Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - 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!
May 16, 2003
As always, Caveat Lector!
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IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!
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.
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
"It is dangerous to be
right in matters on which the established authorities are
Faith of consciousness is freedom
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.'
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By JAY BOOKMAN
The official story on Iraq has never made sense. The connection that the Bush administration has tried to draw between Iraq and al-Qaida has always seemed contrived and artificial. In fact, it was hard to believe that smart people in the Bush administration would start a major war based on such flimsy evidence.
The pieces just didn't fit. Something else had to be going on; something was missing.
In recent days, those missing pieces have finally begun to fall into place. As it turns out, this is not really about Iraq. It is not about weapons of mass destruction, or terrorism, or Saddam, or U.N. resolutions. This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the "American imperialists" that our enemies always claimed we were.
Once that is understood, other mysteries solve themselves. For example, why does the administration seem unconcerned about an exit strategy from Iraq once Saddam is toppled?
Because we won't be leaving. Having conquered Iraq, the United States will create permanent military bases in that country from which to dominate the Middle East, including neighboring Iran.
Comment: And, as we have stated repeatedly: the Bush gang plans to NUKE Israel. That's the goal. The destruction of Israel has been the goal ever since the whole Zionism movement was created by Nordic Elitists and foisted on the Jews. That was the reason for the persecution of the Jews in WWII - scare them so bad they would WELCOME the "resurrection of Zion," and would leave their homes and flock to Israel to be "safe." It's just about the cleverest Machiavellian manipulation we've ever seen - and it can only be seen by a careful study of the history of these events, including the connections between the movers and shakers. And Israel has fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Sound too "conspiratorial?" Well... sure. And we hope we are wrong.
BBC News On-Line
Palestinian boys run for cover as Israeli tanks enter Beit Hanoun
The Israeli army has launched a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip, in what is being seen as a fresh blow to US efforts to push a new peace plan for the region.
About 50 tanks and helicopters entered the northern town of Beit Hanoun, leaving four Palestinians dead - including a 12-year-old boy, according to Palestinian witnesses.
The Israelis say the raid was launched after dozens of mortar bombs and rockets were fired at Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and the southern Israeli town of Sderot in recent days.
The incursion comes on Nakba, which Palestinians describe as "Catastrophe day" - when they mark the anniversary of the displacement that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
It also comes two days before the first meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his counterpart Mahmoud Abbas - widely known as Abu Mazen.
Thursday's raid on Beit Hanoun was the largest Israeli operation in recent months.
'Left to die'
Witnesses say Israeli bulldozers destroyed four homes belonging to suspected militants.
They say the Palestinians killed in the raid included two men and a 12-year-old boy.
According to doctors, the boy was left to bleed to death, as Israeli troops prevented paramedics from reaching the scene.
The Israeli army said it knew nothing about the circumstances of the boy's death....
There were clashes on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli army shot dead five Palestinians.
Observers say the renewed violence suggests the international peace plan is having no impact....
Comment: So we have Palestinian "terrorists", Hamas, financed by the Mossad, provoking Israeli attacks to derail the so-called "peace process." And every day it gets worse.
If you are American, think back to before Bush stole the election. Think about your life as it was then. Can you feel the differences in how secure you felt, in the things you worried about under Clinton and the terror of the situation under the Bush Reich?
Of course, if you were Palestinian, you would have been living under these conditions since the Zionist terrorists expelled the Palestinians from their homes and land after WWII. But that happened in one, fell swoop. The water is being turned up to boiling one degree at a time in the US so that you get used to the change, so that it starts to feel warm and comfortable having the Bush gang "taking care" of you, looking out against those foreigners who don't value the American way of death.
And those protesters, aren't they disturbing? Why don't they just shut up. They make so much noise...and about what? We can't DO anything anyway...boy it feels good here in this warmth...I'm feeling just a bit tired...maybe I'll catch a few winks before the game...mmmm
Colin Powell's list of humiliations in Israel included a lecture by Prime Minister Sharon explaining to him why Israel cannot stop expanding settlements. Sharon asked Powell, "What do you want, for a pregnant woman to have an abortion just because she is a settler?"
The imagery of settlers as benign civilians, just wanting to live their lives as they choose, serves Sharon's intentions of burying the "roadmap" and saving Israel once more from the looming threat of peace. Indeed, the continuing expansion of settlements during the Oslo process already "saved" Israel from peace once. From 1993 to 2001 settler population in the West Bank increased 91 percent, convincing Palestinians that Israel had no intentions to leave the Occupied Territories.
But that imagery is false. West Bank settlements are nothing like suburbs in New Jersey. They are a fundamental aspect of what is unique about Israel. It is therefore necessary to understand settlements for what they really are -- weapons.
