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<nettime> Vigilant, Independent Ombudsperson for the War on Terrorism


----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Weinberg
To: billw {AT} echonyc.com
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 3:50 AM
Subject: [WW3 REPORT] world war 3 report/17


WORLD WAR III REPORT
Vigilant, Independent Ombudsperson for the War on Terrorism
#. 17. Jan.. 19, 2002

by Bill Weinberg


THE AFGHANISTAN FRONT
Powell Does Kabul
Mountains Still "Shaking" Under Aerial Bombardment
9-11 Survivors Meet Afghan Bombardment Survivors
Islamic Law is Back
Northern Alliance Terror in Kabul
Masoud Cult Shows Northern Alliance Power
Language Discrimination Shows Northern Alliance Power
Ecological Toll of Taliban Terror
Unarmed Minorities Seek Voice
Kandahar Castro: Un-closeted Again?
Dog-Fighting Out; Cock-Fighting In
Bamiyan Buddhas to be Rebuilt?
War Captives in Legal Limbo
Ex-Yugoslavia War Crimes Prosecutor Blasts US Tribunals
Ashcroft Wants Death for Accused Hippie Terrorist

THE NEW GREAT GAME
US Militarizes Kyrgyzstan
Russia Breaks Ranks With US on Afghanistan Bombardment
Death Merchants Salivate Over Indo-Pak Conflict
India Plays al-Qaeda Card
Pakistan Sells Out Fundamentalists (Sort Of)
...Not to be Confused with Democratization
Talking Heads Debate China Posture

THE MIDDLE EAST
Uglier and Uglier in Holy Land
Israeli Chief of Staff Schmoozes Bush Cabinet
Terrorism by Bulldozer Continues
Israeli Bedouins Have Bad Deal
US Military Tribunals Pioneered in Egypt
Algeria Dictatorship on "Good Guy's List"
Turkey Sues Chomsky Publisher for Telling Unapproved Truth

THE WAR AT HOME
Feds Crack Down on "Un-American" Art
...And Books
Bill in Congress to Bring Back Draft
Press Persuaded by Presidential Pretzel (But We Aren't)

NEW YORK CITY
Ground Zero Workers Have No Insurance
First Clean-Up Fatality; Contractor Fined $100
EPA Blasted on Clean-Up
WTC Survivors Protest Compensation Plan
WTC Survivors Protest Commodification of Disaster Site
Street Peddlers Cut Out of Downtown Revitalization Plan
Silverstein Wants to Rebuild Terrorist Bait
FEMA Loses WTC Disaster Probe
Laid-Off Workers: Marriott Exploits 9-11



THE AFGHANISTAN FRONT

POWELL DOES KABUL
Secretary of State Colin Powell touched the ground in Afghanistan's 
capital for barely 5 hours Jan. 17, the highest-ranking US official to 
visit Kabul since Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stopped by in 1976. 
Powell promised interim prime minister Hamid Karzai lots of 
reconstruction aid, but also lectured him about getting the warlords 
under control. Karzai responded: "Be sure that warlordism is over in 
Afghanistan. You may not see the signs, but it's over. And we will make 
sure it is over." Karzai also had some words of admonishment for Powell, 
implicitly invoking the US abandonment of Afghanistan after the Soviet 
occupation was defeated in 1989: "In all our meetings with the Afghan 
people, they ask us--'Is the United States committed? Will they stay 
with us?' Now I can tell them, 'Yes, the US will stay with us.'" (AP, 
Jan. 18) Donor nations are set to meet in Tokyo next week to divide up 
the $6 billion burden in Afghanistan reconstruction aid (Financial 
Times, Jan. 15). In reality, Karzai controls little outside Kabul, but 
is doing his best to make the city secure and presentable for visiting 
dignitaries. Authorities are disarming the citizenry, and issuing ID 
cards to those who can legally carry guns (NYT Jan. 14). Karzai also 
made much of his nationwide ban on opium planting--despite the fact that 
vast areas of Afghanistan are already planted with the stuff (NYT, Jan. 
19).

MOUNTAINS STILL "SHAKING" UNDER AERIAL BOMBARDMENT
The US aerial bombardment of Afghanistan continues despite its 
disappearance from US headlines. Suzanne Goldenberg wrote for the UK 
Guardian Jan. 15 from Zhawar in eastern Khost region how daily 
air-strikes on a presumed abandoned al-Qaeda camp are taking a deadly 
toll on neighboring mountain hamlets. "In darkness and in light, for 10 
long days, US bombers have prowled above the winter clouds, pulverizing 
the slate and lava rock of Zhawar. The villagers gauge the danger by the 
engine noise. When the low whirr rises to a grinding roar, it's time to 
take cover. 'All the mountains are shaking,' says Khali Gul from Kaskai, 
a small hamlet a few hundred meters from the Americans' target. 'We are 
very afraid of these planes. We just want this to stop.'" Resident Noorz 
Ali told Goldenberg 15 people were killed when Shudiaki village was hit 
Jan. 15. "The village is completely flattened," Ali said. "My house was 
destroyed, and my neighbors were killed. There were so many bombs I lost 
count. The dead remain there in the village. Everybody else has left." 
Goldenberg said it was impossible to verify Ali's story

9-11 SURVIVORS MEET AFGHAN BOMBARDMENT SURVIVORS
Four US citizens related to Sept. 11 victims arrived at Kabul's newly 
opened airport to meet a group of Afghans who lost family in the US 
bombardment. The San Francisco-based activist group Global Exchange 
organized the delegation. Derrill Bodley, a California music professor 
whose 20-year-old daughter was on the America Airlines flight that came 
down in Pennsylvania, is to meet the father of a five-year-old girl who 
was killed when a stray bomb hit a residential area in Kabul. Meetings 
with several Afghan families who lost relatives have been arranged, as 
well as a visit to a Kabul hospital. (UK Guardian, Jan. 16)

ISLAMIC LAW IS BACK
Afghanistan's newly appointed chief justice Fazal Hadi announced he will 
continue to implement Islamic law, saying thieves will have their hands 
cut off and adulterers will be lashed or stoned to death, the Afghan 
Islamic Press reported. Hadi said interim prime minister Hamid Karzai 
has assured him of his full support in implementing Islamic law in 
Afghanistan. "The world and United Nations had recognized Afghanistan as 
an Islamic country and that all decisions in Afghanistan would be taken 
under the Islamic laws," Hadi said. (AP, Jan. 12)

NORTHERN ALLIANCE TERROR IN KABUL
In the Jan. 17 UK Guardian, Suzanne Goldenberg reported from Kabul on a 
wave of armed robberies, carjackings and murders by the Northern 
Alliance militiamen still occupying the city. The troops were supposed 
to have vacated by a Jan. 12 deadline set by interim prime minister 
Hamid Karzai. But there is little sign of that happening, and the 
government is moving "cautiously to avoid a head-on confrontation with 
the thousands of armed men roaming the streets."

MASOUD CULT SHOWS NORTHERN ALLIANCE POWER
Portraits of late Northern Alliance military commander Ahmad Shah Masoud 
saturate Afghanistan's capital. In Kabul's best hotel, his picture 
occupies the same spot where communist leader Babrak Karmal's photograph 
used to hang in the 1980s. A Masoud poster on a windscreen can get a car 
waved past security posts guarded by his former troops. Children carry 
framed pictures of him as believers would display images of a saint. The 
Northern Alliance occupiers of the city are distributing the portraits. 
But the personality cult may be fueling ethnic tensions. While Masoud's 
fellow Tajiks are the most fervent followers, the city's Hazara minority 
has bitter memories if his bloody attacks on their districts after the 
main Hazara militia broke with the warlord. In the Hazara districts of 
western Kabul that were nearly destroyed by Masoud's artillery, few of 
his posters are on display. (Reuters, Jan. 11)

LANGUAGE DISCRIMINATION SHOWS NORTHERN ALLIANCE POWER
Kabul police and officials who were fired by the Pashtun-dominated 
Taliban for speaking Dari, the lingua franca of the Tajiks and other 
northern ethnicities, are back on the force. But now Pashto-speaking 
officials are out of work. Dari has become the unofficial language of 
the new government. The agreement on the mandate of the 4,500 foreign 
peacekeepers who are to police Afghanistan is drafted in Dari and 
English versions only. Although interim prime minister Hamid Karzai is 
an ethnic Pashtun, he usually speaks in Dari on official business--a 
necessity of sharing power with the Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance 
troops still occupying the capital. (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 11)

ECOLOGICAL TOLL OF TALIBAN TERROR
The Shomali Plain north of Kabul was once Afghanistan's garden, a land 
of vineyards and orchards, watered by streams and sheltered by verdant 
hills. King Zahir Shah entertained guests at the local Gulhana Palace, 
overlooking green valleys. Merchants came from Iran and India to buy 
crops for export. Today the Shomali is a dust bowl littered with burnt 
farmhouses, skeletons of tanks and thousands of live mines. The region 
was destroyed on direct orders of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 
as part of a scorched-earth strategy to deny advantage to Northern 
Alliance forces advancing on the capital. Al-Qaeda 
militants--Pakistanis, Arabs, Chechens--reportedly carried out most of 
the damage. The trees were cut down and the wood sold to Pakistani 
merchants; irrigation systems were exploded; houses, schools and clinics 
were bulldozed. Almost all of the plain's 600,000 inhabitants were 
driven out at gunpoint, and summarily shot if they resisted. Said 
Northern Alliance Commander Haji Daoud, who helped drive the Taliban 
from the plain after fighting them there for five years: "This was one 
of the richest parts of Afghanistan. Look at it now. Even with a lot of 
money it will take at least six years to get this back to a working 
area. Our political leaders say the international community will give us 
all the money we need. The same was said when the Russians left, but 
nothing happened." (UK Independent, Jan. 13)

UNARMED MINORITIES SEEK VOICE
Throughout a generation of warfare in Afghanistan, the country's roughly 
2 million ethnic Turkmen raised no significant military force. Living 
largely in the northern areas controlled by Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid 
Dostum, they instead concentrated on traditional pursuits of carpet 
weaving and agriculture. But the Turkmen community's determination to 
stay out of the fighting has come at a high political cost. With no 
warlords to represent them, the Turkmen had no voice in the Bonn peace 
deal. The interim government established at Bonn shares ministerial 
posts among the signatory parties--principally Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks 
and Hazaras. Now Turkmen leaders have formed a shura, or council, to 
meet with interim government officials. Delegates of the 
council--representing both Turkmen in northern Afghanistan and those 
exiled in Pakistan--recently visited Kabul and spoke with interim prime 
minister Hamid Karzai. The delegation will also travel to Mazar-i-Sharif 
in hopes of meeting with Dostum, who was recently named interim deputy 
defense minister. One of the delegates, Jamahir Anwari, said the council 
offered to raise Turkmen units for the United Nations-mandated 
peacekeeping force: "The Turkmen people did not want to take part in the 
feuding [of recent years]. Now we are ready to announce that we are 
prepared to play a role as peacekeepers if necessary. Our young people 
volunteer to do duty beside the UN peace forces." (Charles Recknagel for 
EurasiaNet, Jan. 4)

KANDAHAR CASTRO: UN-CLOSETED AGAIN?
With the Taliban overthrown, it is not only TVs, kites and razors which 
have re-emerged in their southern stronghold of Kandahar. Visible again 
are men with their ashna, or beloveds--young boys they have groomed for 
sex. Kandahar's Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for 
centuries, particularly their fondness for young boys. Before the 
Taliban arrived in 1994, Kandahar was the gay capital of Central Asia, 
and the streets "were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, 
flaunting their relationship," said a Jan. 12 London Times account. 
"Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy--locals tell you that birds 
fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their 
posterior--that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key 
factors in Mullah Omar mobilizing the Taliban." Under the Taliban, men 
accused of sodomy faced the punishment of having a wall toppled on to 
them by a tank, usually resulting in death. Said one local militiaman: 
"They say birds flew with both wings with the Taliban. But not any 
more."

DOG-FIGHTING OUT; COCK-FIGHTING IN
In a nod to Western sensibilities, Kandahar's reigning warlord Gul Agha 
Sherzai--a veteran Mujahedeen commander and former dog-fighting 
impresario--has banned dog-fighting from the city. The controversial 
"sport" attracts frenzied betting, and is now deemed inappropriate. 
(Reuters, Jan. 14) But New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote 
Jan. 16: "I've got good news and bad news from Kabul. The good news is 
that sporting events have returned to the city, even before electricity 
or law and order have been fully restored. The bad news is that the 
sport is cock-fighting." All sports had been banned by the Taliban.

