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Signs of the Times

IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH! - Articles of Impeachment and the FAX number of your representative. Download, print and FAX.

The result of War

March for Justice

This is War

Iraq Body Count


Stranger than fiction

Ark's Jokes

Excellent radio interviews

Q&A session with CIA Analyst Stephen Pelletiere

The maker of this flash presentation deserves a medal.

Pentagoon: I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag

International Action Center

United for Peace

Not In Our Name

Iraq Peace Team

Nonviolent Peaceforce Canada

Christian Peacemaker Team

Friends Peace Teams

End The War

Global Nonviolent Peace Force

Earthquake bulletins

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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease. [Gurdjieff]

Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." [Cassiopaea 09-28-02]


April 15, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

Depleted uranium casts shadow over peace in Iraqi - Wrecked tanks and vehicles litter the Iraqi countryside. Ruined buildings dominate towns and cities. Many were blown to pieces by shells tipped with depleted uranium, a material that the US and Britain say poses no long-term health or environmental risks. But many Iraqis, and a growing band of scientists, are not so sure.

Last week, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced it wanted to send a scientific team into Iraq as soon as possible to examine the effects of depleted uranium (DU). People's fears that DU leaves a deadly legacy must be addressed, says UNEP. Some scientists go further. Evidence is emerging that DU affects our bodies in ways we do not fully understand, they say, and the legacy could be real.

America's oldest religious icon revealed

read more

Gourd fragments unearthed in Peru have pushed back clear evidence of religion in the Americas by a thousand years, to 2250 BC.
The two key pieces are incised with an image of the fanged "staff god", a major deity in later Andean cultures. They were discovered at a burial site in the Patavilca River valley and dated using carbon isotopes. The site is in the Norte Chico region, 200 kilometres north of Lima, which was densely populated from 2600 to 2000 BC. The people left little graphic evidence behind as, while they built large stone monuments and pyramids, they did not sculpt or decorate stone, and lacked pottery.

They did embellish textiles, but only small pieces survive and their dyes have faded away. The cartoon-like image on the gourd is the oldest clear depiction yet found. Archaeologists call the figure the staff god because he is always depicted holding a staff. He usually has both fanged teeth and clawed feet, and snakes often appear in his headdress or garments. He appears in later Andean cultures until the 16th century, when Europeans overthrew the Inca empire.

Hail destroys 18 000 homes - Hailstones the size of eggs crashed into an eastern Chinese province, destroying 18 000 homes and injuring more than 100 people, said state press and local officials on Monday. The hailstorm hit on Saturday afternoon in Zhejiang province and lasted for 10 minutes, said an official with the surname of Chen from the rescue section of the bureau of civil affairs in Wenling city. "Forty-two villages from two townships were stricken," he said. "The hailstones were the size of eggs, some up to 45mm big. "Our estimates are that 60 000 villagers were affected, of whom 30 000 were seriously affected." Chen said 10 people were seriously hurt in the storm and "numerous people were slightly hurt". The China Daily put the injury toll at 105. Rescue workers were sent to the area with emergency rescue materials, including temporary shelters, said Chen. He added the damage bill was likely to reach 80 million yuan (about R75m).

March 16, Rachel crushed by the blade of an Israeli army bulldozer Rafah. She was guilty of attempting to protect the home of a Palestinian family. It was proven beyond any doubt that she was seen and recognized as an International peace activist, yet the driver blindly followed the orders.

April 5, Brian was shot in the head by an Israeli army tank from 50 meters distance. he was seen and clearly identified as an International peace activist. He was guilty of attempting to protect Palestinian children. The solider blindly followed the orders and fired a round of high speed bullets directly to his head.

April 11, Tom was shot in the head from the Israeli soldiers tower in Yebna, Rafah from 100 meters distance. He was guilty of attempting to move two little girls from the army line of fire. The solider blindly followed the orders and Brian is clinically dead.

This is what is how clearly identified International activists are being dealt with from the side of your "Defense Forces ". Have you ever asked how Palestinian civilians are treated? Did you ever wonder why there is a high toll of Palestinians killed and seriously hurt on daily basis?

Israel to use flechette shells - Israel's Supreme Court has given the army the green light to use controversial flechette tanks shells which spray thousands of darts over hundreds of metres, ripping apart anyone in the killing zone. Physicians for Human Rights, an Israeli advocacy group, said the use of such shells was in contravention of the Geneva Convention covering the rules of warfare and should be banned.

`MoD should have let me grieve' - The widow of a Royal Navy commando killed in the Gulf, who was asked to pay back part of his salary, says officials should have left her alone to grieve. Lianne Seymour, 27, was devastated when she was told by the Ministry of Defence that she must move out of the house she shared with her husband Ian after he was killed in a helicopter crash in Kuwait in the first week of the war.

