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2003-03-23 - 1:04 p.m.

:::Updates on the Illegal War:::

Let me make my position perfectly clear. I oppose this illegal war! I do, however, support the men and women who, because they serve in our military, are forced to murder innocent lives because their Commander and Chief says they must. I support them by demanding that Bush ends this farce of a war and bring our men and women HOME! I am confident that there will come a day when all of Bush's atrocities, and those who are behind him, will come out and he will be shown as the WORST UNELECTED president in our history. I am also confident that he and his henchmen will some day be tried for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

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Why is that every time something major happens, Bush runs off to one of his retreats? Camp David or his ranch or some undisclosed location (a military base). Is this where he goes to get his brain rewired so that he can function for a couple more weeks? Ok, perhaps that is a bit out of line, but shouldn't he be in Washington while our men and women are fighting for his bloodlust and vengence?!? Check out the following articles about his weekend excursion:

Bush to run war from Camp David over weekend

Bush heads to Camp David for first Iraq war weekend

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From Democrats.com Daily breifing:

__Anti-Bush Protests

Express your SHOCK AND RAGE at the Bombing of Baghdad as emergency protests continue! (www.unitedforpeace.org). On 3/22-24, join Veterans Against Iraq War for "Operation Dire Distress" - a teach-in and lobby day in DC.
http://www.legitgov.org/action.html

__Indict George W. Bush for War Crimes

"We, the undersigned, believe George W. Bush should be indicted for the following war crimes: 1. George W. Bush ordered a "War of Aggression" against Iraq. This constitutes a "war of aggression" that was outlawed at the Nuremberg Trials and in the United Nations Charter: - Iraq never attacked the United States or threatened an attack. - Iraq never provided material support to any terrorist group that attacked the United States. - At the time of the US attack, Iraq was nearing full compliance with UN Resolution 1441 and prior resolutions requiring disarmament. - George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in order to bring about a "regime change," which was never authorized by a UN resolution. 2. George W. Bush ordered the bombing of the city of Baghdad, with 5 million innocent civilians, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. We call upon all responsible international bodies to indict, convict, and punish George W. Bush for his crimes." Sign the petition and spread the word!
http://democrats.com/warcrimes

__200,000 Protest W-ar in New York City

NY1 reports, "An estimated 200,000 anti-war demonstrators marched down Broadway this afternoon in what was estimated to be the largest anti-war rally the city has seen since the situation with Iraq first escalated. The protest stretched more than 30 city blocks and filled Broadway from sidewalk to sidewalk. While the rally was largely a peaceful one, at least 10 people were arrested in Washington Square Park as police attempted to disperse the crowd at the scheduled end of the rally. 'I was trying to disperse, you couldn't get through because of a line of helmeted riot police,' said a woman who participated in the protest. 'They started making a line and pushing the crowd back so you could not exit. They're squeezing in people like rats because there's no place to go and the police are provoking what's going to be violent.' Amid the sea of people, many were holding signs and chanting anti-war sentiments. 'I'm against the war,' said a protester. 'This is going to cause more problems.'"
http://www.ny1.com/ny/TopStories/SubTopic/index.html?topicintid=1&subtopicintid=1&contentintid=28771

__DC Protests Stop Traffic with Blood

PentaPost reports, "As part of a noontime protest north of Lafayette Square across from the White House, about 20 activists ran into the intersection of 16th and H streets NW and lay down on the pavement, as police encircled them and kept nearly 200 chanting supporters on the sidewalk... Officers blocked traffic while members of the group were taken one by one to a police van, watched by dozens of journalists, office workers and tourists. Some onlookers jeered protesters; others applauded them. About 20 other activists, including some high school and college students, split from the main protest and staged similar blockades at two intersections on 16th Street and another on 17th Street. They returned to 16th and H, and six of them were arrested. 'The whole point is to show that this is a little bit of the chaos that must be going on in Baghdad,' said Josh Healey, 18, a University of Wisconsin student on spring break." No mention of the Blackhawk helicopters roaring overhead...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7831-2003Mar21.html

__Dead Marine's Father Blasts Bush

"One of the first American casualties in the war against Iraq is a Baltimore man, and his family shared their feelings about the war Friday... He is identified as Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Waters-Bey, 29, (pictured, right), of northeast Baltimore. He is based out of Camp Pendleton in California and leaves behind four younger sisters and a 10-year-old son who lives in Baltimore... WBAL-TV 11 NEWS reporter Noel Tucker spoke with the Marine's father who lives in northeast Baltimore where friends and neighbors were seen sobbing in the streets, sharing their grief with the family. The family spoke with WBAL-TV 11 NEWS Friday afternoon and shared their feelings against the war. As he held a picture of his son, Waters-Bey's father, Michael, (pictured, left), said: 'I want Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here. This is the only son I had, only son.' He then walked away in tears, with his family behind him. Kenneth, the Marine's only son, was with the family."
http://www.thewbalchannel.com/news/2056537/detail.html

__As Third Diplomat Resigns, John Kiesling Speaks Out Against Bush's War

LA Times reports, "Only a month ago, John Brady Kiesling was a senior embassy officer in Athens, reading classified cables and defending U.S. policy on Iraq to Greek and European leaders. Today, as missiles thunder down on Baghdad, the 45-year-old Californian is touring college campuses - including the U.S. Military Academy, Harvard and, on Thursday, UC Berkeley - speaking out against the same Bush administration policy. Dismayed by what he describes as the 'arrogance and blindness' of the Bush doctrine, Kiesling resigned last month after 20 years in the foreign service, which included postings in Morocco and Israel. He was joined last week by another veteran diplomat, John H. Brown and, on Wednesday, by foreign envoy Mary Wright, who said in a resignation letter to Colin Powell that U.S. foreign policies will make the world 'more dangerous, not safer.' Kiesling has gone a step further in recent weeks, emerging as a subdued but influential voice in the American antiwar movement."
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-war-kiesling21mar21,1,5595009.story

__Kucinich Denounces Shock and Awe as 'Horrific Acceleration of the US' Unprovoked Attack against Iraq'

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who leads opposition in the House to the war in Iraq, said "Today is a sad day, the US has begun its 'shock and awe' air campaign against Iraq. By all accounts this attack will rain thousands of bombs down on a heavily populated area.' 'The 'shock and awe' air campaign is a horrific acceleration of the US' unprovoked attack against Iraq. This air campaign is designed to aim the full might of the US military apparatus at the center of a civilian population. Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the coalition service men and women serving in the region and with the innocent Iraqi civilians. We must end this unjustified war.' Congressman Kucinich will issue daily statements on the war in Iraq. Please pass these statements on to your friends. Help empower America's leading spokesperson for peaceful resolution of international conflict."
http://kucinich.us

__Harlan Ullman's Shock and Awe is a Non-Nuclear Hiroshima

BBC reports, "The doctrine of 'shock and awe' is based on a book by military strategist Harlan Ullman, who is admired by both Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell. Mr Ullman wrote that the use of air power to achieve 'nearly incomprehensible levels of mass destruction' could achieve 'an overwhelming level of shock and awe against an adversary on an immediate basis to paralyse its will to resist'. It is a belief that is deeply held by the US military, who were among the first advocates of strategic air power. They applied it to the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended World War II... However, many US supporters of air power have called for precision bombing which would not be aimed directly against civilians but only military and industrial targets. Mr Ullman argues that with modern precision weapons, a 'non-nuclear equivalent' of Hiroshima could be created."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2874075.stm

__Bush Steals Iraq's Oil - Will He Give it Back?

AP reports, "With lightning speed, U.S. and British troops moved successfully in the war's opening days to control key parts of Iraq's southern oil fields... [But] is not certain who will run Iraq's oil industry once Saddam falls. Bush administration officials are sensitive to charges that the US covets Iraq's oil wealth. 'The oil is the Iraqi people's oil,' Donald H. Rumsfeld insisted Friday... [The US now controls Iraq's oil, but] oil industry experts say that in the long run, Iraqis will demand total control of their oil wealth, believed to be second only to Saudi Arabia's with at least 112 billion barrels of reserves. A 'heavy American hand' in resurrecting Iraq's oil industry could result in a 'serious political, security and public relations backlash,' according to the Council on Foreign Relations and the James A. Baker Institute. It urged the Bush administration to take measures that 'assures skeptical publics that the US has no aims to take over Iraqi oil assets.'"
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAG4MRULDD.html

__Pentagon Prepares to Plant WMD 'Smoking Gun' in Iraq

BuzzFlash reader Mary carefully analyzed a PentaPost article on "valuable new information" on Iraqi chemical and biological weapons. "This article tells us that the inspections were always a farce and a set-up. First because we were not interested in disarmament in the first place, or we would have planned for it - rather than planning to attack Iraq for a year before we got around to dealing with disarmament. And secondly, because we sabotaged the very inspections that we insisted on being held. We are furthermore going to supplant the UN's legitimate role in post-war inspections and replace it with a team of people who spied for us on the previous set of sham UN inspections... The whole thrust of the new "inspections" team they are setting up is only to come up with a 'smoking gun,' and fast. It is all appearances, all fakery."
http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/03/21_treasure.html

__US Fires Missiles into IRAN

Reuters reports, "Three missiles fired by U.S. jets taking part in attacks in Iraq landed over the border in southwestern Iran, Iran's official IRNA news agency said. Citing an unnamed military commander, IRNA also said that U.S. and British military jets violated the Islamic Republic's airspace several times on Friday and Saturday during operations against targets in southern Iraq. 'In two cases, rockets from American planes hit' the area of Maniuhi, close to the border with Iraq, the commander said. He gave no further details and there no reports of casualties or damage. Another rocket hit an oil refinery depot on Friday evening in the city of Abadan, about 30 miles east of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, government officials and witnesses told Reuters. Two guards at the depot were injured in the blast... Torn by its enmity for both Iraq and the United States, Iran has condemned the U.S.-led military attack on its western neighbor but vowed to remain neutral in the conflict."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9245-2003Mar22.html

__Warmongers Celebrate Conquest of Iraq and Take Aim at Iran, Syria, France, Germany, and the UN

"Billed as a 'black coffee briefing on the war on Iraq', yesterday's breakfast for the influential hawks of the American Enterprise Institute was more of a victory celebration. With a few words of caution... the panel of speakers, part of the Bush administration's ideological vanguard, set out their bold vision of the postwar agenda: radical reform of the UN, regime change in Iran and Syria, and 'containment' of France and Germany. The failure of the first Bush administration to finish the job in 1991, according to William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, the US magazine, had resulted in 'a lack of awe for the US' in the Middle East, an absence of respect that fostered contempt of the US among Arabs and encouraged the rise of the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation. This war would redress those mistakes, Mr Kristol declared.. The fall of Mr Hussein would be an 'inspiration' for Iranians seeking to be free of their dictatorial mullahs, Mr Perle said." We have been warned...
http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1045511984662&p=1012571727162

__Death, Destruction, and Empire - The NeoCons REAL Goal

The Bush War of Empire and Dynastic Revenge began with an attempt to kill Saddam - had it succeeded, the war might have ended before it began. That would have been a disaster for the NeoCon chickenhawks. Alternet reports, "fortunately for the neo-conservative hawks over at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on 19th St., three blocks from the White House, it appears that Hussein remains alive, and the invasion will now go forward as planned. 'That we appear not to have gotten Saddam Hussein last night ... may be a blessing in disguise,' came the email message from AEI's press center. A 'decapitation' strategy targeted on Hussein, his sons, and a few other top Ba'ath officials without a full-scale invasion and occupation represents a dangerous threat to the neocon vision for the future of the Middle East."
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15439

__Breslin: 'We Are the Germany of 1939'

Jimmy Breslin writes, "I wonder if anybody watching this Shock and Awe bombing Friday noted that Iraq didn't have a plane. There is no joy to kill the bull unless he fights. You can't call this a war. The television people, and the politicians in Washington, said this was an extraordinary exhibition of bombing that never has been seen before. They used the right word, exhibition. An exhibition war, not a real war. You'll take it right now, if it keeps these young men of ours alive. Take it and gag on it, for this is a total character collapse of a country that was supposed to be so far above this loathsome act. You become the thing you hate. And Friday, we did. We became the Germany of 1939."
http://www.newsday.com/nyc-bres0322,0,6887316.column

__U.S. is Ruled by Madmen Who Will Bury the U.N.

BuzzFlash writes, "Before announcing a state of war Bush pumps his fist and boasts, 'Feels good.' Donald Rumsfeld walks around quoting Al Capone. Richard Perle calls an internationally respected journalist a terrorist for disclosing how Perle would profit from an Iraq war. And then Richard Perle celebrates the death of the U.N. Like it's yet unleashed Guernica-bombing campaign, touted as 'Shock and Awe,' the brazen, thuggish extremism of the Bush administration is meant to numb the American public into submission. And, for the most part, the strategy has succeeded... America's finest resource -- its brave young men and women -- have already begun to die in a war conceived of by radical madmen years ago. They waited to seize our precious democracy -- and after they did, they waited for the moment to launch their hellish plan of world domination."
http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/03/03/21.html

__Bush Could Be Dictator of the World

Michael Kinsley writes, "Might is important, probably most important, but there are good, practical reasons for even might and right together to defer sometimes to procedure, law and the judgment of others. Uncertainty is one. If we knew which babies would turn out to be murderous dictators, we could smother them in their cribs. If we knew which babies would turn out to be wise and judicious leaders, we could crown them dictator. In terms of the power he now claims, without significant challenge, George W. Bush is now the closest thing in a long time to dictator of the world."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1152-2003Mar20.html

__'Now, I Am the Terrorist'

Will Pitt writes, "We are the terrorists now, stupid underinformed terrorists who dance to the tune of a corporate media machine that will profit wildly from this attack. NBC, MSNBC and CNBC are owned by General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors on earth... Americans are not often afforded the opportunity to witness a war crime live on television. Today's actions bring to mind a war crime from a generation ago: The shooting of a prisoner by Vietnamese General and American ally Nguyen Ngoc Loan. General Loan put a pistol to the head of this bound prisoner and blew his brains into the street, an image that millions of Americans saw after it had taken place. We are here again today. The poverty of the Iraqi people leaves them bound, unable to escape the wave of steel. We have blown their brains out. We have incinerated them in place. We will continue to do so, and you can watch it from your couch. Today, you are the terrorist. So am I."
http://truthout.org/docs_03/032303A.shtml

__Bush Caught Primping Before Declaring War

The Smoking Gun reports, "The British Broadcasting Corporation has apologized to the White House for its broadcast Wednesday night of a live Oval Office feed showing George W. Bush preparing for his speech announcing the start of the Iraqi war. Administration officials are apparently steamed because Bush was seen having his hair primped and readied by a female stylist armed with a comb and hairspray. Below you'll find a screen grab from the BBC feed as well as a 10-second snippet from the unauthorized TV transmission."
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/gbhair1.html

__Smirking His Way to War: Bush's Groom and Gloom

BuzzFlash writes, "When you watch the videos, think about the fact that Bush is about to tell the world that he's sending our soldiers to possibly die, but definitely to kill innocent people in Iraq as our military bombs and shoots its way to Saddam. Think about that and contrast that with Bush's jovial, playful attitude, seen unfiltered in the Dutch broadcast. Hey, Bush, it sure is funny thinking about all those innocent Iraqi women and children who are going to die painful and horrible deaths because of your bombs, isn't it? Just downright slap-happy funny. We bet you haven't had this much fun since you mocked Karla Faye Tucker's plea for clemency and executed at least 135 people while Governor of Texas. And then the show really begins and Bush puts on his face of concern and tempered anxiety. What a farce. What a shameful, despicable farce. Every moment fabricated."
http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/03/03/21_groom.html

__Bush Lies About His 'Coalition'

PentaPost reports, "'It's a baldfaced lie to suggest that' the coalition for this war is greater than that for the 1991 war,' said Ivo H. Daalder... 'Even our great allies Spain, Italy and Bulgaria are not providing troops.' The administration asserts that 44 nations are part of the coalition, but officials reach that number by lumping nations providing military units or logistical assistance with an eclectic group of nations that are voicing only political support. The administration further suggests another 10 or so nations support the campaign but do not wish to be publicly identified. The first Persian Gulf War was prosecuted by a 34-nation military force, with each nation listed in the coalition contributing troops on the ground, aircraft, ships or medics. Dozens of others nations voiced support for the war against Iraq in 1991, meaning that under the standards used by the current Bush administration, the size of the 1991 coalition likely topped 100 countries."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1325-2003Mar20.html

__Bush's Propaganda War: Only The Blood Is Real

Cheryl Seal writes, "The Bush War has begun. The God-fearin' armchair warriors are parked in front of their TV sets popping a beer and the American media is in all its gory, er, glory. If you are feeling a sense of unreality, you are not alone. Nor is your sense wrong. If there is anything that is real about this debacle, it is its total unreality. Sheer movie magic, in fact. I suspect most thinking folk out there have already put the evidence together and realize this war is not only being staged, it has been "under development" since shortly before Bush's inauguration. In fact, the project was "optioned" long before that. It's not enough that Bush already has the American mainstream press -hardcopy, online, or TV- promoting every off-the-cuff lie, fantasy scenario or piece of manufactured evidence he tosses out at them. He's into bigger stuff now. He has become the Samuel B. Goldwyn of bloodletting."
http://newsinsider.org/seal/bushs_propaganda_war.html

__Exposed! MTV's War Censorship Rules

Here's an internal memo from Mark Sunderland, Broadcast Standards Manager of MTV Networks Europe: "Dear all, In the light of the outbreak of war in Iraq in the last 12 hours, our recommendations for the scheduling and content of videos and programmes are as follows: 1. Video recommendations: Obviously, there will be heightened public sensitivity to representations of war, soldiers, bombing, destruction of buildings and public unrest at home. The ITC Programme Code requires us not to broadcast material which offends against good taste or is offensive to public feeling. We therefore recommend that videos featuring the following are not shown at the moment: war, soldiers, war planes, bombs, missiles, riots and social unrest, executions, other obviously sensitive material. Examples include: System of a Down "Boom!" - anti-war video containing facts and figures about, amongst other things, the projected casualties in the war in Iraq" etc., etc., etc.
http://www.internalmemos.com/memos/memodetails.php?memo_id=1424

__Clearchannel's Warmonger-in-Chief Has Scandalous History with Bush

NY Press reports, "Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations, sponsored the numerous 'patriotic rallies' which were held around the country. They organized, advertised, provided speakers and entertainment for them, and even handed out numerous American flags... There are close ties between the company and Bush. The Vice Chair of the company is Tom Hicks, a member of the Bush Pioneer club for elite donors... The two were embroiled in scandal when Hicks, as University of Texas Regent, was responsible for granting endowment management contracts of the newly created (under legislation signed by Bush) UT Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO)... Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers from George Bush, making him a wealthy man through a deal that was partially sweetened by a shiny new taxpayer financed stadium, which included valuable land obtained at below market rates through the use of eminent domain." Impeach Bush Now!
http://www.nypress.com/static/billboard.cfm#1780

__Secret Iraq Rebuilding Contracts are for BushBuddies Only

"Weeks before the first bombs dropped in Iraq, the Bush administration began rebuilding plans. ABCNEWS has obtained a copy of a 99-page contract worth $600 million... The USAID contract is filled with details about plans to construct Iraqi schools, airports, roads, bridges, hospitals, power plants and more. But other details are being shielded by the USAID, which chose to conduct the bidding in secret... Normally, USAID puts out contracts on the Internet, and any company can bid. But to move this through quickly, the agency said it went to firms with track records and security clearances. It asked seven - about half the number that normally would have sought the business - to bid. Among the companies believed to be bidding are Bechtel, Fluor, Parsons, the Washington Group and Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's old firm... All are generous political donors - principally to Republicans... USAID denies politics are involved in any of this." Yeah, RIGHT! Impeach Bush Now!
http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/World/iraq_rebuilding_contract030322.html

__Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War

CorpWatch writes, "As the first bombs rain down on Baghdad, thousands of employees of Halliburton, Dick Cheney's former company, are working alongside US troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars. They are building tent cities and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq in addition to other hot spots in the 'war on terrorism.' While recent news coverage has speculated on the post-war reconstruction gravy train... Halliburton is already profiting from war time contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars... Cheney still draws compensation of up to a million dollars a year from the company... In December 2001, Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, secured a 10-year deal [for] a 'cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity service' which basically means that the federal government has an open-ended mandate and budget to send Brown and Root anywhere in the world to run military operations for a profit."
http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=6008

__The Ugly Truth about Bush's Post-War Humanitarian Aid: There Is None

Cheryl Seal writes, "Bush has clearly established a pattern in his approach to humanitarian aid: promise anything, but deliver nothing. Case in point: As long as the 9/11 families could provide photo ops and sound bytes, Bush lavished them with praise and pomises, few of which were ever willingly fulfilled. In his 2003 budget request, Bush did ask for a single penny for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan. Why? The conflict had already served his political purpose. Now, as the bombs fall on Baghdad, we are supposed to believe Bush will treat Iraq any differently than he treated the Afghans? I predict that by the end of the summer, if not before then, he will have forgotten all about the starving, disease-ridden, mine-lacerated Iraqi women and children and be dumping tax dollars into that new CBS/NBC/ABC/FOX/CNN production "America at War....with North Korea."
http://indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=301276&group=webcast

__A War for the Soul of a Nation

Charles Bornemann: "Today liberal and progressive voices within the Democratic Party are in full retreat much like the British at Dunkirk. Beaten badly but not defeated as even the British came back from horrible defeat, survived a long bombing campaign, re-organized and claimed victory. Herein we see the great lesson of history in that the moral will of the people always prevails. Perhaps we need to peacefully and within the constraints of our laws strike at the heart of an impressive Republican war machine. We could come together to take away the rights of corporations to influence politics removing at once their ability to contribute to campaigns and influence policy. We could continue in removing the vestiges of legalized bribery from our leaders by forcing change that removed special interests from politics. We could fight to make it illegal for any member of government to profit from military concerns... One person with dedication can change the world. Won't you join me?"
http://www.charlesbornemann.com

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This War Is Illegal

By: Robin Miller - 03/23/03

A nation that prides itself on its adherence to the rule of law has violated that commitment in launching a patently illegal war.

Under fundamental international law, military force is permissible only in self-defense or when authorized by the U.N. Security Council.