BAMIYAN BUDDHAS TO BE REBUILT?
Afghanistan's interim regime says it plans to rebuild the historic giant 
statues of Buddha at Bamiyan, shelled to rubble as an affront to Islam 
last March on Taliban orders. The interim minister of culture, Raheen 
Makhdoom, said his government would like to rebuild the destroyed 
statues as soon as possible--although the rebuilt Buddhas would not be 
exactly what they once were. The two statues stood between 40 and 50 
meters high and were over 1,500 years old, built under the 
Greek-Buddhist Kushan dynasty. The UN cultural organization UNESCO 
described the destruction of the statues as an act of cultural 
barbarism. Makhdoom said he hoped reconstruction of the statues would 
attract tourists back to Afghanistan--but admitted that may be some way 
off. (BBC, Dec. 30)

Another candidate for restoration is Kabul's Argh Palace, where the 
elaborately painted walls and mosaic ceilings are gouged wherever the 
face of a human or animal once appeared, courtesy of the Taliban. (Wall 
Street Journal, Jan. 15)

WAR CAPTIVES IN LEGAL LIMBO
Chained, manacled, hooded, even sedated, their beards shorn off against 
their will, captured Taliban and al-Qaida fighters are being flown 
around the world to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they are kept in tiny 
chain-link outdoor cages. Since Guantanamo Bay Naval Station is 
technically foreign territory, the detainees have no rights under the US 
constitution and cannot appeal to US federal courts. Defense Secretary 
Donald Rumsfeld said the detainees "will be handled not as prisoners of 
war, because they are not, but as unlawful combatants." He maintains 
that "unlawful combatants" have no rights under the Geneva Convention 
Under the 1949 Convention, POWs can only be tried by "the same courts 
according to the same procedure as in the case of members of the armed 
forces of the detaining power." The Pentagon intends to prosecute many 
detainees in special military tribunals with looser rules of evidence 
and a lower burden of proof than regular military or civilian courts. 
The position of the International Committee of the Red Cross is that the 
Convention has to be interpreted in the context of modern international 
conflicts, which increasingly tend not to involve regular troops on both 
sides. Since the Convention is designed to protect persons, not states, 
the guiding principle must be the furtherance of that protection, with a 
presumption that every detainee is a POW until a competent court or 
tribunal determines otherwise. (Michael Byers in the UK Guardian, Jan 
14)

EX-YUGOSLAVIA WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR BLASTS US TRIBUNALS
Richard Goldstone, first chief prosecutor of the ex-Yugoslavia war 
crimes tribunal in the 1990s, stated he is "very worried about the way 
the US detain alleged Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners on their bases in 
Cuba." Goldstone, one of the world's most esteemed experts on 
international criminal law, believes Washington has created a "new 
criminal category" by calling the detainees "unlawful combatants." "If 
they are not POWs, then they are ordinary criminals who should face 
trial in the US proper," said Goldstone, now is a justice in the 
Constitutional Court of his home South Africa. Goldstone warned a 
complaint could be filed with the International Court of Justice at The 
Hague against the Guantanamo detainment and the special tribunals. 
Goldstone said he knows of "no justification in international law for 
such behavior." (BBC, Jan. 17)

ASHCROFT WANTS DEATH FOR ACCUSED HIPPIE TERRORIST
John Walker, the 20-year-old California spiritual seeker allegedly 
captured fighting for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, waits on a warship in the 
Arabian Sea while the Justice Department prepares his trial in 
Alexandria, VA. The government accuses him of training with 
rocket-propelled grenades for unspecified "special missions" to kill 
Americans--and joining Osama bin Laden's personal militia after 9-11. 
Attorney General John Ashcroft told reporters he is considering 
additional charges which carry the death penalty, pending an ongoing 
investigation. (Daily News, Jan. 16)


THE NEW GREAT GAME

US MILITARIZES KYRGYZSTAN
The US is establishing a strong military presence in Kyrgyzstan, 
affording strategic leverage in Central Asia. A US-Kyrgyzstan agreement, 
signed late last year, allows the Pentagon extensive use of the 
country's only international airport, at Manas, near the capital, 
Bishkek. US troops are building a 37-acre base there to accommodate some 
3,000 soldiers. US military personnel will be immune from prosecution by 
the Kyrgyz authorities. They will be free to enter and leave the country 
without hindrance, and to wear uniforms and carry arms. A Pentagon 
representative announced Jan. 3 that the deployment "will be long-term, 
rather than temporary." Chinara Jakypova, writing for the Institute for 
War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), sees two US aims in the Kyrgyzstan 
build-up: loosening Russia's grip on the region and keeping a close eye 
on China, the "sleeping giant of Asia," which borders Kyrgyzstan on the 
east. Many local politicians and journalists are critical of US motives. 
Kyrgyz legislative assembly member Adakham Madumarov said the US wants 
to use Kyrgyzstan as a base to pull Central Asia away from Moscow. 
Another concern is that bombing raids might be launched from Kyrgyzstan, 
embroiling the country in the region's turmoil. Commented Madumarov: "We 
could become a main target for terrorists. The US presence is a 
strategic handicap for Kyrgyzstan." Said journalist Beken Nazaraliev: 
"The Americans may ruin our good relations with neighbors like China. 
Washington, because of its own interests, could at some stage sacrifice 
little Kyrgyzstan, leaving it to face the anger of the Arab world." The 
Islamic organization Khizb-ut-Takhrir, whose cells have recently 
proliferated in Kyrgyzstan, has already called for "the overthrow of 
leaders who have turned Kyrgyzstan into a humiliated colony."

The IWPR's Yevgeny Nurabaev writes that the US base especially alarms 
Kyrgyzstan's ethnic Russians--and many are leaving country. Russian 
Emigration Service staff in Kyrgyzstan say forms for citizens seeking 
repatriation to Russia increasingly cite the US military presence. "Why 
is the US planning to be stationed in Kyrgyzstan when the anti-terrorist 
operation in Afghanistan is almost completed?" asked Mikhail Butnev, 
founder of the Cossack movement, uniting descendants of the militia that 
helped the Russian Czars conquer Central Asia in 19th century. Answers 
local historian Danil Kvashuk: "I'm sure the Americans aren't worried 
about our security concerns and the struggle against terrorism--they're 
pursuing their geopolitical aims." He asserts the public should have 
been consulted on the move. "If Kyrgyzstan is calling itself the second 
Switzerland, then why wasn't a referendum held, as is done in 
Switzerland on the smallest issues?"

