As always, Caveat Lector! The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the owners of Cassiopaea.org. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.
The links will open a new window. To return to this page, simply close the new window.
The most successful tyranny is not the one
that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the
awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable
that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--
consciousness is freedom
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." [Cassiopaea 09-28-02]
March 26, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
Experts: Northwest quake under way taking weeks, not seconds A widespread earthquake is taking place beneath the Northwest, slowly unleashing energy that may be equivalent to the magnitude 6.7 Nisqually quake that rocked the region two years ago, experts say. But the so-called "silent" or "slow" earthquake is releasing that energy over weeks rather than in the sharp, seconds-long jolts of a typical quake. No one can feel it.
The event started Feb. 26
and seems to be sputtering to a halt far beneath northwest
Washington and southwest British Columbia. The quake originated
beneath the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Friday Harbor, Wash., and
Victoria, British Columbia. Recently discovered silent quakes,
which can only be detected with sensitive instruments, aren't as
harmless as they may seem. Scientists say they may be adding to the
tremendous pressure in an area where the brittle rocks of two
tectonic plates are locked offshore. Evidence shows that every
few hundred years, the jammed plates release that stress in huge
magnitude 8 or 9 earthquakes that can rattle the entire Northwest
coast and generate lethal tsunamis. The last such powerful
subduction-zone quake occurred about 300 years ago.
Morocco offers US monkeys to detonate mines RABAT, D.C., Morocco, March 24 (UPI) -- A Moroccan publication accused the government Monday of providing unusual assistance to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq by offering them 2,000 monkeys trained in detonating land mines.
The weekly al-Usbu' al-Siyassi reported that Morocco offered the U.S. forces a large number of monkeys, some from Morocco's Atlas Mountains and others imported, to use them for detonating land mines planted by the Iraqis. The publication quoted a highly-informed source as saying, "that is not a scientific illusion but a well-known military tactic." Comment: Wonderful respect for life. I sugguest we put the tribe of monkeys that currently inhabit the white house in monkey suits and send them in instead.
day of war 500 civilians among 650 Iraqis killed Kuwait
City, March 26
US admits '8,000 Iraqis captured' claim was false The US military has been forced to admit the 8,000 Iraqi soldiers they claimed to have captured last week are now battling British forces.
A US delegation arrived in Amman in its way to Baghdad for ceasefire negotiationsAbu Dhabi, Alittihad Daily, 3/26/2003 -- The UAE leading semi-official daily newspaper, Alittihad, reported today that a US government delegation has arrived in Amman, Jordan, yesterday in its way to Baghdad for negotiations with the Iraqi government about an immediate ceasefire.
A diplomatic source told Alittihad that the US government delegation included four leading members of Congress as well as Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the US Vice President Dick Cheney, representing the US Department of State, where she works as an Assistant to the Deputy of the Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs. Comment: I'd like to believe this, but somehow I can't.
US WILL LOSE THE IRAQ WAR - SAYS SCOTT RITTER Thorn in the side of the American administration, and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, has warned that America will lose the Iraq war and the American military: "will leave Iraq with its tail between its legs." In an interview with Irish radio, Mr. Ritter said that the conflict would become an "absolute quagmire," and the US-UK advance would stall outside Bhagdad and fail to capture the city.
"We find ourselves... facing a nation of 23 million, with armed elements numbering around 7 million --who are concentrated at urban areas. We will not win this fight. America will loose this war," said Mr. Ritter. According to Mr. Ritter, too many in the Pentagon have listened to: "the blithering of Iraqi expatriates," whose agenda coincides with neo-conservatives in the White House.
"We're in Iraq --carrying out the right-wing neo-conservative motives of a handful of people. The Richard Perle's, Paul Wolfowitz's; the Dick Cheney's. And we've allowed them to hijack our foreign policy," he told Irish broadcaster, Vincent Browne on the RTE1 radio "Tonight Show." He warned that Shia Muslims in the South were not fighting because of intimidation by the Iraqi government, but because of nationalistic and religious reasons.
Congratulations Congratulations to me and congratulations to you. All of us Americans are about to become the proud mamas and papas of 22 million Iraqis — less, of course, the several thousand our forces kill. President Bush has been understandably coy about explaining to the people that we are going to adopt the Iraqi nation. Having destroyed its government, we will have to supply all of the government services to all of the Iraqi people, in addition to humanitarian supplies necessitated by our destructive war. We will have to rebuild its infrastructure even as we struggle with our own.
You might have noticed that there has been no talk about an exit strategy. That's because there isn't one. The Bush administration plans to stay in Iraq to set up an occupational government and run the country for an indeterminate period of time. We, of course, will get stuck with the bill, and it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Some of the politicians' corporate cronies are already being promised lucrative contracts. There's always a profit to be made from war. You and I won't make it; the soldiers, sailors and airmen won't make it. No, as consumers, we pay the price in treasure and blood and grief; the big corporations reap the profit.
But we have no one to blame but ourselves. As long as we are stupid enough to elect unscrupulous politicians to public offices, they will fleece us. When you look like a sheep, act like a sheep and baa like a sheep, then you can't blame the wolf for taking you as his dinner. Gee, I hope the Israelis don't get jealous. They've been on the American dole so long that the cumulative total is about $100 billion. You'd think that much of American taxpayers' money would earn at least a smidgen of gratitude, but as a young American peace activist learned when an Israeli killed her with a bulldozer, gratitude is not their forte.
We're likely to spend that much on Iraq in just a year or two. Thanks to our having used Iraq as a bombing range and thanks to the draconian sanctions, the country is pretty much a malnourished, diseased-ridden wreck. Somehow, no matter how much we spend, I don't think the Iraqis will feel much gratitude, either. I have long been against taxing Americans to solve problems in foreign countries. It seems to me a simple proposition. Until an American politician can honestly say that all Americans are healthy and prosperous, that all children attend a clean, well-equipped school, that our entire infrastructure is up-to-speed, that all of our public health and environmental problems have been solved, then American tax dollars ought to be spent in the United States. I've read the Constitution I don't know how many times, but I never found anywhere in it that Congress can tax Americans and give the money to foreigners. But Congress does it anyway, and most Americans don't protest. Too busy watching television, I suppose.
Even though you are going to be providing them with food, medical care, education, etc., I really don't advise you to visit your adopted sons and daughters. They are likely to be cranky because of all the deaths and injuries. Might not be reasonable, but you know how humans are — they tend to blame people who drop bombs on them. Besides, President Bush has two more countries to go on his "axis of evil." Iran, with 60 million people, won't be the pushover that Iraq is, nor will North Korea, but now that we have adopted the pre-emptive war strategy, conflict is likely to become a sort of endless reality TV show. I have one suggestion: Don't close any more Veterans Affairs hospitals. I think we will need lot of beds for the foreseeable future.
Britain´s Straw Compares Israel to Iraq The Jews of Israel once again, as during the 1940's, find themselves in the awkward position of having to support Great Britain as it wages a foreign war, while at the same time the British take a hostile position to Israeli interests.
Israeli government officials are furious after hearing the remarks of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who compared Iraq and Israel. Speaking on BBC last night, Straw acknowledged Arab concerns "that the West has been guilty of double standards, on the one hand saying the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Iraq must be implemented, on the other hand, sometimes appearing rather quixotic over the implementation of resolutions about Israel and Palestine." Jerusalem officials said, "It is regrettable that no distinction is made in Europe between a bloodthirsty dictator who threatens the entire world, and a democratic country that is dealing with the worst wave of terrorism in the world." Comment: The first step in the eventual "outing" of Israel?
The World Health Organisation mulled global travel restrictions as Hong Kong announced emergency funding to fight a deadly respiratory disease and Singapore quarantined more than 700 people to contain its spread.[...] The WHO head office in Geneva said a meeting planned on Tuesday will determine if there is need to impose travel restrictions to stem the spread of SARS, which manifests itself as a form of pneumonia.
The mystery virus, spread through direct close contact with an infected person, has caused at least 17 deaths and 456 "suspected or probable" cases around the world, WHO officials said. [...] In an unprecedented move, Singapore invoked the Infectious Diseases Act to keep 740 people, including school children, under home quarantine for 10 days.
Singapore's move underlined
tough actions taken by governments to break the
SIX DAYS OF SHAME Mar 26 2003 Today is a day of shame for the British military as it declares the Iraqi city of Basra, with a stricken population of 600,000, a "military target". You will not read or hear those words in the establishment media that claims to speak for Britain. But they are true. With Basra, shame is now our signature, forged by Blair and Bush.
Having destroyed its water and power supplies, cut off food supply routes and having failed to crack its human defences, they are now preparing to lay siege to Iraq's second city which is more than 40 per cent children. What an ignominious moment in British history. Here is an impoverished country under attack by a superpower, the United States, which has unimaginable wealth and the world's most destructive weapons, and its "coalition" accomplice, Britain, which boasts one of the world's best "professional" armies.
Believing their own propaganda, the military brass has been stunned by the Iraqi resistance. They have tried to belittle the militia defending Basra with lurid stories that its fighters are killing each other. The truth is that the Iraqis are fighting like lions to defend not a tyrant but their homeland. It is a truth the overwhelming majority of decent Britons will admire. The historical comparison Tony Blair and his propagandists fear is that of the British defending themselves against invasion. That happened 60 years ago and now "we" are the rapacious invaders.
Yesterday, Blair said that 400,000 Iraqi children had died in the past five years from malnutrition and related causes. He said "huge stockpiles of humanitarian aid" and clean water awaited them in Kuwait, if only the Iraqi regime would allow safe passage. In fact, voluminous evidence, including that published by the United Nations Children's Fund, makes clear that the main reason these children have died is an enduring siege, a 12-year embargo driven by America and Britain.
As of last July, $5.4billion worth of humanitarian supplies, approved by the UN and paid for by the Iraqi government, were blocked by Washington, with the Blair government's approval. The former assistant secretary general of the UN, Denis Halliday, who was sent to Iraq to set up the "oil for food programme", described the effects of the embargo as "nothing less than genocide". Similar words have been used by his successor, Hans Von Sponeck.
Both men resigned in protest, saying the embargo merely reinforced the power of Saddam. Both called Blair a liar.
And now Blair's troops are firing their wire-guided missiles to "soften up" Basra. I have walked the city's streets, along a road blown to pieces by a US missile. The casualties were children, of course, because children are everywhere. I held a handkerchief over my face as I stood in a school playground with a teacher and several hundred malnourished youngsters.
The dust blew in from the southern battlefields of the 1991 Gulf War, which have never been cleaned up because the US and British governments have denied Iraq the specialist equipment. The dust, Dr Jawad Al-Ali told me, carries "the seeds of our death". In the children's wards of Basra's main hospital, deaths from a range of hitherto unseen cancers are common and specialists have little doubt that up to half the population of southern Iraq will die from cancers linked to the use of a weapon of mass destruction used by the Americans and British - uranium tipped shells and missiles.
