15th day without food at Passaic County Jail in Paterson, NJ. Maccado, 54 and originally from India, has been in the US for over 16 years--and in immigration detention since November 2001. He is demanding transfer to Hudson County Jail in Kearny, NJ, where conditions are said to be better and contact visits are allowed. Maccado is also seeking proper medical care for conditions affecting his heart, back and prostate; and is protesting the fees that detainees are charged to photocopy legal paperwork.

In a phone interview with the Paterson Herald News, Maccado said he had lost nearly 17 pounds since he began refusing meals June 19. He continues to take only water and juice. Bill Maer, spokesperson for the Passaic County Sheriff's Department, said that if Maccado's condition becomes life-threatening, doctors will consult with the immigration service about whether to force-feed him.

Hemnauth Mohabir, a Guyanese national also detained by federal immigration authorities at Passaic County Jail, told the Herald News he has been on hunger strike since the night of June 29. (HN, July 4) According to the New York-based Campaign to Stop the Disappearances, Mohabir previously went on hunger strike April 28 to protest a lack of adequate protein in vegetarian meals, and to demand an end to beatings and abuse at Passaic. (Immigrant Detention: Action Alert April 29)

In January, six detainees at Passaic County Jail went on hunger strike for eight days to protest conditions and demand release or transfer to Hudson. Five of the strikers were subsequently moved to Hudson. The sixth, Farouk Abdel-Muhti, was transferred to the harsher conditions of York County Jail in York, Pennsylvania, where he has been held in a maximum-security isolation unit since February. In March, eight men at Passaic County Jail refused meals for one day to protest conditions

(From Immigration News Briefs, July 5)

See also WW3 REPORT 83 [top]

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit in federal court July 30 against parts of the USA PATRIOT Act that allow authorities to carry out secret searches and monitor books people read. "Ordinary Americans should not have to worry that the FBI is rifling through their medical records, seizing their personal papers, or forcing charities and advocacy groups to divulge membership lists," said ACLU attorney Ann Beeson. In March, the US Supreme Court declined without comment to consider an earlier ACLU challenge to the government's expanded surveillance powers under the PATRIOT Act. The new challenge was jointly announced by the ACLU in Michigan and Portland, OR. The Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested the imam of a local mosque, Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye, on Sept. 8, 2002, sparking demonstrations on the steps of the federal courthouse in Portland. The US attorney's office accused Kariye of Social Security fraud and he was sentenced to five years probation. (AP, July 30)

Justice Department [top]


As Ground Zero redevelopment architecht Daniel Libeskind and the site's leaseholder Larry Silverstein engage in an unseemly public squabble over control of the redevlopment plan, a worker was killed at the site June 25 for the first time since 9-11. Hugo Martinez, an immigrant from Paraguay, was apparently crushed by a construction lift while working on the new transportation hub being built at the site. OSHA is investigating the incident. (Newsday, June 26) [top]

Brooklyn City Councilman James E. Davis, gunned down at City Hall by an irate constituent July 23, had ironically been a life-long crusader against urban violence, and especially gun violence. An early victim of police brutality, he later himself joined the NYPD--only to be let go after his 1998 run for the state assembly under an obscure provision limiting officers from running for public office. He challenged his termination in the New York state courts and won. In 1990, he founded the non-profit Love Yourself-Stop the Violence, and successfully campaigned to get toy store chains to stop selling "look-alike" toy guns. He was elected to the City Council in 2001. (City Council press release, July 23) [top]

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who recently did a stint as anti-crime czar in Mexico City, was appointed by President Bush to head the US delegation to a Vienna conference on combating anti-Semitism, held in June by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Giuliani inaugurated his mission with a big New York Times op-ed piece June 18 outlining his personal prescriptions for countering anti-Semitism. A national hero following his leadership during the 9-11 disaster, Giulaini is now immune to criticism, and the series of police atrocities and human rights abuses under his watch as both mayor and US Attorney in New York City have been conveniently forgotten. Going out of his way as mayor to snub Yasser Arafat on his diplomatic visits to th UN, Giuliani especially won a reputation as a defender of Jewish interests.

But among the forgotten ugly incidents in Giulaini's past was the 1986 arrest of Simon Berger, a Jewish Long Island lock manufacturer and Nazi concentration camp survivor, by Rudy's staff as US Attorney for Manhattan. As Berger, a mail fraud suspect, was being held at Giulaini's offices at the New York City federal building, some of Rudy's agents seated him facing a blackboard, Berger later told investigators. Written on the blackboard, Berger said, were the German words "ARBEIT MACHT FREI," the slogan which adorned the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp. Berger was acquitted of all charges.

Also conveniently forgotten are the charges of anti-Semitism that were leveled against Giuliani in his high-profile crackdown on Wall Street insider trading as US Attorney in the 1980s--in which every one of the brokers he ordered arrested and marched out of their offices in handcuffs happened to be Jewish.

Finally, it is also apparently forgotten that Giuliani at one time ran his own concentration camp. In 1981, as number-three man in the Reagan Justice Department, Giuliani headed the program of forcibly detaining thousands of Haitian refugees behind barbed wire at Camp Krome, a Florida military base, where overcrowding and appalling conditions quickly drew protest from human rights organizations. When the refugees launched suit in federal court to overturn the internment policy, Giuliani became the policy's top legal defender, asking the US Court of Appeals to strike down a lower court order that 1,800 refugees be released. 33 Haitian women at the camp went on hunger strike to demand their freedom during the case, and had to be fed intravenously. But Giuliani insisted the refugees were economic migrants and were not fleeing persecution in Haiti, even making a junket to Haiti to be personally assured by dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier that there was no human rights crisis on the island.

(See "Rudolph Giuliani and the Fascist Connection," The Shadow, Jan.-March, 1994) [top]


New York Sen. Charles Schumer accused the Bush administration of using "Stalinist" tactics by requiring ovrseers to be present when federal employees are interviewed by the independent commission investigating the 9-11 attacks. "Gatekeepers usually occur in places with totalitarian regimes, Schumer told a news conference July 9. "Stalinist Russia was known for that." Schumer spoke out a day after the commission's leaders charged that the overseers were intimidating witnesses and that federal agencies were impeding the inquiry by responding slowly to information requests. The 10-member commission was appointed last year by the White House and Congress, and is to issue a report next May. (Newsday, July 10) [top]


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