RUSSIA BREAKS RANKS WITH US ON AFGHANISTAN BOMBARDMENT
Russia called for an end to US bombings in Afghanistan and reaffirmed 
its opposition to the long-term presence of US troops in its former 
"backyard" of the Central Asian republics. Moscow "wishes peace to 
return as soon as possible to Afghanistan and is against the current 
bombing going on indefinitely," the speaker of the State Duma (lower 
house) Gennady Seleznyov said on his arrival for talks in Dushanbe, 
Tajikistan. (AFP, Jan. 11)

DEATH MERCHANTS SALIVATE OVER INDO-PAK CONFLICT
The British government is pushing an intensive campaign to boost arms 
sales to India--including 60 Hawk jets worth nearly $1.5 
billion--despite of the escalation of the India-Pakistan dispute towards 
open war. The arms push comes only a week after Tony Blair visited India 
and Pakistan, where he expressed the hope that "we can have a calming 
influence" and warned of the "enormous problems the whole of the world 
would face if things went wrong." Hawk manufacturer BAE Systems is 
confident of striking a deal. In 2000, the UK granted export licenses 
for over $90 million in war material for former colony India--combat 
aircraft parts, helicopter gunships, missiles. Critics say the BAE deal 
would contravene guidelines adopted by Britain in 1997 banning arms 
sales to countries facing likelihood of imminent war, or a threat to 
"regional stability." The head of the Indian army, Sunderajan 
Padmanabhan, said last week the build-up of forces along the Kashmir 
border has brought India and Pakistan "quite close to an actual war." 
Richard Bingley of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: "It is 
diabolical that just days after Tony Blair was promoting peace in India, 
his government uses taxpayers' money to fund activity which could 
achieve the exact opposite." British arms companies will be prominent at 
an arms fair next month in New Delhi, Defexpo 2002. The pavilion is 
being organized by the Defense Manufacturers Association with financial 
support from Trade Partners UK, a government body. (Guardian Weekly, 
Jan. 17)

INDIA PLAYS AL-QAEDA CARD
Seeking to portray its conflict with Pakistan as part of the US war on 
terrorism, India announced that two Islamic militants arrested in 
Kashmir Jan. 14 were tied to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. US 
Secretary of State Colin Powell visited India and Pakistan this week in 
an effort to defuse tensions. Pakistan arrested some 1,500 Islamic 
militants under pressure from both the US and India this week, and 
banned the two organizations India accuses in the Dec. 13 attack on New 
Delhi's parliament building. But Pakistani president Gen. Pervez 
Musharraf refuses India's demands for extradition of the groups' 
leaders. Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji also visited India this 
week--the first visit by a Chinese prime minister in over a decade. This 
is a signal that Beijing, which has traditionally backed Pakistan 
against mutual rival India (including with nuclear weapons technology), 
is swayed by the portrayal of Pakistan as a base for Islamist subversion 
and terrorism in China's restive northwest. Meanwhile, New Delhi claimed 
one Indian soldier was killed by Pakistani artillery fired across the 
Kashmir cease-fire line. (Financial Times, Jan. 15)

PAKISTAN SELLS OUT FUNDAMENTALISTS (SORT OF)
Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf, under pressure from the US 
and India, is rapidly distancing himself from the Islamist militants his 
regime has supported--but with some equivocation. "The day of reckoning 
will come," he said in his TV address announcing a ban on Islamist 
groups. "Do we want Pakistan to become a theocratic state? Or do we want 
Pakistan to emerge as a dynamic Islamic welfare state?" This may seem a 
narrow distinction to secularists. (Newsday, Jan. 16)

...NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH DEMOCRATIZATION
But don't expect the crackdown on fundamentalists to mean a transition 
to democracy. Human Rights Watch reports that Musharraf has tightened 
the military's grip since 9-11: "Gen. Pervez Musharraf took steps that 
further consolidated the army's authority and all but ensured that any 
future government would operate under military tutelage. With media 
attention focused on internal unrest following Pakistan's break with the 
Taliban and its public support for the United States-led intervention, 
Musharraf's movement toward establishing a controlled democracy faced 
little international opposition... Mainstream political parties 
continued to operate under tight constraints. A ban on rallies remained 
in force, and the authorities detained thousands of political party 
members and activists to forestall planned demonstrations against 
government policies and continued military rule." (Human Rights Watch 
2002 Report, <www.hrw.org>)

TALKING HEADS DEBATE CHINA POSTURE
On Dec. 7, ABC News cited two recent reports, in the Washington Post and 
Wall Street Journal, portraying a Chinese tilt to the Taliban to offset 
growing US influence in Central Asia. The reports said China had sent 
diplomats to Kabul on a regular basis and signed a memorandum with the 
Taliban on construction of dams and other technical assistance. The 
reports also said one Chinese company was assisting the Taliban in 
building a telephone network. These reports were denied by the Chinese 
government as "groundless and absurd."

Tom Gouttierre of the University of Nebraska (which sponsored a program 
aimed at better US-Taliban relations--see WW3 REPORT #5) insisted China 
supports US war aims because of its own fears of internal Islamist 
subversion: "We know that there have been at least 1,000 Chinese, 
Uighurs primarily, from the northwestern parts of China, who have been 
trained in the camps of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. And so the 
Chinese are very mindful of the terrorist threats in their western 
territories... So I suspect that the Chinese at this stage are probably 
very much in support of the way things are going, because I think it 
bears more positive potential for its own long term interests."

But even if Prof. Gouttierre is right, those bent on posing China as the 
USA's new enemy in Asia may get their wish. China's fears of 
Taliban-sponsored subversion have led to tensions with its traditional 
ally Pakistan--also a close US ally. Right up to Sept. 11, Pakistan had 
been aiding the Taliban. In response, suggests ABC's Edmond Roy, China 
started tilting towards Iran--a regime hostile to the US, but which was 
also backing the Northern Alliance. Reported Roy: "A Chinese-Iranian 
partnership is already developing to build strategic oil and gas 
pipelines in Central Asia, which in effect would counter both the United 
States and Russian pipelines, and give the Central Asian states 
alternative routes to export their energy."


THE MIDDLE EAST

UGLIER AND UGLIER IN HOLY LAND
On Jan. 17 , six Jewish revelers were killed in an attack at a bat 
mitzvah ceremony in Hadera, Israel. The Al Aqsa Brigades, a militia 
linked to Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah political 
organization, claimed responsibility for the attack, in which a former 
Palestinian police officer opened fire with an assault rifle before 
being gunned down himself. The next day, Israeli warplanes destroyed the 
Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank town of Tulkarem. 
The Palestinians claimed one police officer killed and some 20 injured 
in the air-strikes. (AP, Jan. 18) The bat mitzvah attack followed the 
Jan. 14 killing of Al Aqsa leader Raed Karmi, who was blown up by a bomb 
after being lured from his Tulkarem home by a phone call. Hundreds of 
Tulkarem residents paraded Karmi's body through the streets clamoring 
for revenge, and an Israeli soldier was shot dead in retaliation later 
that day. An Al Aqsa statement said Israel had "opened the fire of hell 
upon itself" by assassinating Karmi. Israeli officials did not confirm 
or deny responsibility for Karmi's death, but released a list of his 
alleged crimes, claiming he had killed nine Israelis in shooting 
attacks. Karmi had narrowly escaped assassination in Sept. when Israel 
launched a rocket attack on a car he was travelling in, killing two 
passengers. He was high on a list of militants Israel has asked the 
Palestinian Authority to arrest. (BBC, Jan. 14) On Jan. 19, the 
situation escalated yet further as Israeli troops blew up the Voice of 
Palestine radio station in Ramallah, and surrounded the Palestinian 
Authority's central headquarters there with armored vehicles, placing 
Arafat under virtual house arrest. (NYT, Jan. 19)

ISRAELI CHIEF OF STAFF SCHMOOZES BUSH CABINET
As the bombs fell on Tulkarem, Israel's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Shaul 
Mofaz was in Washington meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Richard 
Armitage, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Joint Chiefs of Staff 
head Gen. Richard Myers and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. 
Seeking to integrate Israel's war with Palestine into the US war on 
terrorism, Mofaz accused Iran of deep involvement in terrorism against 
Israel, anonymous sources said. (AP, Jan. 18)

TERRORISM BY BULLDOZER CONTINUES
The Israel Defense Forces' Jan 10 demolition of 70 Palestinian homes in 
a Gaza refugee camp drew sharp international protest. Israeli claims 
that the homes were abandoned and used by gunmen and arms smugglers were 
contradicted by UN workers who stepped in to provide emergency shelter 
for some 700 evicted residents (see WW3 REPORT #16). On Jan. 13, two 
days after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the bulldozings as 
"collective punishment," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's administration 
announced an end to home demolitions in the Occupied Territories--while 
denying it was ceding to international pressure. But on the very same 
day, bulldozers razed at least 5 newly-built Palestinian houses in East 
Jerusalem's Isawiya neighborhood--at least one of them inhabited. Police 
scuffled with dozens of residents as 15 bulldozers and land-movers 
knocked down walls. Two protesters were detained. These demolitions were 
done under cover of municipal bureaucracy rather than military 
retaliation. Jerusalem city authorities said 17 demolition orders have 
been issued for structures in Isawiya. Dozens of homes have been 
demolished in East Jerusalem because they were built without permits, 
and Israel says it enforces the law equally against Arab and Jewish 
residents. But the Palestinians say they have no choice but to build 
illegally because they are rarely granted permits. Jerusalem officials 
acknowledge the government is trying to limit Palestinian population 
growth in the city. The Palestinians want to establish a capital in East 
Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and later 
annexed to its capital in a move not recognized by the UN. Jerusalem 
city council members opposed to Likud Mayor Ehud Olmert tried to block 
further demolitions, and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions 
petitioned the Jerusalem Magistrates Court to halt the bulldozings. 
(Haaretz, Jan. 14)

ISRAELI BEDOUINS HAVE BAD DEAL
The slain gunmen on both sides in the Jan. 9 attack on Israeli troops 
which sparked the Gaza demolitions were neither Jews nor Palestinians, 
but Bedouins--descendants of Arab nomads from the Negev Desert. Bedouins 
have long served in the Israel Defense Forces' desert patrol battalion, 
and many now also live in the Palestinian refugee camps. Disenfranchised 
from their traditional lands, Bedouins have ironically turned to the 
Israeli military for survival--but are increasingly throwing in their 
lot with the Palestinian resistance. Many inhabit "unrecognized 
villages," dozens of Arab communities that Israeli authorities refused 
to make legal after the 1948 war. "Unrecognized villages" are denied 
access to the electrical, water or sewage systems, and conditions are 
miserable.

Fuar Naim, 75, of "unrecognized" Al-Naim, just outside Haifa, told a 
journalist: "It started in 1948 when they took away our livelihood--our 
herds of goats, cows and sheep. Then, in the early 1960s, they erected a 
fence around our homes, telling us the land was a military zone and that 
any animals that strayed outside the fence would be confiscated." The 
Bedouins' 4,000 dunums (1,000 acres) shrank to 800--hardly more than the 
ground their homes stood on. Most were forced to give up their 
livestock, becoming laborers or unemployed. Worse was to come. "One day 
in 1963 the army entered the village and arrested all the men," said 
Naim. "We were taken to the jail in Akko [Acre] for five days, none of 
us knowing why we had been arrested." Upon their release, they returned 
to find their homes demolished by army bulldozers, and their wells 
opened and pumped dry. Naim claimed four children were killed when they 
fell into the empty wells. The villagers built temporary shelters, 
hoping for permission to rebuild their village. Nearly 40 years later, 
they are still waiting, living in tents or corrugated-iron huts that 
provide little protection against the severe Galilee winters. There are 
no toilets, and water is supplied by illegal pipes from two tanks filled 
with water from a nearby "legal" village. Electricity is available for a 
few hours each day from a generator. Residents can be arrested for any 
building construction or improvement. Israeli policy calls for the 
inhabitants of Al-Naim--and three nearby Bedouin villages of Demaide, 
Husseini and Kamani--to move to Wadi Salami, a "planned town" for Arabs. 
The villagers refuse.

Khaled Khalil of the Association of Forty, an organization campaigning 
for the unrecognized villages, says conditions in Al-Naim are the worst 
outside the Negev, where Israeli authorities seek to force over 60,000 
Bedouin to relocate by denial of services. "[T]he government earmarked 
this land for Jewish development," he says. "They kept up enormous 
pressure to make sure the inhabitants moved out." Al-Naim residents 
finally won recognition 3 years ago, along with 8 of the Galilee's other 
largest Arab villages. But little changed, as new bureaucratic obstacles 
were found. Said Khalil: "Although the village is officially legal, in 
practice this means almost nothing. Under planning laws, the land is 
classified as an agricultural zone and so residential buildings on it 
are still illegal. Any houses they build can be demolished. In effect 
the village is legal but every house in it is illegal." (Jonathan Cook 
for Al-Ahram Weekly Online, Jan. 10-6)

Israel's Bedouin--130,000 in the Negev and 70,000 in the 
Galilee--constitute one quarter of Israel's Muslim citizens, and are 
Israel's most disadvantaged sector. Now undergoing a traumatic 
transformation from their traditional nomadic way of life to a nearly 
forced urbanization, they have Israel's lowest level of education, 
health care and housing, and the highest level of unemployment. 
Conflicting land claims remain unresolved since 1948. Slum conditions at 
Bedouin towns established by Israeli authorities in the Negev do not 
attract the 70,000 Bedouin still living in nomadic encampments or 
"unrecognized settlements." Writes one commentator: "The Bedouin who for 
many years refused to identify with Palestinian radicalism or Islamic 
fundamentalism, many of whose sons demonstrated their loyalty to Israel 
by volunteering for service in the IDF, are in recent years being 
steadily driven into the arms of the Islamic Movement." (Moshe Arens in 
Haaretz, Jan. 15)

US MILITARY TRIBUNALS PIONEERED IN EGYPT
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is happy that the US has decided to try 
terrorist suspects in military tribunals. For ten years, Egypt has been 
taking fire from the West for military trials of civilians. The new US 
policy, and a new British anti-terrorism law allowing indefinite 
detention of suspects, "prove that we were right from the beginning in 
using all means, including military trials, [in response to] these great 
crimes that threaten the security of society," Mubarak told the Egyptian 
press. "There is no doubt that the events of Sept. 11 created a new 
concept of democracy that differs from the concept that Western states 
defended before these events, especially in regard to the freedom of the 
individual." In 1992, Mubarak, his regime under attack from a radical 
Islamist insurgency, authorized referral of civilians to military 
courts. The trials, held at desert barracks, are still going strong 
despite the fact that the movement has been largely crushed since 1997. 
The military courts have much looser standards of evidence. The Egyptian 
Organization for Human Rights counted 32 trials involving 1,001 
defendants in 1999, of whom 625 were sentenced to prison and 94 to 
execution (with 67 since executed). Mubarak declared that military 
courts "would only be used to confront terrorism." But in 2000, 15 
members of the Muslim Brotherhood were given prison terms of up to 5 
years for "conspiring" to run for office in local and parliamentary 
elections. While many of those convicted in the military trials are 
murderous fanatics, rights activists say many are swept up 
indiscriminately from suspect mosques. The US State Department's 2000 
report on human rights in Egypt read: "[T]he use of military courts to 
try civilians continued to infringe on a defendant's right to a fair 
trial before an independent judiciary." (Steve Negus in The Nation, Jan. 
3)

ALGERIA DICTATORSHIP ON "GOOD GUYS LIST"
Algeria's military-backed regime used to approach Western governments 
for arms deals cautiously, fearing an outcry about human rights. But the 
regime anticipates a post-9-11 windfall of war material. "They ask for 
weapons every time they hold meetings with anyone," said one Western 
diplomat. "After Sept. 11, they're on the good guys list." The regime 
portrays Algeria's strife, which has claimed 100,000 lives since 1992, 
as entirely an Islamic "terrorist" assault. Two Algerian groups are on 
the US list of organizations tied to Osama bin Laden. Algeria's offer of 
anti-terrorist cooperation won President Abdelaziz Bouteflika a visit to 
the White House in Nov., his second in a year. After meeting with 
President Bush, Bouteflika told reporters: "Algeria is aware of the 
importance [of 9-11] because it has been fighting in the past alone for 
a tragic decade, with the indifference of many and the ingratitude of 
others." Counters Ali Yahya Abdennour of Algeria's Human Rights League: 
"The West has not understood that internal terrorism in our case is 
caused by dictatorship at the top." The violence was sparked by the 
army's 1992 cancellation of a second parliamentary elections round to 
thwart victory by the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). The FIS took up 
arms, and splinter groups began attacking civilians. But the regime was 
accused of manipulating armed groups to discredit the FIS. There were 
reports of army troops standing by as civilians were massacred. The 
regime refused demands for investigations. With the Islamists largely 
defeated, the 1,000 average monthly deaths in the mid-'90s is down to 
last year's 200 per month. The regime's real priority is now a civil 
uprising by the Berber minority in eastern Kabylia region, launched to 
protest the hogra--contempt--shown by the authorities. After April's 
police killing of a Berber youth, protests escalated to riots. The 
Berber movement is explicitly anti-Islamist. Said Ikhelf Bouaichi of the 
Berber-based Socialist Forces Front: "The regime is now trying to 
capitalize on the international situation and to be recognized as a 
partner in the anti-terror campaign when it should be addressing the 
issues that trouble ordinary Algerians. Exclusion and misery are what 
create violence and terror." (Financial Times, Jan. 15)

TURKEY SUES CHOMSKY PUBLISHER FOR TELLING UNAPPROVED TRUTH
In another astonishing demonstration of the profound commitment to 
democracy on the part of the USA's coalition partners in the war on 
terrorism, the Turkish government brought charges against Istanbul's 
Aram Publishing for printing a translated Noam Chomsky essay collection, 
entitled "American Interventionism." The book includes a lecture Chomsky 
gave at Ohio's University of Toledo last March, in which he said the 
Turkish government had "launched a major war in the Southeast against 
the Kurdish population," and described the conflict as "one of the most 
severe human rights atrocities of the 1990s." Aram director Fatih Tas 
faces a year in prison if convicted on charges of "conducting propaganda 
against the state." The trial is due to begin in Feb. The indictment 
issued by Istanbul's State Security Court said passages in the book 
constitute "propaganda against the indivisible unity of the nation." 
Chomsky said the lecture was based on material from "the leading human 
rights organizations...the most respected standard scholarship, and 
official US government documents." Turkey's government has been fighting 
a war against Kurdish rebels demanding autonomy in the southeast for 
over 15 years. The conflict has eased since the Kurdistan Workers Party 
(PKK) announced a unilateral cease-fire in 1999. But the government 
rejected the cease-fire, and sporadic fighting continues. About 37,000, 
mostly Kurdish rebels and civilians, have been killed in the fighting 
since 1984. Dozens of Turkish writers and intellectuals have been jailed 
under strict laws forbidding criticism of the war. (A-Infos News 
Service, Jan.)


