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Re: <nettime> wrong signals [4x]
nettime's pilot light on Wed, 17 Dec 2003 21:28:15 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> wrong signals [4x]

Table of Contents:

   about money                                                                     
     calin {AT} xs4all.nl                                                                 

   Re: <nettime> wrong signals [Bradley                                            
     chris mann <chrisman {AT} rcn.com>                                                   

   RE: <nettime> wrong signals [Hardie, Bradley, porculus, murphy]                 
     Curt Hagenlocher <curth {AT} motek.com>                                              

   ZNet Update & Two essays on Saddam's Arrest and Aftermath                       
     martha rosler <navva {AT} earthlink.net>                                             


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 11:09:47 +0100 (CET)
From: calin {AT} xs4all.nl
Subject: about money

maybe totally unconnected with the aprehension of SH, an urgent meeting
has been allegedly organised in Basel, with specialists of Central banks -
due to the fact that the OPEC and other muslim countries are drying their
accounts in Europe.

as for the TV show of enthusiastic people, I hope you remember the
Romanian  TV revolution (true, it was long time ago) - anything can be
proved on TV.

merry christmas


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 09:13:08 -0500
From: chris mann <chrisman {AT} rcn.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> wrong signals [Bradley

> The fallacy, discredited soundly 825 days ago, yet still so readily at
> the hand of the ignorant is the notion that appeasement and pandering to
> a medieval culture of violence and oppression would somehow gain peace
> and tranquility for the modern world.

it's a bit early am so my maths is fuzzy but i thought you were referring to
the violence in florida and the us elections. stupid me.

The fruits of cowtowing to the
> likes of Saddam, Assad, bin Laden, and Arafat are smoldering holes,


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 07:25:20 -0800
From: Curt Hagenlocher <curth {AT} motek.com>
Subject: RE: <nettime> wrong signals [Hardie, Bradley, porculus, murphy]

From: Rick Bradley <roundeye {AT} roundeye.net>

> To put it as plainly as possible, we have been soundly and bloodily
> instructed on the matter and the lesson is this:  if we don't humiliate
> Them They will kill us, and if we do humiliate Them They will try to
> kill us, and if we humiliate the fuck out of Them then the ones with any
> sense are ready to talk about not killing any more while the crazy
> suicidal medieval fuckheads come running for miles to martyr themselves
> in the crosshairs of the 4ID.

"Root Cause" is important -- not "appeasement" -- for a very simple reason.
When you kill a cow, you have one less cow.  When you kill an Islamist, or a
Baathist, or an anti-Islamist American, you may end up with more of the same
than you started with.  How you do something, and why you do something are
often as important as what you do.  There are very few people in the world
who think that deposing Saddam is a bad thing.  It's the "how" and the "why"
that are likely to create problems in the future.  And that speaks to "root

- --
Curt Hagenlocher
curth {AT} motek.com


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 11:08:23 -0500
From: martha rosler <navva {AT} earthlink.net>
Subject: ZNet Update & Two essays on Saddam's Arrest and Aftermath

>Status:  U
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>Subject:  ZNet Update & Two essays on Saddam's Arrest and Aftermath
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>Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 19:32:27 -0500
>Thread-Topic: [:cascasche:] ZNet Update & Two essays on Saddam's Arrest
>and Aftermath
>Thread-Index: AcPDbBTiR2ZGo8TAQJmGUGz8SQa91Q==
>From: "Michael Albert" <sysop {AT} ZMAG.ORG>
>To: <znetupdates {AT} zmail.zmag.org>
>Precedence: bulk
>Sender: znetupdates-owner {AT} zmail.zmag.org
>Here is another ZNet update -- also serving as today's sustainer
>commentary mailing.
>You can add and remove email addresses from our list at the ZNet top
>page which is at www.zmag.org/weluser.htm
>This message is primarily to convey two essays reacting to the arrest of
>Saddam Hussein.
>The first is by ZNet Commentator Stephen Shalom and sets the Washington
>Post straight (and most others too) as to the chronicle of Saddam's
>history to date, also raising the key issues that his being brought to
>trial raises.
>The second is by ZNet Commentator Maria Tomchick and assesses the likely
>unfolding situation in Iraq.


- ---
>A Saddam Chronology
>Stephen R. Shalom
>Saddam Hussein is one of the world's great monsters. Nothing would be
>more welcome than to have him put on trial, a trial which could offer
>Iraqis and the world an honest accounting of his many crimes. However,
>as so often happens, when a trial is organized by those who are
>themselves guilty of serious crimes, truth is not the goal. Instead the
>historical record is falsified to make the one monster seem uniquely
>blameworthy and the ones running the show above criticism.
>We saw this pattern in the Tokyo trials following World War II, where
>the crimes of Japanese officials were documented in gruesome detail
>(except for the biological warfare programs, which Washington wanted to
>use for itself and except for the involvement of the emperor, who was to
>serve U.S. purposes during the occupation), while the crimes of the
>victors, such as the horrific fire-bombing raids and the destruction of
>Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were disregarded. Likewise, Panamanian ruler
>Manual Noriega was a thug who certainly belonged in the dock. But when
>the U.S. military invaded Panama in violation of international law and
>seized him for trial in the United States, there was no intention by the
>kidnappers that the trial be a forum for revealing the long-time ties
>between Noriega and the U.S. government, and particularly between
>Noriega and former CIA director George H. W. Bush.
>It is a matter of principle in Washington that Americans not be held to
>the same international standards as others. Thus, the U.S. refuses to
>endorse the International Criminal Court and demands that its allies
>give up their right to invoke the jurisdiction of the court when U.S.
>citizens are involved. But those of us who truly care about justice
>ought to demand that Saddam Hussein be tried before a court that is in
>no way subject to U.S. control or manipulation. Only in that way can the
>real truth come out.
>Already, however, much of the media is falling into line in framing the
>crimes of Saddam Hussein. For example, the Washington Post website
>offered a summary of "Events in the Life of Saddam Hussein" from the
>Associated Press. But the chronology was seriously incomplete. Below is
>that chronology, corrected to include -- indented and in brackets --
>some of the most serious omissions.
>Sunday, December 14, 2003; 8:34 AM
>A glance at the life of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein:
>April 28, 1937 -- Born in village near desert town of Tikrit, north of
>1957 -- Joins underground Baath Socialist Party.
>1958 -- Arrested for killing his brother-in-law, a Communist, spends six
>months in prison.
>Oct. 7, 1959 -- On Baath assassination team that ambushes Iraqi
>strongman Gen. Abdel-Karim Kassem in Baghdad, wounding him. Saddam,
>wounded in leg, flees to Syria then Egypt.
>[This was not the only attempt to assassinate Kassem. In April 1960, the
>CIA approved using a poisoned handkerchief to kill Kassem. The
>"handkerchief was duly dispatched to Kassem, but whether or not it ever
>reached him, it certainly did not kill him." (Thomas Powers, The Man Who
>Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, New York: Knopf, 1979, p.
>Feb. 8, 1963 -- Returns from Egypt after Baath takes part in coup that
>overthrows and kills Kassem. Baath ousted by military in November.
>[The coup was backed by the CIA.
>"As its instrument the C.I.A. had chosen the authoritarian and
>anti-Communist Baath Party, in 1963 still a relatively small political
>faction influential in the Iraqi Army. According to the former Baathist
>leader Hani Fkaiki, among party members colluding with the C.I.A. in
>1962 and 1963 was Saddam Hussein....
>"According to Western scholars, as well as Iraqi refugees and a British
>human rights organization, the 1963 coup was accompanied by a bloodbath.
>Using lists of suspected Communists and other leftists provided by the
>C.I.A., the Baathists systematically murdered untold numbers of Iraq's
>educated elite -- killings in which Saddam Hussein himself is said to
>have participated. No one knows the exact toll, but accounts agree that
>the victims included hundreds of doctors, teachers, technicians, lawyers
>and other professionals as well as military and political figures."
>(Roger Morris, "A Tyrant 40 Years in the Making," New York Times, March
>14, 2003, p. A29.)]
>July 17, 1968 -- Baathists and army officers overthrow regime.
>["Again, this coup, amid more factional violence, came with C.I.A.
>backing. Serving on the staff of the National Security Council under
>Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the late 1960's, I often heard
>C.I.A. officers -- including Archibald Roosevelt, grandson of Theodore
>Roosevelt and a ranking C.I.A. official for the Near East and Africa at
>the time -- speak openly about their close relations with the Iraqi
>Baathists." (Morris, "A Tyrant 40 Years in the Making," p. A29.)]
>July 30, 1968 -- Takes charge of internal security after Baath ousts
>erstwhile allies and authority passes to Revolutionary Command Council
>under Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Saddam's cousin.
>[From 1973-75, the United States, Iran, and Israel supported a Kurdish
>insurgency in Iraq. Documents examined by the U.S. House Select
>Committee on Intelligence "clearly show that the President, Dr.
>Kissinger and the [Shah] hoped that our clients [the Kurds] would not
>prevail. They preferred instead that the insurgents simply continue a
>level of hostilities sufficient to sap [Iraqi] resources.... This policy
>was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue
>fighting. Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical
>enterprise." Then, in 1975, the Shah and Saddam Hussein of Iraq signed
>an agreement giving Iran territorial concessions in return for Iran's
>closing its border to Kurdish guerrillas. Teheran and Washington
>promptly cut off their aid to the Kurds and, while Iraq massacred the
>rebels, the United States refused them asylum. Kissinger justified this
>U.S. policy in closed testimony: "covert action should not be confused
>with missionary work." (U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee
>on Intelligence, 19 Jan. 1976 [Pike Report] in Village Voice, 16 Feb.
>1976, pp. 85, 87n465, 88n471. The Pike Report attributes the last quote
>only to a "senior official"; William Safire, Safire's Washington, New
>York: Times Books, 1980, p. 333, identifies the official as Kissinger.)]
>July 16, 1979 -- Takes over as president from al-Bakr, launches massive
>purge of Baath.
>[In the late 1970s, Saddam also purged the Iraqi Communist Party and
>other oppositionists. (Marion Farouk-Sluglett and Peter Sluglett, Iraq
>Since 1958, London: I. B. Tauris, 1990, pp. 182-87) "We see no
>fundamental incompatibility of interests between the United States and
>Iraq," declared U.S. National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in
>April 1980. (Quoted in Barry Rubin, "The United States and Iraq: From
>Appeasement to War," in Iraq's Road to War, ed. Amatzia Baram and Barry
>Rubin, New York: St. Martin's 1993, p. 256.)]
>Sept. 22, 1980 -- Sends forces into Iran; war last eight years.
>[When Iraq invaded Iran, the United Nations Security Council waited four
>days before holding a meeting. On September 28, it passed Resolution 479
>calling for an end to the fighting, but which significantly did not
>condemn (nor even mention) the Iraqi aggression and did not demand a
>return to internationally recognized boundaries. As Ralph King, who has
>studied the UN response in detail, concluded, "The Council more or less
>deliberately ignored Iraq's actions in September 1980." The U.S.
>delegate noted that Iran, which had itself violated Security Council
>resolutions on the U.S. embassy hostages, could hardly complain about
>the Council's lackluster response. (R.P.H. King, "The United Nations and
>the IranIraq War, 19801986," in The United Nations and the IranIraq War,
>ed. Brian Urquhart and Gary Sick, New York: Ford Foundation, August
>Despite the fact that Iraq had been the aggressor in this war and that
>Iraq was the first to use chemical weapons, the first to launch air
>attacks on cities, and the initiator of the tanker war, the United
>States tilted toward Iraq. The U.S. removed Iraq from its list of
>terrorist states in 1982, sent Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad as Reagan's
>envoy to meet with Saddam Hussein in 1983 and 1984 to discuss economic
>cooperation, re-established diplomatic relations in November 1984, made
>available extensive loans and subsidies, provided intelligence
>information, encouraged its allies to arm Iraq, and engaged in military
>actions in the Persian Gulf against Iran. The United States also
>provided dual-use equipment that it knew Iraq was using for military
>purposes. (See Joyce Battle, ed., "Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein:
>The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984," National Security Archive
>Electronic Briefing Book No. 82, Feb. 25, 2003,
>March 28, 1988 -- Uses chemical weapons against Kurdish town of Halabja,
>killing estimated 5,000 civilians.
>[From Iraq's first use of chemical weapons in 1983, the U.S. took a very
