- AWOL GI Refuses Service in 'Gulf War II'
Jim Burns (Nov. 12, 2002) CNSNews.com
U.S. Army Private Wilfredo Torres stepped forward Monday to say he was absent without leave for nearly a year because he wanted no part of a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The announcement from Torres, a 19-year-old from Rochester, N.Y., came on Veteran's Day and just three days after the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution authorizing the use of American force to disarm Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Torres surrendered Monday afternoon to U.S. military police at Fort Myer, Virginia, was incarcerated overnight on an AWOL charge and was to be transferred to Fort Knox, Ky., Tuesday morning, according to his attorney Tod Ensign, who is also the director of a veterans' rights advocacy group called Citizen Soldier.
Torres was participating in basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., when he left without permission shortly after Thanksgiving last year. Monday, he told CNSNews.com he is ready to accept the consequences for his actions even if it means a dishonorable discharge from the Army.
- Veterans Day
Reg (Nov. 11, 2002) ORead Daily
As President Bush lays wreaths today to honor veterans and prepares
for war with Iraq, many veterans have been denied a recognized link
between their unexplained symptoms and service in the Persian Gulf by
the government they served. They have spent years fighting for health
care, battling the Pentagon for information and demanding recognition
and funding of research that seeks to explain why some soldiers fell
ill, while others who fought alongside them remained healthy. An
advisory committee in June estimated that between 25 percent and 30
percent of the 700,000 U.S. veterans who served in the gulf war are
now ill. More than 8,000 have died.
- White House: U.S. doesn't need U.N. permission on Iraq
Jamie McIntyre (Nov. 10, 2002) CNN
One plan involves what Pentagon officials and military analysts call a 21st-century blitzkrieg -- referring to the surprise attacks involving aircraft and fast-moving armor that Germany used at the beginning of World War II.
Under that strategy, sources said, the United States and its allies would launch a ferocious opening air assault involving hundreds, or possibly thousands, of all-weather, satellite-guided bombs and cruise missiles combined with covert missions and psychological operations.
- The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform
Lt Col Douglas Erwin (undated book review) DOD
Another current lesson that we might learn from this study is the role of personal experience. [Book author James S.] Corum makes a point of remarking on the importance of the individual in history- in this case, that of a man of vision like von Seeckt, who provided the coherent guidance that the Reichswehr needed in its early years....
What experience will our next set of leaders bring to their offices? Will they develop the new doctrine in a comprehensive way as von Seeckt did? A reading of Corum's study of General von Seeckt shows us that these questions may be of equal or greater importance to the future of our country than any specific doctrine that is developed.
- Join the Women's Peace Vigil at the White House
Call to Action (Nov. 7, 2002) UnitedForPeace.Org
Join prominent women and women's organizations across the country for this historic peace vigil and rolling fast in front of the White House in Washington DC starting Sunday, November 17, 2002 in Lafayette Park, continuing through March 8, International Women's Day, and culminating in a massive women's peace march.
- Journalist Helen Thomas Condemns Bush Administration
Sarah H. Wright (Nov. 6, 2002) MIT via Truthout
"I have never covered a president who actually wanted to go to war. Bush's policy of pre-emptive war is immoral - such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It's as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam," she said to enthusiastic applause....
"Where is the outrage?" she demanded. "Where is Congress? They're supine! Bush has held only six press conferences, the only forum in our society where a president can be questioned. I'm on the phone to [press secretary] Ari Fleischer every day, asking will he ever hold another one? The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul."
- Journalist Cronkite warns against potential war
Christopher Ferrell (Oct. 28, 2002) TheEagle
Walter Cronkite, the veteran newsman who covered almost every major world event that took place during his six-decade career, on Sunday warned that if the United States takes action against Iraq without support from the United Nations it could set the stage for World War III....
- U.S. Diplomat Killed in Jordan
Daniel J. Wakin (Oct. 28, 2002) NYTimes
An American diplomat in Amman, Jordan, was fatally shot this morning outside his home, Jordanian and American officials said. While no one claimed responsibility, the killing immediately raised fears that it was a terrorist act aimed at the United States....
Political analysts also noted that the killing follows other strikes on Western interests this month, including the shooting of American soldiers in Kuwait and the attack on a French oil tanker off Yemen....
