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2003-03-26 - 5:26 p.m.

:::Illegal War Updates:::

Uh Oh, pals, opposition is mounting all over the world to this illegal war. Boycotts of U.S. products are in full force. The following is an article from Reuters:

Boycott of American Goods Over Iraq War Gains

Erik Kirschbaum writes: No more Coca-Cola or Budweiser, no Marlboro, no American whiskey or even American Express cards -- a growing number of restaurants in Germany are taking everything American off their menus to protest the war in Iraq.

Although the protests are mainly symbolic, waiters in dozens of bars and restaurants in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Bonn and other German cities are telling patrons, "Sorry, Coca-Cola is not available any more due to the current political situation."

The boycotts appear to be part of a nascent worldwide movement. One Web site, www.consumers-against-war.de, calls for boycotts of 27 top American firms from Microsoft to Kodak while another, www.adbusters.org, urges the "millions of people against the war" to "Boycott Brand America."

click on the link above to read the full report

**********

From the Wilderness Publications editor, Michael C. Ruppert, has written a two part series called The Perfect Storm concerning the state of affairs in the US Economy, the war effort, and the Bush Administration. Click on each link below to read the full reports:

THE PERFECT STORM - Part I

THE PERFECT STORM - Part II

**********

Is Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary Cheney, in Jordon? Is she getting ready to join a group of Human Shields moving into Iraq? Is Dick Cheney really on his way to Jordon to bring his rebellious daughter home? Check out this report from AlBawaba.com:

Cheney daughter - human shield in Baghdad???

The London based Arabic daily Al Quds Al Arabi reported on Tuesday, March 25 that the American vice president, Dick Cheney, would soon head to the Jordanian capital, Amman.

The newspaper claimed that the visit would be an attempt by Cheney to convince his daughter, who was in the Jordanian capital, to back down her decision to go to Baghdad within a group of volunteers who want to form human shields against the US led attacks on Iraq.

Al Quds Al Arabi cited news reports it claimed circulating in Amman as saying that Cheney would arrive in the Jordanian capital soon on a special visit it described as having a "social mission." “News agencies cited sources as saying that Cheney will arrive in Amman next Friday. He will try to convince his daughter who is currently staying at a hotel in Amman not to go to Baghdad along with a group of volunteers who want to go to Iraq and form human shields against the Anglo American attacks,” said the report.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in the Jordanian capital, denied that Cheney was on his way to Jordan: "The embassy has no information that the U.S. vice president will arrive in Jordan to convince one of his daughters not to travel to Iraq to join human shields opposed to war," he said.

However, some sons of western officials have already volunteered as human shields in Iraq against the American invasion, including the son of the Canadian Foreign Minister, Bill Graham

Although not mentioned in the the Arabic newspaper, it is likely refers to Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. Mary, 34, is a lesbian, and she has not kept her homosexuality a secret -- either to her friends or to her employer, Coors Brewing Co., where she was the gay and lesbian corporate relations manager.

The controversy around Mary has emerged in the US media during her father's vice presidential campaign during 2000. During that time, Mary told Time magazine in some of her few public words to date, "I love my father. I don't want to be a distraction."

However, when Lynne Cheney was asked about her daughter being openly gay, Mrs. Cheney said her daughter is "bright" and "hard-working" and "decent," and yes, she loves her.

Now, after the war started, it seems there are not just political but also financial reasons for Mr. Cheney's strong support for the raids on Iraq. When it comes to making money from a war in Iraq, few can match the firepower of the company once headed by Dick Cheney, Reuters reported.

Houston-based Halliburton Co. can build roads and bridges and camps for US forces. It can transport personnel and provide other logistics. And after the war, assuming a U.S. victory, it can help restore Iraq's infrastructure and oil production.

At the same time, the company's oilfield services business, which is second only to Schlumberger Ltd., is likely to supply most of the heavy equipment to fight fires in oil wells and oil fields.

And should the U.S. emerge victorious, Halliburton -- which develops oil fields and drills for oil all over the world -- has the connections and businesses to play a major role in "rebuilding" Iraq.