The administration does not attempt to argue that self-defense applies. Iraq poses no imminent threat.

The Bush team's new doctrine of "preventive war" simply has no legitimacy under international law. Nazi leaders offered the same defense at the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Rejecting the claim, the Tribunal found the Nazis guilty of the crime of aggression. As the Tribunal said, "To initiate a war of aggression, however, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Has the use of force to unseat Saddam Hussein been authorized by the Security Council?

The answer is unequivocally no.

We know that last November's Resolution 1441 did not confer this authority.

First of all, 1441 lays out the process to be followed. Any alleged Iraqi violations are to be reported to the Security Council, which will then "convene immediately ... in order to consider the situation." Only the Council can then decide what to do next.

Secondly, 1441 does not authorize the use of "all necessary means"--the only language recognized as authorizing force. The U.S. and U.K. tried to get this phrase into the resolution, but other Security Council members rejected it. The replacement language, "material breach," is not, and was not intended to be, synonymous.

Third, after 1441 was adopted, every Security Council member--including the U.S. and U.K.--affirmed that it did not provide for "automaticity"--the automatic resort to force. It was this very issue over which the Council struggled for weeks. It's simply fraudulent to now claim that 1441 incorporated automaticity.

AS U.S. ambassador John Negroponte said at the time, 1441 contained "no hidden triggers and no automaticity with the use of force. The procedure to be followed was laid out in the resolution."

Fourth, any Security Council authorization for the use of force must be unambiguous, to avoid exactly the present disagreement. Clearly, 1441 is not.

Fifth, only the Security Council itself can authorize the use of force under Article 42 of the Charter. The Council cannot cede that decision to individual member states.

And sixth, an authorization for the use of force always specifies the intended objective of that force. U.N. resolutions do not empower nations to use force for whatever reasons they wish. Even if 1441 did authorize the use of force to enter Iraq and detect and destroy Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, that would not authorize the stated--and quite different--purpose of this invasion: the removal of the present government from power.

In fact, Security Council resolutions cannot authorize "regime change." The U.N. Charter gives the Council no such power, and even the Council may act only within the limitations of the Charter.

Resolution 1441 explicitly recognizes this by "reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq."

The argument that the Security Council's 1990 resolution 678--authorizing the use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait--somehow now permits a U.S./U.K. invasion of Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein from power is preposterous.

The authorization of force in an old resolution, limited to a particular purpose, and formally ended by the subsequent resolution 687, cannot be extended 13 years later, by two Council members acting against evident Security Council rejection, to a wholly different objective that itself violates the U.N. Charter.

Although it's hard to tell from the administration's constantly-shifting rationales, two other legal arguments may be discerned.

In stressing the so-called "moral case" for Saddam's removal, the U.S. may be attempting to invoke the disputed premise of humanitarian intervention.

But this theory, rejected by a large majority of the world's nations, has not acquired a place in customary international law.

It's easy to see why. Such a principle would give powerful nations carte blanche to declare a "humanitarian emergency" and impose their will on weaker countries.

In any event, current circumstances do not bring this doctrine into play. Saddam's reported mass killings took place over a dozen years ago.

Finally, while the U.S. seems to suggest that it possesses some kind of roving power to "enforce" U.N. resolutions, the Charter grants no such authority to any individual country.

With all possible legal bases for the invasion of Iraq shown to be unjustified--if not wholly fraudulent--there can be only one conclusion: The leaders of the Bush and Blair administrations are war criminals, guilty of the Nuremberg Tribunal's "supreme international crime."

**********

Interesting three part article from The Asia Times, entitled The American Empire. Click on each link below to read the three part article:

Part 1: Reluctant hegemon

Part 2: Righteous king

Part 3: The fear within

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Iraqi exiles in Jordan: Hopes and fears

By Paul Belden

AMMAN - News of the first wave of bombing in Iraq hit a small, nondescript, yet warm and comfortable hotel in eastern Amman with something of a similar effect.

The hotel is in al-Madeenah, a tough working-class neighborhood in downtown Amman near the Roman amphitheater. It is a neighborhood known for its high percentage of Iraqi exiles, many of whom own the small kebab shops that dot the surrounding streets or drive the taxis that cluster in the city-center souk nearby. As the first reports of fire and explosions trickled out of Iraq by telephone, television news and e-mail, many local exiles had gathered here to learn the latest news.

One of the first targets of the first bombs in Baghdad, it turned out, had been the Dourra power plant in central Baghdad. This was a site that carried a very specific emotional weight in this hotel. This was the power plant where a much-loved thirtysomething Pakistani woman named Uzma Bashir had been sleeping every night since her arrival in Baghdad the month before. Before arriving in Baghdad, she had stayed for 10 days here, where the owner, a tall, lean Jordanian man named Fayez, had befriended her. Tonight, as the first rumors of war trickled in, he was wearing a rumpled business suit despite the lateness of the hour, and expressing his intense fear that she had been killed.

It was a serious and well-placed concern. Uzma was one of about 80 human shields who had entered Iraq to place themselves in likely points of US and British attack, in the hope - since proved to have been misplaced - that they could by so doing avert the war. As Fayez was speaking of his fears, somebody placed on the bulletin board in the lobby a newspaper clipping from a European paper - a photo essay of the last moments on Earth of a woman named Rachel Corrie. Corrie had also been a human shield, and she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer and killed while trying to prevent the destruction of a house in the Gaza Strip.

There was a cold rain falling in Amman that night, yet it was warm in Fayez' office, where one wall was dominated by a map of the world without national borders except for the pan-Arab nation highlighted in green. On another wall hung a stylized inscription of the word "Allah" set in shards of cut glass over a black felt background.

His staff served tiny cups of sweet shai and Turkish coffee to the shifting collection of activists and exiles from many nations who had gathered to learn the latest news. Fayez was well equipped to supply that demand: he had four computers set up where guests surfed news sites and sent and received e-mail. He had a television in his office that flipped back and forth from CNN to al-Jazeera. He had several telephone lines that rang continuously. At one point, he picked it up and spoke in Arabic for a while, before hanging it up with a sigh: "The government is closing the Iraqi Embassy until further notice."

A German woman wandered in and relayed the latest news from over the border, which, she said, had been just open just the day before, when she crossed into Jordan leaving Iraq. The security officials on both sides, she said, had seemed very tense. Everyone had been thoroughly searched - and unlike before, guns had been drawn. Baghdad itself, she said, had become a ghost town by noon the day before the first bombs fell. At that time, every shop had been closed, with tin shutters ringing down over every storefront, and X-marks of duct tape covering every vulnerable window.

A little later, Fayez was on the phone again: "The border is now closed," he reported.

As pictures flashed across the television screens of the mass protests in capitals the day before around the world - baton-wielding police making mass arrests in Cairo; crowd scenes from Rome, Berlin, San Francisco - his phone rang again bringing rumors of mass arrests in Jordan. As of this writing, they could be confirmed.

About 10pm, al-Jazeera reported that a US helicopter had gone down in southern Iraq. Twenty minutes later, CNN came out with a similar statement, attributing the news to Iraqi television and saying that the news could not be confirmed by the Pentagon. Later that night the Pentagon came on CNN denying the report. In the morning, it said a Chinook had gone down for unknown reasons in Kuwait. An investigation was pending.

Meanwhile, as CNN concentrated on wide-angle video shots from the Palestine Hotel in central Baghdad near the Tigris River, al-Jazeera interviewed a taxi driver who had witnessed some of the first bombs' effects. He had seen several civilians wounded by shrapnel, he said. Within a few hours, there were live shots from the hospital.

Finally, after an interminable wait, an e-mail arrived. It was from Uzma, and she was safe. So was everyone in her group of human shields. And they were staying on, she said. But they were very scared.

**********

Splits emerge over post-Saddam plan

By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON - An almost audible sigh of relief could be heard from a nondescript downtown building in the United States capital on Thursday morning when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appeared on television some hours after US warplanes and cruise missiles had bombarded a residence in Baghdad.

Media reports quoted US officials as saying the raid was directed at a "target of opportunity", possibly Saddam and his two sons, shortly after the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum delivered by US President George W Bush on Monday for the three men to leave the country or face a full-scale invasion.

If the raid had succeeded in killing the three, US officials told reporters, their war plans might have changed. But, fortunately for the neo-conservative hawks at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) three blocks from the White House, it appears that Saddam remains alive, and the invasion will now go forward.

"That we appear not to have gotten Saddam Hussein last night ... may be a blessing in disguise," came the e-mail message from the AEI's press center. "As in Operation Desert Storm [in 1991], the measure of victory in this war against Iraq will not be how big we start but where and when we stop," continued the message from resident fellow Tom Donnelly.

"'Going to Baghdad' means more than physically occupying the city. It is a metaphor for tearing out 'Saddamism', root and branch. There will be many moments - and a quick kill on Saddam would be one - where some might be tempted to say, as the first Bush administration did when the television pictures of the famous Highway of Death hit American airwaves in 1991, that enough has been done."

Perish the thought, say the AEI hawks who, led by another resident scholar and chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board (DPB), Richard Perle, are deeply worried that that their hopes for a thoroughgoing purge of officials from Saddam's Ba'ath Party as the first step to transforming the entire Arab Middle East, may yet be frustrated.

Eighteen months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the coalition of forces that has beaten the war drums against Baghdad virtually since the dust settled in Lower Manhattan has agreed that the "war on terrorism" must include the ouster of Saddam.

The coalition, in the administration centered in the offices of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, has in essence consisted of three components: hard right-wing or nationalist Republicans such as the Pentagon chief and vice president; neo-conservatives like Perle and most of Rumsfeld's and Cheney's immediate subordinates, such as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; and the Christian right, whose concerns have been represented most forcefully within the White House itself, particularly among Bush's domestic advisors.

While all three groups have agreed on key tactics - such as marginalizing to the greatest extent possible the influence of Secretary of State Colin Powell and other "realist" veterans of the first Bush administration - and strategy, including ousting Saddam, they have never agreed on what happens once the leader is removed.

"The earliest and most salient rift [in the hawks' coalition] will be the hard-right nationalists, like Rumsfeld and Cheney, and the neo-conservatives," said Charles Kupchan, a foreign-policy analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations and a National Security Council strategist under former president Bill Clinton.

"For the hard right, this is really about getting Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. Once that's done, they're going to say, 'OK, we've done our job, now let's get the hell out and go home.'"

But the neo-conservatives will want to stay to ensure that the Ba'ath Party is as discredited as the Nazi Party was in Germany, and to use Iraq as a base from which to exert pressure on other presumably hostile regimes, particularly Syria, Iran and even Saudi Arabia.

The third wing of the coalition, the Christian right, is more likely to side with Rumsfeld and Cheney than with the neo-conservatives, in Kupchan's view, creating a split that "will complicate George Bush's life immensely".

In many ways, these rifts were already apparent in Afghanistan, as Rumsfeld and Cheney were dead-set against serious "nation-building" and the extension of peacekeeping forces beyond Kabul for fear it would interfere with US military operations against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network.

The result, which the neo-conservatives warned against at the time, is that the authority of the US-installed central government is basically confined to the capital, while most of the countryside remains in the hands of warlords. Washington cannot afford to leave Iraq in a similar state of disorder, say the neo-conservatives.

