"When Allied forces were last on their way to the Gulf in 1991, the Internet was little more than a gaggle of bearded academics swapping information on their latest computer programs," reports Owen Gibson. Today, however, the web "is opening up a world of different perspectives and viewpoints. ...
As an employee of the Hill & Knowlton PR firm, Lauri Fitz-Pegado helped coach Nayirah, the 15-year-old daughter of Kuwait's ambassadors whose false testimony about Iraqi atrocities helped build public suport for the first U.S. war in the Persian Gulf. Participating in one of the most scandalous PR scams of the 1990s hasn't hurt her career, though. After Operation Desert Storm, she went to work for Iridium LLC, a satellite phone company that went bankrupt a few years later.
The United for Peace and Justice coalition has secured a rally location for the New York city anti-war protest on February 15, announcing that "this massive, peaceful demonstration to stop the Iraq war will go forward no matter what. But in an outrageous attack on our civil liberties, Federal Judge Barbara Jones ruled ... that we may only hold a stationary rally. ... This fight is about far more than one protest march; it's about how much political space for dissent there will be in this country for the foreseeable future.
"President George W. Bush and his foreign-policy team have systematically and knowingly deceived the American people in order to gain support for an unprovoked attack on Iraq," writes writer and college communications instructor Dennis Hans, who tallies 15 "techniques of deceit" that Bush has used "to deceive the very people most inclined to trust him."
"Tony Blair and George Bush are encountering an unexpected obstacle in their campaign for war against Iraq - their own intelligence agencies," reports Raymond Whitaker.
"If Colin Powell were to visit the shabby military compound at the foot of a large snow-covered mountain, he might be in for an unpleasant surprise," reports Luke Harding. "The US Secretary of State last week confidently described the compound in north-eastern Iraq - run by an Islamic terrorist group Ansar al-Islam - as a 'terrorist chemicals and poisons factory.' Yesterday, however, it emerged that the terrorist factory was nothing of the kind - more a dilapidated collection of concrete outbuildings at the foot of a grassy sloping hill.
In New York the coalition United for Peace & Justice is in court today suing the city over its refusal to provide a permit for a non-violent peace march February 15th. Newsday noted yesterday that "the lawsuit ... sought a declaration from the court that the city's action violated the First Amendment and for an order permitting a parade of between 50,000 and 100,000 people. The Feb.
"Downing Street was last night plunged into acute international embarrassment after it emerged that large parts of the British government's latest dossier on Iraq - allegedly based on 'intelligence material' - were taken from published academic articles, some of them several years old," the Guardian writes.
The Wisconsin State Journal advocates a US attack on Iraq, but WSJ columnist George Hesselberg remembers 'Nayirah.' He recently wrote a column suggesting "perhaps we should question some of the evidence being gathered to justify an invasion of Iraq. The column was not appreciated by several readers, including ... Teddy Fedkenheuer, of Baraboo: 'To either accuse or blame an American President of lying to the American people ... is un-American. ... You are also implying that his stand on Iraq is also 'smoke and mirrors.' I find that offensive.' ...