War leads citizens to oppose taxes - Today, many Americans will grudgingly complete the unpleasant yearly ritual of filing income tax returns. However, for Mary Loehr, it will be an occasion for commemorating the choice she made several years ago to refrain from paying taxes. The Ithaca, N.Y., native will be joined by thousands of men and women around the nation who, for religious, moral or ethical reasons, label themselves as conscientious objectors to war. Their refusal to pay taxes stems from their opposition to the large percentage of the national budget allocated to military spending. "We don't want our money to pay for killing," she said.

Marines Raid Journalists' Baghdad Hotel- U.S. Marines looking for hardcore Iraqi fighters searched rooms early Tuesday in the hotel that serves as headquarters for most foreign journalists in Baghdad, apparently taking some people into custody. The Marines had keys to the rooms, but in cases where the doors were bolted, they kicked them down, rousting journalists from their beds and pointing M-16s in their faces.

Bush's Hardest Battle May Be Over Agenda at Home - Bush toppled the Iraqi dictatorship in 21 days. Getting his domestic agenda through the United States Congress won't be quite so easy.Of course, another terrorist attack or world crisis could completely change the political equation and wipe out all domestic debate. "What you hope is we don't have another incident that heightens security issues to the level that they are the only thing that matters," said House Majority Whip Roy Blunt. Comment: Here we go again - another ratcheting up of the terrorist threat

Sen. Graham Urges Possible Missile Attack on Syria - In a sharp departure from the cautious stance adopted by most in his party, Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Graham is urging the Bush administration to consider launching a missile attack on Syria.

The Press and the Myths of War - In wartime the press is always part of the problem. This has been true since the Crimean War, when William Howard Russell wrote his account of the charge of the Light Brigade and invented the profession of the modern war correspondent. When the nation goes to war, the press goes to war with it. The blather on CNN or Fox or MSNBC is part of a long and sad tradition. The narrative we are fed about war by the state, the entertainment industry and the press is a myth. And this myth is seductive. It empowers and ennobles us. It boosts rating and sells newspapers--William Randolph Hearst owed his fortune to it. It allows us to suspend individual conscience, maybe even consciousness, for the cause. And few of us are immune. Indeed, social critics who normally excoriate the established order, and who also long for acceptance and acclaim, are some of the most susceptible. It is what led a mind as great as Freud's to back, at least at its inception, the folly of World War I. The contagion of war, of the siren call of the nation, is so strong that most cannot resist.

The rise of the Washington 'neo-cons' A small group of rightwingers, known as neo-conservatives, is shaping US foreign policy. Who are they, and what is their agenda? Name some names. Deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz leads
[their] forces at the Pentagon. Undersecretary Doug Feith Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is another well-placed hawk, as is neo-conservative high priest and Pentagon adviser Richard Perle. How did they get the name? Many of them started off as anti-Stalinist leftists or liberals. They are products of the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s, which morphed into anti-communist liberalism between the 1950s and 1970s and finally into a kind of militaristic and imperial right with no precedents in American culture or political history.

UC Riverside researchers' discovery of electrostatic spin challenges century-old theory - New physical phenomenon will likely impact atomic physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. In a discovery that is likely to impact fields as diverse as atomic physics, chemistry and nanotechnology, researchers have identified a new physical phenomenon, electrostatic rotation, that, in the absence of friction, leads to spin. Because the electric force is one of the fundamental forces of nature, this leap forward in understanding may help reveal how the smallest building blocks in nature react to form solids, liquids and gases that constitute the material world around us.

Genetics may help solve mysteries of human evolution - By 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens had evolved on the continent of Africa. For 50,000 years, they were confined there, and they behaved just like H. neanderthalensis then inhabiting parts of Europe and H. erectus living in Asia. Then their behavior changed dramatically - and anthropologists aren't entirely certain what happened. Today, breakthroughs in genetics may provide anthropologists with valuable insight into what happened all those years ago and why. Richard Klein, a professor of anthropological sciences at Stanford, has an explanation, albeit a controversial one: ''I think there was a biological change - a genetic mutation of some kind that promoted the fully modern ability to create and innovate.'' Klein will present his perspective Feb. 15 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver.


April 14, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

Secret Probe of Stock Dealings Before 9/11 - Between August 26 and September 11, 2001, a group of speculators, identified by the American Securities and Exchange Commission as Israeli citizens, sold “short” a list of 38 stocks that could reasonably be expected to fall in value as a result of the pending attacks. These speculators operated out of the Toronto, Canada and Frankfurt, Germany, stock exchanges and their profits were specifically stated to be “in the millions of dollars.”

Short selling of stocks involves the opportunity to gain large profits by passing shares to a friendly third party, then buying them back when the price falls. Historically, if this precedes a traumatic event, it is an indication of foreknowledge. It is widely known that the CIA uses the Promis software to routinely monitor stock trades as a possible warning sign of a terrorist attack or suspicious economic behavior. A week after the Sept.11 attacks, the London Times reported that the CIA had asked regulators for the Financial Services Authority in London to investigate the suspicious sales of millions of shares of stock just prior to the terrorist acts. It was hoped the business paper trail might lead to the terrorists.

