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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 firstname.lastname@example.org Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to email@example.com. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. Ho, Ho, Ho - It was about the oil, stupid .... (farbuthnot) 2. 1)Why should Americans have to die by Patrick J. Buchanan 2) The Neo-tailors (John Churchilly) 3. Iraqis train Americans (farbuthnot) 4. Iraq Vs. Tsunami: The Duplicity Of The Media (Mark Parkinson) 5. Tsunami Disaster Highlights Corporate Media Hypocrisy (Mark Parkinson) 6. 60,000 people register to vote in Iraq (The Iraq Solidarity Campaign) --__--__-- Message: 1 Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 16:42:15 +0000 Subject: Ho, Ho, Ho - It was about the oil, stupid .... From: "farbuthnot" <asceptic@DELETETHISfreenetname.co.uk> To: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] And an interim government has no such powers- reason for pushing on with th= e farcical elections I wonder, cynically, felicity a. Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article =A0 =A0Published on Friday, December 24, 2004 by the Inter Press Service US to Take Bigger Bite of Iraq's Economic Pie 'Helping' Govt Cut Social Subsidies, Give US Corporations Full Access to Iraqi Oil by Emad Mekay =A0 WASHINGTON - The United States is helping the interim Iraqi government continue to make major economic changes, including cuts to social subsidies= , full access for U.S. companies to the nation's oil reserves and reconsideration of oil deals that the previous regime signed with France an= d Russia. During a visit here this week, officials of the U.S.-backed administration detailed some of the economic moves planned for Iraq, many of them appearin= g to give U.S. corporations greater reach into the occupied nation's economy. For example, the current leadership is looking at privatizing the Iraqi National Oil Company, said Finance Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi. The government, which is supposed to be replaced after elections scheduled for January, will also pass a new law that will further open Iraq's huge oi= l reserves to foreign companies. U.S. firms are expected to gain the lion's share of access in a process estimated to be worth billions of dollars. "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to America= n enterprises, certainly to oil companies," Abdel Mahdi said at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Abdel Hadi, formerly a member of the exile Iraqi opposition, said the interim government will also reconsider deals signed between French and Russians oil firms and the regime of former President Saddam Hussein. It is still not clear whether those contracts will be cancelled altogether or jus= t reduced. France and Russia both opposed the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of the Arab country and companies from those nations were initially banned by the U.S. occupation administration, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), from helping to "rebuild" Iraq. Washington later said non-U.S. firms could work there, after the world's rich nations agreed to forgive part of Iraq's debt, a decision that opened the door to Baghdad signing on to a loan program designed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But to date all contracts let for "reconstruction" by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have gone to U.S. firms, which have then subcontracted some work to foreign companies. Iraq's oil sector is essential both to world energy markets and to the nation's economy. Iraq sits on the planet's second largest oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia, and oil revenues account for more than 95 percent of th= e country's current budget. (The rest comes mainly from taxes and profits of certain state-owned enterprises). Iraq is now producing a maximum 2.5 million barrels of oil a day (bpd), which drops to around two million bpd during attacks from the armed opposition. But Baghdad says it expects to produce 3.5 million bpd when more U.S. companies move in and security improves. "We found it very useful and interesting to hear the representatives of the government describe some of the preliminary thinking about structuring of the state-owned oil sector in Iraq," said Alan Larson, undersecretary of state for economic, business and agriculture, during the press club conference with Iraqi officials. Washington is also expanding its influence in Iraq's oil sector via trainin= g programs. During meetings this week of the Iraq-U.S. Joint Economic Commission (JEC), the body that coordinates U.S. plans for Iraq's economy, Larson said the United States will provide training for oil-sector personnel, at U.S. universities. Since