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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #182 - 10 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. What they're not telling you about the 'election' (
   2. IRC News | Chomsky on Iraq Elections (IRC Communications)
   3. Al-Duri: Election was part of a well-thought out US plan (Mark Parkinson)
   4. Train Wreck of an Election (farbuthnot)
   5. Goodness - Official - No WMD (farbuthnot)
   6. It's fun to kill - official (farbuthnot)
   7. Urgent appeal: Stop Bush !  Protestmarathon 20 februari in de Beursschouwburg (Lieven De 
   8. Bremer is very rich now  while Some Just Voted for Food  for variety of choices!!!! (John 
   9. Iraq Oil-For-Food Audit Finds No Widespread Abuse (Dirk Adriaensens)
  10. Dahr Jamail-Life under the bombs (


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 16:35:24 EST
Subject: What they're not telling you about the 'election'

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

    What They=E2=80=99re Not Telling You About the  =E2=80=9CElection=E2=80=
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
February 01, 2005 - The day  of blood and elections has passed, and the
blaring trumpets of  corporate media hailing it as a successful show of =E2=
 have  subsided to a dull roar.

After a day which left 50 people  dead in Iraq, both civilians and soldiers=
the death toll was hailed  as a figure that was =E2=80=9Clower than expecte=
d.=E2=80=9D Thus=E2=80=A6
acceptable, by Bush  Administration/corporate media standards. After all, o=
of them  was an American, the rest were Iraqis civilians and British

The gamble of using the polling day in Iraq to  justify the ongoing failed
occupation of Iraq has apparently paid  off, if you watch only mainstream m=

=E2=80=9CHigher than  expected turnout,=E2=80=9D US mainstream television m=
edia blared, some
 citing a figure of 72%, others 60%.

What they didn=E2=80=99t tell  you was that this figure was provided by Far=
id Ayar,
the spokesman  for the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq (IECI) bef=
the  polls had even closed.

When asked about the accuracy of the  estimate of voter turnout during a
press conference, Ayar  backtracked on his earlier figure, saying that a cl=
estimate was  lower than his initial estimate and would be more like 60% of
registered voters.

The IECI spokesman said his previous  figure of 72% was =E2=80=9Conly guess=
ing=E2=80=9D and =E2=80=9C
was just an estimate,=E2=80=9D which  was based on =E2=80=9Cvery rough, wor=
d-of mouth
estimates gathered  informally from the field. It will take some time for t=
to  issue accurate figures on turnout.=E2=80=9D

Referencing both  figures, Ayar then added, =E2=80=9CPercentages and number=
s come
only after  counting and will be announced when it's over ... It's too soon=
say that those were the official numbers.=E2=80=9D

But this isn=E2=80=99t  the most important misrepresentation the mainstream=

What they also didn=E2=80=99t tell you was that of those who voted,  whethe=
r they be
35% or even 60% of registered voters, were not  voting in support of an
ongoing US occupation of their country.

In fact, they were voting for precisely the opposite reason.  Every Iraqi I
have spoken with who voted explained that they believe  the National Assemb=
which will be formed soon will signal an end  to the occupation.

And they expect the call for a  withdrawing of foreign forces in their
country to come sooner rather  than later.

This causes one to view the footage of cheering,  jubilant Iraqis in a
different light now, doesn=E2=80=99t it?

But  then, most folks in the US watching CNN, FOX, or any of the major
networks won=E2=80=99t see it that way. Instead, they will hear what Mr.  B=
ush said, =E2=80=9CThe
world is hearing the voice of freedom from the  center of the Middle East,=
and take it as fact because most of the  major media outlets aren=E2=80=99t=
beneath film clips of joyous  Iraqi voters over here in the land of daily c=
and violence, no  jobs, no electricity, little running water and no gasolin=
(for the  Iraqis anyhow).

And Bush is portrayed by the media as the  bringer of democracy to Iraq by
the simple fact that this so-called  election took place, botched as it may=
been. Appearances  suggest that the majority Shia in Iraq now finally get
their  proportional representation in a =E2=80=9Cgovernment.=E2=80=9D Looks=
 good on paper.

But as you continue reading, the seemingly altruistic  reasons for this
election as portrayed by the Bush Administration  and trumpeted by most mai=
media are anything but.

And  Iraqis who voted are hearing other trumpets that are blaring an end  t=
the occupation.

Now the question remains, what happens  when the National Assembly is forme=
and over 100,000 US soldiers  remain on the ground in Iraq with the Bush
Administration continuing  in its refusal to provide a timetable for their =

What happens when Iraqis see that while there are already  four permanent U=
military bases in their country, rather than  beginning to disassemble them=
more bases are being constructed, as  they are, by Cheney=E2=80=99s old com=
Halliburton, right now?

Antonia Juhasz, a Foreign Policy in Focus scholar, authored  a piece just
before the =E2=80=9Celection=E2=80=9D that sheds light on a topic that  has=
 lost attention
amidst the recent fanfare concerning the polls in  Iraq.


I think it=E2=80=99s worth including much of her  story here, as it fits we=
ll with
today=E2=80=99s topic of things most folks  aren=E2=80=99t being told by th=
e bringers of
democracy to the heart of the  Middle East.

On Dec. 22, 2004, Iraqi Finance Minister  Abdel Mahdi told a handful of
reporters and industry insiders at the  National Press Club in Washington, =
that Iraq wants to issue a  new oil law that would open Iraq's national oil
company to private  foreign investment. As Mahdi explained: "So I think thi=
s is
very  promising to the American investors and to American enterprise,  cert=
to oil companies."
In other words, Mahdi is proposing  to privatize Iraq's oil and put it into
American corporate hands.
According to the finance minister, foreigners would gain access  both to
"downstream" and "maybe even upstream" oil investment. This  means foreigne=
rs can
sell Iraqi oil and own it under the ground =E2=80=94  the very thing for wh=
ich many
argue the U.S. went to war in the  first place.
As Vice President Dick Cheney's Defense Policy  Guidance report explained
back in 1992, "Our overall objective is to  remain the predominant outside =
in the [Middle East] region and  preserve U.S. and Western access to the
region's oil."
While few  in the American media other than Emad Mckay of Inter Press Servi=
 reported on =E2=80=94 or even attended =E2=80=94 Mahdi=E2=80=99s press con=
ference, the
announcement was made with U.S. Undersecretary of State Alan Larson  at Mah=
di's side. It
was intended to send a message =E2=80=94 but to whom?
It turns out that Abdel Mahdi is running in the Jan. 30  elections on the
ticket of the Supreme Council for the Islamic  Revolution (SCIR), the leadi=
Shiite political party. While  announcing the selling-off of the resource w=
provides 95 percent  of all Iraqi revenue may not garner Mahdi many Iraqi
votes, but it  will unquestionably win him tremendous support from the U.S.
government and U.S. corporations.
Mahdi's SCIR is far and away  the front-runner in the upcoming elections,
particularly as it  becomes increasingly less possible for Sunnis to vote b=
the  regions where they live are spiraling into deadly chaos. If Bush  were
to suggest to Iraq=E2=80=99s Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that  elect=
ions should
be called off, Mahdi and the SCIR's ultimate  chances of victory will likel=

I=E2=80=99ll add that  the list of political parties Mahdi=E2=80=99s SCIR b=
elongs to, The
United  Iraqi Alliance (UIA), includes the Iraqi National Council, which is=
by an old friend of the Bush Administration who provided the  faulty
information they needed to justify the illegal invasion of  Iraq, none othe=
r than
Ahmed Chalabi.

It should also be noted  that interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi also fed t=
Bush  Administration cooked information used to justify the invasion, but  =
heads a different Shia list which will most likely be getting  nearly as ma=
votes as the UIA list.