Investigators from numerous government agencies are part of a clandestine but official effort to resolve the market manipulations There has been a great deal of talk about insider trading of American stocks by certain Israeli groups both in Canada and Germany between August 26 and the Sept.11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Lynne Howard, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), stated that information about who made the trades was available immediately. "We would have been aware of any unusual activity right away. It would have been triggered by any unusual volume. There is an automated system called 'blue sheeting,' or the CBOE Market Surveillance System, that everyone in the business knows about. It provides information on the trades - the name and even the Social Security number on an account - and these surveillance systems are set up specifically to look into insider trading. The system would look at the volume, and then a real person would take over and review it, going back in time and looking at other unusual activity."

Howard continued, "The system is so smart that even if there is a news event that triggers a market event it can go back in time, and even the parameters can be changed depending on what is being looked at. It's a very clever system and it is instantaneous. Even with the system, though, we have very experienced and savvy staff in our market-regulations area who are always looking for things that might be unusual. They're trained to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Even if it's offshore, it might take a little longer, but all offshore accounts have to go through U.S. member firms - members of the CBOE - and it is easily and quickly identifiable who made the trades. The member firm who made the trades has to have identifiable information about the client under the 'Know Your Customer' regulations (and we share all information with the Securities and Exchange Commission.)"

Given all of this, at a minimum the CBOE and government regulators who are conducting the secret investigations have known for some time who made the options puts on a total of 38 stocks that might reasonably be anticipated to have a sharp drop in value because of an attack similar to the 9/11 episode. The silence from the investigating camps could mean several things: Either terrorists are responsible for the puts on the listed stocks or others besides terrorists had foreknowledge of the attack and used this knowledge to reap a nice financial harvest from the tragedy.

Adam Hamilton of Zeal LLC, a North Dakota-based private consulting company that publishes research on markets worldwide, stated that "I heard that $22 million in profits was made on these put options..."

Federal investigators are continuing to be so closed-mouthed about these stock trades, and it is clear that a much wider net has been cast, apparently looking for bigger international fish involved in dubious financial activity relating to the 9/11 attacks on the world stock markets.

Just a month after the attacks the SEC sent out a list of stocks to various securities firms around the world looking for information. The list includes stocks of American, United, Continental, Northwest, Southwest and US Airways airlines, as well as Martin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., AIG, American Express Corp, American International Group, AMR Corporation, Axa SA, Bank of America Corp, Bank of New York Corp, Bank One Corp, Cigna Group, CNA Financial, Carnival Corp, Chubb Group, John Hancock Financial Services, Hercules Inc, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc., LTV Corporation, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., MetLife, Progressive Corp., General Motors, Raytheon, W.R. Grace, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Lone Star Technologies, American Express, the Citigroup Inc. ,Royal & Sun Alliance, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., Vornado Reality Trust, Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co., XL Capital Ltd., and Bear Stearns.

The Times said market regulators in Germany, Japan and the US all had received information concerning the short selling of insurance, airlines and arms companies stock, all of which fell sharply in the wake of the attacks.

City of London broker and analyst Richard Crossley noted that someone sold shares in unusually large quantities beginning three weeks before the assault on the WTC and Pentagon.

He said he took this as evidence that someone had insider foreknowledge of the attacks.

"What is more awful than he should aim a stiletto blow at the heart of Western financial markets?" he added. "But to profit from it? Words fail me."

The US Government also admitted it was investigating short selling, which evinced a compellingly strong foreknowledge of the coming Arab attack.

There was unusually heavy trading in airline and insurance stocks several days before Sept.11, which essentially bet on a drop in the worth of the stocks.

It was reported by the Interdisciplinary Center, a counter-terrorism think tank involving former Israeli intelligence officers, that insiders made nearly $16 million profit by short selling shares in American and United Airlines, the two airlines that suffered hijacking, and the investment firm of Morgan Stanley, which occupied 22 floors of the WTC.

Apparently none of the suspicious transactions could be traced to bin Laden because this news item quietly dropped from sight, leaving many people wondering if it tracked back to American firms or intelligence agencies.

Most of these transactions were handled primarily by Deutsche Bank-A.B.Brown, a firm which until 1998 was chaired by A. B."Buzzy" Krongard, who later became executive director of the CIA.

More serious was an article in the Sept. 28, 2001 edition of the Washington Post stating that officials with the instant messaging firm of Odigo in New York confirmed that two employees in Israel received text messages warning of an attack on the WTC two hours before the planes crashed into the buildings!

The firm's vice president of sales and marketing, Alex Diamandis said it was possible that the warning was sent to other Odigo members, but they had not received any reports of such.

The day after, the Jerusalem Post claimed two Israelis died on the hijacked airplanes and that 4,000 were missing at the WTC.

A week later, a Beirut television station reported that 4,000 Israeli employees of the WTC were absent the day of the attack.

This information spread across the Internet but was quickly branded a hoax.

On Sept. 19, the Washington Post reported about 113 Israelis were missing at the WTC and the next day, President Bush noted more than 130 Israelis were victims.

