Saturday, March 29, 2003



MARK O'KEEFE, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE - Two leading evangelical Christian
relief and missionary organizations say they have teams of workers
poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of its
large Muslim population. The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest
Protestant denomination in the United States, and the Rev. Franklin
Graham's Samaritan's Purse said Tuesday that workers are near the Iraq
border in Jordan and are ready to go in as soon as it is safe. The
relief and missionary work is certain to be closely watched because both
Graham and the Southern Baptist Convention have been at the heart of
controversial evangelical denunciations of Islam, the world's
second-largest religion."

Thich Nhat Hanh:
"Fear is born from ignorance. We think that the other person is trying to take away something from us. But if we look deeply, we see that the desire of the other person is exactly our own desire—to have peace, to be able to have a chance to live. So if you realize that the other person is a human being too, and you have exactly the same kind of spiritual path, and then the two can become good practitioners. This appears to be practical for both.
The only answer to fear is more understanding. And there is no understanding if there is no effort to look more deeply to see what is there in our heart and in the heart of the other person. The Buddha always reminds us that our afflictions, including our fear and our desiring, are born from our ignorance. That is why in order to dissipate fear, we have to remove wrong perception."

From the "GEEZ- WHO KNEW??" Department :

--TELEGRAPH, UK - Fueled by graphic television pictures of wounded Iraqi
civilians and text messages on mobile phones, a tidal wave of fury
against Britain and America is sweeping the Arab world."
--"All these images have led Arabs with no sympathy for Saddam to rally behind his regime. "I acknowledge that Saddam is a dictator," said Hisham Bustani, a 27-year-old dentist in Amman. "But at the moment, I am with Saddam against the imperialist aggression.
"You will not find a single person here who feels differently. We are against the aggression not out of any particular sympathy with the Iraqi regime but because it violates the territory of the Arab nation and Islam."--
Go to link for full story

Related story about Arab Fury
The 'Palestinization' of Iraq
By Pepe Escobar

"One of the most extraordinary developments of the war so far is how the resistance of the Iraqi population against a foreign invasion has galvanized this sentiment of anger in the Arab world. "We are all Palestinians now," as a Bedouin taxi driver puts it."


HALLIBURON' S OUT *well..for the most obvious part, anyhow*

Halliburton out of the running

Dick Cheney's former employer won't have lead role in reconstructing Iraq
March 28, 2003: 7:45 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Halliburton, the energy and construction company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, is no longer in the running for a $600 million contract to rebuilt post-war Iraq, according to the United States Agency for International Development.
The development is likely to spare Cheney, who was Halliburton's CEO from 1995-2000, and the Bush administration from conflict-of-interest criticism.
A spokesperson for USAID, Ellen Yount, said there are two remaining firms bidding on the contract. No decision has been made on who will be awarded it, she said.
Halliburton, which declined to comment, could still be awarded a sub-contractor role.
Newsweek reported that it was unclear whether Halliburton took itself out of the running for the contract, was asked by the Bush administration to do so, or whether its bid was simply not deemed competitive." ****HMMM...I WONDER WHICH?****



Democrat catches antiwar wave
By Donald Lambro

Former Gov. Howard Dean is riding a surge of strong antiwar support for the Democratic presidential nomination, and the latest polls show him running even in New Hampshire with his party's front-runner, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Top Stories

Democratic strategists and pollsters say the Vermont liberal's swift rise in the polls in the nation's first presidential primary state is due entirely to his opposition to President Bush's war in Iraq.
"There is absolutely no question that the war is what's fueling his jump in the polls. Our polling not only shows very good numbers for him in New Hampshire, but also the potential to grow," said John Zogby, who is polling extensively in the early primary states.
"In addition to the candidate horse-race questions in Iowa and New Hampshire, we've matched nameless candidate positions on the issues and clearly what Democratic voters say they want is a candidate who is unequivocally against the war," Mr. Zogby said.
But in a telephone interview as he was driving to a campaign appearance in Iowa, Mr. Dean said, "I truly don't believe that my antiwar position is drawing people to me. I think that gets people's attention and I'd say that about 50 percent of the Democrats are against the war.
"But that's not what's fueling the candidacy. There are other candidates that are against the war. I think it allows people to give me a look that might not ordinarily look at me," the former Vermont governor said.
What Democrats like about him "was the willingness to be a Democrat again. They want you to stand up and be proud of what we Democrats have traditionally stood for, things like health insurance," he said.
Still, Mr. Dean has made his opposition to the war the centerpiece of his campaign. He has been aggressively attacking his nearest rivals in the race for supporting the president's war to topple Saddam Hussein from power.
Mr. Dean has said that the campaign in Iraq is "the wrong war at the wrong time." He said that he would not have voted for the war resolution in Congress that his rivals for the nomination helped to pass last year.
More recently, Mr. Dean has focused all of his attacks on Mr. Kerry, accusing the senator of straddling the issue of war in Iraq and deliberately trying to obscure his continued support for Mr. Bush's military policies.
"I think everybody has made themselves clear except John," Mr. Dean said at a campaign appearance in Iowa earlier this week. "Senator Kerry to this day continues to be ambivalent about his position."
Mr. Dean, who began his campaign more than a year ago, has made more than 40 trips into neighboring New Hampshire, running in part on his opposition to war with Iraq, his support for universal health insurance and calling for the repeal of Mr. Bush's tax cuts. He remained in the middle tier in the polls until last week when the U.S.-led war against Iraq began. That's when his poll numbers shot up by 6 points and moved him to within 1 point of Mr. Kerry, who leads with 23 percent.
Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri is in third place with 15 percent, followed by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut at 12 percent. The other candidates are in the low single digits, according to a survey of 600 registered Democratic voters by the American Research Group that was taken between March 16 and 19.
Mr. Dean has criticized not only Mr. Kerry, but also Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards were overheard recently on the Senate floor complaining about Mr. Dean's attacks and have been mounting a counterattack that is giving their little-known rival even more visibility in the crowded field of nine candidates.
"Senator Kerry has been clear and consistent on his policy on Iraq and many Democrats are disappointed Howard Dean has decided to put politics first and attack other candidates in a negative, divisive and personal way," Kerry spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday.
Mr. Dean refused to respond to Mr. Gibbs' criticism.
The biggest political hurdle that Mr. Dean will have to clear in the months ahead will be getting enough campaign contributions to compete with the heavy fund raising that Mr. Kerry's advisers say he has been drawing lately. Democratic fund-raisers say Mr. Kerry could easily raise the $40 million that it will take to finance a national campaign for the nomination.
Even so, Mr. Dean believes that an effective message — and not money — will be the critical factor in the 2004 primary contests.
"We're raising money and we'll raise a significant amount of money, about $10 million by the end of the year, but money can't buy exciting the Democratic base," he said.