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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Dear list members, Below is the URL another Guardian feature on Iraq today with some extracts. http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1035855,00.html Real lives ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ----This is no good, sir!' There are no police stations or banks, the American troops are scared and hated and anything that isn't guarded is stolen or destroyed. Is there hope for the people of Baghdad? The distinguished Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa reports from Iraq Friday September 5, 2003 However, the one product that citizens of Baghdad are buying most eagerly is parabolic aerials, which allow them to see television broadcasts from all over the world, something that had never been possible before, and that infuriates the conservative Islamic clerics, who see this television frenzy as an invasion of the corrupting western pornography. Now Iraqis can also surf freely over the web, which in the days of Saddam Hussein was considered a crime. It is amusing to observe, in the internet coffee shops which have mushroomed throughout Baghdad, the passion with which the Baghdadis, especially the young, indulge in this new pastime that connects them with the rest of the world. Endless stories about the US soldiers who patrol Baghdad are spreading all over, the majority of which are, without doubt, exaggerations or lies. One example is that, in their desperation against the growing attacks, they burst into houses and abuse their authority under the pretext of looking for arms. I tried to verify some of these charges and they turned out to be unfounded. The truth is that nobody knows what line to take. For the first time in its history there is complete freedom of press in Iraq - anyone can buy a newspaper or magazine without having to ask for permission from someone - and currently more than 50 news papers are being printed in Baghdad alone (where, since April, 70 political parties have emerged. The Ali Babas ransacked everything that came their way and left half of the population in the street, with no possessions or roofs over their heads. Who were these plunderers? Saddam Hussein, in order to celebrate his re-election as president with 100% of the vote, opened the country's prison doors on October 15 2002 and set free all the common criminals (while sending the majority of political prisoners to their deaths). How many did he set free? I'm given dislocated figures that run from 30,000 to 100,000. It doesn't explain all the outrages committed, but it does explain a good number, the Archbishop Fernando Filoni, The lack of practice of freedom initially spawns catastrophes. That is the reason why the Pope, who is very wise, opposed the war. The disheartenment that all this generates is just one of the obstacles the Iraqi people have to overcome so that their country, which has just come out of one of the most corrupt and brutal experiences of authoritarianism that mankind has known, can leave behind the long night of despotism and violence that makes up its history and become a modern, prosperous and democratic nation. Regards, Muhamad The Guardian -----Original Message----- From: as-ilas [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: 06 September 2003 14:15 To: casi Subject: [casi] Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1036591,00.html Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war Fury over Meacher claims Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor Saturday September 6, 2003 The Guardian Michael Meacher, who served as a minister for six years until three months ago, today goes further than any other mainstream British politician in blaming the Iraq war on a US desire for domination of the Gulf and the world. Mr Meacher, a leftwinger who is close to the green lobby, also claims in an article in today's Guardian that the war on terrorism is a smokescreen and that the US knew in advance about the September 11 attack on New York but, for strategic reasons, chose not to act on the warnings. He says the US goal is "world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies" and that this Pax Americana "provides a much better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism thesis". Mr Meacher adds that the US has made "no serious attempt" to catch the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden. He also criticises the British government, claiming it is motivated, as is the US, by a desire for oil. The US government last night expressed abhorrence at Mr Meacher's views. An embassy spokesman in London said: "Mr Meacher's fantastic allegations - especially his assertion that the US government knowingly stood by while terrorists killed some 3,000 innocents in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia - would be monstrous, and monstrously offensive, if they came from someone serious or credible. "My nation remains grateful for the steadfast friendship of the British people and Her Majesty's government as we face, together, the serious challenges that have arisen since September 11 2001." Downing Street also distanced itself from the views of an MP who only a few months ago was in the government. "The prime minister has responded to those who argue it was about oil," a spokeswoman said, adding that oil profits from Iraq are to be fed back into the country's development. Former ministers such as Robin Cook and Clare Short have criticised the British government for misleading the public over the reasons for going to war. But Mr Meacher has gone much further in his analysis of US and British motives. He says that the plans of the neo-conservatives in Washington for action against Afghanistan and Iraq were well in hand before September 11. He questions why the US failed to heed intelligence about al-Qaida operatives in the US and the apparent slow reaction of the US authorities on the day, as well as the subsequent inability to lay hands on Bin Laden. He argues that the explanation makes sense when seen against the background of the neo-conservative plan. "From this it seems that the so-called 'war on terrorism' is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives." He adds: "Given this, it is not surprising that some have seen the US failure to avert the 9/11 attacks as creating an invaluable pretext for attacking Afghanistan in a war that had clearly already been well planned in advance." Mr Meacher, who was environment minister, says: "The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the US and the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy supplies." He is critical of Britain for allegedly colluding in propagating the myth of a global war of terrorism. He asks: "Is collusion in this myth and junior participation in this project really a proper aspiration for British foreign policy?" _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any communication on its networks - for more information see http://www.hackney.gov.uk/council/data/email_disclaimer.htm _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk