Good clips Military news

Military Archive

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Aftenposten Nettutgaven: "An armed Iranian exile group listed as a terrorist organization by the USA and European Union may now get US support to help topple Iran's ruling regime. The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO)"

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

SCHEER: Saving Private Lynch: Take 2: The video was artfully edited by the Pentagon and released as proof that a battle to free Lynch had occurred when it had not. This fabrication has already been celebrated by an A&E special and will soon be an NBC movie. The Lynch rescue story -- a made-for-TV bit of official propaganda -- will probably survive as the war's most heroic moment, despite proving as fictitious as the stated rationales for the invasion itself. If the movies, books and other renditions of "saving Private Lynch" were to be honestly presented, it would expose this caper as merely one in a series of egregious lies marketed to us by the Bush administration.

Swissair 111, TWA 800, and Electromagnetic Interference 
 By Elaine Scarry  - September 21, 2000, NY Review of Books

TWA 800 and Electromagnetic Interference: Work Already Completed and Work that Still Needs to be Done
 By Elaine Scarry - October 26, 2000, NY Review of Books

Monday, May 19, 2003 - Barbs aside, 9/11 questions aren't going away: Michele Landsberg: "Why did the U.S. military, with the most powerful arsenal in world history, fail to prevent or at least try to stop a series of hijackings and crashes that went on for nearly two hours? Where was the Air Force? If President Bush and his cabinet were not, at this very moment, still trying to censor, suppress and delay the publication of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, if there had been honest disclosure and straight stories from the beginning, perhaps all these "dark questions," as the Post puts it, would never have arisen."
And see her previous column on this subject.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Arundhati Roy: Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free), presented in New York City at The Riverside Church May 13, 2003.

Odyssey of Frustration ( long account of the frustrations of a US Army WMD inspector team in Iraq - false leads, abandoned hazardous radioactive materials, looted sites, lack of Arabic capacity. Never mentions the UN, but the implicit comparison to the UN WMD inspections is damning.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Saving Private Lynch story 'flawed': "There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound - only road traffic accident. They want to distort the picture. I don't know why they think there is some benefit in saying she has a bullet injury."
   Witnesses told us that the special forces knew that the Iraqi military had fled a day before they swooped on the hospital. Dr Uday was surprised by the manner of the rescue "We were surprised. Why do this? There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital," said Dr Anmar Uday, who worked at the hospital. "It was like a Hollywood film. They cried 'go, go, go', with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show for the American attack on the hospital - action movies like Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan."
   ... There was one more twist. Two days before the snatch squad arrived, Harith had arranged to deliver Jessica to the Americans in an ambulance. 
   But as the ambulance, with Private Lynch inside, approached a checkpoint American troops opened fire, forcing it to flee back to the hospital. The Americans had almost killed their prize catch.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Urban war in plain sight: With the conventional war in Iraq all but over, U.S. forces are working to clear pockets of resistance in Baghdad and other cities where, as U.S. ground forces advanced three weeks ago, thousands of Iraqi soldiers and other loyalists simply removed their uniforms and went home. The battle is now being waged from rooftops and other vantage points against isolated attacks on U.S. troops. The enemy is no longer a conventional Iraqi soldier. It's one who has chosen to strike under cover of darkness. U.S. officials here say some are former Baath Party members or the Fedayeen Saddam paramilitary force. American forces have responded by deploying dozens of sniper teams--such as Osborne and Field--to thwart those attacks. Their standing order: Shoot to kill anyone who fires on U.S. troops or equipment. In the last two weeks, this team alone has recorded more than 20 enemy kills. "All day, you build up for the moment when you fire the shot," Field, 23, says as he and his partner take positions in a hostile zone. "Then there's a feeling of exhilaration, and you feel like you've really done something for your country. You've taken someone out." .... Both men said they were raised in religious homes. Both said they have learned to separate their feelings from their duties.
[Reassuring to know that these folks will be back in the US before long, trained to snipe and to override their consciences.]

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

MSNBC Reveals Facts on Israel's Weapons of Mass Destruction - unfortunately the MSNBC site is graphic; hard to download the details.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

THE ABRIDGED 9/11 TIMELINE - the king of the 9/11 conspiracy web sites. Lots of interesting stuff...

The Press and the Myths of War: "War itself is venal, dirty, confusing and perhaps the most potent narcotic invented by humankind. Modern industrial warfare means that most of those who are killed never see their attackers. There is nothing glorious or gallant about it. If we saw what wounds did to bodies, how killing is far more like butchering an animal than the clean and neat Hollywood deaths on the screen, it would turn our stomachs.
   ... War as myth begins with blind patriotism, which is always thinly veiled self-glorification. We exalt ourselves, our goodness, our decency, our humanity, and in that self-exaltation we denigrate the other. The flip side of nationalism is racism--look at the jokes we tell about the French.

Uranium Medical Research Centre - Depleted Uranium impact in Afghanistan: The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by Uranium.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Carving Up The New Iraq: "In a special Sunday Herald investigation, we have charted the network of financial kickbacks, political pay-backs, cronyism, self-interest and ferocious ideology that underpins the entire reconstruction scheme. " - [long annotated catalog of interconnected persons and companies; not sure how well informed it is, though, since it lists (Pashtun) Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad under "The Arabs".]

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

What About Private Lori?: "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. "

US Troops Encouraged Ransacking Khaled Bayomi looks surprised when the American officer on TV complains that they don't have the resources to stop the plundering in Baghdad. "I happened to be right there just as the American troops encouraged people to begin the plundering."
   Khaled Bayomi traveled from Europe to Baghdad to be a human shield and arrived on the same day that the war began. About this he can tell many stories but the most interesting is certainly his eyewitness account of the wave of plundering.
   "I had gone to see some friends who live near a dilapidated area just past Haifa Avenue on the west bank of the Tigris. It was the 8th of April and the fighting was so intense that I was unable to return to the other side of the river. In the afternoon it became perfectly quiet and four American tanks took places on the edge of the slum area. The soldiers shot two Sudanese guards who stood at their posts outside a local administration building on the other side of Haifa Avenue. Then they blasted apart the doors to the building and from the tanks came eager calls in Arabic encouraging people to come close to them. "
   "The entire morning, everyone who had tried to cross the road had been shot. But in the strange silence after all the shooting, people gradually became curious. After 45 minutes, the first Baghdad citizens dared to come out. Arab interpreters in the tanks told the people to go and take what they wanted in the building."
   "The word spread quickly and the building was ransacked. I was standing only 300 yards from there when the guards were murdered. Afterwards the tank crushed the entrance to the Justice Department, which was in a neighboring building, and the plundering continued there".
   "I stood in a large crowd and watched this together with them. They did not partake in the plundering but dared not to interfere. Many had tears of shame in their eyes. The next morning the plundering spread to the Modern Museum, which lies a quarter mile farther north. There were also two crowds there, one that plundered and one with watched with disgust."
   "Are you saying that it was US troops who initiated the plundering?'
   "Absolutely. The lack of jubilant scenes meant that the American troops needed pictures of Iraqis who in different ways demonstrated hatred for Saddam's regime."

Saturday, April 12, 2003

U.S. Attacks on Holdouts Dealt Iraqis Final Blow - very long, triumphalist analysis of the US attack on Iraq.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Spoils of War: Bob Herbert - "The war against Iraq has become one of the clearest examples ever of the influence of the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned against so eloquently in his farewell address in 1961. This iron web of relationships among powerful individuals inside and outside the government operates with very little public scrutiny and is saturated with conflicts of interest."

Is There Some Element in the US Military that Wants to take Out Journalists?: Fisk - "First the Americans killed the correspondent of al-Jazeera yesterday and wounded his cameraman. Then, within four hours, they attacked the Reuters television bureau in Baghdad, killing one of its cameramen and a cameraman for Spain's Tele 5 channel and wounding four other members of the Reuters staff. Was it possible to believe this was an accident? Or was it possible that the right word for these killings - the first with a jet aircraft, the second with an M1A1 Abrams tank - was murder? "

Hans Blix: War Planned 'Long in Advance': By attacking Iraq, Washington had sent the wrong message - that if a country did not possess biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, it risked being attacked. "The United States maintains that the war on Iraq is designed to send a signal to other countries to keep away from weapons of mass destruction. But people are getting a different message. Take the announcement North Korea has just made. It's tantamount to saying 'if you let in the inspectors, like Iraq did, you get attacked'.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Robert Fisk visits a Baghdad hospital: The Iraqi civilians and soldiers brought to the Adnan Khairallah Martyr Hospital in the last hours of Saddam Hussein's regime yesterday sometimes still clinging to severed limbs ­ are the dark side of victory and defeat; final proof, like the dead who are buried within hours, that war is about the total failure of the human spirit. As I wandered amid the beds and the groaning men and women lying on them ­ Dante's visit to the circles of hell should have included these visions ­ the same old questions recurred. Was this for 11 September? For human rights? For weapons of mass destruction?

War is Just a racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, 1933: " I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it."

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

ZNet - No Ribbons, No Flags, No Fireworks: "Don't misunderstand. I guess one could say that I too support the troops, but surely not in the way that you and other flag-wavers intend.
  I support them being able to make a living and get an education without having first to subordinate their consciences to a military establishment that vitiates critical thought, reflection and free will, so as to create more efficient killing machines. How about you?
  I support them not being lied to about the chemicals and depleted uranium to which they will likely be exposed. How about you?"

George Monbiot - US preparing to use chemical weapons in Iraq: In February, the defence secretary, Donald , told Congress's armed services committee that "there are times when the use of non-lethal riot agents is perfectly appropriate." He revealed that he and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Richard Myers, had been "trying to fashion rules of engagement" for the use of chemical weapons in Iraq. Rumsfeld, formerly the chief executive of GD Searle, one of the biggest drugs firms in the US, has never been an enthusiast for the Chemical Weapons Convention. In 1997, as the senate was preparing to ratify the treaty, he told its committee on foreign relations that the convention "will impose a costly and complex regulatory burden on US industry". Enlisting the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy with which we have since become familiar, he maintained that it was not "realistic", as global disarmament "is not a likely prospect". Dick Cheney, now vice-president, asked the committee to record his "strong opposition" to ratification
 .... You cannot use chemical weapons to wage war against chemical weapons. They are, as the convention makes clear, the instruments of terrorists. By deploying them, the US government would erase one of the remaining moral distinctions between its own behaviour and that of the man it asks us to abominate.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Guardian - Russian spy reports online: There is a surfeit of war news, but reliable intelligence is hard to come by. The canny trader in these parlous days has a first port of call - GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravleniye), the espionage arm of the Russian military.
   GRU is the most sophisticated agency of its kind in the world. And, since Glasnost, the most transparent. GRU has thousands of agents worldwide (especially in countries such as Iraq, where Russia has traditional trade links). Intelligence has always been a top priority for Ivan. The number of agents operated by the GRU during the Soviet era was six times the number of agents operated by the KGB.
   Russia, superpower that it was, still has spy satellites, state-of-the-art interception technology and (unlike the CIA) men on the ground. The beauty of GRU is that it does not (like the CIA) report directly to the leadership but to the Russian ministry of defence. In its wisdom, it makes its analyses publicly available. These are digested as daily bulletins on
   The Russians have a contrarian view on the current conflict. What was it Kissinger said about the Iran-Iraq war - "Ideally we'd like both sides to lose"? That's what the Kremlin thinks about Operation Free Iraq. 
    From its neutral stance, GRU offers detailed, top-grade, and wholly unspun analysis. The bulletins are in Russian (bilingualism is suddenly in demand on Wall Street). You can get English translations a day later on Venik's Aviation website (

'This Is Like A Scene From Hell. There Are Bodies All Around': "BBC journalist John Simpson witnessed a "friendly fire" attack in northern Iraq yesterday, in which his translator and up to 17 Kurds and US troops were killed. This is how he described the scene:"

Russian intelligence report: War in Iraq - situation at the Saddam airport: April 6 "All the claims made by aviation commander of the coalition, general Michael Mosley, about "Iraqi army, as an organized structure consisting of large units, exists no longer" are contrary to fact and, according to analytics, are probably connected with severe pressure put on the military command by American financial groups that desperately needed good news from the US-Iraqi front by the end of the financial week. In fact, the Republican Guards defending Baghdad have not lost even 5% of their numerical strength and military equipment. Most of those losses were due to bombardments and not land combats. The total losses of Iraqi army since the beginning of the war have not exceeded 5-8% of their defensive potential. This means the main battles are still to be seen. "

War in Iraq - US troops attack Russian diplomats: April 6, 2003 "The following is the English translation of the IRAQWAR.RU report based on the Russian military intelligence reports"

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Support the Warrior Not the War: Give Them Their Benefits!: "The House of Representatives have recently voted on the 2004 budget which will cut funding for veteran's health care and benefit programs by nearly $25 billion over the next ten years. It narrowly passed by a vote of 215 to 212, and came just a day after Congress passed a resolution to "Support Our Troops." How exactly does this vote support our troops? Does leaving our current and future veterans veterans without access to health care and compensation qualify as supporting them? The Veteran's Administration, plagued by recent budget cuts, has had to resort to charging new veterans entering into its system a yearly fee of $250 in order for them to receive treatment. It is a sad irony that the very people being sent to fight the war are going to have to pay to treat the effects of it. "

UK troops told: Be just and strong: Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins, 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish: "Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there. You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing. Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you."

Friday, April 04, 2003

Sober Replies to Speculative Questions: "His father, Leo Brooks Sr., is a former Army major general, who after his retirement in 1984 was named Philadelphia's managing director, the city's top appointed position. He held that job during the confrontation with the radical group Move in May 1985, which ended when the police dropped a bomb on a rowhouse, causing a fire that killed 11 people. Mr. Brooks announced his resignation 10 days after the incident, and he was cleared of all criminal liability by a Philadelphia grand jury three years later. General Brooks's brother Leo Brooks Jr. is also a brigadier general and commandant of cadets at West Point, the academy's No. 2 position. At West Point, Vince Brooks stood out among a group of standouts. In his senior year in 1979-80, he was elected first captain, the leader of the 4,338-member corps of cadets, a title held before him by John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and William Westmoreland, among others. He was the first black cadet in the academy's 177-year history to hold the position. Twenty-two years later he was the first member of his class to be nominated for flag rank. He was confirmed by the Senate last year as a brigadier general, the third member of his family to wear a star on his shoulders."

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Ritter says US will lose in Iraq: "We do not have the military means to take over Baghdad and for this reason I believe the defeat of the United States in this war is inevitable," he said. "Every time we confront Iraqi troops we may win some tactical battles, as we did for ten years in Vietnam but we will not be able to win this war, which in my opinion is already lost," Ritter added. "We find ourselves... facing a nation of 23 million, with armed elements numbering around 7 million --who are concentrated at urban areas. We will not win this fight. America will lose this war," said Mr. Ritter.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

The War in Iraq Turns Ugly. That's What Wars Do.

Military Mirrors Working-Class America - long article: military demographics and anecdotes

Friday, March 28, 2003

Department of Peace - We Can Make It Happen!

Power tool: ... Tomahawk missiles. Since they were first used in the 1991 conflict, they have become the ultimate symbol of US military power. Oliver Burkeman reveals how a hi-tech weapon that promised blood-free combat changed the way America thinks about war

Haunting Thoughts After a Fierce Battle: "I have my wife and kids to go back home to... I don't want them to think I'm a killer."
   ... Many of the Iraqis, he said, attacked headlong into the cutting fire of tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.
   "I wouldn't call it bravery," he said. "I'd call it stupidity. We value a soldier's life so much more than they do. I mean, an AK-47 isn't going to do nothing against a Bradley. I'd love to know what Saddam is telling his people. 
   "When I go home, people will want to treat me like a hero, but I'm not," he went on. "I'm a Christian man. If I have to kill the other guy, I will, but it doesn't make me a hero. I just want to go home to my wife and kids."

Monday, March 24, 2003 - maryland's online community: "Michelle Waters, the oldest of the dead Marine's four sisters, criticized the U.S. government for starting the hostilities. "It's all for nothing, that war could have been prevented," she said last night in the living room of the family home, tears running down her cheeks. "Now, we're out of a brother. [President] Bush is not out of a brother. We are.""

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The New York Review of Books: The Right Way: Michael Walzer "The right way to oppose the war is to argue that the present system of containment and control is working and can be made to work better. This means that we should acknowledge the awfulness of the Iraqi regime and the dangers it poses, and then aim to deal with those dangers through coercive measures short of war. But this isn't a policy easy to defend, for we know exactly what coercive measures are necessary, and we also know how costly they are."

UN Resolution 1441 Does Not Authorize Force: "According to the UN charter, there are only two possible situations in which one country can take military action against another. The first is in individual or collective self-defence - a right under customary international law which is expressly preserved by Article 51 of the UN charter. The second is where, under Article 42 of the charter, the security council decides that force is necessary "to maintain or restore international peace and security" where its decisions have not been complied with. In other words, where a UN resolution clearly authorises military action. "

William Rivers Pitt | Into the Darkness: "This has been a disaster, and it is about to get worse by orders of magnitude." A detailed doomsday scenario of the war and its aftermath.

Monday, March 17, 2003

The Man Who Would Be President: "When the regime finally changes in Baghdad, and Saddam Hussein is dead, in custody or in exile, 70 years of Iraqi independence will end, political authority will pass into the hands of George W. Bush and Western rule will be planted on Arab soil for the first time since the French and British left the region in the middle of the last century. What then happens to Iraq's 23 million people, its oil and its relations with its neighbors will remain the personal responsibility of Mr. Bush and his successors in the White House until one of them chooses to surrender it."

Sunday, March 16, 2003

t r u t h o u t - Massive Human Slaughter: "Civilian Iraq is utterly defenseless and totally unprepared for the carnage that is about to be visited upon them. It is murder plain and simple, murder on an unimaginable scale. There is no "war" looming, no "conflict" with Iraq, and no "standoff." What exists is a vast military force poised to inflict death and destruction on a major population center...
... We hear day after day that "Time is running out." Running out on what, on who? On Saddam Hussein? On a five thousand year old city? On 24 million men, women and children? Or is time running out on the spirit of America? On the soul of our people? Why is it that the world no longer cherishes American values? Could it be because we no longer cherish them ourselves? "

Audacious Mission, Awesome Risks Bold War Plan Emphasizes Lightning Attacks and Complex Logistics "The plan is probably one of the most risky in our history as it launches us off into terra incognita for the U.S.: our first preemptive or preventive war; our first attempt to democratize an Islamic state; and establishment of a very narrow beachhead in the midst of a billion undefeated Muslims"

Saturday, March 15, 2003

The War Against Ourselves: An Interview with Major Doug Rokke - Depleted Uranium Weapons Consequences: "When you reach a point in war when the contamination and the health effects of war can't be cleaned up because of the weapons you use, and medical care can't be given to the soldiers who participated in the war on either side or to the civilians affected, then it's time for peace. "

Friday, March 14, 2003

Germans Revisit War's Agony, Ending a Taboo: " the new awareness of the Allied bombings and the devastation they wrought has become an important element in German opposition to the expected American war on Iraq. What people like Ms. Lang and Ms. John, both antiwar activists in Dresden, have been saying is something like this: We have direct knowledge of the gruesome effects of war and we don't want anybody else to experience what we have experienced."

Bombs and Blood: Bob Herbert - "We should outlaw the term collateral damage. Above all else, the damage done by the weapons of war is to the flesh, muscle, bone and psyches of real people, some of them children. If we're willing to inflict such terrible damage, we should acknowledge it and not hide behind euphemisms."

"Many Thousands" of US Troops Could Die in Iraq: "A consensus appears to be emerging that U.S. deaths during an operation in Iraq will likely run into the thousands. The two concerns most often cited to account for significant U.S. fatality rates are the likelihood of urban combat and of Saddam Hussein's use of chemical and biological weapons."

Thursday, March 13, 2003

The New Yorker: Seymour Hersh: "Khashoggi is still brokering. In January of this year, he arranged a private lunch, in France, to bring together Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, a Saudi industrialist whose family fortune includes extensive holdings in construction, electronics, and engineering companies throughout the Middle East, and Richard N. Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, who is one of the most outspoken and influential American advocates of war with Iraq....
   Perle, in crisscrossing between the public and the private sectors, has put himself in a difficult position—one not uncommon to public men. He is credited with being the intellectual force behind a war that not everyone wants and that many suspect, however unfairly, of being driven by American business interests. There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war. "

The Lie Of The U.S. Military -- Tough gritty American soldiers protect freedom of liberal S.F. columnist? Or the other way around?
  More than ever before in recent history, the otherwise worthy U.S. military is right now in service not of the people, not of the national security, but of the current government regime and its corporate interests. Has it always been this way? Of course. But this time, with our smirky Enron president and cash-hungry CEO administration, it's never been so flagrant, or insulting, or invidious. 
   Our soldiers are not protecting our freedoms. They are not preventing more terrorism. They are not guaranteeing continued free speech. Because the only true threat to such freedoms is coming from within.
  There is every indication that our own government, more than any other in the Western world, is the one that would like our free speech quelled, dissenting voices silenced, proofs of wrongdoing or proofs of corporate greedmongering that are used as a cheap excuse to massacre an estimated half-million Iraqis, eliminated....
  What is keeping America free is not the military -- it is independent thought. It is the progressive provocative evil "hippie vibe" that refuses to let Bush completely molest the nation.
  Because BushCo would love nothing more than for everyone to shut the hell up so it can bomb in peace. And they are trying. E-mail snooping, Homeland Security, the draconian Patriot Act, new wiretap..."

Monday, February 24, 2003

Allies hushed up weapons' destruction: "THE highest-ranking defector ever to turn informant on Saddam Hussein's government told United Nations weapons inspectors in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks after the Gulf war. But UN inspectors hushed up that part of Hussein Kamel's story - which he also told to debriefers from British and United States intelligence - because they wanted to keep the pressure on Iraq to tell more. The revelation, reported in the US magazine Newsweek, raises new questions over claims by the US and Britain that Iraq has failed to account for vast stores of chemical and biological weapons. "

Saturday, February 22, 2003

CBS News | Inspectors Call U.S. Tips 'Garbage' " inside Iraq, U.N. arms inspectors are privately complaining about the quality of U.S. intelligence and accusing the United States of sending them on wild-goose chases. "

Iran sues U.S. in world court for helping Saddam kill Iranians - SPIEGEL ONLINE A strange spectacle in court: As the USA prepares for a war against Iraq, it is being sued by Iran for its previous close relationship to Saddam Hussein. At the International Court of Justice, Teheran is accusing the United States of delivering dangerous chemicals and deadly viruses to Baghdad during the eighties.
   The Hague - The oral deposition in Iran's suit against the United States in the matter of the destruction of Iranian oil platforms in 1987/88 began on Monday. The suit was presented to the highest court of the United Nations in 1992 and has been handled in writing ever since.
   Teheran accuses Washington of the destruction of three oil platforms in the Persial Gulf. The US argues that the attack was in retaliation of Iranian attacks of ships sailing under the American flag. The court has scheduled three weeks to hear arguments from both sides.
   The Iranian representatives accuse the USA of having provided Iraq with raw materials for chemical and biological weapons at the end of the 80's. The US government had delivered dangerous chemicals and deadly viruses to the Iraqi government for its war.
   Washington had provided aid to Iraq in this, and other ways, in its war against Iran, said Iran's representative at the start of the oral depositions.
   Mohamat Zahedin-Labbaf, as the spokesman of the Iranian delegation, emphasized that the US could not dispute the destruction of the platforms. The US version, that it had been a matter of defense against Iranian missile attacks of ships under the US flag doesn't hold water, he said.
   In any case, the USA had violated the Friendship Treaty which both countries had signed in 1955. It is this Treaty which constitutes the legal basis for these proceedings, according to a 1996 decision by the highest court of the United Nations. Both delegations will be able to argue their positions in detail during the next three weeks.
   Professor Bruno Summa, a German expert on international law, was sworn in as the new judge at the beginning of the proceedings on Monday. The longtime University Professor at the University of Munich was elected as one of the 15 regular judges of the Supreme Court in the Hague Peace Palace.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

This is the presentation Sr. Joan Chittister gave at the UN Conference, in Geneva: "It is time for religious women to put the world on notice that we will not go on silently supporting war-either its victims or its executioners, not only to make safe the world but to make real the religions we revere, so that life before death can come, as God wants, for us all. Say yes to life. Yes to life. Always, always yes to life."

Collected by Jonathan March with Radio Userland software