it invaded Iraq, the United States has worked to reshape the Arab nation in its image. All the economic programs., including the most liberal tax scheme in the Middle East and nearly non-existent trade tariffs, instituted by the CPA are being continued by the interim government. Washington has installed hundreds of U.S. economic advisors in all Iraqi government ministries, who have a decisive say on most economic decisions. It has also sponsored the bulk of the nation's economic changes, based on a neo-liberal model that emphasizes privatization of government entities and cuts to social spending. One major move the country is inching towards under U.S. guardianship, whic= h was discussed this week, is a rollback of Iraq's huge subsidies system, which may have kept millions of Iraqis from starvation under U.S. and UK-backed sanctions imposed by the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War. The sanctions lasted for 12 years. A study by the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Iraq's Ministry of Health found that 500,000 more Iraqi children died under sanctions, from 1991 to 1998, than would have otherwise perished, but they stressed that not all the deaths could be directly blame= d on the provisions. It is believed that many more Iraqis would have died if not for a strong subsidies system that gave food rations to Iraqi families. Under its October agreement with the IMF, Baghdad's interim leaders agreed to cut the support, among many other conditions. Officials defended the mov= e during their Washington visit. "I think this is a necessity for the Iraqi economy," Abdel Mahdi said. "We really need to work on our subsidy side. Subsidies are taking almost 60 percent of our budget. So this is something we have to work on =8A Other measures really were a real necessity for the Iraqi economy before (becoming) conditions asked by the IMF." Iraqi officials say the country's unemployment rate is now 27 percent, but some groups have estimated it to be as high as 50 percent. The IMF has been notorious for imposing conditions that its economists say are necessary to slash nation's budget deficits. Development groups and anti-poverty campaigners argue those measures favor corporations in the most industrialized nations while harming the poor and middle class in borrowing countries. The program with Iraq appears to be no different. Called the "enhanced post-conflict facility," the IMF program bestows 420 million dollars in loans to the Iraqi government as a first step, promising more in 2005 if the nation meets more demanding conditions. The IMF, which is dominated by the United States and other rich nations, ha= s said it is willing to loan Iraq 2.5-4.3 billion dollars over three years no= w that an internationally recognized government is in place in the nation. Washington also brokered talks that began two weeks ago to make Iraq a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). During this week's meeting of the JEC, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said it will focus on lending for Iraq's agricultural sector, which will include over 100 demonstration projects throughout the country to reinvigorate crops and to boost the industry, wit= h the help of U.S. companies. The United States Treasury and USAID also said they will back a housing fun= d in Iraq, which will start lending in January 2005 and is designed to add 30,000 new residential units in and around Baghdad during the year. Many U.S. companies will be involved. Washington is also pushing lending programs. to Iraq through the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S= . Trade and Development Agency, all of which would produce more opportunities for U.S. firms in the occupied nation. =A9 Copyright 2004 IPS - Inter Press Service --__--__-- Message: 2 Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 14:59:20 -0800 (PST) From: John Churchilly <meso999@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: 1)Why should Americans have to die by Patrick J. Buchanan 2) The Neo-tailors To: analysis CASI- <firstname.lastname@example.org> [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] http://www.uruknet.info/?p=3D8452 'Staying the Course' Won't DoPatrick J. Buchanan, AntiWar December 27, 2004 - In the aftermath of the suicide bombing of the Mosul me= ss hall, we are being admonished anew we must stay the course in Iraq. But = "Stay the course!" is no longer enough. President Bush needs to go on national television and tell us the unvarnish= ed truth. Why are we still there? For some of Bush's countrymen, there is a= sense of having been had, of having been made victim to one of the great b= ait-and-switches in the history of warfare. The president, his War Cabinet, and the neocon punditocracy sold us on this= war by implying Saddam