Finally, on Sept. 22, the New York Times stated "There were, in fact, only three Israelis who had been confirmed as dead: two on the planes and another who had been visiting the towers on business and who was identified and buried."

Investigators from numerous government agencies are part of a clandestine but official effort to resolve the market manipulations There has been a great deal of talk about the insider trading of American stocks by certain Israeli groups both in Canada and Germany between August 26 and the Sept.11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Government investigators have maintained a diplomatic silence about a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe of possible profiteering by interested parties with advance knowledge of the attack.

On Sept. 6, 2001, the Thursday before the tragedy, 2,075 put options were made on United Airlines and on Sept. 10, the day before the attacks, 2,282 put options were recorded for American Airlines. Given the prices at the time, this could have yielded speculators between $2 million and $4 million in profit.

The matter still is under investigation and none of the government investigating bodies -including the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and DOJ -are speaking to reporters about insider trading. Even so, suspicion of insider trading to profit from the Sept. 11 attacks is not limited to U.S. regulators. Investigations were initiated in a number of places including Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Spain. As in the United States, all are treating these inquiries as if they were state secrets.

Scandal-hit US firm wins key contracts. A US military contractor accused of human rights violations has won a multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq, The Observer can reveal. DynCorp, which has donated more than £100,000 to the Republican Party, began recruiting for a private police force in Iraq last week on behalf of the US State Department.

The awarding of such a sensitive contract to DynCorp has caused consternation in some circles over the company's policing record. A British employment tribunal recently forced DynCorp to pay £110,000 in compensation to a UN police officer it unfairly sacked in Bosnia for whistleblowing on DynCorp colleagues involved in an illegal sex ring.

An Observer reporter who contacted the firm's US headquarters purporting to be a potential police recruit for Iraq was told it was hoping to 'get people on the ground in two to four weeks'. The recruiter told the reporter he could expect a salary of $80,000 plus 'hazard bonuses'. He was offered a contract of between three months and a year and told he did not need to be able to speak Arabic. He had to be a US citizen who had served as a police officer in America, and when the reporter said he had worked in Texas for a number of years he was told he sounded 'ideal'.

Despite DynCorp's demands for US citizens only, it is offering the private contracts through its British office in Aldershot. Former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle said last night: 'I find it difficult to believe that, at a time when bringing law and order to Iraq needs to be handled with delicacy and sensitivity, a private American firm like DynCorp is entrusted with this job.' DynCorp's advert, posted on a US website and headed 'Iraq mission', stated that it was acting on behalf of the US Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. It was seeking 'individuals with appropriate experience and expertise to participate in an international effort to re-establish police, justice and prison functions in post-conflict Iraq'.

The company is looking for active duty or recently retired policemen and prison guards and 'experienced judicial experts'. While the US has promised help in bringing law and order to Iraq, the involvement of DynCorp has caused concern as it has been involved in a series of recent high-profile scandals involving personnel in sensitive missions overseas.

DynCorp personnel contracted to the United Nations police service in Bosnia were implicated in buying and selling prostitutes, including a girl as young as 12. Several DynCorp employees were also accused of videotaping the rape of one of the women. When Dyncorp employee Kathy Bolkovac blew the whistle on the sex ring she was dismissed by the company for drawing attention to their misbehaviour, according to the ruling of a British employment tribunal in November.

DynCorp has also been heavily criticised over its involvement in Plan Colombia, instigated by Bill Clinton, that involves spraying vast quantities of herbicides over Colombia to kill the cocaine crop. A group of Ecuadorean peasants have filed a class action against the company alleging that herbicides spread by DynCorp in Colombia were drifting across the border, killing legitimate crops, causing illness, and killing children. The company denies the charges.

DynCorp, which has its headquarters in Reston, Virginia, employs almost 25,000 staff, many of them former US military personnel. The Observer was unable to reach DynCorp for comment. Comment: When are people going to wake up! The wheels are in motion to create a global totalitarian police state! Find the reasons why here :-

List of the Mysteriously Vanished Iraqi Military
225 thousand republican guards (vanished)
176 thousand regular army personnel (vanished)
100 thousand saddam fedayeen (vanished)
14 thousands of mojahideen. (Suicidally brave fighters)
Normal police (vanished)
Firefighters (vanished)
Prisoners........ (vanished)
POW's .... (Kuwaitits and Americans )
150 Fixed wing jet fighters...

All in less than 24 hours

These forces were not vanquished in combat, nor their weapons destroyed and/or captured. The enemy suddenly vanished into thin air. Our military is still not claiming total victory. What is the strategy that called for these forces to simply disappear? Until we can account for these units, we must remain vigiliant.Comment: The C's tell us:
A: War makes covert actions so easy.
Q: (T) Well, no, it's not like car crashes, the violent part of it, I don't think has anything to do with it. It's just that the cover of a war, is easier to take the bodies. What I'm trying to understand... (TK) They're not wanting people to realize ... They're not wanting to just take them out of the graves, because if you did, it would be more noticed. (T) These are real bodies, they were dead. In other words, the people were dead, they were taken, and reanimated, or... (L) Some were reanimated bodies... (T) ...some were remolecularized... (J) If they were messed up... (L) Were some of these bodies taken, like dead bodies of somebody who just died... were the bodies picked up, taken into another density for this remolecularization patterning?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) OK, so they had to have an actual body for the pattern. (T) Was the original body... (TK) Did they actually get the bodies before anybody actually... (T) Before they were recovered, yes. Were the original bodies returned once the duplication was done?
A: More than one type of situation.
Q: (L) So, in other words, it could be sometimes, yeah, they were, and sometimes, no, they weren't. (J) It would be case by case. (T) Were some of these supposed "killed in action's" actually not killed? Were they still alive when they were removed?
A: All possibilities.
Q: (L) So this is in a sense a "crime of opportunity." (J) It's a supermarket of opportunities. (T) Some were just taken by the secret government when they were alive, some were dead and brought back in new bodies to continue on, and they were considered dead, but they're all considered dead.
Q: (T): Now, what are the aliens doing with these bodies? With the humans that they replicate and duplicate and reanimate? What are they doing with them?
A: Serve them.
Q: (T) So these humans are becoming servants for the aliens?
A: Workers.
Q: (T) They're slaves

Russia provided Saddam Hussein’s regime with wide-ranging intelligence in the run-up to the war against Iraq, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The paper has cited what it says were secret files found in Baghdad. The documents showed that Moscow provided Baghdad with lists of assassins available for “hits” in the West, details of arms deals with neighbouring countries, and intelligence on private conversations between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other Western leaders, the Telegraph said. Iraq and Russia also signed agreements to share intelligence, help each other to “obtain” visas for agents, and to exchange information on the activities of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the newspaper reported.

The documents, which revealed the extent of links between Russia and Saddam, were obtained from the heavily bombed headquarters of the Iraqi intelligence service in Baghdad on Saturday. The files, in Arabic, were mostly intelligence reports from anonymous agents and from the Iraqi embassy in Moscow. The Telegraph said that in one report dated March 5, 2002, an Iraqi intelligence official explained that a Russian colleague had passed him details of a private conversation between Blair and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at a meeting in Rome.

The document said that Blair “referred to the negative things decided by the United States over Baghdad”. It added that Blair refused to engage in any military action in Iraq at that time because nothing could be done until after a new government had been set up in Afghanistan. The Telegraph said it was not known how the Russians obtained such sensitive information, but the revelation that Moscow passed it on to Baghdad was likely to have a “devastating” effect on relations between Britain and Russia.

Lawless, grief-stricken Baghdad buries its dead The Iraqi capital sank into anarchy on Friday as residents went on a looting spree in full view of US forces. As troops still battled to contain pockets of Iraqi residents, thousands of ordinary citizens helped themselves to anything they could lay their hands on in shops, factories, schools, hospitals and government buildings. "Is this your liberation?" one frustrated shopkeeper screamed at the crew of a US tank as a gang of youths helped themselves to everything in his small hardware store and carted booty off in the wheelbarrows that had also been on sale. "Hell, it ain't my job to stop them," drawled one young marine, lighting a cigarette as he looked on. "Goddamn Iraqis will steal anything if you let them. Look at them." "For God's sake, how can they just let them do this? This is my life," one old man cried as a gang used crowbars to remove the security mesh from the Anwar electrical repair shop in the centre and began carting off dozens of air conditioners.

In a hospital in al-Yarmouk, volunteers buried 17 decomposing bodies wrapped in bloodstained gray blankets in a mass grave in the yard of an abandoned hospital. Out on the street, a man running from gunfire was hit by a car and lay dying next to the hospital grave, flies already feasting off his bloodied body. Inside the deserted emergency room, a man was hysterical as he searched for his infant daughter, who was injured when her brother brought home an unexploded bomb and it went off. She was dead when he found her. "Please look at her face and see how beautiful she is," he pleaded with a visitor as he removed the cover on her body. "My darling, my darling," he murmured as he repeatedly covered her head with kisses. Her eyes were half open, her nose and mouth bloodied. The face of Rowand Mohammed Suleiman - born August 16, 2002 -looked almost peaceful. The father later collapsed against the wall and began banging the back of his head against the wall. "Why? Why?" he shrieked.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the campaign and thousands more injured. The city of 5 million people has been without power for more than a week. Running water is still available in most areas, though the supply is irregular. Telephones lines have been down for two weeks since coalition forces struck the city's exchanges. The staff at the al-Yarmouk hospital has worked long hours, sometimes as many as 18 hours a stretch. On Monday, the hospital was struck by a missile and later by tank shells, and the staff fled for their lives. They haven't come back. The emergency generator has stopped functioning, the bodies in the morgue are decomposing and the hallways and wards that only a week ago were filled with cries of pain and screams of anguish were quiet Friday. What is now left are darkened hallways, eerie and empty rooms, bloodstains on the floors, broken glass everywhere and a gaping hole in the wall of the paediatrics ward. Looters tried their luck at the hospital on Friday, but were driven off by the volunteers, some of then armed with assault rifles. One young doctor and three male nurses were the entire staff on duty.

