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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to email@example.com Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. Get out now-Pilger (CharlieChimp1@aol.com) 2. Pro-war Kurd opposes US policy (CharlieChimp1@aol.com) 3. Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11 (Hassan) 4. Nutcase rock and roll psy warfare ops (k hanly) 5. Andrew Gilligan- now from Baghdad (ppg) 6. Death of Scores of Mercenaries Not Reported (Hassan) --__--__-- Message: 1 From: CharlieChimp1@DELETETHISaol.com Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 14:33:11 EDT Subject: Get out now-Pilger To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Intelligentminds@yahoogroups.com [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Get out now John Pilger Cover story The New Stateman April 19 2004 http://www.newstatesman.com/ Four years ago, I travelled the length of Iraq, from the hills where St Matthew is buried in the Kurdish north to the heartland of Mesopotamia, and Baghdad, and the Shia south. I have seldom felt as safe in any country. Once, in the Edwardian colonnade of Baghdad's book market, a young man shouted something at me about the hardship his family had been forced to endure under the embargo imposed by America and Britain. What happened next was typical of Iraqis; a passer-by calmed the man, putting his arm around his shoulder, while another was quickly at my side. "Forgive him," he said reassuringly. "We do not connect the people of the west with the actions of their governments. You are welcome." At one of the melancholy evening auctions where Iraqis come to sell their most intimate possessions out of urgent need, a woman with two infants watched as their pushchairs went for pennies, and a man who had collected doves since he was 15 came with his last bird and its cage; and yet people said to me: "You are welcome." Such grace and dignity were often expressed by those Iraqi exiles who loathed Saddam Hussein and opposed both the economic siege and the Anglo-American assault on their homeland; thousands of these anti-Saddamites marched against the war in London last year, to the chagrin of the warmongers, who never understood the dichotomy of their principled stand. Were I to undertake the same journey in Iraq today, I might not return alive. Foreign terrorists have ensured that. With the most lethal weapons that billions of dollars can buy, and the threats of their cowboy generals and the panic-stricken brutality of their foot soldiers, more than 120,000 of these invaders have ripped up the fabric of a nation that survived the years of Saddam Hussein, just as they oversaw the destruction of its artefacts. They have brought to Iraq a daily, murderous violence which surpasses that of a tyrant who never promised a fake democracy. Amnesty International reports that US-led forces have "shot Iraqis dead during demonstrations, tortured and ill-treated prisoners, arrested people arbitrarily and held them indefinitely, demolished houses in acts of revenge and collective punishment". In Fallujah, US marines, described as "tremendously precise" by their psychopathic spokesman, slaughtered up to 600 people, according to hospital directors. They did it with aircraft and heavy weapons deployed in urban areas, as revenge for the killing of four American mercenaries. Many of the dead of Fallujah were women and children and the elderly. Only the Arab television networks, notably al-Jazeera, have shown the true scale of this crime, while the Anglo-American media continue to channel and amplify the lies of the White House and Downing Street. "Writing exclusively for the Observer before a make-or-break summit with President George Bush this week," sang Britain's former premier liberal newspaper on 11 April, "[Tony Blair] gave full backing to American tactics in Iraq . . . saying that the government would not flinch from its 'historic struggle' despite the efforts of 'insurgents and terrorists'." That this "exclusive" was not presented as parody shows that the propaganda engine that drove the lies of Blair and Bush on weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaeda links for almost two years is still in service. On BBC news bulletins and Newsnight, Blair's "terrorists" are still currency, a term that is never applied to the principal source and cause of the terrorism, the foreign invaders, who have now killed at least 11,000 civilians, according to Amnesty and others. The overall figure, including conscripts, may be as high as 55,000. That a nationalist uprising has been under way in Iraq for more than a year, uniting at least 15 major groups, most of them opposed to the old regime, has been suppressed in a mendacious lexicon invented in Washington and London and reported incessantly, CNN-style. "Remnants" and "tribalists" and "fundamentalists" dominate, while Iraq is denied the legacy of a history in which much of the modern world is rooted. The "first-anniversary story" about a laughable poll claiming that half of all Iraqis felt better off now under the occupation is a case in point. The BBC and the rest swallowed it whole. For the truth, I recommend the courageous daily reporting of Jo Wilding, a British human rights observer in Baghdad (www.wildfirejo.blogspot.com). Even now, as the uprising spreads, there is only cryptic gesturing at the obvious: that this is a war of national liberation and that the enemy is "us". The pro-invasion Sydney Morning Herald is typical. Having expressed "surprise" at the uniting of Shias and Sunnis, the paper's Baghdad correspondent recently described "how GI bullies are making enemies of their Iraqi friends" and how he and his driver had been threatened by Americans. "I'll take you out quick as a flash, motherfucker!" a soldier told the reporter. That this was merely a glimpse of the terror and humiliation that Iraqis have to suffer every day in their own country was not made clear; yet this newspaper has published image after unctuous image of mournful American soldiers, inviting sympathy for an invader who has "taken out" thousands of innocent men, women and children. What we do routinely in the imperial west, wrote Richard Falk, professor of international relations at Princeton, is propagate "through a self-righteous, one-way moral/legal screen positive images of western values and innocence that are threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted violence". Thus, western state terrorism is erased, and a tenet of western journalism is to excuse or minimise "our" culpability, however atrocious. Our dead are counted; theirs are not. Our victims are worthy; theirs are not. This is an old story; there have been many Iraqs, or what Blair calls "historic struggles" waged against "insurgents and terrorists". Take Kenya in the 1950s. The approved version is still cherished in the west - first popularised in the press, then in fiction and movies; and like Iraq, it is a lie. "The task to which we have set our minds," declared the governor of Kenya in 1955, "is to civilise a great mass of human beings who are in a very primitive moral and social state." The slaughter of thousands of nationalists, who were never called nationalists, was British government policy. The myth of the Kenyan uprising was that the Mau Mau brought "demonic terror" to the heroic white settlers. In fact, the Mau Mau killed just 32 Europeans, compared with the estimated 10,000 Kenyans killed by the British, who ran concentration camps where the conditions were so harsh that 402 inmates died in just one month. Torture, flogging and abuse of women and children were commonplace. "The special prisons," wrote the imperial histor-ian V G Kiernan, "were probably as bad as any similar Nazi or Japanese establishments." None of this was reported. The "demonic terror" was all one way: black against white. The racist message was unmistakable. It was the same in Vietnam. In 1969, the discovery of the American massacre in the village of My Lai was described on the cover of Newsweek as "An American tragedy", not a Vietnamese one. In fact, there were many massacres like My Lai, and almost none of them was reported at the time. The real tragedy of soldiers policing a colonial occupation is also suppressed. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam. The same number, according to a veterans' study, killed themselves on their return home. Dr Doug Rokke, director of the US army depleted uranium project following the 1991 Gulf invasion, estimates that more than 10,000 American troops have since died as a result, many from contamination illness. When I asked him how many Iraqis had died, he raised his eyes and shook his head. "Solid uranium was used on shells," he said. "Tens of thousands of Iraqis - men, women and children - were contaminated. Right through the 1990s, at international symposiums, I watched Iraqi officials approach their counterparts from the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defence and ask, plead, for help with decontamination. The Iraqis didn't use uranium; it was not their weapon. I watched them put their case, describing the deaths and horrific deformities, and I watched them rebuffed. It was pathetic." During last year's invasion, both American and British forces again used uranium-tipped shells, leaving whole areas so "hot" with radiation that only military survey teams in full protective clothing can approach them. No warning or medical help is given to Iraqi civilians; thousands of children play in these zones. The "coalition" has refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to send experts to assess what Rokke describes as "a catastrophe". When will this catastrophe be properly reported by those meant to keep the record straight? When will the BBC and others investigate the conditions of some 10,000 Iraqis held without charge, many of them tortured, in US concentration camps inside Iraq, and the corralling, with razor wire, of entire Iraqi villages? When will the BBC and others stop referring to "the handover of Iraqi sovereignty" on 30 June, although there will be no such handover? The new regime will be stooges, with each ministry controlled by American officials and with its stooge army and stooge police force run by Americans. A Saddamite law prohibiting trade unions for public sector workers will stay in force. Leading members of Saddam's infamous secret police, the Mukhabarat, will run "state security", directed by the CIA. The US military will have the same "status of forces" agreement that they impose on the host nations of their 750 bases around the world, which in effect leaves them in charge. Iraq will be a US colony, like Haiti. And when will journalists have the professional courage to report the pivotal role that Israel has played in this grand colonial design for the Middle East? A few weeks ago, Rick Mercier, a young columnist for the Free-lance Star, a small paper in Virginia, did what no other journalist has done this past year. He apologised to his readers for the travesty of the reporting of events leading to the attack on Iraq. "Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage," he wrote. "Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations . . . Maybe we'll do a better job next war." Well done, Rick Mercier. But listen to the silence of your colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic. No one expects Fox or Wapping or the Daily Telegraph to relent. But what about David Astor's beacon of liberalism, the Observer, which stood against the invasion of Egypt in 1956 and its attendant lies? The Observer not only backed last year's unprovoked, illegal assault on Iraq; it helped create the mendacious atmosphere in which Blair could get away with his crime. The reputation of the Observer, and the fact that it published occasional mitigating material, meant that lies and myths gained legitimacy. A front-page story gave credence to the bogus claim that Iraq was behind the anthrax attacks in the US. And there were those unnamed western "intelligence sources", all those straw men, all those hints, in David Rose's two-page "investigation" headlined "The Iraqi connection", that left readers with the impression that Saddam Hussein might well have had a lot to do with the attacks of 11 September 2001. "There are occasions in history," wrote Rose, "when the use of force is both right and sensible. This is one of them." Tell that to 11,000 dead civilians, Mr Rose. It is said that British officers in Iraq now describe the "tactics" of their American comrades as "appalling". No, the very nature of a colonial occupation is appalling, as the families of 13 Iraqis killed by British soldiers, who are taking the British government to court, will agree. If the British military brass understand an inkling of their own colonial past, not least the bloody British retreat from Iraq 83 years ago, they will whisper in the ear of the little Wellington-cum-Palmerston in 10 Downing Street: "Get out now, before we are thrown out." --__--__-- Message: 2 From: CharlieChimp1@DELETETHISaol.com Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 14:51:05 EDT Subject: Pro-war Kurd opposes US policy To: firstname.lastname@example.org [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-2-95-1853.jsp Give us hope, not bombs Ayub Nuri 16 - 4 - 2004 An Iraqi Kurd who welcomed the US war in his country sees arrogance and for= ce crushing chances for freedom. His view: American occupation policy is dangerously misjudged. One year ago the Iraqi people welcomed the US troops into their country. Despite all the hazards of the war, Iraqis could not help coming out of the= ir homes and onto their roofs to wave their hands at the US soldiers. Saddam H= ussein=E2=80=99 s repressive regime had left few Iraqis against the war. The majority could not wait for war to overthrow Saddam. Now, American occupation policy has sharply reduced the numbers of Iraqis welcoming the war and its results. Ki= lling thirteen civilians in Falluja in May 2003 lit the fire of a resistance that= has exacted a heavy price from the American army ever since. Those people were immediately called =E2=80=9Cterrorists and supporters of Saddam Hussein=E2= =80=9D by the occupying powers. Saddam=E2=80=99s regime had been overthrown and he himself captured= , but the US was still happy to invoke that enemy to fill a space created by the non-existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which had justified t= heir war in the first place. One big mistake made by the Americans has led to today= =E2=80=99s critical situation. This was the neglect of a significant section of Iraqi society, and the man they look to at this turning point in Iraqi history. M= uqtada al-Sadr is the son of one of the highest Shi=E2=80=99ite clerics, Muhammad = Sadiq al-Sadr, assassinated by Saddam=E2=80=99s security services in 1999. The Am= erican occupying authorities created an Iraqi Governing Council (ICG) in July last year and appointed 25 politicians and party leaders members of this Council. Later, = they set up a ministerial cabinet, blatantly consisting almost exclusively of brothers, sons or cousins of the members of the IGC. Muqtada al-Sadr was ne= ither consulted nor acknowledged in the creation of either of these institutions.