The Humanitarian Toll

A humanitarian disaster is looming in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, the Red Cross has warned. Water and electricity supplies to the country’s second city have been cut off for more than two days. Coalition forces have carried out air strikes on Basra and are holding land positions outside the city.

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The Iraqi people will need our assistance to rebuild their lives and to create new institutions for democratic civil society in the aftermath of war. Please contribute generously to this emergency fund. All proceeds will be granted to non-profit groups working to rebuild Iraq and assist the victims of war.

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“Shock and Awe” = Terrorism

Now that the US military has begun its “Shock & Awe” assault on Iraq, we can be certain that many innocent Iraqis will die. Moreover, numerous non-military targets will be destroyed and the lives of people, who have been living under incredibly harsh conditions do to the lingering damage caused during the first war and the ongoing damage from the sanctions, will only get more difficult.

Reports from Iraq:

Despite the media’s overall lack of coverage, people across the world continue to protest this war. In New York there were 300,000 to 400,000 people in the streets according to the police, San Francisco had a third day of massive protests, and cities all over the United States saw continued protests.

Reports from the Protests:

Scuds or Not? First Shots Fired in Propaganda War

The American mainstream press reported on Thursday that Iraq launched missiles at the invading American forces. Their initial reports stated that at least two of the missiles launched where SCUDS, a medium range missile that Iraq had claimed it no longer possessed. The various news outlets were all quick to point out that the SCUD had been one of the weapons prohibited by the U.N. resolutions following the first gulf war, and therefore proof of Iraq’s deception of the weapons inspectors. The next day an article ran in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz stating that the missiles were not SCUDS but were actually short range missiles of a type not disallowed by the U.N. restrictions. Yet there were no articles in any major American paper correcting this error. It seems that incorrect information backing the claims of the Bush administration are more important to the corporate media than truthful reporting.


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Media Distortion

In the wake of Bush launching an (illegal) pre-emptive war on the nation of Iraq, the mainstream media has responded with a near black-out of information–only reporting a few distorted facts. Protestors are portrayed as radical, violent fringe groups; impacts of war are ignored or downplayed; facts are misreported, falsified, or unreported.

Relevant Articles:

All across the world a variety of protests are occuring against the war. You can get non-corporate coverage on indymedia.org.

Global Co-existence and Action

It ain’t over even if it looks over! Although Bush and his fellow group of chickenhawks and the “Coalition of the Few, Ingratiating and Internationally Criminal” are invading Iraq, we should continue to plan for long-term vision and action of fighting war and other interrelated cultural, social and economic struggles.

‘Long-term’ is an important point to note because I noticed that a sister organizer and I both had feelings that were perhaps a little like losing our breath after Bush’s ultimatum of 48 hours on Monday night. And we started off focused on the long-term strategy all the while knowing full well that bombs were likely to rain down on Iraq at any moment. ‘Long-term’ is where this struggle is at, so if you’re new to, young at, tired of or revisiting education, organizing and action, then take a break if you need it, but stay on the path! Every one of us is needed: especially if they are interrelating struggles against war with other international and domestic struggles on cultural, social and economic issues.

There has been such a spontaneous and organized voice and resistance against war in Iraq that it is clear that these actions of solidarity are unprecedented in all of human history. A journalist for the New York Times even stated that there are indeed two superpowers: the United States and global public anti-war opinion and action.

Many incredible things have developed on our post-World War II planet.
In a recent speech by Edward Said at the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley, he paraphrased the studies of Ken Booth, a Welsh political scientist, and stated that Booth “draws attention to the existence of a growing number of, what he calls, transcultural and moral political solidarities: that have acted the part of what he calls ‘sovereignty-free agents’ – that is to say actors and institutions not bound[ed] by the borders between countries …” That’s many of us, folks. Call us ‘patriotic,’ call us ‘worldly,’ call us ‘humans,’ call us ‘crazy,’ but also make sure you call us ‘feminists,’ call us ‘liberated’ (not necessarily liberal), indigenists,’ maybe even ‘sublime nationalists,’ whatever reflects our views of deeper, complex and more interrelated relationships. We are working at interrelations and positive justice and change for the short and long-term.

Although there is plenty of work to be done locally and nationally, there are also on-going possibilities for international and interrelational organizing and action. This organizing can involve actions and institutions ranging from the United Nations and the Organization of American States to participating in international solidarity actions and sharing letters, calls and e-mails across national borders.

  • The Center for Constitutional Rights has supported an urgent action called the Uniting for Peace Resolution. A member nation of the General Assembly can request a meeting of the general assembly to consider the threat to international peace by unilateral-oriented war from the U.S. and others. A resolution by the U.N. General Assembly against the U.S. and British-led invasion could conceivably prevent, shorten or stunt an imperialist and racist invasion and occupation.
  • We urge you to contact your U.N. representative, other members of your government, and other governments to request that they write to the Secretary-General to call for an emergency special session under the Uniting for Peace Resolution. Please also circulate these materials to other groups and individuals and encourage them to do the same.
  • Stay in touch with International ANSWER and other local (People’s Alliance for Justice and Change, national and global organizations to find out more about interrelational solidarity organizing and action.
  • Stay informed on and actively supportive of interrelated international and domestic political, social, economic and cultural issues and struggles: women; environmental; indigenous; disabled; prisons; media; poverty; labor; race and culture; civil liberties; etc. Sources like Z Magazine/ZNet and South End Press and others are invaluable in finding other sources and resources.
  • Support indigenous liberation and decolonization movements and struggles. The American Indian Movement is currently working on an Indigenous World Forum and Dark Night Press’ free e-mail publication “Pockets of Resistance” are excellent sources for stories and links on indigenous struggle. Support indigenous peoples in countries and regions like: Palestine, U.S., Colombia, Rwanda, Scandinavia, Japan, Diego Garcia, New Zealand, Iraq, etc.
  • Support the International Criminal Court and the campaign to get the U.S. to respect this judicial body of international humanitarian and other law. The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is one source of information.

“There’s room for all at the rendezvous of victory.” – Aimé Césaire

The Double Standard of United Nations Resolutions

The Bush administration has made a mockery of the United Nations process and the corporate media has failed to discuss the double standard for UN Security Council Resolution enforcement. To date, countries such as Israel and Turkey are in violation of more UN Security Council Resolutions than Iraq. What is the US’s response to this – reward them with billions of dollars in military and economic assisatance.

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This War is Illegal

After Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, it is important that we remember that this military action, with or without the support of the United Nations, is illegal by a variety of international treaties and laws, while there are also serious questions about the legality of Bush’s undeclared war here in the United States.

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As the war gets closer, activists around the world are engaging in a variety of direct actions designed to make it harder for the government to wage war. Here in Michigan, activists in Traverse City delayed a troop deployment and in London activists halted trading at London’s International Petroleum Exchange, while numerous other actions continue around the world.

Yet another Piece of “Evidence” from the Bush Administration on Iraq’s WMD Proves to be False

The Bush administration has had yet another setback to their attempts to prove the existence of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. In December, the State Department produced documents that indicated that Iraq tried to by uranium from Niger, the West African nation that is the third-largest producer of mined uranium. On March 7, Mohammed El Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the U.N. Security Council that the documents were forgeries. El Baradei has said his inspectors have found no evidence that Saddam has revived his nuclear weapons program.

This is the second embarrassing public refutation of an intelligence source for the Bush administration. In his address to the U.N. in February, Collin Powell used as evidence a British Intelligence dossier that proved to be almost entirely plagiarized from a doctoral thesis on Iraqi intelligence activities from 1990-1991.

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