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2003-03-08 - 12:27 a.m.

:::News and Commentary, Mar. 7th:::

March 17 Iraq deadline proposed

Excerpt: The United States, Britain and Spain gave Saddam Hussein 10 days Friday to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction. The deadline was packaged as a new proposal for the U.N. Security Council to consider, but even though the measure faces a likely veto, U.S. officials from President Bush on down have made it clear that they intend to act with or without U.N. approval.

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Bush responded to this question at his News Conference yesterday:

Mark Knoller: Mr. President, are you worried that the United States might be viewed as defiant of the United Nations if you went ahead with military action without specific and explicit authorization from the U.N.?

BUSH: No, I'm not worried about that.

As a matter of fact, it's hard to say the United States is defiant about the United Nations when I was the person who took the issue to the United Nations September the 12th, 2002.

We've been working with the United Nations. We've been working through the United Nations.

Secondly, I'm confident the American people understand that when it comes to our security, if we need to act, we will act. And we really don't need United Nations approval to do so.

I want to work - I want the United Nations to be effective. It's important for it to be a robust, capable body. It's important for its words to mean what they say. And as we head into the 21st century, Mark, when it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission.

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Well, you would think that the US would be happy about the following news, but instead, they are denying it. hmmmmm, makes you wonder what's really going on. Since this is a Yahoo News report (which will expire in a few days), I am posting the whole article:

US official denies capture of bin Laden sons

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Pakistani reports that two sons of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden have been captured are "not true," a US official told AFP.

A provincial minister in Pakistan's southwest province of Baluchistan said he has been informed that two sons of Osama bin Laden have been captured in a joint US-Pakistani operation.

"It's not true," said the US official, who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity. "We have absolutely no information to substantiate that."

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Blix, ElBaradei rebuff U.S. intelligence claims against Iraq

Excerpt: Iraq's destruction of its Al Samoud 2 missiles constitutes a "substantial measure of disarmament," the chief U.N. weapons inspector reported to the Security Council on Friday.

Hans Blix added that Iraq is now providing inspectors with proactive cooperation. On the missiles, Blix said: "The destruction undertaken constitutes a substantial measure of disarmament. We are not watching the destruction of toothpicks. Lethal weapons are being destroyed," he said.

Blix welcomed recent Iraqi cooperation, which he said "can be seen as active, or even proactive." The chief inspector said Iraq had recently provided additional documentation on anthrax and the VX nerve agent.

:::Click on the link above to read the full report:::

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President Readies U.S. for Prospect of Imminent War

DAVID E. SANGER and FELICITY BARRINGER write: March 6 — President Bush prepared the country tonight for possibly imminent military action against Iraq, declaring that Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the security of the United States and insisting "we really don't need anybody's permission" to defend the United States.

He said that only days remained for a diplomatic solution and vowed that he would press for a vote on a new resolution at the United Nations in the next few days, even if it appeared that he could not muster a majority 9 of the 15 votes on the Security Council, and despite a French and Russian threat of veto. A defeat would not deter him, he said, from disarming Mr. Hussein.

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US troops 'pouring into Saudi Arabia'

Thousands of American soldiers are pouring into Saudi Arabia in preparation for an invasion of Iraq, independent sources say.

The Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a London-based group opposed to the Saudi regime, said that between 2,000 and 5,000 United States troops landed in the northern garrison town of Tabuk in the last week.

Other credible independent reports said that American forces had taken control of Arar airport, less than 10 miles from the Saudi-Iraq border and that it had been closed to civilian air traffic.

The Saudi government, which is facing stiff opposition to the war at home, has not commented on the developments.

:::Click on the link above to read the full report:::

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North Korea 'set to test missile'

Washington says North Korea has declared a maritime exclusion zone off its coast in the Sea of Japan in a move which may indicate an imminent missile test.

Pyongyang issued the warning for the 8-11 March to cover virtually the same area in which an anti-ship missile was tested on 25 February, a Pentagon spokesman said.

"We are certainly aware that they have filed a notice of exclusion - that is typically a precursor to a missile test," Navy Lieutenant Commander Jeff Davis told Reuters news agency.