Comment: Excellent analysis from Yellow Times...
Marian Wilkinson in Washington
The bloody attacks in Riyadh are telling because of their targets, in particular the Vinnell Corporation. The residential compound and the offices used by Vinnell were hit, killing nine of the company's employees and injuring several others, two critically.
Al-Qaeda has a particular hatred for the US Vinnell Corporation because it trains the Saudi Arabian National Guard, the country's internal security force and an integral part of the Saudi military forces.
...In 1992 Vinnell was taken over by the Carlyle group, whose chairman was Ronald Reagan's former defence secretary, Frank Carlucci. George Bush snr would later act on behalf of Carlyle and in 1993 Mr Bush snr's former secretary of state, James Baker, joined the company.
...Indeed Vinnell, says Briody, "paved the way for co-operation between the United States and Saudi Arabia during the (first) Gulf War". It was this co-operation that infuriated Osama bin Laden.
Comment: With Al Quaeda as the CIA and US government's "spokesperson" in the Middle Mast (and just about anywhere else they are needed), it seems the bombing of the Vinnel Corporation's offices was just another inside job or 9/11 on a small scale. For the masses it establishes the "proof" of a "terrorist" threat in Saudi, and to the Saudi Royals themselves (who know only too well who the real terrorists are) it sends the message that they are next in line for "liberation" US style, with the subsequent acquisition of their oil supplies - the largest in the world, coincidentally.
For the past 100 years various US agencies have been engaged in secret wars to secure American worldwide economic predominance, but there is only so much that can be achieved in secret however since the "shock and awe" value to other countries is lost. Now, with the entrance of Al Quaeda onto the world scene the US has conveniently been provided with the perfect oportunity to take its, to date, secret war out into the open. All must now bow before the force of the American drive to dominate all.
Sound dramatic? The real drama hasn't even begun yet...
While there were casualties in Monday's attacks, there also was fortunate coincidence. At the time of the suicide bombing, 50 of the 70 employees were away on a training mission.
Comment: What a surprise! The terrorist pilots who allegedly flew planes into the WTC were Saudis - Vinnell has been training the Saudi guard for 25 years - and now Vinnell employees were "coincindentally" away "on a training mission" at the time of the attack...
The article doesn't mention the real nature of Vinnell Corp. Why, they're just our neighbors...even if access is by coded key. Welcome to our neighborhood! Can you say "C-I-A F-R-O-N-T"?
And check out the sidebar in this article on how to protect your family. Turning up the heat, one degree at a time.
BAGHDAD — U.S. military officials yesterday blamed organized gangs affiliated with the deposed Ba'ath Party and Iranian-backed Shi'ite groups for the lawlessness sweeping the Iraqi capital and pledged to crack down on the groups.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announced in Washington the deployment of an additional 15,000 to 20,000 troops to Iraq to add "muscle" to that effort.
[...] The instability has compromised the good will of ordinary Iraqis toward U.S. forces, who are seen as impotent against the looters or, worse, unconcerned. Many Iraqis swear they have seen U.S. tanks and troops stand by as looters break into museums, libraries and schools.
While some of the chaos is the work of common criminals, Iraqis and American officials agree that organized elements increasingly are using the violence to undermine U.S. credibility.
Comment: Credibility! As if the lying, disinfo, hypocrisy, and manipulation were not to blame.
They say the gangs are affiliated either with Saddam Hussein's deposed Ba'ath Party or with Shi'ite groups, both of which are eager to turn Iraqi citizens against the American presence.
[...] Mr. Rumsfeld and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that 15,000 to 20,000 troops from the 1st Armored Division would arrive in Iraq in the next seven to 20 days to complement more than 140,000 service members already there. [...]
Comment: What, 140,000 troops and the best military toys money can buy aren't enough?
CBC News On-Line
BAGHDAD - The new U.S. administrator in Iraq says his top priority is to bring law and order to the streets of Baghdad...
"It is my responsibility as the administrator of the coalition provisional authority … to bring security back to Iraq," Bremer said...
The military denied a report that soldiers on the ground are operating under a shoot-to-kill policy dealing with looters – even as a looter was shot and wounded in Mosul.
The U.S. army said members of the 101st Airborne Assault Division returned fire from a group of looters, wounding one. The rest escaped...
The lawlessness began when the regime of Saddam Hussein rapidly crumbled in early April. Bremer said the situation worsened as remnants of Saddam's regime began sabotaging the U.S.-backed administration's efforts.
The level of disorder in Iraq is in part a result of Saddam's general amnesty granted last October to hundreds of thousands of prisoners. Many of those freed were political prisoners, Bremer said, but many were criminals who need to be rearrested.
