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COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
THE BUSHIES' PLAN AGAINST TERROR? RE-ELECT THE UNELECTED PRESIDENT
"Dirty Bomb" or "Dirty Bum"?
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:26:35 -0600 (MDT)
please check out the new front page at --> http://GWBush.com
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld just said the U.S. probably won't try Jose Padilla
for any crime--ever. On prime time TV yesterday they told us Padilla was
plotting with al Qaeda to ruin an entire U.S. city. But Rummy now says,
"Our interest is not in trying him and punishing him." www.cnn.com/2002/US/06/11/dirty.bomb.suspect/index.html
John Ashcroft was making his dramatic prime-time announcement that Bush had
saved the world, administration officials were already quietly telling reporters
that there actually was no dirty bomb plot at all -- that it was probably just
some guys sitting around wondering if such a project would be possible.
get a lot of hate mail at GWBush.com from people telling me that if I'm not
"for Bush" then I'm "against America." They say that we have
to give Bush our complete trust because "we're at war."
America has survived for so long, and is as strong as it is, precisely because
we ALWAYS question our leaders -- even during wartime and other crises.
we be scared of terrorist attacks on the U.S." Absolutely! The question is: What
is the best long term plan to prevent those attacks and to eliminate terrorism
altogether? The Bush administration HAS NO SUCH PLAN. Their only plan is for
re-election in 2004. And they are using their own terror tactics to try to
ensure that re-election. The American people will not fall for it.
GWBush.com, despite the steady flood of hate mail, the questioning continues
(with humor of course). Please visit today and check out the new front page!
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DESCRIPTION OF LIFE IN INDIA UNDER NUCLEAR THREAT
FW: Arundhati Roy
Date: 2 Jun 2002 10:28:35 -0900
From: "hammond guthrie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Al Arnowitz" <email@example.com>
by a friend today = very powerful indeed.... Hammond
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A SUICIDE BOMBER'S STORY
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 12:54:35 -0400 (EDT)
June 8, 2002
In Israeli Hospital, Bomber Tells of Trying to Kill
By JAMES BENNET
FULA, Israel, June 7 " On one ward of an Israeli hospital
here, gilded tonight by votive candles honoring the Jewish Sabbath, Israeli
soldiers wounded in a devastating suicide attack lie just a few rooms away from
a failed Palestinian suicide bomber, who had hoped to kill as many of their
comrades as possible.
The young men in their matching pajamas might be hard to
tell apart, but beneath his blanket, the bomber is manacled by a wrist and an
ankle to his bed.
He is guarded by two Israeli police officers who read the
newspaper, crunch sunflower seeds and occasionally joke with their prisoner and
arrange his pillows. As he chewed on a cucumber, the bomber grinned at their
Even by the sorrowful standards of these most intimate
enemies, the juxtaposition of Palestinian bomber and Israeli wounded was
stunning. They were all wounded a few miles south of here, in two separate
attacks at a crossroads marking the ancient battleground of Megiddo, which is
Hebrew for Armageddon.
In a conversation that lasted more than two hours tonight,
the bomber, Zaydan Zaydan, gave a rare glimpse into the blend of religion,
desperation, low technology and cruelty that can produce suicide bombers. He
described his ease in evading Israeli tanks and checkpoints, and a bomb that
reeked so badly that he doused it with cheap perfume as he walked toward his
chosen killing ground.
Mr. Zaydan, who is 18, spoke of his hopeless search for a
job, of long days spent in pool halls before he found his way deeper into Islam,
and of how his recruiter composed his last, videotaped statement for him,
because, as a fifth-grade dropout, he can read but not write.
He said he was "pushed" to make his attack not by
Israeli action or a terrorist group, but by "the love of martyrdom."
He added: "I didn't want revenge for anything. I just wanted to be a
Mr. Zaydan, who is from the West Bank city of Jenin,
triggered his bomb at Megiddo junction on May 8, Israeli officials said. They
said that only the detonator fired, tearing open his stomach and damaging
several organs. A picture of an Israeli Army robot dragging his wounded body
across the pavement was published around the world.
Mr. Zaydan, who was sent by the extremist group Islamic
Jihad, insisted today that he had not detonated his bomb, but instead had been
shot twice in the stomach by soldiers. That account was not supported by his
wounds, according to the hospital. No one else was wounded in the incident.