THE WAR AT HOME

FEDS CRACK DOWN ON "UN-AMERICAN" ART
Michael Niman reports in High Times magazine's on-line edition 
(www.hightimes.com) on the nationwide post-9-11 wave of federal 
harassment of those who display the work of dissident artists. On Oct. 
12, two Secret Service agents visited the North Carolina apartment of 
Durham Tech freshman AJ Brown. According to a report in The Progressive 
(www.progressive.org), the agents said, "We're here because we have a 
report that you have un-American material in your apartment." When Brown 
asked what they were talking about, the agents specified that they were 
investigating reports that she had an "anti-American poster" on her 
wall. The work in question was an anti-death penalty poster chastising 
George Bush for overseeing 152 executions as governor of Texas. It 
showed Bush holding a noose and read, "We hang on your every word. 
George Bush, Wanted: 152 Dead." Brown opened the door so the agents 
could inspect her posters, ask a battery of questions, and take notes. 
They called her two days later to verify her telephone number and ask 
her if she had any nicknames.

In New York City, the Chashama art gallery near Times Square leased 
billboard space to Adbusters Media Foundation to display the "Corporate 
Flag," an American flag with corporate logos replacing the 50 stars. 
Shortly after 9-11, a Pentagon investigator visited Chashama, asking who 
paid for the billboard and created the image--questions easily answered 
by reading the billboard itself, which contained the Adbusters web 
address (www.adbusters.org).

On November 7th, an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent paid a call on 
Houston's eclectic Art Car Museum (artcarmuseum.com). They explained 
that they received "several reports of anti-American activity [at the 
museum] and wanted to see the exhibit." The museum was then running a 
show entitled "Secret Wars," an artistic commentary on US military 
interventions. Once inside, the agents read a few words by Noam Chomsky, 
saw a painting depicting George Bush dancing with a devil, and asked 
numerous questions about the museum's funding, curator, etc.

...AND BOOKS
Even personal reading material is not immune from the paranoid 
atmosphere. On October 10, 22-year-old Neil Godfrey of Philadelphia was 
en route to Phoenix to meet with his family for a vacation in 
Disneyland. After checking his luggage, he proceed to his departure gate 
carrying only a copy of The Nation magazine and Edward Abbey's novel of 
radical environmentalists in the American West, "Hayduke Lives!" Airport 
officials said it was the novel--adorned with a picture of a first 
grasping sticks of dynamite--which got Godfrey flagged by National 
Guardsmen. Godfrey was detained for 45 minutes by Guardsmen, 
Philadelphia police and state troopers who took notes as they thumbed 
through the book and probed Godfrey on why he was reading it. He was 
barred from his flight. A United Airlines employee explained that he was 
banned for the book he was reading, the fact that he purchased his 
ticket online 8 hours before the 9-11 attack, and because his driver's 
license was expired. (Philadelphia Citypaper.net, Oct. 18)

According to a Nov. 1 open letter to bookstore owners from the American 
Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (www.abffe.org), the new 
anti-terrorist PATRIOT Act gives the feds authority to search bookstore 
records to ascertain what customers are reading. The law also explicitly 
criminalizes protest against such inquisitions, threatening booksellers 
with arrest if they disclose to anyone that they were served with a 
government information request. Writes Mike Niman for High Times: 
"Booksellers and librarians, for years, have attempted to protect patron 
privacy. While few books give instruction in bomb making, many give 
information about how to survive with HIV or explore one's 
sexuality--information many would-be readers might want to keep 
personal."

BILL IN CONGRESS TO BRING BACK DRAFT
A bill to reinstate the military draft has been introduced in the US 
House of Representatives by two Republicans, Nick Smith of Michigan and 
Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania. The Universal Military Training & Service 
Act of 2001 (HR 3598) would "require the induction into the Armed Forces 
of young men registered under the Military Selective Service Act" and 
(as sugar-coating for the liberals) "authorize young women to volunteer, 
to receive basic military training and education..." Since 1980, all 
male residents of the US have been required to register with the 
Selective Service System upon turning 18. Under the bill, all young men 
between 18 and 22 would be required to serve up to a year (with limited 
exemptions for personal hardship, conscientious objection, etc.). The 
text of the bill is on-line at <http://thomas.loc.gov>.

PRESS PERSUADED BY PRESIDENTIAL PRETZEL (BUT WE AREN'T)
The official story is that President Bush got those unseemly, 
un-presidential bruises on his face by choking on a pretzel while 
watching TV at the White House Jan. 13. The nation's media are 
swallowing this line with far greater ease than Bush himself apparently 
did the pretzel. Some observers, however, are skeptical. Writes WW3 
REPORT subscriber Ivo Skoric (balkansnet.org): "And what about this 
choking on a pretzel? I've talked to several doctors. A man choking on a 
pretzel, sitting on a couch, does not fall on the floor. He chokes and 
dies sitting on the couch. Even if he gets up and then falls on the 
floor, he does not fall on his face. The particular scenario involving 
falling on the face has to include a violent jerk and the loss of one's 
faculties before falling down--a common occurrence in an epileptic 
seizure. That picture would become even more intriguing if we consider 
that such seizures may result from a history of alcohol and drug 
(cocaine) abuse. But I think the pretzel-choking-theory sounds much 
better in the media."


