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(en) SchNEWS 399, Friday 4th April, 2003

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 4 Apr 2003 08:32:14 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

"There are a lot of people getting rich during war." - Chuck
Lewis, Centre for Public Integrity.
"If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we
embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together
clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war ...our children
will sing great songs about us years from now." - Richard

Despite whimperings from Prime Sinister Blair, US
corporations look set to single-handedly rebuild the health,
education, transport and political systems of Iraq - with
the UN and international aid agencies not getting a sniff of
the £60 billion worth of contracts being dished out by the
US government. As fat corporate cats lick their lips at the
money to be made from building airports and modernising
Iraqi telecommunications and oil wells, SchNEWS can reveal
that this is indeed a war of liberation - liberating Iraq's
resources from Iraqis and handing them over to caring US

A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat
Bunglawala, warned that these contracts will stoke anti-US
sentiment and cause further violent resistance in Iraq.
"People will believe the US is there to loot the wealth of
the Iraqi people and draw money from Iraq back to the US,
benefiting US corporations."

And what do you know - the reconstruction of Iraq will be
awarded to a coalition of Bush's closest cronies! Overseeing
rebuilding and humanitarian relief (if Bush has his way)
will be Jay Garner, a retired US general who is,
incidentally, the president of an arms company! Garner, a
firm supporter of the Israeli military, has spent the last
few years building weapons systems now being used in the
Iraq war. How handy! And then there's Halliburton, the firm
who'll get the job of putting out oil fires and making
emergency repairs to Iraq's oil infrastructure, who oddly
enough used to be run by US vice-president Dick Cheney.
Cheney was chief executive of Halliburton until three years
ago and still receives up to a million dollars a year from
them. Union-busters Stevedoring Services of America have
been handed the $4.8 million contract to run the port of Umm
Qasr, while bidders for other contracts include Fluor, whose
board includes a former director of the National Security
Agency and deputy director of the CIA, and the Bechtel
Group, whose boardroom boasts a former secretary of state
and a former defence secretary!

But where is all this money coming from, one may well ask?
After being bombed back to the Stone Age by the
non-coalition US forces, Iraq certainly won't be able to
cough up the money to pay the non-coalition US companies for
its reconstruction. But here's the most beautiful part of
all - it's the very people who Bush refuses to give a decent
healthcare and education system to (i.e. the US taxpayer)
that will line his mates' pockets. A significant chunk of
the money being paid to US firms to rebuild Iraq was made
available by the Iraq war bill, passed by Congress and
giving Bush a $75 billion budget to wage war with taxpayers'

Half of the money goes to blow things up, while the other
half goes to make the rebuilders rich. According to Charles
Tiefer, author of a book on US government contracting, this
is naked evidence that the Bush administration has used
'shortcuts' and 'exceptions' to put billions of taxpayer
dollars into the pockets of its mates. Tiefer believes "a
large credibility gap looms between the administration's
plausible excuses that tight deadlines and exceptional
security needs compelled them to forgo the usual competitive
safeguards and the critics' observations that it is awfully
convenient for juicy plums to land in the lap of the vice
president's former company."


That credibility gap grew even wider last week following
Richard Perle's resignation as chairman of the Defence
Policy Board. Though the board does not pay its members and
is technically not a government agency, it wields tremendous
influence. Perle decided to leave after revelations of a
fairly huge conflict of interest--he is in line to receive
$600,000 from bankrupt telecommunications company Global
Crossing for helping it to 'overcome Defence Department
resistance' to its proposed sale to a foreign company. The
person he is being paid for persuading is none other than
his old pal and a man he regularly advises, Secretary of
Defence Donald Rumsfeld.

In 1996 Perle helped write a study for an Israeli think tank
entitled, 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
Realm', calling for regime change in Iraq and a redrawing of
the geopolitical map of the area. Just before the current
bombing began, Perle spoke at a conference sponsored by
Goldman Sachs titled, "Implications of an Imminent War: Iraq
Now, North Korea Next?" At the conference, he advised
business leaders about possible investment opportunities
that might arise from the war.

