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Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Excerpts:Bulldozer death of human shield activist. Iraq assures Jordan about oil.Jordan questions the US 18 March 2003

Excerpts:Bulldozer death of human shield activist. Iraq assures Jordan about
oil.Jordan questions the US 18 March 2003

+++ [IMRA:Compare the following 2 stories on the bulldozer killing of
human-shield activist Rachel Corey: Jordan Times and Washington Post.]

JORDAN TIMES 18 Mar.'03
"Israeli army deliberately killed US human shield - eyewitnesses"
Subject: Bulldozer death of human-shield protester.
QUOTES FROM TEXT:
"It was a rare change of pace for Rafah, where American flags
have more often been burned than held in reverence because
of the blind US support of Israel which continues to oppress
Palestinians and occupy their lands."

"colleagues, all of whom witnessed the scene, are adamant it
was a case of murder."
" 'she was probably looking the bulldozer driver in the eye' "

" 'We were shouting to the soldiers' "

"A dozen eye-witness accounts of the incident collected by
AFP (Agence France Presse) Monday confiremd Schnabel's
version of events."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------
EXCERPTS:
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Agencies) ...

On Sunday, ...Rachel Corey, 23, was buried alive and then crushed to death
by an Israeli bulldozer as she and a group of seven young Americans and
Britons from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were acting as
human shields on the flashpoint Israeli-controlled border with Egypt.

[IMRA: "Flashpoint" because of tunnels from Sinai to dwellings used to
receive smuggled arms and also provide cover for snipers firing on Israeli
troops.]

On Monday, hundreds of Palestinians held a symbolic funeral for Corrie.

Holding a stretcher draped with an American flag, around 1,000 Palestinians
marched through the refugee camp as a sign of mourning for the American who
was killed on Sunday.

"We fly a US flag today to show our support to all American peace lovers,
those like Rachel," said Palestinian farmer Hassan Abu Toa'ma, 24.

[IMRA: Doesn't tell that Corey had been photographed in another
situation burning an American flag.]

It was a rare change of pace for Rafah, where American flags have more often
been burned than held in reverence because of the blind US support for
Israel which continues to oppress Palestinians and occupy their lands.

The Israeli occupation army promised an investigation into the incident but
said her death was not intentional. Rachel's ISM colleagues, all of whom
witnessed the scene, are adamant it was a case of murder.

"She was standing in front of Dr Samir Nasrallah's house to protect it. The
bulldozer was some 30 metres away from her. She was wearing a fluorescent
orange jacket and was plainly visible," said Greg Schnabel.

"The bulldozer approached but she stood her ground. Then it pushed up a pile
of dirt beneath her feet. She struggled to stay on top of the mound.

"At that point she was raised up to a level where she was probably looking
the bulldozer driver in the eye," Schnabel said, ruling out any possibility
the Israeli destruction team could have failed to see the young woman.

[IMRA: So he wasn't sure. Also doesn't mention IDF comment that windows
of bulldozers are very small and so provide limited visibility.]

"Then she stepped back, the bulldozer continued and sand started covering
her legs and was gradually buried up to her waist. We were shouting to the
soldiers as she tried to pull herself out but she got sucked under the
blade.

[IMRA: Washington Post story which follows reports protesters gesturing to
the bulldozer operator.]

"The blade went over her body and the bulldozer stopped when she was
completely underneath. Finally it withdrew, but without lifting the blade,
dragging it over her once more," said Schnabel... A dozen eyewitness
accounts of the incident collected by AFP Monday confirmed Schnabel's
version of events.

. . .

Corey was the first foreign peace activist to be slain by the Israeli
occupation army since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising for freedom
more than 29 months ago.

She was killed in front of the last row of Palestinian houses before the
border with Egypt which the Israeli army controls and where it has been
demolishing houses on a weekly basis, creating an ever-widening no-man's
land acting as buffer zone on autonomous Palestinian territory.

. . ..

"We have loudspeakers and we can communicate with the Israeli crew and
maintain eye contact," he explained.

[IMRA: Protester Joseph Smith's comment.]

"I don't think the driver and the commander inside the bulldozer murdered
her just to murder her. They had probably received orders to do their job
regardless.

[IMRA: Totally conjectural. Hardly reasonable since this was the first
such death.]

"I don't know which is most disturbing."

. . .

"We are exploring many legal channels to make sure her murder does not go
unpunished," Joseph said.

. . .

"I watched the whole tragedy unfold through a crack in the wall ... "

========================================================

WASHINGTON POST 17 March '03:

"American is killed by Israeli bulldozer"

HEADING:"Student was protesting demolitions."

By Molly Moore, Wahington Post Foreign Service

QUOTES FROM TEXT:

" 'We're dealiong with a group of protesters acting very irresponsibly,
putting everyone in danger' "

" 'protesters gestured to the driver' "

"no other demonstrators were within sevral yards of Corrie as she knelt
in the rubble between a Palestinian's house and a metal wall that Israel is
erecting along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt."