Despite the problems, Bremer said "across most of Iraq, life is getting better."
Comment: Yeah, all the problems are still Saddam's fault. However, no one is looting the well-guarded oil fields.
May 15, 2003 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- A day after denying a shoot-to-kill policy against Iraqi looters, U.S. forces wounded a looter from a group they said fired on Americans.
Looters fired on 101st Airborne Assault Division soldiers Thursday morning in Mosul, said the U.S. Central Command. Soldiers returned fire on the looters, wounding one, and four others escaped, it said.
"Coalition forces continue to actively patrol Iraq to make it safe to conduct humanitarian assistance operations," Central Command said in a statement issued from the occupying force's offices in nearby Kuwait...
Blount also said U.S. forces reserved the right to protect themselves against attacks and looters.
"We're not going to go out and shoot children that are picking up a piece of wood out of a factory and carrying it away or a bag of cement," he said. "Our soldiers have the right to defend themselves, and have. And if a looter is carrying a weapon and the soldier feels threatened, of course he is going to engage."
Pentagon officials said Thursday's shooting was the result not of a changed policy on looting but of a consistent policy on that right to self-defense. Comment: We have seen how children have become targets of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Children have been explicit targets in Iraq since the first Gulf War, admitted by Madeleine Albright when she told an US network audience that the deaths of 500,00 Iraqi children were "worth it" in the war against Saddam.
CBC News On-Line
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell briefly raised the possibility of suspending UN sanctions against Iraq as Russia and France have urged but quickly back-tracked and said the United States wants them lifted immediately...
Some diplomats saw Powell's raising the possibility of suspending sanctions during a news conference in Bulgaria as a trial balloon for a compromise.
Eliminating the embargoes is preferable, Powell said.
"But we will look at the idea of initially suspending sanctions."
The White House and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations quickly issued "clarifications," stressing the U.S. position is to lift sanctions.
During the short flight from Buglaria to Germany, Powell was back on message.
"We are going for lifting the sanctions," he said.
"We want to get 15-0 in the Security Council. I think a lift is achievable."
The resolution...would end UN control over the country's vast oil wealth and allow the United States and its allies now in charge of Iraq to use the money.
And the new text would still authorize the United States and Britain to run the country for a year - with automatic extensions, unless Washington and London determined otherwise - and to control a new Development Fund for Iraq where money from oil sales would be deposited...
(Near Tikrit, Iraq-AP) May 15, 2003 - The US military says a pre-dawn raid called Operation: Planet X in northern Iraq Thursday netted more than 260 prisoners. Heavily armed US Army troops stormed a village near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.
Comment from a QFS member: Well it appears Nancy was right! It appears Planet X arrived today in the form of a military operation in northern Iraq.
WASHINGTON (AFP) May 15, 2003 US officials are eager to ramp up Iraqi oil production, but are stymied by the problem of finding somewhere to store it all, a top Pentagon official said Thursday.
"Iraq cannot produce much more oil or refine much more gasoline without approaching its maximum limit of storage," Douglas Feith, undersecretary for defense policy, said at a hearing of the House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations.
He made his comments in support of US moves at the United Nations to lift sanctions, resume Iraqi oil exports and effectively put the country's vast oil reserves under US-British control for at least a year.
"With oil production at only 125,000 barrels a day, out of a prewar production of 2.5 million barrels a day, there is already a dearth of spare capacity to store crude oil and fuel oil," Feith said.
"This has led to shortages of both gasoline and propane, and we have been forced to import both into a country that, as you know, is rich in natural gas and petroleum."
Iraq sits on the second-largest oil reserves in the world, exceeded only by Saudi Arabia.
The UN Security Council is considering the US proposal. Russia, France and China -- all of which wield vetoes on the security council -- have been anxious to secure UN involvement to prevent Washington from taking full control of Baghdad's oil riches until it hands over power to an Iraqi administration.
Comment: Geez, they'll come up with any excuse necessary to get their hands on Iraq's oil.
BBC On-Line News
The US has urged its citizens to leave Saudi Arabia Terror alerts are in force around the world with Australia and New Zealand warning their nationals to be on their guard in South East Asia.
The Australian foreign office said Australians should be extremely cautious in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor and Brunei.
These alerts follow American warnings of possible terrorist attacks throughout East Africa and parts of South East Asia in the wake of the triple suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
The US also said it had received details of a specific threat against an area of the Saudi city of Jeddah...
...The state department also warned of a "continuing concern" of attacks against Americans in Malaysia, particularly in the state of Sabah.