Images of bandaged children in hospital wards are appearing on TV but you do not see the result of a Tornado's cluster bombing. You are not being shown children scalped by shrapnel, with legs reduced to bloody pieces of string. Such images are "not acceptable", because they will disturb viewers - and the authorities do not want that. These "unseen" images are the truth. Iraqi parents have to look at their mutilated children, so why shouldn't those of us, in whose name they were slaughtered, see what they see?
Why shouldn't we share their pain? Why shouldn't we see the true nature of this criminal invasion? Other wars were sanitised, allowing them to be repeated. If you have satellite TV, try to find the Al Jazeera channel, which has distinguished itself with its coverage. When the Americans bombed Afghanistan, one of their "smart" bombs destroyed the Al Jazeera office in Kabul. Few believe it was an accident. Rather, it was a testimony to the channel's independent journalism.
Remember, it is not those who oppose this war who need to justify themselves, regardless of Blair's calls to "support our troops". There is only one way to support them - bring them home without delay. In 1932, Iraqis threw out their British colonial rulers. In 1958, they got rid of the Hashemite monarchy. Iraqis have shown they can overthrow dictators against the odds. So why have they not been able to throw out Saddam?
Because the US and Britain armed him and propped him up while it suited them, making sure that when they tired of him, they would be the only alternative to his rule and the profiteers of his nation's resources. Imperialism has always functioned like that. The "new Iraq", as Blair calls it, will have many models, such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, all of them American conquests and American ruled until Washington allowed a vicious dictatorship to take over.
Saddam only came to power after the Americans helped install his Ba'ath Party in 1979. "That was my favourite coup," said the CIA officer in charge. Keep in mind the cynicism behind these truths when you next hear Blair's impassioned insincerity - and when you glimpse, if you can, the "unacceptable" images of children killed and mangled in your name, and in the cause of what the Prime Minister calls "our simple patriotism".
It's the kind of patriotism, wrote Tolstoy, "that is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason and conscience."
Outrage in Baghdad In America, the saying goes goes: If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.
In Bagdhad, at Al Kindi Hospital Emergency, Fatima Abdullah is screaming in outrage: "Why do you do this to us??!" Her 8-year-old, Fatehah is dead, two other daughters are on stretchers wounded by a missle that crushed her uncle's home where they were staying outside Baghdad, near the Diala Bridge. An extended farming family, they have suffered with sanctions and ecomonic devastation shrinking their stock of animals to one cow, a donkey and chickens; they are barely able to feed themselves.
Muhammed, the four-year-old crying in her arms has cuts from shrapnel and debris criss-crossing the right side of his face and head, eyelids swollen shut. Nada Adnan, 13 years old and a student at high school for girls, states "I wish that God would take Bush. Why did he do this to us? to me?". She has an open gash on her right cranium with underlying fracture and a large, deep shrapnel gauged cut into her upper left thigh. She has no narcotic relief and cries out as aides press guaze into her leg wound. 9 year old, Rana Adnan needs oxygen for a chest laceration and lung contusion with a concussion, head laceration, and shrapnel in her left arm.
And then there is Nahla Harbi who was a passenger driving away from Bagdad with her two year old in her arms when a military school for boys was hit and the explosion rolled the car fracturing both of her legs. Her child sustained head injuries. Less than 100 meters from Alyermouk Hospital and a school, bombing crushed the foot of 28 year old man who was walking outside his home.
Nada Adman, 13, has an open
gash on her right cranium with underlying fracture and a large,
deep shrapnel gauged cut into her upper left thigh.
He has rage and opinions, just as the multitude of families do these several days. How can I explain reasons to them? They know that Bush's Administration is interested in oil control and that they have no interest in democracy for these people. Why don't Americans know this? Why did we elect this man without human feelings, they ask. It's not easy being an American in a Baghdad Emergency room seeing victims and their families. I wish that George Bush was here with his answers to their outrage. Comment: American soldiers that die in this invasion of Iraq had a choice, they are men of war, they go into battle with flags showing skulls and crossbones, they may be misguided but that is their fault, they choose to believe the lies of Bush and Co, it is their choice and they bear the responsbility for their choice. The Iraqi innocents that are blown to pieces in their beds in their schools in their mosques, had no choice, they did not ask to be "liberated". The level of nauseating hypocracy and lies spewed by Bush and his military and political henchmen is disgraceful. This is not about the liberation of the Iraqi people, this is about the torture and suffering of the Iraqi people for the sake of Bush, Cheney,Rumsfeld and Powell's megalomaniacal coveting of control and power.
Civilian Deaths From Airstrikes on Baghdad Fuel Rising Anger Saman Atef was finishing a late breakfast Monday when he heard a long, whining whoosh. Before he had time to ponder the noise, three of his neighbors' houses exploded in a rain of bricks, glass and dust. In the instant the bomb or missile hit, four people were killed and 23 were injured, Atef said, and the people of his working-class neighborhood of northern Baghdad counted one more reason to feel angry with the United States.
Just before the midday attack, a robust-looking President Saddam Hussein had appeared on state television in military uniform and exhorted Iraqis to attack the U.S. and British enemy. "Cut their throats and even their fingers," Hussein urged. "Strike them and strike evil so that evil will be defeated." The U.S. war strategy has counted in part on separating the people of Iraq from the government of Hussein.
But the deaths and injuries from misdirected or errant bombs, or from shrapnel and fragments that spray into nearby homes even when the munitions find their intended target, are making more and more people believe that the United States is heedless of the Iraqi public. The danger to coaltion forces is that when the decisive battle comes, many will rally to Hussein and take up arms against the U.S. and British troops.
