Iraq:

  • The Guardian: The Message from the Bush Camp: ‘It’s War Within Weeks’ – an excellent story that gives a great deal of insight on what is going in the Administration in this decision to go war. Here are few blurbs I found to be especially interesting…
      Mr Bush wanted the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, to force the issue of military action by presenting evidence of Saddam Hussein’s violations of UN resolutions immediately after weapons inspectors give their report to the UN on Monday. In Washington circles such an event is being referred to as the Adlai Stevenson moment.

      The “Adlai Stevenson moment” has become Washington shorthand for the US presentation of its intelligence case. Stevenson was the US ambassador to the UN at the time of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, who dramatically confronted the Soviet envoy with vivid aerial photographs of nuclear missiles being unloaded in Cuba.

      Downing Street was alarmed by the Bush administration’s sudden haste in moving towards a climax. It was adamant that the decision to go to war should not be declared before Tony Blair flies to Camp David for talks with Mr Bush next Friday.

      An informed source in Washington said: “Blair is a good guy. They won’t want to do that to him. They want it to look like he played a part in the policy-making but the decision has been made.”

    I think here the Bush administration is very savy in wanting an “Adlai Stevenson” moment (if you are unfamiliar with this historical incident, watch the movie 13 Days.

    That said, I think such a moment will be likely manufactured as a part of the “wag-the-dog” drama that is at play here. Also let’s be frank. Blair is not a full partner here, but is rather Bush’s lapdog. When Bush says sit, he sits. When Bush says bark, he barks.

  • FromtheWilderness.com: January 24, 2003, 1930 PST (FTW) – Serious international developments are indicating that the first stages of the U.S. invasion of Iraq will begin unilaterally no later than next Wednesday and most likely as the President delivers his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night.
  • Common Dreams/L.A. Times: U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq
      WASHINGTON — As the Pentagon continues a highly visible buildup of troops and weapons in the Persian Gulf, it is also quietly preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons in a war against Iraq, according to a report by a defense analyst.

      Although they consider such a strike unlikely, military planners have been actively studying lists of potential targets and considering options, including the possible use of so-called bunker-buster nuclear weapons against deeply buried military targets, says analyst William M. Arkin, who writes a regular column on defense matters for The Times.

      Military officials have been focusing their planning on the use of tactical nuclear arms in retaliation for a strike by the Iraqis with chemical or biological weapons, or to preempt one, Arkin says. . .

    The use of nuclear weapons is pure evil. If Bush goes through with these plans, he must be impeached and tried for war crimes.

  • The Daily Mirror of the UK: US admits plans to snatch Iraqi oil fields — US will shield Iraq’s oilfields from the hellfires of Saddam
  • Cities For Peace – a very encouraging concept
  • I received this via the Christian Peacemaker Teams Email network:
      CPTnet

      January 24, 2003

      IRAQ: Signs of Faith

      by Charlie Jackson

      [NOTE: The author was part of CPT’s Dec. 26-Jan. 9 delegation to Iraq. This release has been edited for length. People who wish to see the entire article, in which Jackson also tells about some of the Iraqi Christians he met, may request it from guest.445947@MennoLink.org. Do not hit “reply” to

      this message.]

      “There’s one. And there’s another!” we members of the Christian Peacemaker Team delegation exclaimed as we drove into Baghdad for the first time. We were taking notice of crosses atop the churches that we passed. With over one million Christians, mostly settled in the urban centers, Christianity is a significant part of Iraqi life and culture.

      When we arrived at our hotel we were greeted with “Merry Christmas” painted in flocked snow on the window and a Christmas tree in the lobby festooned with lights and playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in a tinny electronic voice. People here are quite open about their religion and all

      too happy to celebrate the holidays of their neighbors, whether Muslim or Christian.

      Iraq, for the most part, is a cosmopolitan country. Just as in the U.S., on Friday (the holy day in Islam) or Sunday one is more likely to see people shopping or going about their daily business than worshipping in mosques or churches. At the same time, many people try to practice their faith with

      conscience and diligence.

      These people include the Muslim family of Safa and Amal Asmiel. Upon finding that Safa had been to an Islamic seminary, I asked if I could join him during the next Friday at the Mosque. That morning I went to his house where he was putting together a string of prayer beads for me. He also gave me a

      book on learning the Quran in English. We took a taxi across town to his mosque, Al-Keedeery.

      Many of the men at the mosque (the women go aside to a different room to hear the sermon) spoke English and were both gracious toward and curious about having a visiting “Ameriiki” from Texas in their midst. After several prayers and a forty-five minute sermon in Arabic, we had lunch next door at the family home of that mosque’s founder. There I was able to share a traditional meal and have conversation with many men of my own age. They explained the sermon and didn’t hesitate to encourage me – as many Christians would do to a potential convert – to accept Islam so that I and my family would become “saved” from Hell. We returned to the mosque when the call for the mid-day prayer went out and had one final prayer before returning home.

      Praying and participating in worship with others who are guided by a strong sense of faith–Christian and Muslim–has been a heartwarming part of my trip to Iraq. Together we all pray one prayer: that peace will return to this troubled land and that God/Allah will change the hearts of American leaders so that war will no be waged on the people here.

      Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of the Brethren Congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. Contact CPT, POB 6508, Chicago, IL 60680; Telephone: 773-277-0253, Fax: 773-277-0291.