:::Click on the link to read the full report:::

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Playing Texas poker, Bush bets all on Iraq

ROBERT NOVAK writes: A senior Bush official privately admits what his administration cannot declare publicly. The stagnant economy, a dagger aimed at the heart of George W. Bush's second term, will not immediately respond to the president's economic growth program. The economic engine will not be revived until the war against Saddam Hussein is launched and won.

Military victory is anticipated inside the Bush administration as the tonic that will prompt corporation officers and private investors to unleash the American economy's dormant power. Although it is impolitic to say so, the fact that the United States will be sitting on a new major oil supply will stimulate the domestic economy. That puts a high premium on quickly gaining control of Iraq's oil wells before they can be torched--a major uncertainty in an otherwise strictly scripted scenario.

''This is Texas poker, with the president putting everything on Iraq,'' a Republican senator (who thoroughly approves of this policy) told me. The extraordinary gamble by Bush leads to deepening apprehension by Republican politicians as they wait for the inevitable war. They consider the Democratic Party divided, drifting to the left and devoid of new ideas. Yet, Bush's re-election next year is threatened by two issues: the economy and the war on terrorism. Success on both is tied to war with Iraq.

:::Click the link above to read the full report:::

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Democrats shifting on Iraq resolution

TOM CURRY writes: In a significant change in the dynamics of the debate over Iraq, Democrats such as Sen. Tom Daschle who voted for last October’s use-of-force resolution on Iraq are now leading the opposition to President Bush’s policy, arguing that conditions have changed since they cast their votes. Daschle charged Thursday that Bush had failed to build international support for a war to oust Saddam Hussein.

DASCHLE SAID last October he was backing Bush because “Saddam Hussein represents a real threat” and “it is important for America to speak with one voice at this critical moment.”

That support has has been the dominant issue in scrimmaging among contenders for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean has vaulted to prominence among the contenders by attacking Daschle, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri and other Democrats for voting for the resolution.

:::Click the link above to read the rest of the report:::

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Pappy Bush's 1996 Warning: "War on Iraq Would Turn Entire Arab World Against Us"

JASON LEOPOLD writes: Former President George Bush predicted in 1996 that if the United States were to engage in another war with Iraq, one aimed at overthrowing Saddam Hussein, the "entire Arab world would turn against us" and the U.S. would alienate its allies in the international community.

"To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us, and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero," Bush said in an interview with the BBC marking the five-year anniversary of the Gulf War.

Moreover, Vice President Dick Cheney said at an energy conference six years ago that hundreds of thousands of United States soldiers and Iraqi civilians would die if a war in Iraq were ever fought on the streets of Baghdad.

"To have brought the (Gulf) war into the populous Iraqi capital of Baghdad where Hussein is based would have involved a different type of military operation than in the desert, and would have put large numbers of Iraqi civilians and hundreds of thousands of our troops at risk of being killed," he said.

:::Click on the link above to read the rest of the report:::

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What Can the World Do, If Bush Attacks Iraq? Uniting for Peace

JEREMY BRECHER writes: If the US attacks Iraq without support of the UN Security Council, will the world be powerless to stop it? The answer is no. Under a procedure called "Uniting for Peace," the UN General Assembly can demand an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal. The global peace movement should consider demanding such an action.

When Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt and began advancing on the Suez Canal. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower demanded that the invasion stop. Resolutions in the UN Security Council called for a cease-fire--but Britain and France vetoed them. Then the United States appealed to the General Assembly and proposed a resolution calling for a cease-fire and a withdrawal of forces. The General Assembly held an emergency session and passed the resolution. Britain and France withdrew from Egypt within a week.

The appeal to the General Assembly was made under a procedure called "Uniting for Peace." This procedure was adopted by the Security Council so that the UN can act even if the Security Council is stalemated by vetoes. Resolution 377 provides that, if there is a "threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and the permanent members of the Security Council do not agree on action, the General Assembly can meet immediately and recommend collective measures to U.N. members to "maintain or restore international peace and security." The "Uniting for Peace" mechanism has been used ten times, most frequently on the initiative of the United States.

