Monday, May 31, 2004

Kisah Tentang Perempuan-perempuan Buta

Kisah I
Saya ada banyak kisah tentang perempuan-perempuan buta. Satu darinya,rakan
sekuliah yang berkahwin seawal di matrikulasi. Didorong rasa cinta, mak bapak tolak ke tepi, nasihat member-member dikata dengki.

Menjadi isteri kedua kepada seorang pemandu teksi yang menurutnya
lelaki paling caring dan gentle pernah ditemui walau hakikatnya tidak mampu
serba-serbi (bayangkan susu anak isteri tua pun tak mampu dibeli). Itu
belum cerita hal lampin anak, rumahnya walau pada interpretasi saya lebih
mirip reban ayam nenek saya ( jambannya ditampal dengan signboard Car Wash) dan anak-anaknya yang berderet macam gerabak LRT. Bila ditanya, cepat dia menjawab,"...kau takkan faham, cinta kami cinta sejati"

Kisah II
Teman baik sejak kecil yang muda setahun, agak rapat hingga saya sanggup keluar untuk menunggu bas setengah jam awal setiap hari hanya untuk
membentangkan "analisis program TV" malam sebelumnya. Hobinya mencuba
pelbagai krim muka, hangout di pasar malam (duduk di kampunglah
katakan), bergaduh dengan bohsia dan tidak ketinggalan bercuti setiaphari Isnin
untuk mengelak perhimpunan.

Agak gila-gila, gemar naik motor petang- petang , pakai baju lawa-lawa
macam orang hendak pergi beraya dan pernah sekali, buat DIY tattoo pakai
ubat nyamuk lingkaran. Paling gila, berhenti sekolah semasa Form 4
,bertunang semasa saya di matriks dan menikah setahun kemudian. Raya
yang lepas, officially divorce dengan anak yang baru menjengah usia setahun.

Kisah III
Si perempuan ini rupa kurang, badan macam mak orang. Paling
menyakitkan hati selalu disangka kakak oleh salesman. Teman lelaki pula bukannya handsome sangat pun (sekali pandang macam Helmi Gimmik, 2 kali pandang dah rupa macam goalkeeper team bola Ghana).

Mungkin disebabkan faktor infeoriti dan berasa berada bukan di dalam
zon selamat, si perempuan dengan bermurah hati "berjasa" kepada si
lelaki. Ada handset diberi guna, tak ada duit diberi pinjam ,ada motor diberi
pakai. Alasannya mudah -senang untuk berhubung lantaran keduanya dari kuliah
berlainan. Kononnya esok lusa kalau ada jodoh, semuanya akan jadi harta
sepencarian.

Masalahnya, si lelaki ini serius sedikit pun tidak, hidup dengan berbohong, si perempuan pula terus berharap. Pantang orang mengkhabarkan berita yang "kureng" tentang si cik abang habis satu kolej diamukkan. Di matanya, dialah Rosalinda yang hebat diduga dalam api percintaan. Sementelah lelakinya Fernando Jose AKA the most eligible bachelor yang menjadi rebutan
setiap perawan.

Semua cerita di atas mengingatkan saya kepada phrases Love is Blind.
To be honest saya setuju walau tidak 100 peratus. Kalau tidak masakan si Romeo sanggup minum racun untuk mati bersama Juliet, Teja yang sanggup lari ke Melaka mengikut Hang Tuah, Rose yan g sanggup memilih untuk tenggelam
demi bersama Jack dan si malang Devdas yang mati kerana frust melepaskan Paro ke tangan orang.

TETAPI, saya strongly disagree apabila itu dijadikan alasan bila hidup
yang indah berubah menjadi neraka, apabila seseorang yang disangka teman
sehidup semati @ mr right, berubah mr bahlol. Kerana dalam hidup kita
diberi dua pilihan, untuk berkata ya atau tidak. Lagu Lee Ann Womack ada
bercerita, Hidup ini tarian, kita ada pilihan sama ada mahu duduk atau menari.
Moral of the story is learn to love yourself before learn tolove others.

Cinta yang dipacu rasa berahi terbit dari sayang dan suka, tanpa rasionaliti dan kematangan boleh membawa kemusnahan yang luar biasa. Itu sangat-sangat saya percaya.Seiring dengan usia, api berahi makin malap,rasa sayang menjauh .Bila kasih makin dingin,saat itulah isteri yang mulanya dianggap JLo kini tak ubah macam nyamuk Aedes yang membawa virus Denggi.

Si suami pula tidak ubah macam Anaconda-perut memboy ot dan tahu mengarah 24 jam , bezanya Anaconda ini hidup didarat .Persoalannya apa akan jadi bila rasa kasih, rasa sayang sudah hilang.

Dalam kes-kes tadi, saya masih tidak faham mengapa perempuan yang
selalu buta dalam percintaan. Kemudian menyalahkan lelaki, lelaki tiada hati
perutlah, jantan tak gunalah, jantan kaberet dan yang seangkatan dengannya tanpa mengambil tindakan dan langkah-langkah pencegahan awal. Harus diingat,dalam apa jua perkara prevention is always better than cure.

Dan, kepada lelaki yang mempunyai similiariti dengan kisah-kisah di
atas, satu saja pesanan-jika tidak mahu nasib yang sama menimpa anak
perempuan anda di kemudian hari, belajar- belajar lah "menghargai"anak
dara orang.

Mungkin saya tidak adil, mungkin sedikit prejudis atau mungkin betul
kata perempuan dalam kisah I, mungkin saya tidak akan faham erti cinta
sejati.


I Hope You Dance" (Lee Ann Womack)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

Chorus: I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances, but they're worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance (time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance.
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

chorus
(2xhope)danceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee(time is wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)
repeat 1x
I hope you dance

Friday, May 28, 2004

Story Of Abu Gharib, any similarity with Malaysian Kamunting?! Ep. II

(Laporan Utusan Malaysia 19 Mei)

Tidak benar tahanan ISA didera seperti di Abu Ghraib: PM

"PUTRAJAYA 18 Mei - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hari ini menegaskan bahawa dakwaan tahanan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) didera seperti tahanan di penjara Abu Ghraib, Iraq adalah tidak benar sama sekali.

Perdana Menteri yang menyifatkan dakwaan itu sebagai `nakal' berkata, mereka yang membuat dakwaan itu tidak sepatutnya membuat tuduhan sesuka hati, sebaliknya wajar memberi bukti-bukti kukuh kepada kerajaan untuk diambil tindakan sekiranya ia benar-benar berlaku.

"Setakat ini saya tak pernah dengar apa-apa yang spesifik seperti kekejaman yang berlaku di Abu Ghraib, tidak ada dan saya berani kata tidak akan berlaku penderaan tahanan seperti yang berlaku di sana."

"Tentulah tuduhan itu tuduhan yang berat tetapi itu bukanlah sesuatu yang kita lakukan."

"Tetapi kalau mereka ada sesuatu yang spesifik, yang mereka benar-benar tahu, cakaplah betul-betul dan tidak payahlah buat tuduhan rambang kerana kita pun sukar hendak ambil tindakan," tegasnya.


Apabila saya membaca berita ini saya ingin ketawa terbahak-bahak (atau sebenarnya saya ingin meratap menangis). Dari dulu lagi saya telah menulis dan menyatakan dalam affidavit saya: '..kalau sesiapa mengeluarkan kenyataan mengatakan bahawa tahanan ISA tidak didera samalah seperti mengeluarkan kenyataan yang mengatakan bahawa Nabi Muhamad makan babi..' ( sila baca affidavit Hishamuddin Rais dalam kes mala fide).

Kisah penderaan tahanan ISA no 39/01 untuk tatapan Pak Lah

Hishamuddin Rais
2:25:47 PM May 21, 2004

Diculik dari pejabat

Saya, Hishamuddin Rais tahanan no 39/01 telah ditahan selama 55 hari dibawah ISA, sebelum di hantar ke Kamunting untuk ditahan selama dua tahun. Saya ingin menyatakan secara terbuka kepada PM Abdullah Badawi bahawa Nabi Muhamad tidak makan babi kerana babi haram dalam Islam. Dan saya juga ingin menyatakan secara terbuka kepada Abdullah Badawi bahawa banyak/ramai tahanan-tahanan ISA telah dan sedang didera. Khalas, fini, fin, end, stop dan noktah.

Apabila saya ditangkap (baca: saya diculik dari pejabat saya di Bangsar Utama) pada petang 10 April 2001, pasti Abdullah Badawi yang ketika itu timbalan Menteri Dalam Negeri tahu apa yang akan dilakukan ke atas kami. Jika Abdullah Badawi terus mengatakan bahawa beliau tidak mengetahui apa yang sebenarnya berlaku kepada kami, maka terbukti sahih desas desus yang tersebar luas yang sering mempertikai daya fikrah Abdullah Badawi.

Dan apabila Abdullah Badawi meminta bukti spesifik tentang penderaan tahanan, sekali lagi saya hendak terkentut. Apakah Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang baru ini seekor manusia atau malaikat. Jika malaikat pasti bukan tugasnya untuk membaca. Jika Abdullah Badawi seorang manusia dan bertugas sebagai Menteri Dalam Negeri kenapa dia tidak membaca semua laporan-laporan polis, memo-memo dari badan-badan hak asasi dan affidavit-affidavit dari kami yang telah ditahan dibawah ISA. (Tak kan nak makan gaji buto - bueklaa kojo).

Apakah Abdullah Badawi lupa atau sengaja hendak melupakan fakta bahawa Anwar Ibrahim semasa di belasah oleh Rahim Noor, dia sedang ditahan di bawah ISA. Jika ini tidak disedari oleh Abdullah Badawi sebagai satu kes spesifik, maka saya mencadangkan agar Abdullah Badawi dengan seberapa segera dibawa ke wad lima hospital Universiti Malaya untuk di rawat. Jika tidak dibawa segera ke wad lima, berkemungkinan beliau akan memudaratkan 22 juta rakyat Malaysia.

