the world is what you know - NO MORE SECRETS

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Friday, October 03, 2003
Website Moves to WWW.FLASHCLUB.CH

The website is being moved to its own webserver and I'm changing the publishing tool to Movable Type. It will take about a week until everything's up and running. Thanks for visiting FLASHCLUB.

Sunday, May 25, 2003
Michael Moore: Superhero or Imposter?

Michael Moore, self-described lefty and populist, NRA member and living in a $1.2 million apartment in Manhattan, has become an icon of the Left and has the Right foaming at the mouth. His movie Bowling for Columbine has reaped highest accoloades and has set a new record for a documentary at the box office. He his one of the most prominent figures that represent the 'alternative' view point of the Bush Administration, as he demonstrated with his remarks at the Oscar's where he called Bush a "fictitious president." He promises a bigger expose of Bush's shady dealings this time with the bin Ladens in his new movie Farenheit 9-11: The Temperature At Which Truth Burns. The question therefore must be asked how truthful are his facts and how much does he really expose the root evil? That is state-sponsored terrorism to legitimize the quest for a new world hegemony and redistribution of resources.

The stories he tells in Bowling for Columbine all seemingly ring true. The viewer's intellectual self-esteem is raised by Moore with little amusing anectodes that show other people's idiocies. For example, like the interview in the bank in Michigan where he asks the bank teller "do you think it is a little dangerous handing out guns in a bank". The claim by some people that the rock group Marilyn Manson inspired the killings he counters with interjections that the killers went bowling before the killings or that Harris' father was employed at Lockheed Martin making WMDs ("So you don't think our kids say to themselves, 'Dad goes off to the factory every day, he builds missiles of mass destruction. What's the difference between that mass destruction and the mass destruction over at Columbine High School?"). That just as well might have seriously altered their view towards life, or violent video games, he proposes. The same with the hilarious questioning of the rather dim-witted James Nichols (the brother of the convicted Oklahoma City Building bomber) who wasn't aware of Gandhis peaceful revolution and simple responded, "I'm not familiar with that", when asked by Moore about it. All of these examples, when common sense is applied, seem to prove Moore's argument.

The problem with this is that his "facts" on many occassion are outright fabrications, taken out of context, or less serious, staged scenes. To begin with the titel Bowling for Columbine is part of the deception by Moore. As he claims that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went bowling before the massacre. Not so say say the witnesses questioned by the police: they cut the class. The famous bank scene in reality would have happened differently including a background check by the FBI and he couldn't have had collected the rifle he at the Bank. Jan Jacobson, the employee that handled Moore's account had this to say about the "guns at the bank" scene:

"What happened at the bank was a prearranged thing. The gun was brought from a gun dealer in another city, where it would normally have to be picked up. Typically, you're looking at a week to 10 days waiting period. He just portrayed us as backward hicks."

More of the most glaring inaccuracies in Bowling for Columbine:

• The Lockheed Martin plant does not make WMDs but space rockets such as the Titan and Atlas rockets which are now used to deliver civilian payloads to space.

• Same withe the doctored Willie Horton ad that implied that a black man was falsely accused of murder (he brutalized a couple and raped the woman). View the ad without Moore's video editing. This segment of Bowling for Columbine will reportedly be omitted from the video and dvd release of the movie.

• The seemingly easy gun purchase in Canada where the Canadian consulate has clarified that for purchasing a gun one must present indentification among other things.

• And he twists the numbers where in reality in the U.S. blacks and hispanics are involved in proportionially more homicides compared to their numbers, Moore claims that Canada has the same number of minorities, where in reality the U.S. has more than double that number. He also dismisses studies that have shown a correlation between poverty and crime, neglecting to mention in the process that Canada's social services are much more developed than in the States.

• Another claim introduced by Moore (and backed up by careful video montage) is implying that the NRA held the convention despite what happened in Littleton where in reality they drastically scaled back their meeting in response to the shootings. Only
the annual meetings required by corporate law were held. The video with Heston holding a musket in his hands and holding his "cold, dead hands" speech was from an event from Charlotte, N.C a year later.

• He claims that the Bush Administration has given $245 million to the Taliban before they attacked them. First of all the money wasn't given to the Taliban rulers but was administered through the UN and NGOs for food distribution and infrastructure development; i.e.; purely humanitarian aid. Second of all this leads the viewer on a totally different track opposed from reality, where the war against Afghanistan was planned months before 9/11 and wasn't a reaction to the attacks but rather a justification of the war on terrorism that followed.

Of course not all of his claims are false, but are often taken out of context or grossly oversimplified. The montage of U.S. crimes committed in the Middle East and South America is used as proof for his argument that U.S. culture and mentality are responsible for U.S. foreign policy. Michael Moore's message in the movie is actually against gun control and for culture control:

"Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people. We're the only country that does this, and we do it on an personal level in our neighborhoods and within our families and our schools, and we do it on a global level. The American attitude is that we believe we have a right to just go in and bomb another country. This is where Bush is going right now, right?"

This disregards the wider aspirations of the Bush junta (see the Project for a new American Century or PNAC), and neglects to ask and explore the important questions. One must wonder whether his upcoming movie will shed any light on the Bush and bin Laden connections.

According to what is already known about Farenheit 9-11 it's sounds of more Moorewash. If the connections between the Bush family and the bin Ladens are portayed as a thing of the past ("The director claims he will document on film how the 'senior Bush kept his ties with the bin Laden family up until two months after Sept. 11.) and the present connection through the Carlyle Group, omitted and seemingly discredited by his "mystery" but in reality insignificant "bin Laden jet escapes from FBI" story, he will in effect whitewash Bush. That is actually the last thing one expects from Moore. He did the same thing, however, in Bowling for Columbine where he states that bin Laden used his "expert CIA training to murder 3000 people", but also doesn't explore still existing links between al Qaeda and the CIA and declares the relationship a thing of the past.

But with Moore it doesn't seem to be about the truth, but about how he can land another hit movie. Michael Moore himself admits his ambivalence toward the truth when pressed by CNN's Lou Dobbs about inaccuracies he responded:

"You know, look, this is a book of political humor. So, I mean, I don't respond to that sort of stuff, you know." "Glaring inaccuracies?" Mr. Dobbs said. "No, I don't. Why should I? How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?"

In conclusion, Michael Moore is a fraud, while an amusing one at times, he deceives the audience into believing it's watching a documentary, and not a "mockumentary" as some have called it. He might touch on some important subjects, for example that "Bush is a crony." But he fails to explore the important issues further and ask the pertinent questions, discrediting legitimate researchers of the alternative view of the war on terrorism in the process.


• Bowling Truths: Michael Moore’s mocking
• Bowling for Columbine - Documentary or Fiction?
• Michael Moore, Humbug
• Unmoored From Reality: An ideological con artist is the favorite for an Oscar
• Moore Watch - continously updated reports about Moore's activities
• Michael Moore in his own words


• The REAL Columbine - complete chronological report of the shooting in Littleton, including witness mentioning additional shooters, that were later silenced.
• The Swiss Report - an armed populace doesn't mean more crime but makes a good militia
• The Oklahoma City Bombing - Were there additional explosive charges and additional bombers?

Saturday, May 24, 2003
Bilderberg Meeting 2003 in Versailles, France

2003 Agenda -- from Bilderberg Press Release:

"The conference will deal mainly with European-American relations and in this context Iraq, The Middle East after Terrorism, Non-Proliferation, The European Convention, Economic Problems."

Participant List:

B - Honorary Chairman - Davignon, Etienne - Vice-Chairman, Societe Generale de Belgique
GB - Honorary Secretary General - Taylor. J Martin - Chairman WH Smith PLC; International advisor, Goldman Sachs International
F - Adler, Alexandre - Editorial counsel, Le Figaro
I - Ambrosetti, Alfredo - Chairman Ambrosetti Group
TR - Babacan, Ali - Minister of Economic Affairs
GR - Bakoyannis, Dora - Mayor of Athens
GB - Balls, Edward - Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury
P - Balsem?o, Francisco Pinto - Professor of Communication Science, New University, Lisbon; Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime Minister
P - Barroso, José M. Dur?o - Prime Minister
TR - Bayar, Mehmet A. - Deputy Chairman of DYP (True Path Party)
A - Becker, Erich - Chairman of the Managing Board and CEO, VA Technologie AG
I - Bendetti, Rodolfo de - Managing Director CIR S.p.A.
I - Bernabè, Franco - Chairman Franco Bernabe & C. S.p.A.
F - Beytout, Nicolas - Editor-in-Chief, Les Echos
KW - Bishara, Ahmad E. - Secretary General of Kuwait's liberal National Democratic Party
CDN - Black, Conrad M. - Chairman, Telegraph Group Limited
INT - Bolkestein, Frits - Internal Markets Commissioner, European Commission
USA - Bolton, John R. - Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
F - Bon, Michel - Honorary Chairman, France Telecom
F - Bruguière, Jean-Louis - First Vice President, Justice Department
D - Burda, Hubert - Publisher and CEO, Hubert Burda Media Holding GmbH & Co.
F - Camus, Phillipe - CEO, European Aeronautics Defence and Space company European Aeronautics Defence and Space company (EADS)
INT - Cary, Anthony J. - Head of Christopher Patten's cabinet, EU. [Patten is European Commissioner for Enlargement]
F - Castries, Henri de - Chairman of the Board, AXA
E - Cebri?n, Juan Luis - CEO, PRISA
B - Claes, Willy - Minister of State [Willy Claes is not now a Belgian Minister but former Belgian Foreign Minister and former Secretary General of NATO 1994-1995 - now disgraced - TG]
GB - Clarke, Kenneth - Member of Parliament, [former Chancellor of the Exchequer]
USA - Collins, Timothy C. - Senior Managing Director and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings LLC
F - Collomb, Bertrand - Chairman and CEO, Lafarge
F - Copé, Jean-François - Secretary of State in charge of relations with Parliament; Government Spokesman
USA - Corzine, Jon S. - Senator (D, New Jersey)
S - Dahlb?ck, Claes - Chairman, Investor AB
GR - David, George A. - Chairman of the Board, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.
USA - Donilon, Thomas E. - Executive Vice President, Fannie Mae
I - Draghi, Mario - Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Goldman Sachs International
DK - Eldrup, Anders - CEO, Danish Oil and Gas Corporation
USA - Feldstein, Martin S. - President and CEO, National Bureau of Economic Research
CDN - Fell, Anthony S. - Chairman, RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
USA - Friedman, Thomas L. - Foreign Affairs Columnist, The New York Times
F - Gergorin, Jean-Luis - Executive Vice President, Strategic Coordination, European Aeronautics Defence and Space company (EADS)
USA - Gigot, Paul A. - Editorial page editor, The Wall Street Journal
F - Giscard d'Estaing, Valéry - French President 1974-81; Chairman of the Convention on the Future of Europe
N - Gjedrem, Svein - Governor, Central Bank of Norway
IRL - Gleeson, Dermot - Chairman designate, Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.
GB - Gould, Philip - Public Relations Adviser to Prime Minister Blair
USA - Haass, Richard N. - Director, Office of Policy Planning Staff, State Department
NL - Halberstadt, Victor - Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
CDN - Harper, Stephen - Leader of the Opposition
USA - Hertog, Roger - Vice-Chairman, Alliance Capital Management
NL - Hoop Scheffer, Jaap G. de - Minister for Foreign Affairs
USA - Hubbard, Allan B. - President, E&A Industries
USA - Hubbard, R. Glenn - Russell L. Carson Professor of Economics and Finance, Columbia University
USA - Johnson, James A. - Vice Chairman, Perseus L.L.C.
USA - Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. - Senior Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. L.L.C.
CH - Kielholz, Walter B. - Former Chairman of the Board, Credit Suisse; Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Swiss Re
GB - King, Mervyn A. - Deputy Governor, Bank of England
USA - Kissinger, Henry A. - Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.; Member, Defense Policy Board; Member J.P. Morgan International Council
FIN - Kivinen, Olli - Senior Editor & Columnist, Helsingin Sanomat
NL - Kok, Wim - Former Prime Minister
D - Kopper, Hilmar - Former Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
USA - Kravis, Henry R. - Founding Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
USA - Kravis, Marie-Joseé - Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
INT - Lamy, Pascal - Trade Commissioner, European Commission
F - Lellouche, Pierre - Vice Chairman, NATO Parliamentary Assembly
F - Lévy-Lang, André - Former Chairman, Paribas
S - Lindh, Anna - Minister for Foreign Affairs
FIN - Lipponen, Paavo - Former Prime Minister; Speaker of the Parliament
DK - Lykketoft, Mogens - Chairman, Social Democrat Party
CDN - MacMillan, Margaret O. - Provost, Trinity College, University of Toronto
RUS - Margelov, Mikhail V. - Chairman, Committee for Foreign Affairs, Council of Federation
F - Montbrial, Thierry de - President, French Institute of International Relations (IFRI)
INT - Monti, Mario - Competition Commissioner, European Commission
USA - Mundie, Craig J. - Chief Technical Officer, Advanced Strategies and Policy, Microsoft Corporation
N - Myklebust, Egil - Chairman, Norsk Hydro ASA
D - Naas, Matthias - Deputy Editor, Die Zeit
NL - Netherlands, H.M. the Queen of the [Queen Beatrix - Royal Dutch Shell]
PL - Olechowski, Andrzej - Leader, Civic Platform
FIN - Ollila, Jorma - Chairman of the Board and CEO, Nokia Corporation
INT - Padoa-Schioppa, Thomasso - Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
I - Panara, Marco - Journalist, La Republica
I - Passera, Corrado - Managing Director, Banca IntesaBCI
USA - Perkovich, George - Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
USA - Perle, Richard N. - Member, Defense Policy Board ; Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for Public Policy Research; member Project for a New American Century (PNAC)
B - Philippe, H.R.H. Prince - Crown Prince of Belgium
I - Poli, Roberto - Chairman, Eni S.p.A.
F - Ranque, Denis - Chairman and CEO, Thales Aerospace and Defence
DK - Rasmussen, Anders Fogh - Prime Minister
CDN - Reisman, Heather - President and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
F - Riboud, Franck - Chairman and CEO, Danone Foods
CH - Ringier, Michael - CEO, Ringier AG
USA - Rockefeller, David - Member, J.P. Morgan International Council
P - Rodrigues, Eduardo Ferro - Leader of the Socialist Party; Member of Parliament
E - Rodriguez Inciarte, Matias - Executive Vice Chairman, Banco Santander Central Hispano
F - Roy, Olivier - Senior Researcher, CNRS
USA - Ruggie, John - Director, Center for Business and Government, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
NL - Ruys, Anthony - Chairman of the Board, Heineken N.V.
TR - Sanberk, ?zdem - Director, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation
I - Scaroni, Paolo - Managing Director, Enel S.p.A.
D - Sch?uble, Wolfgang - Deputy Parliamentary Leader, CDU/CSU Group
D - Schily, Otto - Minister of the Interior
A - Scholten, Rudolf - Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
D - Schrempp, Jurgen E - Chairman of the Board of Management, Daimler Chrysler AG
INT - Schwab, Klaus - President, World Economic Forum
DK - Seidenfaden, Toger - Editor in Chief, Ploitiken
RUS - Shevtsova, Lilia - Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
E - Spain, H.M. the Queen of [King Juan Carlos (see photo) arrived with the queen, but he is not on this list]
USA - Steinberg, James B. - Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy Studies Program, The Brookings Institution
CDN - Steyn, Mark - Journalist for various publications
IRL - Sutherland, Peter D. - Chairman and Managing Director, Goldman Sachs International; Chairman, BP Amoco
USA - Thornton, John L. - President and CEO, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
F - Trichet, Jean Claude - Governor, Banque de France
GR - Tsoukalis, Loukas - Professor, University of Athens; President Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy
A - Trumpel-Gugerell, Gertrude - Vice Governor, Central Bank of Austria
CH - Vasella, Daniel L. - Chairman and CEO, Novartis AG
NL - Veer, Jeroen van der - President, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company; Vice Chairman of the Committee of Managing Directors of Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies
F - Villin, Philippe - Vice Chairman, Lehman Brothers Europe
NL - Vries, Klaas de - Member of Parliament (Labour); Former Minister of the Interior
FIN - Whalroos, Bj?rn - President and CEO, Sampo plc.
S - Wallenberg, Jacob - Chairman of the Board, Skandinavivska Enskilda Banken
GB - Williams, Gareth - Leader of the House of Lords
GB - Wolf, Martin H. - Associate Editor/Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
USA/INT - Wolfensohn, James D. - President, The World Bank
USA - Wolfowitz, Paul - Deputy Secretary of Defense, US Department of Defense
USA - Zakaria, Fareed - Editor, Newsweek International
USA - Zoellick, Robert - Principal Trade Adviser to the President
D - Zumwinkel, Klaus - Chairman, Deutsche Post Worldnet AG


GB - Micklethwait, R. John - United States Editor, The Economist
GB - Rachman, Gideon - Brussels Correspondent, The Economist


• Bilderberg conference 2003: Versailles, Paris, France
• Bilderberg 2003 coverage
• History of the Bilderbergers

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
The 2nd Persian Gulf War has started

Despite the numerous and blatant lies of the White House for a need for war and without the approval of the UN Security Council, the US and "the coalition of the willing" have started the war against Iraq:

Reuters: Explosions rocking Baghdad, part of 'shock and awe' campaign

"The fighting reported at Basra was believed to involve British special forces and US marines in an operation to prepare landing sites for amphibious craft during an invasion. Other special units were deep inside Iraq on secret operations to prepare landing strips in the desert for airborne troops."

Evening Standard: The War Has Started

Cruise Missiles, Stealth Jets Lead Attack

Week 7:

• Bush declares victory in Iraq (video) - "There are legal implications to declaring a war officially ended: under the Geneva Conventions, once war is declared over, the victorious army must release prisoners-of-war and halt operations targeting specific leaders...The United States never formally declared war on Iraq."
• Details of the Coalition's use of airpower in Iraq are revealed
• Unfriendly fire - The shooting in Fallujah: Did US troops' own warning shots spook them into killing 13 civilians? - "On CBC Radio One's As It Happens, there's an interview with UPI reporter Mitchell Prothero. He reports on the Iraqi protesters' version of events leading up to U.S. military shooting on the crowd. They say that the final Humvee in a [US] column fired several warning shots over the heads of the crowd. The rest of the column heard the shots and assumed they were under attack, opening fire on the crowd itself." This is a likely scenario.
• The war is over (except for Iraq) - "As Bush prepares to announce an end to hostilities today, more Iraqis are killed by American troops."
• Vilified weapons inspectors may have got it right - "Condoleezza Rice has talked her way into a U-turn"

Week 6:

Aftermath of shooting in Fallujah
While some declare victory others can now demonstrate for it...

• American forces reach cease-fire with terror group - "As recently as last week, senior Pentagon officials described the group as a vicious entity that had served as a de facto security organization for the Iraqi government. At the same time, however, supporters of the People's Mujahadeen, including dozens of members of Congress, have portrayed the decision to label the group as terrorist as one that was taken by the Clinton administration largely as a positive gesture to the Iranian government, which regards the People's Mujahadeen as a serious foe."
• 'Even under Saddam pay was better than this' - "The pay was being cut to conform with standards imposed across Iraq by the United States. “This is cruelty,” Vahan Gregor, a civil engineer who used to have his own company, said. “The rate is not even enough to pay for the lift into work. A packet of decent cigarettes costs more than a day’s pay [50p or less]. A packet of nappies is one month! Is this fair? Even under Saddam, it was better than this.”
• Fighting is over but the deaths go on - Guardian investigation reveals mines have killed up to 80 civilians since the conflict ended..Mr Sutton said the Mines Advisory Group had also found evidence of a new type of American cluster bomb dropped outside the city. The BLU 108, he explained, is an anti-armour bomblet with a sensor. When the mother unit is dropped it spews out four smaller units with parachutes. Each of these then slings out four lethal circular discs. "These should be directed toward armour," Mr Sutton said. "But we found them in fields. And 75% of them were unexploded."
• Chemical find 'may be rocket fuel' - "Near the site [close to Baiji] was a low, brown sandstone building that had 150 gas masks of a higher quality that those usually used by Iraqi soldiers. Soldiers at first suspected that the van was a chemical warfare laboratory. Novikov said, however, that "it could be" a rocket fuel mixing station. The initial tests were conducted last week by chemical warfare experts with the 1st Squadron of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. All three of their tests pointed to nerve or blister agents. There have been numerous false reports that coalition forces have turned up chemical or biological weapons in Iraq."
• False alarm? Experts believe positive tests for chemicals were wrong
• Top Iraqi prisoners all denying Saddam had weapons of mass destruction - "High-ranking Iraqi prisoners are uniformly denying Saddam Hussein's government had any weapons of mass destruction before the war, U.S. officials familiar with their interrogations said Tuesday."
• Bechtel ties to bin Laden - "The bin Ladens have a ten-million-dollar stake in the Fremont Group, a San Francisco-based company formerly called Bechtel Investments, which was until 1986 a subsidiary of Bechtel. The Fremont Group’s Web site, which makes no mention of the bin Ladens, notes that “though now independent, Fremont enjoys a close relationship with Bechtel.”
• Anger mounts after U.S. troops kill 13 Iraqis (# 2) - "The shooting outraged local people who, like many other Iraqis, welcomed the removal of Saddam Hussein by U.S.-led forces but now want the American troops to leave. It is likely to fuel anti-American sentiment elsewhere in Iraq."
• US forces 'turn down Sahhaf's surrender overtures'
• Was Tariq Aziz the coalition's mole? - "The information that enabled the coalition forces to target Saddam in the opening hours of the war could only have come from someone like Aziz who had access to Saddam's inner circle."
• Revealed: How the road to war was paved with lies - "Intelligence agencies accuse Bush and Blair of distorting and fabricating evidence in rush to war"
• U.S. seeks to keep Gulf military presence - "Officials are considering moving the air operations center at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, which ran the Iraq air war. One possibility is a shift to the Qatar base, Camp As Sayliyah."
• Saddam link to al-Qaeda in doubt - "British Intelligence officials have expressed doubt that Saddam Hussein established any working relationship with al-Qaeda despite the discovery of documents showing that an “envoy” for Osama bin Laden visited Baghdad in 1998."
• Saddam 'held talks on alliance with al-Qaeda' - "Remarkable though it is, the find is unlikely to be the 'smoking gun' the US and Britain are looking for. Representatives from the Mukhabarat are known to have travelled to Kandahar in the late Nineties to build links with al-Qaeda. Most analysts believe, however, that the ideological differences between the Iraqis and the terrorists were insurmountable. The talks are thought to have ended disastrously for the Iraqis, as bin Laden rejected any kind of alliance, preferring to pursue his own policy of global jihad, or holy war."
• Scepticism over Saddam-Osama link - But the report, dressed up as a "world exclusive'', was greeted with scepticism which was compounded by its author, Ingo Gilmore's remarks to the BBC that the "significantly CIA had been through many of these buildings, but they seem to have missed this particular document''.
• Found Iraqi intelligence bogus: Investigative journalist - The American journalist [Wayne Madsen] said that the U.S. let favored journalists to walk freely about some of Iraqi government facilities, such as intelligence headquarters, to find any "shred" of paper that can be used in its smear campaign against Iraq but clamped water-tight security on other facilities, chief among which the oil ministry. "The reason for this is obvious. While the intelligence building can be salted with phony intelligence documents, the Oil Ministry is likely rife with documents showing the links between Saddam Hussein and Dick Cheney's old firm, Halliburton. "The company signed more than $73 million in contracts with Saddam's government when Cheney was its chief executive officer. The contracts, negotiated with two Halliburton subsidiaries—Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co.—were part of the U.N. oil-for-food program," said Madsen.
• Occupation and Iraqi Intifada: Now the real war starts
• Marine discusses execution-style killing - Covarrubias, a 20-year Marine veteran, said he found the soldier inside a nearby home with the grenade launcher by his side. Covarrubias said he ordered the man to stop and forced him to turn around. "I went behind him and shot him in the back of the head. Twice."
• Reason for war? - "To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war — a global show of American power and democracy...The Bush administration wanted to make a statement about its determination to fight terrorism. And officials acknowledge that Saddam had all the requirements to make him, from their standpoint, the perfect target." With a 90 billion price-tag this is a costly statement...

Week 5:

• The Turks enter Iraq - A Turkish Special Forces team is caught by U.S. troops in Kurdistan..."They did not come here with a pure heart," says U.S. brigade commander Col. Bill Mayville. "Their objective is to create an environment that can be used by Turkey to send a large peacekeeping force into Kirkuk."
• The 'Apache' farmer's tale - "They asked me to say what you have heard on the TV satellite channels - that I shot down the plane with an old gun, a Brno."
• Photos of highway slaughter at Taji - "Human Shield" returns home with images of carnage
• Pilgrims threaten jihad against American forces - The Shia pilgrimage to Karbala, one of the most potent and symbolic in recent Iraqi history, took on a strident political and martial note yesterday with demands for the establishment of an Islamic state and threats of a jihad against the "American occupiers".
• U.S. planners surprised by strength of Iraqi Shiites - "Complicating matters is that the United States has virtually no diplomatic relationship with Iran, leaving U.S. officials in the dark about the goals and intentions of the government in Tehran. The Iranian government is the patron of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the leading Iraqi Shiite group."
• Why the Mullahs love a revolution - "..American policy makers might do better to consider the history of the region. In particular, the dogged nationalism of the Iraqis that forced imperial Britain's departure in 1932; and, more recently, the events in 1979 after the downfall of the secular regime of the shah of Iran."
• What, no Smoking Gun? (# 2) - "But since the war began, the military and its media have trumpeted one WMD discovery after another that turned out to be a dud. Searches of "sensitive sites" have turned up gas masks, protective suits, antidotes, manuals, white powder, barrels of chemicals, and a cache of mystery shells—but no smoking gun. The military types who could not wait another week for UN inspectors to do their job are now saying their own WMD search will take weeks, maybe months."
• So where are they, Mr Blair? - "So where are they? In case we forget, distracted by the thought of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, looted museums and gathering political chaos, the proclaimed purpose of this war, vainly pursued by Britain and the US through the United Nations, was to disarm Saddam Hussein and to destroy weapons of mass destruction deemed a menace to the entire world."
• Anthrax, chemicals and nerve gas: who is lying? - Growing evidence of deception by Washington
• The Baghdad deal
• The buyout of Baghdad? - Tales of a secret arrangement between the Bushies and the Republican Guard persist
• Something smells about this War
• Missed opportunity? U.S. attack may have ended Saddam surrender attempt - "Saddam Hussein's intelligence chief sought help last week to arrange some kind of a deal between the United States and Saddam"
• What happened to Iraq's army? - "Nobody knows how many thousands of Iraqi soldiers were killed -- and the U.S. doesn't seem eager to let reporters find out."
• Volunteers recall bitter memories, betrayal in Iraq - "We were stun-founded when a Yemeni was about to "fire on a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship only to be ordered by an Iraqi officer 'Do not shoot… it is an Iraqi aircraft', he recalled...We were fired at by the town residents [of Nassiriyah], who killed three of us. They just shouted asking us 'why you are here? Did you came to defend Saddam?'" Emad, another volunteer, asserted."
• U.S. troops arrest U.S.-backed Iraqis - "The new Baghdad police chief, on his first day on the job, complained to a U.S. officer that the Free Iraqi Forces, among others, have looted homes in Baghdad and refuse to obey police orders. "They will not respect our men and we need the U.S. soldiers to help us control them," Zabar Abdul Razaq said."
• LA Times deletes key paragraphs from web version of article - "No longer was the US being accused of anything, much less something as serious as "reckless gunfire." On the Web, the British were mad about something the US did, something having to do with "fire."
• Tank captain admits firing on media hotel - "He said he regretted that the tank shot, which hit the 14th and 15th storeys of the hotel, had killed two journalists and wounded three. "I feel bad. My men feel bad," he said. But he insisted that he had not been told that the hotel was filled with foreign journalists and that he had no orders to leave it alone."
• Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil - "The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria. Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke. It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001."
• How American power girds the globe with a ring of steel - "Having vanquished Saddam Hussein, the Pentagon is planning to establish four US bases in Iraq, according to reports in Washington yesterday. The Iraqi deployment plans fall into the century-old pattern of US foreign bases being built on the back of military victory."
• U.S. plans to keep bases in Iraq - "The four bases they are interested in are said to be the former Saddam International Airport outside Baghdad, Tallil air base near Nasiriyah, in the south, the air base known as H-1 in the western desert, and the Bashur airfield in northern Iraq. H-1, where special forces teams are currently based, sits strategically on the route of the oil pipeline to Jordan."
• Chalabi backs U.S. military presence in Iraq - "The military presence of the United States in Iraq is a necessity until at least the first democratic election is held, and I think this process should take two years," Chalabi said..."
• Iraqi anger boils over: Shiites eye war of liberation from Americans - "The army of "liberation" has already turned into the army of occupation. The Shiites are threatening to fight the Americans, to create their own war of liberation."
• The embedded in Iraq: stenography for the Pentagon - "While this has been the most extensively covered war in history, we ended up with a less-accurate picture of reality. For one thing, the U.S. media relied way too much on the veracity of official sources. The uprising that wasn't Remember, for example, the "Basra uprising" in which U.S. and British military officers claimed the Shiites of southern Iraq had risen up against Saddam Hussein?"
• US should be "embarrassed" over failure to find WMDs: ex-spies -Retired CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern told AFP: "Some of my colleagues are virtually certain that there will be some weapons of mass destruction found, even though they might have to be planted." Not anymore, the world has already turned its attention elsewhere.
• Our oil is for us, Iraqis warn US firms - "...Taleb Ali, editor of economic weekly Iqtissadi, said foreign firms should "provide consultancy services only" and not get involved in production. "We can buy the technical equipment we need and we have inside Iraq and abroad competent people to run the sector," added Ali, whose publication stopped after the start of the US-led invasion of Iraq a month ago."
• Fast food comes to Iraq - "Basra: Fastfood giants Pizza Hut and Burger King have set up their first franchises inside war-torn Iraq, even as many aid convoys waited on the borders for the war to officially end."
• Iraq's debt bomb - "The U.S. is already trying to persuade France, Russia and Germany, along with moderate Arab states, which hold most of Iraq's debt, to ease the country's titanic foreign financial obligations."
• Israel wants strike on Syria while iron's hot - Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Tel Aviv newspaper Maariv: ''We have a long list of issues we are thinking of demanding of the Syrians, and it would be best done through the Americans...'' Nothing has so demonstrated to Arabs their political impotence than Rumsfeld's selection of retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner as Iraq's interim military governor. Now a defense contractor, he helped develop the Arrow missile-defense system for Israel. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Garner visited Israel as guest of the hard-line Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and signed that organization's letter praising Sharon's treatment of Palestinians.
• Oil from Iraq : An Israeli pipedream? - "US efforts to get Iraqi oil to Israel are not surprising. Under a 1975 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the US guaranteed all Israel's oil needs in the event of a crisis. The MoU, which has been quietly renewed every five years, also committed the USA to construct and stock a supplementary strategic reserve for Israel, equivalent to some US$3bn in 2002. Special legislation was enacted to exempt Israel from restrictions on oil exports from the USA. Moreover, the USA agreed to divert oil from its home market, even if that entailed domestic shortages, and guaranteed delivery of the promised oil in its own tankers if commercial shippers were unwilling or not available to carry the crude to Israel. All of this adds up to a potentially massive financial commitment. The USA has another reason for supporting Paritzky's project: a land route for Iraqi oil direct to the Mediterranean would lessen US dependence on Gulf oil supplies. Direct access to the world's second-largest oil reserves (with the possibility of expansion through so-far untapped deposits) is an important strategic objective. "
• Russia fires first shots in post-war battle for oil wealth - "Maintaining UN controls would ensure a degree of influence in shaping the post-Saddam era for France and Russia, which were among the main beneficiaries of trade with Saddam and seek to defend their commercial interests."
• U.S. use of Clusters in Baghdad condemned - "Newsday’s reporter provided Human Rights Watch with a photograph he had taken inside a building in what he described as a clearly residential neighborhood well inside Baghdad. Human Rights Watch identified an unexploded cluster submunition in the photograph from either a ground-based Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) or an artillery projectile."
• Explosion in [residential] E. Baghdad - April 2003 (# 2)
• Double standards in reporting casualties
• Ba'athists slip quietly back into control - "The resurrection of the Ba'ath is, in part, acknowledgment of the daunting reality of governing a country as complex and battered as Iraq. Under Saddam membership was mandatory for teachers, police, the army, and senior posts in hospitals, universities, banks and the civil service...That elite - dominated by the Sunni minority which has governed Iraq since the Ottoman empire - remains the major source of local talent for the new US administration."
• Anti-US protest flares in Baghdad after prayers (# 2), (# 3) - "Muslims poured out of mosques and into the streets of Baghdad, calling for an Islamic state to be established, after the first Friday prayers since U.S. forces took control of the Iraqi capital."
• Exiled Shiite chief: Iraqis should rebel - "To the Iraqi people, U.S. domination is no better than the dictatorship of the ousted brutal regime of Saddam Hussein," al-Saqir told [AP].
• Thoughts of a US stooge have Shiites seething
• J.Pilger: The saving of one little boy must not be a cover for the crime of this war - "As Ali was flown to Kuwait, the Americans were preventing Save The Children from sending a plane with medical supplies into northern Iraq, where 40,000 are desperate. According to the UN, half the population of Iraq has only enough food to last a few weeks."
• Kurds oust Arabs from homes in Kirkuk - "Of all the legacies of Saddam's years of rule, none might be quite so difficult and explosive as his removal of ethnic minorities from oil-rich areas. Years ago, Saddam intensified a long-standing Baghdad policy of Arabization by evicting thousands of Kurds living in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul and handing their property over to Arabs from other parts of Iraq."
• Why are the U.S. and Israel threatening Syria? - "They want to "remake" Iraq as a weak, pro-American, "democratic", free enterprise, federal state, which will provide rich pickings for American firms, but will never again be able to challenge American and Israeli interests."
• Eye witness report: The toppling of the statue of Saddam was a staged media event
• Doctored photo from the London Evening Standard - "On 9 April 2003, the London Evening Standard's front page contained a blurry image supposedly showing a throng of Iraqis in Baghdad celebrating the toppling of Saddam Hussein. What we are really looking at is an incredibly ham-fisted attempt at photo manipulation."
• Voices in the Wilderness banned from Palestine Hotel in Baghdad by U.S. Military
• US forces behind anarchy in Iraq: Pak analyst

Week 4:

The oil, liberation, and the Iraqi people

• Were the Russians blogging for Saddam? - "It offered detailed predictions about coalition troop movements many hours or even days in advance. It also quoted "intercepted" U.S. radio traffic, toted casualties on both sides and - with what perhaps its raison detre, the rest conceivably nothing but necessary ballast - provided strategic advice to the Iraqi military."
• US admits Mosul killings - "A US commander has admitted that American troops did shoot and kill a number of Iraqis during a protest in the northern city of Mosul."
• Embedded photographer:"I saw Marines kill civilians" - Distraught soldiers were saying: 'I ain't prepared for this, I didn't come here to shoot civilians.' The colonel countered that the Iraqis were using inhabitants to kill marines, that 'soldiers were being disguised as civilians, and that ambulances were perpetrating terrorist attacks.'
• Many Iraqis turn anger toward the U.S.
• Rioters stab L.A. Times reporter
• In bombed neighborhoods, everyone 'wants to kill Americans'
• Tests rule out suspect bio-labs
• The smoking gun’s charred trail: Coalition may have destroyed papers on weapons — and given itself an excuse
• Abu Abbas: Unfinished business - "Even Israel allowed him in and out of Gaza a few years ago as it accepted that he had given up violence and was supporting the Oslo peace process."
• Key people for post-conflict Iraq
• U.S. concentrating forces near Syrian border
• So who really did save Private Jessica? - "Doctors at al-Nasiriyah general hospital said that the airborne assault had met no resistance and was carried out a day after all the Iraqi forces and Baath leadership had fled the city."
• People in Basra contest official view of siege - "There was nothing resembling a popular uprising against the Iraqi militiamen who controlled this city during its 13-day siege by British forces."
• Pro-Saddam gangs challenge marines' control of Tikrit
• Shiite authority declares Jihad against occupiers
• Library books, letters and priceless documents are set ablaze in final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad - "I saw the looters. One of them cursed me when I tried to reclaim a book of Islamic law from a boy of no more than 10. Amid the ashes of Iraqi history, I found a file blowing in the wind outside: pages of handwritten letters between the court of Sharif Hussein of Mecca, who started the Arab revolt against the Turks for Lawrence of Arabia, and the Ottoman rulers of Baghdad. And the Americans did nothing. All over the filthy yard they blew, letters of recommendation to the courts of Arabia, demands for ammunition for troops, reports on the theft of camels and attacks on pilgrims, all in delicate hand-written Arabic script. I was holding in my hands the last Baghdad vestiges of Iraq's written history. But for Iraq, this is Year Zero; with the destruction of the antiquities in the Museum of Archaeology on Saturday and the burning of the National Archives and then the Koranic library, the cultural identity of Iraq is being erased. Why? Who set these fires? For what insane purpose is this heritage being destroyed? "
• At least 10 killed in Mosul shooting, US denies accusations it is to blame - eyewitnesses confirm earlier reports of US soldiers shooting at crowd to protect al-Juburi
• Troops fire on protesters: report - "US troops opened fire on a crowd hostile to the new pro-US governor [Mashaan al-Juburi] in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today, killing at least 10 people and injuring as many as 100, witnesses and doctors said."
• US bans media from protests
• Marine's bullet-riddled helmet was prank
• Iraqis say Lynch raid faced no resistance
• Arab press worried about Syria - "Syria itself is not the only country to see the hand of Israel behind the threats, while other Arab dailies fear they could be part of a domino effect aimed at the wider Islamic world."
• U.S. also denies Iraqi oil to Lebanon
• US backtracks on chemical find - "US marines overnight reported finding five cannisters with a substance testing positive for chemical agents, but backed off a claim of finding 278 suspect artillery shells."
• US rejects Iraq DU clean-up - The US says it has no plans to remove the debris left over from depleted uranium (DU) weapons it is using in Iraq.
• Three weeks on, and still no water. Now doctors fear an epidemic - "Doctors in Iraq's second city, Basra, warned yesterday of an epidemic as a majority of the 1.3 million residents were still without safe drinking water three weeks after the war began...There is huge resentment in Basra against the British forces because of the lack of water and electricity. Residents also blame them for failing to control the looters."
• Disappointed Marines learn stay in Baghdad may be indefinite
• Pentagon sees end of combat
• America targeted 14,000 sites. So where are the weapons of mass destruction? - "As Susan Wright, a disarmament expert at the University of Michigan, said last week: "This could be the first war in history that was justified largely by an illusion." Even The Wall Street Journal, one of the administration's biggest cheerleaders, has warned of the "widespread scepticism" the White House can expect if it does not make significant, and undisputed, discoveries of forbidden weapons."
• Profile: Ahmed Chalabi - "A Shia Muslim born in 1945 to a wealthy banking family, Mr Chalabi left Iraq in 1956 and has lived mainly in the USA and London ever since, except for a period in the mid-1990's when he tried to organise an uprising in the Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq."
• Iraq’s Liberation Front attempts to assassinate Chalabi - "A number of armed people belonging to the nascent National Front For The Liberation of Iraq (NFLI) tried Friday, April 11, to assassinate Ahmad Chalabi, one of the prominent exile leaders and head of the Iraqi National Council (INC)...The front further rebuffed other prominent Iraqi exiles such as Nezar al-Khazrgi, Nuri Abdul Razek, Mahdi Hafez, Adham al-Samra’I and their “ilk, as well as CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and Mossad (Israeli Intelligence) agents.”
• CIA candidate to lead Iraq assassinated - "Nizar Khazraji, a prominent Iraqi general who defected to the West, was assassinated Monday on his way to attend a U.S.-called meeting of opposition groups in the southern city of Nassiriya."
• Has anyone in U.S. read history of Iraq? - "With the powerful unifying glue of a Saddam Hussein removed, the various and diverse ethnic groups, with their inclusive political agendas are certain to clash. Washington's backing of certain Iraqi opposition groups, imposing their version of a democratic Iraq, while propping up discredited elements of the Iraqi opposition has created deep unease in the region."
• Resentment on streets of Baghdad - "They say they came here to liberate us. We have paid a heavy price for the removal of Saddam Hussein, so the Americans should go now..." Many believe that there will be a prominent role for the Iraqi National Congress, an organisation made up of Iraqi exiles, many of whom opposed Saddam Hussein from abroad. But on the streets of Baghdad there is little support for the INC. "Why should we be governed by people who have got rich in London and New York?" said one. "We must have someone who comes from Iraq and who has suffered with us."
• Myths about Israel, Iran-Iraq War, Saddam debunked by veteran journalist
• A civilisation torn to pieces - "But "liberation" has already turned into occupation. Faced by a crowd of angry Iraqis in Firdos Square demanding a new Iraqi government "for our protection and security and peace", US Marines, who should have been providing that protection, stood shoulder to shoulder facing them, guns at the ready. The reality, which the Americans ­ and, of course, Mr Rumsfeld ­ fail to understand is that under Saddam Hussein, the poor and deprived were always the Shia Muslims, the middle classes always the Sunnis, just as Saddam himself was a Sunni. So it is the Sunnis who are now suffering plunder at the hands of the Shia."
• US Forces encourage looting - "I was just 300 meters away when the guards where murdered. Then they shot the building entrance to pieces, and their Arabic translators in the tanks told people to run for grabs inside the building. Rumours spread rapidly and the house was cleaned out. Moments later tanks broke down the doors to the Justice Department, residing in the neighbouring building, and looting was carried on to there."
• Pentagon was told of risk to museums
• Muslims save Baghdad's Jewish community centre from looters - "We are defending the synagogue like all houses on the street and we will not let anyone touch it," said [Christian] Edward Benham, a 19-year-old computer science student.
• 'Our heritage is finished': Looters destroyed what war did not - "Some Iraqis, however, question the allocation of U.S. forces around the capital. They note a whole company of Marines, along with at least a half-dozen amphibious assault vehicles, has been assigned to guard the Oil Ministry, while many other ministries -- including trade, information, planning, health and education -- remain unprotected. "Why just the oil ministry?" Jaf asked. "Is it because they just want our oil?" U.S. military officials said the Marines have been guarding other sensitive installations, including the Interior Ministry and the Irrigation Ministry, and have stepped up patrols of commonly looted areas, dispatching troops in small convoys of Humvees to deter and apprehend thieves. But during a lengthy drive though the capital today, such patrols could only be seen in two wealthy neighborhoods."
• Scandal-hit US firm wins key contracts - "An Observer reporter who contacted the firm's [DynCorp] US headquarters purporting to be a potential police recruit for Iraq was told it was hoping to 'get people on the ground in two to four weeks'. The recruiter told the reporter he could expect a salary of $80,000plus 'hazard bonuses'."
• Ultimate Insiders - "This unilateral war and the ouster of Saddam have given the hawks and their commercial allies carte blanche in Iraq. And the company with perhaps the sleekest and most effective of all the inside tracks, a company that is fairly panting with anticipation over oil and reconstruction contracts worth scores of billions of dollars, is of course the Bechtel Group of San Francisco."
• Firms that gave to Bush get contracts
• Carving up the new Iraq - The neo-conservatives and the military involved
• Carving up the new Iraq (cont.) - The power-brokers, think-tanks, businesses, defence players and Arabs involved
• Inspections required to end sanctions, UN says
• Flashback: Déjà vu in Afghanistan - "The UN reports Taliban and al-Qaida on the offensive, Afghan women remain veiled, and the country in a dangerous mess. Declaring victory in Afghanistan may have been premature."
• Revealed: Russia spied on Blair for Saddam - no doubt the Russians wanted Saddam to stay in power, after all they have a 8 billion dollar debt to collect that won't be honored by the new Iraqi regime
• Fight will go on until destructive weapons are found, Bush says - there we have it, a perpetual war as advertised by Bush before: how do you find something that doesn't exist?
• Saturday, April 12: And the lootings, death, and rape continue: 16:45 GMT: "A mob ransacked a psychiatric hospital in northern Baghdad for 36 hours this week, AFP reports. Two patients unable to swallow water without assistance died of thirst and four women patients were raped, medical staff told the agency."
• [Arab] media fury at Iraq anarchy - "British and American forces are blamed for the breakdown of law and order and there is even a suggestion things were better under the old regime."
• Baghdad protests over looting - Hundreds of Iraqis have been demonstrating in the centre of Baghdad demanding urgent action to combat the wave of lawlessness that has swept the city: "Medical equipment such as heart monitors and incubators have been stolen and even the laboratories ransacked - centrifuges and microscopes smashed."
• Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum of Its Treasure - " The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters."
• BBC under fire over chaos reports - reporting the negative stories gets you a governmental reprimand (if you're the BBC) or you get shot at (as happened to al Jazeera in Afghanistan and now in Iraq)
• Shopkeeper killed - "US soldiers have shot and killed a Baghdad shopkeeper defending his business with a Kalashnikov assault rifle against looters. When US soldiers approached the area, the looters told them that the shopkeeper was a member of Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen paramilitary force."
• Iraqi officer tells of war chaos - Iraqi officer explains why no repeat of Stalingrad occured: "He said the Republican Guards did not want to engage in street fighting in Baghdad, despite allied forces being convinced they would make a last stand there, since the Iraqi soldiers' families were there and then "everything (can be) broken that's yours, so if I fight in my city, every building is mine ... those are our families, our babies. If you want to fight, you should fight out of (away from) your home."
• Robert Fisk: Baghdad: the day after - "The Americans may think they have "liberated" Baghdad but the tens of thousands of thieves – they came in families and cruised the city in trucks and cars searching for booty – seem to have a different idea of what liberation means. American control of the city is, at best, tenuous – a fact underlined after several marines were killed last night by a suicide bomber close to the square where a statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Wednesday, in the most staged photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima."
• Robert Fisk: A day that began with shellfire ended with a once-oppressed people walking like giants - And the people of Baghdad performed this same deadly ritual yesterday, forgetting that they – or their parents – had behaved in identical fashion when the Arab Socialist Baath Party destroyed the previous dictatorship of Iraq's generals and princes. Forgetting, too, that the "liberators" were a new and alien and all-powerful occupying force with neither culture nor language nor race nor religion to unite them with Iraq. "You'll see the celebrations and we will be happy Saddam has gone," one of them said to me. "But we will then want to rid ourselves of the Americans and we will want to keep our oil and there will be resistance and then they will call us "terrorists".
• What about Private Lori? - "They [Jessica Lynch and Lori Piestewa] were roommates at Fort Bliss military base in Texas; tentmates in the Gulf... Lori Piestewa, 23, was killed, with the gruesome distinction of being the first native American in the US army to be killed in combat and the only American servicewoman to die in this war."
• British-appointed Basra chief exposed as former Ba'athist
• Battle near Syrian border designed to protect Israel - the provocations of Syria are designed to provoke a reaction that gives reason for an invasion
• U.S. cuts Iraqi oil supply to Syria - Western intelligence sources said U.S.-led coalition forces shut off the oil pump outside the northern city of Kirkuk on Tuesday. The Kirkuk facility was pumping about 250,000 barrels of oil via a pipeline to the Syrian port of Banyas, Middle East Newsline reported. "It's a major move by the United States and will have a significant affect on Syria," a senior intelligence source said. "The Syrians are very upset." (to cut a country's life line could be construed as a declaration of war)
• Hawks in U.S. eyeing Syria as next target (# 2) - "One intelligence source with good access to Pentagon civilian authorities said that Rumsfeld last week ordered the drawing up of contingency plans for a possible invasion of Syria and that Defense undersecretary Douglas Feith is working on a policy paper highlighting how Syria's support of terrorist groups is a threat to the region."
• Regimes who worry that they will be next
• US warns Syria over Iraq - here we go again: accuse a country of having supposedly WMDs, or harboring Saddam or Al Qaeda loyalists and invade if they don't have them or won't give them up
• Foxa Americana - "The world according to Fox: America always helps oppressed people wherever they are, to free them of their shackles. America has no economic interests; no cynical, instrumentalist realpolitik guides it. America is good and only has moral interests."
• Arab and Muslim media reactions to the fall of Baghdad
• Agency wages media battle: Team makes sure war message is unified, positive - "So controlled is the administration's message that officials from Bush on down often use identical anecdotes to make their points, for example about Hussein's brutality. But the White House sometimes has been unable to provide details or documentation to back up those stories, and some human-rights activists have expressed skepticism about them."
• Soldiers face mortality in burying Iraqis
• Dyncorp rent-a-cops may head to post-Saddam Iraq - "Is the US military privatizing its missions to avoid public controversy or to avoid embarrassment - to hide body bags from the media and shield the military from public opinion?"
• Unsettled: Victory in the war is not victory in the argument about the war
• Iraqis have paid the blood price for a fraudulent war - "Even Israel's invading troops were feted by south Lebanese Shi'ites in 1982 - only to be driven out by the Shi'ite Hizbullah resistance 18 years later...In reality, the course of the conflict has strengthened the case against a war supposedly launched to rid Iraq of "weapons of mass destruction" - but which has now morphed into a crusade for regime change as evidence for the original pretext has so embarrassingly not materialised."
• Activists focus on 'anti-occupation'
• Fairly easy Iraq War proves antiwar arguments - "George W Bush told an audience in Cincinnati in October 2002 “there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone”. While the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) suggested that Hussein posed little more than a potential threat...The antiwar community was largely stating what has proven obvious. The Bush administration was fixated on toppling the Saddam regime not because it posed and immanent threat and not because it allegedly possessed weapons of mass destruction but for posterity, ideology and, yes, oil."
• US troops' anguish: Killing outmatched foes And this country it was claimed posed a threat to the world
• Report from Baghdad: US Army Commander in Iraq says city not yet liberated - "Some people gave the general the "thumbs up" sign, and shouted, "Thank you..." Other people, mostly young Iraqi men, glared angrily at the long line of Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvee Jeeps rumbling past them. "
• Baghdad turns 'ugly'; US forces try to maintain order, control
• Despite cheering crowds, Army unit sees urban combat in Baghdad
• Privatization in disguise - "On April 6, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz spelled it out: There will be no role for the United Nations in setting up an interim government in Iraq. The US-run regime will last at least six months, "probably...longer than that." And by the time the Iraqi people have a say in choosing a government, the key economic decisions about their country's future will have been made by their occupiers"
• Details given on contract Halliburton was awarded
• Brussels to investigate US contracts in Iraq
• Congressman questions Iraq work given to Halliburton subsidiary without competition
• As regime crumbles, battle for oil begins - "Those inclined to suspect an American conspiracy have pointed out that a unit of Halliburton, the energy corporation formerly headed by Mr Cheney, landed a £600 million contract last month for initial repairs to the oil fields."
• US alternative to Saddam has criminal record
• CIA report slams Pentagon's favorite Iraqi - "In a classified report distributed widely within the U.S. government, the CIA argues that Chalabi, a favorite of Pentagon civilian officials, and Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim, the leader of the Tehran-based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, have little popular support among Iraqis on the ground."
• Marines discover huge cache of suicide bomb vests in a school
• Marines to impose Baghdad curfew - "I feel like I'm in Beirut, Lebanon, waiting for the suicide bombers," said Army Lt Col Philip DeCamp. "We know they're holed up on the other side of the river and scattered around the city."
• Eyewitness: "The marines shot anything they considered a threat"
• After the battle, scenes from hell on the highway
• US says flag incident was a 'coincidence' - "As the biggest statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was pulled down "spontaneously" in front of the world's media, the Stars and Stripes which flew on the Pentagon on 11 September was at hand to be draped over its face."
• 'Statue crowd egged me on' says marine - "Cpl Chin said the plan had always been to only keep the US flag up for a few seconds." This looks like a psyop stunt to create the connection in people's mind between 911 and Saddam Hussein, especially so since Cpl Chin says he was ordered to briefly put up the 911 flag even if the military is keen not to present themselves as occupiers and have forbidden flying the flag.
• American flag flap: Stars and Stripes on Saddam’s doomed statue strikes a sensitive chord - I was just trying my best to get the chain around his neck and put the flag on his head," Chin told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "Pretty much at the moment I was just doing what I was told to do by my commanding officer," he said.
• Live From Baghdad, Sights and Sounds of History - "As usual throughout the coverage of the war, now just three weeks old, pictures spoke louder than words -- but not necessarily more truthfully. Baghdad and the Hussein regime seemed to have fallen with the statue, but CBS viewers knew that, only a mile away, in the eastern part of the city, U.S. troops were exchanging fire with Iraqis loyal to Hussein..."
• Don't be fooled by joyous scenes, says refugee "Scenes of joyous Baghdad residents welcoming United States soldiers gave a misleading impression of how Iraqis felt about the US, an Iraqi refugee said today. "The next chapter is going to be a conflict between the Iraqi people and the invaders, the pro-American regime in Iraq," Dr Reben told reporters."
• Snap judgments: Did iconic images from Baghdad reveal more about the media than Iraq? - "Yesterday's coverage of the ''jubilation'' also had a self-conscious and forced quality, as if the media were too eager to capture ''liberation'' for its daily news cycle. Whenever the cameras pulled back, they revealed a relatively small crowd at the statue. And yet many news anchors quickly shed their objectivity to celebrate the event. ''If you don't have goose bumps now,'' gushed Fox News anchor David Asman, ''you will never have them in your life.'' ''It was the mother of all photo ops,'' says Norman Solomon, coauthor of ''Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You.'' Solomon saw yesterday's focus on the statue as an ''example of the tremendously subjective character of the media coverage in this war. . . . What was notable was how few Iraqis were there. It was almost like a lethargic pep rally. There was scarcely a pompom in evidence. Despite the best of efforts, it had a kind of low-budget staged quality as though a movie was being shot but they couldn't get any extras.''
• Shock and awe: About that dead statue...The pictures showing only few Iraqis involved with statue pulling, most of them being Shiites, and perhaps as has been suggested some "undercover" FIFs (Free Iraqi Forces).
• US friendly Iraqi leaders lynched (# 2) - "Former Iraqi general Nizar Al-Khazaraji and Islamic scholar Majid Al-Khoi’i have both been executed by Iraqi residents of Najaf, according to five independent Iraqi witnesses to the incident who spoke to Arab News. The two potential Iraqi leaders of the city, who were supported by the US, “were chopped into pieces with swords and knives inside the Ali Mosque this morning by Iraqis who accused them of being American stooges,” one of the witnesses said. Another said that a US Special Forces Soldier, who had been acting as their body guard, was also killed in the incident. Al-Khoi'i's death has since been confirmed by his family in London."
• Embedded in a new world order - "It is vital that the questions that were posed about the chemical weapons and terrorism justifications for going to war continue to be asked and that the politicians, intelligence chiefs and military planners who made the case be held accountable."
• TV images stir anger, shock and warnings of backlash - "What some in the United States considered Iraqi liberation was viewed in the Arab world as the culmination of U.S. aggression and hypocrisy."
• Iraqis turn on fedayeen - "As the fedayeen suspect looked on in the back of the vehicle, his face was etched with shock and bewilderment. The British had saved his life."