And The UIA has the  blessing of Iranian born revered Shiite cleric, Grand
Ayatollah Ali  al-Sistani. Sistani issued a fatwa which instructed his huge
number  of followers to vote in the election, or they would risk going to  =

Thus, one might argue that the Bush administration  has made a deal with th=
SCIR: Iraq's oil for guaranteed political  power. The Americans are able to
put forward such a bargain because  Bush still holds the strings in Iraq.
Regardless of what happens  in the elections, for at least the next year
during which the newly  elected National Assembly writes a constitution and=
vote for  a new government, the Bush administration is going to control the
largest pot of money available in Iraq (the $24 billion in U.S.  taxpayer
money allocated for the reconstruction), the largest  military and the rule=
governing Iraq's economy. Both the money and  the rules will, in turn, be o=
by U.S.-appointed auditors and  inspector generals who sit in every Iraqi
ministry with five-year  terms and sweeping authority over contracts and
regulations.  However, the one thing which the administration has not been =
unable  to
confer upon itself is guaranteed access to Iraqi oil =E2=80=94 that is,  un=
til now.

And there is so much more they are not  telling you. Just like the Iraqis w=
voted, believing they did so  to bring an end to the occupation of their

Posted  by Dahr_Jamail at February 1, 2005 04:15 PM


Message: 2
From: "IRC Communications" <>
Organization: Interhemispheric Resource Center
Subject: IRC News | Chomsky on Iraq Elections
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 14:23:56 -0700

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

What=92s New at the IRC

=93Forging local-global links for policy alternatives, strategic dialogue, =
citizen action since 1979.=94

February 2, 2005

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Introducing a n=
paper from International Relations Center (IRC)

After the Election

The following is an excerpt from a presentation by Noam Chomsky on January
26th at a forum sponsored by the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, NM to celeb=
the 25th anniversary of the International Relations Center (IRC), online at Chomsky is a member of the IRC=92s board of directors=

The Future of Iraq and U.S. Occupation
By Noam Chomsky

Let=92s just imagine what the policies might be of an independent Iraq - [a=
independent, sovereign Iraq, let=92s say more or less democratic - what are=
policies likely to be?=A0

There=92s going to be a Shiite majority so they=92ll have some significant =
over policy. The first thing they=92ll do is reestablish relations with Ira=
Now they don=92t particularly like Iran, but they don=92t want to go to war=
them so they=92ll move toward what was happening already even under Saddam,=
is, restoring some sort of friendly relations with Iran.=A0

That=92s the last thing the United States wants. It has worked very hard to=
to isolate Iran. The next thing that might happen is that a Shiite-controll=
more or less democratic Iraq might stir up feelings in the Shiite areas of
Saudi Arabia, which happen to be right nearby and which happen to be where
all the oil is. So you might find what in Washington must be the ultimate n=
Shiite region which controls most of the world=92s oil and is independent. =
an independent Iraq is very likely that an independent sovereign Iraq would
try to take its natural place as a leading state in the Arab world, maybe t=
leading state. And you know that=92s something that goes back to Biblical t=

See complete new article online at:

Interhemispheric Resource Center is proud to announce that in conjunction w=
our 25th anniversary, we have changed our name to InternationalRelationsCen=
Please visit our website at to see our new logo and chec=
back in the coming months as we begin the integration and improvement of al=
of our program and project websites. As International Relations Center we r=
IRC and committed to our mission of: working to make the U.S. a more respon=
member of the global community by promoting progressive strategic dialogues
that lead to new citizen-based agendas.

Produced and distributed by the International Relations Center (IRC)

To subscribe to the IRC News, please go to::=A0 irc-subscribe@lists.riseup.=

To unsubscribe:

International Relations Center(IRC)

Siri D. Khalsa
Outreach Coordinator



Siri D. Khalsa
Communications Coordinator
Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC)

IRC Projects Online:
Americas Program (
Self-Determination In Focus (
Project Against the Present Danger (


Message: 3
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 00:37:06 -0000
Subject: Al-Duri: Election was part of a well-thought out US plan

It is interesting how we never hear any views from members of the
previous government or other officials.

Iraq elections, democratic practice but ...
By Ahmed Janabi
Wednesday 02 February 2005

When Baghdad was occupied on 9 April 2003, the last Iraqi ambassador
of Saddam Hussein's government to the UN, Muhammad al-Duri, declared
that the game was over.

A journalist, university professor and statesman who served as an
Iraqi delegate to the UN from 1999 to 2003, he left Iraq in 1999 to
act as Iraq's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland before he
was moved to New York where he remained until he resigned after the
occupation of Iraq. How do you feel about the elections?

Muhammad al-Duri: Despite everything that has been said about its
incompetence, it is still a democratic practice. It is part of a well-
thought out US plan to implement its strategy in Iraq.

But one must be aware that last Sunday's elections establish
sectarianism in Iraq. So many Iraqis entered the electoral process
whether as candidates or voters on a sectarian and/or ethnic basis
and motives. It is very dangerous and Iraqis should reject

A: But according to many Iraqi voters who talked to reporters on
election day, they did so because they wanted to end the state of
chaos in their country and restore security and stability. Isn't that
the case?

MD: I do not agree with that concept, these elections are not
designed to restore security and stability. The US administration has
been desperate to legalise its occupation of Iraq, but it has failed
so far. This mission has become an obsession for it; especially that
the war on Iraq is still protested against by EU and Arab countries.

Votes for Kurdish separation were
put next to parliamentary ballots

Therefore the US is trying to legitimise its existence in Iraq by
bringing in an elected parliament and a government which are fully
loyal to it [US], and as such it will be able to conclude long term
agreements that secure its interests and influence in Iraq.

A: As a politician and a professor of politics, do you think that the
Iraqi Sunni Arabs boycotting of the elections could put the
legitimacy of the process at risk?

MD: It is wrong to say that Sunni Arabs boycotted the elections. It
is an attempt to ridicule a national Iraqi position that opposes the
division of the country, by labelling it as a sectarian position.

The US occupation has encouraged the virtual division of Iraq into
three entities. The first one is in the north, it is ethnically
motivated and works to separate itself and establish an independent
state (Kurdistan).

The second in the south plans to split and establish a sectarian
entity backed by Iran. The third is central Iraq which for some
reason carries a national vision for the future of Iraq.

Obviously the US works hard to destroy this entity, which happens to
be Sunni and exists in central Iraq. But as a matter of fact, the
people of central Iraq are Arab Iraqi Muslims in addition to being
Sunnis. This part of the country holds a sense of national identity
that rejects the foreign occupation and separation bids.

A: But boycotting elections would have delayed the formation of a
national Iraqi government, parliament and constitution, don't you

MD: All that you are talking about was approved by the former US
administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer.

A: And what is wrong with that if it would benefit the country?

MD: A country's constitution must be national, while Iraq's interim
constitution which laid the foundation for Iraq's future constitution
was put forward by Noah Feldman, a Jewish American university

"...during the 13 years of UN sanctions on Iraq, the UN was acting
like a theatre. All players were not sincere in finding a way to end
the sanctions that killed millions of Iraqis"

Muhammad al-Duri

All the documents that rule Iraq today were made in the US,
translated to Arabic and forwarded to Iraqis who could not even
discuss them properly. How can a country adopt a constitution imposed
by a foreign power?

Even the elections were set by Feldman's document, and thus the
elections have no legitimacy because it is based on illegal documents
written by an occupying force.

A: The interim Iraqi interior minister has said the US could pull out
of Iraq in 18 months. What do you think of this statement?

MD: Initially, I would like to ask why this statement came on the eve
of the elections? It was obviously part of the election campaign.

However, this is part of the US' exit strategy. This notion is being
widely discussed in the US, not because the US genuinely wants to
pull out from Iraq, but because of unexpected urban fighting.

They are spending hundreds millions of dollars on Iraqi security
forces in order to put them face to face with the resistance.
Actually, this money is supposed to be for the reconstruction of
Iraq, but I can assure you that nothing has been reconstructed,
absolutely nothing, not even in the oil sector.

At the end of the day, Iraqi officials do not speak for themselves,
they just echo the US' desires and instructions. The real ruler of
today's Iraq is not the president of Iraq, nor the interim prime
minister; actually it is the US embassy in Baghdad.

It is unlikely that the US would voluntarily withdraw from Iraq; it
has spent nearly $300 billion up to now, how is it going to get this
money back if it withdraws? The US has captured a goose with golden
eggs (Iraq), why would it let it go? That cannot be.

The US did not go to war with Iraq because of WMD, or links with al-
Qaida. I am fully convinced that it has an agenda in my country. It
also did not come to establish democracy in the country. On the
contrary, if we look at what is in today's Iraq we will find nothing
but division, hatred, and sectarianism.

If the US were to pull out, it will not do so unless it secures
powerful bases in Iraq.

A: US bases exist in Japan and Germany; I think no one can argue that
US bases hindered the development of those two countries in the post-
second world war era?

"The US has captured a goose with golden eggs (Iraq), why would it
let it go? That cannot be"

Muhammad al-Duri

MD: It is very strange that some Iraqis accept this idea. US bases in
Germany and Japan were set up in different international conditions!
It came after a world war involving Germany and Japan who waged an
aggressive war and occupied foreign countries, and the US and its
allies fought to drive out German forces from occupied Europe.

That was not the case with Iraq. There were no Iraqi forces out of
Iraqi soil, and the war took place on its soil with forces which came
from overseas to occupy it. How can we compare what has happened in
Iraq with Nazi Germany?!

A: Regardless, why don't anti-US Iraqis wait and see?

MD: You have to choose either bread with dignity or bread without
dignity. Why should we wait? What does Iraq need from the US?

It is a country rich in resources, located in a strategic position,
and with a highly educated people. If the US really wants to help,
there are dozens of poor and undeveloped countries out there, let it
help them instead of helping a country which possesses the world's
second largest oil reserve and which has achieved high rates of
development before it occupied it.

A: When Baghdad fell to US forces on 9 April 2003, you said the "game
is over". What did you mean by that?

MD: Many people interpreted my words that what happened was a game
between Saddam Hussein and the US; actually I meant that during the
13 years of UN sanctions on Iraq, the UN was acting like a theatre.

All players were not sincere in finding a way to end the sanctions
that killed millions of Iraqis. The proof for that is when the US
decided to attack Iraq, everyone backed off and the US did what it

A: But there were protests around the world, and many countries did
oppose the war.

MD: That was not enough.

Mark Parkinson


Message: 4
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 20:31:31 +0000
Subject: Train Wreck of an Election
From: "farbuthnot" <>

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

=A0Published on Tuesday, February 1, 2005 by the Boston Globe
Train Wreck of an Election

by James Carroll
In thinking about the election in Iraq, my mind keeps jumping back to last
week's train wreck in California. A deranged man, intending suicide, drove
his Jeep Cherokee onto the railroad tracks, where it got stuck. The
onrushing train drew near. The man suddenly left his vehicle and leapt out
of the way. He watched as the train crashed into his SUV, derailed,
jackknifed, and hit another train. Railroad cars crumbled. Eleven people
were killed and nearly 200 were injured, some gravely. The deranged man was
arrested. Whatever troubles had made him suicidal in the first place paled
in comparison to the trouble he has now.
Iraq is a train wreck. The man who caused it is not in trouble. Tomorrow
night he will give his State of the Union speech, and the Washington
establishment will applaud him. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead. More
than 1,400 Americans are dead. An Arab nation is humiliated. Islamic hatred
of the West is ignited. The American military is emasculated. Lies define
the foreign policy of the United States. On all sides of Operation Iraqi
Freedom, there is wreckage. In the center, there are the dead, the maimed,
the displaced -- those who will be the ghosts of this war for the rest of
their days. All for what?
Tomorrow night, like a boy in a bubble, George W. Bush will tell the world
it was for "freedom." He will claim the Iraqi election as a stamp of
legitimacy for his policy, and many people will affirm it as such. Even
critics of the war will mute their objections in response to the image of
millions of Iraqis going to polling places, as if that act undoes the Bush
There is only one way in which the grand claims made by Washington for the
weekend voting will be true -- and that is if the elections empower an Iraq=
government that moves quickly to repudiate Washington. The only meaning
"freedom" can have in Iraq right now is freedom from the US occupation,
which is the ground of disorder. But such an outcome of the elections is no=
likely. The chaos of a destroyed society leaves every new instrument of
governance dependent on the American force, even as the American force show=
itself incapable of defending against, much less defeating, the suicide
legions. The irony is exquisite. The worse the violence gets, the longer th=
Americans will claim the right to stay. In that way, the ever more
emboldened -- and brutal -- "insurgents" do Bush's work for him by making i=
extremely difficult for an authentic Iraqi source of order to emerge.
Likewise the elections, which, as universally predicted, have now ratified
the country's deadly factionalism.
Full blown civil war, if it comes to that, will serve Bush's purpose, too.
All the better if Syria and Iran leap into the fray. In such extremity,
America's occupation of Iraq will be declared legitimate. America's
city-smashing tactics, already displayed in Fallujah, will seem necessary.
Further "regime change" will follow. America's ad hoc Middle East bases,
meanwhile, will have become permanent. Iraq will have become America's
client state in the world's great oil preserve. Bush's disastrous and
immoral war policy will have "succeeded," even though no war will have been
won. The region's war will be eternal, forever justifying America's
presence. Bush's callow hubris will be celebrated as genius. Congress will
give the military machine everything it needs to roll on to more
"elections." These outcomes, of course, presume the ongoing deaths of tens
of thousands more men, women, and children. And American soldiers.
Something else about that California train wreck strikes me. As news report=
suggested, so many passengers were killed and injured because the locomotiv=
was pushing the train from behind, which put the lightweight passenger
coaches vulnerably in front. If, instead, the heavy, track-clearing
locomotive had been leading and had hit the Jeep, it could have pushed the
vehicle aside. The jack-knifing and derailment would not have occurred. The
American war machine is like a train running in "push-mode," with the
engineer safely back away from danger. In the train wreck of Iraq, it is
passengers who have borne the brunt. The man with his hand on the throttle
couldn't be more securely removed from the terrible consequences of his
locomotion. Thus, Bush is like the man who caused the wreck, and like the
man who was protected from it. Deranged. Detached. Alive and well in the
bubble he calls "freedom," receiving applause.
James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe. His most recent book
is "Crusade: Chronicles of an Unjust War."
=A9 2005 Boston Globe


Message: 5
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 08:54:37 +0000
Subject: Goodness - Official - No WMD
From: "farbuthnot" <>

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]


=A0 =A0

CIA rectifying prewar WMD estimates

=A0 =A0
WASHINGTON (Reuters) =8B The CIA is publishing a series of classified repor=
revising its prewar intelligence assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction (WMD), an intelligence official said on Tuesday.
A January 18 report, titled =B3Iraq: No Large-Scale Chemical Warfare Effort=
Since Early 1990s,=B2 concludes that Saddam Hussein abandoned major chemica=
weapons programmes after the first Gulf War in 1991.
A January 4 CIA report addressed Baghdad's Scud missile and delivery system=
while forthcoming reports are expected to revise prewar estimates of Iraq's
biological and nuclear capabilities.
The intelligence official, who asked not to be named, said the latest repor=
was not considered a high-level document for review by US President George
W. Bush.
=B3This matches up what the assessment was before the war and what the
assessment is after the war,=B2 the official said. =B3It takes into account
postwar information that was, by definition, not available earlier.=B2
US intelligence claims that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of chemical and
biological weapons and was attempting to acquire nuclear capability formed =
main justification for the 2003 invasion.
Former CIA Director George Tenet, who resigned last July, told Bush that
finding WMD in Iraq would be a =B3slam dunk=B2 according to journalist Bob
Woodward's book =B3Plan of Attack.=B2
But no WMD have been found in Iraq and US weapons inspector Charles Duelfer
is expected this month to issue a final addendum to his September report
concluding that prewar Iraq had no such stockpiles.
=B3The CIA has finally admitted that its WMD estimates were wrong,=B2 Rep. =
Harman of California, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee,
said in a statement.
She also called on CIA officials to conduct a vigorous review of
intelligence on Iran and North Korea, =B3where active WMD programmes are kn=
to exist.=B2
Bush has branded prewar Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an =B3axis of evil.=
The United States contends that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
Tehran denies the charge. But Vice President Dick Cheney, a main proponent
of the Iraq war, stirred concern about possible military action against Ira=
recently by saying the country tops the administration list of world troubl=
The Bush administration is engaged in six-party talks with North Korea,
which US officials say could have more than eight nuclear weapons.
Thursday, February 3, 2005


Message: 6
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 17:47:19 +0000
Subject: It's fun to kill - official
From: "farbuthnot" <>

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Courtesy =A0
=A0Published on Thursday, February 3, 2005 by NBC San Diego
Marine General's Blunt Comments Draw Fire
=A0Also See:
 'US Soldiers Started to Shoot Us, One by One'

About 200 people gathered for a discussion Tuesday on military tactics in
the Iraq War. It was held at the San Diego Convention Center.
SAN DIEGO -- At a panel discussion in San Diego Tuesday, a top Marine
general tells an audience that, among other things, it is "fun to shoot som=
The comment, made by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, came in reference to fighting
insurgents in Iraq. He went on to say, "Actually, its a lot of fun to fight=
You know, it's a hell of a hoot. I like brawling."
"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for 5 years
because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis continued. "You know, guys like
that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to
shoot them."
About 200 people gathered for the discussion, held at the San Diego
Convention Center. While many military members laughed at the comments, a
military expert interviewed by NBC 7/39 called the comments "flippant."
"I was a little surprised," said Retired Vice Adm. Edward H. Martin. "I
don't think any of us who have ever fought in wars liked to kill anybody."
Mattis also discussed operational tactics of the war, calling on military
members not to underestimate the capacity of terrorists.
Mattis leads Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Division in Iraq. He is in charge
of the Marine Corps combat development and is based in Quantico, Va.
=A9 Copyright 2005 by


Message: 7
Reply-To: "Lieven De Cauter" <>
From: "Lieven De Cauter" <>
To: "Cynthia McKinneyHeadquarters" <>,
        "Cristian Ivan" <>,
        "Jos Hennes \(epo\)" <>,
        "\(VAI\)Saskia KLoosterboer" <>,
        "Frank Vercruysen" <>,
        "Jean-Pierre Rondas" <>,
        "mestrum" <>,
        "Patrick Deboosere" <>,
        "Peter \(\)" <>,
        "Pierre Klein" <>,
        "Connie van Molken" <>,
        "Come Carpentier" <>,
        "Colm Clarke" <>,
        "Collaer, Annie" <>,
        "COENEN Juup" <Juup.COENEN@VRT.BE>, <>,
        =?iso-8859-1?Q?Cl=E9mentine_Auburtin?= <>,
        "claire swyzen" <>,
        "Claire Diez" <>,
        "Chunlan Zhao" <>,
        "Chunglin Kwa" <>,
        "christophe callewaert" <>,
        "Christine Gaspard" <>,
        "christine delhaye" <>,
        "ChristianeMartens" <>,
        "Christian Scherrer" <>,
        "Chris Vandenwyngaert" <>,
        "chris scherrer" <>,
        "CHRIS NORRIS" <>,
        "Chris Dalving" <>, <>,
        "CHANTAL" <>, <>,
        "catty" <>,
        "Catherine Thys" <>,
        =?iso-8859-1?Q?Cath=E9rine_Baeyens?= <>,
        "caroline gijselinckx" <>,
        "Caroline De Munck" <>,
        "Carla Goffi" <>,
        "Carine Meulders" <>,
        "Cairo, Gianni" <>,
Subject: Urgent appeal: Stop Bush !  Protestmarathon 20 februari in de Beursschouwburg
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 10:12:34 +0100
Organization: Kuleuven

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

[English underneath, En Francais ci-dessous / please forward this appeal wi=
dely; veuillez envoyer cet appel =E0 tout le monde]

Beste allemaal,

Bush komt van 20 tot 22 februari naar Belgi=EB. De vredesbeweging is volop =
bezig met het organiseren van de  straatprotesten van maandag 21 en dinsdag=
 22 februari (zie Maar dat zou betekenen dat het op zon=
dag, wanneer Bush aankomt, stil zou zijn. Het BRussells tribunal vond dat d=
it niet kon. We hoeven u niet te overtuigen van het belang van de actie:  d=
e milieubeweging, de vredesbeweging en de mensenrechtenorganisaties hebben =
voor =E9=E9n keer de handen in elkaar geslagen. Ze vinden het beleid van Bu=
sh unaniem catastrofaal. Daarom zetten we in samenwerking met de Beursschou=
wburg en de vredesbeweging de volgende actie op:

Vanaf 15.30 u: Protest sit in op de trappen van de Beurs van Brussel met sp=
andoeken, scanderen van weloverwogen slogans.

16.00u: Speeches (o.a.ceen vredesactivist uit de VS: John Catalinotto). Dit=
 alles in samenwerking met de vredesbeweging.

16.30u: idealiter een hippe formatie die een straatconcert brengt, doet een=
 mobiel concert op de trappen van de Beurs.

17.00u: In optocht met die hippe formatie ofte ouderwetse fanfare naar het =
beurscaf=E9, en vooral de rode binnenstraat, alwaar een schare zangers, art=
iesten, dichters en intellectuelen een korte interventie doen: een song, ee=
n flard tekst, een gedicht, een statement, kortom: een free podium in de bi=
nnenstraat van de beurs om het straatprotest van de komende dagen te 'opene=

Daarom deze mail, die in alle windrichtingen zal rondgaan om de juiste arti=
esten, intellectuelen en dies meer op te roepen. prof. em. Jaap Kruithof, p=
rof. Eric Corijn en prof. Jean Bricmont hebben al toegezegd. En we verwacht=
en ook dat veel schrijvers en artiesten meedoen.

Alle reacties op De contactpersoon en co=F6rdi=
nator bij de Beursschouwburg is Frederik Lamote (

Wij hopen op je aanwezigheid en medewerking. Al was het maar door deze mail=
 naar een aantal goed gekozen mensen door te sturen. Laten we Bush een 'war=
m' onthaal bereiden van luidruchtig artistiek en doortimmerd intellectueel =
protest. Als opstap naar en 'onze' bijdrage aan de straatacties van maandag=
 en dinsdag.

Afspraak op zondag 20 februari vanaf 15.30 uur op de trappen van de beurs o=
f vanaf 17 uur in de beurschouwburg.