Anger among people in the region toward America has been rising at the prospect of an American attack on Iraq, and Jordan is no exception. Arab governments are in the delicate posture of having to demonstrate their opposition to the war for public consumption, while at the same time tacitly supporting the United States' aims....
- Reserve Call-Up for an Iraqi War May Equal 1991's
Thom Shanker & Eric Schmitt (Oct. 28, 2002) NYTimes
If President Bush orders an attack against Iraq, the Pentagon has plans to mobilize roughly as many reservists as it did during the Persian Gulf war in 1991, when about 265,000 members of the National Guard and Reserves were summoned to active duty, administration officials and military experts say.
- White House Surrounded, Bush Refuses to Surrender
(Oct. 26, 2002) IndyMedia
There were tens of thousands of people protesting a Bush war on Iraq, today. The march went completely around the perimeter of the White House, from one to two blocks away. Many many non affiliated protestors thought there was over 100k. IMC reporters waited hours for the end of the march to come around once. The corporate press left early. Check the newswire for latest.
- Sticking to His 'Best Judgment':
In Interview, Sen. Wellstone Explained His Controversial Vote on Iraq
John Cochran (Oct. 25, 2002) ABC News via Truthout
On Thursday afternoon in Elk River, Minn., ABCNEWS' John Cochran spoke with Sen. Paul Wellstone about his controversial vote against legislation to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
He was the only Democrat running in a competitive re-election race to vote against President Bush on this issue. The next day the senator died in a plane crash at age 58, along with his wife, daughter and five others.
- Iraq as Prison State
Jeffrey St. Clair (Oct. 15, 2002) Counterpunch
Every bit of new construction in [Iraq] is scrutinized for any possible military function by satellite cameras capable of zooming down to a square meter. Truck and tank convoys are zealously monitored. Troop locations are pinpointed with a lethal certainty. Bunkers are mapped, the coordinates programmed into the targeting software for bunker-busting bombs.
This once wealthy and secular nation is bankrupt, its financial reserves crippled by the sadistic sanctions that have blocked not only the export of Iraqi oil but also the import of medical and food supplies, leading to the deaths of millions of Iraqi civilians. Clinton's dreadful Secretary of State Madeleine Albright boasted that this horrific toll was "worth it" in order to keep Saddam penned in.
Now along comes mini-Bush to proclaim to the world that this emaciated nation, shackled in the political equivalent of an isolation tank inside a maximum security prison for these past 12 years, is the greatest threat to world peace on the planet. There is a freakish inevitability to the war cry, as if zeroing in on Iraq was a natural sequel to the decimation of Afghanistan.
- G.O.P. Candidate's Antiwar Vote Proves Popular
Robin Toner (Oct. 13, 2002) NYTimes
It ought to be dangerous for a Republican congressman in a competitive election to break with his president and vote against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. That, at least, is what the conventional wisdom in Washington would hold.
But Representative Jim Leach's decision to oppose President Bush on Iraq looks very different here in Iowa's Second District. Calls and e-mail messages to his Congressional offices are running overwhelmingly in support of his stance. Contributions are coming into his campaign headquarters with handwritten notes, thanking him for his vote. Letters to the editor at The Cedar Rapids Gazette are running eight to one against a unilateral strike on Iraq.
Far from hurting him, many Democrats say, Mr. Leach's vote — one of just six Republican votes against the president in the House — has almost certainly helped him in his race against Dr. Julie Thomas, a Cedar Rapids pediatrician.
- Connie Chung: Skeptical of Skepticism
Action Alert (Oct. 10, 2002) FAIR
Rather than insinuating that it's unpatriotic to question a commander in
chief, [CNN News Broadcaster Connie] Chung might better have looked into the question of whether or not
Bush's statements on Iraq have been trustworthy. That was the approach
taken by two reporters for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, Warren
Strobel and Jonathan Landay, who interviewed more than a dozen military,
intelligence and diplomatic officials on this question (10/8/02):
"These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated
evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses--including
distorting his links to the Al Qaeda terrorist network--have overstated
the amount of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed
the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East. They charge
that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence
analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the
White House's argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the
United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary."
