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[casi] News titles, 2-9/7/03



News titles, 2-9/7/03 (Wednesday to Wednesday)

News, 2-9/7/03 (1)

WINNING THE PEACE

*  Iraqi details harsh treatment as Amnesty criticizes U.S. interrogation
methods [There is a general assumption that when the US Army pick up
'terrorists' they are going to obtain information. It takes only thirty
seconds thought to realise that that assumption presupposes the use of
torture. The methods described here, especially sleep deprivation, are very
similar to those described by Menachem Begin and by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
in the Gulag (outright physical torture, they say, if I remember them
aright, was rare)]
*  Coalition launches Operation Sidewinder [Giving rather unimpressive
figures for the haul of weapons]
*  U.S. loses soldier in ambush that left 11 Iraqis dead ['near Balad, 55
miles north of Baghdad'. And other events on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th
July. Mortar attack on 'a huge U.S. base near Balad', humvee blown up near
Baghdad, soldier in Bradley fighting vehicle near Baghdad museum killed]
*  US puts $25m bounty on Saddam [Extracts giving further incidents on 3rd
and 4th July, in Ramadi and Baghdad, including US troops shooting into a
crowd protesting against the imprisonment of a Shi'i cleric 'in Baquba, 60
kilometres northeast of Baghdad']
*  Explosion rocks mosque, killing several Iraqis [According to this
account, the claim that the mosque had been hit by a US missile came from Al
Jazeeera]
*  International rights group calls on coalition to treat detainees justly
[This account emphasises deprivatoion of water and toilet facilities]
*  Franks to turn the reigns over to Abizaid next week
*  Iraqis unsure of US 'democratic' designs [Account of how ex-US Army Lt
Col P.J. Dermer is teaching Iraqis that respecting the opinions of others is
the essence of demcracy: '"OK, here's how democracy works," he told the
students. Attention suddenly focused on the lone American authority in the
room.']
*  British Journalist Killed In Baghdad [Richard Wilde]
*  Bomb Kills 7 New Iraqi Policemen [in Ramadi, Saturday 5th July]
*  List of Journalists Who Died in Iraq
*  Attacks Kill 3 U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad [Sunday/Monday, 6th-7th July, all
in Baghdad. [Two separate convoys attacked and a lad waiting to buy a drink
in the University]
*  Juan Cole's commentary for 3rd July [Cole makes the interesting
observation that 'the Iraq War was a godsend to Sunni radicals, since it
placed 160,000 American troops right in the middle of the Arab world, where
they could be gotten at easily. Al-Qaeda likes symbolic targets, and now it
has thousands of them.']
*  7 US Soldiers Wounded in Separate Attacks in Iraq [One of the attacks was
in Kirkuk] 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST

*  US puts $25m bounty on Saddam ['and his sons, among the most evil men the
world has known', says Mr Bremer.]
*  Former Iraqi FM could be in Austria  press [Naji Sabri. Jorg Haider says
he doesn't know where he is but he would be very welcome in Carinthia]    
*  UN envoy opens workshop justice in Iraq [Somehow the notion of the UN
taking on the job of arranging trials for senior Baath officials reminds me
of the Vichy government in France hurrying to introduce anti-Jewish
legislation in order to keep the 'Jewish question' out of the hands of the
Germans]
*  Text of audiotape purported to be from Saddam Hussein
*   Former Iraqi UN, U.S. Ambassador Dies in New York ['In 1984, he opened
the first Iraqi Embassy in the United States in 17 years, and by all
accounts was extremely popular with the administration of Ronald Reagan
during Iraq's war with Iran.']
*  Iraqi Who Might Have Met With 9/11 Hijacker Is Captured [Now we're really
going to find out how effective sleep deprivation, strobe lights and loud
music can be]
*  Questions Surround Another Hussein Tape
*  Crisis at Iraqi embassy in Beijing takes new twist


AND, IN NEWS, 2-9/7/03 (2)

BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE

*  Lack of Steady Electricity Is Biggest Obstacle to Reconstruction,
Officials Say [Detailed account of electricity problems. Worth reading
despite the tendentious claim that 'the country's power problems start with
a lack of investment in generating capacity and maintenance during the 35
years that the Baath Party government was in power' and that, in response to
sanctions, 'spending on the electrical infrastructure -- and the flow of
much- needed spare parts -- was further curtailed'. I don't know but am
willing to bet that the investment in electricity was enormously increased
in the 1970s and maintained at an adequate level throughout the 1980s]
*  Iraqi museum exhibit  a public relations stunt [Apparently detailed and
credible account of what happened in the museum]    
*  Iraqi Ministry of Oil chief addresses oil developments ['The
U.S.-appointed head of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Thamir Abbas al-Ghadhban'
conveys the impression that he is a man of substance and intellectual
independence]
*  Electricity Department official killed
*  The Rat in the Grain: Dan Amstutz and the Looting of Iraqi Agriculture [A
horror story: 'There's speculation throughout the country that one intent of
the current policy is to force many farmers off their farms and into the
cities so that their lands can be taken over by favorites of Ahmed Chalabi
and his US protectors. The post-Saddam Iraq will almost certainly witness a
land redistribution program: more farmland going into fewer and fewer
hands.']
*   U.S.civilian authority announces new Iraq banknotes [And, perhaps more
importantly, the central bank has been privatised]
*  Bremer says Iraq should consider oil [and other foreign] investment
*  Coalition recalls Iraqi interior ministry

RESTLESS NATIVES

*  'Religious Association' says some 'collaborators' may be killed
*  Arab League chief presses for reforms [Arab League Secretary-General Amr
Musa states the obvious - that the invasion of Iraq shows that the Arab
League is seriously in need of reform: "A 'neo-pan-Arabism' is what we
need."]
*  Tehran allegedly makes deal with Muqtada Al-Sadr [according to 'anonymous
"Kurdish sources", so it may be mischevous]
*  U.S. Raids Offend Iraqi Sensibilities [Kicking the door down and pushing
the man of the house onto the floor to tie his hands behind his back is
considered by Muslims to be impolite]


AND, IN NEWS, 2-9/7/03 (3)

THE BEST AND THE BRAVEST

*  Fourth at the fort a blast [Arnold Schwarzenegger flies in and delivers
himself of some - I would have thought - rather ambiguous remarks: '"It is
really wild driving around here, I mean the poverty, and you see there is no
money, it is disastrous financially and there is the leadership vacuum,
pretty much like in California right now," he quipped.']
*  Troop morale in Iraq hits 'rock bottom'
*  Urban Combat Frustrates Army

KEEPING THE HOMES FIRES BURNING

*  Credibility of Administration Iraq Policy Substantially Eroded, Polls
Find [University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes
(PIPA) poll. This gives the 23 per cent believing WMDs have been found, but
also 52 per cent believing the US government stretched the truth on the
subject]
*  One stark truth: Blair was wrong and must admit it now [Robin Cook
admires the skill with which Alastair Campbell managed to deflect attention
from more important matters]
*  Bush enmeshed in growing controversy over uranium claims
*  MoD report pours scorn on evidence for Iraqi weapons ['Operations in Iraq
2003: First Reflections']
*  Limelight exposes spies' failings [Guardian account of Foreign Affairs
Committee report]
*  Bush Recantation Of Iraq Claim [uranium from Niger] Stirs Calls for
Probes


AND, IN NEWS, 2-9/7/03 (4)

FRIENDS AND ALLIES

*  Talibani in Damascus: occupation prevents fighting ["I think there is no
resistance. These are individual incidents which have connection to the
'Iraqi criminals' who were released (from prisons)."]
*  Iraq's square pegs in round holes [Summary of what is known (not very
much) about the arrest of al-Najaf mayor Abdul Munim Abud]
*  US building a motley posse to keep peace in Iraq [24 countries so far but
only Poland, the Ukraine and possibly Italy look serious]    
*  Halting elections in Iraq [Administrators to be appointed rather than
elected to avoid being faced with a host of Baath Party supporters and
Muslim fundamentalists]
*  Coalition tells Turkoman front to disarm
*  Israel to amend law on exports to Iraq
*  Iraqis Grapple With Fears Of Israeli Infiltration [Mysterious doings in
the Baghdad Hotel]
*  Delhi having second thoughts: officials: Sending of forces to Iraq [We
learn, those of us who didn't know, that the Indian Defense Minister is
called George Fernandes]
*  Kurds 'find Saddam-era mass grave' [near Mosul]
*  Kurdish woman acquires high position in Iraq [The article tells us that
in 1975 (just after a war with the Kurds if I'm not mistaken) 'a
hydro-thermal station was founded, feeding for the time being parts of the
governorates of al-Suleimaaneyah and Irbil and part of Karkouk with
electricity.' Who was in charge in 1975?]
*  Iraqi Governing Council Taking Shape
*  U.S. Frees Some of Turkish Special Forces
*  Shiite holy city battles with US-appointed governors swap [Problem of
finding mayor for Najaf]
*  Iraq to get governing council with "real executive powers" [Sergio Vieira
de Mello describes some minor changes to the original plan]
*  American's Suleymaniyeh operation was broader than just Turkish Special
Forces [It was also directed against the Iraqi Turkoman Front who had failed
to obey the command to hand in their weapons. Perhaps understandably since
the Kurds are keeping theirs]
*  Iraqi groups agree to interim role [Barzani and Chalabi 'said they were
urging United States military commanders in Iraq to allow the creation of an
Iraqi national security force to help thwart the increasing number of
attacks on allied forces.']

BEYOND IRONY

*  Iraqis face painful certainty [Brief article on the heroes who have taken
up responsibility for the care of the dead]




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