Daily Archives: May 24, 2004

10 posts

U.S. Military and Neocons Misinformed by their “Bible” on Arab Mind

[ Not only the neocons, but also the U.S. military consider Patai’s racist book, The Arab Mind, their “bible.” It appears to be rejected by true academics as hateful propaganda, and “Georgetown University once invited students to analyse it as ‘an example of bad, biased social science’.” –BL ] ‘Its best use is as a doorstop’ Brian Whitaker explains why a book packed with sweeping generalisations about Arabs carries so much weight with both neocons and military in the US May 24, 2004 | The Guardian by Brian Whitaker

U.S. Obfuscates Causes of Death

[ From the story: The US military claimed in the note that Dr Izmerly, a distinguished chemistry professor arrested after US tanks encircled his villa, had died of “brainstem compression.” [] The family commissioned an independent Iraqi autopsy. Its conclusion was unambiguous: Dr Izmerly had died because of a “sudden hit to the back of his head”, Faik Amin Baker, the director of Baghdad hospital’s forensic department, certified. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, a former commander of Iraq’s air defences, who died last November during interrogation at Qaim. [] The original US autopsy said he had died of a heart attack. It […]

‘Spray and slay’: are American troops out of control in Iraq?

by Brendan Lalor The U.S. military continues to deny it attacked a wedding party in western Iraq. As the Associated Press reports today: “We still don’t believe there was a wedding going on, or a wedding party going on, when we hit in the early morning hours. Could there have been some sort of celebration going on earlier? Certainly,” the [senior coalition] official said. Several hours of video footage obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News showed a wedding party that survivors said was later attacked by U.S. planes. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record […]

Ordinary Iraqis killed: 11,500 and not counting

[ From the piece: In Washington yesterday the pollen count was 12 for trees and grass. In Baghdad, no British or American authority – or, for that matter, an Iraqi one – could say how many civilians had died a violent death that day. –BL ] 23 May 2004 | The Independent by David Randall America and Britain have the statistical resources to compute with clinical accuracy the number of pollen grains floating in the air. Yet these two states say they cannot tell anyone how many Iraqi civilians have died in the 14 months since the Iraq conflict began in […]

Justice Department Memo Advocates Double Standards

[ From the article: After concluding that the laws of war did not apply to the conduct of the U.S. military, the [January, 2002 Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel] memo argued that President Bush could still put Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters on trial as war criminals for violating those same laws. Critics say the memos? disregard for the United States? treaty obligations and international law paved the way for the Pentagon to use increasingly aggressive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay?including sleep deprivation, use of forced stress positions and environmental manipulation?that eventually were applied to detainees at the Abu […]

Putin’s Move Toward Kyoto Protocol Isolates Bush

[ The reprint below is excerpted from the full article. –BL ] US isolated as Russia moves to back Kyoto 23 May 2004 | The Independent by Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor President George Bush’s bid to stop international action to combat global warming faces failure this weekend, as he is left more isolated than ever before both at home and abroad. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – who will effectively decide whether the Kyoto Protocol stands or falls – announced on Friday that his country would “rapidly move towards ratification” in the wake of a complex deal with the European Union. [A […]

Rumsfeld bans camera phones

May 23, 2004 | Agence France-Presse from correspondents in London MOBILE phones fitted with digital cameras have been banned in US army installations in Iraq on orders from Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, The Business newspaper reported today. Quoting a Pentagon source, the paper said the US Defence Department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones.

Working … And Poor

[ This Business Week cover story helps explode the myth that the poor are lazy do-nothings and, through anecdote and statistics, conveys the real hurdles that people near and below the poverty line face. Excerpts: Today more than 28 million people, about a quarter of the workforce between the ages of 18 and 64, earn less than $9.04 an hour, which translates into a full-time salary of $18,800 a year — the income that marks the federal poverty line for a family of four…. But most poor workers tend to marry people with similar backgrounds, leaving both to juggle jobs […]

Assist the Desperate Sudanese

[ The world community is largely distracted from the crisis in Sudan which has led to the deaths of five percent of children under age 5 in Darfur in the last three months. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reports insufficient international donations to address the crisis. You can assist through aid groups including Oxfam International and Medecins Sans Frontieres Thanks to Bill Bryant of OK-global for this update. –BL ] Aid Group Says Starvation Looms In Sudan’s Darfur Region May 21, 2004 | U.N. Wire Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres warned yesterday that the entire population of Sudan’s western Darfur […]

General Zinni Says It’s Time for Pentagon Heads to Roll

[ If you haven’t heard the buzz about General Zinni’s attack on the Administration for its Iraq blunder, he points the finger at neoconservatives like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith; Former Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle; National Security Council member Eliot Abrams; and Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. –BL ] Gen. Zinni: ‘They’ve Screwed Up’ May 21, 2004 | 60 Minutes (CBS News) Retired General Anthony Zinni is one of the most respected and outspoken military leaders of the past two decades. From 1997 to 2000, he was commander-in-chief of the […]