= In reaction, al-Sadr promptly organised his own militia (the Mahdi army) and nominated his own government. Muqtada al-Sadr is himself only young, but he= is the son of a cleric as revered in status as Ayatollah Sistani, whom the US authorities in Iraq listen to and take seriously. The occupying forces did = not properly register or appreciate the calm and peaceful environment that the = Shi=E2=80=99ite leaders and community had insisted upon and permitted to exist from the mom= ent that Saddam=E2=80=99s regime fell. From the beginning, Muqtada al-Sadr repe= ated over and over again that he did not court or encourage violence against the occu= pying forces. This expression of good will was met by the arrest of al-Sadr=E2=80= =99s deputy in Najaf, and the summary closure of his newspaper Al-Hawza. For further views on Al-Hawza and its closure, see articles in the Asia Times and the World Press Review. One of the factors that allowed the US forces to deal with the so-called = =E2=80=9C Sunni Triangle=E2=80=9D was Shi=E2=80=99ite support for regime change in Ir= aq. But it is very difficult to find a convincing, neat description for the type of violence a= nd resistance taking place against US forces today. The Shi=E2=80=99ites have = risen against the US presence and fight as strongly as the Sunnis do in Falluja and Ramad= i. Everybody expected the US authorities to seek a peaceful solution to calm t= he situation down immediately after the Shi=E2=80=99ites got involved. But onc= e again they have made the same mistake =E2=80=93 resorted to force, relying on the= ir tanks to solve the problem. Neither Muqtada al-Sadr=E2=80=99s supporters nor the Sun= ni fighters are a small group, as the US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, would have the world believe. These are Shi=E2=80=99ite and Sunni Muslims who reject t= he occupation of their country. I went to a meeting of sheikhs and other well-known figur= es who had travelled to Sadr City to tell Muqtada al-Sadr=E2=80=99s representa= tive in Baghdad that they were ready to offer their souls, their families and their money to support Sadr=E2=80=99s revolution. Sheikh Adil al Shara, the deput= y of al-Sadr=E2=80=99s representative said to those present, =E2=80=9CBush and the Pentagon have t= o realise that the whole of the Iraqi people are the Mahdi army=E2=80=9D =E2=80=93 a = clear reply to General Kimmitt=E2=80=99s press conference pledge to =E2=80=9Cdestroy the M= ahdi army=E2=80=9D. Think of all the expectations that Iraqi people had for rebuilding the country, find= ing jobs and a new life after Saddam; and all the promises that the US presiden= t made to Iraqis, including liberation, rebuilding and democracy. The US army= is using F16 fighter planes and cluster bombs against Iraqi civilians, and besieging Iraq=E2=80=99s towns. Heavy bombing is not what the Iraqi people = wanted from America. Nothing about the coalition forces in Iraq rings true. Japanese tr= oops came into Iraq, based in the southern province of Samawa, maintaining that = they have come to participate in rebuilding Iraq. But when has rebuilding been carried out by tanks, armed vehicles and military bulldozers? America is ve= ry proud of its military power, but Americans must understand that this does n= ot impress the Iraqi people. We have been through so many wars. We are so very= well accustomed to bombing and killing. Moreover, have the US authorities forgot= ten that every house in Iraq has got at least one gun with enough ammunition fo= r the foreseeable future? As we see in some of the battles taking place now, = many families have got heavy weapons. What is 150 thousand US soldiers in the fa= ce of Iraq=E2=80=99s multi-million population? A small number of US generals a= nd 19-year-old soldiers are attempting to take on a very traditional Muslim po= pulation. Most US soldiers have no idea what they have come to Iraq for. They have be= en brained-washed by the words =E2=80=9Cfighting terrorism and liberating a na= tion=E2=80=9D. Meanwhile, we hear many rumours about contracts being signed by US administ= rator Paul Bremer for millions of dollars. This is taking place when, since 9 Apr= il 2003, not one single stone has been put on top of another stone to rebuild Iraq. Had the coalition forces really come to rebuild Iraq, the war-torn Ir= aqi people would never have let militias come into being to impede that process= . But the Iraqi people are not told what is going on inside the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and the governing council: what deals are signe= d and with which companies? Sure enough, several militia groups have mushroomed all ov= er the country: not just the Mahdi army, but the Iraqi Mujahideen, the Muhamma= d army, the Ansar al Sunna (Iraqi resistance) and several other unknown group= s. I expect the Iraqi people will keep quiet about these groups=E2=80=99 activit= ies. Many Iraqis have been arrested for carrying small guns such as pistols. Elsewher= e in the country, several children have been killed for pointing plastic toy weapons at US soldiers. Thanks to the misguided arrogance of Iraqi advisors= who spent almost their whole life in the west, the American army ran into a bat= tle this week, screened throughout the whole world, which ended up with them ha= ving to negotiate. Muqtada al-Sadr=E2=80=99s group are described as Saddam-suppo= rting thugs like the fighters in Falluja. But I have been to both areas and these are people who had high expectations for post war Iraq, like every other Iraqi.= When has it happened in history that a group of thugs and gangsters have taken o= n a strong army like that of the US? Thugs rob banks and break into supermarket= s. Clearly al-Sadr=E2=80=99s Mahdi army like the Sunnis in Falluja have lost t= heir patience and what little trust they have in the Americans. This suggests ma= ny more people could join them. A young supporter of Muqtada al-Sadr came up to me = and said, =E2=80=9Cwe have Mr Bush to thank for making us put aside our differe= nces with the Sunnis and get united=E2=80=9D. That is a message which means America c= an no longer explain away the Sunnis as Saddam loyalists, because the Shi=E2=80= =99ites were systematically exterminated by him. Muqtada al-Sadr is called an outlaw for= leading a militia. But there is another story to be told about militias in Iraq. Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, Ayad Alawi of the Ira= qi National Accord, and Abdul Aziz Hakim of the Supreme Council for Islamic revolution in Iraq, are all members of the IGC. They have always had their = own militias. These militias have joined the new Iraqi army, but as soon as the= re is the slightest whiff of danger threatening their own position, or even in the eventuality of an election failure, these leaders will whip their militias = out of the Iraqi army in a second. Muqtada, by contrast, has never left the countr= y. He has certainly not spent his life abroad for 20 years or more. He is accused of seeking power. But what is it but the love of power and influence that h= as kept the members of the IGC quiet in the face of all the crimes committed b= y the US army against the people of Iraq? If there is to be any democracy in post-Saddam Iraq, let people from Falluja and Kufa be active in the country= =E2=80=99s politics. Then a free election can decide who should stay and who should go= . --__--__-- Message: 3 Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 06:05:14 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11 