NEW YORK CITY

GROUND ZERO WORKERS HAVE NO INSURANCE
The contractors who run work crews at the World Trade Center disaster 
site have been denied any liability coverage against injury, property 
damage or death. After more than 120 days of round-the-clock work with 
no fatalities, contractors are petitioning Congress to provide 
insurance--which no private company will. The contractors say they risk 
being pushed to bankruptcy by a barrage of lawsuits over exposure to 
asbestos, mercury and other toxins. The 4 main contractors--Bovis, 
Tully, Turner and AMEC--fear plaintiffs will look to them because 
Congress has already passed legislation limiting 9-11-related liability 
for New York State, the Port Authority and WTC leaseholder Larry 
Silverstein. (NYT Jan. 18)

FIRST CLEAN-UP FATALITY; CONTRACTOR FINED $100
Worker Angel Quiroga, who was cleaning debris in a building a few blocks 
from Ground Zero, complained of lightheadedness Oct. 18 and was taken to 
Bellevue Hospital, where he died the next day. Employer Calvin 
Maintenance was fined $4,000 by the federal Occupational Safety & Health 
Administration (OSHA) for failing to report the incident in the required 
8-hour period. But OSHA dropped the fine to $100 after Bellevue said 
Quiroga died of "natural causes." The company, which was not at the 
address provided to OSHA and could not be reached for comment by 
reporters, has had at least 7 workplace violations since 1998. Joel 
Shufro of the NY Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), 
which is investigating the incident, protested the reduction: "There are 
thousands of examples where workers' cases, particularly those of 
immigrants, are not reported. What is outrageous is that they cut the 
fine for a company that has a history of violating the law." (Newsday, 
Jan. 18) A NYCOSH street medical unit providing free check-ups to 
clean-up workers reports complaints of persistent cough, chest pains and 
other symptoms. Workers crowd around van at Broadway and Barclay even in 
the cold, desperate to be tested. (Newsday, Jan. 15)

EPA BLASTED ON CLEAN-UP
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), a member of the Ground Zero Elected 
Officials Task Force, revealed that the US Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) had its offices at 290 Broadway, just blocks from the WTC, 
professionally cleaned by an asbestos removal contractor after 9-11, 
while advising local residents to clean their homes with "wet rags." 
Said Nadler: "The EPA must test residential homes immediately and, if 
necessary, clean all contaminated areas using properly trained personnel 
under the strictest fed guidelines." (Newsday, Jan. 18)

WTC SURVIVORS PROTEST COMPENSATION PLAN
Sen. Hillary Clinton met with the WTC United Family Group, Hispanic 
Victims Group, September's Mission, 9-11 Widows and other survivors' 
groups to voice her support of their protest against terms of the 
federal victims' compensation plan. (Newsday, Jan. 14) Mayor Mike 
Bloomberg also met a rally by nearly 1,000 WTC survivors at a midtown 
Manhattan armory, and pledged his support for their grievances. The fund 
was established by Congress to protect the airline industry from losses 
as a result of the attacks. The legislation limits airline liability and 
requires survivors to waive their right to sue in order to participate 
in the fund. Survivors protest the $250,000 cap on awards for 
non-economic damages and requirements that life insurance payments be 
deducted from the award amount. They also oppose the requirement that 
injured victims show proof they sought medical treatment within 24 hours 
of the attack (Newsday, Jan. 18)

WTC SURVIVORS PROTEST COMMODIFICATION OF DISASTER SITE
Antoinette Rubino, whose daughter Joanne was killed at the World Trade 
Center on Sept. 11, broke down when she told New York Times reporter 
Dean Murphy Jan. 13 about her objections to the city's new Ground Zero 
reviewing stand. "It is like a freak show, these people passing by 
curious to see if they find a body or a head or something. It is 
horrible. That is supposed to be a sacred place now. My child's body is 
all over that place." While visitors to lower Manhattan swarm to the 
first of several platforms planned along the disaster site perimeter (at 
Broadway and Fulton), relatives of the casualties say they are deeply 
offended. And the sense of outrage is worsened by the city's decision 
last week to issue free tickets at the nearby South Street Seaport 
tourist attraction. Insisted Francis McCarton of the city Office of 
Emergency Management: "We have created a system to assist people in 
viewing the sacred area of Ground Zero by also alleviating some of the 
crowding conditions there. We feel the system is working." But Manhattan 
lawyer Tim Gray, whose brother Christopher is among the missing, wrote 
letters to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to 
complain. "Perhaps I will be lucky and my brother's corpse will be 
rescued, but if it is, it absolutely sickens me to think that it will be 
done in plain view of a frenzy of onlookers, who...will be readied with 
all forms of technology to record the event," he wrote in one of letter. 
"I once wished that my brother's body be recovered, now I wonder if I 
should pray that it remain entombed in Lower Manhattan forever."

STREET VENDORS CUT OUT OF DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION PLAN
Activist Robert Lederman protests that an aggressive city plan to lure 
tourists back to the financial district coincides with a crackdown on 
street peddlers selling WTC memorabilia. In a Jan. 17 letter to Newsday, 
Lederman accuses the downtown business improvement district of 
"advertising tourist discounts and even a happy hour linked to the 
disaster" while vendors are demonized for exploiting the tragedy.

SILVERSTEIN WANTS TO REBUILD TERRORIST BAIT
Larry Silverstein who leased the WTC from the NY-NJ Port Authority, 
wants to rebuild the complex, but is being held up by a dispute with the 
complex's insurers (see WW3 REPORT #16). However, the 47-story 7 WTC was 
insured separately, and Silverstein wants the Tishman Construction Corp. 
to begin reconstruction on Sept. 11, 2002. 7 WTC housed Salomon Smith 
Barney and then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's emergency command bunker (and a 
secret CIA station--see WW3 REPORT #7) (Newsday, Jan. 14)

FEMA LOSES WTC DISASTER PROBE
Following weeks of criticism from experts, the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) lost responsibility for the official probe into 
why the WTC towers collapsed. Engineers and forensics specialists 
contracted by FEMA for the probe accused the agency itself of hindering 
their efforts (see WW3 REPORT #15). Leadership of the investigation has 
been turned over to the National Institute of Standards & Technology 
(NYT, Jan. 17).

LAID-OFF WORKERS: MARRIOTT EXPLOITS 9-11
Marriott--one of the largest hotel chains in the US, with 2,300 hotels 
worldwide and more than $10 billion in sales last year--now stands to 
receive a share of the $20 billion in federal aid pledged to help 
rebuild New York. But staff at the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel, 
which was destroyed in the 9-11 attack, have all been laid off--and 
claim that workers at two new Marriot locations in the city have been 
hired at lower wages. The laid-off workers, who held a rally at the 
Times Square Marriott Marquis Jan. 16, say this violates a pledge by 
Marriot "to assist with placement into new positions." (National 
Mobilization Against Sweatshops <http://nmass.org>)

###

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