:::Click on the link above to read the rest of the report:::

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Was the Bush "News Conference" Scripted?

GIGI writes: "We'll be there in a minute. King, John King. This is a scripted -- (laughter.)"[He appeared to be reading down a list of reporters. Were their questions screened in advance. He appeared to be reading responses from a script.]

This was a comment to John King by Bush before he called on him. This was the wierdest press conference I have ever seen. Bush looked like he had been sedated, to begin with. They must have him on Prozac because they're afraid he's losing control. Either that or he's hitting the booze again and he was drunk.

He was repetitive and there were lots of pauses like he was waiting for the teleprompter to tell him what to say. Then there was a list of reporters he had in front of him that he called on. I have never seen that happen before. Normally the reporters raise their hands and they are called on.

And where was Helen Thomas? Was she barred because of her hard-hitting questions and they were afraid Bush would come unglued, if he was hit with one? I have never seen a president hold a press conference and Helen Thomas not be there. She is the dean of the WH press corps. She is always front and center in her place of honor that she has earned.

Oh, for the days when we had a real President! Pres. Clinton's press conferences were lively, intelligent and witty.

Of course, Pres. Clinton is brilliant and Bush is a moron, so that's the difference.

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This is a interactive flash animation, so you will need to have FLASH loaded on your system to view this. This is about a conversation between a liberal and Rush Limbaugh.

Take Back the Media

More articles to read on this topic:

Boycott Rush's Sponsors

Transcripts from Rush's Shows

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Bugging, bribes and bullying: US thuggery in advance of UN vote

PATRICK MARTIN writes: The Bush administration’s methods in seeking to obtain UN sanction for war with Iraq are indicative of the real character of the impending military action: the United States government is acting as an international gangster, not only in its treatment of Baghdad, but in relation to the other members of the Security Council.

For weeks the US government has been exerting pressure, in the form of bribes and threats, on the six countries whose votes on the Security Council are still considered up for grabs—Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan. According to a front-page report in the British newspaper the Observer March 2, the US campaign has also included the systematic bugging of telephone and e-mail conversations of the UN representatives of many of these states.

:::Click on the link above to read the full report:::

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WEB BUFFOON TURNS CHENEY'S WIFE INTO CLOWN

JOHN LEHMANN writes: A Brooklyn satirist's Internet lampoon of Vice President Dick Cheney's wife hasn't got 'em rolling in the aisles at the White House.

The whitehouse.org Web site, by would-be gagster John Wooden, parodies Bush administration officials and their spouses through fictitious biographies and news stories.

It features a presidential seal using a vulture, rather than an eagle.

Fed up with Wooden's sense of humor, the vice president told him, via a letter from his lawyer, to delete photos showing his wife, Lynne, wearing a red nose and remove the "biography."

The piece describes Lynne Cheney, First Lady Laura Bush and President Bush's mother, Barbara, as "paragons of conjugal subservience."

THE INFAMOUS PICTURE IN QUESTION:

Lynne Cheney

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Well, isn't this an interesting piece of news?

When the threat of Hussein hit home for Bush

Plot: Ten years ago, the world was told Iraqi agents tried to kill the president's father. But did it actually happen?

Scott Shane writes: As president, George W. Bush speaks daily of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Rarely does he mention the episode 10 years ago that made the threat very personal for him as a son, a husband and a brother.

In April 1993, Iraqi intelligence agents allegedly tried to assassinate Bush's father during a triumphal post-presidency visit to Kuwait, where he was lionized as the man who liberated the oil-rich Persian Gulf kingdom from Iraqi invaders.

As President Bush readies the country for war to remove the Iraqi regime that may have plotted to murder his father, the story of what happened a decade ago in Kuwait takes on fresh relevance.

Though significant questions remain today about the evidence uncovered by Kuwaiti and U.S. investigators, the CIA and FBI officially concluded that Iraqi intelligence agents had launched a serious attempt to kill the former president.

:::click on the link to read the entire report:::

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