- The Stones of Baghdad
Nicholas D. Kristof (Oct. 4, 2002) NYTimes
Still, while I found few people willing to fight for Saddam, I encountered plenty of nationalists willing to defend Iraq against Yankee invaders. And while ordinary Iraqis were very friendly toward me, they were enraged at the U.S. after 11 years of economic sanctions.
"You see this?" asked a seething university president, waving a pencil in the air. "It took 15 months just to import pencils for our students." (The reason was both bureaucracy and the possibility that graphite could be misused for weapons.)
Worse, U.S. bombing of water treatment plants, difficulties importing purification chemicals like chlorine (which can be used for weapons), and shortages of medicines led to a more than doubling of infant mortality, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
In addition, every Iraqi knows that Basra is suffering a surge in cancer, childhood leukemia and grotesquely deformed fetuses. Some foreign and Iraqi specialists blame American use of depleted-uranium shells during the gulf war, and most Iraqis take this as established fact.
"We blame the U.S.," sputtered Dr. Amir Nissa, an obstetrician in Basra. "It was the U.S. that put in sanctions against Iraq. Every Iraqi blames the U.S. 100 percent."
So if Saddam thinks the average Iraqi is going to miss him, he's deluding himself. But if President Bush thinks our invasion and occupation will go smoothly because Iraqis will welcome us, then he too is deluding himself.
- Our Statement
(Undated) Veterans for Common Sense
We, the undersigned veterans of the Gulf War, seek to inject common sense into the debate over a possible U.S. war against Iraq by placing the debate in the context of safeguarding our liberty, constitutional values and our freedom.
- C.I.A. Rejects Request for Report on Preparations for War in Iraq
James Risen (Oct. 3, 2002) NYTimes
The Central Intelligence Agency has refused to provide Congress a comprehensive report on its role in a possible American campaign against Iraq, setting off a bitter dispute between the agency and leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Congressional leaders said today....
Lawmakers said they were further incensed because the director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, who had been expected to testify about the Iraq report, did not appear at the classified hearing. A senior intelligence official said Mr. Tenet was meeting with President Bush. Instead, the agency was represented by the deputy director, John McLaughlin, and Robert Walpole, the national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs....
Congressional leaders said the decision to fight the Congressional request may stem from a fear of exposing divisions within the intelligence community over the administration's Iraq strategy, perhaps including a debate between the agency and the Pentagon over the military's role in intelligence operations in Iraq.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has been moving to strengthen his control over the military's intelligence apparatus, potentially setting up a turf war for dominance among American intelligence officials. Mr. Rumsfeld has also been pushing to expand the role of American Special Operations Forces into covert operations, including activities that have traditionally been the preserve of the C.I.A.
- Drown out drums of war with the sound of dialogue
Norman Solomon (Oct. 3, 2002) Sunspot
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi called Mr. McDermott [D-WA] "irresponsible" and proclaimed: "He needs to come home and keep his mouth shut."
But Mr. McDermott's retort was on target Monday during a CNN interview from Baghdad: "What I would suggest [Mr. Lott] do is get on a Royal Jordanian airplane and fly over here and take a look. He is talking from absolute ignorance of what's going on, on the ground. And I think he ought to be a little more careful about what he says in a country where we value free speech."
- Iraq's Little Secret
Nicholas D. Kristof (Oct. 1, 2002) NYTimes
More broadly, in a region where women are treated as doormats, Iraq offers an example of how an Arab country can adhere to Islam and yet provide women with opportunities.
- The Rising Tide of Union Opposition to War
Krystal Kyer (Oct. 1, 2002) Counterpunch
Across the United States, unions are speaking out against another invasion of Iraq.
- Fox Hunting Trumps Peace Activism at Washington Post & New York Times
Action Alert (Oct. 1, 2002) FAIR
Last Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of London to protest military action against Iraq, rallying in what the London Independent called "one of the biggest peace demonstrations seen in a generation" (9/29/02). Yet neither the Washington Post nor the New York Times saw fit to run a full article about the protests, instead burying passing mentions of the story in articles about other subjects.