Information Minister Mohammed Said Sahaf said Monday that 62 civilians had been "martyred" in the last 24 hours across Iraq and that hundreds had been injured. Although his figures could not be independently verified, the perception among Iraqis is that civilian as well as government and military sites are being deliberately targeted by the Americans.
Atef's Radiha Khatoun neighborhood, for instance, is a dense warren of ordinary houses. Residents all denied that there are any government or military sites around, and none were visible. From the start of the war, Iraqi state television has played up civilian casualties, with pictures of the dead and wounded stock fare on newscasts.
The issue is fanning passions just when Hussein most needs the loyalty of the population for the upcoming battle for Baghdad.In a sign that the battle is drawing near, huge explosions erupted in the eastern and southern suburbs around midnight Monday, evidently caused by B-52 bombers dropping their payloads on the camps of Hussein's Republican Guard.
A sandstorm howled and black clouds from oil fires swirled over the city, giving it an ominous, apocalyptic air. Gigantic flashes of orange could be seen on the horizon -- followed by deep thuds of the massive blasts.
U.S.-led forces have already encountered unexpectedly fierce resistance from irregular fighters and volunteers who have taken to sniping at the rear lines of their advance. So far, the invading forces have been met more with clenched fists than open arms. This has been true even in cities and towns with large Shiite populations that rose up against Hussein after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
The question is whether the same will happen in Baghdad. In Radiha Khatoun, residents suggested it would. They discounted U.S. claims that it seeks to avoid civilian targets and that the bombing must have been in error.
"This is not the first time that they have targeted civilian buildings," Atef insisted. "They would like to destroy the civilian population." In response to the destruction, he said, "we will sacrifice ourselves. We are not frightened by the bombing -- we are motivated to be stronger." He spoke as scores of people from the neighborhood gathered to watch grimly as an earthmover cleared bricks from the destroyed homes that were blocking the narrow lane in front.
Blue-suited firefighters with red-and-white helmets used hoes and their bare hands to sift through the debris, looking for the corpse of a 70-year-old woman presumed to have been crushed in her home. On the ground, a plastic slipper lay in a puddle of water and a black shawl spilled out from the bulldozer's scoop.
Standing in front of his destroyed home, Thamur Sheikel, a 53-year-old Oil Ministry employee, said he had returned from work to find his house no longer standing and his older sister and two young nephews killed. "Bush is cursed," he said, biting off the words. "They want to destroy the people. Maybe God will destroy them. Revenge on Bush for this aggression. We are peaceful people; we do no harm to anybody."
The mood was similarly dark at nearby Al Nouman Hospital, where doctors treated survivors. Aqeel Khalil, 27, the husband of one of the dead, sat on the floor outside the locked door of the morgue, sobbing and asking why his wife and his mother had to die. "There is no military site in my house, and there is no gun in my house," he managed to say through his tears.
"We do the best to save the lives of our people," Dr. Labib Salman said. "This does not make us hesitate to defend our country." Besides appealing to Iraqis to fight, Hussein's speech was apparently designed to debunk suggestions that he had been killed or seriously injured during an attack by U.S. cruise missiles early Thursday, the opening day of the war.
Rather than being defeated, Hussein said Iraqi fighters were "causing the enemy to suffer and to lose every day.... As time goes by, they will lose more and they will not be able to escape lightly from their predicament," he said, in what was touted as a live appearance. The speech got good reviews from Hussein loyalists in Baghdad who watched it.
"Today is like a wedding for me. Or it is like being born again. It is so good to hear our president speak," said Kamil Obedish, who said he felt encouraged enough to reopen the cafe that he had closed a few days earlier. Obedish spoke in the presence of government representatives.
"After hearing his speech, I can say that I am convinced we have already won," he said. "They can't do anything to our president. They will never get him with their clever bombs. Because he is smarter than any of their bombs. He is smarter than all of them." Iz Den, a member of Hussein's Baath Party and a retiree, was manning a sandbag fortification on Sadoun Street, one of the city's many shopping areas.
"There was this propaganda and rumors that he could be dead after they bombed all his palaces," Den said. "But here he is, alive and healthy! It is a big jubilation for us." Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz, at a news conference Monday, said that Hussein was well and firmly in control of the government. He said he wasn't worried about the thousands of U.S. troops coming to Baghdad in convoys that stretch to the horizon, their vehicles brimming with advanced weaponry.
"They will be welcomed in the same way as they were welcomed in Umm al Qasr, Al Faw and Nasariyah, and as they were welcomed by that Iraqi peasant who brought that Apache helicopter down," Aziz said, referring to the battles in the south of the country where the U.S.-led troops have suffered setbacks in recent days. "We will be receiving them with the best music they have ever heard." Comment: Its time to get real here folks. Ask yourself, if you came home from work today to find your house destroyed and your children dead, how would you feel about the perpetrators? Or imagine even that you were one of the lucky ones that they missed, but you hear and see the evidence of your neighbours suffering. How do feel about these so called "liberators"? In truth the Iraqi people have every right to be enraged at the "liberating Americans", and who can blame them if they wreak horrible vengence for the murder of their children in the name of "freedom and peace". Welcome to US foreign policy
Bodies of 500 US, UK soldiers lying in Jacobabad? Around 500 dead bodies of American and British soldiers killed during military operation in Afghanistan after September 11 blitz have been lying in a morgue at Shebhaz Airbase in Jacobabad .
