Russian arms dealers have supplied Iraq with electronic equipment that can throw U.S. planes and bombs off course. A Russian company is helping the Iraqi military deploy global-positioning system (GPS) jammers that can divert our smart bombs, which are guided by global satellites, from their designated targets. They could end up falling on civilian sites, killing innocent people. GPS jamming could have been responsible for a recent incident in which 14 people died and 30 were injured in Baghdad when a shopping area was hit by in an air strike. Two missiles hit a busy street of shops that are not near any military buildings. Stores were burned and several cars were set on fire by the missiles. TV pictures show a large crater in the middle of a street, and burned bodies wrapped in plastic lying in the back of a truck. And a late-breaking Arab news story says Dick Cheney’s daughter may be planning to be a human shield in Baghdad.
Two other Russian companies have sold Iraq anti-tank missiles and thousands of night-vision goggles in violation of UN sanctions. Russian technicians were in Baghdad this week, instructing Iraqis on how to use the equipment. “The stuff’s there, it’s on the ground and they’re trying to use it against us,” says a U.S. official. “This is a disregard for human life. It sickens my stomach.”
U.S. officials say they provided Russian authorities with names, addresses and phone numbers of the companies involved, but so far nothing has been done to stop them. The night vision goggles were originally sold to Yemen or Syria, who in turn sold them to Iraq. The Russians hid some of the jamming equipment in humanitarian aid flights to Baghdad. One U.S. official says the Russian government “sure as hell should have been able to stop these guys.”
The London based Arabic newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi says Dick Cheney will fly to Amman in Jordan soon on a special mission. The paper says, “News agencies cited sources as saying that Cheney will arrive in Amman next Friday. He will try to convince his daughter who is currently staying at a hotel in Amman not to go to Baghdad along with a group of volunteers who want to go to Iraq and form human shields against the Anglo American attacks.”
But a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Amman says, “The embassy has no information that the U.S. vice president will arrive in Jordan to convince one of his daughters not to travel to Iraq to join human shields opposed to war.”
Mary Cheney has said in the past, “I love my father. I don’t want to be a distraction.”
Do we really know what?s going on?during peace or war?
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UPDATE: The Washington Times says that Vice President Cheney’s daughter Mary will not be a human shield in Baghdad. “Neither daughter even has plans to travel to that region, let alone Iraq,” a Cheney spokesman says. While an Arab newspaper reported that Mary is in Jordan, Russian radio reported that Cheney?s other daughter, Elizabeth, is the one who’s there. They said, “According to unofficial sources, Elizabeth intends to join with members of the ‘human shields,’ located at important Iraqi sites.”
Cheney’s spokesman says, “Elizabeth, 36, is married with three children in Washington, where she is deputy assistant secretary for Near-East affairs at the State Department. Mary, 34, has just completed her master’s degree of business administration at Denver University.” And neither of them are planning on becoming human shields.
If this truly is propaganda, we can understand it coming from the Arab media, but what’s going on with Russia? Aren’t Bush and Putin supposed to be “friends?”
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