While Cheney and Rumsfeld have both given lip service to the idea that Washington's occupation of Iraq will be the first step toward the democratization of the entire region, they have also been the most outspoken in affirming that Saddam's self-exile would be one sure way of avoiding war.

This has caused no end of anxiety among the neo-conservatives both within the administration and in the think-tanks - including the AEI - and media outlets such as the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard (headquartered in the AEI building), Fox News, and the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.

The neo-conservatives say that Iraq must not only be "de-Ba'athized", but that Washington must also be accorded the opportunity to show the world, and especially other Muslim states, just how powerful and determined it is both in waging war and reforming their political systems.

For them, "Saddamism without Saddam" would be the worst possible outcome of the present crisis, and they have excoriated Powell's State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, which have generally opposed going to war against Iraq, for encouraging coups d'etat or enlisting the participation of even former senior Ba'ath officials in any post-invasion administration.

The neo-conservatives have long favored a far-reaching purge that would bring to power the core of the exiled Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by Ahmed Chalabi, an old friend of Perle and Wolfowitz, who would cooperate with US efforts to knock over the other "dominoes" in the region that are perceived as hostile to Washington or Israel.

In their view, a "decapitation" strategy targeted on Saddam, his sons and a few other top Ba'ath officials without a full-scale invasion and occupation risks falling far short of their regional ambitions.

(Inter Press Service)

********

SHOCK ‘n AWE (SHAK-IN-AH): WE WILL ROCK YOU

by William Henry

A battle between the ancient forces of light (TARA) and darkness (TERROR) rages on our planet. Emerging with it is the ancient idea of Shock ‘n Awe, called Shakina--Glory--by the Jewish Mystics. Shock ‘n Awe was known as the Divine Presence of God, a force of immense power that emanated from the Ark of the Covenant. Has it returned?

On March 19, 2003 the U.S. military began the war to oust Saddam Hussein with “decapitation” strikes by precision missiles and bombs on targets in Baghdad believed to hold the Iraqi dictator, his sons or other top leaders. The first missiles came from aircraft carriers blaring the Queen song “We Will Rock You.”

A few hours later, another Saddam crawled out of the bunker and appeared on state-run Iraqi television. One official said the case against the broadcast’s authenticity included that Hussein has several body doubles. This one had grey, jowley skin, and wore glasses uncharacteristic of the ones he normally wears. Technical analysts, who used digital enhancement techniques and triangulation measurements of facial proportions, assessed that the broadcast depicted the real Hussein (if there is such a thing). This master of many palaces was also a master of many heads, similar to Hydra, the nine-headed serpent slain by Hercules. When any one of its heads was cut off; it was replaced by two others.

White House officials hoped that killing Saddam as the war began could shorten the conflict by convincing his military to surrender Baghdad to the allies, an official said. There was no immediate word on whether the strike killed top Iraqi leaders.

Saddam Hussein is certainly dead. Even if he hasn’t inherited the wind. And with him passes a sigh of relief. How close to Hitler was he to inflicting a holocaust on America? How much of his ‘I’m the Muslim Messiah’ business did he buy?

It has been over fifty years since Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker, yet our fascination with his life and sinister campaign of evil grows. Fifty years hence Saddam will still be a subject of mystery. The reason is because crucial parts of the story have been excised, sanitized and even occulted.

The occult was a major factor behind the rise of Adolf Hitler. It was excised from history because Churchill sought to prevent imitators and because recognition of it carries with it a terror that is beyond proportion for most. Hitler thought he was the ‘Aryan Christ’. He believed in the emergence of the New Atlantis. He sought to build a Master Race.

Like his death, the major factor behind the rise of Saddam Hussein is hidden. Exiled from Iraq in Luxor, Egypt, the young Saddam walked the mighty temples. He heard a voice that tempted him to power, real power.

Saddam thought he was Nebuchadnezzar, the biblical King of Babylon who rebuilt Babylon, the ancient home of the Bab-Ili or ‘Gate of the Illi”, the Illumined ones. Known as the Gate to God in the Bible, this huge tower, called in Sumerian Etemenenanki (‘House of the Foundation of Heaven and Earth’) stood upon the central temple-complex called Esagila or ‘House that Lifts Up the Head’ (of God).

Saddam did not take the ancient stories of Nebuchadnezzar and the Head of God as mere mythology. Just as Joshua became Jesus in the Jewish tradition, and their feats were considered mutual, Saddam affixed his tyrannical actions to Nebuchadnezzar’s.

To honor his previous incarnation, Saddam rebuilt Babylon. In 2002 he sought the return of the Ish-tara Gate from Berlin to Iraq, along with copies of thousands of ancient Sumerian tablets from the British Museum. He aimed to turn Babylon into a “Disneyland for the ancient gods” in the style of Nebuchadnezzar and his forerunner, Nimrod, who built the Tower of Babel. Like Saddam, Nimrod was a terrorist. He threatened and murdered innocents.

Nimrod is the Egyptian Osiris, who was decapitated by his half brother, Set. A serpent hanging from a pillar symbolized this god’s head or ‘skull’. Osiris is the Egyptian equivalent of the serpent of Eden.

Herein lies a key to the untold story of Saddam.

Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, the British Museum’s curator of Egyptian antiquities at the turn of the twentieth century, was one of the first scholars to notice the relationship between Egyptian and Su-Merian mythology and to refer to its influence on Jewish and Gnostic symbolism.

In 576 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar looted and leveled the Temple of Solomon and transported the Jews to Babylon.

The Old Testament and Jewish mystic system known as Kaballism (‘to receive’) flourished during his reign when he merged the Jewish and Babylonian cultures. In addition, Nebuchadnezzar opened the ‘fiery furnace’ out of which the Son of God emerged.