Voor het BRussells Tribunal,

Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven/RITS)
Dirk Adriaensens (SOS-Irak)
Patrick Deboosere (VUB)


Bonjour =E0 toutes et tous,

Bush visite la Belgique du 20 au 22 f=E9vrier. Le mouvement pacifiste organ=
ise plusieurs actions le 21 et le 22 f=E9vrier. (voir:
 Mais dimanche, le jour de l'arriv=E9e de Bush, il n'y a encore rien de pr=
=E9vu. C'est pourqoui le Brussels Tribunal organise en collaboration avec l=
e Beursschouwburg et le mouvement de paix l'action suivante:

A partir de 15.30: protestation 'sit in' sur les escaliers de la bourse ave=
c banderoles et en scandant des slogans bien choisis.

16.00: Speeches (e.a. John Catalinotto, un pacifiste des Etats Unies) en co=
llaboration avec le mouvement de paix.

16.30: un concert de rue sur les escaliers de la bourse

17.00: Les manifestants se rendent en cort=E8ge au Beursschouwburg accompag=
n=E9s d'une fanfare. Des chanteurs, des artistes, des po=EBtes et des intel=
lectuels acceuillent les manifestants dans la rue int=E9rieure du Beursscho=
uwburg, avec une chanson, un po=E8me, des points de vues. Bref, on fait un =
free podium. Ceci introduit les actions de protestations des jours suivant.

Ce mail vous invite =E0 propager cette action partout et =E0 mobiliser des =
artistes et des intellectuelles. Quelques personalit=E9s ont d=E9j=E0 promi=
s leur pr=E9sence (Prof. Eric Corijn, Prof Jean Bricmont, .

Vos r=E9actions sont le bienvenue =E0, o=F9  to=
utes les communications seront co=F6rdine=E9s.

Frederik Lamote co=F6rdonera les actions au Beursschouwburg  (free_lamote@h=, 0472/44.72.48).

Nous comptons sur votre pr=E9sence et votre participation.

Nous pr=E9parerons Bush un accueil 'chaleureux' avec une protestation intel=
lectuelle et artistique.

Rendez-vous le 20 f=E9vrier =E0 15.30 sur les escaliers de la bourse o=F9 =
=E0 17.00 au Beurschouwburg.

Merci de votre collaboration et de votre pr=E9sence

Pour le BRussells Tribunal,

Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven/RITS)

Dirk Adriaensens (SOS-Irak)

Patrick Deboosere (VUB)



Dear all,

Bush is coming to Brussel between sunday February 20th and tuesday 22. The =
peace movement, the environmental movement and the humanrightsorganisation =
are for once joining forces to 'stop Bush' (see .  But =
they are concentrating their street actions on monday and tuesday. So it wo=
uld be silent when He arrives. The BRussells Tribunal thought that this was=
 not decent.

So we are organising, in collaboration with the peace movement a sit in on =
the steps of the Stochange (3.30 pm) and a protest marathon from 5 pm onwar=
ds in the Beursschouwburg.

We are looking for artists, poets, singers, intellectuals to bring a short =
intervention (song, poem, text) to let the whole world know we do not agree=
 with the Bush policies.

Especially American citizens residing in Belgium are welcome, for it is not=
 our intention to make it into an anti-American event. On the contrary: we =
support the American people in its suffering under and its resistance again=
st the Bush-regime.

All reactions to: Contactpersoon for the Beurs=
schouwburg is Frederiek Lamote ( / 0472/44.72.48). =
Updates on the action: see

You can help by forwarding this mail to the right people and to all your fr=
iends. See you on sunday February 20th, 3.30 pm at the steps of the Stock E=
xchange, 5 pm at the Beursschouwburg (rue Antoine Orts).

 For the Brussels Tribunal,

Lieven De Cauter
Dirk Adriaansen
Patrick Deboosere

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Message: 8
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 13:46:58 -0800 (PST)
From: John Churchilly <>
Subject: Bremer is very rich now  while Some Just Voted for Food  for variety of choices!!!!

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Bremer can't account for $11.6 billion, audit shows

By T. Christian Miller in Washington
February 1, 2005

The US-led provisional government in charge of Iraq was unable to properly =
account for nearly $US9billion ($11.6 billion) in Iraqi funds it was charge=
d with safeguarding, a scathing audit report reveals.

The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) may have paid salaries for thousa=
nds of non-existent "ghost employees" in Iraqi ministries, issued unauthori=
sed multimillion-dollar contracts, and provided little oversight of spendin=
g in possibly corrupt ministries, according to the report by Stuart Bowen, =
the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction.

"While acknowledging the extraordinarily challenging threat environment tha=
t confronted the CPA throughout

--------------follow at the site-----------

Associated Press
Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq
01.30.2005, 07:41 PM

The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq was unable to keep track of nearly $9=
 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial co=
ntrols, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general h=
as found.

The U.S. officials relied on Iraqi audit agencies to account for the funds =
but those offices were not even functioning when the funds were transferred=
 between October 2003 and June 2004, according to an audit by a special U.S=
. inspector general.

----------follow at the site----------------

Some Just Voted for Food
By Dahr Jamail
Inter Press Service

Monday 31 January 2005

BAGHDAD - Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations,
several voters said after the Sunday poll.

Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by
the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were
allowed to vote.

"I went to the voting centre and gave my name and district where I lived
to a man," said Wassif Hamsa, a 32-year-old journalist who lives in the
predominantly Shia area Janila in Baghdad. "This man then sent me to the
person who distributed my monthly food ration."

Mohammed Ra'ad, an engineering student who lives in the Baya'a district of
the capital city reported a similar experience.
---------------follow at the site----------

 By Hawra Karama
 January 31, 2005


This election, on the other hand, gave me a variety of
 choices on numerous issues.  Behold the multitude of
 questions I was asked:

 1. Do you prefer to be tortured by A) American
 soldiers or B) British soldiers?

 2. When occupying soldiers stop you in the street,
 would you rather be strip-searched A) with blindfold
 or B) without blindfold?

 3. When foreign soldiers enter your house in the
 middle of the night to arrest your husband and
 terrorize your kids, would you prefer that they A)
 knock or B) ring the doorbell?  [This question seemed
 odd because I thought they knew
 we don't have electricity and therefore the doorbells
 don't work.]

 4. Which of the following CIA-paid Iraqis should
 represent you?  [The list is too long to reprint

 5. Do you want the foreign forces occupying your
 country to leave?  A) No.  [I imagine they had
 accidentally forgotten to print "Yes."]

 To make sure our voices were being fully heard, some
 of the questions were open ended.  Voters were
 actually allowed to write in their opinions on a
 number of issues.  Observe:

 6. Which media outlet should hold the copyright to the
 pictures of your torture?

 7. The occupation has violated the sanctity of the
 holy sites in Najaf and Karbala and bombed many
 mosques in Baghdad and Falluja.  Are there any other
 holy sites you believe the occupation has missed?

 8. Which American company do you believe should be
 awarded a monopoly on Iraq's oil?

 After reading all the questions, I did the same thing
 I'd done in 1995 and 2002.  I left the ballot blank
 and walked out.

-------------follow at the site------------

Do you Yahoo!?
 Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'


Message: 9
From: "Dirk Adriaensens" <>
To: "Iraq tribunal info" <>
Cc: <>, <>,
Subject: Iraq Oil-For-Food Audit Finds No Widespread Abuse
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 23:50:51 +0100

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

      Published on Friday, February 4, 2005 by the Inter Press Service
      Iraq Oil-For-Food Audit Finds No Widespread Abuse
      by Haider Rizvi

      UNITED NATIONS - After spending months combing through thousands of d=
ocuments and questioning scores of officials, the investigators of alleged =
irregularities in the U.N.-led Oil-for-Food program in Iraq acknowledge tha=
t they have so far failed to find a smoking gun. However, in an interim rep=
ort released Thursday, they accused the world body of failing to abide by t=
he rules to assure fairness, transparency and accountability.