Week 3:

The war from the Iraqi side

• Much lies outside control of allies
• Journalists snub Straw and Spanish premier - "One Spanish journalist had asked Mr Straw's counterpart Ana Palacio about reports US forces had declared the Palestine Hotel - where most foreign reporters were staying - a military target 48 hours prior to the blast that killed Jose Couso and Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk."
• Marines hold nuclear site - the embedded reporter is talking about "hidden" underground" facilities, giving the impression that UN Inspectors weren't aware of them, when in fact the opposite is true
• Experts:US "discovery" of nuclear materials already known
• U.S. Nuke Find Claim in Iraq Critiqued (# 2) - "American troops who suggested they uncovered evidence of an active nuclear weapons program in Iraq unwittingly may have stumbled across known stocks of low-grade uranium, officials said Thursday. They said the U.S. troops may have broken U.N. seals meant to keep control of the radioactive material."
• Arabs shocked, relieved at Baghdad's fall - "Whatever I'm seeing is very painful because although Saddam Hussein was a dictator, he represented some kind of Arab national resistance to the foreign invaders — the Americans and the British," Fakhro said."
• Gulf War Syndrome II - "When Rokke [former director of the Army's depleted uranium (DU) project] sees images of soldiers and civilians driving past burning Iraqi trucks that have been destroyed by tank fire, or soldiers or civilians inspecting buildings destroyed by missiles, and these people are not wearing respirators, he says they all risk radiation poisoning, which can have lifelong consequences."
• Jordanian FM denies reports on restarting Iraq oil pipeline - "The Infrastructure Ministry source said Paritzky believes restarting the pipeline could reduce Israel's fuel costs by 25 percent and turn Haifa into "the Rotterdam of the Middle East."
• Israel eyes Iraqi oil - "There has been no official comment yet from Jordan, but any suggestion that Israel might benefit from the fall of Saddam Hussein is likely to enrage many people in Arab countries."
• Hurt and disillusioned, some Arab fighters go home - "I was sleeping behind mounds of sand and firing from Kalashnikovs on helicopters. It was craziness," [Salaam, 24 years old] said.
• Shoot the morons, then the journalists? (# 2) - depicts the arrogance of some U.S. soldiers
• U.S. Tells Iran, Syria, N. Korea 'Learn from Iraq'
• Iraq war planned long in advance; banned arms not the priority: Blix
• US-backed militia terrorises town - "The Iraqi Coalition of National Unity (ICNU), which appeared in the city last week riding on US special forces vehicles, has taken to looting and terrorising their neighbourhood with impunity, according to most residents."
• Reporters Without Borders accuses US military of deliberately firing at journalists - Reporters Without Borders called today on US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide evidence that the offices of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera and the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad were not deliberately fired at by US forces earlier in the day in attacks that killed three journalists.
• Manipulations of a Pentagon mouthpiece: 'Key messages' replace the truth
• Syria now top US target for 'regime change' - In December, Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, said: "We are certain that Iraq has recently moved chemical or biological weapons into Syria."
• Hoon warns of more pre-emptive strikes
• U.S. begins the process of 'regime change'
• U.S. tests indicate Iraq substances not banned arms - chemical agents allegedly found by the 101st Airborne Division once again turned out to be a fabrication
• US 'not targeting Iran or Syria' - meaning the US *is* targeting Iran and Syria
• Fate of 'Chemical Ali' remains in question - "This morning, British officers said they found Majeed's body...By this evening, however, British forces said they believed Majeed might have survived the attack."
• Myths and misconceptions about the war in Iraq (# 2)
• Video of US air assault on Baghdad on Tuesday morning - An A-10 is repeatedly seen deploying countermeasures, and F-18s can be distinguished, including a strange-looking explosion in front of the Iraqi Planning Ministry building
• Chemical hypocrites - As it struggles to justify its invasion, the US is getting ready to use banned weapons in Iraq - "The chemical weapons convention, promoted by George W's father and ratified by the US in 1997, insists that "each state party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare". Teargas, pepper spray and other incapacitants may be legally used on your own territory for the purposes of policing. They may not be used in another country to control or defeat the enemy."
• A vet watches rerun of a bad war
• "Smoking gun" WMD site in Iraq turns out to contain pesticide
• Here's the war according to CNN
• Murdoch's war on truth in war reporting
• Some allied claims fall short in Iraq war
• The real war: Now it starts - according to Esra Naamas, a representative of "Women for a Free Iraq", all Saddam loyalists, ranging in the thousands should be executed after the war
• Pictures of an A-10 "Warthog" damaged in Iraq
• Numbers and estimates from Iraq from US and British military sources
• Numbers and estimates from Iraq from Russian military Intel sources
• Baghdad in 2003 recalls Beirut in 1982 - "Pictures of US troops swooping on Baghdad to hold it in vise and force Saddam to capitulate spurs memories of the Israeli forces heading to Beirut to eject PLO chief Yasser Arafat."
• In this war, victory could be worse than defeat
• Viewing the war as a lesson to the world
• John Pilger: We see too much. We know too much. That's our best defence
• U.S. finds no WMDs in Iraq - thank you very much we knew that all along
• Video of the aftermath of the friendly fire attack on the convoy Jon Simpsons was travelling with
• U.S. Invasion Begins 'Mysterious' Time for Baghdad Residents - "Joining their ranks were men in civilian clothes carrying guns, some appearing to be in their mid-teens. In one square, men with the Fedaan tribe raised their red flag over a sandbagged position, suggesting the government had called on tribes from the countryside to aid the city's defense."
• Baghdad battle may be nightmare scenario - "I am not afraid to die..., I am doing this for my country" said Thamer Mekki, a 16-year-old in blue jeans and a T-shirt who says he learned how to shoot a gun at 14.
• Iran says bodies found in Basra are its troops (# 2)
• Republican Guard poses puzzle - ''We haven't seen the volume of equipment they have,'' said Lieutenant Christopher Pike, intelligence officer for Third Brigade.
• The mood changes as the marine invasion gains momentum - "The 10th [Brigade of the Medina Division] all ran away to Baghdad," said Mohamed.
• Reports of airport assault [were] premature (# 2) - That is why CNN only had a doctored picture for their frontpage. Robert Fisk: "And there were no Americans, no armour, not a soul around the runways of the airport..."
• Saddam's Stalingrad strategy - "True catastrophe only befell the German invaders when Stalin unleashed the massive armies he had pulled out of Nazi Panzer traps by timely retreats during the previous summer's fighting in the southern Russian steppe to close in like steel jaws on the vulnerable, over-extended supply lines and flanks of the Sixth Army."
• 'Rolling' victory key to U.S. endgame - "The Bush administration has devised a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country, officials said yesterday."
• Euphrates chemical tests said negative
• Pentagon defends use of civilian clothes - "Alleging war crimes, Bush administration officials complained bitterly last week that Iraqi paramilitary forces dressed as civilians..."
• US forces use schools for cover - "The decision to locate the special forces in a residential area appears to run counter to US policy. The Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, recently criticised Iraq for placing key military units and weaponry in and around mosques, hospitals and schools in both Baghdad and Basra."
• Iraq promises 'unconventional' attack
• Western journalists beaten, starved by Americans - "Their ordeal at the hands of the Americans is in stark contrast to that received by Newsday journalists in Baghdad..."
• Shia cleric denies Fatwa not to resist invasion (# 2)
• CNN was right on target in guessing war's start date
• After Saddam, trouble for Iraqi Christians? - an Iraqi Catholic explains Christians' fears about the next Iraqi regime
• Some worry U.S. may bend facts for policy - Intelligence: analysts pressured to spin reports to support White House position, veterans say.
• Detecting disinformation, without radar - "Remember the following first rule of disinformation analysis: truth is specific, lie is vague. Always look for palpable details in reporting and if the picture is not in focus, there must be reasons for it."
• The minute it's made up, you'll hear about it
• Myers: No 'siege' planned for Baghdad
• US heavy-handedness baffles British
• 'We have either a good surprise for you or a bad surprise...' - photographer Molly Bingham's account of her kidnapping in Baghdad
• The message coming from our families in Baghdad - "Tony Blair says this is a war to liberate the Iraqi people. As an Iraqi Kurd whose family and people have been bombarded continuously in Baghdad for the last 14 days, I beg to differ."
• White House downplaying weapons of mass destruction - Bush has shifted emphasis of war to liberation of Iraqis