American and British authorities because of fear of strong reaction from their masses had kept the dead bodies of as many as 500 soldiers in a morgue established at Jacobabad Airbase instead of shifting them to their own countries, credible sources informed Online here Tuesday . The bodies of these soldiers, who were killed during last five months in Afghanistan, were brought from Baghram Airbase and other areas of war-ravaged country, sources disclosed .
Sources said American and British authorities, which were planning to shift these dead bodies from their own countries, delayed the decision after eruption of war in Iraq . American and British authorities feared that shifting of dead bodies at this moment would affect the ongoing campaign of coalition forces in Iraq, sources pointed out . They maintained that dead bodies would be kept at Shebhaz Airbase until US and British authorities take the final decision . Sources revealed that security had tightened in and around the Airbase to keep this matter secret. Comment: Of course, in war no one dies, it is all about nice shiny fighter jets and "fireworks" in the sky and cheering locals, or so Bush would like us to believe.
'14 dead' as missiles hit Baghdad market At least 14 civilians were killed and 30 injured today after coalition air strikes hit a market in Baghdad, Iraqi officials claimed. Witnesses at the scene reported burned bodies on the streets of the northern residential Shaab district. Television footage showed a large crater in the middle of the road, smouldering and damaged buildings, a child with a head bandage, and bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting in the back of a pick-up truck.
Wrecked cars were strewn across the roads, some still ablaze. The centre of the blast seems to have been a busy shopping street of ground floor shops under blocks of flats. Residents said there were no military targets in the area. Others described hearing a low flying aircraft followed by two loud explosions. Local people claimed "dozens and dozens" were dead while Lieutenant Colonel Hamad Abdullah, head of civil defence for the area, said 14 people were killed and 30 injured when two cruise missiles hit the area.
The incident would appear to be the first major case of so-called "collateral damage" involving substantial civilian casualties, which allied chiefs have been trying to avoid. "There is a very angry atmosphere at the moment," said BBC journalist Paul Wood. The footage of the apparent strike on innocent civilians is likely to send waves of outrage around the Arab world. In London, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said Downing Street was seeking information about the market blast, but at this stage did not know the cause of the explosion.
He added: "We have always accepted that there will be some very regrettable civilian casualties." US Central Command in Qatar said it was investigating the reports. The Iraqi authorities were expected to take western journalists to the scene later today. The deaths of innocent civilians are an unavoidable feature of armed conflict throughout history. In the last Gulf War and in Operation Desert Fox in 1998 - a four-day bombing campaign on Iraq following the expulsion of UN weapons inspectors - much was made of the "smart-bomb" technology in hitting specific targets.
But battle damage assessments of Operation Desert Fox showed that 15% of missions had missed their target and fewer than one in four were considered a successful attack where the target was destroyed. Then 10% of weapons were guided, but in the present conflict 90% are reportedly guided either by satellite or laser. On February 13 1991, an allied missile struck an air-raid shelter in Baghdad, killing at least 314 people. Iraqi officials took the BBC's Jeremy Bowen to see the aftermath. While he was accompanied at all times by Iraqi minders, he said the grief and anger shown by the survivors and bereaved was not a propaganda stunt.
In the same conflict a stray bomb from an RAF Tornado hit a market near a bridge in Samawa, a city on the Euphrates River in southern Iraq, killing a reported 130 people and wounding 78. The RAF apologised and called the incident a "one-off". But it was just one in a series of "one-offs" that led the Red Crescent charity to estimate that as many as 7,000 civilians had been killed in allied bombing raids. Comment: Oh yes, this is a war to liberate the Iraqi people for sure, liberate them from their bodies it seems. The arrogance of the US politicians and military is sickening. They murder innocent civilians and then hide behind the statement that "civilian casualties are a part of war". They do not mention that this war is being fought for control and power and nothing else and that every Iraq child blown to pieces is a crime against humanity.
'Just like Apocalypse Now' An eyewitness tells
today of the heaviest battle of the war so far which has left 750
Iraqis dead. Sean D Naylor of the American Army Times quotes a US
soldier describing the fighting as so intense that "it looks like
Apocalypse Now". Naylor reports the
destruction of American tanks, rocket-propelled grenade assaults
and deadly air strikes called in on the Iraqi attackers.
The battle on the Euphrates came when a US armoured column of the 7th Cavalry was caught in a deadly ambush by hundreds of Iraqi soldiers on the road to Baghdad at Najaf. Although first reports suggested there were no American dead, intelligence sources in Washington say it is feared the Allies may have taken "heavy casualties". US Abrams tanks were hit by Iraqi missiles fired from tripods on pick-up trucks, and vicious close-quarters skirmishes continued even after the Iraqis took heavy losses. Meanwhile, a large contingent of Republican Guard was reported to be heading south from Baghdad to meet US troops head on.
J-Dams mark escalation of assault on Basra A US warplane has dropped 1,000-pound (500 kilogram) satellite-guided J-Dam bombs on military sites hidden in civilian buildings in Basra, British officers say. The bombings come as British forces battle to take control of the city. Officers say the bombs, released by a US F-18 Super Hornet warplane, targeted a large ammunition dump containing weapons, shells and other munitions, as well as a building thought to be used by Iraqi fighters still defending Iraq's second-largest city.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting has raged on the outskirts of Basra, with British forces firing across the Shatt al-Basra waterway at Iraqi armour on the other side. Two Iraqi T55 tanks were destroyed during the engagements, spearheaded by Challenger tanks from Britain's Desert Rats, the 7th Armoured Brigade.
