One incident. Forty dead. Two stories. What really happened? 21 May 2004 | The Independent by Justin Huggler in Baghdad A tiny bundle of blankets is unwrapped; inside is the body of a baby, its limbs smeared with dried blood. Then the mourners peel back the blanket further to reveal a second dead baby. Another blanket is opened; inside are the bodies of a mother and child. The child, six or seven years old, is lying against his or her mother, as if seeking comfort. But the child has no head.
Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologise May 21, 2004 | The Guardian by Rory McCarthy in Ramadi The wedding feast was finished and the women had just led the young bride and groom away to their marriage tent for the night when Haleema Shihab heard the first sounds of the fighter jets screeching through the sky above. It was 10.30pm in the remote village of Mukaradeeb by the Syrian border and the guests hurried back to their homes as the party ended. As sister-in-law of the groom, Mrs Shihab, 30, was to sleep with her husband and […]
[ Wal-Mart, America’s largest company, employer of 1.2 million, destroyer of small businesses, actually costs taxpayers a decent chunk of change: a Wal-Mart store with 200 employees costs the taxpayers approximately $420,750 per year in social service costs, because wages and benefits for Wal-Mart employees are so meager. How so? Consider, for instance, that The average Wal-Mart employee earns a little over $8 per hour, a wage that puts one well below the poverty level for a family of four. At that level of income, the Wal-Mart employee would qualify for food stamps; if like most of her co-workers she […]
[ Left-leaning Evangelical Jim Wallis challenges Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, who announced that “Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia [place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation]. It is for this reason that these Catholics, whether candidates for office or those who would vote for them, may not receive Holy Communion….” Wallis: As more and more lives continue to be lost in Iraq, and more and more of our resources are diverted to the war, will the bishop make a similar declaration about […]
[ This Andrew Cockburn piece explains how the Administration essentially circumvents Congress to make payments to Halliburton. Cockburn is “coauthor of Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein and has reported from Iraq for years.” –BL ] If the Bush administration is truly committed to the nation’s sovereignty, it should let Iraqis retake control of their own oil revenues. May 17, 2004 | Salon.com by Andrew Cockburn As the occupation of Iraq dissolves further into bloody chaos, the colonial overseers in Baghdad are keeping their eyes fixed on what is really important: Iraq’s money and how to keep it. […]
May 20, 2004 | FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) Recent media coverage of Democratic presidential contender John Kerry has often focused on alleged gaffes or misstatements, ranging from convoluted explanations of his Senate voting record to whether or not he owns a sports utility vehicle. But while these relatively trivial aspects of John Kerry’s record have come under intense and prolonged media scrutiny, journalists have shown a reluctance to highlight much more significant falsehoods or “gaffes” by Kerry’s main rival, George W. Bush.
[ In a story reminiscient of 2003’s “boxgate,” the Bush Administration is again caught deceiving the public about what its real economic vision means for American jobs. –BL ] May 21, 2004 | Misleader.org According to a new report, the Bush Administration has taken its strong support for outsourcing further than previously thought — opting to move key political operations offshore. India’s Hindustan Times reports that, during a 14 month period from 2002 to 2003 when the Republican Party was playing up patriotism, its fund-raising and vote-seeking campaign was performed in part by two call centers located in India1. According to […]
22 Jan 2003 | NEW YORK TIMES ST. LOUIS, Jan. 22 — George W. Bush may extol the virtues of free trade, but today that did not extend to a Made in America presidential appearance in the heart of the Midwest. In an incident that reporters instantly called Boxgate, Mr. Bush gave a speech on his economic plan at a trucking company warehouse while surrounded by cardboard boxes — a tableau meant to project the image of a president at the epicenter of small-business America. The only problem was the cardboard boxes were stamped with “Made in China,” a mark […]
[ “Almost as soon as the World Trade Center crumbled,” the human rights violations of Arabs and Muslims began in the U.S. Here’s a story about the torture at “the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where 84 of the 762 Muslim immigrants who were detained after Sept. 11 were held.” From the piece: David Cole, professor of law at Georgetown University and author of Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism. In both America and Iraq, he says, “the approach was to sweep broadly, to pick people up on little or no evidence other than […]
[ In order to place itself beyond the reach of international law in the past, the U.S. has lobbied other nations, and threatened to pull military aid from those that do not support the U.S. position at the UN. –BL ] The UN vote is today 20 May 2004 | AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Amnesty International is urging governments to oppose any effort to renew Security Council Resolution 1487 (2003), which renewed Resolution 1422 (2002). Resolution 1422, contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and other international law, sought to prevent the International Criminal Court from exercising jurisdiction for a one-year period […]
[ The Village Voice’s Rick Perlstein got his hands on an email he wasn’t supposed to see, revealing the way fundamentalists are in close contact on with the White House on Israeli-Palestinian issues. From the article: Most of all, apparently, we’re not supposed to know the National Security Council’s top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios…. The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress [whose] members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian […]
[ Twelve-year marine, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, saw the reality of the Iraq war, and was discharged in December, 2003: Well, this particular vehicle we didn’t destroy completely, and one gentleman looked up at me and said: “Why did you kill my brother? We didn’t do anything wrong.” That hit me like a ton of bricks…. On the outskirts of Baghdad…. [t]hey were only holding a demonstration. Down at the end of the road, we saw some RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) lined up against the wall. That put us at ease because we thought: “Wow, if they were going to blow […]