To: CASI newsclippings <email@example.com> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17347-2004Apr16.html Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11 Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital By William Hamilton Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, April 17, 2004; Page A01 Beginning in late December 2001, President Bush met repeatedly with Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his war cabinet to plan the U.S. attack on Iraq even as he and administration spokesmen insisted they were pursuing a diplomatic solution, according to a new book on the origins of the war. The intensive war planning throughout 2002 created its own momentum, according to "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward, fueled in part by the CIA's conclusion that Saddam Hussein could not be removed from power except through a war and CIA Director George J. Tenet's assurance to the president that it was a "slam dunk" case that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. In 31/2 hours of interviews with Woodward, an assistant managing editor at The Washington Post, Bush said that the secret planning was necessary to avoid "enormous international angst and domestic speculation" and that "war is my absolute last option." Adding to the momentum, Woodward writes, was the pressure from advocates of war inside the administration. Vice President Cheney, whom Woodward describes as a "powerful, steamrolling force," led that group and had developed what some of his colleagues felt was a "fever" about removing Hussein by force. By early January 2003, Bush had made up his mind to take military action against Iraq, according to the book. But Bush was so concerned that the government of his closest ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, might fall because of his support for Bush that he delayed the war's start until March 19 here (March 20 in Iraq) because Blair asked him to seek a second resolution from the United Nations. Bush later gave Blair the option of withholding British troops from combat, which Blair rejected. "I said I'm with you. I mean it," Blair replied. Woodward describes a relationship between Cheney and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that became so strained Cheney and Powell are barely on speaking terms. Cheney engaged in a bitter and eventually winning struggle over Iraq with Powell, an opponent of war who believed Cheney was obsessively trying to establish a connection between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network and treated ambiguous intelligence as fact. Powell felt Cheney and his allies -- his chief aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby; Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz; and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith and what Powell called Feith's "Gestapo" office -- had established what amounted to a separate government. The vice president, for his part, believed Powell was mainly concerned with his own popularity and told friends at a dinner he hosted a year ago celebrating the outcome of the war that Powell was a problem and "always had major reservations about what we were trying to do." Before the war with Iraq, Powell bluntly told Bush that if he sent U.S. troops there "you're going to be owning this place." Powell and his deputy and closest friend, Richard L. Armitage, used to refer to what they called "the Pottery Barn rule" on Iraq: "You break it, you own it," according to Woodward. But, when asked personally by the president, Powell agreed to make the U.S. case against Hussein at the United Nations in February 2003, a presentation described by White House communications director Dan Bartlett as "the Powell buy-in." Bush wanted someone with Powell's credibility to present the evidence that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, a case the president had initially found less than convincing when presented to him by CIA Deputy Director John E. McLaughlin at a White House meeting on Dec. 21, 2002. McLaughlin's version used communications intercepts, satellite photos, diagrams and other intelligence. "Nice try," Bush said when the CIA official was finished, according to the book. "I don't think this quite -- it's not something that Joe Public would understand or would gain a lot of confidence from." He then turned to Tenet, McLaughlin's boss, and said, "I've been told all this intelligence about having WMD, and this is the best we've got?" "It's a slam-dunk case," Tenet replied, throwing his arms in the air. Bush pressed him again. "George, how confident are you?" "Don't worry, it's a slam dunk," Tenet repeated. Tenet later told associates he should have said the evidence on weapons was not ironclad, according to Woodward. After the CIA director made a rare public speech in February defending the CIA's handling of intelligence about Iraq, Bush called him to say he had done "a great job." In his previous book, "Bush at War," Woodward described the administration's response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: its decision to attack the Taliban government in Afghanistan and its increasing focus on Iraq. His new book is a narrative history of how Bush and his administration launched the war on Iraq. It is based on interviews with more than 75 people, including Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. On Nov. 21, 2001, 72 days after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Bush directed Rumsfeld to begin planning for war with Iraq. "Let's get started on this," Bush recalled saying. "And get Tommy Franks looking at what it would take to protect America by removing Saddam Hussein if we have to." He also asked: Could this be done on a basis that would not be terribly noticeable? Bush received his first detailed briefing on Iraq war plans five weeks later, on Dec. 28, when Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the head of the U.S. Central Command, visited Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Tex. Bush told reporters afterward that they had discussed Afghanistan. While it has been previously reported that Bush directed the Pentagon to begin considering options for an invasion of Iraq immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush's order to Rumsfeld began an intensive process in which Franks worked in secret with a small staff, talked almost daily with the defense secretary and met about once a month with Bush. This week, the president acknowledged that the violent uprising against U.S. troops in Iraq has resulted in "a tough, tough series of weeks for the American people." But he insisted that his course of action in Iraq has been the correct one in language that echoed what he told Woodward more than four months ago. In two interviews with Woodward in December, Bush minimized the failure to find the weapons of mass destruction, expressed no doubts about his decision to invade Iraq, and enunciated an activist role for the United States based on it being "the beacon for freedom in the world." "I believe we have a duty to free people," Bush told Woodward. "I would hope we wouldn't have to do it militarily, but we have a duty." The president described praying as he walked outside the Oval Office after giving the order to begin combat operations against Iraq, and the powerful role his religious beliefs played throughout that time. "Going into this period, I was praying for strength to do the Lord's will. . . . I'm surely not going to justify war based upon God. Understand that. Nevertheless, in my case I pray that I be as good a messenger of His will as