"They have the businesses. They have the government relationship already well-established, and, as we all know, Cheney was the CEO, so it makes logical sense," said Denis Walsh, an equity analyst who covers the energy sector for State Street Research and Management.

For all these reasons, one should not be surprised that the American VP will hurry to Amman and try to bring his "rebellious" daughter back home....(Albawaba.com)

**********

CHERYL SEAL REPORTS MARCH 24: Anti-propaganda Media Analysis

As the Bush War escalates, so does the intensity of propaganda cranked out by the corporate media. Voices that counter the onslaught of disinformation are desperately needed. Thus this hastily-constructed "Media MASH UNIT" is dedicated to providing life support to the first casualty of war: TRUTH.

THE "MYSTERIOUS MICROPHONE" PLOY

Although we have all now witnessed the wonders of visual "movie magic" in the editing of news footage (remember the missing protestors in the footage of the presidential inauguration?), a new, more insidious bit of "magic" is gaining favor with propagandists. I like to call this technique the "mysterious microphone" ploy, because it is a mystery how what the ear hears live and the network microphones transmit up can be so different! During the speeches given during the massive protest in Washington, D.C. before the war was declared, to hear C-SPAN 's audio coverage, there was often barely a ripple of response by the audience to the speakers. Of course, those present know that the applause and cheering from the crowd that punctuated the speeches was thunderous. But the audience at home, unaware of the live reality, would swear that the activists were playing to a subdued and/or small crowd.

When Michael Moore delivered his blast of the Bush Reich at the Oscars, he was, in reality, given a standing ovation and hearty applause. But, to hear the soundbyte presented on the network news, you'd never know it. All you can hear are boos...which, in fact, came from about five people, from eyewitness accounts.

Conversely, when Bush so much as smirks at a public affair, to hear the "mysterious microphones" tell it, every person in the place thunderously cheers and applauds. So when you combine the mysterious microphone effect with skillful editng you can, quite effectively, lie through your teeth.

Example: The network coverage of Moore (all 3 seconds of it) shows Moore briefly, then, while cutting to a handful of stony-faced people, cranks up the volumne on the five booers. The result: a totally false statement: Moore's speech was met by boos and grim silence, not by enthusiasm and a standing ovation

Michael Moore's statement at Oscars

"We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president," Moore said. "We live in a time where we have a man who's sending us to war for fictitious reasons, whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts."Applause gave way to some boos, as the orchestra began playing to cue the filmmaker to leave the stage."We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you," Moore shouted.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/03/23/state2309EST0088.DTL

While Moore received a STANDING OVATION, only a few booed probably Charlton Heston, Bruce "Please send me to Iraq, Mr. Bush" Willis, and Arnold "testosterone-challenged" Swharzenneger.

'When asked by reporters why he made the remarks, he answered: "I'm an American."

"Is that all?"

"Oh, that's a lot," Moore responded. He dismissed the jeers he received, telling reporters: "Don't report that there was a split decision in the hall because five loud people booed."

PROPAGANDA HIGHLIGHTS:

The captured American soldiers are being made the total focus of Bush's propaganda strategy at present. Why? Because, lacking any positive news on the U.S. troops progress in Iraq, he must resort to emotionally-charged diversions. In this way, he hopes to rivet the attention of Americans on these five soldiers - and away from the sufferings and dangers of the 250,000 he has sent into hell in the Iraqi desert.

MEDIA/PENTAGON LIE: U.S. soldiers were executed by the Iraqis...this story is continuing to be allowed to float out there, unopposed by any official statement to the contrary, thereby causing needless anguish in exchange for whipping up war fervor.

TRUTH: The alleged bodies of the supposedly executed U.S. soldiers are dressed in GREEN UNIFORMS. Hello!!! That is not what American soldiers are wearing in Iraq. They are wearing desert fatigues, which are different shades of tan with NO GREEN. In short, the Pentagon knew from the second that footage was aired that those bodies were not American soldiers. But it allowed the networks to push the issue to the max, wringing as much outrage as possible from the public.

