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Recent Stories

April 15, 2003

Uzma Aslam Khan
The Unbearably Grim Aftermath of War: What America Says Does Not Go

Robert Jensen
Self-Determination in Iraq? Then the US Must Leave

Dr. Susan Block
The Rape of Iraq

Ron Jacobs
Aiming at Syria: Stop Them Before They Kill Again

Robert Fisk
The Final Sacking of Baghdad

Col. Dan Smith
Post-War Iraq: Asking the Right Questions

Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish
A Cycle of Chaos and Confrontation: Misadventures of the NeoCons

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/15


April 14, 2003

Chris Floyd
Bush's War Without End

Uri Avnery
Gunboat Democracy: This is Only the Beginning

Wayne Madsen
Americans: The New Mongols of the Mideast?

Shahid Alam
Iqra: Iraq is Free

Hani Shukrallah
Day of the Chicken Hawks

Terry Jones
The Iraq Gravy Train

John Chuckman
The Iraq War's Trashiest Piece of Propaganda

Patrick Cockburn
US has a Lot to Answer For: Violence, Misery and Poverty in Iraq

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/14


April 12 / 13, 2003

Carol Lipton
Wag the Kennel: the Kenneth Joseph Story

Wayne Madsen
Meet the New Butcher of Baghdad: Maj. Gen. Buford Blount III

John Brown
"They Got It Down": the Toppling of the Saddam Statue

Kathy and Bill Christison
Final Thoughts from Palestine

William Blum
Our Vulnerable Warmongers' Rush to Justify Devastation

Wallace Gagne
Let the Stealing Begin

Ann Harrison
Rosenthal Update: Judge Delays Ruling in Medical Pot Mistrial Case

Henry Miller
What is the Greatest Treason?

Jeffrey St. Clair
Render Unto Cesar

Zeljko Cipris
Mocking Militarism: On Ishikawa Jun's Song of Mars

Ishikawa Jun
The Song of Mars

Jamey Hecht
Chairman of the Sandwich Board

Adam Engel
Hell of a Town: Mayor Bloomberg and the News

Poets' Basement
Chang Yang-Hao, Adam Engel and Hammond Guthrie

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/12


April 11, 2003

Omar Barghouti
From Saddam to Uncle Sam

Ron Jacobs
Greed is Rewarded

David Vest
The Corporate War on Iraq

Paul de Rooij
Propaganda Stinkers: Fresh Samples from the Field

Anthony Gancarski
Foreign Aid: Embezzlement as Public Policy

Mas'ood Cajee
Franklin Graham: Spiritual Carpetbagger

Michael Neumann
Now What?

Michael Berry
The Neo-Cons Have a Dream

Stew Albert
Oh Freedom

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/11

Website of the Day
About Those Dancing Crowds


April 10, 2003

Zoltan Grossman
The Perils of Occupation: the Easier the Victory, the Harder the Peace

Uri Avnery
The Night After

Wayne Madsen
The Telltale Signs of Empire

David Krieger
Before You Become Too Flushed with Victory, Think of Ali Ismaeel Abbas

Jeremy Brecher
What Can the World Do Now That Tanks Prowl Baghdad?

Robert Jensen
The Unseen War

Geoffrey Neale
Ashcroft's War on the Constitution: A Patriot Attack on America

Jeffrey St. Clair
Last Tango in Baghdad

Hammond Guthrie
Rumors of War

Joseph Heller
Nately's Old Man

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/10

Website of the Day
The Third Page


April 9, 2003

David Lindorff
Secret Bechtel Docs Reveal: Yes, the War Is About Oil

Doug Lummis
Saving Private Lynch: Hollywood and War

Susan Davis
The New York Times and the Peace Movement

David Vest
Smoking Gun? You're Watching It

John Chuckman
America's Sovereign Right to Do as It Damn Well Pleases

Akiva Eldar
Gary Bauer and AIPAC: an Unholy Alliance with the Christian Right

Ray Hanania
Suicide Bombers without the Suicide: Racism, Hypocrisy and the War on Iraq

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/9


April 8, 2003

David Lindorff
Killing the Messengers: It Doesn't Matter If It's Deliberate or Accidental

Richard Lichtman
Dr. Phil in the Trenches

John Brown
Why Uncle Ben Hasn't Sold Uncle Sam: a Former Foreign Service Staffer on Bush's Policy Failures

Ben Terrall
Report from the Oakland Docks: "The Cops Had No Reason to Open Up on Them"

Jason Leopold
FERC and Wall Street: Conversations May Have Violated Federal Law

Anthony Gancarski
Conyers Heeds the Call on Perle

Linda Heard
Journalists Die, the Networks Lie, Iraqis Ask "Why?"

Ahmad Faruqui
Wallowing in Hypocrisy

Wallace Gagne
Baghdad Babble

Harry Browne
Report from the Protests at the Bush/Blair Summit

Larry Kearney
I Understand There's a Boy in a Baghdad Hospital

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/8

M. Shahid Alam
The Israelization of America


April 7, 2003

Todd Chretien
Wooden Bullets & Grenades: Oakland Cops Attack Peace Protesters and Dock Workers

David N. Gibbs
Spying, Secrecy and the University: The CIA is Back on Campus

Harry Browne
War and Peace Summit a Royal Farce

Gideon Levy
America is Not a Role Model

Diane Christian
A Scene from an Obscene War

Jules Rabin
Remembering Deir Yassin

James Davis
Oddsmaking in Dublin: Will Bush Shake Gerry's Hand?

Robert Fisk
The Twisted Language of War

Patrick Cockburn
Slaughter on the Road to Dibagah

John Mackay
War and Art

Seth Sandronsky
Wars and the Color Line

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/7


April 5, 2003

Alexander Cockburn
The Iraqi Humanitarian Relief is in Shambles

Anne Gwynne
A Drowning in Salem

Uri Avnery
Roadmap to Nowhere

Chris Floyd
Hell for Leather: Bombs, Bullets, Bibles and Bush

William Cook
Would You Have Sent Your Son (or Daughter) Off to War If...

Gila Svirsky
A Busy Day for Bulldozers

Mike Ferner
Back from Baghdad: What Next for the Peace Movement?

Joanne Mariner
Civilian Deaths and Official Apologies

John Stanton
Bush Takes His Killing Orders from the Lord

Romi Mahajan
Learning to Count the Dead

Aluf Benn
After Iraq, US Vows to Deal with Other Mideast Regimes

Mary Ellen Peterson
Gay Marine Refuses to Fight

William MacDougall
Country Music and the Crimes of Patriotism

Ron Jacobs
War and Occupation

Bernie Pattison
Aborigines and the Different God

Mark Engler
Iraq War as Arms Expo

Adam Engel
Li'l Box of Love: a Novelini

Poets' Basement
Tripp, Albert, Katz

Jeffrey St. Clair
Flesh and Its Discontents: the Paintings of Lucian Freud

Norman Madarasz
Canada and the War


April 4, 2003

Anthony Gancarski
Colin Powell's Shame

John Chuckman
Was Einstein Right About Israel?

David Krieger
The Meaning of Victory

Tom Gorman
The Mantra of the Troops: Support or Treason?

Adam Federman
The Absence of War

Vijay Prashad
There Are No More Arguments

Tom Stephens
The End of the Innocence

Mickey Z.
Makes Me Sic (Sic): Copy Editing Bush Speak

Pierre Tristam
War Coverage: a Dishonest Reality Show

Hammond Guthrie
The Deadly Mihrab

Steve Perry
War Web Log 04/04


April 3, 2003

Uri Avnery
A Crooked Mirror: Presstitution and the Theater of Operations

David Vest
Can You Hear the Silence?

Anthony Gancarski
Colin Powell Telemarketer

David Lindorff
Takoma: the Dolphin Who Refused to Fight

Michael Roberts
War, Debts and Deficits

Ramzy Baroud
Now That Iraqis Are Being Killed Is Israel Any More Secure?

Jo Wilding
From Baghdad with Tears

Anton Antonowicz
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Alison Weir
Israel, We Won't Forget Rachel Corrie

Bruce Jackson
Hating Wolf Blitzer's Voice

Eliot Katz
War's First Week

Steve Perry
War Web Log 04/03


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April 16, 2003

Embedded Photographer:

"I Saw Marines Kill Civilians"

for Le Monde

Translated for CounterPunch by NORMAN MADARASZ

Laurent Van der Stockt, a photographer working for the Gamma agency and under contract for the New York Times Magazine, followed the advance of the 3/4 Marines (3rd battalion, 4th regiment) for three weeks, up to the taking of Baghdad on April 9. He was accompanied by New York Times Magazine editor, Peter Maas. Born in Belgium in 1964, Laurent Van der Stockt mainly works in conflict zones: the first Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Africa and the Occupied Territories. This is his eyewitness account of the Marines' march to Baghdad:

"Everything began at the Kuwait/Iraq border. I forced my way into the country and arrived at Safwan. American soldiers had seized the opportunity to tear up portraits of Saddam Hussein on the main street. They were doing this right in front of the local inhabitants, whose elation quickly vanished. The soldiers obviously didn't imagine that it was up to the Iraqis to be doing this, or that it was humiliating for them. These were the same soldiers who would topple down Saddam's statue in Baghdad three weeks later...

I understood that the Marines' general strategy was to not waste any time. In the cities they crossed, the Marines had to make a show of force. Then they would resume their advance by going as fast as possible up by the east through the desert, and avoid any contact with the population. It takes an effort to picture what an army looks like as it advances through the sands. It's an anthill. It's more than a city on the march. It's a world whose extremities are never seen. It's a cutting edge, mechanical version of Julius Caesar's army.

During the first few days, with colleagues from the New York Times and Newsweek, I tried to follow the convoys in a SUV by playing hide-and-seek. We were spending a lot of time then with the 1 500 Marines of the 3/4, commanded by Colonel Bryan P. McCoy. His troops gave us water, gas and food. In exchange for their tolerance, we respected the rules to not pass the convoy and to camp at such and such a place. We were just barely tolerated. The colonel could see that the 'few jokers were behaving well'. He knew we had experienced more wars than his own troops.

For McCoy, we were obviously interesting right from the start. We were the ones who could tell his story. Trust settled in between us. He let us drive at the head of the convoy. The Marines are generally less privileged than the army. They're trained to do the dirty work, the less honorary jobs. They have the oldest tanks, and the least up-to-date M16 rifles. They themselves translate 'USMC' (United States Marine Corps) by United States Misgodded Children, i.e. the US' forgotten children, forgotten by God.

Their motto is 'Search and Kill'. The 'Kilo' unit is nicknamed 'Killer Kilo'. The words 'Carnivore' or 'Blind Killer' are painted on their tanks. McCoy could snap with a 'Shame on You' ­ a smile flashing across his face ­ to the sniper who had just finished telling him: 'I've got eight, Sir, but only five'. Literally meaning: I've shot eight, but only five of them are dead.

I've never seen a war with so few 'returns'. The Iraqi army was like a ghost. It barely existed. Over the three weeks, I only saw the adversary fire a few short-range rockets and a few shots. I saw deserted trenches, a dead Iraqi soldier lying next to a piece of bread and some old equipment. Nothing that really made you feel that there was a real confrontation going on, nothing comparable to the massiveness of the means at the Americans' disposal.

On April 6, we were at the outskirts of Baghdad, facing a strategic bridge the Americans called 'the Baghdad Highway Bridge'. Residential zones were now much greater in number. American snipers got the order to kill anything coming in their direction. That night a teenager who was crossing the bridge was killed.

On the morning of April 7, the Marines decided to cross the bridge. A shell fell onto an armored personnel carrier. Two marines were killed. The crossing took on a tragic aspect. The soldiers were stressed, febrile. They were shouting. The risk didn't appear to be that great, so I followed their advance. They were howling, shouting orders and positions to each other. It sounded like something in-between a phantasm, mythology and conditioning. The operation was transformed into crossing the bridge over the River Kwai.

Later, there was some open terrain. The Marines were advancing and taking up position, hiding behind mounds of earth. They were still really tense. A small blue van was moving towards the convoy. Three not-very-accurate warning shots were fired. The shots were supposed to make the van stop. The van kept on driving, made a U-turn, took shelter and then returned slowly. The Marines opened fire. All hell broke loose. They were firing all over the place. You could hear 'Stop firing' being shouted. The silence that set in was overwhelming. Two men and a woman had just been riddled with bullets. So this was the enemy, the threat.

A second vehicle drove up. The same scenario was repeated. Its passengers were killed on the spot. A grandfather was walking slowly with a cane on the sidewalk. They killed him too (SEE PHOTO IN LE MONDE). As with the old man, the Marines fired on a SUV driving along the river bank that was getting too close to them. Riddled with bullets, the vehicle rolled over. Two women and a child got out, miraculously still alive. They sought refuge in the wreckage. A few seconds later, it flew into bits as a tank lobbed a terse shot into it.

Marines are conditioned to reach their target at any cost, by staying alive and facing any type of enemy. They abusively make use of disproportionate firepower. These hardened troops, followed by tons of equipment, supported by extraordinary artillery power, protected by fighter jets and cutting-edge helicopters, were shooting on local inhabitants who understood absolutely nothing of what was going on.

With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane.

At the roughest moment, the most humane of the troops was called Doug. He gave real warning shots. From 800 yards he could hit a tire and, if that wasn't enough, then the motor. He saved ten lives in two hours by driving back civilians who were coming towards us.

Distraught soldiers were saying: 'I ain't prepared for this, I didn't come here to shoot civilians.' The colonel countered that the Iraqis were using inhabitants to kill marines, that 'soldiers were being disguised as civilians, and that ambulances were perpetrating terrorist attacks.'

I drove away a girl who had had her humerus pierced by a bullet. Enrico was holding her in his arms. In the rear, the girl's father was protecting his young son, wounded in the torso and losing consciousness. The man spoke in gestures to the doctor at the back of the lines, pleading: "I don't understand, I was walking and holding my children's hands. Why didn't you shoot in the air? Or at least shoot me?"

In Baghdad, McCoy sped up the march. He stopped taking the time to search houses one-by-one. He wanted to get to Paradise Place as soon as possible. The Marines were not firing on the thickening population. The course ended with Saddam's statue being toppled. There were more journalists at the scene than Baghdadis. Its five million inhabitants stayed at home."

Interviewed by Michel Guerrin for LE MONDE, April 12, 2003.

Translated for CounterPunch by Norman Madarasz (nmphdiol@yahoo.ca).


Today's Features

Uzma Aslam Khan
The Unbearably Grim Aftermath of War: What America Says Does Not Go

Robert Jensen
Self-Determination in Iraq? Then the US Must Leave

Dr. Susan Block
The Rape of Iraq

Ron Jacobs
Aiming at Syria: Stop Them Before They Kill Again

Robert Fisk
The Final Sacking of Baghdad

Col. Dan Smith
Post-War Iraq: Asking the Right Questions

Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish
A Cycle of Chaos and Confrontation: Misadventures of the NeoCons

Steve Perry
War Web Log 4/15


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