Crash Kills 4 Americans; Land Mine Kills 18 Afghans
All four crewmembers of an Army MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter died
following a crash in Afghanistan Jan. 30.
crew was participating in routine training at a range 12 kilometers
east of Bagram Air Base. The Army is withholding the names of
the dead pending notification of next of kin. No other U.S. personnel
were injured. (Full
Repressive’ Taliban Trashed Afghanistan
— Life is improving in today’s Afghanistan, a nation recovering
from widespread damage caused by the militants who ran it for
five years, a senior DoD official said here Jan. 28.
over a year ago Afghanistan "was ruled by the Taliban, which
has to be one of the most ignorant, repressive and ineffective
governments ever to have ruled on earth," Joseph Collins,
deputy undersecretary of defense for stability operations, remarked
in a briefing to business and community leaders at the Pentagon.
and Bush Align to Tackle Terror
A poison plot uncovered in Great Britain. Another terrorist cell
revealed today in Italy. This is the latest evidence that international
terrorism and weapons of mass destruction endanger the world.
U.S. President George Bush and British
Prime Minister Tony Blair today said these two key threats must
not be allowed to come together. Yet, the potential for that to
happen lies with Saddam Hussein. (Full
of the Seven Astronauts Were in the Military
Six of the seven astronauts killed aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia
were in the military; Payload Specialist Col. Ilan Ramon was an
honored pilot for the Israeli Air Force, the other five of the
six were serving U.S. military officers.
The orbiter broke apart above north-central
Texas on Feb. 1 at about 203,000 feet and was going about 12,500
mph, or Mach 18, when the accident occurred. It was headed for
a planned touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in about
The mission commander was Air Force
Col. Rick D. Husband. The 45-year-old officer was from Amarillo,
Texas. He was married and had two children. Husband received a
bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas
Tech University in 1980 and a master of science degree in mechanical
engineering from California State University, Fresno, in 1990.
Voyage Ends in Tragedy
7:53am CST, the Space Shuttle Columbia–traveling at mach 18,
several times the speed of sound and just minutes before an expected
perfect landing in Florida–suddenly lost contact with Houston
Mission Control and it quickly became a moment to mourn. By 8:00am,
about 203,000 feet above Texas, people over the peaceful cow roaming
country of North East Texas suddenly heard what was described
as a loud fast train and furious rumbling and then sounds of explosions.
Several people saw the trail of fire from the ship thrusting toward
Just moments earlier, as the shuttle
passed Southern California on its way to Florida, photographers
saw what may have been the beginning of the Columbia breaking
up. The photographers, expecting to take routine shots, were startled
to see red flares streaking across the nose and wing of the shuttle.
People in Texas minutes later with home video cameras captured
the tragic and devastating end of the shuttle breaking up in mid-flight,
killing the entire courageous crew of 7: six Americans and one
Speaks of His Prayers for Americans, All People
— This is "a testing time" for the United States, and
at times like this, prayer is more appropriate than ever, President
Bush said at the National Prayer Breakfast here this morning.
this hour we have troops that are assembling in the Middle East,
there’s oppressive regimes that seek terrible weapons, (and) we
face an ongoing threat of terror," Bush said. "One thing
is for certain: We didn’t ask for these challenges, but we will
meet them. I say that with certainty because this nation has strong
foundations that won’t be shaken." (Full
‘Hanoi Hilton’ Resident Keynotes DoD POW/MIA Prayer Breakfast
— Orson G. Swindle III, who spent six years and four months as
a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, told the audience at DoD’s
9th annual POW/MIA Prayer Breakfast about the horrors of prison
camp and that the nation "must get it right" during
such troubled times.
year’s prayer breakfast here was the largest ever. More than 230
people attended, including 13 former POWs and three Medal of Honor
Department Issues Worldwide Caution to All Americans
— U.S. citizens around the world are at a heightened risk of
terrorist attacks, according to a State Department caution issued
actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations,
assassinations or kidnappings," the alert states. It goes
on to warn "nonconventional weapons" may be used. The
term typically refers to chemical or biological weapons or booby
Over,’ Bush Tells Saddam
— President Bush said today Saddam Hussein will play a last-minute
game of deception, empty promises and false denials in response
to U.S. evidence given the United Nations, but, "The game
danger Saddam Hussein poses reaches across the world," Bush
said in a White House statement.