In the old times it was the Israelite god, Yahweh, who ordered the death of Nebuchadnezzar. This was in retaliation for his deliverance of the secrets of the enigmatic ‘fiery furnace’, which behaves like a modern stargate or wormhole. Saddam may have been on the verge of reopening the Gate to God.

In January 2001, Yahweh made headlines when George W. Bush, a born again Christian who believes Yahweh’s son died on a cross for him 2,000 years ago, ascended to power and asked a question. “Does the angel in the whirlwind still direct this storm?”

Analysts puzzled over what the new present-id meant.

The whirlwind is the vehicle in which Yahweh rides. Then angel is Enoch, later called Metatron, the Prince of Earth. Metatron’s job is to keep order in the world and to protect the throne of Glory (Shankina). The inference is that Yahweh or Metatron direct the affairs of Old Glory, America.

One morning in February 2003, George W. Bush came to land of the three stars Nashville, Tennessee – the home of a copy of Iraq’s Tower of Babel – to tell religious broadcasters that “the terrorists hate the fact that …we can worship Al- Mighty God the way we see fit,” and that the United States was called to bring God’s gift of liberty to “every human being in the world.”

Bush believes in God’s will. Foes say he found the right combination of religion and politics while living in Texas. He put on a halo and rode a wave of evangelical support to the core of the Republican Party. This right wing front organization for Jesus Christ took him all the way to the West Wing of the White House.

Bush’s platform is simple, say friends and foe alike. Give everyone, everywhere, the freedom to find Jesus Christ.

His references to “good” and “evil,” installed in his vocabulary after 9-11, exploded into a “countdown to Armageddon” and the return of Jesus in born again minds. They read “good”, Jesus W. Bush, v. “evil”, Satan Hussein.

When George W. Bush decided he’d had enough of the serpent Saddam he sent forces to ‘decapitate’ him (a military technique that has been around ‘forever’), or expel him from the Garden. (In contrast to the approach of Moses and Jesus who sought to lift the serpent and transform it into a healing force.) In Sumerian myth, George the serpent or dragon slayer is known as Bel or Marduk, ‘the bright one’, the god of Mars (war/terror or peace/tara).

Slaying Satan Hussein is the fulfillment of Ronald Reagan’s apocalyptic plans. Some say it is the preamble to his repeated philosophizing about extraterrestrials, and the uniting of the human race in a final battle against an extraterrestrial foe.

This is the source of the ‘Thing’ in the Near East. The extraterrestrials of times past inhabited present-day Iraq. The biblical Garden of Eden was their home, too.

To many Muslims, especially Arabs, Bush is the Christian Crusader come to steal the Cradle of Civilization for Jesus.

Bush put it plainly otherwise. “We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.”

Today, President Bush prepares to unleash “Shock and Awe” against the Axis of Evil on behalf of the Al-Mighty.

Curiously, Al-Mighty is the name originally given to the Israelite god El Shaddai, the Lord of the Mountain, the god of the Burning Bush, from whom “the Egyptian,” Moses, received the instructions to build the Ark of the Covenant and from whom he received Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Jewish Kabbalists tell us Shaddai is Enoch/Metatron. The angel in the whirlwind?

In the earlier Iraqi tradition he was Ilu Kur-gal, meaning “Great Mountain Lord.” The Sumerians called him El, the “Shining One.”

In Jewish mysticism El or Ill is hidden (occult). Normally, Yahweh rode in a ‘pillar of fire by day, and a pillar of fire by night’. In order that God might be visible to angels and those humans who have nurtured their consciousness, he allowed his Glory to take shape in the form of a divine fire or light known only to the prophets and mystics.

Most Christians and Jews are unaware that this Divine Fire is a feminine component of the deity in biblical times. This feminine Glory of God is called “shakina” (Shock-in-ah).

Shakina is the Indian Shakti, translated as “Cosmic Energy.” The term is used in the Talmud and Midrash in place of Word (Memra, Life Force Energy, Christ).

The image of the Shekinah reaches back to the goddesses of Sumeria and later to As-Tara in Canaan.

She was first exiled from humanity as a result of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, which some scholars locate in various places in Iraq. She has shared the exile from the Garden (Iraq) with all of humanity. She is addressed as the ‘Mystical Eden’, the ‘holy apple garden’.

Shak-in-ah appeared in Jerusalem after the building of Solomon’s Temple and the placement of the Ark of the Covenant within the temple’s Holy of Holies. Solomon worshipped her over Yahweh. She is the goddess consort of the king seen as a visible cloud overshadowing or hovering over the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:34-38).

Shekina disappeared at the time of the destruction of the Temple of Solomon at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar – when the Ark was secreted either to Babylon or to Tara Hill in Ireland -- and she did not return with them to Israel after the exile.

In her exile she is called ‘the Widow’ and the ‘Stone of Exile’, the ‘Precious Stone’.

Shakina will not return until the time of the Messiah.

Shekinah is ‘scattered’ into the scintillae, the ‘soul sparks’ that are the souls of certain human beings. Until this gathering of souls takes place there can be no return to the Garden.

Jewish prayer is focused on accelerating the return of Shak- in-ah, and the return of humanity to the Garden.

The “spirit of Glory” is the dwelling in whom beings of light, the Illi, lived. In Ireland this place is called Tara.

Could it be that the “Shock and Awe” attack Bush – and that old lady, Old Glory, America – is preparing to let loose on Iraq is the awaited return of Shakin aw or Shakina?

Is the gathering of souls in Iraq the gathering light of Shakina or Shock ‘n Awe?

When the first flash of Shock ‘n Awe comes on that moonless night will it be interpreted by Iraqis as the coming of the god of thunder, Yahweh, over the sacred city of Baghdad?

We shall soon see.

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