>restrained view. When the evidence of Iraqi use of these weapons could
>no longer be denied, the U.S. issued a mild condemnation, but made clear
>that this would have no effect on commercial or diplomatic relations
>between the United States and Iraq. Iran asked the Security Council to
>condemn Iraq's chemical weapons use, but the U.S. delegate to the U.N.
>was instructed to try to prevent a resolution from coming to a vote, or
>else to abstain. An Iraqi official told the U.S. that Iraq strongly
>preferred a Security Council presidential statement to a resolution and
>did not want any specific country identified as responsible for chemical
>weapons use. On March 30, 1984, the Security Council issued a
>presidential statement condemning the use of chemical weapons, without
>naming Iraq as the offending party. (Battle,
>At the same time that the U.S. government had knowledge of that the
>Iraqi military was using chemical weapons, it was providing intelligence
>and planning assistance to the Iraqi armed forces. (Patrick Tyler,
>"Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq In War Despite Use Of Gas," New York
>Times, Aug. 18, 2002, p. 1.)
>When Iraq used chemical weapons in March 1988 against Halabja, there was
>no condemnation from Washington. (Dilip Hiro, "When US turned a blind
>eye to poison gas," The Observer, September 1, 2002, p. 17.) "In
>September 1988, the House of Representatives voted 388 to 16 in favor of
>economic sanctions against Iraq, but the White House succeeded in having
>the Senate water down the proposal. In exchange for Export-Import Bank
>credits, Iraq merely had to promise not to use chemical weapons again,
>with agricultural credits exempted even from this limited requirement."
>(Rubin, "The United States and Iraq: From Appeasement to War," p. 261.)]
>Aug. 2, 1990 -- Invades Kuwait.
>[The chronology omits one of Saddam Hussein's most egregious atrocities,
>his Anfal campaign against the Kurds from 1987-89, in which at least
>50,000 and possibly 100,000 Kurds were systematically slaughtered.
>(Middle East Watch, Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign Against the
>Kurds, New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993.)
>The response of the new Bush administration was to increase Iraq's
>commodity credits from half a billion to a billion dollars, making it
>the second largest user of the credit program in the world. As late as
>April 1990, the administration was opposing sanctions against Iraq
>("They would hurt U.S. exporters and worsen our trade deficit," said the
>State Department). (Guy Gugliotta, Charles R. Babcock, and Benjamin
>Weiser, "At War, Iraq Courted U.S. Into Economic Embrace," Washington
>Post, Sept. 16, 1990, p. A1.) The administration also blocked efforts to
>cut back high-tech exports to Iraq with obvious military applications.
>(Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Bush insisted on aiding Iraq until
>war's onset," Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 23, 1992, p. 17.) And the United
>States was providing intelligence data to Iraq until three months before
>the invasion. (Murray Waas, Douglas Frantz, "U.S. shared intelligence
>with Iraq until 3 months before invasion of Kuwait," Houston Chronicle,
>March 10, 1992, p. A6.)]
> Jan. 17, 1991 -- Attacked by U.S.-led coalition; Kuwait liberated in a
>[As part of the U.S.-led attack, the civilian infrastructure of Iraq was
>intentionally targeted (Barton Gellman, "Allied Air War Struck Broadly
>in Iraq; Officials Acknowledge Strategy Went Beyond Purely Military
>Targets," Washington Post, 23 June 1991, p. A1; Thomas J. Nagy, "The
>Secret Behind the Sanctions," Progressive, Sept. 2001), which together
>with more than a decade of economic sanctions would lead to hundreds of
>thousands of excess deaths. (See Richard Garfield, "Morbidity and
>Mortality Among Iraqi Children From 1990 through 1998: Assessing the
>Impact of the Gulf War and Economic Sanctions," March 1999,
>March, 1991 -- Crushes Shiite revolt in south and Kurd revolt in north.
>[After urging Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein, the U.S. denied
>the rebels access to captured Iraqi weapons and allowed Saddam Hussein
>to use his helicopters to slaughter the insurgents as U.S. aircraft
>circled overhead. (Andrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, Out of the
>Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, New York: Harperperennial.
>1999, chap. 1.)]
>April 17, 1991 -- Complying with U.N. Resolution 687, starts providing
>information on weapons of mass destruction, but accused of cheating.
>Feb. 20, 1996 -- Orders killing of two sons-in-law who in 1995 defected
>to Jordan and had just returned to Baghdad after receiving guarantees of
>Dec. 16, 1998 -- Weapons inspectors withdrawn from Iraq. Hours later,
>four days of U.S.-British air and missile strikes begin as punishment
>for lack of cooperation.
>[The bombing was conducted without Security Council approval and without
>consultations with allies. The withdrawal of the inspectors was ordered
>by Richard Butler, the head of UNSCOM. "France was also annoyed with
>Washington for getting Mr. Butler to pull out his inspectors from Iraq
>without discussion with the Security Council." U.S. Secretary of State
>"Albright did not speak with Secretary General Kofi Annan at the United
>Nations, officials said. Mr. Annan issued a personal statement, calling
>this 'a sad day' for the world and 'me personally,' because of his
>failure to avert the use of force." (Steven Erlanger, "U.S. Decision to
>Act Fast, and Then Search for Support, Angers Some Allies," New York
>Times, Dec. 17, 1998, p. A14.)]
>Nov. 8, 2002 -- Threatened with "serious consequences" if he does not
>disarm in U.N. Security Council resolution.
>Nov. 27, 2002 -- Allows U.N. experts to begin work in Iraq for first
>time since 1998.
>Dec. 7, 2002 -- Delivers to United Nations declaration denying Iraq has
>weapons of mass destruction; later, United States says declaration is
>untruthful and United Nations says it is incomplete.
>March 1, 2003 -- United Arab Emirates, at an Arab League summit, becomes
>first Arab nation to propose publicly that Saddam step down.
>March 7 -- United States, Britain and Spain propose ordering Saddam to
>give up banned weapons by March 17 or face war; other nations led by
>France on polarized U.N. Security Council oppose any new resolution that
>would authorize military action.
>March 17 -- United States, Britain and Spain declare time for diplomacy
>over, withdraw proposed resolution. President Bush gives Saddam 48 hours
>to leave Iraq.
>[Actually, U.S. officials made clear that U.S. troops would enter Iraq
>whether or not Saddam and his sons left the country. (Michael R. Gordon,
>"Allies Will Move In, Even if Saddam Hussein Moves Out," New York Times,
>March 18, 2003, p. A16.)]
>March 18 -- Iraq's leadership rejects Bush's ultimatum.
>["On the eve of war, Iraq publicly offered unlimited access for American
>and British weapons hunters." (David Rennie, "Saddam 'offered Bush a
>huge oil deal to avert war'," Daily Telegraph [London], Nov. 7, 2003, p.
>17) And privately Iraq went well beyond this. In several back-channel
>contacts with U.S. officials, Iraq offered the U.S. "direct U.S.
>involvement on the ground in disarming Iraq," oil concessions, the
>turn-over of a wanted terrorist, cooperation on the Israeli-Palestinian
>peace-process, and even internationally-supervised elections within two
>years. (James Risen, "Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal
>to Avert War," New York Times, Nov. 6, 2003, p. A1) One doesn't know
>where these offers may have led, since they were rejected by the U.S.:
>"A US intelligence source insisted that the decision not to negotiate
>came from the White House, which was demanding complete surrender.
>According to an Arab source, [a U.S. intermediary] sent a Saudi official
>a set of requirements he believed Iraq would have to fulfill. Those
>demands included Saddam's abdication and departure, first to a US
>military base for interrogation and then into supervised exile, a
>surrender of Iraqi troops, and the admission that Iraq had weapons of
>mass destruction. (Julian Borger, Brian Whitaker, and Vikram Dodd
>"Saddam's desperate offers to stave off war," Guardian, Nov. 7, 2003, p.
>March 20 -- U.S. forces open war with military strike on Dora Farms, a
>target south of Baghdad where Saddam and his sons are said to be. Saddam
>appears on Iraqi television later in the day.
>April 4 -- Iraqi television shows video of Saddam walking a Baghdad
>April 7 -- U.S. warplanes bomb a section of the Mansour district in
>Baghdad where Saddam and his sons were said to be meeting.
>April 9 -- Jubilant crowds greet U.S. troops in Baghdad, go on looting
>rampages, topple 40-foot statue of Saddam.
>July 22 -- Saddam's sons, Qusai and Odai, killed in gunbattle with U.S.
>troops. American forces then raid the northern city of Mosul and later
>say they missed Saddam "by a matter of hours."
>July 27 -- U.S. troops raid three farms in Tikrit. Again, officials
>later say they missed Saddam by 24 hours.
>July 31 -- Two of Saddam's daughters, Raghad and Rana, and their nine
>children are given asylum by Jordan's King Abdullah II.
>[That they would need asylum follows from the U.S. policy of detaining
>family members of those they are seeking, in violation of elementary
>standards of justice. ("The arrest of close relatives of fugitive regime
>members has been used by US forces in the past both as a way to gather
>intelligence - through interrogation - and to put emotional pressure on
>the hunted men to surrender." Colin Nickerson, "US Troops Detain Wife,
>Daughter Of Key Hussein Aide Ex-Deputy Suspected Of Plotting Attacks In
>Iraqi Insurgency," Boston Globe, Nov. 27, 2003, p. A40.)]
>Sept. 5 -- Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno of the 4th Infantry Division says his
>troops have captured several of Saddam's former bodyguards in the Tikrit
>area in the past month and may be closing in on the deposed Iraqi
>Nov. 16 -- The last of nine tapes attributed to Saddam Hussein since he
>was removed from power is released. It tells Iraqis to step up their
>resistance to the U.S.-led occupation, saying the United States and its
>allies misjudged the difficulty of occupying Iraq.
>[It didn't take a genius to note that "the United States and its allies
>misjudged the difficulty of occupying Iraq."]
>Dec. 13 -- Saddam is captured at 8:30 p.m. in the town of Adwar, 10
>miles south of Tikrit. He is hiding in a specially prepared "spider
>Got Saddam But Not Much Else
>By Maria Tomchick
>Saddam is in custody, but the war's not over yet. The U.S. faces several
>important hurdles in the bringing the war to an end and extricating U.S.
>troops from a seemingly endless fracas.
>The most critical problem involves the ceaseless guerrilla attacks.
>According to a series of interviews with Iraqi guerrillas conducted by
>the French Press Agency, the guerrillas are composed of three main
>groups, only one of which supports Saddam Hussein. Of the other two
>groups one is Iraqi Islamists, who are fighting to drive the infidel
>Americans from Iraq's holy places. The third group is composed of
>nationalists -- disaffected, anti-Saddam, former Baath party members and
>other pan-Arabists -- who are fighting a war of liberation. And,
>unsurprisingly, these groups often coordinate their attacks, to
>devastating effect.
>Nor is it safe to assume that the pro-Saddam faction is now beheaded.
>U.S. military officers said that, when they pulled Saddam Hussein out of
>his hole in the ground, he had no radio or other communications
>equipment. Clearly, he wasn't coordinating any attacks, issuing any
>orders, or in charge of any guerrilla movements.
>The main value of having Saddam in custody is that it removes a symbol,
>a source of inspiration for a sizable contingent of the guerrillas. But
>to hope that this will bring an immediate end to the war is to forget
>how adaptable human loyalties are. If Saddam Hussein has not been
>directing guerrilla attacks, someone else surely has, and that person or
>group of people command as much or more loyalty than Saddam ever has. In
>the end, a figurehead is merely a figurehead; the people who do the
>practical work -- who have the face-to-face contact and provide the
>weapons and money -- are the ones who command the loyalty of their
>troops. And not all the guerrillas look to Saddam for inspiration -- not
>when there are plenty of other reasons to rebel in Iraq these days.
>Take, for example, U.S. military tactics in the Sunni triangle, which
>have increasingly mirrored failed Israeli military tactics in the
>Occupied Territories. This past week, both U.S. military planners and
>Israeli sources have told the press that, yes, U.S. military officers
>have studied Israeli tactics in the West Bank. And they are now applying
>those lessons in Iraq.
>Such tactics include: destroying buildings suspected of being guerrilla
>hideouts, bulldozing the homes of suspected guerrillas and their family
>members, arresting the relatives of suspected guerrillas and/or people
>who may have information about the guerrillas, and surrounding entire
>villages with razor wire, forcing the occupants to pass through a single
>checkpoint in order to come and go. If people can't make it back through
>crowded checkpoints before curfew, they have to spend the night in the
>desert. At these checkpoints, Iraqis must show ID cards issued by the
>U.S. military and printed only in English. Humiliated Iraqis are drawing
>clear parallels to the Palestinian situation, and that should be a
>warning sign for the U.S. military. Unfortunately, it's going unheeded.
>Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman, the man in charge of surrounding the village
>of Abu Hishma with razor wire, told the New York Times, "With a heavy
>dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we
>can convince these people we are here to help them." A sign posted on
>the wire fence reads "This fence is here for your protection. Do not
>approach or try to cross or you will be shot."
>One of the "heavy doses of fear and violence" that the U.S. military is
>currently employing is the use of assassination squads, modeled on the
>same squads the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have used in the West Bank
>and Gaza Strip. The U.S. military's new Task Force 121 is being trained
>by the IDF at Fort Bragg to carry out assassinations of suspected
>guerrilla leaders. The Guardian newspaper of London recently noted that
>U.S. special forces teams are already operating inside Syria in an
>attempt to kill "foreign jihadists" before they cross the border,
>raising questions of "who is a jihadist and how do we define that?" and
>"how do we know who's planning to cross the border?" -- not to mention
>the ultimate question of the legality of assassination under
>international law.
>At least one of those questions can be answered. A principle planner
>behind Task Force 121 is Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin who, in
>October, told an Oregon church congregation that the U.S. is a
>"Christian army" at war with Satan. Such fanatics will stretch the
>definition of "foreign jihadists" to cover whomever they wish to target.
>And such brutal tactics will be as successful in Iraq as they've been in
>the Occupied Territories, where assassinations have led to ever more
>militant attacks against Israeli troops and civilians.
>On the "money for projects" end, the Bush administration has failed
>miserably so far. The major donor's conference in October brought large
>pledges, but few of them have been honored because of the deteriorating
>security situation in Iraq and the ongoing, world-wide economic slump.
>The bulk of the money for reconstruction in Iraq will come from the U.S.
>-- money that is swiftly disappearing into the pockets of U.S.
>corporations, like Halliburton, which was recently excoriated for an
>overpriced contract to ship gasoline into a country that holds the
>world's second largest oil reserves.
>The rest of the funds will come from the World Bank and the IMF in the
>form of loans. But, before those funds can be released, the U.S. has to
>negotiate with Iraq's pre-war debtors to forgive massive loans left over
>>from the Saddam era. In typically brilliant fashion, the Pentagon issued
>a directive last week that bars French, German, and Russian corporations
>>from bidding on contracts for reconstruction in Iraq. Well, guess who
>owns most of Iraq's pre-war debt? European nations and Russia, that's
>who. Vladimir Putin, offended by the Pentagon's action, last week
>adamantly refused to forgive some $8 billion of Iraq's Saddam-era debt.
>Failed military tactics, failed financial policies -- it's all in a
>day's work for the Bush administration. Finding Saddam Hussein certainly
>won't make up for incompetence at the top.
>Maria Tomchick's writings have appeared on Alternet, Znet, the
>CounterPunch website, Common Dreams newswire, MotherJones.com and
>AntiWar.com. I am a co-editor and contributing writer for Eat The
>State!, a biweekly anti-authoritarian newspaper of political opinion,
>research and humor, based in Seattle, Washington. Eat the State! can be
>found online at http://www.eatthestate.org.
>Sources for this article include:
>"Iraqi resistance deeply divided over Saddam Hussein's role," Agence
>France Presse, 12/8/03
>"Tough New Tactics by U.S. Tighten Grip on Iraq Towns," Dexter Filkins,
>The New York Times, 12/6/03
>"U.S. Adopts New Tactics in Iraq Guerrilla War," Charles Aldinger,
>Reuters, 12/8/03
>"Israel trains US assassination squads in Iraq," Julian Borger, The
>Guardian, 12/9/03,
>"US Eyeing Israeli Tactics for Iraq Insurgents," Dan Williams, Reuters,
>"High Payments to Halliburton for Fuel in Iraq," Don Van Natta Jr., NYT,
>"Fueling Anger in Iraq: Sabotage Exacerbates Petroleum Shortages," Rajiv
>Chandrasekaran, Washington Post, 12/9/03,
>"After Attack, S. Korean Engineers Quit Iraq," Ariana Eunjung Cha,
>Washington Post, 12/7/03
>"Iraq delays hand Cheney firm $1bn," Oliver Morgan, The Observer,
>12/7/03, observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,1101341,00.html
>"Funds for Iraq Are Far Short of Pledges, Figures Show," Steven R.
>Weisman, NYT, 12/7/03.
>This message has been brought to you by ZNet (http://www.zmag.org). Visit
>our site for subscription options.


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