president said the United States would welcome and support a new
resolution "which makes clear that the Security Council stands
behind its previous demands. Yet resolutions mean little without
Consults Italians, Visits U.S. Troops at Aviano Air Base
— Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld arrived at this Bavarian
city Feb. 7 after a bevy of meetings with Italian defense officials
in Rome and U.S. troops at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Rumsfeld is slated to speak today
at the multinational Munich Conference on Security Policy and
to meet with other defense officials to discuss issues surrounding
the global war on terrorism. Iraq is high on the secretary’s agenda
the entire day. (Full
Threat Condition Raised to ‘High’; Corroborated Info Cited
— Citing an increased threat of terrorist attacks within the
United States, President Bush agreed today to raise the homeland
security threat condition to "orange," designating a
high likelihood of attack.
increased threat condition designation is based on specific intelligence
received and analyzed by the full intelligence community,"
Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a televised press conference
from the Justice Department. He added that several sources corroborated
the intelligence information.
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. law enforcement and
intelligence officials have warned that al Qaeda is still active
and still dangerous. The color-coded threat-level warning system
was started in response. Since it began, the threat level has
mostly held steady at "yellow," meaning "elevated
threat of attack." (Full
Roads of Terror Lead to Baghdad
poison recipes with plans to kill thousands of innocent people
have been discovered in counter terrorism operations in Europe.
It’s a fast and furious fight against time for governments to
root out terrorists who have entrenched themselves within their
sovereign country and then stop terror attacks that are planned
against their citizens. The terrorist machine has been in motion
for years. Although there are countries known to sponsor terror,
secretive Iraq has managed to sponsor terror while doing millions
of dollars in business with countries like France and Germany.
and Its Quest for Nuclear Weapons
— Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the U.S. military gathered
huge piles of information and came up with a long list of "lessons
The United States wasn’t the only
place with experts mulling over the war. One Indian general came
up with his succinct own lessons learned from the conflict: "Never
fight the Americans without nuclear weapons."
A huge post-war surprise for the
victorious Gulf War coalition was how close Iraq had been to having
nuclear warheads. (Full
Drops JDAM in Afghanistan
— Fighting continues in southern Afghanistan with heavy aircraft
called in to pound cave positions in northern Helmand Province,
military officials report.
Feb. 12, a U.S. B-52 bomber dropped a 2,000-pound joint direct-
attack munition "smart" bomb and an AC-130 gunship fired
about 10 105 mm cannon rounds at the caves, a U.S. military spokesman
said this morning from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. (Full
Forces Drop Leaflets in Southern Iraq
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Operation Southern Watch Coalition aircraft
dropped 360,000 informational leaflets over southern Iraq today.
Coalition forces dropped the leaflets
at approximately 2 p.m, EST over Shalhah, Al Qurnah, and Al Madina,
approximately 200 miles southeast of Baghdad.
The leaflets referred Iraqis to
radio frequencies where Coalition forces are broadcasting information
about United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, United
Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s
reign and other topics.
To see a picture of the leaflets
dropped today, along with radio scripts broadcast recently, follow
this link: (Click
Takes Aim at Saddam’s Human Rights Violations
— National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice propelled the administration’s
clear message to Saddam Hussein during a Sunday morning talk show:
"If you’re ever going to comply, this is the time."
Echoing remarks made by Secretary
of State Colin Powell at the U.N. Security Council meeting on
Feb. 14, Rice told Tony Snow on "Fox News Sunday" that
Iraq has "weeks, not months." She expressed similar
sentiments later in the day on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
kg of Heroin Found in a Cache on Tajik-Afghan Border
February 17, 2003. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Nazhmidin Azizov/.
— 21 kg of heroin were found in a cache on the Tajik-Afghan border
last night, reported the press service of Russian border guards
stationed in Tajikistan.
The cache was found on the border
section controlled by the Pyanj border detachment. It contained
20 packets of heroin weighing a total of 21 kg 520 g.