British gunners also turned their fire toward Iraq's BMP1 armoured personnel carriers and D30 towed artillery guns, which fire 122mm shells. There were no British casualties in the exchanges. The decision to drop J-Dams marked a distinct escalation of the assault on Basra. British commanders attempting to secure the city had previously refrained from ordering attacks directly into Basra to avoid alienating its large Shia Muslim population, which rose up against Saddam in 1991 and is believed to be broadly hostile to the Iraqi leader.
There are reports another civilian uprising against the Iraqi leader is already underway in the city. The change in tactics, according to British military analysts, has likely been prompted by fears that Republican Guards and Fedayeen paramilitaries are operating from the city, hiding in civilian buildings and having swapped their uniforms for ordinary clothing.
Captain Johnny Williamson, a spokesman for the 7th Armoured Brigade, says the introduction of J-Dams is designed to help allied forces destroy enemy targets inside Basra without causing large numbers of civilian casualties. He warns that many of the buildings likely to be hit in coming days might appear to be non-military targets but insists it is because Iraqi forces are hiding among the civilian population.
"It is fair to say that the targets that we are engaging will not be conventional military targets," Captain Williamson said. "They will not be barracks or proper weapons facilities and chances are that it could be someone's house but they are military sites. "When you are fighting non-conventional forces it is inevitable that there are going to be targets that people would not normally consider to be military targets," he said.
US and British officers are anxious to control Basra, which according to relief agencies is facing acute shortages of food and water, in order to allow the arrival of humanitarian aid. Eventually, Basra and its port facilities would be part of an aid corridor for the rest of the country. The J-Dam bombs were used extensively in Afghanistan and use satellite positioning to operate with extreme accuracy. Comment: This is pure BS. If there ever were a conventional WMD then this is it. From the " Signs of the Times 101 page": "Just so you have an idea of the level of BS and propaganda (is there a difference?) being claimed about the "precision" of the military arsenal in this illegal war. As I speak US B2 bombers are dropping their payloads on the Iraqi capital Baghdad with its 5 million inhabitants. The B-2 bomber carries sixteen 2'000 lb. JDAM bombs. If all goes 100% as planned (the bomb does not fall outside of its specified margin of error of 13 meters, and the GPS guidance system is not foiled by a $50 radio jammer kit, easily purchased), then here is what one such bomb does:everyone within a 120 meter radius is killed; to be safe from serious shrapnel damage, a person must be at least 365 meters away; to be really safe from all effects of fragmentation, a person must be 1000 meters away, according to Admiral Stufflebeem." And they are trying to justify dropping these bombs on civilian areas.....
British troops withdraw from Basra Fierce resistance has forced British troops to withdraw from Basra to regroup, British military officials said this afternoon, as the Red Cross warned of a potential humanitarian crisis in the city. Elements of Britain's Seventh Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats, withdrew from the southern Iraqi city - the nation's second largest. They had come under attack, as they blocked the main routes into the city from the north and south, from mortar fire and from guerrillas disguised in civilian clothes.
Military officials also said that irregular forces pretended to surrender and used women and children as decoys. British commanders said this evening that they were considering calling in Royal Marine Commandos and the 16th Air Assault Brigade, the parachute regiment. Both forces specialise in urban warfare and peacekeeping and are considered far better suited to street combat than the Challenger 2 tanks and Warrior armoured personnel carriers of the Desert Rats.
"It looks like being a lot tougher than we thought. We are now looking at using the Queens and the paras. Basra is a divisional operation now, not just 7th Armoured Brigade," said one officer. Some of the strongest resistance today came from the Fedayin militia and security services armed with rocket propelled grenades and machine guns. Members of the Fedayin, a militia controlled by Saddam's son Uday, have taken to disguising themselves in civilian clothes, mixing with families and then emerging from crowds to fire on the coalition forces, military officials said.
They said they were also concerned that the Iraqis might use a captured British vehicle as a car bomb. The Desert Rats had at one point surrounded the city and Tony Blair told the House of Commons today that Basra had been "made secure". But military officials later admitted that they had vastly underestimated the strength of Iraqi resistance and the loyalty of Basra's population to Saddam.
"We're currently taking stock of the situation. We were expecting a lot of hands up from Iraqi soldiers and for the humanitarian operation in Basra to begin fairly quickly behind us, with aid organisations providing food and water to the locals," Captain Patrick Trueman said. "But it hasn't quite worked out that way. "There are significant elements in Basra who are hugely loyal to the regime. Their loyalty is rewarded with a better standard of living than most, so they don't want to give it up easily."
British artillery shells were later fired into the city, where 1,000 Iraqi fighters are believed to be sheltering, some using civilian buildings as bases. Serious pockets of resistance were also uncovered in al Zubayr, a town about 15 miles west of Basra. Meanwhile the International Committee of the Red Cross said that Basra's population of around 2 million was facing a potential humanitarian crisis.
The main water treatment plant on the northern edge of Basra, scene of fierce fighting, has been out of action since Friday due to a power cut. "If we do not manage to re-establish the water system in Basra very rapidly to a sufficient level, we will have a major humanitarian crisis," Balthasar Staehelin, ICRC Director General of the Middle East and North Africa told a news conference.
Although other plants were able to supply 40 per cent of usual needs, the quality of the water was poor, the ICRC said. Daytime temperatures in Basra can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General called for urgent measures to help restore water and electricity. "A city of that size cannot afford to go without electricity or water for long. Apart from the water aspect, you can imagine what it does for sanitation," he said. Al-Jazeera television reported bombing in Basra today, showing columns of smoke rising from the city. Comment: just yesterday we were hearing reports that there was a popular uprising against Saddam in Basra, we speculated on this page yesterday that it was more BS from the Bush camp and sure enough today the truth comes out.