As the call for the weekly Friday prayers rang out throughout Baghdad, a dozen volunteers brought out the bodies from the morgue, one by one on trollies, and began burying them in a grave they had dug themselves. None of the bodies were ritually washed, as is custom. "There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet," the volunteers chanted in unison as the buried the bodies. "We had to do this," said dentist Yasser Wajeeh. "Yesterday, we buried 20 at a nearby mosque." He said the dead included victims of coalition bombing, civilians caught up in fighting between US forces and Iraqi troops or Arab volunteers who came to Iraq to take part in a jehad, or holy struggle, against the Americans.

As the volunteers pushed dirt on the bodies, a burst of gunfire could be heard, followed by what sounded like a tank shell. A few minutes later, the volunteers brought to the yard an unconscious man, wounded in both arms and his back, and bleeding from the mouth and nose. He was breathing heavily, but the volunteers were convinced he was dying. "Amu, Amu, can you hear me?" one volunteer shouted, using the Arabic for "uncle," commonly used to address strangers. "Please say 'there is no God but God and that Muhammad is his Prophet,"' he said in his ear, hoping that he would repeat after him. There was no response, just more heavy breathing. "Nod if you hear me, please." A visitor told the volunteer to keep talking to the wounded man until a doctor's arrival. "What do you want me to do?" he protested. "The Americans come and kill us and now you want me to save him?"

Mohammed Suleiman, the father of baby Rowand, said he was convinced the device his son brought home was an American cluster bomb. The explosion also injured his wife and nephew. "I just want to ask you one question: Why?" the 47-year-old engineer said. "Is our oil worth all these killings? Tell the Americans to take it all, but leave our children to live." His grief soon turned into anger. "I'll kill an American one day. Perhaps not today, but maybe after 10 years." In another part of the city, the corpse of an airport worker rolled around in the current of a pool created when a US bomb struck a water mains. "That's 'bubbling Bob'," said one US soldier. "Been there a while. I ain't gonna fish him out. Let the Iraqis do it.

Human Genome Fifty years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, scientists from six countries announce today another landmark: they have sequenced the entire genetic code of a human being, to an accuracy of 99.999%. Almost three years ago an international consortium funded by charities and governments, and a US private venture, simultaneously announced the completion of the "first draft" of the human genome. It was likened at the time to the landing on the moon, the sonnets of Shakespeare and the invention of the wheel, but there was a problem: they had raced through the 3bn chemical letters of the code of life, leaving bits incomplete and regions strewn with errors. The challenge was then to complete the entire text of a representative human, with an error rate of less than one in 100,000 letters, before April 25, the 50th anniversary of the publication of the double helix structure of DNA. Francis Crick and James Watson of Cambridge University, and Maurice Wilkins of King's College London shared the 1962 Nobel prize for medicine for that discovery. All three are expected to share in the celebrations later this month.

Welcome Aboard The Iraq Gravy Train Congratulations to all the winners of tickets to take part in the greatest rebuilding show on earth...

Well, the war has been a huge success, and I guess it's time for congratulations all round. And wow! It's hard to know where to begin. First, I'd like to congratulate Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and the Bechtel Corporation, which are the construction companies most likely to benefit from the reconstruction of Iraq. Contracts in the region of $1 billion should soon coming your way, chaps. Well done! And what with the US dropping 15,000 precision-guided munitions, 7,500 unguided bombs and 750 cruise missiles on Iraq so far and with more to come, there's going to be a lot of reconstruction.

It looks like it could be a bonanza year. Of course, we all know that KBR is the construction side of Halliburton, and it has been doing big business with the military ever since the Second World War. Most recently, it got the plum job of constructing the prison compound for terrorists suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Could be a whole lot more deluxe chicken coops coming your way in the next few months, guys. Stick it to 'em. I'd also like to add congratulations to Dick Cheney, who was chief executive of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, and who currently receives a cheque for $1 million a year from his old company. I guess he may find there's a little surprise bonus in there this year. Well done, Dick.

Congratulations, too, to former Secretary of State, George Schultz. He's not only on the board of Bechtel, he's also chairman of the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a group with close ties to the White House committed to reconstructing the Iraqi economy through war. You're doing a grand job, George, and I'm sure material benefits will be coming your way, as sure as the Devil lives in Texas.

Oh, before I forget, a big round of appreciation for Jack Sheehan, a retired general who sits on the Defence Policy Board which advises the Pentagon. He's a senior vice president at Bechtel and one of the many members of the Defence Policy Board with links to companies that make money out of defence contracts. When I say 'make money' I'm not joking. Their companies have benefited to the tune of $76bn just in the last year. Talk about a gravy train. Well, Jack, you and your colleagues can certainly look forward to a warm and joyous Christmas this year. It's been estimated that rebuilding Iraq could cost anything from $25bn to $100bn and the great thing is that the Iraqis will be paying for it themselves out of their future oil revenues. What's more, President Bush will be able to say, with a straight face, that they're using the money from Iraqi oil to benefit the Iraqi people. 'We're going to use the assets of the people of Iraq, especially their oil assets, to benefit their people,' said Secretary of State Colin Powell, and he looked really sincere. Yessir. It's so neat it makes you want to run out and buy shares in Fluor.