      "The findings do not make for pleasant reading," wrote Paul Volker, c=
hairman of the Independent Inquiry Committee, in the Wall Street Journal a =
day before releasing an interim report on the conduct of the Oil-for-Food p=
rogram at a heavily attended news conference held outside the premises of t=
he U.N. headquarters.

            Newspaper editors who play up the story are complicit in this o=
ngoing virulent campaign against the U.N. by U.S. right-wing neo-conservati=

            Jim Paul, executive director of the U.S.-based Global Policy Fo=
      However, he added that the U.N. administration of the program appeare=
d to be "free of systematic or widespread abuse".

      The Oil-for-Food Program was initiated in 1996 to purchase and manage=
 46 billion dollars worth of humanitarian assistance by selling Iraqi oil. =
At that time, Iraq was facing sanctions as a punishment for invading neighb=
oring Kuwait and for trying to develop weapons of mass destruction.

      The program provided essential food and medicines to 60 percent of Ir=
aq's 27 million people. It was ended in May 2003 after the Security Council=
 lifted the sanctions following the U.S. military occupation of Iraq.

      Volker, a former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, sharply critic=
ized a senior U.N. official who supervised the program in Iraq for several =
years before the first U.S. invasion of that country in 1993.

      "Mr. Sevan placed himself in a grave and continuing conflict of inter=
est situation that violated explicit U.N. rules," he said. "The evidence am=
ply demonstrates that a tainted procurement process took place in 1996 when=
 the program was just getting under way."

      The Volker report says that Benan Sevan, a Cyprian national who has w=
orked for the United Nations for about 40 years, repeatedly asked Iraqis fo=
r allocations of oil to the African Middle East Petroleum Company. Sevan's =
behavior was "ethically improper," Volker told reporters.

      Sevan has repeatedly denied these charges and argues that he is being=
 made a "scapegoat".

      "He never took a penny," says Eric Lewis, Sevan's attorney. "In the c=
urrent political climate, the IIC needs to find someone to blame. The IIC h=
as turned its back on the due process. It has caved in to the pressure to t=
hose opposed to the mission of the U..N."

      At U.N. headquarters, some wondered why Volker chose to write a colum=
n for the Wall Street Journal, explaining the findings of the committee's r=
eport a day before its actual release to the press as well as the Secretary=
-General. "We are surprised," said Fred Eckhard, Annan's chief spokesman.

      For months, the Journal has been spearheading the media campaign agai=
nst the U.N. regarding its conduct of the Oil-for-Food Program Volker has d=
efended his actions by saying that he wanted it to be read by the public.

      Many observers attribute the intense scrutiny of the program to a rig=
ht-wing media campaign in the United States.

      "Newspaper editors who play up the story are complicit in this ongoin=
g virulent campaign against the U.N. by U.S. right-wing neo-conservatives,"=
 says Jim Paul, executive director of the U.S.-based Global Policy Forum.

      A few hours after the release of the report, Republican Congressman H=
enry Hyde described the Volker's findings as "a matter of urgent concern," =
saying that he was "reluctant to conclude that the U.N. is damaged beyond r=
epair, but these revelations certainly point to this direction."

      Recently, a number of lawmakers in Washington demanded that U.N. offi=
cials suspected of involvement in the Oil-for-Food irregularities be handed=
 over to U.S. investigators. One senator even went to the extent of demandi=
ng Annan's resignation. The U.S. Senate is conducting its own investigation=
 into the program

      In response to Volker's report, Annan issued a statement saying that =
he would take disciplinary action against Sevan and another official critic=
ized in the report.

      "Should any findings of the inquiry give rise to criminal charges, th=
e United Nations will cooperate with national law enforcement authorities p=
ursuing those charges," he said. "I will waive the diplomatic immunity of t=
he staff member concerned."

      Sevan, who has retired from active duty, is being kept on staff at a =
token salary to ensure his availability to the inquiry. He is currently res=
iding in the United States on a diplomatic visa.

      The Committee is scheduled to release its final report in June this y=

      =A9 2005 IPS - Inter Press Service

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Message: 10
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 08:49:58 EST
Subject: Dahr Jamail-Life under the bombs