possible. And then, of course, I pray for personal strength and for forgiveness." The president told Woodward: "I am prepared to risk my presidency to do what I think is right. I was going to act. And if it could cost the presidency, I fully realized that. But I felt so strongly that it was the right thing to do that I was prepared to do so." Asked by Woodward how history would judge the war, Bush replied: "History. We don't know. We'll all be dead." The president told Woodward he was cooperating on his book because he wanted the story of how the United States had gone to war in Iraq to be told. He said it would be a blueprint of historical significance that "will enable other leaders, if they feel like they have to go to war, to spare innocent citizens and their lives." "But the news of this, in my judgment," Bush added, "the big news out of this isn't how George W. makes decisions. To me the big news is America has changed how you fight and win war, and therefore makes it easier to keep the peace in the long run. And that's the historical significance of this book, as far as I'm concerned." Bush's critics have questioned whether he and his administration were focused on Iraq rather than terrorism when they took office early in 2001 and even after the Sept. 11 attacks. Former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill and former White House counterterrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke have made that charge in recently published memoirs. According to "Plan of Attack," it was Cheney who was particularly focused on Iraq before the terrorist attacks. Before Bush's inauguration, Cheney sent word to departing Defense Secretary William S. Cohen that he wanted the traditional briefing given an incoming president to be a serious "discussion about Iraq and different options." Bush specifically assigned Cheney to focus as vice president on intelligence scenarios, particularly the possibility that terrorists would obtain nuclear or biological weapons. Early discussions among the administration's national security "principals" -- Cheney, Powell, Tenet and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice -- and their deputies focused on how to weaken Hussein diplomatically. But Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz proposed sending in the military to seize Iraq's southern oil fields and establish the area as a foothold from which opposition groups could overthrow Hussein. Powell dismissed the plan as "lunacy," according to Woodward, and told Bush what he thought. "You don't have to be bullied into this," Powell said. Bush told Woodward he never saw a formal plan for a quick strike. "The idea may have floated around as an interesting nugget to chew on," he said. White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., according to Woodward, compared Bush to a circus rider with one foot on a "diplomacy" steed and the other on a "war" steed, both heading toward the same destination: regime change in Iraq. When it was clear that diplomacy would not get him to his goal, Card said, Bush let go of that horse and rode the one called war. But as the planning proceeded, the administration began taking steps that Woodward describes as helping to make war inevitable. On Feb. 16, 2002, Bush signed an intelligence finding that directed the CIA to help the military overthrow Hussein and conduct operations within Iraq. At the time, according to "Plan of Attack," the CIA had only four informants in Iraq and told Bush that it would be impossible to overthrow Hussein through a coup. In July, a CIA team entered northern Iraq and began to lay the groundwork for covert action, eventually recruiting an extensive network of 87 Iraqi informants code-named ROCKSTARS who gave the U.S. detailed information on Iraqi forces, including a CD-ROM containing the personnel files of the Iraq Special Security Organization (SSO). Woodward writes that the CIA essentially became an advocate for war first by asserting that covert action would be ineffective, and later by saying that its new network of spies would be endangered if the United States did not attack Iraq. Another factor in the gathering momentum were the forces the military began shifting to Kuwait, the pre-positioning that was a key component of Franks's planning. In the summer of 2002, Bush approved $700 million worth of "preparatory tasks" in the Persian Gulf region such as upgrading airfields, bases, fuel pipelines and munitions storage depots to accommodate a massive U.S. troop deployment. The Bush administration funded the projects from a supplemental appropriations bill for the war in Afghanistan and old appropriations, keeping Congress unaware of the reprogramming of money and the eventual cost. During that summer, Powell and Cheney engaged in some of their sharpest debates. Powell argued that the United States should take its case to the United Nations, which Cheney said was a waste of time. Woodward had described some of that conflict in "Bush at War." Among Powell's allies was Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Bush's father, who wrote an op-ed piece against the war for the Wall Street Journal. After it was published in August 2002, Powell thanked Scowcroft for giving him "some running room." But Rice called Scowcroft to tell her former boss that it looked as if he was speaking for Bush's father and that the article was a slap at the incumbent president. Despite Powell's admonitions to the president, "Plan of Attack" suggests it was Blair who may have played a more critical role in persuading Bush to seek a resolution from the United Nations. At a meeting with the president at Camp David in early September, Blair backed Bush on Iraq but said he needed to show he had tried U.N. diplomacy. Bush agreed, and later referred to the Camp David session with Blair as "the cojones meeting," using a colloquial Spanish term for courage. After the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the resumption of weapons inspections in Iraq, Bush became increasingly impatient with their effectiveness and the role of chief weapons inspector Hans Blix. Shortly after New Year's 2003, he told Rice at his Texas ranch: "We're not winning. Time is not on our side here. Probably going to have to, we're going to have to go to war." Bush said much the same thing to White House political adviser Karl Rove, who had gone to Crawford to brief him on plans for his reelection campaign. In the next 10 days, Bush also made his decision known to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Bandar, who helped arrange Saudi cooperation with the U.S. military, feared Saudi interests would be damaged if Bush did not follow through on attacking Hussein, and became another advocate for war. According to "Plan of Attack," Bush asked Rice and his longtime communications adviser, Karen Hughes, whether he should attack Iraq, but he did not specifically ask Powell or Rumsfeld. "I could tell what they thought," the president said. "I didn't need to ask their opinion about Saddam Hussein or how to deal with Saddam Hussein. If you were sitting where I sit, you could be pretty clear." Rumsfeld, whom Woodward interviewed for three hours, is portrayed in the book as a "defense technocrat" intimately involved with details of the war planning but not focused on the need to attack Iraq in the same way that Cheney and some of Rumsfeld's subordinates such as Wolfowitz and Feith were. Bush told Powell of his decision in a brief meeting in the White House. Evidently concerned about Powell's reaction, he said, "Are you with me on this? I think I have to do this. I want you with me." "I'll do the best I can," Powell answered. "Yes, sir, I will support you. I'm with you, Mr. President." Bush said he did not remember asking the question of his father, former president George H.W. Bush, who fought Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. But, he added that the two had discussed developments in Iraq. "You know he is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength. There is a higher father that I appeal to," Bush said. Describing what the 41st president said to him about Iraq, the 43rd president told Woodward: "It was less 'Here's how you have to take care of the guy [Hussein]' and more 'I've been through what you've been through and I know what's happening and therefore I love you' would be a more accurate way to describe it." =A9 2004 The Washington Post Company __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Tax Center - File online by April 15th http://taxes.yahoo.com/filing.html --__--__-- Message: 4 From: "k hanly" <khanly@DELETETHISmb.sympatico.ca> To: "newsclippings" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: "pen" <email@example.com> Subject: Nutcase rock and roll psy warfare ops Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 10:58:14 -0500 http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsindex/17-ds3.htm Dirty deeds done dirt cheap Along Fallujah's front line, U.S. uses rock 'n' roll to snag insurgents Saturday, April 17, 2004 By Jason Keyser The Associated Press ---------------------------------------------------------------------------= - ---- FALLUJAH, Iraq - In Fallujah's darkened, empty streets, U.S. troops blast AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" and other rock music full volume from a huge speaker= , hoping to grate on the nerves of this Sunni Muslim city's gunmen and give a laugh to Marines along the front line. Unable to advance farther into the city, an Army psychological operations team hopes a mix of heavy metal and insults shouted in Arabic - including, "You shoot like a goat herder" - will draw gunmen to step forward and attack. But no luck Thursday night. The loud music recalls the Army's use of rap and rock to help flush out Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega after the December 1989 invasion on his country, and the FBI's blaring progressively more irritating tunes in an attempt to end a standoff with armed members of the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, in 1993. The Marines' psychological operations came as U.S. negotiators were pressin= g Fallujah representatives to get gunmen in the city to abide by a cease-fire= . Six days after negotiations halted a U.S. offensive against insurgents in the city, the Marines continue carving out front-line positions and hope fo= r orders to push forward. Many are questioning the value of truce talks with an enemy who continues to launch attacks. "These guys don't have a centralized leader; they're just here to fight. I don't see what negotiations are going to do," said Capt. Shannon Johnson, a company commander for the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. Word of truce talks last week forced his battalion to halt its plunge into the northeast section of the city just hours after arriving to back up other Marines. In the meantime, perhaps the fiercest enemy - everyone here seems to agree = - is the boredom, and worst of all the flies that pepper this dusty Euphrates River city west of Baghdad. Marines burn them, using matches to turn cans o= f flammable bug spray into mini blow torches. They also try to kill them by sprinkling diesel fuel over fly colonies. They joke about calling in air strikes. Fallujah's front lines remain dangerous. On Friday, insurgents fired several mortars at U.S. forces. One of the shells blasted a chunk out of a house where Marines are positioned, filling the building with dust and smoke. No one was injured. A short time later, an F-16 jet dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on the city, sending up a massive spray of dirt and smoke and destroying a building wher= e Marines had spotted gunmen. "The longer we wait to push into the city, the more dangerous it's going to be," said Cpl. Miles Hill, 21, from Oklahoma, playing a game of chess with = a fellow Marine in a house they control. "(The insurgents) have time to set stuff up." He guesses the insurgents are likely rigging doors with explosives, knowing Marines will kick them in during searches if they sweep the city. Up on the roof, Pfc. James Cathcart, 18, kept watch from a sandbagged machine-gunner's nest Friday. His platoon commander passed along word that troops found a weapons cache that included a Soviet-made sniper rifle with = a night-sight. "A night-sight, sir?" he said, surprised that insurgents had the technology= . His commander told him to keep his head down. "Everyone here wants to push forward. Here, you're just a target," Cathcart said. The young Marine looked out over grim city blocks around a dusty soccer pitch and a trash-strewn lot, as a rain shower passed over. He said during the long hours of duty, he wonders what the insurgents are doing, how many there are and if they're watching him. Adding to the eery feeling up, he said, are the music and speeches in Arabi= c that come over mosque loudspeakers. Unable to advance farther, Marines holed up in front-line houses have linke= d the buildings by blasting or hammering holes through walls between them and laying planks across gaps between rooftops, a series of passageways they call the "rat line." Lying on his stomach on a rooftop and wearing goggles and earplugs, a Marin= e sniper keeps an eye to his rifle sight. His main task in recent days has been trying to hit the black-garbed gunmen who occasionally dash across the long street in front of him. To dodge his shots, one of the gunmen recently launched into a rolling dive across the street, a move that had the sniper and his buddies laughing. "I think I got him later. The same guy came back and tried to do a low crawl," said Lance Cpl. Khristopher Williams, 20, from Fort Myers, Fla. Others have run across the street, hiding behind children on bicycles, said the sniper. In his position - reachable only by scaling the outside ledge o= f a building - he sits for hours with his finger poised on the trigger of a rifle that fires 50-caliber armor-piercing bullets with such force that the muzzle flash and exiting gasses from the weapon have blackened the bricks around the gun. On the street in front of his position sits a car riddled with bullets, where the bloated, fly-infested bodies of three armed men have been left. The vehicle was shot by Marine gunmen before the sniper set up his position= . Along the front line, Marines have been firing warning shots to scare away dogs chewing on corpses. In some cases, the troops have wrapped bodies in blankets and buried them in shallow graves. At night, the psychological operations unit attached to the Marine battalio= n here sends out messages from a loudspeaker mounted on an armored Humvee. On Thursday night, the crew and its Arabic-language interpreter taunted fighters, saying, "May all the ambulances in Fallujah have enough fuel to pick up the bodies of the mujahadeen." The message was specially timed for an attack moments later by an AC-130 gunship that pounded targets in the city. Later, the team blasted Jimi Hendrix and other rock music, and afterward some sound effects like babies crying, men screaming, a symphony of cats an= d barking dogs and piercing screeches. They were unable to draw any gunmen to fight, and seemed disappointed. =A9 2004 Associated Press - All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. --__--__-- Message: 5 From: "ppg" <ppg@DELETETHISnyc.rr.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Andrew Gilligan- now from Baghdad Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 12:36:07 -0400 Spectator UK http://tinyurl.com/2kvb9 17 April 2004 The sound of rockets in the morning Iraq is a disaster in the making, says Andrew Gilligan, unless the American= s learn to stop playing into the hands of their enemies Baghdad Twelve months after the war which was supposed to return Iraq to the =91international community=92, to open it up for democracy, trade and progr= ess, Baghdad is a city almost totally cut off from the outside world. Not one of the four main roads linking the capital with its neighbours, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Kuwait, is safe to travel on. At the city approaches from north, south and west, Baghdad has gunmen like London has DIY warehouses. Iraqis are routinely stopped and robbed. As for foreigners, anyone stupid enough to try these roads has, in the last few days, almost always ended up a hostage, or dead. There is only one comparatively safe way in for Westerners =97 a single dai= ly flight from Amman with Royal Jordanian, the last civil airline still reckless enough to fly into the war zone. On board, RJ gallantly pretends that everything is normal. There are boarding passes, in-flight magazines, small beige meals on plastic trays. But then you notice that the entire cre= w seem to be South African. Many of your fellow passengers are wearing stetsons. And when we come in to land, it is with a plummeting, G-force-inducing corkscrew descent, designed to confuse anti-aircraft missiles and keep the insurgents guessing about our final angle of approach until the last possible moment. On the road in from the airport, all the palm trees have been chopped down to provide clear fields of fire. The parapets of every overbridge are toppe= d with high barbed-wire fences to prevent the grateful locals throwing rocks at us. The terminal itself is a =91sterile zone=92, with no Iraqi and no civilian motor vehicle allowed within two miles of it. The first port of call, after dropping your bags at the hotel, is the Royal Jordanian office to make absolutely sure of your seat out. The scene there is like Saigon, say, two weeks before the fall: not quite open panic just yet, but not far off it. The price of a return ticket for the 80-minute flight has risen to =A3850. The Coalition=92s loss of the most basic of all possible military necessities =97 the security of its own supply, not to mention escape, routes =97 says everything about the terrible mess it now finds itself in. After the final collapse, earlier this year, of the case on weapons of mass destruction, the events of the last ten days have ruthlessly stripped away all Whitehall=92s and Washington=92s other remaining fantasies, deceptions = and pretences about Iraq: that the situation is =91gradually improving=92, that= the Iraqi people welcome us, that the resistance is confined to =91internationa= l terrorists=92 and Baathist =91remnants=92 determined to recapture the golde= n days of Saddam. These must be the world=92s only known =91remnants=92 which grow= bigger every week. In Britain=92s case, there is also loss of the greatest delusion of all =97= that the British have any control whatever over the actions of the Coalition. British officials have been reduced to complaining to newspapers that they wouldn=92t do it like this, never the best of signs. The main US military spokesman, Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt, is quite clearly a man in denial. As recently as Tuesday, he was still claiming that the fighting in the main battlefield, Fallujah, was all due to foreign fighters, including the =91key al-Qa=92eda linchpin=92, Abu Musab al-Zarqaw= i, who has been linked by the Americans to more terrorist attacks than Semtex. Yet only about 5 per cent of those captured or killed in Fallujah have been foreigners. Kimmitt is the same man who greeted the beginning of the violence last week as a =91localised uptick=92. Watching Kimmitt=92s performance, it suddenly dawned on me that the Coaliti= on is in the same position as Saddam was during the war, living in a bunker, convincing himself that everything was fine when all around the seeds of failure were being sown. What has been lost since 4 April is not territory: that can, and no doubt will, be regained, the supply routes re-secured; the military force facing the Americans is not that great. What has been lost i= s credibility, both in the eyes of the world and, more importantly, among the Iraqi people themselves. The loss of credibility is nowhere more apparent than in the promises made, and broken, about the new, postwar Iraq. Waiting in line at the Royal Jordanian ticket counter, I flip through a British government dossier. Not the famous, sexed-up weapons of mass destruction one, nor even the PhD thesis ripped off by Dr Alastair Campbell, but the very final effort, the DeLorean 83 Series, of the legendary Downing Street dossier production line= . This dossier, entitled =91A vision for Iraq and the Iraqi people=92, with a foreword by the Prime Minister, plopped on to the newsdesks on 16 March 2003, four days before the outbreak of war. Not surprisingly, it attracted little attention, and was published only on the Foreign Office website, the dossier equivalent of straight-to-video. But it repays reading now. =91We=92ve set out for you that should it come to conflict, we make a pledg= e to the people of Iraq,=92 writes Mr Blair. The pledges were for =91peace: a un= ified Iraq living at peace with itself=92, for =91freedom: an Iraq whose people l= ive free from repression and the fear of arbitrary arrest=92, and for =91good government: an Iraq respecting the rule of law, whose government helps rebuild Iraq=92s security and provides its people with food, water and high quality public services, especially health and education=92. The UN, pledge= s the Prime Minister, will be heavily involved in Iraq=92s reconstruction and will administer the country=92s oil revenues. A year on, none of these reasonably modest promises has been carried out, not even the one about freedom from repression (attacking a civilian city with helicopter gunships, as the Americans did last week, can hardly be described as community policing). Back in Baghdad for the first time since the war, I cannot help feeling the most striking sense of d=E9j=E0 vu. The Palestine Hotel, from which I covered the conflict, is as wretched as ever, down to the last carpet stain and the 15-minute wait for the lifts. The rickety concrete is still shaken by bombs and mortars; the early-morning insurgent rocket attack on the Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters across the river, and the blastaway American response, have become so regular that they are known to the Palestine=92s inmates as the =91Dawn Cho= rus=92. Just as in the war, only this time for safety reasons, it is not possible t= o travel outside Baghdad. A few things have changed. There are mobile telephones and satellite TV; my Baghdad friends were able to watch my travails last summer on BBC World. Looking at things from a distinctively Iraqi perspective, they all seemed convinced that the British government had put me in prison. I had to reassure them that Lord Hutton did not have quite such impressive powers as Saddam Hussein. But there seems to have been virtually no new construction, or reconstruction =97 not even always a making good of the depredations of = the war. At the Yarmuk hospital, where I spent several messy hours during the bombing, the bloodstains have been cleaned from the walls, but even now not all the medical equipment looted in the days after the liberation has been replaced. In the Jumhuriya district of Baghdad, temporary home of thousands of refugees from Fallujah, Iraqi hospitality towards foreigners is strained. But I am eventually offered a glass of tea. =91The problem with the America= ns in Fallujah is that they do not distinguish between friend and enemy,=92 sa= id Najim Abdullah al-Azzawi, a building contractor. =91So everyone ends up as = an enemy.