Since the beginning of 2003, Russian
border guards controlling the Russian Federal Border Service section
seized more than 600 kg of various drugs, including 400 kg of
Says U.S. Will Stand by Afghans,
Would Do the Same for Iraqis
NEW YORK —
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told an audience of civic and
business leaders that the U.S. remains steadfast to its promise
to aid Afghanistan’s stability.
he said experiences in Afghanistan could apply to a post-Saddam
me be clear," he said, "No matter whatever else happens
in the world, we will not abandon Afghanistan. Afghanistan remains
an important ally, not only in the war against terrorism, but
in that larger struggle for freedom and moderation in the Muslim
Premier Koizumi Expresses Solidarity with Countries Supporting
Disarmament of Iraq
— The Japanese government, which supports a military solution
to the Iraqi problem, has dissociated itself from a rally against
war in Iraq that swept across the country over the weekend.
Anti-military actions throughout
the world can only give "a wrong signal" to Baghdad,
Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Monday.
"They’d better be careful or
Iraq may start to think it is acting right," said the premier.
Snubs Iraqi Official Over Reporter’s Question
(AP) Monday, February 17, 2003 — Rome’s mayor canceled a meeting
on Sunday with Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz of Iraq to protest
his "unacceptable" refusal to answer a question from
a journalist from an Israeli newspaper.
In a letter to Aziz, who left Italy
on Sunday after a four-day visit, Mayor Walter Veltroni said he
had canceled because Rome is a city with a tradition of tolerance,
peace and liberty. "I cannot accept that a public official,
the representative of a country, deny to someone whatever position
he represents, the right to express himself," he wrote.
Friday, Aziz refused to answer a question at a news conference
from a reporter from Ma’ariv on whether Iraq would strike Israel
if the United States launched a war.
Defense Intelligence Agency Detail Terror Threats
— North Korea has missiles capable of reaching the West Coast
of the United States.
Bin Laden’s terrorist network has sophisticated biological weapons
has tested unmanned aerial vehicles that could carry chemical
and biological weapons to Iraq’s neighbors and could be transported
to the United States. (Full
"That’s what the alliance of free nations is all about."
— NATO is sending several defensive weapons systems to Turkey
to protect that alliance member from possible attack by neighboring
this alliance is providing equipment to Turkey to help protect
our Turkish ally from potential attack from Iraq," President
Bush said in a brief White House appearance with NATO Secretary-General
George Robertson. (Full
"Just Ponder This"
you watch your TV pictures of the march, just ponder this: If
there are 500,000 on that march, that is still less than the number
of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for,"
said Prime Minister Tony Blair in a speech Saturday to Britain’s
Labor Party in the midst of worldwide protests.
there are one million, that is still less than the number of people
who died in the wars he started.
me read from an e-mail that was sent by a member of the family
of one of those four million Iraqi exiles. It is interesting because
she is fiercely and I think wrongly critical of America. But in
a sense for that reason, it is worth reading.
one part, she says:
may feel that America is trying to blind you from seeing the truth
about their real reasons for an invasion. I must argue that in
fact, you are still blind to the bigger truths in Iraq.
has murdered more than a million Iraqis over the past 30 years,
are you willing to allow him to kill another million Iraqis?
"’Saddam rules Iraq using fear
– he regularly imprisons, executes and tortures the mass population
for no reason whatsoever – this may be hard to believe and you
may not even appreciate the extent of such barbaric acts…’"
Experts to Help Find 3 Missing Americans in Columbia
— U.S. experts are helping the Colombian armed forces search
for three Americans captured by the Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia, embassy officials said.
A single-engine U.S. government
Cessna 208 crashed Feb. 13. When Colombian forces reached the
crash site, they found the bodies of two crewmembers, one Colombian
and one American. The embassy is not releasing the name of the
American at his family’s request. (Full
and Our Asian Alliances
… will be a simple resolution, directly to the point,"
to ask the Security Council to recognize that Iraq has not fulfilled
its responsibilities under previous resolutions, Powell said during
a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
The secretary was in Asia to attend
the inauguration of President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea and
to visit American friends and allies in the region. In Tokyo,
Powell met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and
Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi. (Full
President Aznar and the New Resolution
which has experienced a large Islamic influx of illegal immigration–like
it’s neighbors Britain and France, has become one of the
strongest forces in dismantling terrorism. Spain has successfully
apprehended al Qaeda terrorists, and while President Aznar was
in Texas speaking at a joint press conference with President Bush
Saturday, he articulated his commitment to Spain’s continual
work. “I would like to express how satisfied I am,”
Aznar said, “having arrested important terrorists today
in Spain, people who only think of murdering and committing crimes.”
Aznar has faced fierce opposition for his work in leading the
charge against threats to world security, but he has not backed