Week 2:

• The proof: marketplace deaths were caused by a US missile - Investigations by the Independent show that it was a Raytheon-manufactured missile that hit the market first blamed on the Iraqis
• Saddam's greater game
• Al Jazeera: It's just as fair as CNN.
• We don't understand Iraqis, admits US officer
• Brits worry about Iraqi surprise (# 2) -"...but there is concern that much of the 'heavy fighting' across the front stated by U.S. military spokesman may be against decoy Iraqi gun sites and dug-in tanks. "There is some mystery," said British Broadcast Corp reporter Gavin Hewitt in Iraq, "of whether the Medina Division is actually there, or in Baghdad or Karbala."
• Marines get intimate glimpse of enemy at deserted camp - some insight in Iraqi battlefield conditions. However, it must be pointed out that finding Iraqi gasmasks and antidote for nerve agents is obviously no proof of actually possessing those agents. All armed forces prepare themselve for such contingencies
• Iraqi Vice President: Coalition might 'plant' barred arms
• 'I never want to hear that sound again' (of the A-10's 30mm Avenger cannon) - "Coloured smoke signs were sent up to indicate that they were friendly troops but it didn't stop the attack. The planes came back a second time..."
• Comment: It will end in disaster - the US and British governments have dragged us into a mess that will last for years - some predictions about the likely outcome of the invasion in Iraq
• Faked front-page photograph published by the L.A. Times
• Special search operations yield no banned weapons - "...U.S. forces have tested 10 of their best intelligence leads, four that first day and another half-dozen since, without result."
• Marketing experts say war is a tough sell - Slogans strive for image of quick, clean war - By and large, the Bush administration has done that, he said, distilling a huge geopolitical conflict with multiple underlying political causes down to a simple message of "freeing 23 million Iraqis."
• The reality of war - "It wasn't supposed to be like this; the Shia in the South were supposed to hail the allies as liberators; the Iraqi army was supposed to stand and be wiped out; Baghdad was supposed to fall within days. But Saddam learnt a bitter lesson in 1991, and he wasn't about to repeat the same mistakes."
• US missile hit Kuwaiti shopping mall (login: flashclub password: flashclub)
• US turns sights on Syria and Iran - as called for by the PNAC
• U.S. & coalition casualties
• War Watch: Claims and counter claims made during the media war over Iraq - US & Coalition propaganda blunders exposed
• BBC chiefs stress need to attribute war sources - "We're getting more truth out of Baghdad than the Pentagon at the moment. Not because Baghdad is putting out pure and morally correct information but because they're less savvy about it, I think."
• Through Middle Eastern eyes - "They are covering this war in much the same way that they covered the intifada - the Palestine-Israeli war, which is to say the glorification of martyrs, which is to say a kind of a blood pornography...."
• 15 stories they've already bungled
• Eliminating truth: the development of war propaganda
• Mainstream media’s sanitized war coverage helps mask carnage
• How the warriors have learned to control news
• Blair and Bush admit that war in Iraq could now last for months (# 2), (# 3) - General William Wallace: "The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war-gamed against." They should have let retired general Van Riper make his moves and learn from them, but military brass seems unable to grasp new concepts
• Flashback: Rumsfeld sees quick victory in Iraq
• Jubilation turns to hate as aid arrives
• They are fighting for their independence, not Saddam - "Almost 86 years ago to the day, the British commander Lieutenant General Stanley Maude issued a proclamation to the people of Baghdad, whose city his forces had just occupied. "Our armies," he declared, "do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors, but as liberators." Within three years, 10,000 had died in a national Iraqi uprising against the British rulers..."

Week 1:

Civilians always suffer most during war, even if it's for their "liberation" it seems

• Differing TV images feed Arab, US views
• What you aren't being told about Iraq
• Related: The lucrative business of rebuilding Iraq
• Most of the people are happy to see us - "All along the road, for many kilometres, Iraqi civilians and soldiers waved, blew kisses and gave the thumbs up to passing marine vehicles." Embedded journalist out of touch with reality and unaware that the thumbs up is the middle eastern equivalent of giving someone the finger
• Basra: Why they are not cheering - "A coming together often happens to a people under siege, and a siege is what the Iraqis are now experiencing."
• Flashback: Iraq war games rigged (# 2) - "A phrase I heard over and over was: 'That would never have happened,'" [retired Lieutenant General] Van Riper [playing Saddam] recalls.
• Alleged chemical weapons plant was discovered 12 years ago
• FAIR: Lack of skepticism leads to poor reporting on Iraq weapons claims
• Pentagon denies claims chemical weapons factory found
• Pictures of US POWs (video) and KIA (video) - captured near Nasiriya as 12 soldiers were reported missing - the interview of the 5 POWs shown on al Jazeera is in violation of the Geneva Convention same as the US media's showcase of Iraqi POWs not to mention US double standards on Guantánamo Bay's "unlawful enemy combatants"
• 'Liberated' Iraqis question US motives (# 2) - report from the same town where celebrating Iraqis were shown
• Marines fighting in Umm Qasr - Battle footage from Umm Qasr
• No Scuds fired by Iraqis - "Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference that the Iraqis have not fired any Scuds and that U.S. forces searching airfields in the far western desert of Iraq have uncovered no missiles or launchers."
• Pentagon says no Scuds fired - "U.S. and Kuwaiti sources initially reported all the missiles as Scuds, but the Pentagon later said it believes they were al Samouds or some other type of missile."

The Command Post
No War Blog
Back to Iraq 2.0
Live from Kuwait - A Civilian War Diary
qHate - Kuwaiti blogging on Iraq War
L.T. Smash - Live From the Sandbox

Media / Resources:
Reuters Raw Video - unedited video feeds from Reuters
BBC: Iraq Latest: At-a-glance
Guardian: Interactive Iraq War Report
BBC: Reporters' Log: War in Iraq
Russian Military Intel: Iraq War