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Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #32

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #32, April 15, 2003

Website http://www.gpja.pl.net/ Contact details: Forums - John Minto, (09) 8463173 mailto:jbminto@xtra.co.nz; Newsletter Editor - Mike Treen 0212547440 / 3616989 mailto:miket@pl.net Web page - Geraldine Peters (09) 3570655 mailto:bern@ihug.co.nz Donations can be sent to GPJA, Private Bag 68905, Newton, Auckland. All communication regarding the GPJA mailing list (email or snail) should be addressed to mailto:gpjamailinglist@xtra.co.nz

"Our armies do not come to your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators". - Lt Gen Stanley Maude, when the British army invaded Iraq on March 8th 1917.

This is an information newsletter to allow people to gain an alternative look at what's happening with the war and occupation of Iraq. First thanks to the 1-2000 people who participated in the April 12 antiwar actions that highlighted the links between the oil industry and war and the media bias in reporting the invasion of Iraq.

It has become clear that there is massive opposition to the occupation of Iraq by the people there. Joy at the demise of a dictatorship is not the same as welcoming an invasion that has slaughtered thousands. The US military and their "embedded" journalists have tried their best to create this identity between the US occupation and Iraqi "liberation" - even going to the extent of stage-managing events like the toppling of a statue outside the Palestine Hotel where many journalists are based. Meanwhile evidence has emerged that the US military encouraged the orgy of looting and violence that has hit the occupied towns in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. Some of the pro-US political groups brought back have unleashed a reign of terror on the towns they have been placed in control of. The real objective of the war was revealed in the US forces securing the oil fields and oil ministry while allowing hospitals to be looted. Basra still has no electricity or water and doctors fear an epidemic. Now private US companies are being given contracts to run everything in Iraq from "security" to education. War is being prepared against other countries in the region. Take the time to read the horrific stories linked below.

One activity only being advertised this week.

Thursday April 17th, 8pm, The Classic, 321 Queen St., Auckland. AN EVENING OF MUSICE FOR PEACE Jeremy Elwood and Daniel Loughnan Present "WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?" AN AURAL HISTORY OF PROTEST MUSIC. When the going gets tough, the tough start singing. These are the songs that shaped our world, and the stories behind them. From Vietnam to the World Wars, from the poppy fields of France to the cotton fields of the USA, protest music has always acted as a release and a record of the hardships and triumphs of ordinary people. In our current climate, it pays to remember that differences have been made, and will continue to be made as long as we don't forget the lessons of the past. "Which Side Are You On" is a mix of music, storytelling, humour and good old fashioned rock and roll. Performed by Daniel Loughnan (The Unusuals) and Jeremy Elwood (Pulp Comedy), and featuring appearances by Michele A'Court and guest musicians. One night only, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Global Peace and Justice Auckland, the driving force behind the enormous anti war movement in this city. Bar open from 7pm, Show starts 8pm. $10 / $8 concession, Door Sales only. For further information contact email mailto:jmelwood@hotmail.com


Thousands outraged at TVNZ’s pro-US bias http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00122.htm

Antiwar demonstrators protest over NZ media bias’ http://www.asiapac.org.fj/cafepacific/resources/aspac/iraq4023.html

GPJA's letter to Ian Fraser http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0304/S00097.htm

Scoop photo essays of Auckland march on April 12 http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00125.htm http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00124.htm http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00123.htm

Quicktime video of march and media bias http://www.indymedia.org.nz/local/webcast/uploads/metafiles/mediawar104lpwy.mov

Identifying US brands to boycott http://www.gpja.pl.net/sub/Education/Iraq%20Publicity/Boycott/boycott%20US%20brands.pdf

International protests http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030412/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_war_demos_030412224853 Photo slideshow of international protests http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?g=events/wl/102602iraqprotests&a=&tmpl=sl&ns=&l=1&e=22&a=&t=

Michael Moore: My Oscar "Backlash": "Stupid White Men" Back At #1, "Bowling" Breaks New Records http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2003-04-08


Baghdad seethes with anger towards US: "Saddam's greatest crime was to bring the US army to Iraq" http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/apr/12/041206703.html

3 weeks on Basra still has no water - epidemic feared 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. One resident in the centre of Basra said: "Bush bad. Blair bad. They destroyed our water and electricity." http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,936375,00.html

US backed militia terrorises town Hay Al Ansar, on the outskirts of Najaf in Iraq, was glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party government, when the city was seized by US forces last week. But they appear to be just as terrified, if not more so, of their new rulers - a little-known Iraqi militia backed by the US special forces and headquartered in a compound nearby. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1048313570322&p=1012571727088#

In Basra growing resentment, little aid http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A57762-2003Apr8?language=printer

Basra residents call for British troops to leave http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2935937.stm

'A picture of killing inflicted on a sprawling city - and it grew more unbearable by the minute' http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,932728,00.html

Irregular weapons used against Iraq http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=40&ItemID=3410

The hell that once was a hospital, Suzanne Goldenberg, 12 April 2003 is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,935245,00.html


John Pilger: "We now glimpse the forbidden truths of the invasion of Iraq. A man cuddles the body of his infant daughter; her blood drenches them. A woman in black pursues a tank, her arms outstretched; all seven in her family are dead." http://pilger.carlton.com/print/132879

John Pilger - A crime against humanity http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=3426


A civilisation torn to pieces Baghdad, reports Robert Fisk, is a city at war with itself, at the mercy of thieves and gunmen. And, in the city's most important museum, something truly terrible has taken place http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=396743

Robert Fisk: Who is to blame for the collapse in morality that followed the 'liberation'? Pillage merits a specific prevention clause in the Geneva Conventions, just as it did in the 1907 Hague Convention http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=396346

Robert Fisk: Is there some element in the US military that wants to take out journalists? http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=395412

Robert Fisk: Baghdad the day after - Arson, anarchy, fear, hatred, hysteria, looting, revenge, savagery, suspicion and a suicide bombing http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=396051

Amid Allied jubilation, a child lies in agony, clothes soaked in blood By Robert Fisk in Baghdad http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=395117


qWatch Woolsey - Ex-CIA chief hails the start of World War IV http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED08Ak05.html

Pentagons favourites get a foot in the door http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED10Ak02.html

Scandal-hit US firm wins key contracts A US military contractor accused of human rights violations has won a multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq, The Observer can reveal. http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,935689,00.html

Privatised prisons and police for Iraq? Now that Baghdad has fallen into U.S. control, plans for post-war reconstruction are starting to surface. As Pratap Chatterjee reports in CorpWatch.org, DynCorp, a multi-billion dollar military contractor, has begun recruiting for "police, justice and prison functions in post-conflict Iraq." http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PRT.jsp?articleid=6328

Scandal-hit US firm wins key contracts - a US military contractor accused of human rights violations has won a multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq, Antony Barnett, 13 April 2003 is at http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,935689,00.html

US to select Iraq's new leaders http://www.latimes.com/la-war-powell10apr10011417,0,5057419.story

Protests at British appointed Basra leader http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,935204,00.html

Firms that gave to Bush get contracts http://www.sundayherald.com/33046

Bomb before you buy: What's being planned for Iraq is not reconstruction but robbery - by Noami Klein http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,936203,00.html


Syria could be next, warns Washington http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,935959,00.html

Powell says US will consider sanctions against Syria http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=284427&contrassID=1&subContrassID=5&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y


Pulling down of statue a staged event for media http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm

Murdoch's war on truth in war reporting http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/07/1049567619708.html

Here's the war according to CNN http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1035780543002&call_pageid=968332188854&col=968350060724

Free to do bad things War leaders are trying to damp down bad news coming out of post-invasion Iraq http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/dailybriefing/story/0,12965,935381,00.html

Embed with the military Embedded journalists are the greatest PR coup of this war. Dreamt up by the Pentagon and Donald Rumsfeld the 'embeds', as they are now routinely described, are almost completely controlled by the military. http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00126.htm


Saddam a key figure in CIA 1959 assassination plot http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030410-070214-6557r


America targeted 14,000 sites - so where are the weapons of mass destruction? Andrew Gumbel, 13 April 2003 is at http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=396733

Hunt for smoking gun still goes on as "nerve agent" revealed as pesticide http://www.news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=410632003


"What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business." Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghanistan's president http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/11/attack/main310701.shtml

US bombs kill 11 Afghan civilians http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,1284,932898,00.html

Afghanistan was not a triumph, but a warning The US has exercised imperial power with no intention of accepting imperial responsibilities http://argument.independent.co.uk/regular_columnists/philip_hensher/story.jsp?story=395358


Jews settle in Palestinian Jerusalem Sharon tests Bush, Blair and the road map by letting families occupy contested district http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,931141,00.html

One week in the life of occupied Palestine – 19 killed, scores wounded http://www.lawsociety.org/Press/Reports/2003/apr/aprw2.html

"US FORCES ENCOURAGE LOOTING" translated article from Sweden's largest circulation daily, Dagens Nyheter, Saturday April 11, 2003

Malmoe. Khaled Bayomi looks a bit surprised when he looks at the American officer on TV regret that they don't have any resources to stop the looting in Baghdad.

"I happened to be there just as the US forces told people to commence looting."

Khaled Bayomi departed from Malmoe to Baghdad, as a human shield, and arrived on the same day the fighting begun. About this he can tell us plenty and for a long time, but the most interesting part of his story is his witness-account about the great surge of looting now taking place.

"I had visited a few friends that live in a worn-down area just beyond the Haifa Avenue, on the west bank of the Tigris River. It was April 8 and the fighting was so heavy I couldn't make it over to the other side of the river. On the afternoon it became perfectly quiet, and four American tanks pulled up in position on the outskirts of the slum area. From these tanks we heard anxious calls in Arabic, which told the population to come closer.

During the morning everybody that tried to cross the streets had been fired upon. But during this strange silence people eventually became curious. After three-quarters of an hour the first Baghdad citizens dared to come forward. At that moment the US solders shot two Sudanese guards, who were posted in front of a local administrative building, on the other side of the Haifa Avenue.

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.

I was standing in a big crowd of civilians that saw all this together with me. They did not take any part in the looting, but were too afraid to take any action against it. Many of them had tears of shame in their eyes. The next morning looting spread to the Museum of Modern Art, which lies another 500 meters to the north. There was also two crowds in place, one that was looting and another one that disgracefully saw it happen."

Do you mean to say that it was the US troops that initiated the looting?

"Absolutely. The lack of scenes of joy had the US forces in need of images of Iraqi's who in different ways demonstrated their disgust with Saddam's regime."


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