It appears to be the case that Iraq simply has no nuclear weapons program. Al-Baradei of the IAEC has swept the country with Geiger counters and cannot find evidence of such a thing. The program once employed 12,000 scientists, so it could not easily be hidden if it existed. The evidence given last summer and fall by US officials, including President Bush, included: 1) satellite photos showing expansion of buildings at a site once used for the program; 2) documents showing Iraqi purchases of uranium from Niger; 3) Iraqi purchase of aluminum tubing that might be used in centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium. Al-Baradei visited the buildings and found that they were now devoted to some other use and their expansion had nothing to do with nukes. The Niger documents were closely examined and found to be forgeries. The aluminum tubing has the wrong specifications for use in a centrifuge and was purchased for making conventional missiles. The case for an Iraqi WMD program in the nuclear area has thus now completely collapsed. Since it was the nukes that were truly scary (rightwing commentators kept saying Saddam might give a suitcase bomb to al-Qaeda, never a likely scenario), not botulism or mustard gas, one wonders if the Congress would have authorized the President to go to war if it had known there were no nukes. The Niger documents turn out to be clumsy forgeries, raising questions about whether Bush, Cheney and others who depended on them were attempting to deceive US public opinion and that of the world.
*An Israeli soldier deliberately ran a bulldozer over an American peace activist attempting to stop the illegal demolition of a Palestinian home. Rachel Corey, 23, died of skull and chest fractures when she was run over and then the driver backed up over her.
*The Muslim Brotherhood representatives in the Egyptian parliament have demanded that Egypt forbid the US to transport war ships to the Gulf via the Suez Canal. They also want the Mubarak regime to refuse to accept the $2 bn. in aid received from the US every year (most of it anyway goes to US firms who supply goods and weapons to Egypt). Next the chickenhawks will be saying we need to occupy the Suez Canal zone. Anthony Eden has been reincarnated as Richard Perle and is taking revenge on the US for his humiliation by maneuvering it into an even greater one.
*Ariel Sharon has again rejected the Bush “road map” for peace, insisting he will not accept an independent, viable Palestinian state. It was not reported if he was brandishing a toy bulldozer during this rant. Seriously, couldn’t he shut his enormous pie hole until the Iraq war is over? The US doesn’t need more Arabs angry at it right about now. Apparently we should pay him $14 bn. for the privilege of being backstabbed this way.