Perle is also on the board of British firm Autonomy
Corporation, a Cambridge based computer company that,
surprise surprise, recently won a huge contract with America
's new Department of Homeland Security, set up after
September 11th to increase public monitoring and
surveillance. Autonomy has developed high-tech eavesdropping
software that is capable of monitoring hundreds of thousands
of e-mail and phone conversations at the same time. Add to
all this the fact that Perle was one of the 'brains' behind
the Project for the New American Century think tank whose
demands included the establishment of a global American
empire with the US policy of 'total war' and 'full spectrum
dominance' (See SchNEWS 387) and it's hard not to feel sick
to one's stomach.

And now our beloved Perle stands to do very nicely out of
the foreign policy he has campaigned so strongly for. His
own pockets are sure to be lined by his role in the venture
capital firm Trireme Partners, which invests in homeland
security and defence projects. SchNEWS is sure that the fear
of terrorism stoked by bombing other countries does a handy
job at helping his investments to prosper. For daring to
insinuate that Trireme's and Perle's agenda might not be
strictly altruistic, journalist Seymour Hersh has himself
been labelled a "terrorist" by Perle and threatened with a
libel suit. Apparently not confident enough to face US
courts, however, Perle plans to bring his case to the UK,
where libel laws are more relaxed.

As Chuck Lewis points out, "A defence contractor class that
was already well fed is now getting bloated because we have
so increased the defence budget in the last couple of
years.(it is) the military industrial complex that
Eisenhower warned this country about 40 years ago, the
former generals and the former defence security experts that
serve in government then go into the private sector. They go
to work for contractors and people see their names, they're
impressed, it has credibility. And that's how they get their
contracts. And it just is a continuation of itself. And then
they tell us what weapon systems we need, and they tell us
what wars we should be fighting, and it's a
self-perpetuating situation. And it's been going on for
years, but what we're seeing in this instance is absolutely

· To read the full interview with Chuck Lewis

· To read more about fingers in dirty pies

· Check out 'Corporations and War' - by Corporate
Watch £1 inc postage from 16b Cherwell St, Oxford, OX4 1BG



For being poor...

A Californian man who stole videos for his kids including
Cinderella and Free Willy has had his 50 year jail sentence
upheld by the American Supreme Court. Under the US's "3
strikes and you're out" law, he is serving a 25 year minimum
sentence for each theft.


**Reclaim the Bases! This weekend will see loads of actions
at military bases across the country. Details from
07887-585721 www.reclaimthebases.org.uk.

** On Sunday 6th,protest at Northwood, the British Military
HQ. This is where the war in Iraq is being planned! Meet
11am, Pretty Corner, Sandy Lane/Watford Road (North London,
nearest tube Northwood). www.thed10group.org.uk 0845 458
2564. Tickets for coaches from Brighton from the Cowley
Club, London Road.

** March on the US Embassy, this Saturday (5). Assemble 2pm
BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London. 020-7538
2521 www.stopwar.org.uk

** Peace Soup - A new Anti-War CD featuring music and poetry
by people from Brighton is out next week. Launch Cabaret
Tuesday (8), Marlborough Theatre, Pavillion St, Brighton.
£4/3. 01273 672354

** Day of direct action against army recruitment centres.
Meet this Wednesday (9) 11.30am, Burger King, Charing Cross
Road, London.

** Rant against the War- an evening of songs and poetry to
raise funds for the anti-war movement, Hobgoblin Pub, London
Rd, Brighton, next Thurs (10) 7.30pm. £5/£3.50

** Mayday 2003: Weapons of Mass Construction. Plans are
underway for this year's May Day. A map is out now with
details of targets for possible pre-emptive strikes against
capitalism. Send an SAE to BM Mayday, London WC1N 3XX

** The Labour Party have a Freepost address, which means
they have to pay the postage on anything you send them.
Please don't send bricks or heavy phone directories to: The
Labour Party, FREEPOST LON 10417, London, SW1P 4UT. All the
local party offices also have freepost addresses that can be
found on election leaflets

** 3 US military vehicles in Italy have been firebombed. No
one has claimed responsibility yet, but SchNEWS lays odds
on: Friendly fire 2-1; Anti-War Activists 4-1; Al-Qaeda 5-1;
Local Hooligans 10-1.

** SchNEWS has heard rumours that one of the US Air Force's
smart bombs hit the run-down West Pier in Brighton last
Friday, leaving it a burnt out shell. What a Noble act!

** For an in-depth look at how the US treats international
weapons treaties see "Rule of Power or Rule of Law?" at

** The Working Class Movement Library in Salford, a national
collection of the history of British and Irish radical and
labour movements from the 1790s to the present day, is
continually collecting material and would love to receive
any books, pamphlets, leaflets, videos, press cuttings,
photos or newsletters from the current anti-war movement.
Send them stuff at Jubilee House, 51 The Crescent, Salford
M5 4WX Tel: 0161-736-3601, enquiries@wcml.org.uk



The area surrounding Fairford airbase in Gloucestershire is
now a mini-police state where, depending on your political
persuasion, you are either left alone to get on with your
day-to-day life or harassed continuously for your beliefs.
For the past 28 days, Section 44 of the Terrorism Act has
been used to stop and search people who are opposed to the
US Air Force using Fairford to launch bombing raids on Iraq.
In a clear case of intimidation, Section 44 has been used by
the police to search people living at the local peace camp
up to nine times a day. The police are physically preventing
anyone who looks like they are going to stay a while
(carrying rucksacks, tents, water, whatever), from going
anywhere near the camp. And what legislation are they using
to justify this? Er, the boys in blue don't really seem to
know and usually say "common law" or "we're not telling you"
. The Section 44 order runs out tomorrow (Saturday) but is
likely to be extended for another terror-filled 28 days.

Despite all this blatant police harassment, the peace camp
is still there, so try and visit them if you can! Mail is
also getting through, and they could use money and
postcards, so write to people at: Peacewatch, Gate 10, USAF
Fairford, Near Kempsford, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4EJ.

There is a weekend of independent weapons inspections and
the world's first ever sponsored Stop and Search at Fairford
this weekend (5-6).According to the creators of the event,
"If you are in the vicinity of the base, visiting G10
Peacewatch camp or observing the bombers, you will likely be
stopped by police and searched. This can easily occur
several times in one day. So get your mates to sponsor you a
fixed amount or an amount per search. Once you've collected
your sponsorship money send it direct to the charity of your
choice. A list of charities working in Iraq can be found at

http://www.casi.org.uk/info/charities.html."; SchNEWS top tip
to increase your tally: Be sure to mask up and wear a white
boiler suit with padding! But PLEASE don't carry any bin
bags filled with manure, as the poor old police would be
sure to get their hands dirty searching them!



What's happening in Palestine? This Saturday (5th) 2pm-5pm,
people fresh back from Palestine talk about their
experiences there. Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Rd,
Hove 07776 183619

Benefit night for the people of West Papua featuring Papuan
Musicians, Matt Black from Coldcut and the showing of new
film 'Merdeka'. 15th April, The George IV - Brixton, London.



As the current UK/US war on Iraq has no United Nations
backing, it is an illegal invasion. Any British soldier
fighting in Iraq may find themselves hauled up in front of
the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and SchNEWS would
advise all of them to down their guns and come home.

And that's exactly what two have done! The two soldiers have
been sent back from the Gulf after refusing to take part in
a war where innocent civilians are being killed. Under
British law, you are legally entitled to an honourable
discharge as a conscientious objector, but the procedure can
be difficult and prolonged. Lawyers for the two servicemen
believe that rather than looking at a long summer's break,
the two could be looking at two years inside for showing
concern about who's at the receiving end of their bullets.

If you know anyone in the Armed Forces who's struggling with
their conscience, there's an organisation called At Ease who
will provide free, totally confidential advice. At Ease, c/o
28 Commercial St, London E1 6LS. 020 7247 5164,

* See Bush's excuses for not serving in the Vietnam war:



This weekend, the Centre for Alternative Technology in
Llanelli, NorthWales, will be turning on the first ever
community managed wind turbine. At the moment, all the wind
turbines in this country are owned by big energy companies,
but CAT's turbine is different in that it is owned and
managed by a local community. About half of the energy
produced will be used to power the CAT site, while the rest
will provide green energy for the local grid www.cat.org.uk
01654 705950



Organisers of the World Water Forum in Kyoto, which ended on
March 23rd, were expecting a rubber-stamping session of
their plans to put the planet's most precious resource in
the hands of the corporations.

Instead they got no resolution, no agreement and no common
ground thanks to the robust determination of activists who
crashed their party from all over the world.

More than 200 of the regular delegates lost their appetite
for workshops with tasteless titles like "How the Poor will
become Customers" and signed up instead to "Water is Life" -
a statement condemning plans to privatise water supplies in
the developing world and stating that access to clean
drinking water is a basic human right.

When World Water Council chair Michael Camdessus, ex
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, took
to the platform to champion the Global Water Grab, people
jumped up waving home-made lie-detector tests.

When Camdessus advocated that corporations should start
their water grab by seizing control of ground water supplies
, activists spoke up from the floor, telling the forum that
in Brazil, where underground water is owned by private
companies, the water often ends up getting bottled for sale
as mineral water while the people have to make do with
polluted surface water.

Activists also brought up the riots in Bolivia in 2000 which
left several dead and over 200 injured when peasant farmers
took to the streets to protest water privatisation. The
Bolivian privatisation had resulted in 200% hikes in water
costs, with some families paying $20 a month for water out
of an average wage of $100. Shocked delegates also learned
that poor families in South Africa, where water supplies are
privatised, routinely get their water cut off if they can't
pay the bills.

Meanwhile, alternative Social Water Forums sprung up in
Florence, New Delhi, New York and Brazil. The latter was the
largest, attended by 400 delegates who resolved to take the
case against water privatisation to the International Court
of Justice. They also initiated a co-ordinated defence of
water reserves in the Amazonian jungle and river systems
extending into Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and

As the bloody war in Iraq continues, writer Norman Mailer
issued a water wake-up call, pointing out that control of
the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in a region where water
sources are scarce could be very important for the US's
intentions of future domination in the Middle East.

More info: www.blueplanetproject.net



Never mind that they've been sent to fight a war that's
illegal and which nobody wants, and that they're more likely
to be killed by the person sitting next to them than by an
Iraqi soldier, American soldiers are now being told that
they must pray daily for the chimp of a President who sent
them there. George W, who successfully managed to snort his
way out of fighting in the Vietnam War, is now asking for
pledges from his soldiers to pray daily for him, his family,
and his staff. The pledge comes from a pamphlet given to US
marines called "A Christian Duty". Maybe somebody should
send them an insert to pray that they suddenly discover a
conscience and get the hell out of there. Or that a smart
bomb finally finds its way to the White House. Or that Bush
himself becomes the next victim of friendly fire. Hmmmm, let
's see now. Dear God.



SchNEWS warns all readers that any resemblance to reality in
this issue is Perly imaginary.


SchNEWS Of The World - issues 301-350 for £7!! Past books
are goin' cheap... SchNEWSround issues 51-100 - nearly sold
out - £5; SchNEWS annual issues 101-150 - going for £3!!
Survival Handbook issues 151-200 - also at £3; SchQUALL
issues 201-250 - almost sold out - £7; Yearbook 2001 issues
251-300 - bargain £5. Add £1.50 p&p for each book, cheques
to Justice? Honest!

In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains

photos, cartoons, subverts, a "yellow pages" list of
contacts, comedy

etc. You can also order the books from a bookshop or

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