was implicated in 9/11, that he had a vast arsenal = of chemical and biological weapons, that he was working on an atom bomb, th= at he would transfer his terror weapons to al-Qaeda. We had to invade, dest= roy, and disarm his axis-of-evil regime. Only thus could we be secure. None of this was true. But the president won that debate and was given a fr= ee hand to invade Iraq. He did so, and overthrew Saddam's regime in three w= eeks. "Mission Accomplished!" That was 20 months ago. What is our mission now? When did it change? With 1= ,300 dead and nearly 10,000 wounded, why are we still at war with these peo= ple? The president says the enemy is "terrorism" and "evil," and we fight for "d= emocracy" and that "freedom" that is "God's gift to humanity." All very nob= le. But why should Americans have to die for democracy in a nation that has nev= er known it? Democracy in the Middle East is not vital to our national secu= rity. For though the Middle East has never been democratic, no Middle East = nation has ever attacked us. And should we catch a nation that is supportin= g terror against us, we have the weapons to make them pay a hellish price, = without invading and occupying their country. The only nation in the 20th century to attack us was Japan. And Japan lashe= d out, insanely, in desperation, because we had cut off her oil and convinc= ed the British and Dutch to cut off the vital commodities she needed to avo= id imperial defeat in China. We were choking the Japanese empire to death. We might all prefer that Arab nations be democratic. But that is not vital = to us. If they remain despotic, that is their problem, so long as they do n= ot threaten or attack us. But to invade an Islamic country to force it to a= dopt democratic reforms is democratic imperialism. If we practice it, we mu= st expect that some of those we are reforming will resort to the time-honor= ed weapon of anti-imperialists, terrorism =96 the one effective weapon the = weak have against the strong. Yet, if our goals appear gauzy and vague, our enemy's war aims appear speci= fic, concrete, and understandable. They seek our expulsion from Iraq and th= e eradication of all "collaborators." And the tactics they are using are th= e same as those the FLN used to drive the French out of Algeria. To us, democracy may mean New England town meetings. To the Sunnis, democra= cy means a one-man, one-vote path to power for the Shias, 60 percent of Ira= q's population, who will dispossess them of the power and place they have h= eld since Ottoman times. Why should people to whom politics is about power = =96 "Who, whom?" in Lenin's phrase =96 not fight that? And why should we fi= ght and die for a Shia-dominated Iraq? Before addressing his countrymen, the president needs to ask and answer for= himself some hard questions. Who told him this would be a "cakewalk"? Who = misled him to believe we would be welcomed as liberators with bouquets of f= lowers? Who led him into a situation where his choice appears to be between= a seemingly endless guerrilla war that could destroy his presidency, and w= alking away from Iraq and watching it collapse in mayhem and the massacre o= f those who cast their lot with us? Why have these fools not been fired, li= ke the CIA geniuses who sold JFK on the Bay of Pigs? It is not just President Bush who is in this hellish mess. We're all in it = together. But the president needs to know that if he intends to use U.S. mi= litary power to democratize the Middle East, Americans =96 56 percent of wh= om now believe Iraq was a mistake ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dy= n/A14266-2004Dec20?la nguage=3Dprinter ) =96 will not follow him. Finally, the president must answer in his heart this question: Exactly how = much more blood and money is he willing to plunge into a war for democracy = in Iraq, and at what point must he decide =96 as LBJ and Nixon did in Vietn= am =96 that the cost to America is so great that we must get out and risk t= he awful consequences of a mistaken war that we should never have launched? COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC. --------------------------QQQQQQQQQQQQ-------------- The emperor's same, old clothesH.D.S. Greenway December 17, 2004 ONCE UPON a time there was an emperor who wanted new clothes. He had ascend= ed to the same throne upon which his father had sat. But for eight long yea= rs previously usurpers had ruled. Now they were gone, and the new emperor d= ecreed that everything done in the last eight years would henceforth be con= sidered wrong. From now only the right would prevail. So saying, he discarded all the royal garments that reminded him of the usu= rper, and looked about him for a new firm of royal tailors. He appointed the firm of Cheney, Chalabi, and Wolfowitz, known as the