British source says
unaware of any Basra uprising
Arab TV Crew Says
Found 40 Dead US Soldiers "Sanwa ata Mosahra
reporting. A film crew from al-Minar TV, a television network of
Lebanon, stumbled across the bodies of about 40 US soldiers
scattered in the desert outside Maseriah. Ali Fawsua a camera man
for al-Minar said "It was obvious the soldiers had been in a major
battle as there was empty ammunition casing everywhere". "We
searched around but could not find any dead Iraqi soldiers and must
be thinking they took their dead and injured away from the battle"
he added. "We called on our satellite phone to our base camp and
told them what we had found and they told the Americans where we
March 25, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
The Perfect Storm- Part II "Shock and Awe" Is "Mocked and Flawed" -- War Plan Stumbles as Bush Tells CNN, "It’s Gonna Take a While to Achieve Our Objective... This Is Just the Beginning of a Tough Fight." -- U.S. Soldiers Captured, Iraqi Resistance Significant and Toughening U.S. Press/Political Hostility to Bush Administration Intensifies – Major Papers Discussing Criminal Behavior, Impeachment as Focus Intensifies on Forged Niger Uranium Docs – Cheney, Powell and Rumsfeld Implicated Oil Bonanza Fading as Economic Indicators Weaken in an Unstable Environment – Iraqi Oil Deliveries Interrupted – Reality Tramples Market Exuberance - Turk-Kurdish Chaos More Likely - Has the U.S. Been Set Up by Europe, Russia and China? Read more
War Opens a Door to an America None of Us Has Ever Known "Lord knows there's got to be a better way." - Edwin Starr, from the song "War" And so it begins.
First, a surgical strike against a "target of opportunity." Then much more. We stand upon the very doorstep of change. Because these events represent more than just the end of peace. They are also the end of the America we have known. For better or for worse, a new nation will be born here. And it will be different from the one it supersedes. For the first time in its history, the United States has claimed for itself - and now puts into action - a doctrine of preemption, the right to hit first any nation we suspect of hostile intent. In an era when nuclear, chemical and biological weapons might easily fall into the hands of stateless religious fanatics eager for martyrdom, the President says anything less would be suicide.
It's a compelling argument, yes. But it has frightening implications, for it frees any nation to strike any other on the grounds that it perceives a threat. Indeed, it can be argued that the new doctrine gives thug nations an incentive to strike American interests first - to pre-empt our preemption, in other words. But the new nation being born here is not just a product of the Bush Doctrine. It's also the product of Washington's recent taste for unilateral action. As the old order passes, it evidently takes with it any inclination on America's part to embrace a role of constructive leadership as part of the community of nations.
Truth is, we have been rejecting that role since well before the terrorist attacks of Sept.11, 2001. What else did it mean when we abandoned the peace process in the Middle East? When we repudiated the Kyoto Protocol and withdrew from treaties to which we had already agreed. When we stopped listening to the rest of the planet, even our allies. When we, simply put, withdrew from the world. And given all that, who can be surprised at what happened when we went to the United Nations seeking its imprimatur for a war with Iraq? The world withdrew from us. As a result, we stand on the edge of a change that feels fundamental, profound and permanent. We are a giant that is no longer inclined to watch its step. Less involved with or concerned by the world around us.
We are becoming a go-it-alone nation, a don't-give-a-damn-what-anybody-else-says nation. And ultimately, because of that, a frightening nation. The country for which the world wept in September 2001 is now the country much of the world fears. For many people, the most dangerous man on the planet is not Saddam, but Bush. Naturally, we will support him. In time of war, there is nothing more American than to rally around the commander. So even principled dissent falls silent now, lest it be mistaken for lack of patriotism. Ask the Dixie Chicks. And yes, life goes on. Indeed, life looks pretty much as it always has. The Sopranos will soon be back in production because HBO and actor James Gandolfini have ended their feud. Elizabeth Smart's alleged kidnappers have just been charged with multiple felonies. Baseball returns in a few days.
We ration no nylon, save no rubber, are asked to make no sacrifices. The war is something terrible far away. But beneath the veneer of normalcy we watch and wait and pray that Washington knows what it is doing. We need for George Bush to be right and those of us who are doubtful to be wrong. We need this for the sake of over 200,000 American servicemen and women who are at war in deserts far from home. And for the sake of a nation that stands more isolated than it has in generations. Time will tell. In the meantime, bombs fall. Missiles fly. And in the thunder of their explosions, the old America passes. Those of us who loved her watch and weep from the doorstep of change. Comment: The author states above: "for the first time in its history, the United States has claimed for itself - and now puts into action - a doctrine of preemption, the right to hit first any nation we suspect of hostile intent". I disagree, the US has for many decades now been engaged in beating other nations into submission. What is new is that they are no longer shrouding it in cover-ups and secrecy. Someone somewhere has decided that the time is ripe to remould the world's perception of what the world is all about, to reinvent the world order as it were, to create a "new world order" as Bush senior (among others) has declared. The public's participation in the creation of this NWO is essential, indeed in a way it seems that the planet's future is to large extent determined by the perception of the masses of humans that inhabit its surface, it is almost as if our collective awareness is the clay with which our "leaders" (seen and unseen) attempt to shape and create the details of our reality. This new perception of the state of the world that is being foisted upon us is of a decidely negative and beligerent nature. We are being forced, by dint of media and government repetition ad nauseum, to accept the "truth" that the world is a dangerous place, terrorists lurk under every rock ready to blow us all to smithereens and, as such, "someone" is obliged (however "reluctantly") to secure the peace. Such is the extent of the control that governments exert over the media, we are left unfortunately with no way to accurately discern for ourselves the truth or otherwise of this world view.