" 'The windows of the bulletproof bulldozer are very small and the
visibility is verfy limited, and the bulldozer operator did not see the
woman.' The military 'expressed sorrow' "

" 'It's possible that [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we
would have liked' "

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------
EXCERPTS:

JERUSALEM, March 16 -- A 23-year-old American protesting the demolition of
Palestinians' houses in the Gaza Strip was killed today by an Israeli
military bulldozer that crushed her body as she crouched in its path,
according to witnesses from her pro-Palestinian organization.

Rachel Corrie ... was the first international protester to be killed during
the 30-month conflict between Israelis and Palestinians ... .

"This was a very regrettable incident," said ... an Israeli military
spokesman. "We're dealing with a group of protesters acting very
irresponsibly putting everone in danger -- the Palestinians, themselves and
our forces."

Corrie ... was kneeling in front of the bulldozer and tried to scamble out
of its way, said Tom Dale ... weho said he was standing several yards away.

..."She tried to stand up and fell over backwards. The bulldozer dragged
her
under its blade. About four ... protesters gestured to the driver ... but
it kept
going ... ."
. . .

Dale said eight representatives of the international group were near the
bulldozer...
... no other demonstrators were within several yards of Corrie as she knelt
in the
rubble between a Palestinian's house and a metal wall that Israel is
erecting
along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. ...

The Israeli military forces were removing shrubbery in the border area and
were
approached by the protesters, according to a statement released by the
military
tonight. Troops ordered the demonstrators to move back ... .

"An initial inquiry indicates that an Israeli bulldozer apparently
accidentally ran
over a protester ...The windows of the bulletproof bulldozer are very small
and
the visibility is very limited, and the bulldozer operator did not see the
woman."
The military "expresses sorrow" and is inverstigating the incident, the
statement
said..

"It's possible they [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we would
have liked,"
Thom Safford,a founder and organiser of the International Solidarity
Movement,
said in a telephone interview from the group's base in Ann Arbor , Mich.

+++JORDAN TIMES 18 Mar.'03:"Iraq to continue oil supplies"
QUOTE FROM TEXT:

"will not stop supplying Jordan with oil in case of a US-led military
action against Iraq ."

FULL TEXT:

AMMAN (Petra) - Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammad Mahdi Saleh said Monday
that his country will not stop supplying Jordan with oil in case of a US-led
military action against Iraq. Speaking to Al Arabiya news satellite
channel's Saad Silawi here, he said oil supplies will not stop unless there
was a military hindrance. In addition, the minister described his
discussions with Jordanian officials, which covered increasing commercial
cooperation between the two countries, as positive and fruitful.

+++JORDAN TIMES 18 Mar.'03:
"Editorial:The major question"

QUOTES FROM TEXT:
"What Bush has failed to mention so far is how he intends to
keep Iraq united, how he intends to foster the emergence of a
representative administration including all ethnic and religious
components."

"No Jordanian, no Arab has ever bought, even for one single
second, Bush's blabbering about bringing democracy to this
region."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------
EXCERPTS:

AS THE US goes to war, Jordanians and Arabs find themselves haunted by the
same question that they have been asking Washington for the past few months:
What is the plan?
. . .

What Bush has failed to mention so far is how he intends to keep Iraq
united, how he intends to foster the emergence of a representative
administration including all ethnic and religious components of Iraqi
society.

[IMRA: Bush said the UN would have a key role in post-war reconstruction.
How the components of Iraq are held together will be determined by them. The
present arrangements among the components are disasterous.]

The major question is how.

In that regard, the Pentagon, White House and State Department have kept the
cards so close to the chest that they have strengthened the argument of
those who believe that Bush might have no solid plan whatsoever.

There have been insistent talks of a US occupation and of a US military
administration. But, beyond sheer propaganda on the "liberation" of Iraq and
some nebulous democratisation process, we have heard nothing from Bush about
an actual Iraqi government.

Alternatives to the regime of President Saddam Hussein have yet to be
spelled out. One could well be prompted to believe that the US has yet to
come up with any.

Political liberalisation in Iraq would necessarily result in greater powers
to the Shiite majority. But how would this go down in Washington, which has
already branded Shiite Iran as the other end of the "axis of evil," another
threat to world security that needs to be contained?

Political liberalisation in Iraq would also mean more freedom for Iraqi
Kurds - freedom that could well clash with US geopolitical interests.

No Jordanian, no Arab has ever bought, even for one single second, Bush's
blabbering about bringing democracy to this region.

A democratic government in Baghdad would reflect people's anger and
revulsion against US policies, and translate it into policies.

Dr. Joseph Lerner, Co-Director IMRA

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