Sonic Puke
It's all fun and games until somebody pokes out an eye

4/18/2003

Wetlands destroyed by Hussein could thrive again
The war in Iraq is about, The environment?

There could be an unexpected beneficiary of the war in Iraq: the environment.

More specifically, the late, great Mesopotamian marshes -- a decade ago, the largest wetland by far in the Middle East, and a site considered by many religious scholars as the inspiration for the Garden of Eden in the Bible and Koran.

But Hussein considered the swamps a haven for Shiite opponents of his regime. So in the mid-1990s, he drained the marshes, broadcast pesticides to kill the fish and wildlife, and attacked the villages of the ma'dan. Today, the once verdant network of reed beds and waterways is mostly a sere and lifeless plain.

"Everyone is harping about Saddam's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction," said Alwash, "but here he used water as a mass destruction weapon. He used it to destroy a culture that has lasted 5,000 years. And I'm afraid it has made me somewhat cynical that the international community stood by and did nothing while it was happening."

The marshes were an integral part of the Iraqi culture and collective psyche, said Alwash, and their loss is an emotional blow that is hard for outsiders to understand

4/17/2003

Saddam link to terror group
More Saddam/Terror links found...

(Telegraph) Saddam Hussein's regime was linked to an African Islamist terrorist group, according to intelligence papers seen by The Telegraph. The documents provide the first hard evidence of ties between Iraq and religious terrorism.
Secret dossiers detailing the group's discussions with the Iraqi Intelligence Service were found in the spies' Baghdad headquarters, among the detritus of shredding.
The papers show how Iraq's charge d'affaires in Nairobi, Fallah Hassan Al Rubdie, was in discussion with the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan guerrilla group with ties to other anti-western Islamist organisations.

'Mass grave' found in Iraq
More info daily on the attrocities of Saddams evil regime....

(BBC) Kurdish officials say the dead are victims of Saddam Hussein
Kurdish officials say they have found a series of mostly unmarked graves that contain about 2,000 bodies outside the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
They say the area was used by the Iraqi army to bury Kurds they killed in the late 1980s.
During that period at least 100,000 Kurds were killed in Saddam Hussein's policy of ethnic cleansing in Iraq.

4/16/2003

Marines free 123 from Iraq hellhole
More of the human rights abuses of the Saddam Regime....

The Marines found 123 prisoners, including five women, barely alive in an underground warren of cells and torture chambers.
Being trapped underground probably kept them safe from the bombing of Baghdad by the coalition.
Severely emaciated, some had survived by eating the scabs off their sores. All the men had beards down to their waists, said onlookers.

4/15/2003

White House: 'We've won'
It's official. We won. Was there ever a doubt?

(The Washington Times) The war to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ended in victory yesterday with U.S. Marines capturing the dictator's final stronghold of Tikrit, capping a lightning-fast military campaign that subdued Iraq in 27 days. "That's why we've won, is thanks to the Pentagon," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said yesterday to a reporter's question about reconstruction.
At the Pentagon, a spokesman said major battles are now over.
"I would anticipate that the major combat engagements are over because the major Iraqi units on the ground cease to show coherence," Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said at a Pentagon press conference. "Tikrit was the last area where we anticipated seeing major combat formations, if in fact they were there."
Operation Iraqi Freedom now shifts to two major objectives: destroying remnants of Fedayeen Saddam paramilitaries and non-Iraqi guerrillas, and rebuilding Iraq to nurture a new democracy.

Abu Abbas caught in Iraq
How could this be? Everyone knows there is no connection between Iraq and terror.....

(FOX) Palestinian Liberation Front leader Abu Abbas was captured by American forces on the outskirts of Baghdad and is in U.S. custody, Fox News confirmed Tuesday.
Abbas was taken by American special operations forces during a raid Monday night on the southern outskirts of the capital city, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
Several of his associates were also detained during raids at several sites around Baghdad, defense officials said. Commandos, tipped off by U.S. intelligence to Abbas' whereabouts, also seized documents -- including Yemeni and Lebanese passports -- and weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades, officials said.
American officials would not say whether Abbas would be held inside Iraq, taken to a third country or detained at a U.S. base. They also would not say whether he would face charges in the United States. Abbas was sentenced in absentia to life in prison in Italy for masterminding the Achille Lauro hijacking.

'Axis of Evil' Countries
Liberation of Iraq already harvesting diplomatic fruit.....

(AP) The heat generated by the speedy collapse of President Saddam Hussein's government is being felt not just by Syria, but also by Iraq's fellows in President Bush's "axis of evil," Iran and North Korea.
North Korea now says multilateral talks about its nuclear program - which the United States wants - are not necessarily a bad idea after all. Iran's former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, long allied with Islamic hard-liners against the "Great Satan" America, suggested over the weekend that Iran either hold a referendum or seek a decision from the Expediency Council advisory panel about restoring ties with the United States.
"Saddam's fall and the American military operation's great success has had a real sobering effect on the Middle East. It's a wake-up call," said Scott Lasensky, an expert on the region for the Council on Foreign Relations.
Specifically, Iran and Syria are watching to see if the overwhelming force used to implement Bush's pre-emptive strike doctrine brought down Saddam's government or if it buckled because it was weakened by domestic factors, Lasensky said.
Bush's doctrine holds that the United States has an inherent right to attack any state posing an active threat to U.S. security. If Saddam fell purely because of the doctrine, Lasensky said, "that's even more sobering for these regimes."

4/14/2003

U.S.: Mobile labs found in Iraq - Apr. 14, 2003
Mobile bio/chem labs found....

(CNN) -- U.S. troops have found 11 mobile laboratories buried south of Baghdad that are capable of biological and chemical uses, a U.S. general said Monday.
There were no chemical or biological weapons with the containerized labs, which measure 20 feet square. But soldiers recovered "about 1,000 pounds" of documents from inside the labs, and the United States will examine those papers further, said Brig. Gen. Benjamin Freakley of the Army's 101st Airborne Division.
"Initial reports indicate that this is clearly a case of denial and deception on the part of the Iraqi government," Freakley told CNN's Ryan Chilcote. "These chemical labs are present, and now we just have to determine what in fact they were really being used for."
Troops found the mobile laboratories near a weapons plant outside Karbala, about 50 miles south of Baghdad. Though buried, they appeared to contain about $1 million worth of equipment and were "clearly marked so they could be found again," Freakley said.

Referendum to resume Iran/US ties
Another coincidental changing of viewpoint right after the liberation of Iraq from the other Axis of Evil country?

IRNA -- Iran' former president Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani here on Saturday said Iran's resumption of ties with the US
could be put to a referendum.
Rafsanjani, talking to `Rahbord' weekly, said the problem of
Iran's relations with the US could be resolved through a referendum
once the Parliament (Majlis) and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed
Ali Khamenei approve it.

N.Korea Makes Big Shift in Nuclear Talks Demand
North Korea willing to accept Bilateral talks all the sudden.... Coincidence?

(Reuters) North Korea said on Saturday it would consider any form of dialogue with the United States about its suspected nuclear arms ambitions if Washington was prepared to make a "bold switchover" in its policy toward Pyongyang.
The dramatic shift from a rigid insistence on bilateral talks came in comments from North Korea's foreign ministry just days after U.S.-led forces unseated Iraq President Saddam Hussein in a war the South Korean president said had "petrified" Pyongyang.
Washington -- which lumps communist North Korea in an "axis of evil" with Iraq and Iran for seeking weapons of mass destruction -- wants multilateral talks that also include regional players South Korea, Japan, Russia and China.
"If the U.S. is ready to make a bold switchover in its Korea policy for a settlement of the nuclear issue, the DPRK will not stick to any particular dialogue format," the official KCNA news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.