Tailo= rs of Baghdad, as his official clothiers. Although it was a fine old firm, = they had never sold their goods to an emperor before. Indeed the emperor's = father had rejected them. But because of their wondrous, new, and revolutio= nary weaving techniques, some of the men in the firm came to be known as ne= o-tailors. They promised the monarch that he had only to wear their suit of clothes an= d all Baghdad would fall before him. And not just Baghdad, but all of Araby= as well. These liberated realms would accept the emperor's values, and the= empire could have access to their oil, their military bases, and all his n= ew subjects would joyfully fall over one another in praise of the emperor's= clothes. Mr. Chalabi even threw in an extra pair of pants for the same pri= ce. The emperor, a man who valued loyalty above all things, ordered the tailors= to make a suit of the same cloth for his Grand Vizier, the most powerful a= nd influential man in his Cabinet, who served also as the empire's minister= for war. Mr. Chalabi offered an extra pair of pants for the Grand Vizier a= s well. The wily tailors explained, however, that their new cloth was so special th= at it would be visible only to the virtuous. To those who lacked virtue the= threads would be invisible. And so they began to work. And late into the night the sounds of their shut= tlecocks and bobbins could be heard clacking and spinning as the weavers pl= ied their trade. On the appointed day the clothes were ready, and the emperor gathered all h= is courtiers together for an official viewing of his new garments. There wa= s general applause and compliments from the courtiers, who said that the ne= w clothes were bold and beautiful and symbolized the greatness of the empir= e. One courtier, who was in a position to know better, even called the new = clothes a "slam dunk," and would in due course be given the empire's highes= t civilian medal. There were a few who gasped because they saw nothing. But most kept their m= ouths shut because they didn't want to be seen as without virtue. And the f= ew who did try to warn the emperor were ignored. It came to pass that all Baghdad did fall before the emperor, and the tailo= rs were happy, the king was happy, and above all the Grand Vizier was happy= as his rivals lost influence. But then things started to go terribly wrong. First of all, the empire's ne= w subjects did not fall down in praise of the emperor's new clothes. They b= egan to take up arms against him. As the days and months progressed things = only got worse. The Grand Vizier, it seemed, never had an adequate plan, an= d the price for the new clothes kept rising. But he was nonetheless asked t= o continue his good work even as his rivals were banished from court. One day the Grand Vizier decided to go to Kuwait to boost the morale of his= soldiers who were being killed in defense of the empire. He appeared befor= e them in all his shining robes. Generals, colonels, and captains all clapp= ed and admired the preening vizier. But then a young solider spoke up and said to the Grand Vizier: "But you, s= ir, have no clothes on; just the way we haven't any armor for our trucks, a= nd we are being sent naked into battle." Now if Hans Christian Andersen were telling this story, it would become cle= ar to all that both the emperor and his Grand Vizier were standing naked be= fore them, but this has not yet come to pass. And the tailors? Well, Mr. Chalabi has left the firm, but the rest are busy= sewing a new set of clothes of which they hope the emperor will approve. I= t is to be cut from Iranian whole cloth. H.D.S. Greenway's column appears regularly in the Globe. ------------------QQQQQQQQQQQQQQ---------- --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? The all-new My Yahoo! =96 Get yours free! --__--__-- Message: 3 Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 10:50:43 +0000 Subject: Iraqis train Americans From: "farbuthnot" <asceptic@DELETETHISfreenetname.co.uk> To: email@example.com [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Words for once fail, best, felicity a.=A0 Iraqis help US troops prepare for battle - Jordan Times. =A0 =A0 =A0 EDINBURGH, Indiana (AP) =8B As American soldiers attempted to tow a Humvee = hit by a fake roadside bomb, Saleh Thanon, an Iraqi national, taunted them with insults. =B3Criminal, get out of my country!=B2 Thanon yelled in Arabic, heckling th= e troops in a mock Iraqi village. =B3I don't want you in my country. You're killing people.=B2 Harsh words for someone who professes to love America, b= ut Thanon is just doing his job. He's training troops for Iraq, and he wants them to be ready. The army has been using Iraqi nationals to help troops develop language and cultural skills since the invasion of that country in March 2003. They are among about 1,000 Arabic speakers the army uses for training, said Bob Close, spokesman for US army Forces Command. At least eight mobilisation stations are using Iraqis to help guard, reserv= e and active troops prepare for deployments, Close said. Among them are Camp Atterbury, near Indianapolis; the Joint Readiness Training Centre at Fort Polk, Louisiana; and the National Training Centre at Fort Irvine, California. Some days, the Iraqis play welcoming townspeople, friendly mayors or Iraqi police; on others, they portray terrorists or hostile villagers. The training represents a change in philosophy for the military, said David R. Segal, director of the Centre for Research on Military Organisation at the University of Maryland. Army troops have long received language help as they prepared for battle, but cultural training was non-existent in such conflicts as the Vietnam war, he said. Winning over the Iraqi people, who play a key role in this mission, is crucial to success, Segal said. =B3This is a war where cultural knowledge m= ay be more important than the number of bullets that you have,=B2 he said. Many of the participating Iraqis immigrated to the United States after the 1991 Gulf War to escape oppression under Saddam Hussein's regime. Some are now American citizens. Their work with US troops is coordinated by defense contractors such as Goldbelt Eagle, which is paid $15 million to provide role players at five military bases. President Wayne Smith said applicants typically hear about the jobs through word of mouth or recruiters. All participants must pass rigorous screenings by a private investigator an= d the government. Thanon and his friend Salim Alshimary said they sought the work to help their homeland. =B3I love this job, trying to help the US military understand my language a= nd my culture and save lives, both of them, the Iraq and the US,=B2 Thanon sai= d. Alshimary, 36, of Basra, Iraq, said he deserted from the Iraqi army after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. He believes he would have been killed if he ha= d not left the country. He has been surprised by the post-war violence in his homeland. =B3We never thought this bad stuff would happen,=B2 he said. =B3We thought it would be easy and it will be very quick.=B2 It has been neither, which makes understanding the Iraqi culture essential, participant= s said. Thanon, who attended Basra University and coached football in Iraq, advises the troops not to touch women and not to yell at children; both actions perceived as disrespectful. In one scenario, he pretends to be the head of a household who won't cooperate with the troops unless they are polite. =B3That way, I will help you get into my house and search my house and be friendly,=B2 Thanon said. =B3We know the Americans go over to help us, but there are some people in I= raq that can't understand that because they see them do things in different ways.=B2 Wednesday, December 29, 2004 =A0=A0 --__--__-- Message: 4 From: "Mark Parkinson" <mark44@DELETETHISmyrealbox.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:22:39 -0000 Subject: Iraq Vs. Tsunami: The Duplicity Of The Media http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=3D21&ItemID=3D6941 By: Mike Whitney on: 31.12.2004 The American media has descended on the Asian tsunami with all the fervor of feral animals in a meat locker. The newspapers and TV=92s are plastered with bodies drifting out to sea, battered carcasses strewn along the beach and bloated babies lying in rows. Every aspect of the suffering is being scrutinized with microscopic intensity by the predatory lens of the media. This is where the western press really excels: in the celebratory atmosphere of human catastrophe. Their penchant for misery is only surpassed by their appetite for profits. Where was this =93free press=94 in Iraq when the death toll was skyrocketing towards 100,000? So far, we=92ve seen nothing of the devastation in Falluja where more than 6,000 were killed and where corpses were lined along the city=92s streets for weeks on end. Is death less photogenic in Iraq? Or, are there political motives behind the coverage? Wasn=92t Ted Koppel commenting just days ago, that the media was restricting its coverage of Iraq to show sensitivity for the squeamishness of its audience? He reiterated the mantra that filming dead Iraqis was =93in bad taste=94 and that his American audience would be repelled by such images? How many times have we heard the same rubbish from Brokaw, Jennings and the rest of their ilk? Well, it looks like Koppel and the others have quickly switched directions. The tsunami has turned into a 24 hour-a-day media frenzy of carnage and ruin, exploring every facet of human misery in agonizing detail. The festival of bloodshed is chugging ahead at full-throttle and it=92s bumping up ratings in the process. Corporate media never fails to astound even the most jaded viewer. Just when it appears that they=92ve hit rock-bottom, they manage to slip even deeper into the morass of sensationalism. The manipulation of calamity is particularly disturbing, especially when disaster is translated into a revenue windfall. Koppel may disparage =93bad taste=94, but his boardroom bosses are more focused on the bottom line. Simply put, tragedy is good for business. When it comes to Iraq, however, the whole paradigm shifts to the right. The dead and maimed are faithfully hidden from view. No station would dare show a dead Marine or even an Iraqi national mutilated by an errant American bomb. That might undermine the patriotic objectives of our mission: to democratize the natives and enter them into the global economic system. Besides, if Iraq was covered like the tsunami, public support would erode extremely quickly, and Americans would have to buy their oil rather than extracting it at gunpoint. What good would that do? Looks like the media=92s got it right: carnage IS different in Iraq than Thailand, Indonesia or India. The Iraqi butchery is part of a much grander scheme: a plan for conquest, subjugation and the theft of vital resources, the foundation blocks for maintaining white privilege into the next century. The Iraq conflict is an illustration of how the media is governed by the political agenda of ownership. The media cherry-picks the news according to the requirements of the investor class, dumping footage (like dead American soldiers) that doesn=92t support their policies. That way, information can be fit into the appropriate doctrinal package, one that serves corporate interests. It=92s a matter of selectively excluding anything that compromises the broader, imperial objectives. Alternatively, the coverage of the Asian tsunami allows the media to whet the public=92s appetite for tragedy and feed the macabre preoccupation with misfortune. Both tendencies are an affront to honest journalism and to any reasonable commitment to an informed citizenry. The uneven coverage (of Iraq and the tsunami) highlights an industry in meltdown. Today=92s privately owned media may bury one story, and yet, manipulate another to boost ratings. They are just as likely to exploit the suffering of Asians, while ignoring the pain of Iraqis. Neither brings us closer to the truth. It=92s simply impossible to derive a coherent worldview from the purveyors of soap suds and dog food. They=92re more devoted to creating a compatible atmosphere for consumerism than conveying an objective account of events. We need a media that is dedicated to straightforward standards of impartiality and excellence, not one that=92s rooted in commercialism, exploitation and hyperbole. Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall --__--__-- Message: 5 From: "Mark Parkinson" <mark44@DELETETHISmyrealbox.com> To: email@example.com Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:30:54 -0000 Subject: Tsunami Disaster Highlights Corporate Media Hypocrisy By: AL-FIRDAUS on: 31.12.2004 By Peter Phillips The terrible earthquake/tsunami disaster, along coastlines of the Indian Ocean, left tens of thousands dead and many times more people homeless and weakened. Front pages news stories swept the US corporate media -12,000 dead, 40,000, 60,000 and 100,000 made progressive day by day headlines. Twenty-four hour TV news provided minute by minute updates with added photos and live aerial shots of the effected regions. As the days after unfolded, personal stories of survival and loss were added to the overall coverage. Unique stories such as the 20 day old miracle baby found floating on a mattress, and the eight year old who lost both parents and later found by her uncle, were human interest features. Individualized reports from Americans caught in the catastrophe made national news and numbers of Europeans, and North Americans involved were a key part of the continuing story. US embassies set up hotlines for relatives of possible victims to seek information. Quickly added into the corporate media mix was coverage on how the US was responding with relief aid and dollars. In Crawford, Texas President Bush announced that he had formed an international coalition to respond to the massive tsunami disaster. The US corporate media coverage of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, for most Americans, was shocking, and emotional. Empathic Americans, with the knowledge that a terrible natural disaster of huge significant to hundreds of thousands people had occurred, wanted to help in any way they could. Church groups held prayer sessions for the victims, and the Red Cross received an upsurge of donations. The US corporate media coverage of the tsunami disaster exposes a huge hypocrisy in the US press. Left uncovered this past year was the massive disaster that has befell Iraqi civilians. Over 100,000 civilians have died since the beginning of the US invasion and hundreds of thousands more are homeless and weakened. In late October 2004 the British Lancet medical journal published a scientific survey of households in Iraq that calculated over 100,000 civilians, mostly women and children, have died from war related causes. The study, formulated and conducted by researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University and the College of Medicine at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, involved a complex process of sampling households across Iraq to compare the numbers and causes of deaths before and after the invasion in March 2003. The mortality rate in these families worked out to 5 per 1,000 before the invasion and 12.3 per 1,000 after the invasion. Extrapolate the latter figure to the 22 million population of Iraq, and you end up with 100,000 total civilian deaths. The most common cause of death was aerial bombing followed by strokes and heart attacks. Recent civilian deaths in Fallujah would undoubtedly add significantly to the total. The Iraqi word for disaster is museeba. Surly the lose of life from war in Iraq is as significant a meseeba as the Indian Ocean tsunami, yet where is the US corporate media coverage of thousands of dead and homeless? Where are the live aerial TV shots of the disaster zones and the up-close photos of the victims? Where are the survivor stories - the miracle child who lived thought a building collapsed by US bombs and rescued by neighbors? Where are the government official's press releases of regret and sorrow? Where is the international coalition for relief of civilians in Iraq and the upsurge in donations for Red Cross intervention? Would not Americans, if they knew, be just as caring about Iraqi deaths as they are for the victims of the tsunami? The US corporate media has published Pentagon statements on civilian deaths in Iraq as unknown and dismissed the Lancet Medical Journal study. It seems US media concerns are for victims of natural disasters, while the man-made disasters, such as the deliberate invasion of another country by the US, are better left unreported. Peter Phillips is a professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored a media research organization. Peter Phillips Ph.D. Sociology Department/Project Censored Sonoma State University 1801 East Cotati Ave. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707-664-2588 http://www.projectcensored.org/ Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall --__--__-- Message: 6 Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 12:55:17 +0000 (GMT) From: The Iraq Solidarity Campaign <mcr_coalition@DELETETHISyahoo.co.uk> Reply-To: MCR_Coalition@yahoo.co.uk Subject: 60,000 people register to vote in Iraq To: firstname.lastname@example.org [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Marines clear out Fallujah By Sharon Behn THE WASHINGTON TIMES FALLUJAH, Iraq =97 Marines yesterday cleared bodies from buildings at the s= cene of their biggest battle since the fall of Baghdad, securing this forme= r insurgent stronghold for the return of thousands of civilians and upcomin= g elections. But six weeks before the historic vote, a U.S. official said, = fewer than 1 percent of eligible Iraqis have responded to a voter-registrat= ion drive, forcing authorities to look for other ways to build up voter lis= ts. Iraqis cite security worries as the main reason for the slow response,= with some expressing fears of continued violence and corruption even after= the Jan. 30 election for a legislative assembly. Those dangers were underscored again as U.S. military officials announced = early this morning that seven Marines had been killed in two incidents in A= nbar province, where Fallujah is located. A U.S. statement said the Marines= were killed while conducting "security and stabilization operations." Stil= l, U.S. military and government officials, as well as involved Iraqis, are = putting enormous efforts into getting out the vote, convinced that a succes= sful election will establish a legitimate government and declaw a vicious i= nsurgency. "What we are doing now is fighting the bad guys, taking care of = them before the elections," said 23-year-old Lance Cpl. Josh Byrne of Illin= ois, standing inches deep in mud in front of his vehicle. He and his comra= des had found several bodies =97 some of them Syrians and Chechens =97 as t= hey cleared rooms and buildings in what had been the country's main strongh= old for insurgents and terrorists. "We are cleaning up the city and providi= ng security for anybody who wants to build the place back up and give them everything like we have bac= k home," Cpl. Byrne said. One military official, waiting for a helicopter r= ide out of the city, said the streets in Fallujah still "smell like death."