Jasper Johns - Flag - 1954-55

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In the search for OBL, US special forces are training, paying, and arming rival tribal militias that waged a bloody battle late last month.
"Iraq's Neighbors Fear Instability, Loss of Trade if U.S. Pursues an Ouster of Hussein."
"More than 200 former Iraqi officers will meet in Washington next month under the auspices of the U.S. government to plan the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein, U.S. and Iraqi opposition officials said on Wednesday."
"As the prisoners while away the weeks in their flyblown cages at Camp X-Ray, Washington's government lawyers are in a state of confusion and embarrassment, having so far failed to come up with a coherent plan for the captives' future.

There are signs that the administration now regrets inventing the whole concept of military tribunals, the only war-related issue which has come close to giving President Bush political problems since September 11."
"The Pentagon yesterday revealed details of plans to expand the war on terrorism to Georgia, including the proposed deployment of up to 200 military advisers to help combat suspected terrorists hiding with Chechen guerrillas in the Pankisi Gorge region. "
"Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said the U.S. military presence in Georgia could 'further aggravate the already complicated situation' in the region."
"Japan and South Korea are trying to calm the waters after President Bush's continued harsh rhetoric toward North Korea on his trip to Asia last week."
"The Pentagon has begun providing combat helicopters to the former Soviet republic of Georgia and will soon begin training several Georgian battalions to counter what defense officials believe is a growing terrorist threat in the country's mountainous Pankisi Gorge region, senior U.S. officials said yesterday."
"Local officials and relatives of Afghans killed by United States Special Forces angrily reject the Pentagon's inquiry into the raid, on Jan. 24, insisting that men were shot without a chance to surrender and that in many cases the Americans, not the Afghans, fired first."

But of course.
"It is still too dangerous to force refugees to return to their homes in Afghanistan, the Human Rights Watch organisation warned yesterday, even as countries including Britain are preparing to send Afghan asylum-seekers home."
"Despite holding nearly 500 prisoners from the war in Afghanistan, the Americans have still not identified any that might be suitable candidates for the military tribunals set up after the September 11 attacks."
"The public had a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the White House yesterday when David Frum, the man said to have invented the phrase 'axis of evil', resigned from President George Bush's speechwriting team, causing a debate as to whether he walked out or was pushed."
"The United States Department of Defence has said that an information unit to project a favourable view of US military activity abroad and influence public opinion is to be closed."
"His is the tale of about three dozen American-Somalis who have been sent back to Somalia by the US without charge or reason. All, except for one woman, are young men who emigrated with their families to America as young teenagers or babies to escape almost a decade of civil war."
Add another one to the list.
"Not included in the estimates is the cost of replacing the 18,000 bombs and missiles that have been used to date in the war. Replacing munitions used in the first six months of fighting in Afghanistan will cost an estimated $1.1 billion, said a Defense Department official speaking on condition of anonymity."

Oops. Looks like the estimate of the cost of bombs through December 10 is a wee bit low.

Also, Operation Enduring Freedom cost $5.3 billion through Jan. 31, and netted 6 Al Qaeda lieutenants ... an average of $883 million per bad guy.
U.S. analysts also conclude Al Qaeda "a bunch of goddamn amateurs."
"A rift between Germany and Britain over how to conduct stage two of the war on terrorism opened up last night after Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats criticised Tony Blair for backing military strikes against Iraq."
"The Pentagon plan to set up a black propaganda unit is hanging by a thread after Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, virtually disowned the idea, and President George Bush yesterday bristled at the very notion that the government might not tell the truth."
"Since 11 September last year, up to 2,000 people in the United States have been detained without trial, or charge, or even legal rights. The fate of most is unknown."
"Regardless of whether links to Al Qaeda surface, the Pearl investigation may just be an opening salvo in an all-out fight between Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Islamic extremists, including hard-line elements in his own government."
"President Bush said Monday that Afghanistan 'failed demonstrably' in 2001 to cooperate in anti-narcotics efforts but that the country nonetheless is entitled to receive U.S. assistance because of vital American interests."
Still claims U.S. forced fired upon first.
"President Bush's special envoy to Afghanistan said Sunday that he was returning to Washington with an urgent message that America must move quickly to improve security in a country where a Cabinet minister was only recently slain in public and warlords and their armies are at one another's throats."
W's twist on Teddy Roosevelt: Stumble around loudly, carry no stick.

See also: "Tell the boys down at the bomb-makin' factory to brew up some coffee -- they're going to be working some serious goddamn overtime."
The US has spent billions, turned Afghanistan upside down, and according to the administration, killed a grand total of six Al Qaeda lieutenants.
"The United States may send military advisers to try to rein in feuding Afghan warlords, the special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan said Sunday."
"Tony Blair and the United States President George Bush are to hold a specially convened summit in April to finalise details of military action to overthrow Saddam Hussein."
"Growing signs of instability in Afghanistan, where rival warlords are battling for power, threaten to propel the American military into a bigger role in fending off chaos."
"By the truckload and jammed into minivans, uprooted Afghans trekked southward Thursday to tent camps here in the border wastelands, a new refugee tide escaping drought, hunger and the rampages of America's local allies in the war against the Taliban."
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today that 16 Afghan fighters killed by American troops north of Kandahar last month were not members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. While he described the deaths as "unfortunate," he issued no apology and said there was no reason for disciplinary action."
"Claiming that anti-Taliban commanders have been inciting people to loot homes and kill Pashtuns, thousands of ethnic Pashtuns are fleeing northern Afghanistan, a U.N. spokesman said Thursday."
"The Geneva Conventions are outdated and need to be rewritten to deal with the threat of international terrorism, the United States ambassador for war crimes said yesterday."
"Security officials from the post-Soviet state of Georgia are expected for talks in London and Washington amid growing signs that American and British forces are gearing up to attack suspected Islamist terrorists holed up in the north of the country, near the Russian border."
"Gunmen in Kabul opened fire on a patrol of British paratroopers, officials said yesterday as concern mounted about worsening security in the Afghan capital and throughout the country."
"The U.S. military campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban regime that sheltered them has thus far led to the capture of relatively few al Qaeda leaders."
"American officials have publicly pledged not to walk away from Afghanistan once the hunt for Osama bin Laden is over, and they do not want the country once again to become a breeding pool for terrorists. But the power of the warlords themselves has been enhanced by the money and weapons that the United States has funneled to regional leaders who have helped Washington to root out Al Qaeda fighters and the former Taliban government."
"America's bombing campaign has had a result not anticipated by Pentagon strategists - everyone is planting opium again."
Playing the "terminology game":

He told his nine soldiers and one air force combat controller: "Yes, it is a civilian village, mud hut, like everything else in this country. But don't say that. Say it's a military compound. It's a built-up area, barracks, command and control. Just like with the convoys - if it really was a convoy with civilian vehicles they were using for transport, we would just say, 'Hey, military convoy, troop transport.'"
"Here, the number of civilian deaths was far greater than the killing of Taliban troops, the Afghan commanders said. They said the fighting killed only a handful of Taliban fighters, while an estimated 2,000 Taliban escaped toward Kandahar."
"Seeking to quell unease about whether the new office to manage information would promote lies to the public through the media, particularly the foreign press, senior defense officials firmly said the Pentagon would only lie to the enemy to give American troops battlefield advantage."
"Attorney General John D. Ashcroft yesterday cast the government's war on terrorism in religious terms, arguing that the campaign is rooted in faith in God and urging Christians, Jews and Muslims to unite in the effort."

See also: "Monotheistic religion has always brought out the best in us humans; thank you so much for the idea of a vengeful supernatural entity who rewards people in the afterlife! That shit makes a lot of of sense!"
"The accounts indicate that while being very cautious about hunting Taliban or al Qaeda members on the ground, U.S. forces struck potential targets from the air with less discriminating firepower. As a result, U.S. bombs hit fleeing Taliban convoys, destroyed hidden weapons depots and chased targets who hid in civilian areas. But airstrikes also killed children in their homes, pulverized trucks regardless of their cargo and pounded a Muslim shrine into rubble."
"Mr. Bush said dialogue with North Korea was not inconsistent with the tough 'axis of evil' talk he first used in the State of the Union address three weeks ago."

Uh huh.
The CIA still thinks its drone killed Al Qaeda. Give it up, fellas.
"Pre-emptive strikes by the United States could be on the horizon as the United States fights terrorism, the Pentagon's No. 2 official said Tuesday."
"US troops deployed this week to fight Abu Sayyaf may provoke a broader militant Muslim backlash."

See also: The Wrong War
"The United Nations expressed concern Tuesday that 20,000 Afghans fleeing banditry, ethnic harassment and a lack of food had crossed over into Pakistan in the past 10 days."
"Afghanistan's interim government Tuesday began investigating the murder of its aviation minister as rising lawlessness and factional rivalries threatened to undermine its ability to secure peace."
"From a human rights point of view, what happened was outrageous," said Leslie Oqvist, the UN regional coordinator in southern Afghanistan. "But I've been in meetings here where" Americans "have justified everything on the 3,000-plus killed in New York."
"Ali (a warlord) owes his rise largely to the Pentagon, which enlisted him to lead the ground battle against Osama bin Laden's fighters in nearby Tora Bora last fall. Today, his fighters are a constant shadow to the U.S. Special Forces based in Jalalabad. He commands a fleet of plush new Land Cruisers, apparently bought with U.S. money. Ali's rivals say his gunmen routinely warn anyone who disagrees with them that they have the power to call down B-52 airstrikes from the Americans."
Warloggers urge immediate attack.
"The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said."

In other news, Pentagon also plans on using airplanes to drop bombs.
"American forces appear to have opened a new phase in the war in Afghanistan with two bombing raids that were aimed at forces opposed to the new government in Kabul."
"Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday he believes most Americans are reassured by a president who describes Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an 'axis of evil.'"
"The transatlantic rift deepened yesterday when Germany joined France in opposing military strikes against Iraq as part of a new front in the war on terrorism."
"Two months into its term, Afghanistan's interim government is struggling with ethnic divisions in its ranks that threaten to drive this country back to the kind of internecine strife that rocked it from 1991 to 1996, prior to the Taliban's rise."
"South Korea braced for President Bush's visit on Monday, with a ruling party parliamentarian under fire for calling him 'evil incarnate' and students occupying an American Chamber of Commerce office."
Once thought to have been killed by US bombs, Ayman al-Zawahiri arrested by "axis of evil" power.
"The arrival of President Bush arouses little excitement. Indifference, though, is laced with concern and even contempt at what is seen as Bush's 'cowboy diplomacy'."
"Fresh fighting has erupted in northern Afghanistan between rival ethnic factions in the interim government while tribal forces clashed in the east, aid officials and reports said on Sunday."
"British Islamic extremists have been involved in weapons training with assault rifles at a mosque in London, a British Sunday paper said."

SAS to be removed from Kabul, redeployed in London.
"As the US-led forces rummage through the rubbles of Osama Bin Laden's mountain hideouts in Tora Bora region and some other parts of Afghanistan, top al-Qaida and Taliban leaders have conveniently taken refuge in Pakistan as also in the Caucasus mountains in CIS nation of Georgia, western media reports said."
"The murder of Afghanistan's tourism minister apparently by a hardline clique opposed to the return of the exiled king has exposed the vulnerability of Hamid Karzai's interim administration."
"Secretary of State Colin Powell, maintaining a tough tone on Iraq, said Sunday that even covert action to oust President Saddam Hussein could not be ruled out, but he appeared to soften the administration's tone on North Korea and Iran, the other countries that President George W. Bush has described as making up an 'axis of evil.'"
"A Saudi court has sentenced a man to six years in prison and 4,750 lashes for having sex with his wife's sister, a newspaper reported Sunday."
"Land- and sea-based planes launched airstrikes against enemy forces in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend, U.S. Central Command said Sunday."
Proof positive of an axis of evil.
"US Vice President Dick Cheney has said any future 'aggressive action' against Iraq would be backed by the international community."
"Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister said on Saturday the kingdom would oppose any U.S. military strike against its 1991 Gulf War foe, Iraq, as part of Washington's war against terrorism."
"Since the (CIA drone) attack on Feb. 4, Pentagon officials have said they are conducting a review to determine whether Mr. Khan, and two men killed with him, were in fact members of Al Qaeda. But in this village on a stony plain near the southeastern city of Khost, the idea is dismissed with bitter mockery by the dead men's family, neighbors and local militiamen, who say the victims were poor villagers with no history or interest in militant Islamic politics."
CHOCOLATE CITY --—In an address before an emergency session of Parliament Monday, George Clinton said he is prepared to drop Da Bomb on Iraq if Saddam Hussein does not loosen up and comply with U.N. weapons inspectors by the Clinton-imposed deadline of March 1.

"For Saddam Hussein to refuse to let U.N. officials inspect Iraqi weapons facilities as per the terms of Iraq's 1991 Gulf War surrender is decidedly unfunky of him," Clinton said. "While the decision to drop Da Bomb is never an easy one, unless Saddam gets down with this whole U.N.-inspection thang and seriously refunkatizes his stance by March 1, we will have no choice but to tear the roof off Baghdad."
Finally, some good news out of this war.
"A senior Pentagon adviser confirmed last night that the US was prepared to topple Saddam Hussein with or without the backing of Washington's allies, despite a chorus of criticism from around the world."
"Iraq's main Kurdish parties, key local allies in any US attempt to unseat President Saddam Hussein, have voiced misgivings about taking part in a military action against the Baghdad government."
Powell: "We have to preserve all options, and we have to preserve the option to act alone."
"Russia and Canada stressed on Thursday that persuading Baghdad to accept weapons inspection teams was entirely separate from the U.S.-led war on terrorism, and should not be used as an excuse to target Iraq."
"Two US soldiers have been injured by hostile fire in Kandahar, US military officials revealed late Thursday."
"US aircraft over southern Afghanistan have scattered $100 bills tucked into envelopes bearing a picture of President George W. Bush, witnesses said on Thursday. Some of the envelopes were carried by the wind and fluttered to earth over the Pakistan border town of Chaman, sending people scrambling for the cash."
"The minister of air transport and tourism in Afghanistan's interim government, Abdul Rahman, was beaten to death by Afghan pilgrims at Kabul airport today, Al-Jazeera satellite television reported."
"Iranian authorities have arrested 150 Arab, African and European nationals they suspect of being members of either the Taliban or al Qaeda, the Iranian news agency IRNA said Thursday."
"The Pentagon and the CIA have begun preparations for an assault on Iraq involving up to 200,000 US troops that is likely to be launched later this year with the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power, US and diplomatic sources told the Guardian yesterday.

A US state department official said he thought it very unlikely that the Iraqi regime would be prepared to accept the stringent programme of inspections the US will demand. As the American intelligence source put it, the White House 'will not take yes for an answer', suggesting that Washington would provoke a crisis. He added that he expected the war to begin soon after the May ultimatum."
You're next, limeys!
"Turkey warned its top ally the United States on Wednesday that it would not agree to any unilateral military action against neighboring Iraq, which Washington has described as part of an 'axis of evil'"

Interesting, because it's a real bitch to attack Iraq without Turkish cooperation.
"President Bush reiterated his aggressive approach toward Iraq today, declaring that 'President Saddam Hussein needs to understand I'm serious about defending our country.'"

That would make more sense if Iraq was a threat to our country.
"The Bush adminstration is accelerating development of plans to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. But the leader of one of the few credible armed Iraqi opposition groups says he doesn't want Washington's help."
"The United States might retaliate militarily if foreign countries or terrorist groups abroad try to strike the country through the Internet, the White House technology adviser said Wednesday."
"Grieving and injured victims of the ongoing US bombing campaign in Afghanistan gathered outside the American embassy in Kabul on Wednesday to demand compensation for their pain, misery and medical expenses."
"A senior official of Afghanistan's interim government, in comments published today, accused elements in Pakistan's intelligence service of helping Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammad Omar evade capture."
"Interviews with a dozen villagers in this farming hamlet just outside the provincial capital of Tarin Kot paint a consistent picture of 30 chaotic minutes on the night of Oct. 21, when U.S. airplanes hit their intended targets with extraordinary precision. But instead of striking escaping Taliban or al Qaeda fighters, the missiles killed 21 members of two families -- 17 of them infants and other children, according to survivors."
"Between now and May, Mr. Bush's team plans to create what amounts to an inspection crisis — demanding that Iraq admit into the country the nuclear inspectors it ousted in 1998. Mr. Bush's aides fully expect that Mr. Hussein will refuse outright or feign cooperation in the hope of dragging out the process. Mr. Bush's plan is to use either action as evidence that Iraq is hiding active weapons programs, and use its resistance to justify more forceful action."
"Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said today that the administration was considering a variety of options to topple Saddam Hussein, amid indications that President Bush and his top advisers are close to settling on a plan."
"Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said Tuesday Iraq's foreign minister had signaled Baghdad may be ready to seek a compromise to avert possible U.S. military strikes for Iraq's refusal to accept arms inspectors."
"Although little is known about the whereabouts of Bin Laden, the movements of his followers is becoming increasingly clear. A Guardian investigation has established that despite the extensive military campaign and ground troop operations, many of the Taliban and al-Qaida's fighting elements have simply slipped unnoticed into Pakistan, and are being protected by an underground network of rightwing Islamists and Taliban sympathisers. Many are paying their way out on escape routes through Iran."
"National media representatives prodded the Bush administration Tuesday to open up its conduct of the war on terrorism to greater scrutiny both on the battlefield and in the White House."
"Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore put himself solidly behind President Bush on Tuesday in his characterization of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an 'axis of evil.'"
"A possibly errant US missile attack last week is feeding flames of resentment."
"Germany's foreign minister becomes the latest in a series of key European figures to warn the US against unilateral strikes on Iraq."
"Bush's new posture toward Iran - calling it part of an 'axis of evil' - appears to be energizing hard-liners and bolstering anti-American sentiment to the highest level in at least a decade."

Way to go, W.
Washington Post reporter Doug Struck describes his encounter with US troops while investigating the CIA drone's "Tall Al Qaeda Leader" attack.
"In this desperate land long raked by combat, the debris of battle quickly becomes a prize for the scavengers of war. That was why Jahan Gir and his two friends were at a bombed al Qaeda camp when they were hit last week by a U.S. missile, their relatives say."
"Pakistan has urged the new administration in Kabul to release 877 Pakistani supporters of Taliban and al-Qaeda, who are lodged in various prisons in Afghanistan."
"Lady Thatcher praised President Bush's leadership yesterday and called for the war on terrorism to focus on the 'unfinished business' of Iraq."
Tall Afghan peasants, beware!
"Despite the manipulation of casualty figures for propaganda purposes by both pro-war apologists and anti-war activists, it is already clear that the number of civilian dead from the bombing vastly exceeds the estimated 500 killed by US air strikes during the 78-day Kosovo war, and may also be higher than the 3,200 Iraqi civilians believed killed during the Gulf war."
"The Pentagon yesterday came under the most intense questioning over civilian casualties since the start of the Afghan war, after allegations that US special forces executed and beat men wrongly suspected of being Taliban or al-Qaida fighters, and tied up their women relatives."
"Bush policy on 'problem states' causes drift of friends: French even call it a threat."
"Deals by Afghan allies may have let Al Qaeda leaders escape."
"Villagers here in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan said Ahmad and two other local men, Daraz and Jahan Gir, were peasants gathering scrap metal from the war in a region of suspected al Qaeda hide-outs. They were killed last Monday when a U.S. Hellfire missile, fired from a CIA-run Predator drone, shrieked down in what was supposed to be an attack on terrorists."
"Several of the 27 former prisoners, who were released Wednesday, said U.S. soldiers treated them so harshly that two men lost consciousness during the beatings while others suffered fractured ribs, loosened teeth and swollen noses."
An ill-concieved and hastily arranged war has killed a bunch of civilians, created 500,000 new refugees, turned Afghanistan back to the warlords, and helped to increase tensions in the Middle East and Kashmir. In sum, a dumb war.
"Dozens of Afghan warlords were given $200,000 payments and satellite phones to secure their cooperation in the war against the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies, according to bankers, money changers and others close to the transactions. More than 35 local commanders made banking transactions involving identical $200,000 sums late last year, in at least some cases after meetings with U.S. officials. The transactions totaled more than $7 million and helped prompt a spending spree on four-wheel-drive vehicles in Pakistan."
Score it 6-4-3, W.
"U.S. officials in Washington said they believed a tall al Qaeda leader had been killed in the CIA missile strike in the east of the country but the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency said three Afghan civilians had been killed."
"In a major policy shift, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, declared yesterday that there should be a 'regime change' in Iraq and that Washington was prepared to pursue that goal alone if necessary."
"Frustration with President George W. Bush's world view burst into the open here Wednesday as Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine openly criticized Washington's approach to terrorism as 'simplistic.'"
"The giant weapons, which rip apart as they fall to earth and spread explosive projectiles over the landscape, have left thousands of unexploded 'bomblets' across the Herat region, aid agencies say."
And now we'll wait for the final reversal: that American forces were fired upon first, as Rummy claims. Duh. It was a US raid.
"Caked blood, charred bedding and flame-blackened walls serve as testimony to what Afghans say was a horrific mistake. Two weeks later, the Pentagon is investigating the deadly assault."
"As the buildup of American troops continues for the latest phase of the U.S. war against terrorism, there is growing concern among local officials, religious leaders and residents here that the Abu Sayyaf will drag the U.S. military into a prolonged conflict and win new support by recasting its members as righteous Muslim warriors resisting foreign Christian trespassers."
"US Secretary of State Colin Powell has made it clear that President George W Bush is considering fresh military action against Iraq."
"Saying 'evil is real,' as Bush does, also can be seen as a way of avoiding the 'why do they hate us?' question. It allows one to fault 'evildoers' while US policies, hubris, and culture have nothing to do with what motivates terrorists. It makes it easier to just say, 'they hate freedom and our way of life.'"
"The Central Intelligence Agency has no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the spy agency also is convinced that Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda or related terrorist groups, according to several U.S. intelligence officials."
"The Bush administration met rare Republican criticism of its foreign policy on Tuesday when a handful of senators questioned its Afghanistan strategy and its rhetoric in the 'war on terrorism.'"
"'He likes quails and if he cannot get his hands on one he will settle for a chicken. Most of the quails he ate we hunted. Others were brought in by road from Iran. Osama often made special requests for the mutton and yogurt Mogul dish that I do best.'"
"Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi has challenged the United States to provide evidence of fugitive al-Qaeda members crossing the border from Afghanistan into Iran."
"Bitter after being snubbed for membership in the 'Axis of Evil,' Libya, China, and Syria today announced they had formed the 'Axis of Just as Evil,' which they said would be way eviler than that stupid Iran-Iraq-North Korea axis President Bush warned of his State of the Union address."
"The U.S. military has conceded that a major raid in Afghanistan was a mistake. American soldiers believed they were attacking an al Qaeda hideout in a remote village last month, but residents claim the American soldiers killed at least 18 people who were loyal to the new government."

US doles out $1000 in compensation for each dead guy.
"Hundreds of Pakistanis who fought alongside the Taliban are being held by Afghan warlords who have threatened to kill the men unless their families pay thousands of dollars in ransoms, according to relatives of the captives."
"If it ever existed, the post-11 September diplomatic flirtation between Iran and the United States is over, and with it any hope that the attack on America might have ended 23 years of enmity."
"President George Bush's 'axis of evil' rhetoric has not gone down well in Europe, which does not appear willing to go along with his plan to extend his military campaigns."
"President Bush proposes big rises in military spending for the war and tax cuts to stimulate the economy in his budget for 2003."

It's kinda like tax-and-spend, except it's tax cut-and-spend.
"As the war on terrorism began, President Bush ordered aides to produce a photo 'scorecard' of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network, crossing off faces with an 'X' as members were captured or killed."
"The head of a team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog IAEA said on Thursday Baghdad had co-operated fully with its routine annual inspection in Iraq."
"NPR's Mike Shuster reports on civilian casualties in the US campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. He visits a village called Niazi south of Kabul and the province of Khost. Townspeople in Niazi say dozens of innocent people were killed by American bombs. The Pentagon insists it had information that Taliban and al Qaeda members were in the homes that were struck, along with caches of Taliban weapons. (8:00)"
"U.S. military commanders have acknowledged to Afghan officials that U.S. special forces mistakenly attacked and killed 21 anti-Taliban fighters last week in southern Uruzgan Province, a senior Afghan official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity."
"Because of several reported incidents like these, Afghan villagers accuse American bombers and Special Operations troops of being careless in their choice of targets. Afghans claim that more than 150 civilians have been killed in recent weeks in this region, which includes the Zhawara caves south of Khost, a primary focus of American bombing and other operations."
"He (Straw) suggested that the president's hawkish State of the Union address said more about his electoral concerns than the future of the war."