As one of the world's biggest procurement and construction companies, it recently hired Kenneth J. Oscar, who, as acting assistant secretary of the army, took care of the Pentagon's $35bn-a-year procurement budget. So there could also be some nice extra business coming its way soon. Bully for them. But every celebration has its serious side, and I should like to convey my condolences to all those who have suffered so grievously in this war. Particularly American Airlines, Qantas and Air Canada, and all other travel companies which have seen their customers dwindle, as fear of terrorist reprisals for what the US and Britain have done in Iraq begins to bite.

My condolences also to all those British companies which have been disappointed in their bid to share in the bonanza that all this wonderful high-tech military firepower has created. I know it must be frustrating and disheartening for many of you, especially in the medical field, knowing there are all those severed limbs, all that burnt flesh, all those smashed skulls, broken bones, punctured spleens, ripped faces and mangled children just crying out for your products. You could be making a fortune out of the drugs, serums and surgical hardware, and yet you have to stand on the sidelines and watch as US drug companies make a killing.

Well, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian President, has some words of comfort for us all. As he recently pointed out, this adventure by Bush and Blair will have created such hatred throughout the Arab world, that 100 new bin Ladens will have been created. So all of us here in Britain, as well as in America, shouldn't lose heart. Once the Arab world starts to take its revenge, there should be enough reconstruction to do at home to keep business thriving for some years to come. Comment: When are people going to wake up! Greed and disregard for human life drives these monsters as we all head towards the global totalitarian state.

Israel - "Not again": Eyewitness Joe Smith writes about the killing of Tom Hurndall Please not again. We heard the shooting -- we always hear shooting -- but repeated sniper fire like that is especially disturbing. I heard the shot, I heard a scream, and turned to see the fluorescent orange lump lying on the ground, blood coming from his head. I moved back and forth a bit not knowing what to do, and within seconds my medical training clicked in. The Palestinians lifted him to move him from the area. "Set him down!" Alice, the other medic, and I screamed. Finally we got him down on the pavement, I had my safety pads out and was trying to stop the bleeding. One doesn't consider rubber gloves at times like these. Blood was poring out of the back of his head. I couldn't get it to stop. Seconds later he was lifted again and pulled into a taxi. "Wait for the ambulance!" We tried to convince them, but they were hysterical, and he was torn away from us and rushed to the hospital in a brown Mercedes. The ambulance arrived on the scene minutes later, but it was too late, he was gone.

A Plea from Ali's Nurse in Iraq
Dear Mr Prime Minister and Mr President,

My name is Fatin. I am a nurse since 1990 when I graduated from the Rofaida nursing school in Baghdad but I am not a specialist in burns. I need a doctor who knows about burns but there isn't one here. I do my best but I do not know how exactly I should be nursing this boy or what drugs to give him. But there is no-one else, so it is me who must try to look after him.

Many journalists have visited Ali and taken his picture, but still he is here. The situation is desperate. He will die if he stays. Please send one of your helicopters or planes to take him away. You have all this technology to bomb us, to make the missile that burned Ali's house. But you cannot spare one aircraft for one day to save a life? I don't know if you know about Ali, but I hope you do.

He is a beautiful boy who has lost all his family and now his arms. Do you know how it feels to be a nurse and to have to watch a child dying in front of you when there is chance he could be saved. As I write this today, Ali is sleeping. He is still alive but every day his condition deteriorates. Unless we get him away he will die from blood poisoning. His wounds will become more and more infected. We have no planes or helicopters - but you do.

Please Sirs, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to help us.

Yours, Fatin Mohssin Sharhah

US Accused of Plans to Loot Iraqi Antiques Fears that Iraq's heritage will face widespread looting at the end of the Gulf war have been heightened after a group of wealthy art dealers secured a high-level meeting with the US administration. It has emerged that a coalition of antiquities collectors and arts lawyers, calling itself the American Council for Cultural Policy (ACCP), met with US defence and state department officials prior to the start of military action to offer its assistance in preserving the country's invaluable archaeological collections.

The group is known to consist of a number of influential dealers who favour a relaxation of Iraq's tight restrictions on the ownership and export of antiquities. Its treasurer, William Pearlstein, has described Iraq's laws as 'retentionist' and has said he would support a post-war government that would make it easier to have antiquities dispersed to the US.

Many Iraqis Believe Saddam has Mystical Powers Ahmed Ali believes Saddam Hussein can never die. All his life, the 23-year-old laborer has heard about the dictator's powerful stone. Saddam, the story goes, had the stone made shortly after he came to power 24 years ago. Its powers were first tested inside a chicken. One of his soldiers pulled out a gun and shot a bullet at point-blank range. The chicken's feathers fell off, but it lived. So the dictator implanted the stone in his upper arm.

As the curtain falls on Saddam's reign, many ordinary Iraqis are reluctant to believe that their much-feared dictator has lost power, much less that he is actually dead. Stories abound of Saddam's mystical powers that have helped him elude assassination attempts and missile strikes."The stone makes him bulletproof,'' Ali, a slim man with a Saddam-style mustache, said in a serious voice.

US Forces Encourage Looting Khaled Bayomi looks a bit surprised when he looks at the American officer on TV regret that they dont have any resources to stop the looting in Baghdad.

"I happened to be there just as the US forces told people to commence looting."

Khaled Bayomi departed from Malmoe to Baghdad, as a human shield, and arrived on the same day the fighting begun. About this he can tell us plenty and for a long time, but the most interesting part of his story is his witness-account about the great surge of looting now taking place.

"I had visited a few friends that live in a worn-down area just beyond the Haifa Avenue, on the west bank of the Tigris River. It was April 8 and the fighting was so heavy I couldn't make it over to the other side of the river. On the afternoon it became perfectly quiet, and four American tanks pulled up in position on the outskirts of the slum area. From these tanks we heard anxious calls in Arabic, which told the population to come closer.

"During the morning everybody that tried to cross the streets had been fired upon. But during this strange silence people eventually became curious. After three-quarters of an hour the first Baghdad citizens dared to come forward. At that moment the US solders shot two Sudanese guards, who were posted in front of a local administrative building, on the other side of the Haifa Avenue.

"I was just 300 meters away when the guards were murdered. Then they shot the building entrance to pieces, and their Arabic translators in the tanks told people to run for grabs inside the building. Rumours spread rapidly and the house was cleaned out. Moments later tanks broke down the doors to the Justice Department, residing in the neighbouring building, and looting was carried on to there.

"I was standing in a big crowd of civilians that saw all this together with me. They did not take any part in the looting, but were too afraid to take any action against it. Many of them had tears of shame in their eyes. The next morning looting spread to the Museum of Modern Art, which lies another 500 meters to the north. There was also two crowds in place, one that was looting and another one that disgracefully saw it happen."

Do you mean to say that it was the US troops that initiated the looting?

"Absolutely. The lack of scenes of joy had the US forces in need of images of Iraqis who in different ways demonstrated their disgust with Saddam's regime."

But people in Baghdad tore down a big statue of Saddam?

"They did? It was a US tank that did this, close to the hotel where all the journalists live. Until noon on the 9th of April, I didn't see a single torn picture of Saddam anywhere. If people had wanted to turn over statues they could have gone for some of the many smaller ones, without the help of an American tank. Had this been a political uproar then people would have turned over statues first and looted afterwards."

Back home in Sweden Khaled Bayomi is PhD student at the University of Lund, where he has been for ten years teaching and researching about conflicts in the Middle East. He is very well informed about the conflicts, as well as he is on the propaganda war.

Isn't it good that Saddam is gone?

"He is not gone. He has dissolved his army into tiny, tiny groups. This is why there never was any big battle. Saddam dissolved Iraq as a state already in 1992 and have had a parallel tribal structure going, which since then has been altogether decisive for the country. When USA begun the war Saddam completely abandoned the state, and now depends on this tribal structure. This is why he left the big cities without any battle.

"Now USA are forced to do everything themselves, because there is no political force from within that would challenge the structure in place. The two challengers who came in from the outside were immediately lynched."

Khaled Bayomi refers to what happened to general Nazar al-Khazraji, who escaped from Denmark, and Shia-muslim leader Abdul Majid al-Khoei, who both where chopped to pieces by a raging crowd in Najaf, because they where perceived to be American marionettes. According to Danish newspaper BT, al-Khazraji was picked up by the CIA in Denmark and then brought to Iraq.

"Now we have an occupying power in place in Iraq, that has not said how long they will stay, not brought forward any time-plan for civilian rule and no date for general elections. Now awaits only a big chaos." Comment: When are people going to wake up? The US WANTS civil war and anarchy in Iraq so it can put into place it's own private police - one step closer to the global totalitarian police state. See Dyncorp Rent-A-Cops in Iraq

US soldiers' wives fight bitter battle of their own As US troops battle remnants of Iraq's fallen regime, their wives are locked in a bitter struggle against money woes that have forced some to resort to charity handouts to survive. Low military salaries and the high cost of living in parts of the United States means that families of many of the lower ranking US troops fighting in Iraq live a hand to mouth existence. "I know several wives of Marines with small children who line up at churches for grocery handouts which are the only way they can survive the month and feed and cloth the baby," said military wife, Natalie Castro, 19. "Military salaries are so low that they are almost impossible for a family to live on, leaving some women desperate, especially now when we also have the emotional turmoil of worrying if our men are safe in Iraq," she said.

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