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but, .....I repeat myself.
Suppose you were a heartless bastard, and suppose you were a Republican, but, .....I repeat myself. Mark Twain
Monday, April 26, 2004
BBC News - Patten's EU 'No' vote warning
In or out?
Mr Patten told the Observer newspaper that Britain had to make its mind up whether it wants to make a success of Europe or not.
He said: "That's why I think that, if we ever get to this referendum, it's really going to be about whether we want to stay in.
"What's the point of being inside and endlessly, truculently making trouble? Is that really pursuing the national interest?"

Polls Show Massive Opposition to European Constitution
Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a massive challenge to persuade the public to back the proposed European Constitution in a referendum, new polls have suggested.
An ICM poll for the News of the World found just 25% of those surveyed said “Yes” when asked: “Do you believe Britain should sign up to the EU’s constitution?”
Some 55% said “No”– with just 20% undecided.
Asked whether they thought that Britain would have to quit the EU if the referendum produced a “No” vote, 51% of those questioned said no, compared with 39% who thought that was the case.
Another ICM survey, commissioned by the New Frontiers Foundation, showed that only 21% would back the proposed EU treaty in a vote.
Commenting on the latter poll, shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram said: “Britain’s interests are best served by saying yes to Europe but no to handing over more control to the EU, which is what this constitution would mean.

Now Mr Ancram sounds like a true conservative, he wants the benefits of the deal but does not want to pay the cost.

Having been Members of the EU and it's predecessors for over 30 years, Great Britain should know what the costs and benefits of the EU are. Having joined the organization & having dragged their feet and done all that they could to prevent greater political integration, if in this referendum the Brits were to vote against the new EU constitution, the EU should show them the door and treat them as they treat any other nation (ie Japan).

Friday, April 02, 2004
News.com.au - More than 21,000 Iraq dead: report
BETWEEN 21,000 and 55,000 people have died as a direct result of the war in Iraq, most of them Iraqi soldiers and civilians, a report estimates.
Medact, an activist group of health professionals, said it had derived the figures - which it called "tentative" - by adding numbers it obtained from news reports and a Web site that estimates the number of Iraqi civilian deaths by tracking all those reported in the media.
The group cited the Iraqi Body Count Web site's estimate that between 7757 and 9565 Iraqi civilians had been killed between the war's start in March and October 20, the date the report went to press.
It added to that The Guardian newspaper's estimate that between 13,500 and 45,000 Iraqi soldiers died, probably closer to the lower number. Also included in the total were 394 US and British soldiers reported dead by October 20, the report says.
An Associated Press survey in June found that at least 3240 civilians died in Iraq in the month following the war's start on March 20, a shorter period than the Medact estimate.

So what does this mean on the ground?

Chritian Monitor - What Iraqis receive for their losses
BAGHDAD – Anwar Kadhum, her husband, and four children were driving past an unmarked American checkpoint one August evening when soldiers without warning opened fire. "Don't shoot. We are family," Anwar recalls her husband yelling.
Twenty-eight bullets riddled the car, instantly killing Anwar's 20-year old son and her 18-year old daughter. Her husband and 8-year old daughter died an hour later in a local hospital.US military officials gave Anwar $11,000 in "sympathy pay".
So far, the US military has paid out $2.2 million to Iraqi civilians in response to a flood of claims of wrongful or negligent injuries or death at the hands of US forces. In total, the military has received 15,000 claims, 5,600 of which it has accepted.
In distributing such payments, the military says they are not accepting liability or responsibility, and in fact no soldier has ever faced charges for illegally killing an Iraqi civilian. In some cases, victims must waive their right to take further legal action in order to receive the money.

SURVIVORS: Anwar Kadhum, her baby Hassan, and her daughter Hadeel Adil, with a photo of their family, four of whom were accidentally killed by US soldiers. They received $11,000 in "sympathy pay."

Los Angeles Times- Iraq Halts Its Count of Civilian War Deaths
BAGHDAD — Iraqi Health Ministry officials have ordered a halt to a count of civilian deaths from the war and have told workers not to release figures already compiled, the head of the ministry's statistics department said Wednesday.
The health minister, Dr. Khodeir Abbas, denied that he or the U.S.-led occupation authority had anything to do with the order, and said he didn't even know about the survey of deaths, which number in the thousands.
Dr. Nagham Mohsen, head of the ministry's statistics department, said the order came from the ministry's director of planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, who told her it was on behalf of Abbas. She said the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversees the ministry, didn't like the idea of the count.
"We have stopped the collection of this information because our minister didn't agree with it," she said.
Abbas, whose secretary said he was out of the country, sent an e-mail denying the charge.
"I have no knowledge of a civilian war casualty survey even being started by the Ministry of Health, much less stopping it," he wrote. "The CPA did not direct me to stop any such survey."
Despite Abbas' professed ignorance, the Health Ministry's civilian death toll count had been reported by media as early as August, and the count was widely anticipated by human rights organizations. The ministry issued a preliminary figure of 1,764 deaths during the summer.
A Los Angeles Times survey of civilian deaths in Baghdad alone found that at least 1,700 civilians had died in the five weeks starting March 20, when the war began.
Associated Press documented the deaths of 3,240 civilians between March 20 and April 20, based on surveys of about half of Iraq's hospitals.

The Health Ministry's count was to be based on the records of all of Iraq's hospitals.
The U.S. military doesn't count civilian casualties from its wars, saying only that it tries to minimize civilian deaths.

Four American Mercs die and every body on the right has a shit fit, thousands of Iraqi women & children die, it's just business as usual.

for more info see CCR - Estimates of Iraqi casualties.

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