In contrast, both papers showed real interest in another recent London march of comparable size-- last week's protest against a proposed ban on fox-hunting. The Washington Post ran a 1,331-word story about the fox-hunting protest on the front page of its Style section (9/23/02), while the New York Times ran a short Reuters piece on page A4 (9/23/02), which it followed up with an op-ed exploring the class politics of the hunt (9/24/02). A Times story on Prince Charles' involvement in politics (9/26/02) also made reference to the pro-fox hunting protest.
- Blitzkrieg in Iraq after Dec. 5: French Expert
Dawn (Sept. 30, 2002) khilafah.com
Based on his knowledge of that plan, also on intelligence that he has developed in France, Europe and North America, Chaliand says that the high point of the attack will be an air battle "of an incredible intensity, one that the world has never yet known".
- Taking It To London's Streets: The New Anti-War Movement
Tariq Ali (Sept. 30, 2002) Counterpunch
No war in Iraq; Justice for Palestine were the themes that united everyone present on Saturday 28th September. .Murdoch's Sky TV reported 400,000 . Irish radio insisted there were half-a-million. Channel Five News said 'over a quarter of a million'. Only BBC TV reported the 'police figure' of 150,000.
- Inspectors Put Demands On The Table
(Sept. 30, 2002) CBS
Staking out a tough position, U.N. weapons inspectors opened talks Monday with Iraq over a return to Baghdad by holding Saddam Hussein to his pledge of unfettered access to suspect sites.
- Kennedy counters Bush on Iraq:
Says al Qaeda bigger threat than Saddam
(Sept. 27, 2002) CNN
Joining what appears to be a growing Democratic chorus, Sen. Edward Kennedy Friday challenged President Bush's request to use military force against Iraq.
- Open for Business:
U.S. Troops Preparing for War at Qatar's Critical Billion-Dollar Air Base
Jim Sciutto (Sept. 26, 2002) ABC News
When the United States moves a new, mobile command center here in November, Al-Udeid will have all the capabilities of the Prince Sultan air base in Saudi Arabia, with just about equal flying time to Baghdad. And unlike Saudi Arabia, Qatar has placed no significant restrictions on the U.S. military's use of the base.
- WILL BUSH BOMB USA
reg (Sept. 26, 2002) ORead Daily
And here's one to think about. The United States supplied Saddam
Hussein's Iraq with the West Nile virus, a recently released CDC
letter proves. In the letter, the West Nile virus is identified as
one of almost two dozen forms of viruses, retroviruses, bacteria and
fungi provided by the U.S. to Iraqi labs during the 1980s. While
there is no proof that the recent outbreak of West Nile virus in the
United States stemmed from anything Iraq did, former Senator Riegle
of Michigan said in a recent interview, "You have to ask yourself,
might there be a connection?" Sen. Patrick Leahy has described
reports that West Nile was an act of bioterror against the U.S.
as "credible." Leahy also suggested that the purpose of the attack
was to test our defenses against a biological attack. In addition,
testimony before the Senate over the years indicates West Nile Virus,
E. coli, anthrax and botulism were among the potentially fatal
biological cultures that a U.S. company sent under U.S. Commerce
Department licenses after 1985, when Ronald Reagan was president. The
Commerce Department under the first Bush administration also
authorized eight shipments of cultures that the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention later classified as having "biological warfare
significance." Between 1985 and 1989, the Senate testimony shows,
Iraq received at least 72 U.S. shipments of clones, germs and
chemicals ranging from substances that could destroy wheat crops,
give children and animals the bone-deforming disease rickets, to a
nerve gas rated a million times more lethal than Sarin.
Sources: NewsMax, Buffalo News
- IRAQ: Four Questions, Four Answers
Hans C. von Sponeck, Former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (Sept. 25, 2002) irak.be
Another dramatic indicator of the ill being of the population relates to child mortality. UNICEF in its annual State of the Children's report identified Iraq as the country which showed an increase of 160% in the mortality rate of children under five for the period 1990 to 1999. This constitutes the highest recorded increase of all the 188 countries surveyed. According to the same organisation, female literacy has slipped to 45% in 1995 while in 1987 Iraq had received from UNESCO international recognition that it had achieved a literacy level of 80%. There are other alarming figures published by WHO showing that the number of youth with mental disorders has more than doubled between 1990 and 1998.
Hot Spot! Iraq
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