= But, Cpl. Byrne said, "It's the live ones you've got to worry about." Occa= sional battles are still taking place amid the rubble of the low-lying city= just west of Baghdad. U.S. and Iraqi forces clashed with guerrillas in sev= eral Fallujah suburbs yesterday, ending with U.S. air strikes on suspected = enemy hide-outs. Iraqi election officials have asked U.S. forces to help t= hem set up blast barriers and assist with force protection in advance of th= e January elections. The Iraqis "are very excited about democracy," said Ma= j. Ben Wild, an elections officer working in Fallujah. "What they are worri= ed about are suicide bombers and intimidation." That fear is not isolated t= o Fallujah. Residents of Baghdad also are saying they are not sure whether = they are willing to risk their lives to cast their ballots, expressing fears that polling stat= ions will be targeted. Others swear they will not be deterred. One of thos= e is the spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission, the group set = up by the United Nations to organize the election. "They can't hit every si= ngle polling station," said Farid Ayar, sitting in his tiny office in the h= eavily protected green zone. "For me, a man who suffered under Saddam, I fe= el that this election is a turning point to create a new Iraq," he said. "I= am over 60, and I never voted in my life, so I find this a challenge =97 t= o go once in my life to vote." But Mr. Ayar, like everyone in Iraq, recogni= zes that security is a major issue. He rarely goes into the city streets an= ymore, especially because his face has become well-known after months of pr= omoting the election in national and international news outlets. Because t= here is no reliable census information, voter lists have been put together = based on U.N. food-rationing lists from the era of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, with = everyone on those lists being sent a form to verify its accuracy. But onl= y 60,000 to 70,000 people in a country of about 25 million have responded = =97 about .25 percent =97 and authorities are now looking for other ways to= qualify citizens to vote. "Iraqis want democracy, but they know if they re= ach out, they will get shot," said a U.S. official in Baghdad who declined = to be identified. In Mosul, carloads of voter-registration cards were burned by those trying = to stop the vote. Any final ballot count will have to depend on helicopters= to ferry the papers to Baghdad to avoid road ambushes. But U.S. and top Ir= aqi officials are determined to make sure that the election works. The U.S.= Agency for International Development (USAID) has pumped $86 million into o= rganizations such as the International Republican Institute and National De= mocratic Institute to work with local Iraqis on organizing the vote. They a= lso have worked to set up elected town councils, which USAID administrator = Andrew Natsios credits with having helped create a political base that the = national elections can draw on. "This is an emotional turning point for the country," Mr. Natsios told The = Washington Times during a visit to Baghdad. "It will give legitimacy to the= new government." Mr. Natsios predicted that a majority of Sunnis would tak= e part in the vote in spite of a threatened boycott. Indeed, two moderate, = mainly Sunni Muslim parties announced yesterday that they would field slate= s of candidates. Long favored by Saddam, the minority Sunnis lost their pol= itical clout with his fall, and now feel they are getting a raw deal politi= cally. They are demanding more time to organize. Some Sunni leaders have as= ked the interim government to delay the election while others, such as fire= brand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have threatened to not participate at all. Som= e international leaders, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.N. = representative Lakhdar Brahimi, have said Iraq is not ready to hold electio= ns because of the continuing high level of car bombs, insurgent attacks, mo= rtar attacks and gunfire. But Mr. Ayar dismissed that advice. "He is not here to judge the security s= ituation," he said of Mr. Brahimi. "He is sitting somewhere in Switzerland.= He is not playing any role. "He can't be better than me =97 this is my co= untry, I know my country. We will go ahead with this election, and we will = do it well," Mr. Ayar said. The Iraq Solidarity Campaign --------------------------------- How much free photo storage do you get? Store your holiday snaps for FREE w= ith Yahoo! Photos. Get Yahoo! 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