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Living Under the Bombs
By Dahr Jamail
One of the least reported aspects of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is the
oftentimes indiscriminate use of air power by the American military. The  W=
mainstream media has generally failed to attend to the F-16 warplanes
dropping their payloads of 500, 1,000, and 2,000-pound bombs on Iraqi citie=
s  -=E2=80=93 or
to the results of these attacks. While some of the bombs and missiles  fall=
resistance fighters, the majority of the casualties are civilian =E2=80=93-=
children, the elderly, and other unarmed civilians.
"Coalition troops and Iraqi security forces may be responsible for up to  6=
of conflict-related civilian deaths in Iraq -- far more than are killed by
insurgents, confidential records obtained by the BBC's Panorama programme
reveal." As the BBC reported recently, these numbers were compiled by Iraq'=
Ministry of Health, in part because of the refusal of the Bush and Blair
administrations to do so. In the case of Fallujah, where the U.S. military =
2,000 people were killed during the recent assault on the city, at  least
1,200 of the dead are believed to have been non-combatant civilians.
"Some of my friends in Fallujah, their homes were attacked by airplanes so
they left, and nobody s found them since," said Mehdi Abdulla in a refugee
camp in Baghdad. His own home was bombed to rubble by American warplanes  d=
the assault on Fallujah in November -- and in Iraq today, his  experience i=
far from unique.
All any reporter has to do is cock an ear or look up to catch the planes
roaring over Baghdad en route to bombing missions over Mosul, Fallujah and =
trouble spots on a weekly =E2=80=93 sometimes even a daily basis. It is sim=
impossible to travel the streets of Baghdad without seeing several Apache o=
Blackhawk helicopters buzzing the rooftops. Their rumbling blades are so cl=
ose  to
the ground and so powerful that they leave wailing car alarms in their wake
as they pass over any neighborhood.
With its ground troops stretched thin and growing haggard -- 30% of them,
after all, are already on their second tour of duty in the brutal occupatio=
n  of
Iraq =E2=80=93 U.S. military commanders appear to be relying more than ever=
airpower to give themselves an edge. The November assault on Fallujah did n=
ot  even
begin until warplanes had, on a near-daily basis, dropped 500-1000 pound
bombs on suspected resistance targets in the besieged city. During that  pe=
fighter jets ripped through the air over Baghdad for nights on end,  headin=
out on mission after mission to drop their payloads on Fallujah.
"Airpower remains the single greatest asymmetrical advantage the United
States has over its foes," writes Thomas Searle, a military defense analyst=
the Airpower Research Institute at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. "To
make airpower truly effective against guerrillas in that war, we cannot wai=
t  for
the joint force commander or the ground component commander to tell us  wha=
to do. Rather, we must aggressively develop and employ airpower's
counterguerrilla capabilities."
"Aggressively employ airpower's capabilities" -- indeed they have.
"Even the Chickens and Sheep Are Frightened"
"The first day of Ramadan we went to the prayers and, just as the Imam said
Allahu Akbar ("God is great"), the jets began to arrive." Abu Hammad  was
remembering the early stages of the November Fallujah campaign. "They came
continuously through the night and bombed everywhere in Fallujah. It did no=
t  stop
even for a moment."
The 35 year-old merchant is now a refugee living in a tent on the campus of
the University of Baghdad along with over 900 other homeless Fallujans. "If
the American forces did not find a target to bomb," he said, "they used sou=
bombs just to terrorize the people and children. The city stayed in fear; I
cannot give you a picture of how panicked everyone was." As he spoke in a
strained voice, his body began to tremble with the memories, "In the mornin=
g,  I
found Fallujah empty, as if nobody lived in it. It felt as though Fallujah =
already been bombed to the ground. As if nothing were left."
When Abu Hammad says "nothing," he means it. It is now estimated that 75%  =
the homes and buildings in the city were destroyed either by warplanes,
helicopters, or artillery barrages; most of the remaining 25% sustained at =
some damage as well.
"Even the telephone exchange in Fallujah has been flattened," he added
between quickening breaths because, as he remembers, as he makes the effort=
explain, his rage grows. "Nothing works in Fallujah now!"
Several men standing with us, all of whom are refugees like Hammad, nod in
agreement while staring off toward the setting sun to the west, the directi=
where their city once stood.
Throughout much of urban Iraq, people tell stories of being terrorized by
American airpower, which is often loosed on heavily populated neighborhoods
that have, in effect, been declared the bombing equivalents of free-fire  z=
"There is no limit to the American aggression," comments a sheikh from
Baquba, a city 30 miles northeast of the capital. He agreed to discuss the =
of air power only on the condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals  from th=
U.S. military.
"The fighter jets regularly fly so low over our city that you can see the
pilots sitting in the cockpit," he tells me, using his hand to measure the
skyline and indicate just how low he means. "The helicopters fly even lower=
,  so
low, and aim their guns at the people and this terrifies everyone. How can
humans live like this? Even our animals, the chickens and sheep are frighte=
by this. We don't know why they do this to us."
"My Whole House Was Shaking"
The terror from the air began on the first day of the invasion in March,
2003.. "On March 19th at two AM, we were sleeping," Abdulla Mohammed, fathe=
r  of
four children,, says softly as we sit in his modest home in Baghdad. "I  wo=
up with a start to the enormous blasts of the bombs. All I could do was  wa=
the television and see that everything was being bombed in Baghdad."
Near his home, a pile of concrete blocks and twisted support beams that  on=
was a telephone exchange remains as an ugly reminder of how the war  starte=
for Baghdadis. "I was so terrified. My whole house was shaking," he
continues, "and the windows were breaking. I was frightened that the ceilin=
g  would
fall on us because of the bombs."
Nearly two years later, he still becomes visibly upset while describing  wh=
it felt like to live through that first horrific "shock and awe"  onslaught
from the air. "It was unbelievable to see things in my house jump  into the=
when the bombs landed. They were just so powerful." He pauses and  holds hi=
hands up in a gesture of helplessness before he says, "Nowhere felt  safe a=
there was nothing we could do. People were looking for bread and  vegetable=
so they could survive in their homes, but they didn't know where to  go bec=
nowhere was safe."
He lives with his wife and sons in central Baghdad, but at a location
several miles from where the heaviest bombings in the Bush administration's
shock-and-awe campaign hit. Nevertheless, even at that distance in the heav=
populated capital, it was a nightmare. "Everyone was so terrified. Even the=
who were on the streets left for their homes because everything was  being
destroyed," he says. "The roads were closed because there were so many
"My family was shivering with fear," he adds, staring at the floor.
"Everyone was praying for God to keep the Americans from bombing them. Ther=
e  was no
water, no electricity, and all we had were the extra supplies that we  had
bought before."
Like the sheikh from Baquba, he and his family continue to live in fear of
what American warplanes and helicopters might at any moment unleash. "Now,
there are always helicopters hovering over my neighborhood. They are so lou=
d  and
fly so close. My sons are afraid of them. I hear the fighter jets so  often=

He suddenly raises his hushed voice and you can hear the note of panic deep
within it. "Even last night the fighter jets were so low over my home. We
never know if they will bomb." After pausing, he concludes modestly, "We ca=
only hope that they won't."
"Even the Mosques Quit Announcing Evening Prayers=E2=80=A6"
There is no way to discuss American reliance on air power in a war now
largely being fought inside heavily populated cities without coming back to
Fallujah. While an estimated 200,000 refugees from that city continue to li=
ve  in
refugee tent camps or crowded into houses (with up to 25 families crammed  =
a single roof), horrendous tales of what it was like to live under the  bom=
in the besieged city are only now beginning to emerge.
Ahmed Abdulla, a gaunt 21 year-old Fallujan, accompanied most of his family
on their flight from the city, navigating the perilous neighborhoods neares=
the cordon the American military had thrown around their besieged city. On
November 8, he made it to Baghdad with his mother, his three sisters (aged =
20, and 18), and two younger brothers (10 and 12). His father, however, was
not permitted to leave Fallujah by the U.S. military because he was of
"fighting age." Ahmed was only allowed to exit the besieged city because hi=
s  mother
managed to convince an American soldier that, without him, his sisters  and
younger brothers would be at great risk traveling alone. Fortunately, the
soldier understood her plea and let him through.
Ahmed's father told the family that he would instead stay to watch over
their house. "The house is all we have, nothing else," commented Ahmed
despondently. "We have no land, no livestock, nothing."
Recounting an odyssey of flight typical of those of many Fallujans, Ahmed
told me his father had driven them in the family car across winding, desert
roads out the eastern side of the city, considered the quietest area when i=
came to the fighting. They stopped the car a kilometer before the American
checkpoints and walked the rest of the way, holding up white "flags" so the
soldiers wouldn't mistake them for insurgents. "We walked with our hands up=
expecting them to shoot at us anytime," said Ahmed softly, "It was so bad f=
or  us at
that time and there were so many families trying to get out."
Those inhabitants still trapped in the city had only two hours each day to
emerge and try to find food. Most of the time their electricity was cut and
water ran in the faucets only intermittently. "Every night we told each oth=
goodbye because we expected to die," he said. "Every night there was extrem=
heavy bombing from the jets. My house shook when bombs hit the city, and th=
women were crying all of the time." In his mind he still couldn't shake the
buzzing sound of unmanned surveillance drone aircraft passing overhead, and
the constant explosions of the "concussion bombs" (or so he called them) th=
he claimed the Americans fired just to keep people awake.
"I saw a dead man near our home," he explained, "But I could barely see his
face because there were so many flies on him. The flies were so thick and I
couldn't bear the smell. All around his body, his blood had turned the grou=
black. I don't know how he died."
The sighting of such bodies, often shot by American snipers, was a
commonplace around the city. They lay unburied in part because many familie=
s  dared not
venture out to one of the two football stadiums that had been  converted in=
"Martyr Cemeteries." Instead, they buried their own dead in  their gardens
and left the other bodies where they lay.
"So we stayed inside most of the time and prayed. The more the bombs
exploded the more we prayed and cried." So Ahmed described life inside  Fal=
lujah as
it was being destroyed. Each night in the besieged city seemed, as  he put =
to oscillate between an eerie quiet and sudden bursts of heavy  fighting.
"Even the mosques quit announcing evening prayers at times," he  said. "And=
it would be so quiet -- except for the military drones buzzing  overhead an=
the planes of the Americans which dropped flares."
It was impossible, he claimed, to sleep at night because any sound -- an
approaching fighter jet or helicopter -- and immediately everyone would be
awake. "We would begin praying together loudly and strongly. For God to  pr=
otect us
and to take the fighting away from our city and our home."
Any semblance of normalcy had, of course, long since left the environs of
Fallujah; schools had been closed for weeks; there were dire shortages of
medicine and medical equipment; and civilians still trapped in the city had=
single job -=E2=80=93 somehow to stay alive. When you emerged, however brie=
fly,  nothing
was recognizable. "You could see areas where all the houses were  flattened=
There was just nothing left," he explained. "We could get water at  times, =
there was no electricity, ever."
His family used a small generator that they ran sparingly because they  cou=
not get more fuel. "We ran out of food after they Americans started to
invade the city, so we ate flour, and then all we had was dirty water=E2=80=
eventually what choice did we have but to try to get out?"
"Why do the Americans bomb all of us in our homes," asked Ahmed as our
interview was ending. And you could feel his puzzlement. "Even those of us =
who  do
not fight, we are suffering so much because of the U.S. bombs and tanks.
Can't they see this is turning so many people against them?"
"I Saw Cluster Bombs Everywhere"
Fifty-three year-old Mohammad Ali, who is living in a tent city in Baghdad,
was one of those willing to address the suffering he experienced as a resul=
of the November bombings. Mohammad is a bear of a man, his kind face belyin=
his deep despair as he leans on a worn, wooden cane. He summed up his
experience this way: "We did not feel that there was an Eid [the traditiona=
feasting time which follows Ramadan] after Ramadan this year because our  s=
was so bad. All we had was more fasting. I asked God to save us but  our ho=
was bombed and I lost everything."
Refugees aren't the only people ready to describe what occurred in Fallujah
as a result of the loosing of jets, bombers, and helicopters on the city.
Burhan Fasa'a, a gaunt 33 year-old journalist is a cameraman for the Lebane=
Broadcasting Company. He was inside the city during the first eight days of=
November assault. "I saw at least 200 families whose homes had collapsed  o=
them, thanks to American bombs," he said. "I saw a huge number of people
killed in the northern part of the city and most of them were civilians."
Like so many others I've talked with who made it out of Fallujah, he
described scenes of widespread death and desolation in what had not so long=
been a modest-sized city. Most of these resulted from bombings that =E2=80=
=93  despite
official announcements emphasizing how "targeted" and "precise" they  were =
seemed to those on the receiving end unbearably indiscriminate.
"There were so many people wounded, and with no medical supplies, people
died from their wounds," he said. He also spoke of cluster bombs, which, he=
and many other Fallujan witnesses -- claim, were used by the military in
November as well as during the earlier failed Marine siege of the city in  =
The dropping of cluster bombs in areas where civilians live is a direct
contravention of the Geneva Conventions.
"I saw cluster bombs everywhere," he said calmly, "and so many bodies that
were burned -- dead with no bullets in them."
A doctor, who fled Fallujah after the attacks began and is now working in a
hospital in a small village outside the city, spoke in a similar vein (thou=
she requested that her name not be used): "They shot all the sheep. Any
animals people owned were shot," she said. "Helicopters shot all the animal=
s  and
anything that moved in the villages surrounding Fallujah."
"I saw one dead body I remember all too well. My first where there were
bubbles on the skin, and abnormal coloring, and burn holes in his clothing.=
"  She
also described treating patients who, she felt certain, had been struck by
chemical and white-phosphorous-type weapons. "And I saw so many bodies with
these strange signs, and none of them with bullet holes or obvious injuries=
just dead with discoloring and that bubbled skin, dark blue skin with bubbl=
es  on
it, and burned clothing. I saw this with my own eyes. These bodies were in
the center of Fallujah, in old Fallujah."
Like Burhan, while in the city she too witnessed many civilian buildings
bombed to the ground. "I saw two schools bombed, and all the houses around =
"Why Was Our Family Bombed?"
I was offered another glimpse of what it's like to live in a city under
attack from the air by two sisters, Muna and Selma Salim, also refugees fro=
Fallujah and the only survivors of a family of ten, the rest of whom were  =
when two rockets fired from a U.S. fighter jet hit their home. Their  mothe=
Hadima, 65 years old, died in the attack along with her son Khalid, an  Ira=
police captain, his sister Ka'ahla and her 22 year-old son, their  pregnant=
year-old sister Adhra'a, her husband Samr, who had a doctorate in  religiou=
studies, and their four year-old son Amorad.
Muna, still exhausted from her ordeal, wept almost constantly while telling
her story. Even her abaya, which fully covers her, could not hide her  shak=
body as waves of grief rolled through her tiredness. She was speaking  of h=
dead sister Artica. "I can't get the image out of my mind of her fetus  bei=
blown out of her body," said Muna. Artica was seven months pregnant  when, =
November 10, the rockets struck. "My sister Selma and I survived only
because we were staying at our neighbor's house that night," she said,  sob=
still unable to reconcile her survival with the death of most of the  rest =
of her
family in the fierce pre-assault bombing of the city.
"There were no fighters in our area, so I don't know why they bombed our
home," cried Muna. "When this happened there were ongoing full-scale assaul=
from the air and tanks were attacking our city, so we slipped out of the
eastern side of Fallujah and came to Baghdad."
Selma, Muna's 41 year-old sister, recounted scenes of destruction in the
city -- houses that had been razed by countless air strikes and the stench =
decaying bodies that swirled through the air borne on the area's dry, dusty
"The rubble from the bombed houses covered up the bodies, and nobody could
get to them because people were too afraid even to drive a bulldozer!" She
held out her hands as she spoke, as if to ask her God how such things could
happen. "Even walking out of your house was just about impossible because o=
f  the
Both sisters described their last months in Fallujah as a nightmarish
existence. It was a city where fighters controlled the area, medicine and f=
ood  were
often in short supply, and the thumping concussions of U.S. bombs had  beco=
a daily reality. Rocket-armed attack helicopters rattled low over the  dese=
as they approached the city only adding to the nightmarish landscape.
"Even when the bombs were far away, glasses would fall off our shelves and
break," exclaimed Muna. Going to market, as they had to, in the middle of t=
day to buy food for their family, both sisters felt constant fear of warpla=
 roaring over the sprawling city. "The jets flew over so often," said Selma=
"but we never knew when they would drop their bombs."
They described a desolate city of closed shops and mostly empty streets on
which infrequent terrorized residents could be spotted simply wandering aro=
not knowing what to do. "Fallujah was like a ghost town most of the time,"
was  the way Muna put it. "Most families stayed inside their houses all the
time,  only going out for food when they had to." Like many others, their f=
soon  found that it needed to ration increasingly scarce food and water,
"Usually we  were very hungry because we didn't want to eat our food, or dr=
ink all
of the  water." She paused, took a deep breath undoubtedly thinking of her =
 parents and siblings, and added, "We never knew if we would be able to get
more, so we tried to be careful."
I met the two sisters in the Baghdad home of their uncle. During the
interview, both of them often stared at the ground silently until another  =
would come to mind to be added to their story. Unlike Muna who was  visibly
emotional, Selma generally spoke in a flat voice without affect that  might=
have emerged from some dead zone. "Our situation then was like  that of so
many from Fallujah," she told me. "None of us could leave because  we had n=
to go and no money."
"Why was our family bombed?" pleaded Muna, tears streaming down her cheeks,
"There were never any fighters in our area!"
Today fighting continues on nearly a daily basis around Fallujah, as well  =
in many other cities throughout Iraq; and for reporters as well as  residen=
of Baghdad, the air war is an omnipresent reality. Helicopters buzz  the to=
of buildings and hover over neighborhoods in the capital all the  time, whi=
fighter jets often scorch the skies.
Below them, traumatized civilians await the next onslaught, never knowing
when it may occur.
Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who has been reporting from  Iraq
since November, 2003. He writes for the Sunday Herald in Scotland, Inter  P=
Service, The NewStandard internet news site and the Ester Republic among
other publications. He is the special correspondent in Iraq for Flashpoints
Radio, as well as reporting for Democracy Now!, the BBC, Irish Public Radio=
,  Radio
South Africa, Radio Hong Kong, and many other stations throughout the  worl=
Copyright C2005 Dahr Jamail

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