Saturday, October 15, 2005

Iraq : Voting begins

Polls have opened on time amid tight security in Iraq, where people are voting on a new constitution designed to secure the future of the country.
President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari were among the first to cast their ballots.


Iraqi troops and police, along with US-led foreign forces, have been deployed to try to prevent insurgents disrupting the referendum.

Iraq's borders have been closed to non-essential traffic.

Private cars are banned from roads in many areas.

If it passes, will the left (aka Anti-Bush) group say the vote is a farse and they dont represent the country?

Or will they just accept that maybe things are not as hopeless as they have implied.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 17, 2005 4:33 pm  

Amen g

By Anonymous NYCtexan, at October 17, 2005 8:21 pm  

hehehe G i have already said the vote will pass , further down this page ..

The vote will have no impact on the insurgancy at all and bring no change to the country apart from


giving Iran a much larger say in running the country

bringing full islamic law to the south

making more sunni's angry

so the answer is neither

I have always hoped that the constitution would be re-written so that the Sunni got a fair deal that is true

but it looks like it will pass , and only the very stupid with actually believe this will have any effecton bringing the troops home or stopping the violence

all this will proove to us G is that we are settingh up a Shia dictatorship that will be more islamic and just as twisted as saddam

nice job

well done

really worth losing all those american , british amd iraqi lives for was it ?


:-)

By Blogger _H_, at October 17, 2005 9:31 pm  

3,663 Iraqis killed in past 6 months

(AP): Saturday's vote on Iraq's new constitution takes place nearly six months after the country's first elected government took power, and during that period at least 3,663 Iraqis have been killed in war-related violence, according to an Associated Press count.

The current interim government took power on April 28 after long negotiations that followed parliamentary elections in January.

The AP gathered the statistics on Iraqi dead on a daily basis from hospital officials, Iraqi police, the Iraqi military and other government officials.

The Iraqi deaths include civilians, bodyguards, police, security forces and the military. They do not include the nearly 1,000 Shiite pilgrims killed in an Aug. 21 stampede on a Baghdad bridge that began when rumors spread through the crowd that a suicide bomber was among the faithful.

As of Thursday, the AP count also showed that at least 395 members of the U.S. military have died in the same period.

Since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, at least 1,970 members of the U.S. military have died, according to a separate AP count. At least 1,531 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers. The figures include five military civilians.

There is no way to compare the Iraqi death toll from April 28 to present with earlier periods because it was impossible to obtain figures from many areas of the country. Also there is still no single central source for war-related Iraqi deaths.

I the the term "war related".... that is a nice way of not singaling out the insurgents, and thus allowing the US military to share the blame for their suicide bombings in an open market.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 17, 2005 4:34 pm  

sdxbugin the rest of the world apart from the US the US military/government is seen as totaly to blame for the insurgancy , it is only you guys in the USthat for some odd reason thinks it should be seperated !

i have said many times G , you started the fire but now you dont want to be blamed for the fire !

sorry buddy , as colin powell said , you break it , you own it !

By Blogger _H_, at October 17, 2005 9:34 pm  

erm dont ask me what sdxbugin is !!!

it should just say the word "in"

By Blogger _H_, at October 17, 2005 9:35 pm  

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fake Terror

NEW YORK (AP) -- The tip last year from would-be FBI informant Tanveer Choudhry sounded frightening. Two brothers intent on killing Jews planned to hijack a pair of gasoline trucks and turn the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into an inferno, the Pakistani immigrant told agents. But before New Yorkers knew anything about it, investigators came to a familiar conclusion: The tipster was lying.


Authorities say that since the Sept. 11 attacks, an untold number of hoaxers have preyed on fears of terrorism on U.S. soil by telling phony stories in hopes of winning favors from the government, settling scores or simply causing mischief.

Most of the tales are quickly and quietly discounted. But this week an alleged al-Qaida plot to bomb the New York subway system highlighted the potential for tips to spread fear and tie up investigators before they are proven to be false alarms.

Hoping to discourage phony threats, Congress passed a law last year making it a crime to convey false or misleading information about a terrorist attack. The offense carries up to five years in prison - and 20 years to life if the hoax causes injury or death.

"Hoaxes waste resources that are needed to chase down real tips," said Dean Boyd, spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department.

Choudhry was deported after admitting he provided the fake tip about the bridge plot in a bid to win asylum - a common motive. Other tipsters make false accusations "to get back at their ex-wives or someone they were in car accident with. ... You name it," Boyd said.

The recent subway threat apparently was more a case of bad information than outright fabrication, some officials said.

Acting on a tip volunteered to U.S. authorities by a paid informant in Baghdad, city officials and the FBI last week issued a public warning and sent thousands of extra police officers to guard the subways. Four days later, the protection was lifted after investigators found no evidence to support his story that a team of terrorists would use briefcases and baby strollers packed with explosives to attack the subway.

Some news reports have said the threat was a hoax. But some federal officials said it is more likely the informant was passing along false information he believed was true.

Local officials have stood by their decision to boost security, saying that the informant had passed a lie detector test and had a good track record, and that his warning was too detailed and too dire to be ignored.

"This was a planned attack that had a specific time and target and method," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week after the informant's story unraveled. "It was the first really serious allegation of a direct attack on this city since 9/11."

Other chilling threats have come and gone without becoming full-blown scares.

Last December in upstate New York, Danian Terzi alarmed the state troopers who arrested him for purse snatching by claiming he and others had smuggled C-4 explosives from St. Louis to New York with plans to detonate a bomb in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Court papers say that after the FBI was called in, Terzi "recanted the story and admitted the story was an elaborate hoax."

Ahmed Allali - an Algerian immigrant and Indianapolis gas station owner facing deportation for having a fraudulent passport - claimed last year that he had traveled to the United States in 1998 with al-Qaida operatives, and provided extensive details about a sleeper cell that was planning to set off bombs in five major cities. The scare tied up scores of investigators before Allali admitted making up the tale to avoid being kicked out of the country.

Earlier this year, a suspected immigrant-smuggler in Mexico sent investigators scrambling when he reported that two Iraqis had crossed the border and were plotting to strike Boston with a dirty bomb. Authorities concluded that the caller, Jose Ernesto Beltran Quinones, may have made up the story to frame another smuggler.

Mexican officials said Beltran was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He told them the call was "only a joke."

what is with the associated picture? I dont get the connection to an entire post about reported terrorist threat hoaxes.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 17, 2005 4:36 pm  

just for fun G , i spotted the pic and liked it , the point is not to believe everything authority tells you , as often they are hyping a single source story that they often know is pure bull

like the guys who painted the word "satin gas" on the side of his crop sprayer for a joke and then we had the national anouncement of "danger al-qaeda will use crop sprayers"

is pure bull shit designed to make people feel scared and to justify the importance of the war on terror

keep them scared ....

your government did it very well

in 2003 75 % of americans thought saddam had something to do with 9/11

i wonder how they got that idea LOL

even today just over 45 % think saddam had something to do with it

why ?

well every speach went "blah blah blah , saddam , blah blah blah al-qaeda"

it is a perfect example of how to feed your own people propoganda , and it worked

it worked so well the reps and the dems both fell for it

and so did "most" of the us population

sadly many are still suckered by it

By Blogger _H_, at October 17, 2005 9:41 pm  

"Hoping to discourage phony threats, Congress passed a law last year making it a crime to convey false or misleading information about a terrorist attack. The offense carries up to five years in prison - and 20 years to life if the hoax causes injury or death."

So, this implies that whomever provided the funky info to NYC could do time? Like 5 years? I wonder how old Chertoff will be then?

By Anonymous Nostradamnthem, at October 20, 2005 4:41 am  

The Iraqi constitution , what are the key voting battlegrounds

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The question of whether Iraq's constitution passes or fails will come down to three "swing" provinces, each of which has a majority Sunni population, but also large Shiite or Kurdish communities.

These will be the electoral battlegrounds, where Sunni Arab opponents try to get the threshold two-thirds "no" vote they want to defeat the charter.

The constitution is intended to meld Iraq's Shiite majority and its Sunni Arab and Kurdish minorities into a single nation. But the tortured negotiations that produced the draft have left many embittered, alienated and suspicious - even as Sunni-led insurgents wage a campaign of bloodshed aimed at destroying the new, U.S.-backed political order.

It is considered likely that the approximately 140-article document will pass since a majority of the nation's 27 million people support it.

Leaders of the Shiites - who make up about 60 percent of the population - are solidly in favor of it, as are Kurdish leaders.

The country's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has even ordered Shiites to vote "yes." His word could mean a flood of voters in the mostly Shiite south - as it did in January parliament elections.

But a majority doesn't necessarily mean success. According to an interim constitution, if any three of Iraq's 18 provinces see a two-thirds "no" vote, the new charter will fail and the drafting process will start over with the election of another parliament in December.

Sunni Arab opponents are campaigning hard to make that threshold.

They will likely reach it in Anbar province, the vast western region that is the heartland of Iraq's Sunni Arabs and the insurgency. Count Anbar as one of the "no" provinces.

Crucial to watch are three other "swing" provinces: Nineveh in the northwest and Salahuddin and Diyala, north and northeast of Baghdad. Each has a Sunni Arab majority population, but also significant Shiite or Kurdish minorities.

In these electoral battlegrounds, turnout - and the type of turnout - will be critical. If Sunni Arab opponents can rally supporters to the polls, they may be able to outweigh the presumed "yes" vote from Shiites and Kurds in Nineveh, Salahuddin and Diyala.

But if Sunnis stay away - either out of apathy, disillusionment or fear of violence - the Shiite or Kurdish population could stop them short of a two-thirds "no."

Further complicating matters, the Sunni Arab vote around the country may split between "yes" and "no."

At the last minute, one Sunni party came out in support of the constitution after Shiites and Kurds agreed to amendments addressing Sunni objections and giving them the chance to try to make further changes later.

Most other Sunni parties still reject the constitution, saying the amendments are not enough. Sunni voters may be so confused they decline to vote.

Sunnis boycotted the Jan. 30 elections, but the minority's leaders have reversed their position and called for participation in the referendum to increase their political representation.

My view is the constitution will just about scrape through , but will have little if any impact on bringing stability to the country

PS , dont ask about the camel !

By Blogger _H_, at October 14, 2005 11:30 pm  

lol.... already, in the face of being proven wrong, you are saying "it wont matter though".

at some point, you will have to accept that things are not as bad as they have been implied.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 17, 2005 4:37 pm  

G , i have always said it wont matter ,

do you think the insurgants actually care about this

of course not

we have isolated the sunnis and they we keep on bombing the shia

you think this makes the slightest difference

By Blogger _H_, at October 17, 2005 9:43 pm  

Insurgents put Baghdad into darkness

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Insurgents sabotaged power lines to the capital Friday evening, knocking out electricity across the greater Baghdad area and plunging it into darkness on the eve of the country's key vote on a new constitution.



Mahmoud al-Saaedi, an Electricity Ministry spokesman, said power lines were sabotaged between the northern towns of Kirkuk and Beiji leading to the Baghdad region.

He did not specify how insurgents damaged the lines, but militants in the past have used bombs to hit infrastructure.

Iraqi and U.S. forces have clamped down with intensive security measures to prevent insurgent attacks on voters Saturday.

Al-Saaedi had earlier said "technical problems" were to blame for the blackout and that there was no sign of sabotage.

The lights went out soon after sundown, when Muslims break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan, at around 6 p.m. Power was still off more than two hours later, ahead of the start of the 10 p.m. curfew.

Baghdad's skyline was black except for pinpoints of light from private generators. The blackout appeared to have affected much of Baghdad province, an area of 2,250 square miles.

until midnight... feeble attempts by desperate people.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 17, 2005 4:38 pm  

yea so desperate that the british have stopped using the roads in the south

after nearly 3 years , the roads are not safe to drive on so helicopter is the only way to get about

the "desperate people" line is just wishfull thinking G

By Blogger _H_, at October 17, 2005 9:45 pm  

Iraq Sunni party offices attacked

Three offices of an Iraqi Sunni party which dropped its opposition to the new constitution have been attacked, a day before a referendum on the text.
In Baghdad, a bomb exploded outside the office of the Iraqi Islamic Party.

Gunmen set fire to the party's office in the western city of Falluja, and ransacked its office in Baiji, north of Baghdad. No injuries were reported.

Many Sunni parties oppose the text, and have called on Iraqis to boycott the poll or vote "No".

Source : BBC

UK lawyer joins Saddam's defence

A UK lawyer who helped free the Guildford Four in 1989 is joining the legal team to defend ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on mass murder charges. Anthony Scrivener QC joins the defence for the Iraqi-run trial, which is due to start at a secret location next week, the BBC's Newsnight has learned.

Saddam Hussein's lawyers have attacked the legitimacy of the tribunal and say they do not know all the charges.

Chief judge Raed Juhi has said he hopes the proceedings will be televised.

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman said Mr Scrivener's decision would help to avoid the trial "descending into farce".

"If this is not to become a mockery, [it is important] that there are proper lawyers and good lawyers on the defence side, who can help to make it into a fair process," he said.

Abdel Haq Alani, the Iraqi-born barrister who has assembled the defence team, told Newsnight the Iraqi Special Tribunal where the trial is due to start on 19 October was illegal

"It was drafted by an occupying power. It has no right under international law to change the legal system of the occupied land," he said.

The only charges so far detailed against Saddam and seven associates relate to 143 executions in the Shia village of Dujail in 1982, which followed a failed assassination attempt on the leader.

So let me get this straight , We have sent our forces around the world to fight and die removing this dictator who is being charged with the deaths of just 143 people !

Read the full Article Here and watch the video from the BBC Here

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

WASHINGTON Oct 13, 2005 — It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

"This is an important time," Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. "The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."

Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.

As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering how often do we train with the Iraqi military who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit the hometown and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the U.S. would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.

"So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said.

Article from ABC News , continue reading Here

Posted by NYCtexan (forgot password)

It seems to me from reading the transcript that the lady was coordinating who would answer questions on each topic. She doesn't seem to be telling them what to say or what the question will be. If a CEO comes into a board room and asks a question, the person most familiar with the area with which the question is concerned should be the one answering the question. Likewise, when the president asked a question, the soldier most familiar with the topic should answer. If the soldiers had scripts written by the bush administration or the pentagon then I might be concerned.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2005 6:05 pm  

What gives the game a way a little is when Barber says " now when you talk to the president about New York , pause there and take a breath , this is powerfull stuff"

In my view it was of course sripted , can you Imagine the president coming up against say a soldier from New Orleans who is going to shout at the president about his home city or whatever

they obviously knew every point that would be raised in advance ...

To me the point is not that it is scripted , most leaders of most countries would do the same , It is a PR event , so they must ensure that it is good PR

The Point is being silly enough to allow such a moment to be filmed , so that the press can exploit it .

It would concern me if people actually thought they were watching unscripted events when the leader of the country is present

I remember as a child the British Queen came to where i lived and 2 hours before they had people spraying the grass with green paint to make it look good on TV

Somebody messed up here , it reminds me of the "Major league ass hole" comment a few years ago

Thanks for your comments NYCtexan , I apreciate your thoughts

By Blogger _H_, at October 14, 2005 6:28 pm  

Al Qaeda reject al-Zawahri letter as fake

Oct 13, 2005 — DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's wing in Iraq on Thursday rejected as a fake a letter by top group leader Ayman al-Zawahri which was issued by U.S. officials this week, according to an Internet posting.





"We in Al Qaeda Organization announce that there is no truth to these claims, which are only based on the imagination of the politicians of the Black (White) House and their slaves," the group said in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site about the letter.

According to the letter released this week by U.S. intelligence officials, al Qaeda's second in command Zawahri urged the group's leader in Iraq to prepare for an Islamic government to take over the country when U.S. forces leave. He also said brutal tactics risked alienating Muslims.

If you wish to read the entire letter for yourself you can do so Here

I dont doubt this in the slightest H. It actually was my first thought

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 14, 2005 5:28 pm  

Dutch court blocks Egyptian's extradition to US

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court blocked the extradition to the United States on Wednesday of a man with Dutch and Egyptian nationality suspected of links to al Qaeda, citing insufficient guarantees over the suspect's basic rights.



The Hague court confirmed a preliminary finding, voicing concerns the suspect could be subject to sweeping presidential powers enacted after the September 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks allowing suspects to be detained indefinitely without charge.

The man, whose name was withheld by the court, is suspected of telecommunications fraud with the aim of facilitating contacts between al Qaeda operatives.

"The risk that the petitioner will be confronted with suspicions of involvement in the al Qaeda network is certainly not imaginary," the court said in the preliminary finding in August.

"This gives sufficient reason to believe that with regard to him, fundamental legal guarantees -- such as direct, unlimited and undisturbed contact with a lawyer and timely access to a judge -- could be threatened."

The court upheld this ruling on Wednesday, saying a U.S. diplomatic note was not specific and insufficient.

In the note, cited in the judgment, the U.S. embassy in The Hague said it viewed the request for guarantees as unwarranted and unnecessary.

It pointed to a provision in the extradition treaty between the United States and the Netherlands that declares that a suspect can only be tried for offences for which they have been extradited.

"We note that persons extradited to the United States are accorded, at their trial, the full panoply of rights under United States law, including under the United States constitution," the note said.

In the case of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who has been held in a South Carolina Navy prison for more than three years as a suspected enemy combatant without being charged, a federal appeals court ruled in September that President George W. Bush has the power to detain him.

The appeals court reversed a decision by a federal judge in South Carolina who ruled in February that Bush had no authority to have Padilla held as an enemy combatant. The judge said Padilla must be released if he is not charged with a crime.

Todays last throws in Iraq : October 13th

Oct 13 (Reuters) - Following are security incidents reported in Iraq on Wednesday, Oct. 13, as of 0900 GMT.





UDAIM - Two senior officials from ethnic Turkmen parties were abducted on Wednesday in Udaim, south of Kirkuk.

Police captain Said Ahmed said Kana'an Shakir, the secretary general of the Independent Turkmen Movement, and Hashim Ali, an official in the Turkmen Front, were kidnapped with nine of their bodyguards near Udaim on their way from Baghdad.

MOSUL - Two civilians were killed and one wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S patrol in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police and medical sources said. A U.S. Humvee vehicle was also destroyed, police said, although the U.S. military had no immediate comment on the incident.

RAMADI - A women was killed and 10 other people were wounded on Wednesday when U.S. force conducted an air strike on a residential district in Ramadi, 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad, doctor Uday al-Rawi said. The U.S. military had no immediate information about any air strikes in the area.

TIKRIT - A civilian was killed when a mortar round landed on a vegetable market in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAIJI - A policeman from the Facility Protection Service, a government-run security force, was killed by gunmen in Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Eight policemen were wounded when two mortar rounds landed on Aadamiya police station in northern Baghdad, police said. They said one of the wounded was Brigadier Khalid, the director of the police station.

Video : The Bush family scandals

Must watch video

The BBC and Greg Palast, Investigate the Bush family scandals
Go on , put your feet up and watch a documentry

Here

Thursday, October 13, 2005

CIA rebukes the Bush administration

WASHINGTON — A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.




Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.

"In an ironic twist, the policy community was receptive to technical intelligence (the weapons program), where the analysis was wrong, but apparently paid little attention to intelligence on cultural and political issues (post-Saddam Iraq), where the analysis was right," they write.

White House spokesman Fred Jones said Tuesday that the administration considered many scenarios involving postwar instability in Iraq. The report's assertion "has been vehemently disputed," he said.

Then-CIA director George Tenet commissioned the report after the invasion of Iraq. The authors had access to highly classified intelligence data and produced three reports concerning Iraq intelligence.

Only the third has been released in declassified form. It is published in the current issue of Studies in Intelligence, a CIA quarterly written primarily for intelligence professionals. The report was finished in July 2004 just as Tenet was ending his tenure as CIA director.

The report determined that beyond the errors in assessing Iraqi weaponry, "intelligence produced prior to the war on a wide range of other issues accurately addressed such topics as how the war would develop and how Iraqi forces would or would not fight."

The intelligence "also provided perceptive analysis on Iraq's links to al-Qaeda; calculated the impact of the war on oil markets; and accurately forecast the reactions of ethnic and tribal factions in Iraq."

The postwar struggle pitting Sunni Arabs against Shiite and Kurdish factions has led some analysts, including Saud al-Faisal, foreign minister of neighboring Saudi Arabia, to conclude Iraq is at risk of splitting into three pieces.

Kerr's report agrees with other government reviews in concluding that prewar intelligence on Iraqi weapons was faulty. Costly U.S. spy satellites were of little help, providing "accurate information on relatively few critical issues."

Intelligence analysts, the report says, failed to question their assumptions that Iraq had maintained chemical and biological weapons and had reactivated nuclear weapons development. Doubts about the intelligence received little attention, "hastening the conversion of heavily qualified judgments into accepted fact."

ahhh Washington, where covering your ass is the first priority...

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 13, 2005 6:00 pm  

LOL

this was a leaving present from George Tenet

By Blogger _H_, at October 14, 2005 1:04 am  

Saddam's trial 'to be televised'

The trial of Iraq's ex-leader Saddam Hussein is to go ahead next week as planned and proceedings will be televised, the chief judge says.

Whether Saddam Hussein faces the death penalty if convicted "will be decided at the last minute," the judge said.

The ex-leader and his aides have been accused of many crimes against humanity - the first charge concerns a massacre in the Shia village of Dujail in 1982.

Saddam's defence team have repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of the trial.

They have said there has been insufficient time to prepare. They have also accused the trial judges of bias.

Source : BBC

24 sue Danish Prime Minister over invasion of Iraq

Twenty-four Danish citizens have brought suit challenging Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's decision to go to war against Iraq.




While Denmark's contingent in Iraq is small -- about 500 troops -- Rasmussen has been criticized widely for misleading the people and Denmark's Parliament that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The Danish force was an original member of the U.S.-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003.

Under Denmark's constitution, the group says the nation must be threatened directly or be acting under a U.N. mandate to go to war. the group says neither condition was met.

It could take up to two years to determine if the 24 people are interested parties allowed to bring such a suit and, if they are, as long as five years for the constitutional case to be decided

Must watch TV : Jack straw interview on Iraq

From BBC Newsnight , must watch interview on Iraq with the British Home Secretary .

This Video is only available for 24 hours and covers the full range of the current British debate

Very balanced

Watch now Here (windows media player required)

Jeremy Paxman at his best ....

This video is no longer availible , it will istead show the most current edition of the UK's Newsnight

By Blogger _H_, at October 14, 2005 6:35 pm  

Tit-for-tat: Iran accuses Britain of weapons smuggling

Source: Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Oct. 12 – Iran’s state-owned press and senior security officials in the south-western Iranian province of Khuzestan accused Britain on Wednesday of smuggling weapons from Iraq to the Islamic Republic.


The accusations come as a senior British defence official told British dailies that Tehran was training Iraqi insurgents to carry out attacks on the Multi-National Force in Iraq.

The semi-official daily Kayhan claimed that four detained arms smugglers in Khuzestan had testified that London was meddling in southern Iran.

“At a time when the British government is using its mass press and Westerners to blame the Islamic Republic of Iran for interfering and meddling in Iraq, members of a weapons-smuggling ring confessed, after their arrest, that Britain oversaw arms smuggling from Iraq to Iran”, Kayhan wrote.

The top police commander in the province also said, “With the efforts of the State Security Forces in the province of Khuzestan and during an intelligence operation, 117 guns were discovered and confiscated from four weapons smugglers in the province”.

“These smugglers said during interrogation that the weapons had been brought in from the Iraqi province of al-Amara”, Brig. Gen. Isa Darai said.

“According to the confessions of the smugglers, there are several markets in the Iraqi province of al-Amara where weapons are bought and sold. British and American military forces are fully aware of the illegal actions and the smuggling of weapons to Iran. This is happening at a time when control in al-Amara is the responsibility of British troops”, the SSF chief in Khuzestan said.
Kayhan added that since the start of this year 1,603 guns had been confiscated in the province, “most of which were brought in to Iran’s Khuzestan province with the support of agents of Israel’s Mossad and backing of British troops”.

The daily wrote that British forces had armed “Iraqi trouble-makers” and given them “complete immunity and security” to “ensure that the entry routes to Khuzestan remained secure”.

Late September, Khuzestan’s Chief Prosecutor accused Canada and the United Kingdom of supporting and training individuals who carried out a spate of bombings in the provincial capital, Ahwaz, in June.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Read the purported letter to al-Zarqawi from al-Zawahri : In full

This is the full English translation of the purported letter written to the ever reincarnating Zarqarwi on the 9th of July. Is this U.S. disinformation or an authentic piece of intelligence? Well that depends on where you reside in the debate . There is something in the letter for everyone to grab and quote . Which is one of many reasons why I think this letter is pure disinformation

Decide for yourself , but my advice is make yourself comfortable first , its a long long long letter !

1-- Editor’s note: A senior U.S. intelligence official provided NBC News with copies of the original Arabic and English translation of the July 9 letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. This is the letter as published Tuesday on the Web site of the Director of National Intelligence. Anomalies of logic, punctuation, numerical and alphabetical order have been left intact. Despite some passages that indicate that it may be addressed to another person in Zarqawi's organization, the U.S. government “has the highest confidence in the letter's authenticity,” the Web site said.

In the name of God, praise be to God, and praise and blessings be upon the Messenger of God, his family, his Companions, and all those who follow him.

The gracious brother Abu Musab, God protect him and watch over him, may His religion, and His Book and the Sunna of His Prophet aid him, I ask the Almighty that he bless him, us, and all Muslims, with His divine aid, His clear victory, and His release from suffering be close at hand. Likewise, I ask the Almighty to gather us as He sees fit from the glory of this world and the prize of the hereafter.

1. Dear brother. God Almighty knows how much I miss meeting with you, how much I long to join you in your historic battle against the greatest of criminals and apostates in the heart of the Islamic world, the field where epic and major battles in the history of Islam were fought. I think that if I could find a way to you, I would not delay a day, God willing.

2. My dear brother, we are following your news, despite the difficulty and hardship. We received your last published message sent to Sheikh Usama Bin Ladin, God save him. Likewise, I made sure in my last speech-that Al-Jazeera broadcast Saturday, 11 Jumadi I, 1426b, [18 June 2005] to mention you, send you greetings, and show support and thanks for the heroic acts you are performing in defense of Islam and the Muslims, but I do not know what Al-Jazeera broadcast. Did this part appear or not? I will try to attach the full speech with this message, conditions permitting.

Likewise, I showed my support for your noble initiative to join with your brothers, during a prior speech I sent to the brothers a number of months ago, but the brothers' circumstances prevented its publication.

3. I want to reassure you about our situation. The summer starred hot with operations escalating in Afghanistan, The enemy struck a blow against us with the arrest of Abu al-Faraj, may God break his bonds. However, no Arab brother was arrested because of him. The brothers tried — and were successful to a great degree — to contain the fall of Abu al-Faraj as much as they could.

However, the real danger comes from the agent Pakistani army that is carrying out operations in the tribal areas looking for mujahedeen.

4. I want to keep corresponding with you about the details of what is going on in dear Iraq, especially since we do not know the full truth as you know it Therefore. I want you to explain to me your situation in a little detail, especially in regards to the political angle. I want you to express to me what is on your mind in regards to what is on my mind in the way of questions and inquiries.

A. I want to be the first to congratulate you for what God has blessed you with in terms of fighting battle in the heart of the Islamic world, which was formerly the field for major battles in Islam's history, and what is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era, and what will happen, according to what appeared in the Hadiths of the Messenger of God about the epic battles between Islam and atheism.

It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of the Prophet in the heart of the Islamic world, specifically in the Levant, Egypt, and the neighboring states of the Peninsula and Iraq; however, the center would be in the Levant and Egypt. This is my opinion, which I do not preach as infallible, but I have reviewed historical events and the behavior of the enemies of Islam themselves, and they did not establish Israel in this triangle surrounded by Egypt and Syria and overlooking the Hijaz except for their own interests.

As for the battles that are going on in the far-flung legions of the Islamic world, such as Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Bosnia, they are just the groundwork and the vanguard for the major battles which have begun in the heart of the Islamic world. We ask God that He send down His victory upon us that be promised to his faithful worshipers.

It is strange that the Arab nationalists also have, despite their avoidance of Islamic practice, come to comprehend the great importance of this province. It is like a bird whose wings are Egypt and Syria, and whose heart is Palestine. They have come to comprehend the goal of planting Israel in this region, and they are not misled in this. Rather they have admired their ignorance of the religious nature of this conflict.

What I mean is that God has blessed you and your brothers while many of the Muslim mujahedeen have longed for that blessing, and that is Jihad in the heart of the Islamic world. He has, in addition to that, granted you superiority over the idolatrous infidels, traitorous apostates, and those turncoat deviants.

This is what God Almighty has distinguished you and your brothers with over the mujahedeen before you who fought in the heart of the Islamic world, and in Egypt and Syria to be precise, but this splendor and superiority against the enemies of Islam was not ordained for them.

God also blessed you not only with the splendor of the spearhead of Jihad, but with the splendor as well of the doctrines of monotheism, the rejection of polytheism, and avoidance of the tenets of the secularists and detractors and inferiors, the call to the pure way of the Prophet, and the sublime goal that the Prophet left to his companions. (This is a blessing on top of blessing on top of blessing which obliges you and your noble brothers to be constantly thankful and full of praise. The Almighty said: (If ye are grateful. He is pleased with you) and the Almighty says; (If ye are grateful, I will add more unto you.)

B. Because of this, we are extremely concerned, as are the mujahedeen and all sincere Muslims, about your Jihad and your heroic acts until you reach its intended goal. You know well that purity of faith and the correct way of living are not connected necessarily to success in the field unless you take into consideration the reasons and practices which events are guided by. For the grandson of the Prophet Imam al Hussein Bin Ali), the Leader of the Faithful Abdallah Bin al-Zubair), Abdul Rahman Bin al-Ashath, and other great people, did not achieve their sought-after goal

.C. If our intended goal in this age is the establishment of a caliphate in the manner of the Prophet and if we expect to establish its state predominantly — according to how it appeals to us — in the heart of the Islamic world, then your efforts and sacrifices, God permitting, are a large step directly towards that goal.

So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals:

The first stage: expel the Americans from Iraq.

The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, i.e., in Sunni areas, is in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans, immediately upon their exit and before un-Islamic forces attempt to fill this void, whether those whom the Americans will leave behind them, or those among the un-Islamic forces who will ... jump at taking power.

There is no doubt that this amirate will enter into a fierce struggle with the foreign infidel forces, and those supporting them among the local forces, to put it in a state of constant preoccupation with defending itself, to make it impossible for it to establish a stable state which could proclaim a caliphate, and to keep the Jihadist groups in a constant state of war, until these forces find a chance to annihilate them.

The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.

The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.

My raising this idea — I don't claim that it's infallible — is only to stress something extremely important. And it is that the mujahedeen must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal. We will return to having the secularists and traitors holding sway over us. Instead, their ongoing mission is to establish an Islamic State, and defend it, and for every generation to hand over the banner to the one after it until the Hour of Resurrection.

If the manner is thus, we must contemplate our affairs carefully, so that we are not robbed of the spoils, and our brothers did not die, so that others can reap the fruits of their labor.

D. If we look at the two short-term goals, which are removing the Americans and establishing an Islamic amirate in Iraq, or a caliphate if possible, then, we will see that the strongest weapon which the mujahedeen enjoy — after the help and granting of success by God — is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq, and the surrounding Muslim countries.

So we must maintain this support as best we can, and we should strive to increase it, on the condition that striving for that support does not lead to any concession in the laws of the Sharia.

And it’s very important that you allow me to elaborate a little here on this issue of popular support. Let's say:

(1) If we are in agreement that the victory of Islam and the establishment of a caliphate in the manner of the Prophet will not be achieved except through jihad against the apostate rulers and their removal, then this goal will not be accomplished by the mujahed movement while it is cut off from public support, even if the Jihadist movement pursues the method of sudden overthrow.

This is because such an overthrow would not take place without some minimum of popular support and some condition of public discontent which offers the mujahed movement what it needs in terms of capabilities in the quickest fashion. Additionally, if the Jihadist movement were obliged to pursue other methods, such as a popular war of jihad or a popular intifadah, then popular support would be a decisive factor between victory and defeat.

(2) In the absence of this popular support, the Islamic mujahed movement would be crushed in the shadows, far from the masses who are distracted or fearful, and the struggle between the Jihadists elite and the arrogant authorities would be confined to prison dungeons far from the public and the light of day. This is precisely what the secular, apostate forces that are controlling our countries are striving for. These forces don't desire to wipe out the mujahed Islamic movement, rather they are stealthily striving to separate it from the misguided or frightened Muslim masses. Therefore, our planning must strive to involve the Muslim masses in the battle, and to bring the mujahed movement to the masses and not conduct the struggle far from them.

(3) The Muslim masses — for many reasons, and this is not the place to discuss it — do not rally except against an outside occupying enemy, especially if the enemy is firstly Jewish, and secondly American.This, in my limited opinion, is the reason for the popular support that the mujahedeen enjoy in Iraq, by the grace of God.As for the sectarian and chauvinistic factor, it is secondary in importance to outside aggression, and is much weaker than it. In my opinion-which is limited and which is what I see far from the scene-the awakening of the Sunni people in Iraq against the Shia would not have had such strength and toughness were it not for the treason of the Shia and their collusion with the Americans, and their agreement with them to permit the Americans to occupy Iraq in exchange for the Shia assuming power.

(4) Therefore, the mujahed movement must avoid any action that the masses do not understand or approve, if there is no contravention of Sharia in such avoidance, and as long as there are other options to resort to, meaning we must not throw the masses — scant in knowledge — into the sea before we teach them to swim, relying for guidance in that on the saying of the Prophet to Umar bin al-Khattab: lest the people should say that Muhammad used to kill his Companions.Among the practical applications of this viewpoint in your blessed arena:

(1) The matter of preparing for the aftermath of the exit of the Americans: The Americans will exit soon, God willing, and the establishment of a governing authority — as soon as the country is freed from the Americans — does not depend on force alone. Indeed, it's imperative that, in addition to force, there be an appeasement of Muslims and a sharing with them in governance and in the Shura council and in promulgating what is allowed and what is not allowed.

In my view, which I continue to reiterate is limited and has a distant perspective upon the events, this must be achieved through the people of the Shura and who possess authority to determine issues and make them binding, and who are endowed with the qualifications for working in Sharia law. They would be elected by the people of the country to represent them and overlook the work of the authorities in accordance with the rules of the glorious Sharia.And it doesn't appear that the Mujahedeen, much less the al-Qaida in the Land of Two Rivers, will lay claim to governance without the Iraqi people. Not to mention that that would be in contravention of the Shura methodology. That is not practical in my opinion.You might ask an important question: What drives me to broach these matters while we are in the din of war and the challenges of killing and combat?

My answer is, firstly: Things may develop faster than we imagine. The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam — and how they ran and left their agents — is noteworthy. Because of that, we must be ready starting now, before events overtake us, and before we are surprised by the conspiracies of the Americans and the United Nations and their plans to fill the void behind them. We must take the initiative and impose a fait accompli upon our enemies, instead of the enemy imposing one on us, wherein our lot would be to merely resist their schemes.

Second: This is the most vital part. This authority, or the Sharia amirate that is necessary, requires field work starting now, alongside the combat and war. It would be a political endeavor in which the mujahedeen would be a nucleus around which would gather the tribes and their elders, and the people in positions, and scientists, and merchants, and people of opinion, and all the distinguished ones who were not sullied by appeasing the occupation and those who defended Islam.We don't want to repeat the mistake of the Taliban, who restricted participation in governance to the students and the people of Qandahar alone.

They did not have any representation for the Afghan people in their ruling regime, so the result was that the Afghan people disengaged themselves from them. Even devout ones took the stance of the spectator and, when the invasion came, the amirate collapsed in days, because the people were either passive or hostile. Even the students themselves had a stronger affiliation to the tribes and their villages than their affiliation to the Islamic amirate or the Taliban movement or the responsible party in charge of each one of them in his place. Each of them retreated to his village and his tribe, where his affiliation was stronger!!The comparison between the fall of Kabul and the resistance of Fallujah, Ramadi, and Al Qaim and Aeir tearless sisters shows a clear distinction, by God's grace and His kindness.

It is the matter towards which we must strive, that we must support and strengthen. Therefore, I stress again to you and to all your brothers the need to direct the political action equally with the military action, by the alliance, cooperation and gathering of all leaders of opinion and influence in the Iraqi arena. I can't define for you a specific means of action. You are more knowledgeable about the field conditions. But you and your brothers must strive to have around you circles of support, assistance, and cooperation, and through them, to advance until you become a consensus, entity, organization, or association that represents all the honorable people and the loyal folks in Iraq. I repeat the warning against separating from the masses, whatever the danger.

(2) Striving for the unity of the mujahedeen: This is something I entrust to you. It is between you and God. If the mujahedeen are scattered, this leads to the scattering of the people around them. I don’t have detailed information about the situation of the mujahedeen, so I ask that you help us with some beneficial details in this, and the extent of the different mujahedeen movements' readiness to join the course of unity.

(3) Striving for the ulema: From the standpoint of not highlighting the doctrinal differences which the masses do not understand, such as this one is Matridi or this one is Ashari or this one is Salafi, and from the standpoint of doing justice to the people, for there may be in the world a heresy or an inadequacy in a side which may have something to give to jihad, fighting, and sacrifice for God. We have seen magnificent examples in the Afghan jihad, and the prince of believers, Mullah Muhammad Omar — may God protect him — himself is of Hanafi adherence, Matridi doctrine, but he stood in the history of Islam with a stance rarely taken.

You are the richer if you know the stances of the authentic ulema on rulers in times of jihad and the defense of the Muslim holy sites. And more than that, their stances on doing justice to the people and not denying their merit.The ulema among the general public are, as well, the symbol of Islam and its emblem. Their disparagement may lead to the general public deeming religion and its adherents as being unimportant. This is a greater injury than the benefit of criticizing a theologian on a heresy or an issue.Of course, these words, of mine have nothing to do with the hypocritical traitors who are in allegiance with the crusaders, but I wish to stress the warning against diminishing the ulema before the general public.

Also, the active mujahedeen ulema — even if there may be some heresy or fault in them that is not blasphemous — we must find a means to include them and to benefit from their energy. You know well what I am mentioning to you: that many of the most learned ulema of Islam such as Izz Bin Abdul Salam, al-Nawawi and Ibn Hajar — may God have mercy on them — were Ashari. And many of the most eminent jihadists whom the Umma resolved unanimously to praise such as Nur al-Din Bin Zanki and Salahal-Din al-Ayyubi were Ashari. The mujahedeen sultans who came after them, who didn't reach their level, whom the ulema and the historians lauded such as Sayf al-Din Qatz, Rukn al-Din Baybars, al-Nasir Muhammad Bin-Qallawun, and Muhammad al-Fatih, were Ashari or Matridi.

They fell into errors, sins and heresies. And the stances of Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiya regarding al-Nasir Muhammad Bin Qallawun and his extolling of him and his inciting him to jihad — despite the prosecutions and prison which befell the sheikh in his time — are well known.If you take into account the fact the most of the Umma's ulema are Ashari or Matridi, and if you take into consideration as well the fact that the issue of correcting the mistakes of Ideology is an issue that will require generations of the call to Islam and modifying the educational curricula, and that the mujahedeen are not able to undertake this burden, rather they are in need of those who will help them with the difficulties and problems they face; if you take all this into consideration, and add to it the fact that all Muslims are speaking of jihad, whether they are Salafi or non-Salafi, then you would understand that it is a duty of the mujahed movement to include the energies of the Umma and in its wisdom and prudence to fill the role of leader, trailblazer, and exploiter of all the capabilities of the Umma for the sake of achieving our aims: a caliphate along the lines of the Prophet's, with God's permission.

I do not know the details of the situation where you are, but I do not want us to repeat the mistake of Jamil al-Rahman, who was killed and whose organization was shattered because he neglected the realities on the ground.

(4) The position on the Shia: This subject is complicated and detailed. I have brought it up here so as not to address the general public on something they do not know. But please permit me to present it logically:

(A) I repeat that I see the picture from afar, and I repeat that you see what we do not see. No doubt you have the right to defend yourself, the mujahedeen and Muslims in general and in particular against any aggression or threat of aggression.

(B) I assert here that any rational person understands with ease that the Shia cooperated with the Americans in the invasion of Afghanistan, Rafsanjani himself confessed to it, and they cooperated with them in the overthrow of Saddam and the occupation of Iraq in exchange for the Shia’s assumption of power and their turning a blind eye to the American military presence in Iraq. This is clear to everybody who has two eyes.

(C) People of discernment and knowledge among Muslims know the extent of danger to Islam of the Twelve'er school of Shiism. It is a religious school based on excess and falsehood whose function is to accuse the companions of Muhammad of heresy in a campaign against Islam, in order to free the way for a group of those who call for a dialogue in the name of the hidden mahdi who is in control of existence and infallible in what he does. Their prior history in cooperating with the enemies of Islam is consistent with their current reality of connivance with the Crusaders.

(D) The collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the Shia is a matter that will happen sooner or later. This is the judgment of history, and these are the fruits to be expected from the rejectionist Shia sect and their opinion of the Sunnis. These are clear, well-known matters to anyone with a knowledge of history, the ideologies and the politics of states.

(E) We must repeat what we mentioned previously, that the majority of Muslims don't comprehend this and possibly could not even imagine it For that reason, many of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about your attacks on the Shia. The sharpness of this questioning increases when the attacks are on one of their mosques, and it increases more when the attacks are on the mausoleum of Imam All Bin Abi Talib, may God honor him. My opinion is that this matter won't be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it, and aversion to this will continue.Indeed, questions will circulate among mujahedeen circles and their opinion makers about the correctness of this conflict with the Shia at this time.

Is it something that is unavoidable? Or, is it something can be put off until the force of the mujahed movement in Iraq gets stronger? And if some of the operations were necessary for self-defense, were all of the operations necessary? Or, were there some operations that weren't called for? And is the opening of another front now in addition to the front against the Americans and the government a wise decision? Or, does this conflict with the Shia lift the burden from the Americans by diverting the mujahedeen to the Shia, while the Americans continue to control matters from afar? And if the attacks on Shia leaders were necessary to put a stop to their plans, then why were there attacks on ordinary Shia? Won't this lead to reinforcing false ideas in their minds, even as it is incumbent on us to preach the call of Islam to them and explain and communicate to guide them to the truth? And can the mujahedeen kill all of the Shia in Iraq? Has any Islamic state in history ever tried that? And why kill ordinary Shia considering that they are forgiven because of their ignorance? And what loss will befall us if we did not attack the Shia? And do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners — many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries — in the custody of the Iranians?

And even if we attack the Shia out of necessity, then why do you announce this matter and make it public, which compels the Iranians to take countermeasures? And do the brothers forget that both we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time in which the Americans are targeting us?All of these questions and others are circulating among your brothers, and they are monitoring the picture from afar, as I told you. One who monitors from afar lacks many of the important details that affect decision-making in the field.However, monitoring from afar has the advantage of providing the total picture and observing the general line without getting submerged in the details, which might draw attention away from the direction of the target.

As the English proverb says, the person who is standing among the leaves of the tree might not see the tree.One of the most important factors of success is that you don't let your eyes lose sight of the target, and that it should stand before you always. Otherwise you deviate from the general line through a policy of reaction. And this is a lifetime's experience, and I will not conceal from you the fact that we suffered a lot through following this policy of reaction, then we suffered a lot another time because we tried to return to the original line.One of the most important things facing the leadership is the enthusiasm of the supporters, and especially of the energetic young men who are burning to make the religion victorious.

This enthusiasm must flow wisely, and al-Mutanabbi says:Courage in a man does suffice but not like the courage of one who is wise. And he also says:Judiciousness precedes the courage of the courageous which is second.And when the two blend in one free soul it readies everywhere in the heavensIn summation, with regard to the talk about the issue of the Shia, I would like to repeat that I see that matter from afar without being aware of all the details, I would like my words to be deserving of your attention and consideration, and God is the guarantor of success for every good thing.

5) Scenes of slaughter: Among the things which the feelings of the Muslim populace who love and support you will never find palatable — also — are the scenes of slaughtering the hostages. You shouldn't be deceived by the praise of some of the zealous young men and their description of you as the sheikh of the slaughterers, etc. They do not express the general view of the admirer and the supporter of the resistance in Iraq, and of you in particular by the favor and blessing of God.

And your response, while true, might be: Why shouldn't we sow terror in the hearts of the Crusaders and their helpers? And isn't the destruction of the villages and the cities on the heads of their inhabitants more cruel than slaughtering? And aren't the cluster bombs and the seven-ton bombs and the depleted uranium bombs crueler than slaughtering? And isn't killing by torture crueler than slaughtering? And isn't violating the honor of men and women more painful and more destructive than slaughtering?All of these questions and more might be asked, and you are justified.

However, this does not change the reality at all, which is that the general opinion of our supporter does not comprehend that, and that this general opinion falls under a campaign by the malicious, perfidious, and fallacious campaign by the deceptive and fabricated media. And we would spare the people from the effect of questions about the usefulness of our actions in the hearts and minds of the general opinion that is essentially sympathetic to us.

And I say to you with sure feeling and I say that the author of these lines has tasted the bitterness of American brutality, and that my favorite wife's chest was crushed by a concrete ceiling and she went on calling for aid to lift the stone block off her chest until she breathed her last, may God have mercy on her and accept her among the martyrs. As for my young daughter, she was afflicted by a cerebral hemorrhage, and she continued for a whole day suffering in pain until she expired. And to this day I do not know the location of the graves of my wife, my son, my daughter, and the rest of the three other families who were martyred in the incident and who were pulverized by the concrete ceiling, may God have mercy on them and the Muslim martyrs. Were they brought out of the rubble, or are they still buried beneath it to this day?

However, despite all of this, I say to you that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Umma. And that however far our capabilities reach, they will never be equal to one-thousandth of the capabilities of the kingdom of Satan that is waging war on us. And we can kill the captives by bullet. That would achieve that which is sought after without exposing ourselves to the questions and answering to doubts. We don’t need this.E.

I would like you to explain for us another issue related to Iraq, and I think without a doubt that you are the most knowledgeable about it. Can the assumption of leadership for the mujahedeen or a group of the mujahedeen by non-Iraqis stir up sensitivity for some people? And if there is sensitivity, what is its effect? And how can it be eliminated while preserving the commitment of the jihadist work and without exposing it to any shocks? Please inform us in detail regarding this matter.

F. Likewise I would like you to inform us about the Iraqi situation in general and the situation of the mujahedeen in particular in detail without exposing the security of the mujahedeen and the Muslims to danger. At the least, we should know as much as the enemy knows. And allow us to burden you with this trouble, for we are most eager to learn your news.

G. I have a definite desire to travel to you but I do not know whether that is possible from the standpoint of traveling and getting settled, so please let me know. And God is the guarantor of every good thing.5. Please take every caution in the meetings, especially when someone claims to carry an important letter or contributions. It was in this way that they arrested Khalid Sheikh. Likewise, please, if you want to meet one of your assistants, I hope that you don't meet him in a public place or in a place that is not known to you. I hope that you would meet him in a secure place, not the place of your residence. Because Abu al-Faraj — may God set him free and release him from his torment — was lured by one of his brothers, who had been taken into custody, to meet him at a public location where a trap had been set.6. The brothers informed me that you suggested to them sending some assistance. Our situation since Abu al-Faraj is good by the grace of God, but many of the lines have been cut off.

Because of this, we need a payment while new lines are being opened. So. if you're capable of sending a payment of approximately one hundred thousand, we'll be very grateful to you.

7. The subject of the Algerian brothers at our end, there are fears from the previous experiences, so if you're able to get in touch with them and notify us of the details from them, we would be very grateful to you.8. As for news on the poor servant,A-During an earlier period I published some publications:

(1) Allegiance and exemption — A Faith transmitted, a lost reality.

(2) Strengthening the Banner of Islam — an article emphasizing the authority's commitment to monotheism.

(3) Wind of Paradise — an article about: Most Honorable Sacrifices of the Believers - Campaigns of Death and Martyrdom.I endeavored in this article to include what was written on the subject as much as I could, I also strived to verify every word in it, and it's an issue that took the almost a year or more.

(4) The Bitter Harvest — The Muslim Brotherhood in 60 Years — Second Edition 1426h - 2005m.In this edition, I wanted to delete all the extreme phrases for which there's no proof, and I referred to the book a number of times, then I wrote a new preface. In it I pointed out a dangerous trend of the Brotherhood, especially in the circumstances of the New Crusader War which was launched on the Islamic Umma. In my opinion, this edition is better than the first with respect to the calmness of the presentation instead of being emotional. The Brotherhood's danger is demonstrated by the weakening of the Islamic Resistance to the campaign of the Crusaders and their supporters. God is the only one who is perfect.

(5) I have also had fifteen audio statements published and six others that were not published for one reason or another. We ask God for acceptance and devotion. I will enclose for you the written statements and what I can of the audio and video statements with this message. God willing. If you find they are good, you can publish them. We seek God's assistance.

(6) I don't know if you all have contact with Abu Rasmi? Even if it is via the Internet, because I gave him a copy of my book (A Knight under the banner of the Prophet) so he could attempt to publish it, and I lost the original. Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper published it truncated and jumbled. I think that the American intelligence services provided the aforementioned newspaper with it from my computer which they acquired, because the publication of the book coincided with a publication of messages from my computer in the same newspaper. So if you can contact him and get the original of the book, if that is possible for you all, then you can publish it on your blessed Website and then send a copy to us, if that is possible.B. As for my personal condition, I am in good health, blessings and wellness thanks to God and His grace. I am only lacking your pious prayers, in which I beg you not to forget me. God Almighty has blessed me with a daughter whom I have named [Nawwar], and Nawwar means “the timid female gazelle” and “the woman who is free from suspicion,” and technically it is the name of my maternal aunt, who was a second mother to me and who stood with me during all the difficult and harsh times.

I ask God to reward her for me with the best reward, and have mercy on her, our mothers and the Muslims.9. My greetings to all the loved ones and please give me news of Karem and the rest of the folks I know, and especially:By God, if by chance you're going to Fallujah, send greetings to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.In closing, I ask God entrust you all with His guardianship, providence and protection, and bless you all in your families, possessions and offspring and protect them from all evil and that He delight you all with them in this world and the next world, and that He bestow upon us and you all the victory that he promised his servants the Believers, and that He strengthen for us our religion which He has sanctioned for us, and that He make us safe after our fear. Peace, God's blessings and mercy to you

Your loving brother

Abu Muhammad

Saturday, 02 Jumada al-Thani, 1426 [July 9, 2005].

My Source : ICH

French Ambassador says 'Invasion of Iraq is breeding terrorism'

PETER CAVE: Within 10 days of arriving in Australia, the new French Ambassador says the invasion of Iraq is to blame for breeding terrorism around the world.

His Excellency Francois Descoueyte stopped short of saying "I told you so," but he does say that France has been vindicated in opposing foreign intervention.

In his first English-language interview since arriving in Australia, he told Josie Taylor that democracy can't be achieved in Iraq while foreign troops remain there.

FRANCOIS DESCOUEYTE: In the case of Iraq I think we stick to our analysis, but it was not proper to attack Iraq without international authorisation by the UN. Frankly speaking, we would have liked to be wrong, and we would have liked promises that Iraq was going to be turned into a peaceful democracy quickly. We would like this to be true, but unfortunately we have been right. I say unfortunately because now you know, France is much closer to Iraq than say Australia or the US and we see now terrorism being rather bred than starved by this action.So we are worried and we are not at all… we don't brag that we were right. We are quite worried that we were right.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Do you now believe that western action in that country has increased the threat of terrorism around the world?

FRANCOIS DESCOUEYTE: What is clear now is that Iraq, as we said at the time, did not, was not, have a WMD problem. We know that the problem of weapons of mass destruction was much less advanced than thought by some experts, and we know also there was no link, however detestable the previous regime was, that there was no link that could be established with terrorism.So now there is clearly a link between Iraq, some Iraqi groups in Iraq and terrorism.

JOSIE TAYLOR: It would sound, though, from your comments that you believe the situation has in fact worsened in Iraq rather than improved?

FRANCOIS DESCOUEYTE: In terms of links with terrorism, that was your question. There is clearly now a link with terrorism which did not exist before, which was never demonstrated before and now which is well established. But what is important is that the international community works together to try to calm down the situation and to preserve peace and development in this region.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Does that mean a removal of troops, western troops?

FRANCOIS DESCOUEYTE: Er, I don't think it's possible to have any progress in democracy with foreign troops on your territory. I think this is the French experience.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Will you be lobbying the Australian Government at all to pull out of Iraq?

FRANCOIS DESCOUEYTE: No, we are not, we are not lobbying anybody to pull out, because now the risk of increasing violence is very high, and it's for each participant, each actor to judge for himself.Again, what is important is that there is some sort of rebuilding of the need for an international consensus to tackle this kind of situation.

PETER CAVE: The new French Ambassador to Australia, Francois Descoueyte. He was speaking to Josie Taylor in Melbourne

Todays last throws in Iraq : Ocotber 12th

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Following are security incidents reported in Iraq on Wednesday, Oct. 12, as of 1200 GMT.

MOSUL - At least 30 people were killed and 35 wounded when a suicide bomber strapped with explosives blew himself up in a crowd of Iraqi military recruits at an army base in the northern town of Tal Afar, police said.

BALAD - Two U.S soldiers were killed and one wounded when their vehicle rolled over while conducting a combat logistics patrol near Balad, 90 km (55 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S military said in a statement.

BAQUBA - Seven Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were wounded when a suicide car bomber attacked an Iraqi checkpoint in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, police said.

KIRKUK - A major pipeline for transferring crude oil from Kirkuk wells to the oil refinery at Baiji was set on fire when a bomb planted under the pipeline exploded in Fatha, 95 km (59 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, an official at the North Oil Company said.

BAGHDAD - The minister of state for the provinces, Saad Nife al-Herdan, escaped death when his convoy was struck by a suicide car bomber in southwestern Baghdad, police said. Four bodyguards and three civilians were wounded in the incident.

TIKRIT - Gunmen on Tuesday killed Hikmet Mumtaz al-Baz, the sheikh of the Albu Baz tribe, in Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, local authorities said.

TIKRIT - U.S. forces shot dead Umran Hamed, a lecturer at Tikrit University, in Duuz, about 100 km (60 miles) north of Tikrit, local authorities said.

Syria's Interior Minister 'commits suicide'

Syria's Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan has committed suicide, the official news agency in Damascus says.

He was reportedly questioned by a UN investigator last month over the murder of ex-Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. For many years Kanaan was Syria's powerful intelligence chief in Lebanon, which was dominated by Syria until its military withdrawal earlier this year.
Hours before his death, he said he had served Lebanon with honesty, adding that this interview may be his last.

"Interior Minister Brig Gen Ghazi Kanaan committed suicide in his office before noon," the Syrian Arab News Agency (Sana) reported.

The authorities are carrying out the "necessary investigation" into the incident, Sana said.

Hmmm

suicide... right... here mister Minister... let me help you with this bullet in your head.

Because he acted alone right?

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 12, 2005 4:25 pm  

it seems it smells as bad to you as it does to me G

to be fair the media over here are treating it as a little suspect

and so they should

By Blogger _H_, at October 13, 2005 4:25 am  

Yahoo raises profile of News Blogs

Bloggers are gaining a higher profile alongside traditional news sources with Yahoo including blogs in its expanding news search system. The decision could reignite the debate over what constitutes news reporting and whether blogs are as valuable a source of news as that from professional journalists. So-called citizen journalists are increasingly dominating the headlines. User-generated content has proved invaluable in breaking news stories.

Yahoo sees its plans, which will include photos from users, as enriching the news for everyone.

In my Opinion no news source is without a bias of one form or another , whether to the Government or to the Shareholders or to a national or political perspective . I see this step as a natural and healthy step forward , aslong as we are aware of the obvious dangers along the way

In reply to the concerns people may have a Yahoo spokesman said ...

"I don't believe blogs will eclipse trusted sources of news journalism like the BBC, but the two things can live very happily together, as long as readers are clear which is which,"

"We do try to demarcate what is mainstream media and what is user-generated content,"

I am not sure this is good. Blogs are opinion, and never should be classified as news. They are held to no accountability or creditability. I can say anything I want on my blog, and am not held to anything for it, since the whole premise is that it is MY OPINION.

But, we'll see.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 12, 2005 4:27 pm  

yes , and aslong as people know that it is just and opinion then its a worthy thing

aslong as people know

and it seems yahoo are making that point themselves G when they say

"I don't believe blogs will eclipse trusted sources of news journalism like the BBC, but the two things can live very happily together, as long as readers are clear which is which,"

"We do try to demarcate what is mainstream media and what is user-generated content,"

By Blogger _H_, at October 13, 2005 4:27 am  

Iraq charter talks 'breakthrough'

One of Iraq's main Sunni Arab parties will endorse the country's new constitution in Saturday's crucial referendum, a spokesman has said.
Ayad Sammarai, of the Iraqi Islamic party, said Shia and Kurdish leaders have agreed to review the charter after elections in December.

Iraqi political leaders have been negotiating for weeks to try to secure Sunni backing for the constitution.
Many Sunnis opposed the draft, fearing it could lead to the break-up of Iraq.

Meanwhile more than 50 people died in continuing violence in Iraq on Tuesday.

uh oh.... the house of cards is falling

Dems opposition that is. The "Chicken Little" cry of the sky falling and civil war comming... things are just not going their way.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 12, 2005 4:29 pm  

you know as well as i do that the constitution passing or failing will mean nothing to the insurgants

no matter what happens on saturday , our troops will still have to stay and the bombs will still go off

looks like it will get through now , though places like fallujah are expecting a 90% turnout agaisnt the constitution

i think now they have agreed to the sunni demands , the constitution will pass

but who benefits ?

my view , nobody

By Blogger _H_, at October 13, 2005 4:30 am  

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Concerns quake toll may reach 40,000

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations appealed on Tuesday for $272 million for quake survivors in northern Pakistan where, aid officials said, the death toll could hit 40,000, exceeding that in the Iranian city of Bam two years ago.

The U.N. inter-agency appeal aims to cover relief needs in the devastated Kashmir region -- including winterized tents, food, blankets, medicines, water purification equipment -- as well as reconstruction of some schools and health facilities.

"The appeal is to cover the immediate life-saving and early recovery needs for only the first six months of the emergency phase," Yvette Stevens, assistant U.N. emergency relief coordinator, told a news conference to launch the flash appeal.

"In terms of reconstruction, we would expect that the needs will be much, much greater," she added.

The death toll in Saturday's earthquake in northern Pakistan and India stood at least 21,000 people, but officials have said it could double as large parts of the region remain inaccessible as landslides swept away roads.

Stevens put the death toll at "at least 30,000", with four million people affected, including one million in acute need.

Last Throws in Iraq for October 11th

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Following are security incidents reported in Iraq on Tuesday, Oct. 11, as of 1200 GMT.







BAGHDAD - Initial reports from police said more than 25 people were killed when a suicide car bomber attacked an Iraqi Army patrol in the western Amiriya district of Baghdad.

TAL AFAR - At least 24 people were killed and 36 wounded when a suicide car bomber exploded in a market in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, an Interior Ministry source said.

BAGHDAD - U.S. forces killed two insurgents and detained 57 suspects during early morning searches in south Baghdad, a U.S. military statement said.

TIKRIT - Police said a U.S. army patrol found three bodies in civilian clothes with multiple gunshot wounds on Monday in al-Tarisha village near Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad.

TIKRIT - Police lieutenant Soud Abdul Kareem was killed on Monday when a roadside bomb exploded near his house in the town of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, a police source said.

NEW FEATURE . DISCUSS THE LATEST WORLD NEWS IN REAL TIME

Terrorism News today launches its new chat server , you can now chat live about any of the articles on this site or any other issues 8uch as Terrorism , politics , Iraq , Iran , United Nations , Al-Qaeda , Syria , the War on terror , Islam , Israel , Palastine or anything else that is in the news.


(cough) Well if anyone else is on of course.

Try it out , let me know what you think.

Ex-Iraqi Officials Sought in $1B Theft

BAGHDAD, Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.

Those accused include four other ministers from Allawi's government, which was replaced by an elected Cabinet led by Shiite parties in April, said Ali al-Lami of Iraq's Integrity Commission. Many of the officials are believed to have left Iraq, including Hazem Shaalan, the former defense minister who moved to Jordan shortly after the new government was installed.

For months, Iraqi investigators have been looking into allegations that millions of dollars were spent on overpriced deals for shoddy weapons and military hardware, apparently to launder cash, at a time when Iraq was battling a bloody insurgency that still persists.

BAGHDAD, Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.

Versus

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Iraq's Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari on Thursday rejected accusations that Shi'ite Muslim Iran was interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.

Asked about accusations that Iran was interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, Jaafari told Iranian state television: "Such accusations are baseless and we do not agree with them at all."

"Relations between Iran and Iraq are currently very friendly and strong and expanding. We are proud of the situation," he said. "Some people want to harm our existing friendly relations with Iran. But we will not let them do so. We are determined to expand our relations every day."


Notice, when Iraqi government is doing or saying something good, they are pretty much referred to independantly.

Yet when the Iraqi government is doing or saying something bad, they are immediatly tied to the US governement (i.e. "US backed").

This is journalistic bias, and it is used to jade the reader into an anti-US mindset from the outset of the article.

This is why American MSM is dying. Journalistic objectivity is gone, all we get are the edited opinions of people on facts (that they may include in a story).

have fun poking through the BS

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 11, 2005 6:14 pm  

I take your point G , but isnt this more to do with the fact the the US picked the interrim government

Allawi is a well known CIA agent

If this happened now then there is no link , but this happened when the CPO were running the country

that means there actually is a link

You mention on your site today the fair comment about pakistan wanting american "tax payers" money

well G , this is your money too

you should be angry

By Blogger _H_, at October 11, 2005 6:19 pm  

I can be angry about this guy taking money all day, but it doesnt change the fact that the "news" orginizations relish in linking the US to anything negative, while excluding them from anything positive.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at October 12, 2005 8:14 pm  

there really is little positive to tell G

how do you compare for example 50 people getting killed as the bad news with say 8 insurgents captured as the good news

when you look at the two face to face , there really is no good news to tell

By Blogger _H_, at October 13, 2005 4:32 am  

Monday, October 10, 2005

Just for fun: Freefall Bush

I spotted this gem in a comment by the ever resourceful Somethingsphishy on the excellent Daily Dissent


Such a simple idea but so much fun , play with freefall Bush Here

British and American leaders likened to Nazi war criminals

"The Telegraph" -- -- Tony Blair and George Bush were compared to Nazi war criminals yesterday by Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector."Both these men could be pulled up as war criminals for engaging in actions that we condemned Germany in 1946 for doing," he said.

He said the Prime Minister and the US President were "guilty of the crime of planning and committing aggressive warfare". Speaking in London at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Mr Ritter said the two leaders would have been in a much stronger position if they had got a UN resolution explicitly authorising the invasion.He also said Britain gained very little from the "special relationship".

"Britain gets nothing, other than to say they are America's closest ally in Europe," he said.Mr Ritter, who was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998, said intelligence services had been correct to say that Iraq's missile programme had been destroyed soon after the first Gulf conflict of 1991.He recalled how he delivered a report in 1992 stating that the programme had been eliminated. It was met with "stony silence" and he was told that Iraq still possessed 200 missiles.

who fabricated the Iraq evidence ?

President Bush's principal adviser Karl Rove is to be questioned again over the improper naming of a CIA official. Mohamed ElBaradei, accused by the American right of being insufficiently aggressive, wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his stalwart work at the helm of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Pentagon official Larry Franklin pleads guilty to passing on classified information to Israel. Just a normal week in politics. But there is a thread linking these events and it is Iraq.

Politicians tell us they acted in good faith on the road to war, and maybe they did, but that leaves a prickly question: who was so keen to prove that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat that they forged documents purporting to show that he was trying to buy 500 tons of uranium from Niger to develop nuclear weapons? The forgery was revealed to the Security Council by ElBaradei. That was not an intelligence error. It was a straightforward lie, an invention intended to mislead public opinion and help start a war.

At the beginning of 2001, a few weeks before George Bush took office, there was a break-in at the Niger embassy in Rome. Strangely, nothing of value was taken. Months later came 9/11 and a month after that, as George Bush wondered how to get back at the terrorists, a report from the Italian security service (Sismi) reached the CIA: Iraq was seeking to buy uranium.
Disappointingly for the neocons, the CIA sent Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to check the story: he reported that it was nonsense. When the story was repeated by Bush, Wilson went public. His wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, was then outed by the White House. Hence Rove's predicament.

An organisation called the Office of Special Plans (OSP) was set up in the Pentagon by Douglas Feith, a former consultant to Israel's Likud party, to prepare for the war. In the words of Robert Baer, a distinguished former CIA man, it was a "competing intelligence shop at the Pentagon"..."if you didn't like the answer you're getting from the CIA". In short, bogus stories would get a second chance at the OSP.

Read More at the Independent

Suggest reading *An Alliance Against Babylon : The US, Israel and Iraq*
John K. Cooley, ~ Pluto Press 04 January, 2005 ~ ISBN: 0745322824

While it is a shorter book spanning an entire history of Iraq and its emergence as a target state, it also provides many meaningful insights into the reasons for the vilification of the country.

By Blogger Alamaine, at October 11, 2005 9:51 am  

Good suggestion Alamaine , the book contains information the Bush administration and its allies in the Middle East do not want you to read. therefore by definition in a free democracy i would also advise evryone to read it

By Blogger _H_, at October 11, 2005 4:48 pm  

O'Reilly endorsed assassinating Syrian leader

On the October 3 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly called for the assassination of Syria's leader, Bashar al-Assad, if Assad does not help promote stability in the Middle East by maintaining Iraq's borders. O'Reilly claimed that "we could take his life, and we should take his life if he doesn't help us out." O'Reilly was responding to Fox News contributor Gen. Wesley Clark's suggestion that the United States use diplomacy to bolster regional support for the Iraq war among uncooperative neighbors.

Read the transcript and watch the video Here

Syria 'fed up' with US's public bashing

New York, Oct. 10 (PTI): Syria has expressed willingness to cooperate with the United States in matters of security and intelligence information sharing, if America stops its public tongue-lashing of Damascus.

Damascus ended all security and intelligence cooperation with America several months ago, Syrian Ambassador to the United States Imad Moustapha was today quoted as saying in an interview by the 'Newsweek' magazine.

Moustapha said while Damascus will continue to detain Islamic extremists on its own, it got "fed up" with the Bush administration's public bashing of president Bashar al-Assad, even after Washington had privately lauded Syria for handing over Saddam's half brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan.

Newsweek says it also confirmed the account from a US intelligence official who said Damascus was angered when Washington exposed one of its operatives.

"We are willing to re-engage the moment you want - but one condition, you have to acknowledge that we are helping," Moustapha told the magazine

Saddam may never come to trial: warning

Saddam Hussein may never come to trial, Iraq's former Special Tribunal director said this week.

Salem Hussein, the nephew of Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi's powerful vice prime minister for Iraq who is in charge of oil and energy issues, told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank Wednesday, that Saddam's trial may never come to fruition.

Incessant delays have afforded Saddam's defense team more time to attack the legitimacy of the Special Tribunal by claiming the 2003 Iraq war that toppled the longtime Iraqi leader was illegal to begin with, Salem Chalabi said.

Amatzia Baram, a senior fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center, told the same AEI meeting that growing worries in Baghdad over security threats from the escalating insurgency in Iraq may hinder the current Iraqi government's ability to successfully hold Saddam's trial at this time

The sheer intensity of the Iraq insurgency has also hampered the country's capacity for constructive institution building and the state system there, including the judiciary, is faltering, Salem Chalabi said.

Saddam's trial is currently scheduled to start on Oct. 19, four days after Iraq holds a referendum vote to approve its new draft constitution

Arab League convoy attacked in Baghdad

Gunmen have attacked a convoy carrying delegates from the Arab League in western Baghdad, killing three police escorts but leaving officials unscathed. Delegates from the Arab League, which groups 22 governments from across the Arab world, are in the Iraqi capital to help oversee Saturday's referendum on a new constitution and to prepare for a visit by the League's Secretary General Amr Mussa. The convoy came under attack as delegates travelled to the headquarters of the Committee of Muslim Scholars, the main Sunni Arab religious organisation in Iraq, for a Ramadan meal after sundown.

Pakistan to Accept Quake Relief From India

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Pakistan said Monday it will accept relief aid for earthquake victims from its longtime rival India, a move that carries immense political implications for the neighbors who have fought three wars.

India's Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said his country would send tents, food, blankets and medicine to the hard-hit Pakistani portion of Kashmir.

The announcement came after Pakistani Foreign Ministry said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telephoned Pakistan's high commissioner in New Delhi and "reiterated his offer to send relief aid to us for earthquake victims."

High Commissioner Aziz Ahmed Khan met Singh and then contacted the government in Islamabad, which decided to accept the Indian offer after consultations at the highest level, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

U.N. Names 5 Nations to Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Congo, Qatar, Slovakia, Ghana and Peru won easy election to the U.N. Security Council on Monday.

The five new members will serve two-year terms starting Jan. 1.

All but Peru were selected by regional groups and rubber-stamped by the 191 members of theU.N. General Assembly.Peru defeated Nicaragua, 144-43, in the only contested race. Both countries had waged intense campaigns for the seat, with lobbying for votes continuing until Assembly President Jan Eliasson banged the gavel for voting to begin.

To win a council seat, a country needed support from two-thirds of the voting members. In the secret ballot, Congo received 188 votes, Qatar 186 votes, Slovakia 185 votes and Ghana 184 votes.

While there is widespread support among the 191 U.N. member states to expand the 15-member Security Council to reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st century, there is no agreement on how large it should be, who should get seats, whether the new seats should be permanent or temporary, and who should have veto power.Secretary-General Kofi Annan had hoped to get members to agree on an expansion plan before last month's U.N. summit, but the debate became so heated and divisive that the issue was shelved.

The council currently consists of five permanent members with veto power - the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France - and 10 non-permanent members who serve two-year terms and have no power to veto resolutions. The 10 elected members do have the right to propose resolutions, chair committees and hold the rotating council presidency for one-month periods.

Five countries are elected every year by the General Assembly to replace five retiring ones

The five new members will replace Algeria, Benin, Brazil, the Philippines and Romania, whose terms expire on Dec. 31. The new members join Argentina, Denmark, Greece, Japan and Tanzania, who were elected last year and will remain on the council until the end of 2006.