Rachel Corrie, George Galloway and the BBC

Submitted by Anon on 1 May, 2003 - 11:30
  • Baghdad to the rescue
  • Keeping the home fires burning
  • The main enemy...
  • One eyed men
  • Top quality war reporting

Baghdad to the rescue

While the US military in Baghdad failed to prevent the looting of hospitals, some Iraqis managed to organise their own protection of other sites - and with a more generous, less greedy sense of priorities than the US military. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Iraqi Muslims helped to defend Baghdad's Jewish cultural centre, the focus for the country's few dozen remaining Jews.

Keeping the home fires burning

American Republican party congressman Darrel Issa has introduced a bill that would require the defence department to build a particular type of cellphone system in postwar Iraq in order to benefit "US patent holders". This is the system of Qualcomm, one of Issa's most generous political donors.

The main enemy...

Rachel Corrie, the International Solidarity Movement volunteer killed by an Israeli bulldozer on 17 March, has been vilified by right-wingers in the USA because of photos of her burning a US flag.

According to another ISM volunteer, the story behind the pictures is complex and poignant. Rachel Corrie was at a demonstration where Palestinians planned to burn US and Israeli flags. They asked her to burn them. She refused to burn the Israeli flag - an Israeli might do that, she said, but she, as an American, would burn only the US flag.

At her funeral, as if to point up the fact that there is another America beside George W Bush's, just as there is another Israel besides Ariel Sharon's, the Palestinian mourners covered her coffin with the Stars and Stripes.
Rachel Corrie's parents have released one of the emails she sent back to them in the USA, which explains why she went to Gaza. "We've been wavering between five and six internationals. [Many] neighborhoods that have asked us for some form of presence.... There is also need for constant night-time presence at a well on the outskirts of Rafah since the Israeli army destroyed the two largest wells... Many of the communities have requested internationals to be present at night to attempt to shield houses from further demolition."

Rachel Corrie's email also notes that the attitudes of different Israeli soldiers to the international volunteers varies widely: some hostile, some friendly. According to other ISM volunteers, some Israeli soldiers welcome the presence of the volunteers as a check on their army's aggression and brutality. About 40% of the international volunteers are Jewish.

However, according to the most recent ISM reports, since the shooting by the Israeli army of another ISM volunteer, Tom Hurndall: "The group has had to abandon much of its work because of the risks. Even if we were prepared to continue the Palestinians who help co-ordinate us would not allow us."

One eyed men

Q: Who's this?

"I met Saddam twice in my life; once in 1993 and once n1
ine years later, in 2002. In that time, I visited Iraq maybe 100 times. So I wouldn't like you to have the impression that I take tea regularly with the president of Iraq...

"Imperialism is the biggest criminal in the world. America is the biggest rogue state in the world. Britain is an auxiliary of a criminal rogue state. So there is no choice but to stand behind the people of Iraq. And if you stand beside them and travel to Iraq you can't avoid meeting their government. They are not a government I would myself choose, but they are the government of Iraq.

"We have a saying in English, that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And Saddam Hussein has one eye."

Answer: George Galloway MP, interviewed by www.islamonline.net.

Top quality war reporting

"I was out with the troops today and I can tell you that the desert here is really very sandy." (Caroline Wyatt, BBC news)

"Apparently they're shouting 'Saddam, your days are numbered'. Unfortunately I can't verify that a) because there's no sound and b) I don't speak Arabic, which puts me at a disadvantage." (Huw Edwards, News 24)

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