April 1-15 Stories

Rumsfeld Singles Out Iraq, Iran, Syria
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld singled out Iraq, Iran and Syria as countries that are encouraging terrorists while oppressing their own populations.
     "Murderers are not martyrs. Targeting civilians is immoral whatever the excuse," Rumsfeld said during a press conference April 1. "Terrorists have declared war on civilization and states like Iran, Iraq and Syria are financing a culture of political murder and suicide bombing." (Full Story)

Uncovering the Connections
As the one time Egyptian turned PLO leader pulls the world into his campaign against Jews and Israel, Yasser Arafat slyly tells the press he wants peace. Playing the role as victim, Arafat in fact has all along supported the reign of terror from groups that have turned out terrorists and suicide bombers.
     The smoke screen and propaganda moves apparently give Arafat permission from countries to continue his reign of terror behind smiles and a scarf.      Today, there has been no place in Israel that is safe, terrorists have struck at family homes, places of worship, buses, the grocery store and even where Israelis and tourists from around the world visit and gather. U.S. leaders have denounced the continuos onslaught of terror, including episodes like the shipment of arms from Iran that was headed to Arafat and his terror groups. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich reminded us of Saddam Hussain’s campaign to recruit more suicide bombers to attack the Jewish State of Israel that includes a recent raise in cash from $10,000 to $25,000 as a reward to families of terrorists that kill innocents in the Jewish State of Israel. (Full Update)

Honoring the Lovely Queen Mum
Tuesday, April 9th, First Lady Laura Bush led a delegation to represent the United States at the United Kingdom’s ceremonial funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother of England. The delegation includes: The Honorable William S. Farish, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom; The Honorable Anne Armstrong, former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom; and Mr. Tobin Armstrong.
     The "Queen Mum" is widely loved and remembered throughout the British empire and the world. Now a brilliant star in history, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth gained great love from her people and the free world with her gallant show of courage during the Nazi German bombing attacks in attempts to conquer England in the 1940s. The "Queen Mum" continued to be adored throughout her life and now she remains a powerful foundation of sovereignty and tradition for the United Kingdom.

"Terrorism Remains an International Threat."
US General Franks said that "terrorism remains an international threat.." but points to the fact that efforts have been successful in keeping innocent people safe in the past 6 months since U.S. and Coalition forces began combat operations in Afghanistan.
     Evidence discovered in Afghanistan, such as layouts of buildings, ID cards, GPS equipment believed by some to have once belonged to a US soldier in Somalia and much more shows terrorist groups’ unwavering determination to kill and conquer for their purposes. Franks says much remains to be done, "and it will continue to be dangerous business in the days ahead." (Read Full Story)

Mideast Terror, Iraq and the Way Ahead in Afghanistan
In a CNN interview Myers responded to questions about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s statements linking Iran, Iraq and Syria to attacks on civilians in Israel. "I think what the secretary was saying was that beautiful young lady that was a suicide bomber … didn’t just wake up that morning and decide to put on a bomb costume."
     And now with reports surfacing of a large hidden infrastructure of terror, Myers noted that people or groups had to provide money and equipment to launch suicide bombings, acknowledging "there’s probably a system of support there." (Full Story)

Rumsfeld: ‘Suicide Bombing Is Terrorism’
"What’s happening in the Middle East is terrible. It is a tragedy. It is terrorism," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at the Pentagon today. "Innocent people are being killed — men, women and children of all religions."
     The president and secretary of state and others are addressing the complexities of the Middle East situation, not the Department of Defense, Rumsfeld continued. There are no plans to involve U.S. troops in the crisis. (Full Story)

Bush and Blair: Building Strategies for Peace
After a weekend of talks, President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair reaffirmed the importance of wiping out terror—wherever it is in the world. The two world leaders spoke to the press bluntly about the issue of Iraq, choosing not to shy away from peace in order to appease mounting political pressures and slanted media reporting.
     In recent months the Prime Minister has taken several blows from his own leftist Labour Party, who would rather he continue to ignore Saddam Hussein, while the dictator continues to fund terrorists richly and use his own people as scientific guinea pigs.
     While speaking alone at the George H.W. Bush presidential library in College Station, Texas, Prime Minister Blair stated that "we must be prepared to act where terrorism or Weapons of Mass Destruction threaten us. The fight against international terrorism is right." The Prime Minister also explained the dangers of pushing aside warnings: "But to allow weapons of mass destruction to be developed by a state like Iraq without let or hindrance would be grossly to ignore the lessons of September 11 and we will not do it."
     During Saturday’s press conference at Crawford High School, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair gave their stance on Israel, with President Bush saying the two leaders "…share a vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and in security." (Full Briefing)

U.S. Concludes Military Talks with China
April 12, 2002 — The annual meeting of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement between the United States and China concluded in Shanghai today.Rear Adm. William Sullivan, director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command, headed the U.S. delegation. Rear Adm. Zhou Borong, deputy chiefof staff for the People’s Liberation ArmyNavy, headed the Chinese delegation.
     The three-day meeting was conducted in a professional and cooperative atmosphere. Both sides exchanged views in a spirit of mutual respect on relevant issues of Sino-U.S. military maritime safety, identified common ground and remaining differences.
     This was the third annual meeting held under the Agreement on Establishing a Consultation Mechanism to Strengthen Military Maritime Safety between the Department of Defense of the United States and the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China, signed in January 1998.
     In conjunction with this meeting, the delegation also met with the commander of China’s East Sea Fleet and was provided a tour of a Chinese naval ship.

At Least 3 Killed in Afghan Ordnance Disposal Accident
By Jim Garamone

April 15, 2002 — At least three U.S. service members died in an accident near Kandahar, Afghanistan, DoD officials said.
     Officials said at least three members of an explosive ordnance disposal team were killed and others injured April 15 at 11:30 a.m., local Afghan time, when a 107 mm rocket detonated. DoD officials said they have little information on the blast and indicated the number of dead may rise. The names of those killed and injured are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
     "It points out what we’ve been saying since this started: That Afghanistan is still a very dangerous place," said Marine Lt. Col. Dave Lapan, a DoD spokesman.

April 15-30 Stories

Girl Scouts’ ‘Operation Thin Mint’ Supports Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom troops who missed this year’s Girl Scout cookie sale are about to be deluged by more than 104,000 boxes of Thin Mints or other favorites.
     To hoopla and fanfare April 9, hundreds of military personnel and cheering Girl Scouts from San Diego and Imperial counties in California watched the first 36,000 boxes start their voyage to Singapore. Truckers loaded 28 pallets aboard a refrigerated container and carried them off to Long Beach, Calif., to meet an Asia-bound freighter. (Full Story)

Secretary Rumsfeld Meeting with Troops at Bagram
Thank you very much. That kind introduction kind of makes it sound like I can’t hold a job. (Laughter) I am delighted to be here, to be back here I should say, in free Afghanistan.
     I also want to say how important it is for me to be able to thank each one of you for the wonderful job that you are doing — coalition forces, U.S. forces — the job you are doing for freedom." (Full Comments)

New York City Fire Chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr. Honored by US in Kyrgyzstan
U.S. forces arrived at Manas International Airport in mid-December. They set up work and living areas in extremely cold-weather conditions. Working with coalition counterparts, U.S. forces also built two munitions storage areas to sustain fighter operations, an aircraft fuel and diesel fuel storage area and a 420,000 square-foot compacted gravel aircraft maintenance area.
     The Americans have dubbed the site Ganci Air Base in honor of New York City Fire Chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr. The fire chief was killed after he managed to get 50 firemen to safety before the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Ganci had died upholding the same creed the military follow: leave no man behind. (Full Story)

Israel Hands US Names of Jenin Hizballah and al Qaeda Fighters
DEBKAFile- A terrorist attack in one of Israel’s main cities was prevented by the 24-hour Israeli incursion into the West Bank town of Qalqilya, which ended Friday night, April 26. Prior intelligence of this plan prompted the foray. This information was passed to the United States. Another batch of intelligence, transferred earlier in the week to Washington, consisted of materials that Israeli forces collected during their eight-day stay in the Jenin camp. (Full Story)

Giuliani’s Former Federal Prosecutor in L.A. with President Bush
Century City, CA – President Bush visited Bill Simon, a prosecutor for over 3 years under then US Attorney Rudy Giuliani, to rally behind Simon’s campaign for Governor. Earlier this year Giuliani made several L.A. stops with Simon, including meeting with folks at a popular Jewish restaurant in the Fairfax district. The visits were upbeat and optimistic. This evening, President Bush brought about a similar message: "This great and diverse state is going to vote for a breath of fresh air, a positive vision." (Full Comments)

Rumsfeld "The World is Determined to Stop the Tyranny of Terrorism"
Rumsfeld arrived aboard a C-17 transport plane after a meeting with officials in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Afghanistan is his second stop in a five-day trip to Central Asia. He came to thank U.S. and coalition forces for the jobs they are doing for freedom. The secretary said he was delighted to be back, "in free Afghanistan."
     This was his second visit to the former terrorist haven. He first traveled to Afghanistan in December when he met with about 100 U.S. troops deployed here. Today, around 6,000 American personnel are deployed in Afghanistan. (Full Story)

Kazakhstan Offers More Support for War on Terror
Kazakhstan is ready to do more in the global war against terrorism, top government officials have told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
     Rumsfeld arrived in the Kazakhstan capital Sunday, and his Kazakh counterpart welcomed him. The visit was the fourth leg of a five-day swing through Afghanistan and neighboring Central Asian nations.
     The secretary and members of his delegation met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Defense Minister Mukhatar Altynbayev and other government officials for more than an hour. At a press conference following the session, Altynbayev said his nation declared its support for the struggle against terrorism after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the United States. "Everyone knows you can’t stand alone in that struggle," he said through an interpreter. "You must fight jointly." (Full Story)

Iraq: Act 2
Tensions continue to mount between Iraq and the West as recent reports allude that the Bush Administration may have been strategizing a campaign against Iraq that would take place next year. Spokesman, Ari Fleischer has responded by saying there had been "multiple contingency plans", but the President "has no plan on his desk."
      The standoff between the U.N. and Iraq also continues. With knowledge that at least one of the 9-ll terrorists had meetings with Iraqi intelligence prior to attacks on the US, suspicions over Iraq having Weapons of Mass Destruction have not subsided. The fact that Saddam Hussein has not given U.N. weapons inspectors full access in years is cause for increased global concern. As the stalemate continues on the inspection stage, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri arrived In Moscow Sunday for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. (Full Story)