Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Jamada al-Thani 25, 1425/ August 12, 2004 #81


Jamaat al-Muslimeen Press release
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD

"We urge U.S. military withdrawal from Najaf. The U.S. must leave the Shia community to manage its own affairs. Shia Muslims have the right to take sanctuary in their own places of worship. INTERNATIONAL LAW and ISLAMIC LAW DO NOT PERMIT MILITARY SIEGE OF PLACES OF WORSHIP.
"A worldwide assault on Islamic places of worship has been underway. The Israelis destroyed 132 mosques in occupied Palestine during the last 10 plus years. India destroyed Babari masjid and numerous mosques and Shrines in Kashmir.
Hundreds of mosques in Iraq have been desecrated by U.S. forces , dozens destroyed, and now we have a major Islamic shrine and graveyard in Najaf under siege."

August 12: U.S forces have launched an all out assault on the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf. Tanks, helicopter gunships and jet planes, F-16s, are being used to crush the lightly armed Mehdi army. The Sayyed, Moqtada al-Sadr, has taken refuge in the mosque of Imam Ali.

[Moqteda Al-Sadr has appealed to Islamic authorities around world to intervene and stop the American assault on Najaf.]


August 10: According to the prestigious Pakistani daily, Nawa-e-Waqt, the Taliban shot down a U.S. military helicopter near Kandahar, killing all abroad. A rocket was used to down the copter.The U.S. has not commented on the attack.
[August 12. The U.S. admitted the loss of the helicopter, listing one soldier killed, 14 wounded, but added that it was owing to "non-hostile" causes.]

[ Courtesy: Malaika Kambon ] [From: Sis. Hamdiyyeh Fatima]

Message from famous "Red Indian" leader, Leonard Peltier in U.S. Prison

Greetings From All Tribes Reservation in Leavensworth, Kansas. Eh!

I thought I should start with a little humor but in reality there isn't much to laugh at around here.

On a more serious side, I sincerely want to thank all of you for your continued support throughout these past years. I also want to apologize for not having a representative at the last Commemoration gathering, although in reality all of you represent me in one way or another; for we are one people; one heart, one commitment, one cause. We must continue our struggle together to make a better future for our children and our children's children - the future generations. I have good days and bad days here, but I have always felt it an honor to belong to the OGLALA community.

A number of legal things have been happening regarding my case. Some of them look very positive, however, I am sure the opposition will go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent me from regaining my freedom. As with the Arlo Looking Cloud testimony, it is plain to see that they can coerce witnesses to say anything they want them to say. Always, always remember that it is they who brought the violence to us, not us to them. We were right to stand up for our people then and it is right to stand up for our people now.

I know some of you were too young to know the bitterness of those times but those of you who remember, definitely know the people involved did the right thing and were within our treaty and constitutional rights as well as within our spiritual rights.

When you dance for the people, dance one for me. When you sing for the people, sing one for me. You are always in my prayers, my thoughts, and my heart.

Yours in the Spirit of Crazy Horse, always and. in all ways.

Leonard Peltier
Movie Review

Fahrenheit 911 - A Critical Review
Much truth in it but ONE GAPING HOLE: Israel not Mentioned

By Nadrat Siddique, Maryland

Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911, exhibits all the strengths and weaknesses of the liberal left. Moore, an outspoken opponent of the U.S. war on Iraq, brilliantly titles the film after science fiction writer Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. In the original sci-fi novel, it is the job of the firemen, who work for the authoritarian police state, to burn books. The temperature at which the book burning is achieved is 451 F. Moore's analogy here seems to be that the conditions under which unprovoked and-under international law-illegal war by a superpower on an independent, sovereign nation is achieved is when an incident such as 9-11 has occurred, or been permitted to occur.

Moore appropriately begins the film by reminding viewers of the conditions under which the "President" of the U.S. assumed office, focusing on the disenfranchisement of Black voters in several Florida counties. For readers of the NT Forum who have been following the reactionary role of Fox News in the railroading and blackballing of Muslim leaders and causes, Fahrenheit reveals an interesting point about Fox: With the polls still open on Election Day 2000, and all the major television stations broadcasting that Gore was well ahead in the Florida race, suddenly and gratuitously, the Fox News Channel announced that Bush had won that state.
The other stations, embarrassed at their perceived mistake, quickly followed suit, retracting their original broadcasts and announced the putative Bush win-a win so dubious that the case eventually resulted in dozens of Congressional Hearings and ultimately wound up in the Supreme Court. But on Election Day, the announcement by Fox News of Bush's win might well have influenced results at the polls; more importantly it raised questions of whether Fox reported or fabricated the news. (For more on Fox News, see the critical documentary Outfoxed now playing in selected area theaters and available on video soon.)

In Fahrenheit 911, Moore uses humor to cover an otherwise heart-wrenching story: the story of a president who covers his own ineptitude in neglecting the national security interests of the country prior to 911 by going to war to destroy an innocent and defenseless Iraqi nation. Off over 500 members of the U.S. Congress, only one has a son or daughter in the armed forces in Iraq, says Moore, who in the movie is shown somewhat comically accosting these fast-retreating legislators before the cameras, audaciously requesting them to volunteer a son or a daughter to fight for freedom and democracy in Iraq. He rents an ice cream truck and drives around Capital Hill reading the Patriot Act over the loud speakers of the truck as a service to Congress members, who have signed away the First Amendment Rights of the people, with scarcely a glance at the text of the draconian bill they have signed.

Fahrenheit has the integrity to show extensive footage from un-embedded journalists: Iraqi children screaming with pain from napalm wounds, trucks laden down with civilian corpses, and the terror experienced by Iraqi women during house-to-house searches by U.S. soldiers. Moore's interviews with U.S. soldiers revealed the diversity of attitudes among these young men and women. One young black marine, a Muslim, said he preferred jail to being returned to Iraq to fight other people of color, who had done nothing to him. Another, a bespectacled Caucasian youth, reported that once the adrenaline was pumping, and the right music was playing in the tank or humvee, he would shoot up the enemy without qualm, preferably to the tune of "The roof is on fire..."

In a profoundly personal touch, Moore juxtaposes the bombed out areas in Iraq with scenes from his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Footage of Flint's slums with their rampant unemployment and ramshackle housing shows a striking resemblance to parts of Iraq. Ironically, this desperately poor U.S. town, and many others like it, is prime recruiting area for the U.S. military. Here, says Moore, the children of poor Blacks and Whites, who have few employment options, and often view the military as a means of paying for college, are picked up for military service-to go and kill the children of poor Iraqis.

In contrast with his clarity on the inhumanity of the war, Moore seems confused about the driving force to go to war. Through various interviews, Moore brings up the point that plans to attack Iraq were clearly laid out well before September 11. Perhaps the first quarter of the film amply emphasizes Bush's ineptitude, inaction, and his vacation panacea-when the going gets rough, the Prez goes on vacation. And Moore cuts poor Bush no breaks for going on one vacation after another early in his administration. In one scene, Bush appears in a Florida kindergarten classroom (actual footage) reading a children's book with the class as part of a photo-op. As he sits in the classroom, an aid enters to inform him that the first plane has crashed into the World Trade Center. The Commander-In-Chief remains exactly where he is in the kindergarten, calmly reading the kiddy book, with a slightly moronic look on his face. Moore's voice over explains that perhaps Bush's inaction stems from the fact that no secret service members are around to suggest an appropriate response to the President. It is clear from this and numerous other scenes that Moore might not put money on Bush's intellectual ability.

Someone more focused, agenda-driven, and amoral even than Bush had to come up with a plan to attack Iraq--in defiance of the Security Council, the U.N. General Assembly, the EU, and NATO; in contempt of traditional U.S. allies France and Germany; and in utter disregard for worldwide protests. And that someone had to be determined enough to persevere with the plan, even if no WMDs were found; even if the U.S. image and alliances throughout the world were tarnished; even if it meant years of U.S. occupation of Iraq, at costs threatening to bring down the U.S. economy; and even if it meant heightened hatred for U.S. imperial policies and increased risk of terrorist attacks on the U.S. itself. Yet the illustrious film-maker offers no suggestions as to the masterminds of such a well thought out scheme. Perhaps in consideration of his career as a Hollywood film-maker, Moore carefully sidesteps scrutiny of the political allegiances of the men formulating policy for the Bush Administration: Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Perle, or any of the other AIPAC affiliated-Neocons to whom Bush routinely reports. Interestingly, Wolfowitz and Perle, despite their vociferous and unabashed push to attack Iraq, barely appear in the film. Instead, Administration mouth pieces--Rice, Powell, and George Dubya himself-are shown repeatedly throughout the film. They are like puppets with unseen puppeteers.

The film spends considerable time exploring links between the "Saudi" royal family and the Bush family, and the fact that numerous Saudis were permitted unencumbered exit from the U.S. immediately after 9-11, when all other flights were grounded. Moore hints that perhaps these Saudis ought to have been detained and interrogated before they were sent on their merry way. He mentions joint investments by the Bush family and members of the Bin Laden family, intimating that the Bin Laden family might not be as estranged from Osama as previously believed, and that this, too, is cause for inquiry. Shockingly, the otherwise politically shrewd Moore seems almost completely unaware of the servile role of Saudi Arabia, and the subservience of its military, intelligence and judiciary to U.S. interests. Without the use of Saudi airspace and intelligence sharing, the "success" of both Gulf Wars, might have been in question. But no Saudi sits on the President's cabinet or in his closed circle of advisors which formulate U.S. foreign policy. Several self-described Israeli citizens, however, do sit on these boards, determining the allocation of U.S. taxpayers money. In his preoccupation with the Saudi royals' imaged role in 9-11 and his complete inattention to the very real Zionist role in the Iraq War, Moore misses the boat on who is the policymaker and who is the obsequious executor.

Sadly, the release of Fahrenheit 911 in the heat of the election summer and well after the decimation of the Iraqi population, leads one to wonder if Moore may be a dupe to the Other War Party-the Democrats.

US training for Pakistan generals sought.
Wolfowitz, Jewish Hawk, Loves Musharraf

[Courtesy Al-Jazeerah] [Excerpt]
Wednesday 11 August 2004, 8:41 Makka Time, 5:41 GMT
Wolfowitz: If we don't train them, extremists will

A top Pentagon official has said he favours training Pakistani officers in US military academies as a way of increasing Washington's influence over the country's armed forces.

Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that failure to train Pakistan officers could mean "pushing them into the one alternative, which is the Islamic extremists".

"It's not as though if we leave them alone, nobody else will go out to recruit them," he added.

"I think one of our problems in Pakistan today is that for too long we deprived ourselves of one of the most important instruments of influence in a country where the military is one of the most important institutions."

The deputy defence secretary also called President Pervez Musharraf - who came to power in a military coup in 1999 - "a friend of the US", adding that "no leader has taken greater risks, or faces more daunting challenges from within and without".

US bombing of Kut kills 72 civilians

[Courtesy: Al-Jazeerah] [Excerpted]
Thursday 12 August 2004, 9:06 Makka Time, 6:06 GMT

Clashes between Al-Sadr's men and Iraqi police are continuing

Heavy US bombardment of Kut has killed 72 people and wounded 148, one day after clashes between police and Shia fighters in the southern Iraqi city, a Health Ministry official said.

The official Falah al-Dirmani said the casualties were taken to hospitals in the city, 170 km southeast of Baghdad.

US planes started bombing the al-Shakia district, in southern Kut after 3am (2300 GMT Wednesday) on Thursday, said Kut hospital director, Khadir Fadal Arar.

Many of the dead and wounded were women and children, he added.

The bombardment followed a day of fierce clashes between Iraqi police and fighters of the Al-Mahdi army loyal to Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, in which at least two national guardsmen and three policemen were wounded.

Office flattened

The office of al-Sadr's movement in Kut was flattened in the bombing, said his supporter, Shaikh Muhammad Yihyiah.

Al-Mahdi fighters blocked streets of Kut and the governor's office

"Our office has been destroyed because it was in the same district, fortunately there were was no one in the office that's why we have no casualties. Perhaps they thought it would be full of fighters," he said.

On Wednesday, Iraqi police and security forces were locked in clashes with fighters who attacked Kut's city hall, police stations and national guard barracks, said a statement from the Polish-led occupation force in the area.

The occupation force said people on both sides were killed and wounded, but did not specify a casualty toll.

Streets blocked

Al-Mahdi Army fighters had blocked off streets and besieged the governor's office in the eastern part of the town, armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades, as US planes flew overhead.
[An Australian journalist reports sexual humiliation of peaceful Afghan {Pashtun} elders and villagers by U.S marines. Read Chinua Achebe's famous book THINGS FALL APART to understand why White racists humiliate elders. What was true in Africa a hundred years back is true in Afghanistan today.]

[Reported on Al Jazeerah TV.]

US abuses in Afghanistan alleged

By Lawrence Smallman

Wednesday 11 August 2004, 16:21 Makka Time, 13:21 GMT

The US military has pledged to have the matter investigated

United States marines have humiliated and sexually abused villagers in central Afghanistan, an Australian journalist says.

Carmela Baranowska travelled to the remote Oruzgan province and filmed the testimony of 35 Pashtun villagers from Passau who were held in detention for up to five days this June.

Back in Sydney, the SBS reporter detailed events in a documentary aired for the first time on Wednesday and sent her evidence to the US army.

In the programme, Baranowska says US Marines used the tactic of sexual humiliation similar to that reported at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Fingered and beaten

One of numerous examples, 27-year-old Afghani villager Wali Muhammad described in detail his alleged abuse by a group of 20 US soldiers.

"They fingered us, beat us and humiliated us," he says in the report. "There were youngsters as well. They took off my clothes ... . Fingering the anus is against Islam.

"They were all laughing and mocking. When they took me a second time they stripped me again. Yes, they took our picture."

The abuse has had a devastating effect on the village.

An older resident described how he had had to wipe off a "wetness" from his backside after he had stood naked, spreadeagled and face to the wall.

Baranowska explained the consequences of the abuse. "The Pashtuns in the Mirabad valley live in a tight-knit and culturally traditional society. The effect of removing all the men from the village has shamed them very publicly.

"With just women, children and US soldiers in the village in addition to their sexual humiliation, they have completely lost face in the community. 'It is if we were dead. We have no honour' one of the villagers told me."

Some of the villagers had even fled their homes for Pakistan through shame.

US military response

A US Central Command spokeswoman, Susan Meisner, has confirmed that 35 men from Passau were detained on 23 June and that an investigation into the alleged abuse would be made.

"Now that we are aware of these allegations, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76 has directed an inquiry into the matter.

"Our policies do not authorise photographing detainees in the nude "but we do photograph detainees' faces and other distinguishing marks, such as scars," Meisner wrote in an email response to the documentary.

Initial suspicions

Baranowska described how she had originally been embedded with the US marines and was totally unaware of similar cases that she found in other villages. "I only saw what they wanted me to see," she said.

The documentary shows a US officer hitting his own soldiers

But her suspicions arose after she obtained an independent translation of an interrogation by a local tribal leader who is cooperating with US forces, Jan Muhammad.

"He was ostensibly questioning villagers looking for Taliban sympathisers. He detained one for two days basically to show he was making progress. Once I had the transcript translated, it was clear this man was being detained for no purpose whatsoever," Baranowska said.

After her experiences in the remote province, the film-maker said she had become suspicious everytime a shooting was blamed on the Taliban. She said, "The place is so remote, there are no independent observers, checks or balances "anyone can get away with anything."

Excerpts from the documentary can be viewed online at www.sbs.com.au/dateline.

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2004-08-14 Sat 08:35ct