The soldiers hospitalized here were wounded on Wednesday,
when another suicide bomber from Islamic Jihad drove a car alongside a bus and
detonated a powerful explosion. In a rolling inferno, 17 people died, 13 of them
Sgt. Kfir Levi, 20, remembers vividly the smell of burning
bodies and the screams of fellow passengers trapped inside. He lay tonight two
rooms away from Mr. Zaydan, with burns and shrapnel wounds. Nurses change his
sheets four times a day, he said, because glass keeps coming out of him.
"He's also a human being, despite all of this,"
Sergeant Levi said of Mr. Zaydan. "That's the difference between us and
them, at least in our thoughts. I don't believe if something like this happened
on the other side, they'd be giving this kind of treatment. Just the
Mr. Zaydan expressed gratitude for his treatment, even by
his immediate captors. "This Jewish policeman is better than many, many
Arabs," he said, indicating one of his monitors.
A frail man with a wisp of beard, Mr. Zaydan may have hoped
to ingratiate himself with the Israelis. He seemed anxious to avoid implicating
other Palestinians, and it was impossible to know tonight how he was trimming
and shading his account. Permission for the interview was granted through the
He insisted that he had sought to kill only soldiers, whom
he described as overwhelming adversaries.
"I know Israel," he said, recalling his six years
as a peddler here. "I know that the individual Israeli citizen is innocent
like us. Unfortunately, we are victims of our leaders, sitting on their
After dropping out of school, Mr. Zaydan became a
carpenter, then a peddler of newspapers and other products in Israel. When the
latest conflict began in September 2000, he said he sought work fruitlessly in
Jenin, settling for a couple of hours spent each day carrying boxes of
vegetables in the market there.
The rest of the day he spent sleeping or hanging around a
pool hall, smoking. Then he happened to watch a religious lesson on television
that convinced him he was wasting his time. In what he called his life's turning
point, he quit billiards and began going to the mosque regularly. Eventually, he
He insisted that he was drawn to martyrdom by what he read
in books, not by anything he heard from his imam, or priest.
After Israel first raided Jenin's refugee camp at the
beginning of March, Mr. Zaydan said, he began to think seriously about becoming
a suicide bomber. He knew of Mahmoud Tawalbeh, the local leader of Islamic
Jihad, and found his brother, whom he called Raed, in the camp.
"I told him I wanted to be a martyr," he said.
"He conveyed the message."
But a subsequently planned meeting was canceled when Israel
again invaded Jenin, as part of its West Bank offensive in April. Mahmoud
Tawalbeh died in the fighting.
After the raid ended and Israel lifted the curfew, a young
man came to Mr. Zaydan with a message left behind by Mahmoud Tawalbeh. The
message was that he had accepted the offer of Mr. Zaydan's life.
The young man, whose name Mr. Zaydan insisted he did not
know, led the new recruit to an abandoned house, where he showed him a large
black bag. Inside was the bomb, wired to two 9-volt batteries, he said. He said
that he could not identify the explosive, but that it stank, suggesting that it
might have been fertilizer.
Mr. Zaydan said the bomb weighed more than 30 pounds and
had two switches in case one did not work. "On-off," he said, using
English for the only time in the interview. He said he had received no other
training than how to use the switch.
The man also gave him a new cellular phone and told him to
call whenever he was about to detonate the bomb to give his location. Mr. Zaydan
said the young man had not suggested a target.
"He told me, this guy, `Our main target is soldiers,
but if people discover you, then blow yourself up,' " he said.
Mr. Zaydan said he gave no sign of his plans to his family
that night, laughing over dinner with a brother. At 4 a.m., as was his custom,
he crept in and kissed his mother, receiving her blessing, then went to the
mosque to pray. He said he knew that he would cause his mother pain by killing
himself, but said each martyr gains the power in paradise to choose 70 people to
join him. He said he would have included his family.
He described crossing the West Bank boundary on foot,
dousing the bag with three-dollar perfume to mask the bomb's smell, then
hitch-hiking to Megiddo junction.
Mr. Zaydan, who has been interrogated by the Israelis and
is expecting to be prosecuted, said bitterly that he knew he would be jailed for
life and remembered only as a terrorist.
"I feel sorry, because it was a mistake," he
said. "But as a human being, I should live like others. The way there is an
Israeli state, there are people living in this state, enjoying life, having
someone protect them. I don't live in this situation. I don't feel I'm
Soldiers could enter Jenin at any time, he said, and he constantly feared being arrested. "As long as life continues like this," he said, "you will have people who think like me." He insisted that he wanted peace, but said he saw little chance for it.
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company ##
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