Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org. Please see www.dictatorwatch.org/chrono for links to the reports and photography described below.


29 March 2003

The US is now at war with Iraq. This is a war of choice, being fought under false pretenses. There was no connection established between Iraq and al-Queda, or compelling evidence presented that Iraq had and intended to use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Dictator Watch is as opposed to dictatorship as anyone, and Saddam Hussein is no exception. He must be removed from power, but accomplishing this by war, a war forced upon us all by an un-elected US President who cares only for his own selfish motivations, which has no multilateral support, and which has been sold to the American people using the worst of lies and propaganda, is not the way to do it.

The war is also being used by many as an opportunistic excuse to engage in all manner of repression and hate mongering. Bush continues his assault on nature, from his drive to destroy the Artic National Wildlife Reserve to his efforts to reverse roadless area, clean air and other environmental protection legislation. The war is also being used as cover by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber, which is now attacking tree-sitters who are striving to save ancient redwoods in Northern California. Back to the government, Bush, through undertaking a preemptive war, is doing his best to destroy the United Nations, all the while setting a precedent justifying repression and conquest that all manner of dictatorships will cite for decades to come. Meanwhile, John Ashcroft is working overtime to criminalize popular dissent and through this undermine if not destroy the US Bill of Rights. Further afield, North Korea, with China’s backing, is rapidly expanding its arsenal of real weapons of mass destruction. In Indonesia, the government is considering legislation – the Indonesia Armed Forces Bill – that will allow the Armed Forces Chief to deploy troops without the President of Indonesia’s authorization. In Nigeria, the government is waging war against tribal dissidents. And, in Burma, repression continues as always, but now with a substantially distracted foreign opposition.

Dictator Watch is not distracted. In particular we will endeavor to maintain pressure on the Burmese dictators including to disseminate information about their crimes against humanity. To this end we have added to the website the results of an interview, including a photo, of two child soldiers who recently escaped from the Burmese army. We also have a report, with photography, of a December 30 – January 20 humanitarian mission in-country. (This report details dozens of crimes against humanity.) Lastly, the Thai National Human Rights Commission is now investigating our report about fifty-five Karen men who were detained by the Thai army in February 2000, and who have not been seen or heard from since.

There are other changes to the DW site as well. Notably, we have added a new article, an appraisal of the Future of the Earth. In the US, Iraq, North Korea, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, Burma and elsewhere, we – humans – continue to focus on human issues, ignoring our ongoing destruction of the natural ecology. If we do not change this focus, and end our disharmony with nature, we will kill it. And, of course, if nature does not have a future, neither, in war or in peace, will we.