Dari Bangsar Utama saya telah dibawa ke Rumah Pasong Sentul. Di sini mata saya telah ditutup dan saya telah digari. Kemudian saya terus dimasukkan ke dalam sebuah van kecil yang gelap. Saya terus dibawa berligar-ligar selama lebih kurang 45 minit. Akhirnya saya sampai ke satu tempat rahsia. Dari apa yang saya ketahui kemudianya, kawasan tahanan ini telah dirahsiakan dibawah Akta Rahsia Kerajaan.

Saya diseret masuk ke sebuah bilik dan ditelanjangkan. Ada empat orang pegawai dalam bilik ini. Saya berbogel dan punai saya diperlihatkan secara terbuka. Untuk saya, ini tidak banyak berbeza dari apa yang telah dan sedang berlaku di Abu Gharib.

Apakah semasa saya ditelanjangkan itu, pegawai-pegawai yang bertugas hanya ingin melihat kejantanan saya atau ingin mengesahkan bahawa saya ialah Hishamuddin Rais dan bukan Siti Hashimah Rais. Atau ingin mendapat kepastian bahawa saya ini telah bersunat dan tidak kulup lagi.

Kemudian saya dimasukkan ke dalam sebuah bilik kecil tanpa tingkap. Bilik kecil ini hanya ada satu lubang kecil bertabir besi. Pegawai yang menjaga saya akan membuka tabir besi setiap 15 minit untuk melihat saya. Dari lubang kecil ini jugalah saya menerima makanan.

Esoknya, pada 11 April 2001, proses 'soalsiasat' bermula. Saya ditanya dan disoal tanpa henti-henti. Soalan-soalan bodoh yang tidak ada sangkut paut dengan keselamatan negara - tidak ada bersangkutan dengan bom, rocket launcher atau molotov cocktail - terus menerus diajukan kepada saya. Saya diancam, digertak dan ditakut-takutkan.

Melalui tulisan ini, saya ingin bertanya kepada PM Abdullah Badawi tentang satu soalan yang akan terus menjadi satu tandatanya dalam hidup saya. Soalan ini mungkin dibaca lucah dan mungkin dianggap lawak. Terpulang. Untuk diri saya yang menerima soalan ini - saya anggap soalan ini adalah soalan akhir kurun.

Latarbelakang soalannya begini: Tan Sri Samad Ismail semasa ditahan dan disiasat di bawah ISA pada tahun 1977 telah mengakui bahawa beliau telah meniduri banyak gadis-gadis. Jika dikumpulkan bulu ***** gadis-gadis ini pasti boleh memenuhi tiga gelanggang badminton.

Soalan bodoh

Manakala saya pula yang telah tinggal lama di Eropah pasti telah meniduri ramai gadis-gadis Mat Salleh. Maka pegawai penyiasat ingin mengetahui berapa banyak ***** Mat Salleh yang telah saya kecapi. Dan kalau bulu-bulu ***** mereka ini dikumpulkan apakah ianya akan memenuhi satu, dua atau tiga gelanggang badminton?

Soalan cepu emas saya kepada Abdullah Badawi ialah: Apa sangkut pautnya ***** Mat Salleh dan bulu-bulu ***** mereka ke atas keselamatan negara Malaysia ? (sila lihat affidavit Hishamuddin Rais dalam kes mala fide).

Ini hanyalah satu contoh dari ratusan soalan-soalan bodoh yang diajukan kepada saya hari demi hari. Mungkin ada yang akan berhujah dan menganjurkan bahawa soalan-soalan seperti ini tidak perlu dijawab. Betul, jika soalan bodoh seperti ini muncul dalam suasana yang berbeza. Tetapi apabila saya didalam sebuah bilik berhadapan dengan empat lima orang manusia yang tidak saya kenali dan terus diancam, maka soalan yang dimunculkan ini adalah satu penyeksaan.

Bagaimana pula tentang sumpah seranah yang saya terima saban hari. Sumpah seranah yang tidak putus-putus dihamburkan ke muka saya. Apakah pendapat Abdullah Badawi jika saya menangkap Datin Hindun kerana saya tidak menyukai potongan feshen rambutnya. Saya anggap feshen rambut Datin Hindun mengancam selera estetika saya..

Kerana itu, Datin Hindun akan saya kurung di dalam sebuah bilik kecil. Jika saya kekurangan tenaga saya akan menjemput tiga atau empat orang kawan-kawan saya untuk membantu saya. Lapan jam sehari saya, tujuh hari seminggu kami akan memaki hamun Datin Hindun sesuka hati kami. Saya lakukan ini selama 55 hari sehinggalah Datin Hindun bersetuju untuk menukar feshen rambutnya.

(Pasti semua rakyat Malaysia akan menganggap saya gila. Tapi inilah yang sebenarnya telah berlaku semasa saya ditahan selama 55 hari sebelum dihantar ke Kamunting).

Tabir besi

Saya juga ingin bertanya kenapa saya perlu tidur di atas pangkin yang keras? Kenapa saya tidak memakai selipar pengalas kaki? Kenapa saya tidak memiliki tuala mandi. Kenapa saya digari? Kenapa mata saya ditutup? Kenapa setiap 15 minit tabir besi berbunyi dan mengganggu tidur saya? Kenapa saya dinafikan tidur? Semua ini adalah soalan-soalan yang ingin saya ajukan kepada Abdullah Badawi.

Mengikut Socrates, manusia akan dianggap bodoh jika dianya tidak tahu yang dirinya bebal. Insan yang bodoh tetapi menyedari kebebalannya sebenarnya adalah insan yang bijaksana. Justeru, untuk saya, satu pekara yang amat menyeksa dalam hidup ini inilah bercampurgaul dengan manusia-manusia bebal yang tidak menyedari kebebalan mereka.

Semasa dalam tahanan ISA saya tidak memiliki kebebasan untuk membuat pilihan. Saya telah dipaksa selama 55 hari untuk terus berhadapan dengan enam atau tujuh orang manusia-manusia bebal, lagi membebalkan. Mereka ini adalah pegawai penyiasat yang saya tidak ketahui nama mereka. Saya tidak mengetahui latarbelakang pembelajaran mereka. Tetapi ini tidak penting.

Apa yang membuktikan kebodohan bukan tangga pembelajaran mereka tetapi kegagalan otak mereka untuk berfikir bahawa 'soalsiasat dan soalan-soalan' yang mereka ajukan kepada kami itu adalah bodoh. Tidak ada satu perkara pun yang mereka siasat. Kami bukan disiasat tetapi didera dan dipaksa untuk mengakui apa saja yang ingin mereka dengar sebelum dihantar ke Kamunting.

Dalam kes Abu Ghraib, soldadu wanita yang akan di hadapkan ke mahkamah tentera tidak lama lagi ialah Ms Lynndie England. Ms England dianggap 'white trash' yang sanggup membuat kerja-kerja bodoh untuk tuan politiknya. Tuan-tuan politik ini adalah pemodal-pemodal antarabangsa yang akan meraih keuntungan dari lombong-lombong minyak di Iraq.

Manakala pegawai-pegawai yang menyoal saya selama 55 hari tersebut saya anggap mereka sebagai ' human trash'. Kerana saya tidak memiliki pilihan. Kerana saya ditahan. Kerana saya digari. Kerana mata saya ditutup. Kerana saya dalam kurungan maka saya sanggup untuk berhadapan dengan 'human trash' ini.

Penghinaan

Kesanggupan saya telah melintasi garis lima minit kesabaran intelek saya. Dalam suasana hidup bebas, sampai hari kiamat pun saya tidak akan ingin bersua, berbincang atau berkongsi meja dengan 'human trash' ini.

Mungkin ada yang akan menganggap saya angkuh. Tetapi, jika sesiapa yang telah bertemu dengan 'human trash' ini akan menyedari dan akan bersimpati dengan apa yang saya cuba paparkan. Bertemu, bercakap dan disoal oleh 'human trash' ini adalah deraan yang amat-amat mengaibkan. Deraan bentuk ini adalah satu penghinaan terhadap wujudiah saya sebagai seorang insan di Bumi Manusia ini.

Kenyataan saya ini bukan nakal. Apa yang saya tulis ini telah terjadi dan telah saya alami. Tuduhan saya ini tidak berat dan tidak ringan. Tidak ada apa yang berat dan tidak ada apa yang ringan. Apa yang saya tuliskan di sini adalah fakta. Apa yang ingin saya sebarkan kepada orang ramai ialah kenyataan bahawa tahanan-tahanan ISA didera dan diseksa.

ISA adalah undang-undang yang membenarkan penahanan tanpa pembicaraan. Ini salah. Jika ada tuduhan terhadap saya sila bawa saya ke mahkamah. Kenapa saya TIDAK dibicarakan dan dituduh secara terbuka. Nyatakan apa yang telah saya lakukan yang memudaratkan keselamatan dalam negara? Bagaimana saya boleh mengancam negara?

Saya akan terus menolak apa sahaja hujah yang cuba menghalalkan ISA. Apa sahaja hujah yang cuba menghalalkan ISA ini adalah hujah-hujah pengganas yang bercita-cita untuk mendera dan mengganasi pihak yang di tahan.

Ditahan tanpa pembicaraan adalah deraan dan seksaan. Dikurung di Abu Ghraib atau dikurung di Bukit Gharib kedua-duanya adalah sama. Ditahan selama sehari atau seribu hari tanpa pembicaraan adalah penderaaan. Di tempeleng sekali atau ditempeleng seratus kali pun - tempeleng tetap tempeleng dan tetap satu penderaan

Abdullah Badawi! Sila nyatakan secara terbuka kepada saya, Hishamuddian Rais, tahanan no39/01, kenapa saya didera selama 55 hari? Kenapa saya terus didera dan ditahan selama dua tahun di Kamunting? Surat arahan saya ditangkap pada 10 April 2001 ditandatangani oleh Abdullah Badawi.