=92 Later, in a different part of town, I have a chance to observe the truth of this maxim for myself. I am at the al-Mustansria University when it is raided by the Americans for the second time that day. Sausen al-Samir, the head of the English department, is showing me the damage they did on their first visit =97 smashed doors and windows, broken furniture, a trashed photocopier =97 when the campus is again surrounded and men in boots burst = up the stairs. =91F=97ing get out of here,=92 screams one of the soldiers, poi= nting his gun at us. =91This is a Coalition operation.=92 Al-Samir, furious, stands her ground, demanding to be taken to the commanding officer, Major Williams. =91I want an apology for this morning,= =92 she says. =91Ma=92am, I=92m not in the apology business given what we found= here,=92 he replies. Later the major takes me aside and shows me the haul: nine Kalashnikovs, a pistol, a rocket-propelled grenade and leaflets calling for violence against the Coalition. The raid is perfectly justified, but you ca= n =92t help thinking they could have done it more politely. Was it really necessary to break all the doors down? Don=92t the university staff have ke= ys? How do the soldiers know that the leaflets were produced on the photocopier they smashed =97 and anyway, don=92t rather a lot of other people need the copier, too? =91We will look into all that, sir,=92 says the major. =91But = you do see what we=92re up against.=92 I do, which is why it makes sense not to manufacture even more difficulties for yourself. The Americans=92 new Clerical Enemy No.1, Muqtada al-Sadr, might also come into the category of a manufactured difficulty. He does have a real following, but a minority one. He has no scholarly achievements to his name= , no religious qualifications. In a milieu where age and experience is very important, al-Sadr is touchingly sensitive about his extreme youth. Rather like a Western supermodel, though of course in reverse, it is impossible to obtain an accurate report of his age. His followers claim he is 32, but unkind critics say he is only 24. Like so many other kids these days, al-Sadr may be a little low on all that religion stuff, but he does understand the virtue of branding. In a remarkable display of political chutzpah, he capitalised on the power vacuum in the immediate aftermath of war to rename an entire Baghdad district of two million people after himself =97 or, more properly, his deceased father and uncle, both revered figures in the Shia pantheon. He expanded his large network of social and municipal services in the Shia slums; =91Sadr City=92 contains, among many = other things, a Muqtada al-Sadr Orphanage, where the sexes are segregated and the boys get three times more space than the girls. Stern pictures of al-Sadr holding up an admonishing index finger decorate many public buildings in Sadr City. You do wonder how anyone who can allow himself to be depicted in so cheesy a manner can become such a big deal. The answer, of course, is th= e Americans. Rather like Mohammed Aideed in Somalia, the Americans have seized on al-Sad= r as the embodiment of all that is rotten in the state of Iraq. Just as with Aideed, all they have succeeded in doing is elevating him to a position of greater credibility. Al-Sadr=92s Mahdi army, let it not be forgotten, was mobilised for the =91final struggle=92 last week. But it has ended up withdrawing from almost all the towns it seized. Only a serious attack by the Americans on al-Sadr could give him the catalyst he seeks. As I write, the Americans are surrounding the holy city of Najaf, promising to =91seize= or kill=92 the great man. Al-Sadr, quite clearly overjoyed by the prospect, ha= s been giving TV interviews promising to resist to the death. The Americans are paying dearly for their rush to war and their spurning of the United Nations. If the occupation had been a UN effort, it would not have been an occupation; and last week would probably never have happened. Withdrawal would be an unthinkable humiliation. As this week=92s request fo= r more troops showed, the Coalition=92s only possible way forward is to get sucked in deeper. Nobody knows when the Iraqi elections will be. The insurgents, on the other hand, know exactly when the US and British elections are going to be. There are now 40 hostages, of 12 different nationalities, held in Iraq. But the real hostages are George Bush and Tony Blair. Andrew Gilligan is defence and diplomatic editor of The Spectator. --__--__-- Message: 6 Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 10:42:41 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: Death of Scores of Mercenaries Not Reported To: CASI newsclippings <email@example.com> http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=5332 Death of Scores of Mercenaries Not Reported by Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn The Star April 15, 2004 April 13 2004: "The Star" Baghdad - At least 80 foreign mercenaries - security guards recruited from the United States, Europe and South Africa and working for American companies - have been killed in the past eight days in Iraq. Lieutenant-General Mark Kimmitt admitted on Tuesday that "about 70" American and other Western troops had died during the Iraqi insurgency since April 1 but he made no mention of the mercenaries, apparently fearful that the full total of Western dead would have serious political fallout. He did not give a figure for Iraqi dead, which, across the country may be as high as 900. At least 18 000 mercenaries, many of them tasked to protect US troops and personnel, are now believed to be in Iraq, some of them earning $1 000 (about R6 300) a day. But their companies rarely acknowledge their losses unless - like the four American murdered and mutilated in Fallujah three weeks ago - their deaths are already public knowledge. The presence of such large numbers of mercenaries, first publicised in The Independent two weeks ago, was bound to lead to further casualties. But although many of the heavily armed Western security men are working for the US Department of Defence - and most of them are former Special Forces soldiers - they are not listed as serving military personnel. Their losses can therefore be hidden from public view. The US authorities in Iraq, however, are aware that more Western mercenaries lost their lives in the past week than occupation soldiers over the past 14 days. The coalition has sought to rely on foreign contract workers to reduce the number of soldiers it uses as drivers, guards and in other jobs normally carried out by uniformed soldiers. Often the foreign contract workers are highly paid former soldiers who are armed with automatic weapons, leading to Iraqis viewing all foreign workers as possible mercenaries or spies. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Tax Center - File online by April 15th http://taxes.yahoo.com/filing.html End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk