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03/26/2003 Archived Entry: "Alternative news sources"

On the Political Front:

The new Tom Tomorrow cartoon "This Modern World: Safe for Hypocrisy!" is available. And Lenny Kravitz offers a free download of his song "We Want Peace." Click on "What's Hot." Meanwhile, I am constantly searching for alternative news sources on the war. These are the two discoveries for today:

1) According to the Wall Street Journal Online Al-Jazeera has gone live with an English-language Web site "and the Qatar-based satellite network immediately assumed a posture likely to provoke Western readers." This is the website but it may be experiencing difficulties as I have been unable to connect. A number of sites are having problems. YellowTimes.org is temporarily down. The plug was pulled by its server because of photos it posted of POW/dead soldiers. YellowTimes.org can be reached at their emergency e-mail address, yellowtimes@hotmail.com

I am grateful to Al-Jazeera. As an anonymous poster on NoWarBlog comments, "Middle Eastern media outlets, particularly Qatar's Al-Jazeera, are breaking some of the biggest stories of this war, and the Western press is publishing news it might otherwise suppress because the Arab media has let the cat out of the bag. One story broken by the Arab press that U.S.-based outlets have so far refused to touch is this one: "The London based Arabic daily Al Quds Al Arabi reported on Tuesday, March 25 that the American vice president, Dick Cheney, would soon head to the Jordanian capital, Amman. The newspaper claimed that the visit would be an attempt by Cheney to convince his daughter, who was in the Jordanian capital, to back down her decision to go to Baghdad within a group of volunteers who want to form human shields against the US led attacks on Iraq." if true, this is stranger than fiction.

2) The IRAQWAR.RU claims to be an "analytical center" created "by a group of journalists and military experts from Russia to provide accurate and up-to-date news and analysis of the war against Iraq." This site is the English translation of IRAQWAR.RU "based on the Russian military intelligence reports." The site provides in-depth analysis, of which the following paragraph is an example: "Positional warfare continues near Basra. The coalition forces in this area are clearly insufficient for continuing the attack and the main emphasis is being placed on artillery and aviation. The city is under constant bombardment but so far this had little impact on the combat readiness of the Iraqi units. Thus, last night an Iraqi battalion reinforced with tanks swung around the coalition positions in the area of Basra airport and attacked the coalition forces in the flanks. As the result of this attack the US forces have been thrown back 1.5-2 kilometers leaving the airport and the nearby structures in the hands of the Iraqis. Two APCs and one tank were destroyed in this encounter. According to radio intelligence at least two US soldiers were killed and no less than six US soldiers were wounded."

Three of my alternate news mainstays continue to be antiwar.com, the no war blog and the less frequently updated TruthOut. I keep repeating/reinserting links to these 3 sites because it is important for people in North America to switch off the TV and seek out balanced news. As the Christian Science Monitor comments, American and the world "are watching different wars...Media watchers say the European press has tended to be more balanced than the US media in dealing with the war, in part because Europe is so much closer to the Muslim world."

I do not endorse the site that hosts this poster...in fact, I dislike everything except its anti-war stance. But the poster's message -- Who Needs You More, Your Family or Your Regime? -- captures a theme I've been repeating. These are the crazy years. The first and second priority should be to take care of yourself and those you love. The poster is particularly bitter in light of a CNN story about Halliburton -- Vice President Dick Cheney's old employer -- getting fat off post-Saddam US-government reconstruction contracts.

The troops on both sides are bogged down by a huge sandstorm so I've been checking out international opinion instead of focusing of the war in Iraq itself. Iran "has reported several violations of its airspace by U.S and British jets attacking Iraq" and says it may fire on aircraft which enter its skies. From China..."The Iraqi war has convinced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership that some form of confrontation with the U.S. could come earlier than expected" and it is readying for a fight. North Korea "cut off the only regular military contact with the U.S.-led United Nations Command on Wednesday, after accusing the United States of planning an attack." Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov "poured scorn on claims by the United States that its forces were 'liberating' Iraq, saying these assertions were far removed from reality." Syria's foreign minister denounced the American- British bombing of a Syrian civilian bus, killing five Syrians. He called it a violation of the Geneva agreement.

On the Personal Front:

It has been raining -- a soft, intermittent downfall -- for the last day or so, and I expect it will continue. The weather fits my mood. The snow has entirely cleared from our wood pile and we have less left than I realized: only enough for another month of hard cold. But this perspective comes from *me* -- a woman who loves to stockpile necessities and buys a few cans or other containers for storage each time I grocery shop. (By the way, that's a painless way to get a few month's worth of provisions in the pantry for your family.) Brad's perspective on the wood is better, more efficient: namely, we bought all we needed with a little to spare. Why buy more? Especially since our farm includes about 20 acres of forest.

Best to all, and stay safe,

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