was not always like this for sure, the US happily and
systematically tortured the world during the course of the last
century, and we were all none the wiser, there were no "terrorists"
threatening world peace even 10 years ago because there was no need
for them then. Thanks to the US government and the "media whores"
Osama Bin Laden is now firmly entrenched
of our beds, and the world is suddenly a very dangerous
place. My point is that we are being lead along by the nose to
create the very world that Bush and Co talk about, and the unseen
cabal desire. It does not exist per se, until we, en mass, believe
the lies that it is in fact already so, at which point it in effect
becomes a "reality" as we allow the passage of the draconian
measures and changes that actually bring it about. This
unfortunately seems to be our lot here on the planet. Our "internal
wiring" makes us emminently suited to just this sort of
manipulation. And in a strict sense we have chosen it at some
level. Having said that, there may just be another option, but it
requires the wholesale dumping of the almost complete programming
we have been subjected to, and a willingness to perceive of another
way forward, I am not talking about "saving the world" here, I
doubt that enough people will awaken to divert the apparent
predetermined "road to perdition" it seems to be on, but I AM
talking about taking a stand and making a choice for your own
destiny. Certainly it requires a lot of courage and strength to
make such a break away from the general consensus and "reality",
but if you can read between the lines and really "see" where the
general consensus seems to be allowing itself to be lead, the
choice becomes a lot clearer. Much strength is still needed for
sure, but as the Cassiopaeans have said:"He who has the will of a Lion does not have the fate of
a mouse." or to paraphrase "'I am become One, creator of
Iraq war could lead to new World order Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov warned that the Iraq crisis could lead to the establishment of a new world order, in an article published today in the offical daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. "It is obvious that not only the fate of Iraq depends of how events unfold, but also the future of international relations for a long time," Ivanov wrote. "The foundation of the future world order is the main issue at stake in this crisis."
He said the unity of the US-led anti-terrorist coalition is also threatened by the military intervention in Iraq as most nations condemn the use of force to achieve the disarmament of the regime of Saddam Hussein. "It is not by accident that we are now witnessing unprecedented anti-war demonstrations around the world," Ivanov wrote. He said UN Resolution 1441, which called on Iraq to disarm or face "serious consequences," did not mandate the automatic use of force.
"The resolution of the Iraqi conflict lies with the Security Council, which is responsible for ensuring peace and security in the world. Russia, along with fellow Security Council permanent members China and France, led efforts to avoid the war, arguing that Iraq could be disarmed of weapons of mass destruction through increased UN inspections and diplomacy.
Germany to oppose 'new US world order' Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister, said yesterday that Germany would flatly oppose a new world order emerging from the Iraq war, based on an all-powerful US dictating terms to the international community. In comments reflecting continued bitterness in Berlin over the failure of diplomacy on Iraq, Mr Fischer also questioned whether US allies Britain and Spain had influenced Washington in the build-up to the Iraq war. His comments are likely to stir resentment in London and Madrid.
Referring to the US, Mr Fischer told Der Spiegel magazine: "A world order in which the superpower decides on military strikes based only on its own national interest simply cannot work. "In the end the same rules must apply for the big, middle-sized and small countries," he added. Referring to Britain and Spain, he said: "One must ask whether the countries that are such close partners of the US had or have an influence [over Washington's Iraq policy]."
He said the positions taken by the British and Spanish governments had led to "major [domestic] problems that bordered on the destabilisation of democratic systems". Mr Fischer's remarks, combined with comments he made last Thursday at the outbreak of war, were seen in Berlin as an attempt to counter views among conservatives in Washington that the US would now be able to unilaterally determine the international agenda on disarmament, the United Nations and other issues.
Last Thursday Mr Fischer warned parliament that the US may now mount a series of "wars for disarmament" against "dictators suspected of having weapons of mass destruction". He said Germany - along with the majority in the UN Security Council - would continue to reject this approach, and would focus on strengthening "international rules and instruments" for disarmament. Since the war began, both Mr Fischer and Gerhard Schröder, chancellor, have sought to limit further damage to US-German relations by stressing Berlin's willingness to help with Iraq's postwar reconstruction. Mr Fischer said big transatlantic differences remained, based partly on divergent histories. "In the US there is nothing comparable with Auschwitz or Stalingrad, or the other terrible, symbolic locations in [European] history." Comment: Not yet there aint, give it a couple of years.
Iraq troops 'fire on civilian uprising' in Basra Iraqi forces have fired on a popular uprising by civilians in Basra, it was reported tonight. Mortars have been fired at citizens in Iraq's second city rebelling against the Iraqi regime, reporters said, quoting intelligence officers with the Scots Dragoon Guards. Reporter Richard Gaisford said intelligence from the city suggested that local people had indicated they would like to welcome the Allied forces but were in fear of Saddam loyalists.
"Now it seems they have had the courage to stand up to Saddam Hussein and his regime and they will be supported by British forces," Gaisford said. He said British forces were firing on the Iraqi mortar positions being used to try and crush the rebellion, but were not firing on the city centre. There were also reports of a major explosion at the Ba'ath Party headquarters in Basra. Comment: This stinks, the US and British are desperate to create the image that the Iraqi people welcome this agression as if they actually like having their children shot and their homes destroyed.
Fair Use Policy
Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org