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News titles, 18-25/06/03 Of particular note this week is an article by L. Paul Bremer III - 'Operation Iraqi Prosperity Success depends on the birth of a vibrant private sector' under Colonial Administration. But in the last article but one of the whole collection - '[US attack on Syrian border guards] from Six British soldiers killed in continuing Iraqi resistance' - we learn, in an article about something else entirely, that US soldiers have shot up some Syrian border guards. I don't recall this as front page news, though had the Iraqi government shot up some Kuwaiti guards I imagine the world's press would have been obliged to take note of it. News, 18-25/06/03 (1) COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION * Iraq oil for food will cost $100M to shut down * Britain pays wages of thousands of demobbed Iraqi soldiers * Abizaid named to replace Franks as Central Command commander * Iraqi Assets Seized at a Glance [Brief account of the UN-sponsored theft of Iraqi assets 'belonging to Saddam Hussein, his family, regime and cronies'. No real account of what that weasel phrase actually means, eg: 'the $350 million in currency and gold found in the vaults of the Central Bank of Iraq' - does that belong to 'Saddam Hussein, his family, regime and cronies'?] * Pentagon Whistleblower Reveals CIA/ DoD Fiascos [Account of special ops team apparently killed while trying to locate and steal Iraqi assets. Not clear if they were also trying to plant evidence of wmds] * Operation Iraqi Prosperity Success depends on the birth of a vibrant private sector [by L. Paul Bremer III. The Dictator's manifesto. It begins by referring to 'the political liberation of Iraq, one of the remarkable events in the history of human freedom. Never before in warfare have so many been freed with so few casualties, in so short a period of time, with so little damage done to the country and its people.' Rarely since the Soviet Union in the 1930s can the disjunction between ideology and reality have been so enormous. With regard to the passage quoted (which is only a foretaste of the monstrous lies contained in this deeply shameful document) we should bear in mind that the process of the 'liberation' of Iraq took longer the process of the 'liberation' of Troy. The Iraqi army was softened up and the whole population reduced to destitution by a twelve years long blockade before the liberators finally summoned up the courage to go in and invade] * Why don`t the Americans use indigenous labor in rebuilding Iraq? [By way of response to Mr Bremer (thank you, Andreas) Rizgar Khoshnaw complains at the refusal to use Iraqi know-how and labour in the rebuilding of Iraq. Khoshnaw is a Kurd living in the US who has written a book arguing that Iraq and the Kurdish Autonomous Zone were comprehensively ripped off under the Oil for Food scheme] * U.S. issues RFP to GSM providers [big money to be made from mobile phones] * Iraqi Foreign Ministry recruiting * Iraqi Foreign Ministry source says female diplomat to go to UN [But who is she representing?] * U.S. plans to create Iraqi army of 40,000 [A senior American official, Walter Slocombe says "This country was grotesquely over-militarized." Unlike the US. No suggestion that Iraqis are to be allowed to decide what the appropriate level of militarisation should be] * Power cut in Baghdad goes into second day BORED SOLDIERS * 'I just pulled the trigger' [London Evening Standard interviews with angry US soldiers] * U.S. Troops Frustrated With Role In Iraq [Washington Post account] News, 18-25/06/03 (2) MOTHER OF ALL PARLIAMENTS * Cook doubts Saddam threat [Cook and Short evidence to the foreign affairs select committee inquiry] * Stop bleating about WMD and listen to how Nasir's mother was executed in a pit [Ann Clwyd: 'On the streets of Baghdad, WMD is not an issue. "Thanks to Bush and Blair," they cry.' Some of them, anyway.] * Galloway Papers Deemed Forgeries [Lengthy explanation from Christian Science Monitor which informs us that the original article had been published in an (unsuccessful) attempt to fulfil Mary Baker Eddy's injunction to "Injure no man, but to bless all mankind."] * No, Mr Galloway, you're not in the clear yet [Daily Telegraph sticks to its guns] PROGRESS OF THE PRETEXT * The Pentagon has sent the man at the heart of a 'fake documents' scandal to Iraq [Important article from Tribune indicating that documents supposedly supplied by Khidr Hamza, or perhaps by pseudo-Khidr Hamza (the man's capacity for telling improbable tales seems to be limitless), to the Sunday Times and given a great deal of publicity in 1995, were forgeries, that the Sunday Times learned of this but did not see fit to inform its readers] FREEDOM TO COMMIT WAR CRIMES WITH IMPUNITY * Belgium to lift threat of Bush war crimes trial [A missed opportunity to break up NATO and get the US out of Europe] * Officials: Hundreds of Iraqis Killed By Faulty Grenades [Good account of the problem of cluster bombs and the failure of the US army to equip them with secondary fuses that would 'blow up or neutralize grenades that fail to explode on impact'. Apparently Israeli practise is much superior in this respect because the bombs are used on 'their own' territory. Reference is made to the scandal of the continuing havoc in Laos, and on the consequences of the First United Nations Gulf War where they killed 1,220 Kuwaitis and 400 Iraqi civilians. The Kuwaiti government doesn't seem to mind though its twice the 605 Kuwaitis supposedly held by Iraq since the end of the war.] News, 18-25/06/03 (3) IRAQI MILITARY RESISTANCE * [Two US soldiers attacked in Baghdad] from U.S. Captures Key Hussein Aide * Sniper adds to US toll in Iraq * Mortar Hits Coalition Office in Iraq * Soldier Killed in Iraq Ambulance Attack * Soldier killed and pipeline burns as tension runs high in country [Pipeline blast at Hit, about 140km north-west of Baghdad (according to the Scotsman. South West, according to CNN. The Scotsman has it right but, looking at the map, I would have said 'west'). Soldier killed in an 'attack on a military convoy at Khan Azad, 20km south of Baghdad'] * Militant fires at U.S. convoy, reportedly hits Iraqi civilian bus * Car bombs explode in Baghdad ['killing one woman and a young girl'] * Six British soldiers killed in Iraq [The Independent account mentions, as it were in passing, that "up to 80 Iraqis are also believed to have been killed in the prolonged and fierce firefight"] IRAQI POLITICAL RESISTANCE * Iraq democratizing Iran? [Account of Iraqi Shi'i by Pepe Escobar in the light of P.Bremer's cancellation of elections in Najaf] * US Restrictions on Iraqi Media Spark Criticism [mainly in Najaf] * Weekly column on fatwas introduced by Baghdad newspaper [some interesting ones from Sistani. It gives rather a good impression of the Fatwa system, laying out broad principles within which free souls can do what they like] * Iraqis protest in Al-Hillah ['against a U.S. demand that they sign a form stating they will obey U.S. troops or face dismissal'] * U.S. troops open fire as Iraqi military protests turn violent NEIGHBOURS * French raid throws exiled Iranian militants into spotlight [Account of Mujaheddin e Khalq] * Turkey Shuts Iraq Crossing to Commercial Traffic * U.S. Using U.N. to Thwart Iran's Nuclear Program [The old game starts up again. The Washington Post dutifully prattles about the 'escalating nuclear threat from Iran'. It seems though that the Mujaheddin-e Khalq are providing 'intelligence' about the Iranian nuclear programme. Which doesn't say much for their patriotic credentials. Surely they must recognise that, given the threat posed by the US to the rest of the world, possession of nuclear weapons is an essential prerequisite of national independence. Or do they want to see Iran liberated by President Bush? The article ends on a sensible note from 'Richard Murphy, a former assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, now with the Council on Foreign Relations. "I would like to think we could eventually find a way to pick up the Iranian and Syrian proposals for a weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East."' (and includes some sensible observations from the best of the US non-proliferators, David Albright)] * Cheney highlights 'Middle East Partnership' [Richard Cheney wants the US to do for the Middle East what it has already done for South America] News, 18-25/06/03 (4) HUMANITARIAN PROBLEMS * Disease outbreak reported: Cholera in Iraq - Update 3 ['73 laboratory-confirmed cholera cases ... No deaths'. Concentrated around Basra. Why not elsewhere?] * IRAQ: Hundreds of Palestinian refugees evicted by landlords * Japan named top UNICEF donor for Iraq * Humanitarian groups alarmed by water emergencies in Iraq ['On Sunday, more than a month after WHO first warned of waterborne epidemics developing in Basra, the Pentagon approved a private contract to replace parts for the city's four water treatment plants.' But isn't Basra supposed to be administered by the British?] * Deadly waste returned to US forces [Disastrous negligence of radiation problem round Tuwaitha] APPARENTLY REMARKABLE PAUCITY OF NEWS FROM IRAQI KURDISTAN * Kurds ban weapons in Northern Iraq * Kurds Issue al-Qaida Warning for N. Iraq [Barham Salih, wouldn't you know. Implicating Iran, wouldn't you know] LOST AND FOUND DEPARTMENT * Iraq's museums: what really happened [Eleanor Robson, supporting the account by senior staff at the museum] * Looters Stole 6,000 Artifacts [The contested figure of 170,000 items appears here as the total number of items held by the museum] * What really happened at the Baghdad museum? [Probably libellous attack on senior staff of the Museum by Dan Cruickshank] MOPPING UP THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT * U.S. Captures Key Hussein Aide [Abid Hamid Mahmud, as part of Operation Desert Scorpion] * U.S. stepping up appeals to Iraqi scientists ["It's time to leave your hideouts.... If you come voluntarily and give information about weapons of mass destruction and their launch vehicles, the United States will do its best to give you a just trial in accordance with the law." It doesn't sound a very attractive deal. And rather implies that if they don't come out voluntarily etc then the United States won't do its best to give them a just trial in accordance with the law.] * DNA tests after missiles strike 'Saddam convoy' ['the sources indicated that they were cautiously optimistic that they had finally killed the target they described as 'the top man'.' For another attack on a convoy containing the President of Iraq and his family see the following article] * [US attack on Syrian border guards] from Six British soldiers killed in continuing Iraqi resistance [It appears from this rather obscure piece tucked away out of sight in an article about something else that they shot up the guards of a neighbouring country and killed some unidentified people in a car. But this is just what happens in the New World Order, isn't it?] * Saddam's closest aides may be trying to flee to Belarus _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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