Surat arahan saya dihantar ke Kamunting telah juga ditandatangani oleh Abdullah Badawi. Apakah manusia yang bernama Abdullah Badawi ini juga yang telah berlawak mengatakan tidak ada deraan ke atas tahanan ISA?

Source : Malaysian Forum

Anybody need translation, just ask me.

Story Of Abu Gharib, any similarity with Malaysian Kamunting?!

The Washington Post reported that previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets.

The fresh allegations of prison abuse are contained in statements taken from 13 detainees shortly after a soldier reported the incidents to military investigators in mid-January. The detainees said they were savagely beaten and repeatedly humiliated sexually by American soldiers working on the night shift at Tier 1A in Abu Ghraib during the holy month of Ramadan, according to copies of the statements obtained by The Washington Post.

The statements provide the most detailed picture yet of what took place on the cellblock. Some of the detainees described being abused as punishment or discipline after they were caught fighting or with a prohibited item. Some said they were pressed to denounce Islam or were force-fed pork and liquor. Many provided graphic details of how they were sexually humiliated and assaulted, threatened with rape, and forced to masturbate in front of female soldiers.

Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, detainee No. 151108, told investigators that when he first arrived at Abu Ghraib last year, he was forced to strip, put on a hood and wear rose-colored panties with flowers on them. Most of the days I was wearing nothing else, he said in his statement.

Hilas also said he witnessed an Army translator having sex with a boy at the prison. He said the boy was between 15 and 18 years old. Someone hung sheets to block the view, but Hilas said he heard the boy's screams and climbed a door to get a better look. Hilas said he watched the assault and told investigators that it was documented by a female soldier taking pictures.

The kid was hurting very bad, Hilas said.

Hilas, like other detainees interviewed by the military, said he could not identify some of the soldiers because they either covered their name patches or did not wear uniforms. But he and other detainees did know the names of three, including Graner and Sgt. Javal S. Davis, both of whom have been charged and now face courts-martial.

They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees, said Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, detainee No. 13077. And we had to bark like a dog, and if we didn't do that they started hitting us hard on our face and chest with no mercy. After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything.

The prisoners also provided accounts of how some of the now-famous photographs were staged, including the pyramid of hooded, naked prisoners.

Another publicized photograph -- that of a hooded detainee hooked up to wires and standing on a box -- is also described in the statements.

On the third day, after five o'clock, Mr. Graner came and took me to room Number 37, which is the shower room, and he started punishing me, said Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh, detainee No. 18170. Then he brought a box of food and he made me stand on it with no clothing, except a blanket. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head.

They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen, said Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik, detainee No. 151362. They stripped me naked. One of them told me he would rape me. He drew a picture of a woman to my back and makes me stand in shameful position holding my buttocks.

The sworn statements, taken in Baghdad between Jan. 16 and Jan. 21, span 65 pages. Each statement begins with a handwritten account in Arabic that is signed by the detainee, followed by a typewritten translation by U.S. military contractors. The shortest statement is a single paragraph; the longest exceeds two single-spaced typewritten pages.

While military investigators interviewed the detainees separately, many of them recalled the same event or pattern of events and procedures in Tier 1A -- a block reserved for prisoners who were thought to possess intelligence that could help thwart the insurgency in Iraq, find Saddam Hussein or locate weapons of mass destruction. Military intelligence officers took over the cellblock last October and were using MPs to help 'set the conditions' for interrogations, according to an investigative report complied by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. Several MPs have since said in statements and through their attorneys that they were roughing up detainees at the direction of U.S. military intelligence officers.

Most of the detainees said in the statements that they were stripped upon their arrival to Tier 1A, forced to wear women's underwear, and repeatedly humiliated in front of one another and American soldiers. They also described beatings and threats of death and sexual assault if they did not cooperate with U.S. interrogators.

Hilas told investigators that he asked Graner for the time one day because he wanted to pray. He said Graner cuffed him to the bars of a cell window and left him there for close to five hours, his feet dangling off the floor. Hilas also said he watched as Graner and others sodomized a detainee with a phosphoric light. They tied him to the bed, Hilas said.

Mustafa Jassim Mustafa, detainee No. 150542, told military investigators he also witnessed the phosphoric-light assault. He said it was around the time of Ramadan, the holiest period of the Muslim year, when he heard screams coming from a cell below. Mustafa said he looked down to see a group of soldiers holding the detainee down and sodomizing him with the light.

Another detainee told military investigators that American soldiers sodomized and beat him. The detainee, whose name is being withheld by The Post because he is an alleged victim of a sexual assault, said he was kept naked for five days when he first arrived at Abu Ghraib and was forced to kneel for four hours with a hood over his head. He said he was beaten so badly one day that the hood flew off his head. The police was telling me to crawl in Arabic, so I crawled on my stomach and the police were spitting on me when I was crawling, and hitting me on my back, my head and my feet, he said in his sworn statement.

One day, the detainee said, American soldiers held him down and spread his legs as another soldier prepared to open his pants. 'I started screaming', he said. A soldier stepped on his head, he said, and someone broke a phosphoric light and spilled the chemicals on him.

I was glowing and they were laughing, he said.

The detainee said the soldiers eventually brought him to a room and sodomized him with a nightstick. They were taking pictures of me during all these instances, he told the investigators.

Last Wednesday one of the servicemen charged with humiliation of inmates in Abu Ghraib, 24-year-old US military policeman (trained as a mechanic) Jeremy C. Sivitz of Hyndman, Pennsylvania (who took the picture of the now-infamous human pyramid of naked Iraqi detainees), pleaded guilty to abuse charges, and a military judge slapped the 24-year-old Army reservist with the maximum sentence: a year in prison, a demotion in rank and a bad-conduct discharge. Sivits had begged to be allowed to stay in the Army.

Sivitz confessed his guilt, but he stated that along with his fellow servicemen he was fulfilling orders of military intelligence officers. According to him, they were the ones making soldiers beat, humiliate and torture the Iraqi detainees held in the prison with no trial or investigation.

The court martial sentenced Sivitz to one year in jail. US army sergeant will be suspended and dismissed. This is the maximum punishment after Sivitz plea-bargained and confessed to what he did.

Source : KAVKAZ Centre

See Abu Gharib Prisoner Abused picture

A Right-Wing non-Critique of Fahrenheit 911

Since the only place anyone could have seen Fahrenheit 911 was at Cannes, I was a bit suspicious about this right-winger's critique... turns out I was right to be...

If Michael Moore is anything, he's highly political. Anyone who's ever been exposed to any of his work knows this. He freely admits it. There is no secret whatsoever that Moore is a bleeding-heart liberal. And that's okay. Believe it or not, people in this country have a right to be bleeding-heart liberal filmmakers. I know it's pretty astonishing that this kind of subversion isn't covered by the PATRIOT Act, but Moore really does have that right. I understand he's even permitted to criticize the government up to and including even the President!

So when I read Dan K Thomasson's whining screed about Fahrenheit 911 I almost had to laugh. The author seems to believe that liberalism and anti-Americanism are the same thing, that President Bush is above criticism, and most of all, that he's seen Fahrenheit 911. Now maybe Thomasson's been to Cannes and watched the film there, but I don't think so. Here's why:

Thomasson starts out with several accusations. He calls the film "political propaganda." He says it follows a "rule" the movie industry lives by, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story even if it's billed as the truth." In other words, he is accusing the film of telling a story that is not supported by facts. He includes an entire paragraph of further accusations:

Moore professes to tell us the real reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq is a connection between Bush and the Saudi royal family. As with most conspiracy theorists, he makes far more than he can prove out of the most tenuous connections. And he bashes everything else Bush has done since taking office. Bush is the most public of figures and, therefore, is practically libel-proof. Moore can say what he wants about the president short of accusing him of capital murder, which one gets the feeling he would like to do.
The problem is that Thomasson provides not one single quote from the film, not one minute example of what he calls an "anti-Bush harangue." As evidence to support his propaganda claim he uses the standing ovations the film received at Cannes and the fact that it won the Palm d'Or.

Sorry, Dan, but that evidence doesn't support your accusations. Even a 3rd grader can figure that out, but maybe Dan's target audience has the mental capacity of a 2nd grader. The absense of any supporting material whatsoever to support the criticism of the film further suggests that Dan Thomasson hasn't seen it. Nice try, Dan. Now write something after you've actually watched the film.

I don't dispute for a second that it's likely Michael Moore produced a film that has an air of propaganda. That's what he does for a living. That's the kind of work Moore does. He produces entertaining propaganda based on what he believes are the facts. And he's a bit of a douche for getting the facts wrong some of the time and giving impressions that aren't strictly related to the facts some of the time. Maybe the reason conservatives like Thomasson have their knickers in a knot over Moore and movies like Fahrenheit 911 is because they just can't stand the competition.

--Nick

Friday, May 21, 2004

Fahrenheit 911 film too hot to handle

The Walt Disney group says it has banned its Miramax Films subsidiary from distributing a documentary critical of President George Bush's links to the family of al-Qaida's leader.


Disney won't distribute Michael Moore's critical film about Bush


Award-winning director Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 911, criticises Bush policies before the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

The film also alleges financial connections between the Bush family, its associates and prominent Saudi Arabian families, including that of Usama bin Ladin.

Disney head Michael Eisner told US media network CNBC on Wednesday that Fahrenheit 911 "is a totally appropriate film ... but we did not want to have it in the middle of a political process. We are a non-partisan company."

An entry at this month's Cannes Film Festival, the documentary closely explores the US government's role in the evacuation of bin Ladin relatives from the United States after the September 11 attacks.

Moore describes the film as a "comedy."

Disney has a contractual agreement with Miramax bosses Bob and Harvey Weinstein to prevent Miramax from distributing films under certain circumstances, including having an excessive budget or an NC-17 rating which precludes viewing by minors.

Ban resisted

But executives at Miramax believe Disney's ban on Moore's documentary falls outside the scope of the agreement and say they may seek mediation on the issue, people involved in the production of the film told the New York Times.

Miramax, which Disney bought 10 years ago, became a principal investor in Moore's project a year ago. But Disney spokeswoman Zenia Mucha said Disney would not budge from its position.

The ban if enforced would block the distribution of Fahrenheit 911 in North America but overseas rights have been sold to a number of companies, Disney executives said.

Moore won a special Cannes prize two years ago for Bowling for Columbine, which went on to win an Oscar. He took advantage of the film's presentation at Cannes in 2002 to attack Bush's policies.(AFP)

Michael Moore plans Bush-bin Laden film


Published 3/28/2003 4:00 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 28 (UPI) -- Filmmaker Michael Moore's next project might be more controversial than his Oscar-winning documentary "Bowling for Columbine."

According to a report in Friday's Daily Variety, Moore is working on a documentary about the "the murky relationship" between former President George Bush and the family of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The paper said the movie, "Fahrenheit 911," will suggest that the bin Laden family profited greatly from the association.

Moore's anti-war, anti-Bush Oscar acceptance speech provoked a mixture of cheers and boos at the Academy Awards last Sunday.

In addition to the Best Documentary Oscar, "Bowling for Columbine" also had an extraordinarily robust bottom line. Made for about $3 million, it has grossed nearly $40 million worldwide -- making it one of the most commercially successful documentaries of all time.

Variety reported that Moore is working out a deal with Mel Gibson's production company, Icon Productions, to finance "Fahrenheit 911."

According to Moore, the former president had a business relationship with Osama bin Laden's father, Mohammed bin Laden, a Saudi construction magnate who left $300 million to Osama bin Laden. It has been widely reported that bin Laden used the inheritance to finance global terrorism.

Moore said the bin Laden family was heavily invested in the Carlyle Group, a private global investment firm that the filmmaker said frequently buys failing defense companies and then sells them at a profit. Former President Bush has reportedly served as a senior adviser with the firm.

"The senior Bush kept his ties with the bin Laden family up until two months after Sept. 11," said Moore.

Moore told Variety the primary focus of the new project will be to examine what has happened to the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. He accused the Bush administration of using a tragic event to push its agenda.

"It (the new project) certainly does deal with the Bush and bin Laden ties," said Moore. "It asks a number of questions that I don't have the answers to yet, but which I intend to find out."

Moore said he expects the new movie to be in U.S. theaters in time for the 2004 presidential election.

While some critics accused Moore of being anti-American for his Oscar speech, Moore told Variety business has been very good for his movie and his best-selling book "Stupid White Men: And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation."

"I expressed exactly what was in the film and instead of being blacklisted, I've not only gotten a deal to fund 'Fahrenheit 911' but offers on the film after," he said. "Presales on ('Bowling for Columbine's') video release ran ahead of 'Chicago' this week, and my book is returning to the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list."

Moore said the success of his documentary and book reflects majority public support for his political argument.

"It's because the majority of Americans agree with me, see the economy in the toilet and didn't vote for George W," he said. "People are now realizing you can question your government while still caring about the soldiers."

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Bloggers doubt Berg execution video

By Lawrence Smallman

Revolting millions around the world, the video footage of an American citizen's execution has also raised numerous questions concerning its authenticity.

Even at first glance, internet bloggers were asking on Thursday why Nick Berg was wearing an orange jumpsuit–just like US prisoners wear.

Other net surfers point to the unlikely timing of the executioner's dubbed announcement that Berg was to die for "Iraqi prisoner abuse".


Was this really Nick Berg's last moment or was he killed earlier?



Berg was last seen alive on 10 April, when his father Michael Berg believes he was killed - two weeks before the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke in the world's media.

Some discussions focus on the timing of the video's release, guaranteed to divert attention from the outrage over US abuse of Iraqis.

Video oddities

There are plenty of questions raised concerning the video too. The body is completely motionless even as the knife is brought to bear, not so much as an instinctive wriggle.

More graphically, some claim that cutting the throat's artery would cause a significant amount of blood to gush out. But little emerges and when the head was raised – not a drop of blood is seen to fall.

In a possible explanation, one discussion room member suggested that Berg was killed and then beheaded later.

However, the circumstances of the video release are also strange. A Reuters journalist in Dubai first named the Muntada al-Ansar al-Islami website as the source for the video – at www.al-ansar.biz.

Although the site has now been shut down, Aljazeera.net looked at the site within 90 minutes of the story breaking, and could find no such video footage.

But Fox News, CNN and the BBC were all able to download the footage from the Arabic-only website and report the story within the hour.

Days before death




Some claim the face in the video looks remarkably unlike Berg's



Other questions presented by bloggers are Berg's peculiar circumstances in the weeks before his death. Why would a private Jewish American citizen choose to wander around Iraq by himself?

Additionally, some have pointed out that his last email on 6 April to his family stated he wished to return home as soon as possible – yet the FBI claims he refused an offer of help to get home.

In the wider press, FBI involvement has also generated much discussion as to why Berg was really arrested and detained for two weeks in Mosul.

The unemployed visitor was suspicious enough for Iraqi police to arrest him, with FBI knowledge.

He had only just been released from prison where he had been held for 13 days by Iraqi police for reasons he said he did not know.

Family blames government

A US newspaper claims an official familiar with the case knew that FBI agents had interrogated Berg, but had left him for two weeks because he was in Iraqi : not American : custody.

But the official was unable to clarify the legal difference between the two, given the US occupation.

On 5 April, Berg's family filed a suit in federal court in Philadelphia : contending that their son was being held illegally by the US military in Iraq. The next day, he was released and left to get himself home.

The last time the family heard from him was on 9 April. His headless body was found near Mosul on 8 May.

"That's really what cost my son his life, the fact that the United States government saw fit to keep him in custody for 13 days without any of his due process or civil rights," Michael Berg said.

Final question

Some bloggers focused on the accent of the purported executioner. Many deny the accent is either Iraqi or Jordanian - while claims the voice is Egyptian or Iranian have been made.

The Jordanian accused of the beheading Berg is himself believed to have been killed in March, according to two Islamist groups.

An eight-page leaflet circulated this week in Falluja said Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniya mountains of northern Iraq during a US bombing.

But even if it were the Jordanian, one discussion room member observes his face is so well-known that "why would he bother to cover it?"

New photos depict Iraqi prisoner abuses

BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhuanet) -- ABCNEWS has obtained two new photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing Spc. Charles Graner and Spc. Sabrina Harman posing over the body of a detainee who was allegedly beaten to death by CIA or civilian interrogators in the prison's showers. The detainee's name was Manadel al-Jamadi.


Spc. Charles Graner of the 372nd Military Police Company smiles as he poses by the body of Manadel al-Jamadi, an Iraqi who died in U.S. custody at Abu Ghraib prison. [Reuters/ABCNEWS]



According to testimony from Spc. Jason Kenner, obtained by ABCNEWS, the man was brought to the prison by U.S. Navy Seals in good health. Kenner said he saw extensive bruising on the detainee's body when he was brought out of the showers, dead.

Kenner says the body was packed in ice during a "battle" between CIA and military interrogators over who should dispose of the body.

The Justice Department opened an investigation into this death and four others today following a referral from the CIA.

The photos were taken by Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick , who in e-mails to his family has asked why the people responsible for the prisoner's death were not being prosecuted in the same manner that he is.


Spc. Sabrina Harman, also of the 372nd Military Police Company, gives a thumbs-up sign by the body of Iraqi detainee Manadel al-Jamadi. [Reuters/ABCNEWS]



Frederick, Graner, and Harman are among six reservists from the 372nd Military Police Company who are facing charges in the abuse scandal.

A lawyer for Graner, Guy Womack, told ABCNEWS the photo of his client represents inappropriate "gallows humor." Womack questioned why U.S. officials have not opened a criminal investigation into alleged murders at Abu Ghraib, while the investigation of his client has proceeded at a rapid pace.

A seventh member of the unit, Spc. Jeremy Sivits, pleaded guilty today to four counts for taking pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated.

Sivits received the maximum penalty of a year in prison and a bad conduct discharge.

(China Daily/ABCNEWS)

Witnesses say US air strikes kill 40 Iraqi wedding revelers; US soldier jailed for abuse

BAGHDAD (AFP) US troops were accused Wednesday of killing 40 people at a wedding party in an Iraqi desert town, hours before a court-martialed US soldier was sentenced to a year in jail for abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Pan-Arab satellite television Al-Arabiya and a farmer who said he witnessed the attack said US helicopters targeted the wedding celebration in the village of Makreddin in the Qaim region near the Syrian border.

Al-Arabiya, which aired images of blanket-shrouded bodies loaded on trucks, said the dead included women and children and quoted witnesses as saying the aircraft also destroyed other houses in the village.

The US command in Iraq said coalition forces had targeted a building suspected of harboring foreign fighters.

"During the operation, the coalition forces came under hostile fire, and returned fire," Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said in a statement issued in Baghdad.

"Coalition forces on the ground recovered a large amount of Iraqi and Syrian currency, foreign passports and sophisticated communications equipment."

Kimmitt said the attack took place at 3:00 am (1100 GMT Tuesday) 85 kilometres (55 miles) southwest of Husaybah, and 25 kilometres from the Syrian border.

Local farmer Mortada Hamid, 35, told AFP by telephone from Makreddin that he was in his house, 600 meters (yards) from the strike, when two US helicopters opened fire as wedding revellers were firing their guns in the air in a traditional celebratory manner.

"More than 40 people were killed. Bodies were everywhere, most of them women and children," said Hamid.

The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel said the strike was carried out by US helicopters and targeted a huge tent pitched in the village for the celebration.

The raid came hours before the first Baghdad court martial in the US prison abuse scandal, at which US Specialist Jeremy Sivits, 24, was sentenced to a maximum 12-month jail term.

In a bleak courtroom in the Iraqi capital, Sivits pleaded guilty to charges of dereliction of duty and conspiring to maltreat Iraqi inmates in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

He said he took at least one of the pictures of naked prisoners enduring humiliation by US troops, whose publication outraged the world and undermined US efforts to bring democracy to Iraq.

Three other soldiers allegedly involved in the abuse appeared for pretrial hearings and were scheduled for more hearings June 21.

In Washington, General John Abizaid, head of the US Central Command, and Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of US land forces in Iraq, went before the Senate Armed Services Committee to answer questions about the abuse.

"We have suffered a setback," Abizaid told the panel. "I accept responsibility for that setback."

Sanchez made similiar comments.

"From evidence already gathered, we believe that systemic problems existed at the prison that may have contributed to events there," Abizaid said.

"Other investigations are currently underway. We will follow the trail of evidence wherever it leads. We will continue to correct systemic problems. We will hold people accountable."

Abizaid also told the committee the US-led occupation in Iraq was at a vulnerable juncture, with adversaries "pulling out everything they can to make it fail."

Winning the battle against extremism in Iraq will be a long, hard struggle, he said, against "a patient and despicable enemy.

"The people that are trying to tear it apart are ruthless. They are doing it precisely now ... because this is the vulnerable time."

Nonetheless, said Abizaid, the June 30 transfer of power remains achievable.

"But it needs to emerge soon as to who is going to be in charge and what their names are and where they're going to be and what they're going to do," he added.

Meanwhile, the military wing of the group, Unity and Holy War (Tawhid wa al-Jihad), of al-Qaeda-linked Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for Monday's assassination of Iraqi Governing Council leader Ezzedine Salim.

In a statement carried by the Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Hayat, Zarqawi's movement named the suicide bomber who detonated his explosives-packed vehicle in Baghdad as Salim's convoy passed, calling him "a lion".

Responsibility for Salim's death had previously been claimed by a hitherto unknown group calling itself the "Arab Resistance Movement/Rasheed Brigades", which said two bombers were involved.

Salim was buried in Najaf, and the White House said US President George W. Bush telephoned his successor, Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar, to express US dedication to the June 30 handover.

The two had "a good and friendly conversation" in which Bush "assured him that the United States remains firmly committed to the planned transfer of sovereignty and completing the mission for a free and peaceful Iraq," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

He said Sheikh Ghazi "expressed his appreciation for the help the United States and coalition partners are providing to the Iraqi people, and he noted that Iraq wants to build a long-term strategic friendship with the United States."

Bush meanwhile was meeting at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a key coalition ally, to discuss details of the handover.

The deployment of Italian troops has been widely criticized in Italy, even within Berlusconi's governing coalition.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The terrible and strange death of Nick Berg


By James Conachy
14 May 2004


The terrible death of Nick Berg in Iraq—beheaded in front of a video camera—has taken place in such strange and suspicious circumstances that it raises deeply troubling questions. Among them is whether American agencies had a direct or indirect hand in the young man’s murder.

Questions immediately arise from the timing and political consequences of his killing. At the height of a massive scandal engulfing the Bush administration, Berg’s death has been exploited by the American government and the US media to launch a counter-offensive against the revelations of systematic US torture in Abu Ghraib and other Iraqi prisons. A wholesale attempt is being made to shift American and international public opinion away from the outrage over the criminal character of the US occupation of Iraq and behind the self-serving argument that American forces are needed in Iraq to prevent the country descending into barbarism and chaos.

Were Berg’s murderers being directly paid by the American government, they could not have performed a more timely service for the Bush White House.

Berg’s killing was carried out in the name of al-Qaeda-aligned Jordanian terrorist Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi. Whoever is operating in the name of Zarqawi, they have a proven record of provocative actions that have only helped to prop up the American occupation of Iraq.

On February 9, amid signs that the majority Iraqi Shiite population was on the verge of joining the armed resistance being fought mainly in Sunni Muslim areas, a letter was made public, allegedly authored by Zarqawi, calling for Sunnis to provoke a civil war with the Shiites. American officials used the letter to argue that their occupation was the only thing holding Iraq’s religious groups apart. Several weeks later, on March 2, suicide bombings at Shiite mosques in Karbala and Baghdad were blamed on what the US now calls the “Zarqawi network.�

Contrary to the schema outlined by US officials and in Zarqawi’s letter, the bulk of the Iraqi masses spurned sectarianism. The growing unity has been on display in mass demonstrations and joint struggle since the eruption of a Shiite uprising in early April. Even before the torture revelations, the US occupation of Iraq had crumbled into a morass of bloody reprisals against the Iraqi people and growing American casualties. Opposition has been steadily growing in the US and internationally.

The group who carried out the beheading of Berg and then ensured it was broadcast around the globe must have known that it would horrify American and world public opinion and assist the efforts at damage control in Washington.

Further questions are raised by the attempts of the US government to conceal or distort what it knew about Berg himself and the events leading up to his disappearance in Baghdad on April 10. Berg vanished in Iraq just 72 hours after being released from 13 days in US military custody and questioning by the FBI.

Berg has been described by his family and friends as adventurous. He had a limited knowledge of Arabic and an interest in obtaining reconstruction contracts in Iraq for the family telecommunications company, Prometheus Methods Tower Service. In December 2003 he travelled to Iraq and went home on February 1. Among the places the young man inquired for contract work was the Abu Ghraib prison—which he referred to as a “notorious prison for army and political prisoners.� He returned to Iraq in mid-March.

CBS News revealed yesterday that the young man had been on the FBI’s books for at least two years. In 2002, he was interviewed as part of the investigations into the September 11 terror attacks, over the fact his computer password had been used by alleged al-Qaeda terrorist Zaccarias Moussaoui. According to Berg’s family, the FBI was reportedly satisfied the password was obtained during a brief encounter on a bus, when Nick Berg had allowed an acquaintance of Moussaoui to use his computer.

On March 7, the pro-Bush website FreeRepublic.com published a list of “enemies� who were opposing the US occupation of Iraq. Among the names, taken from a public list of people who had endorsed a planned March 20 antiwar demonstration on the website of the group ANSWER, was Michael Berg—Nick’s father—and the name of the Berg family company. Such information would be entered into the databases of US intelligence agencies as well.

Berg was seized on March 24, within one week of returning to Iraq, and held incommunicado without charges in a Mosul prison for unspecified “suspicious activities.� His parents in Philadelphia were visited by the FBI on March 31 and asked why their son was in Iraq. Berg reported being interviewed at least three times during his detention by FBI agents and asked whether he had constructed pipe bombs or had visited Iran. He was released on April 6 only after his family filed a federal court case against the US government the day before for illegal imprisonment.

Dan Senor, the Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman in Iraq, claimed this week that Berg had never been detained by US forces, only by Iraqis. This has been exposed to be a lie. Berg’s family has produced an email from Beth A Payne, a US consular official in Iraq, dated April 1. Payne wrote: “I have confirmed that your son, Nick, is being detained by the US military in Mosul... He was picked up approximately one week ago.�

The chief of the Iraqi police in Mosul has also publicly rejected the claim that Berg was detained by his command. He told a press conference on May 13: “The Iraqi police never arrested the slain American. Take it from me... that such reports are baseless.�

After his release, Nick Berg travelled to Baghdad. His family last heard from him on April 9, when he reported he was looking to leave Iraq via Kuwait as soon as it was safe enough. They have indicated Berg told them he was wary of trying to fly out to Jordan on the grounds it was too dangerous. At the time, much of Baghdad was engulfed in heavy fighting. Large parts of the city, including the roadways leading to the airport, were under constant attack by the Iraqi resistance and Westerners and Japanese had been taken hostage by various groups.

The last alleged contact with Berg by a US official was on April 10. A State department spokesperson told CBS an American diplomat offered to arrange a flight for him to Jordan. He allegedly refused and restated his intention to travel to Kuwait. His hotel has reported he left early on April 10, saying he intended to be back within a few days.

If the American government is to be believed, no US agency then took any further interest in his activities or well-being until it was apparent he had disappeared. No satisfying answers have been given to obvious questions. Were Berg’s movements in Iraq being monitored by American intelligence? Why was he detained and on whose orders? Was he under surveillance after he was released on April 6? If he was, how did he come to be kidnapped in the centre of Baghdad?

Throughout this week, Berg’s father Michael has repeatedly denounced the Bush administration for complicity in his son’s death. He told Boston radio station WBUR on Tuesday: “[W]hat cost my son his life was the fact the US government saw fit to keep him in custody for 13 days without any of due process or civil rights and released him when they were good and ready. It goes further than Donald Rumsfeld. It’s the whole Patriot Act, it’s the whole feeling in this country that rights don’t matter any more because there are terrorists about. Well in my opinion ‘terrorist’ is just another word like ‘communist’ or ‘witch’ and it’s a witchhunt and this whole administration is just representing something that is not America.�

Yesterday, he told Philadelphia radio: “My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. This administration did this.� He has also demanded to know whether “it is true that al-Qaeda offered to trade my son’s life for another person,� as is alleged in the video-tape statement of Nick Berg’s killers.

The issues being raised by Michael Berg point to the fact, that at best, the US authorities created the conditions in which his son could be kidnapped by extremists and killed.

The more disturbing possibility that arises from all the evidence that is known is that Berg’s disappearance and subsequent killing was the work of US agencies or pro-US Iraqi factions. One month after he disappeared, Berg was murdered at the most opportune moment for the US government.

Anyone who believes it is unthinkable or outrageous to suggest that the American government would sanction having one of its citizens murdered to shore up its fortunes is underestimating the political situation.

The Bush administration and elements of the American military hierarchy, media and corporate establishment are indictable war criminals. They ordered, directed, propagated or have profited from a criminal war, in flagrant violation of international law. The year since the US-led invasion of Iraq has been marked by further war crimes and atrocities. For significant sections of the American ruling class, everything depends upon preventing opposition to the occupation of Iraq within the American and international working class from developing into a conscious movement for political and social change. To them, the life of 26-year-old Nick Berg would have meant nothing.

Beheading video tops web searches

The decapitation of American Nick Berg and the Iraq war have replaced pornography and pop stars as the main internet searches.

The Terra Lycos group said on Tuesday that "Nick Berg", "War in Iraq" and "Muntada al-Ansar", an armed Islamist group, were the top three searches made in the week to 15 May.

"War in Iraq" became the most sought topic the previous week after the release of images of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US troops, knocking American celebrity Paris Hilton off the top spot.

Hilton and pop star Britney Spears had dominated the web search rankings for months.

But Berg, a 26-year-old US civilian who was abducted in Iraq, has taken over since images of his decapitation were put on a website, run by Muntada al-Ansar, last week.

Most popular

Terra Lycos said that in the 48 hours following news of the
execution, the most popular search requests included "Nick Berg video", "Nick Berg beheading", "Nick Berg execution", "Nick Berg beheading video" and "Nick Berg decapitation video".

"Nick Berg-related searches are so prevalent that they dwarf all other searches, including the consistent pop culture leaders.

Top 10 internet searches in the week ending on 15 May, as released by Terra Lycos internet group, are:

1. Nick Berg, 2. War in Iraq, 3. Muntada al-Ansar, 4. Britney Spears, 5. Clay Aiken, 6. Paris Hilton, 7. Al-Qaida, 8. Kazaa, 9. Aljazeera, 10. Survivor.

Quoting an unnamed senior Iraqi source, AFP reported on Tuesday that four men had been arrested in connection with Berg's beheading.

The US military did not confirm the report, however.

Yes, we have the American beheading video showing civilian Nick Berg beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other extremist islamic militants linked to Al-Qaeda (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the chief suspect) This execution clip is extremely violent and shows Nicholas Berg, the murdered contractor, being killed in Iraq by cold-blooded terrorists. Be forewarned: the scene is graphic, bloody, and disturbing as he is executed.

DOWNLOAD HERE (Right Click, then Save Target As)


Videos are from Ogrish.com U.S websites and absolutely not from Al-Qaeda links website. TQ.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

They say its was FAKE...??










For me, I'm also curious with this plain clean Iraqi flag t'shirt... Anyone found it at Baghdad before... just get one for me.

Daily Mirror editor ousted over Iraqi abuse photos

Piers Morgan, editor of London's Daily Mirror newspaper, was ousted on Friday over publication of pictures of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops that proved to be fake.


The front page of the Saturday May 15, 2004, edition of the Daily Mirror, made available Friday evening, May 14, 2004. [AP]



"The Board of Trinity Mirror has decided that it would be inappropriate for Piers Morgan to continue in his role as Editor of the Daily Mirror and he will therefore be stepping down with immediate effect," the newspaper said in a statement.

Despite mounting expert criticism of the pictures, and a statement by the Government on Thursday that they were fake, Morgan insisted until the end that his stories of abuse by British troops were accurate.

"The pictures accurately illustrated the reality about the appalling conduct of some British troops," he said.

But on Friday, the newspaper's owners Trinity Mirror threw in the towel and threw out their editor.

"The Daily Mirror published in good faith photographs which it absolutely believed were genuine images of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner," the statement said.

"However there is now sufficient evidence to suggest that these pictures are fakes and that the Daily Mirror has been the subject of a calculated and malicious hoax.


Pictures published by the Daily Mirror appear to show British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner. The Daily Mirror sacked its editor as it admitted that its photos of British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners were fake. [AFP]



"The Daily Mirror therefore apologizes unreservedly for publishing the pictures and deeply regrets the reputational damage done to the QLR (Queens Lancashire Regiment) and the Army in Iraq," the statement added.

Morgan's ousting came hard on the heels of a full frontal attack by the QLR, accusing the newspaper of being a recruiting poster for al Qaeda and urging the flamboyant editor to step down.

The Mirror had campaigned vigorously against the invasion of Iraq.

"It's time that the ego of one editor is measured against the life of the soldier," Brigadier Geoff Sheldon told reporters.

(Agencies)

The fakes that finished an editor, and the truth that won't go away

A 'scoop' that made headlines round the world ended with Piers Morgan leaving the 'Mirror' in disgrace. Francis Elliott follows the trail of the phoney photographs to a TA camp in Preston.

16 May 2004

If past form is a true guide, Piers Morgan woke in his riverside flat in west London yesterday morning and enjoyed a "blissful" moment of alcohol-induced amnesia.

The former newspaper editor held a small wake at his Fulham address after being "whacked" in true Fleet Street style, escorted from his boss's office without time even to collect his coat. The photographers camping outside heard laughter and music coming from the first-floor balcony.

It is not known what refreshment was taken, but Morgan once said, "I always try and celebrate a massive error - preferably with a few bottles of chilled Krug and a jug of Jack Daniel's". That way, he said, "you then have that blissful moment in the morning when you're so hungover you literally can't remember your crime".

The consolations of champagne and bourbon are unlikely to have lasted for long, however, as the enormity of this career-ending blunder dawned. As an aide-memoire, he had the black-bordered edition of his former paper with its headline, "Sorry ... We Were Hoaxed".

The beginning of the end came on Monday when officers from the special investigation branch (SIB) of the Royal Military Police finally tracked down one of the two soldiers dubbed "A" and "B" by the Daily Mirror. Army detectives had identified the lorry used in the hoax from scratches shown in the now infamous pictures. The unit involved was then easy to pin down, with the help of weapons records at the Kimberly TA Barracks, near Preston, where the pictures are thought to have been staged.

Investigators had gone to great lengths to prove that the pictures were fakes, including drafting in an independent medical forensic expert to give his opinion on the liquid seen in the front page image. His professional opinion, based on flow and viscosity, was that it could not be urine.

Meanwhile, men from the regiment under suspicion, the Queen's Lancashire (QLR), were confined to Dhekelia Barracks in Cyprus, and interrogated by the SIB. Text messages to their homes in Lancashire graphically described the rigours of the military police. In one, a soldier revealed new orders to hand over to the Army all pictures taken during the invasion and occupation of southern Iraq last year, including the snapshots they brought home when they were on leave in Britain during the winter.

The soldier's father said: "You could tell things are bad in Cyprus. I got one text message from my lad that said, 'What a naughty regiment we are! Confined to barracks. Two lads sent back to Colchester for trying to get a drink. Whole regiment threatened with being disbanded.'"

Another QLR soldier who was sent back to Britain last week on a training programme, sent a message that read: "Phew. I'm out of Cyprus. They looked up my arse and down my piss-hole before they let me go."

As the evidence mounted, the mood in the old War Office on Whitehall lightened as the Ministry of Defence sensed a comprehensive victory over the Daily Mirror. "When this report is published, Piers Morgan is going to have his balls fried," one senior official told The Independent on Sunday.

The MoD, however, could not wait for the military police report, which would, in any case, be sub judice. Ministers knew also that charges against British soldiers, including members of the QLR, were imminent. One Labour MP summed up the calculation neatly. "If Morgan had hung on until the charges he would have claimed vindication even if his pictures were shown to be fakes. We couldn't let that happen."

Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, turned up the pressure on Monday when he said there was mounting evidence that the pictures were fakes. It was a message reinforced by Tony Blair on Wednesday, and on Thursday, Adam Ingram, minister for the armed forces, finally confirmed that they were "categorically" not taken in Iraq.

His words struck home on the 21st floor of Canary Wharf, London, the board room of Trinity Mirror where senior executives were acutely aware of the growing nervousness among the company's institutional investors.

By Friday morning there were distinct signs of a shareholders' revolt. Isis Asset Management and Deutsche Asset Management went on the record to register their concern at the damage that the row was doing to their investment. In America, Tweedy, Browne - the investors that ousted Conrad Black from Hollinger, owners of The Daily Telegraph - kept quiet in public, but one analyst said US shareholders were "horrified" and "shocked" by the way in which the story was unravelling.

It took one final push from the Army, however, to see off Piers Morgan. On Friday afternoon the QLR convened a press conference to show the world's media exactly how the Daily Mirror photographs could not be real. In regimental ties and double-breasted suits, Brig Geoff Sheldon and Col David Black shredded Mr Morgan's case.

Displaying a knack for the soundbite of which Mr Morgan himself might have been proud, Col Black said the photographs had been a "a recruiting poster for al-Qa'ida". He added: "It is time that the ego of one editor is measured against the life of a soldier."

Sly Bailey, the Trinity Mirror chief executive, watching on television, knew the time had come to part company with the editor of the daily tabloid. Despite yesterday's apology, the Daily Mirror insists that it made "rigorous checks" before publishing the photographs.

Staff say Mr Morgan agonised over whether to use them, not because he did not believe that they were genuine but because he worried at the effect on British troops in Iraq. The final decision was taken after a vote in an editorial conference and with the blessing of Ms Bailey, they say.

No mitigation could save Mr Morgan from the final, awful truth that he was the victim of a "calculated and malicious hoax". The former editor hoped to survive with the defence that, although bogus, they "accurately illustrated" the wider truth of abuses in Iraq. The fakes contaminated legitimate concerns, however, and eased pressure on ministers just as they were facing calls to admit what they knew of genuine abuses by both British and US forces.

That's an "error" it should take Piers Morgan more than a few drinks to forget.

Additional reporting by Andrew Rosthorn

The QLR's 'quiet satisfaction' over the fake Iraqi abuse pictures may be short-lived. Raymond Whitaker reports on the case against its soldiers, first revealed by the 'IoS', who will be charged over the death of Baha Mousa

The Independent on Sunday was the first newspaper to reveal the death of an Iraqi in British military custody. On 4 January this year Robert Fisk reported that eight young Iraqis arrested at a Basra hotel last September had been kicked and beaten so severely that one of them, Baha Mousa, had died.

The story was backed up not only by the testimony of Kifah Taha, himself beaten so badly that he suffered kidney failure, but by official documents, including a letter of condolence from the commander of British forces in Basra and an offer of £4,500 compensation.

And the unit in question? The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, which yesterday was reported to be "quietly satisfied" at having seen off Piers Morgan, sacked after the Daily Mirror admitted photographs it had published of QLR soldiers apparently mistreating Iraqis were fake.

The IoS kept pursuing the issue of brutality in Iraq, revealing on 11 January that the Ministry of Defence was investigating nine more deaths at the hands of British soldiers. Several took place in custody, others on the streets. Other cases involving serious injury, rough handling by troops or opening fire in possible breach of the rules of engagement came to light, involving the QLR and three other regiments. Last week, the Parachute Regiment was also said to be under investigation.

The question of whether some British soldiers in Iraq had dishonoured the service received little attention, however, until the scandal of the Abu Ghraib prison abuses erupted in America. Adam Price, a Plaid Cymru MP who had taken up the issue, prised details out of the MoD in a series of parliamentary questions. A Birmingham human rights lawyer, Phil Shiner, last week brought 20 cases involving alleged mistreatment of Iraqis by British troops to the High Court, seeking an independent judicial review. A full hearing is due in late July.

Yet the Government appeared to feel little pressure to explain what it was doing about such allegations until photographs emerged of female American military police humiliating naked detainees. Suddenly the question of abuse - by anyone, anywhere - was on the news agenda, especially after the Daily Mirror came out with its own set of pictures.

The BBC, for example, did not cover the Mousa story on television until early this month, when it showed an interview with Mousa's father - five months after he spoke to the IoS. Several newspapers also discovered the issue for the first time. Although no soldier has yet been charged or suspended in any of the investigations being carried out by the Royal Military Police, the IoS has learned that all that is about to change: charges over Mousa's death and another case will be brought this week. The QLR's satisfaction may be short-lived: proving that the Mirror pictures are fakes has not removed the possibility of disgrace for the regiment over genuine, and far more serious, crimes.

For Mr Price, the lesson is that the Government should have reacted with as much vigour as it did when the Mirror photographs were first published. Resisting the urge to question their authenticity, the country's most senior military officer, General Sir Mike Jackson, was put up to promise that the behaviour they showed would be investigated forthwith.

"One of the biggest failings in this whole affair is the lack of candour, transparency and urgency in getting things out in the open as soon as possible," said the MP. "If the Government had moved sooner [on the original allegations], the collateral damage it has suffered from the far wider and much worse allegations against US forces would have been minimised."

There is ample evidence that the US authorities were as reluctant as their British counterparts to heed indications of abuses in Iraq by their soldiers, but the greater openness of American society has ensured that since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, the details have come pouring out. On Friday Corporal Charles Graner, who appears in many of the prison photographs wearing heavy rubber gloves, became the fourth soldier to be sent for court-martial over the scandal, facing more charges than any other accused.

A decision is still pending against other soldiers, including Corporal Graner's pregnant girlfriend, Lynndie England, who posed with a naked detainee on a leash. More photographs and videos were shown last week to members of Congress, including, it is alleged, savage beatings, a prisoner being sodomised with a broomstick, women detainees forced to show their breasts, and the rape of young boys by Iraqi guards. A US network is reported to have obtained one of the videos, and to be planning to show it this week.

Amid the dismay caused by the photographs, and the retaliation of the group which kidnapped and beheaded an American contractor, Nick Berg, there has been a wider theme. A torrent of detail has emerged about torture and "stress techniques" used on suspects during interrogation at secret CIA facilities around the world. These practices were endorsed while Major General Geoffrey Miller was running the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay; he is now in charge of prisons in Iraq. Although the US military has just announced a ban on such techniques, this will have no impact on undercover interrogations.

Many commentators have suggested that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were part of a post-9/11 "anything goes" culture emanating from the top of the Bush administration, and in particular Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary and architect of the Iraq war. Now Seymour Hersh, the investigative journalist who broke the scandal open, is reporting in the forthcoming issue of The New Yorker that it is rooted in a decision approved last year by Mr Rumsfeld to expand a secret operation against al-Qa'ida to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. The result was that secret operatives, some with aliases, worked side by side with the military police now in the limelight, and imbued them with their uncompromising methods.

Even Mr Hersh's original revelations might not have achieved such an impact if The New Yorker had not obtained photographs of Ms England and her friends and put them on its website. This is a war of images, in which Downing Street hopes to obtain some succour from its victory over the Daily Mirror, while the White House pronounces that what happened to Nick Berg is far worse than anything in Abu Ghraib. If more evidence emerges of transgressions by British or American servicemen or women, will we need to see the pictures before we believe it?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Photos show U.S. dogs menacing prisoners



Unidentified U.S. soldiers leashing dogs surround a frightened, naked Iraqi detainee in this photo obtained by The New Yorker said to be taken in December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq. [AP]



A magazine on Sunday reported that a series of photos shows U.S. soldiers using attack dogs against a naked Iraqi prisoner, providing the first images of physical violence by U.S. soldiers against their detainees.

A photo published in The New Yorker shows the prisoner cowering against a cell door as two attack dogs held back by U.S. soldiers bark at him. The magazine said it did not have a photo of a dog mauling the prisoner, but it described other photos showing the dogs coming closer and then later the prisoner lying in a pool of blood, writhing in pain, while a soldier sits on him and presses a knee into the Iraqi's back.

The magazine said a large wound on the prisoner's left leg was covered in blood, and on his right thigh was an apparent bite or deep scratch. American soldiers smile in the foreground of some of the photos, the magazine reported.

The photo revelation follows Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's warning Friday that still-undisclosed photos and videos include graphic depictions of cruel physical mistreatment.

Previously published photos have shown sexual humiliation, such as prisoners being forced to masturbate for cameras and a naked Iraqi on a dog leash.

Though the Pentagon still has not released hundreds more pictures of mistreatment, the images are about to gain broader circulation.

Congress is to receive a set of photos and videos from the Pentagon this week. Although they will be classified secret and kept in a guarded, secure chamber inside the Capitol building, the transfer raises the likelihood that at least second-hand descriptions of the photos will leak to the public.

President Bush is to go to the Pentagon on Monday to meet with Rumsfeld and senior military leaders for a briefing on the scandal, as well as other matters related to the war in Iraq.

Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, an influential Republican senator, voiced concern that the United States may now be on the path to losing the war in Iraq.

"I don't know if we are winning this war. The definition of winning the war, at least for me, is winning the people, is winning some security and stability," said Hagel. "That is not the case now."

Though Bush has expressed support for Rumsfeld, Hagel and two other Republican senators who appeared on Sunday morning talk shows suggested that the defense secretary's future in the post remains an open question.

"It's not settled yet," said Hagel, who added that he would wait for "the facts" before reaching a decision on whether Rumsfeld should remain.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also said that while they felt calls for Rumsfeld's resignation were premature, their continued support for him would depend on a more complete understanding of the abuse scandal.

Graham also offered a gentle rebuke to Vice President Dick Cheney, who issued a statement on Saturday night defending Rumsfeld and telling critics of the defense secretary to "let [Rumsfeld] do his job."

"As to the White House, please don't say things like you should get off his back. Nobody is on his back. We have an independent duty to look at this, " Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The three Republicans urged a rapid release of all photos and videos the Pentagon has collected.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," McCain said the Pentagon's attempts to keep the photos secret "is sending the wrong signal. All the information concerning this situation should be brought out, completed, aired, ventilated."


The New Yorker report on the dog handlers offers evidence that prisoner abuse and snapshots of the mistreatment may have been systemic, at least within Abu Ghraib prison.

The author of The New Yorker article, Seymour Hersh, said on ABC's "This Week" that the soldiers in the photographs are not from the 372nd Military Police Company, which is the unit of the seven soldiers charged with prisoner mistreatment so far.

In testimony Friday, Rumsfeld portrayed the abuse as the aberrant behavior of a few rogue soldiers.

Guy Womack, a lawyer for Spec. Charles Graner Jr., one the soldiers charged in the abuse scandal, said on "This Week" that his client had been ordered by military intelligence interrogators to take pictures of the abuse. Womack said civilian and military intelligence officers watched while Graner abused prisoners.

Friday, May 14, 2004

How Iraqis Are Responding to The Torture Pictures



Good morning…. Baghdad is quite. There was less traffic since the publishing of the torture photos from Abu Gharib. It feels like the whole city sank into sadness and disbelief. People used to talk about such incidents but as they had no proof, it was nothing but gossip. Then the pictures were published and it turned into a fact

I want to stop for a moment at the incident of killing 4 Americans at
Falluja. Now we know that they weren't civilian contractors. They were working for a
private security firm; a firm that trains men to perform assassinations and
engage in fighting and similar actions. I remember now a comment made by my neighbor that I didn't believe at the time. Now it surfaces into my brain again. After the Falluja incident I called her and we talked about different things. She works for the ministry of health and I know that those working at government offices know some
secrets the regular citizen finds about much later. I told her how amazed I was and that I refuse such acts of killing and burning people in the streets. She said: Don't be amazed Um-Raed, they were involved in torturing and mistreating Iraqis in prisons.

I said: what prisons?
She said: You didn't hear about it?
I told her I didn't and then changed the subject because I didn't believe her.
************************
Now we know that they found out about the torture as early as January 2004.
That's 4 months ago. Iraqis and Americans knew nothing about it except for a small minority who knew about it and didn't say a word.

What a scandal

That minority who knew about it have every right to hide it. It hurts and destroys Iraqis' feelings. It tears their pride apart. It's humiliating and makes them hate the occupation even more. It was a shock to the American people. They didn't believe that their government would do such a thing. That's mainly because they believe totally in their government, its honesty, Right and justice in the US and abroad. Then the truth was out.

*****************************

Iraqis say that the women arrested and tortured at Abu Gharib weren't accused with committing any crime. They are sisters and wives of Iraqi men suspected to have connections with the resistance. That's just another slap on our faces. What will they start the interrogation with? They raid houses, show no respect to the residents, take women if men weren't available and then they mistreat and humiliate them.

Where do I start?

Where are the American values the President Bush mentioned: civilization, mercy and justice?

I ask this once again: who gave them the orders?
And who followed those orders?
What did they tell the American soldiers going to Iraq?
You go there and mow the lawn…Raid their houses and mistreat their men and
women. We'll cover you up and no one will find about it?
Maybe Iraqis are lucky because this is elections year and there are some. Bush opponents who are willing to unveil the Bush administration scandals. It's a sign from

God that he's with the oppressed Iraqis.
God revealed the truth and the exposed the liars. Now they are confused; how will they explain, how will they apologize?
They sent notes to the tortures... Oh thank you! You crushed them with such harsh punishment and scared the hell out of any other torturer.

******************************

President Bush is on TV speaking so softly and calmly.
That's the first time we see him speaking in a decent soft manner.
We are used to watching him threatening, anger evident in his eyes, his hands gesturing doom and gloom.

Who will believe him?
Will his speeches solve all our problems?
Shall we believe him, smile and forgive?
We have a long list of mistreatment of Iraqis by occupation forces.
We Iraqis now aren't in trouble now.
The American administration is in trouble.
It's supposed to prove that human rights, mercy and justice it has been touting are for real.
It's supposed to build trust on the Iraqi and the American side by actions
not words.
It's been over a year now and the mistakes were numerous.
It's not just about some foolish soldiers. No!
This is about a foolish leadership who can't make plans and perform them in a mature rational way.

***********************

We Iraqis don't hate the American people.
It is quiet the opposite.
We now feel that we are like them, victims of the misjudgments of this administration.
But the difference is that this administration needs the approval of the American people because they finance the war.
Out of the American people come the money, Men and women needed for this war.
If the people there got angry this would mean the end of the support and the end of this war. The president will of course appear on TV to apologize. Not out of respect
for the Iraqi people but to sooth the feelings of the Americans, who were
shocked, ashamed and sad because of the atrocities committed in their names.
But no one cares about the Iraqis, their feelings or their pains. For over a year we have been talking and yelling about mistreatment and no one cared enough to listen, believe or apologize.
Now that the pictures were published it became a case that can't be just
simply ignored.

The Americans stopped to think: what went wrong?
Yes we need people to stop and think: what went wrong?
Where are we heading?

We wish that the mistakes are corrected. And we all head towards a better
path, a path where the Iraqi are helped to rebuild their country starting
from rebuilding the destroyed streets filled with garbage, to rebuilding the
souls.

**************************

We want peace. We want stability. We want security.
We want that for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
We want to build a beautiful free country, a bright progressive model, a
country that doesn't attack its neighbors, a country that doesn't lose its
characteristics, an Arab Muslim homeland believing in justice, mercy and peace.
No one would draw its future but us.
No group of mysterious men approved by the USA and mistrusted by the Iraqis
will take over its leadership but an Iraqi leadership out of the people; it would love them, defend them and guard their dignity.
The old flag represents all that.
Who wants to tarnish our beloved symbols?
The old flag was there before Saddam and there is no association between the two of them.
The old flag tells the story of our ancestors and their beautiful values we are proud of.

"White are our good deeds…..Black are our battles….Green are the oases where
we spend the spring... Red are our sharp swords"
That was all in the flag.

White, green, black and red. (T. note: It's to be noted that the Jordanian,
Palestinian, Kuwaiti flags are made of the same 4 colors, while the
Egyptian, Yemeni, Syrian flags are made of 3 of them. Almost in any Arab flag one or more of those colors are present)


Who has the courage to erase those words so special to us and replace them with what suits him. An Iraqi living abroad for decades…What's Iraqi left in him?
It's such a weird time. You can't differentiate between your friend and your enemy anymore.

Your enemy comes from within...
That's the worst thing for Iraqis...
Their enemy emerges out of them, starting form Saddam Hussien.
You may add whoever neo-Saddam you like to the list.
They are nothing but neo-Saddams with different names and faces.

posted by faiza : 6:53 PM
{translated by Mohammed, from Egypt }
http://afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Abu Gharib Prisoner Scandal - Open your eyes!

Appreciates if you can send us more other pictures. Make US open their eyes. (Email me pls)

Color Pictures from CBS


























Monday, May 10, 2004

Bomb attack kills Chechen president


(AAP Photo) - Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov addresses the stadium crowd just minutes before the blast.


Chechnya's pro-Kremlin president Akhmad Kadyrov was killed along with as many as 31 others in a bomb attack that dealt a grave blow to President Vladimir Putin's effort to establish control over the republic.

The blast tore through seats at a packed stadium in the separatist capital as the republic's top brass and spectators were watching a concert marking Victory Day celebrations commemorating the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany.

Casualty figures were unclear, as senior Russian and Chechen officials gave conflicting figures of between six and 40 dead.

A Chechen interior ministry spokesman told reporters 32 people had died and 46 others had been injured at the sports stadium. But a senior Russian federal administrator Vladimir Yakovlev, whose district includes Chechnya, said six had died.

Russia's top general in the region was also reported to have been seriously injured in the blast. Officials said his leg was amputated and he remained in grave condition in a Grozny hospital.

The blast came two days after Putin was sworn in to a second four-year term in office.

The Russian leader angrily vowed to exact revenge on Chechnya's separatist rebels even though there was no initial claim of responsibility for the attack.

It also came only minutes after Putin oversaw a grand military parade on Moscow's Red Square and appeared timed exactly to coincide with the holiday in a dramatic demonstration that the Chechen conflict was far from over.

Putin confirmed Kadyrov - the target of several previous assassination attempts - had been killed.

"Kadyrov passed away on May 9 on the day of our national holiday, Victory Day," Putin said while meeting with Kadyrov's son Ramzan, who heads Chechen security forces.

"This was a real, heroic man."

Kadyrov, a one-time rebel, switched allegiance to Moscow at the outbreak of the second Chechen war in 1999 and was elected president of the Caucasus republic in elections last October.

Putin appointed Chechen prime minister Sergei Abramov - whose influence in the region appears limited - as temporary head in the republic.

"I know that you have good ties with the security forces in the republic," Putin told Abramov, a former banker who replied cautiously that he planned "to finish... what Kadyrov started".

Other reported casualties included Reuters journalist Adlan Khasanov and, according to Yakovlev, a Chechen official Hussein Issayev and an eight-year-old girl.

The explosion occurred while well-known Chechen artist Tamara Dadasheva was performing on stage, eyewitnesses said. The blast, which ripped off her leg, caused screams of horror and a rush for the exits.

Chechen police arrested and were interrogating five suspects but no formal charges have been filed, Russian news reports said.

The bomb - made of an explosives-filled 152-mm missile shell and apparently set off by remote control - appeared to have been planted just below the VIP section of the stadium, where Kadyrov and Baranov had been sitting.

Chechen interior ministry officials said the stadium, which had been completed only recently, had been searched meticulously before Sunday's performance but that the bomb had been carefully hidden in a block of concrete. Two more unexploded bombs had been found in the stadium after the attack, they said.

The impact of the blast hit Kadyrov and the stadium's front seats, where veterans and artists were sitting, one witness said.

"During the explosion, Kadyrov was hit in the head, shoulders and legs," Chechen interior ministry spokesman Tauz Dzhabrailov, who was also injured, said. He said Kadyrov had been seen wiping away blood from his forehead as he was carried away to hospital.

The explosion was followed by a round of gunshots but it was not clear where they came from.

Separatist rebels have regularly used Chechen or Russian holidays as occasions to stage attacks against Russian targets but there was no initial claim of responsibility for the attack.

The attack was quickly condemned by the European Union and several governments, including Britain, France, Spain and Turkey.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana condemned the "terrorist attack", while the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, underlined its "condemnation of all forms of terrorism regardless of its alleged motives and whoever its perpetrators".

The explosion cast a shadow over Victory Day, one of the most celebrated events on the Russian calendar.

It has also shed doubt on Moscow's claims that Chechnya was under control.

Putin has regularly refused to negotiate with rebels in mainly Muslim Chechnya and used his Red Square address to call on the world to unite against the threat of global "terrorism".

Putin sent troops into Chechnya in what was meant to be a lightning "anti-terror operation" while he was still serving as prime minister in October 1999.

The war proved popular and helped him win the presidency the following year but it has since degenerated into a brutal guerrilla conflict.

Kadyrov represented Russia's great hope of finally stamping its control on the region and proving to the world - and voters - its claim that calm has returned to Chechnya after a decade of violence that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Kadyrov, 52, was a one-time Muslim cleric who won a landslide victory in Chechnya's highly controversial presidential election last October.

During the first war between Russian troops and Chechen separatists in 1994-1996, Kadyrov fought with the rebels. Appointed a mufti in 1995, he called for a jihad, or holy war, against Russia.

But he later toned down his religious views and when Russia launched the second war against Chechen separatists in October 1999, Kadyrov sided with Moscow.

His recent anti-Islamist stance earned him respect among ordinary Chechens, who have become disenchanted with their elected separatist leaders, and several warlords had pledged allegiance to him. But he had many enemies and was often branded a Kremlin puppet.