PENTAGON LIE: 3/24: Tommy Franks tells reporters that as proof of violation of the Geneva convention by Iraq, the Red Cross has not been allowed to see the U.S. soldiers held as POWs.

TRUTH: As even Franks, when pressed was forced to admit, the Red Cross has been brought into the Iraq conflict at all yet - he has failed to even call them for the 2,000 or so Iraqi POWs the Americans are holding.

DATELINE CRIME: On Dateline, reporters were aggressively trying to promote hate and rage in Americans. The reporters showed the Al-Jazeera videos of the bodies to an audience in a small town in Alabama - thus insuring they would have the rightest of the rightwing audiences possible. This kind of manipulation is tantamount to waving red meat in front of a pack of mean and hungry dogs - or showing trumped up evidence of a crime by a black man to a roomful of KKKers.

I keep waiting for network journalists working on these shows to reveal evidence of guts - or at least of a soul - and speak up. But no, that next McMansion payment or trip to the Caribbean is just too darn important to risk.

FOX "public service" AD: This ad has been running on FOX frequently, and usually is slugged in right after footage of anti-war protests. It features five scrubbed "college students" making a patriotic statement...However, after this ad, no attribution is given. This is suspicious to say the least, because even the Tobacco companies have to cite at the end who paid for their "public service" PR ads. So I suspect that a rightwing corporate front group such as the Heritage Foundation, Free Enterprise Institute, or, at the least :Young Republicans are behind this. It says it all that the pro-war folks have to buy their forums because they do not have enough real grassroots supports to raise so much as a whimper on their own.

LIE: Pentagon is cooperating with the media in the field.

TRUTH: A report from a jouralist in Iraq, forwarded to me last night:"All reports coming from the journalists attached to the coalition units are now being strictly censored by the military. All live broadcasts, as those seen during the first day of the war, are now strictly prohibited by a special order from the coalition command. The required time delay between the time news video footage was shot and the time it can be broadcast has been increased to a minimum of 4"

NOTE: The purpose of the glitzy video stage built in Qatar by the Hollywood studio contracted by Bush now becomes abundantly clear....soon we won't even need the journalists in the field at all - they can just stand in front of the screen while Pentagon Productions airs footage from Black Hawk Down and other "special order" flicks.

LIE: Jordan is neutral.

TRUTH: Jordan has allowed the anti-Iraq coalition to place surveillance radars and radio reconnaissance stations on its territory. Jordan has also allowed the coalition to use its military airbases. "

LIE Being perpetuated on many networks, local and national – including Channel 13 Baltimore: Current U.S. Intelligence in the Middle East is excellent, the best ever.

TRUTH: US intelligence in the Middle East has plummeted downhill since Bush took office, largely because of Bush’s personal political manipulation of the CIA and FBI. For example, top FBI Osama Bin Laden hunter John O’Neill was pulled off the case just as he was closing in on the Al Queda leader in the summer of 2001. O’Neill quit in disgust, and, ironically, ended up as a security head at the WTC, where he died trying to rescue victims on 9/11.The good intelligence of the CIA has been ignored or “tweaked” by Bush to such an extent that current agents are beginning to give their notices rather than “lie for Bush,” while veteran retired agents are calling for agents willing to expose the Bush abuse of the agency to speak out. Now that Bush has gone into Iraq against the CIA’s advice, the Pentagon is trying to pin the disaster on intelligence people. This report came in from a Russian source:

"A CIA referent in the combat area Col. Davis (likely to be a pseudonym) and the US DoD Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) regional director were demoted due to their inadequate performance in

estimating the strength of Iraq's forces and their combat readiness."

LIE: Tommy Franks says progress is being made, the war is going well.

TRUTH: Quote from Franks intercepted by Russian radio operator: "We've just spent three days trying to capture one small town, so we can only guess what awaits us in Baghdad!"

PENTAGON LIE: The U.S. troops are "speeding across the Desert."

TRUTH: (Even most journalists are reporting this)Progress is paintstakingly slow...almost at a standing still for hours at a time.

LIE: Bush has a massive humanitarian aid plan ready for Iraq

TRUTH: Letter from aid worker, received last night:

Cheryl Seal, I was at a humanitarian organization meeting yesterday (and forgive me but I just don't want the government knowing by reading this which one it was).

We were told that what chills all the humanitarian organizations, who are currently not allowed across the borders into Iraq for war reasons (etc.), is that the USA post-war reconstruction plan is TWO pages long. Does this surprise us from a country that is defying international law and probably has no reconstruction plans other than those that put millions in the pockets of cronies. Never mind that as the invading country, they have the obligation to look after the food, welfare, and shelter of the citizens of the country they have invaded.

What a chilling, disgusting farce.

Name of sender provided but withheld by Cheryl Seal

For latest updates on humanitarian aid in Iraq – see the Red Cross Iraq update section:

http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList4/7B9A3990E50D6C0EC1256CF30057E7DB

---

COVERUP PROPAGANDA: France and Russia have been supplying weapons and money to Iraq

TRUTH: Extensive weapons caches have been found by allied troops, but most of them came from the British weapons manufacturer Wallop

1. British manufacturer's weapons linked to hidden cache of missiles

http://www.news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=353552003

LIE: Kurds who accused Wallops of providing Iraq with weapons lied and were subsequently tried and found guilty for “criminal damages.”

TRUTH: The Kurds did not lie - the weapons from Wallops they described have been found in Iraqi bunkers - see above link to the news story in :The Scotsman.”

LIE: Arrogantly promulgated by a British general on 3/24: “The Allies don’t need more troops.”

TRUTH: The “Allies” cannot adequately support the people they now have advanced far into the desert their with the present supply lines, let alone more people.

REALITY CHECK ON THE POW SITUATION

Americans are outraged at the way Iraq TV is displaying the five American POWs. However, this outrage is, alas, diluted in the eyes of the world by America's incredible hypocrisy on such issues. Here are the chief issues:

1. Bush is the one of the only world leaders who refused to sign the treaty setting up the International Criminal Court aimed at making sure nations are held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity wherever they occur. This means that U.S. forces cannot be prosecuted, technically, under international law, regardless of what outrages they may commit, if any. More significantly, it means that Bush himself cannot be held accountable for a war that may result in widespread atrocitiesd and, very possibly, in the use of nuclear weapons should Bush feel too threatened. http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/icc/crisis/0817power.htm

2. Human rights activisits and several world leaders have condemned the treatment of the muslim POWs held in Guantanomo Bay by the Bush administration as in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention. In fact, initially, Bush declared these men "enemy combatants," rather than POWs, thereby hoping to exclude them from protection by the Geneva Convention. These men have were paraded and photographed in every imaginable degrading posture, tied into crouched positions, etc. Attempted suicides among these men has become an epidemic. Yet Bush sees nothing wrong in THIS.

3. Thanks to Bush, America is one of only two nations on Earth that have refused to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The other hold out is the notoriously patriarchal and human rights-abusing third-world nation of Somalia. The Convention, which, according to UNICEF, is "the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history" is not only aimed at insuring basic rights such as adequate food and education for children everywhere, it is designed to insure they are not victimized or exploited, especially in times of war. Now, at war, with children being the most acute victims of all types of suffering, and after the war, as adequate care cannot be achieved, Bush is "off the hook", at least in his own sociopathic mind.

Marching on Babylon with "Second Coming" Bush:

Bush has granted ultrarightwing Christian reporters precious "embedded reporter" newspots, including Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. Gotta be in on the "glorious unfolding" of biblical prophecy, eh? This prohesy calls for the invasion of Babylon - i.e., modern Iraq. In short, the war on Iraq is probably, at its heart, an elaborate acting out of the religious fantasies of Bush and the powerful rightwing fanatics who support him. Because the mainstream media are unquestioningly supporting Bush, they are, by default, supporting this insane scenario. Check out this religious fanatic site. You will see that they proudly list their selected network information providesr: CNN, FOX, MSNBC and the pro-Blair/ush BBC. You will also notice to the right of the page that "Iraq in Bibilical Prophecy" (as in Armageddon and the Rapture) is the subject of popular fundie literature. . http://www.bible-prophecy.com/wariraq.htm


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