...Western and Saudi officials have warned of the danger of more attacks in Saudi Arabia.
The US state department said there was a "potential of further terrorist attacks", while the British Foreign Office described the threat as "high".
Comment: Out of one side of their mouths, they tell us that the war in Iraq has made the world "safer"; out of the other, they turn up the heat another notch. They do this with impunity and arrogance, assuming that people won't put the two facts together and see they are contradictory. What is going on?
Months before the United States military showered Iraq with bombs and missiles, the Department of Defense was secretly working with Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton Corp., on a deal that would give the world's second largest oil services company total control over Iraq's oil fields, according to interviews with Halliburton's most senior executives.
Moreover, classified Halliburton documents obtained by CounterPunch over the past month prove that the war in Iraq was as much about controlling the world's second largest oil reserves as it did about overthrowing the regime of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein.
The deal between the Department of Defense and Halliburton unit Kellogg, Brown & Root to operate Iraq's oil industry, which was hatched as early as October 2002, according to the documents, and could ultimately be worth $7 billion, couldn't have come at a better time for Halliburton.
Back in October of last year, Halliburton was saddled with a multibillion-dollar asbestos liability and the company was also suffering through a slowdown in domestic oil production. Halliburton's stock price responded swiftly, plummeting to $12.62 in October 2002, from a high of $22 the year beforee, and rumors began to swirl that the company would be forced to file for bankruptcy.
But news of a pending war in Iraq meant that Halliburton's financial troubles would, like Saddam Hussein's regime, be history.
Comment: This article is a detailed look at this subject.
WASHINGTON (AFP) May 15, 2003
The US Senate voted early Thursday to award British Prime Minister Tony Blair the congressional gold medal for his steadfast support of the US-led military efforts to oust the Iraqi regime.
The award was made "in recognition of his outstanding and enduring contributions to maintaining the security of all freedom-loving nations." "Congress finds that Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom has clearly demonstrated, during a very trying and historic time for our two countries, that he is a staunch and steadfast ally of the United States of America," the text of the bill reads.
Comment: Excuse us while we lose our breakfast...next in line are Pol Pot, Ghengis Khan, Idi Amin, and a long shot, but still in the running: Adolf Hitler.
Dear Nobel Prize committee,
I am writing to protest the nomination of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush for the Nobel Peace Prize, and to urge the committee not to award this prestigious recognition to them.
Norwegian Member of Parliament Harald Tom Nesvik announced that he has submitted a nomination for Tony Blair and George W. Bush for "their decisive action against terrorism, something I believe in the future will be the greatest threat to peace."
From what I understand, the provisions set by Alfred Nobel specify that the winner of the Peace Prize "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
However, Tony Blair has ordered more military actions than any U.K. leader since World War II, with at least one military action every year since 1998. George W. Bush has initiated a war not only against Afghanistan, but an undefined, open ended "War on Terrorism" which administration officials threaten to expand to other nations such as Iran, North Korea, and Iraq.
In pursuit of his "War on Terrorism," Bush has urged massive increases to the size and funding of the U.S. standing military. He has also embroiled the U.S. in civil wars throughout the developing world. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has stated that the global "War on Terrorism" launched by Bush "may never end. At least, not in our lifetimes."
Many global peace groups have been working hard and making change toward ending violence and global suffering, but have been stonewalled or even intimidated by the war administrations of Bush and Blair. The courageous, nonviolent direct work for peace by groups such as Women in Black (a 2001 Nobel Peace Prize nominee) and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, stands in direct contrast to the global warfare launched by Prime Minister Blair and President Bush.
Perpetual war is not peace. Whether or not Bush and Blair's actions are justified, their extensive and expanding pursuit of warfare is not the same thing as working for peace by any definition of the word, and does not amount to "fraternity between nations, ... the abolition or reduction of standing armies and ... holding and promotion of peace congresses."
I hope that the Nobel Peace Prize committee will reject Nesvik's proposal and choose to make an award that will respect the unique prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the individuals and groups who have truly worked for global peace.
There are, of course, important differences between the US invasions of Vietnam and Iraq. In Vietnam, from 1954 and till 1965 the United States simply tried to impose an imported puppet government on a populace that supported a deeply- rooted communist leadership and movement, and only in the last phase of the US intervention did this country move to a full-scale direct invasion. That invasion ultimately failed to conquer the target country, even after a multi- year and devastating effort. By contrast, the ongoing invasion-conquest of Iraq displaced an unpopular regime, although one that had been supported by the invaders only 15-20 years back when its use of "weapons of mass destruction" was serviceable to -- and the weapons provided by -- the current invaders. The Iraq invasion effort also took little time to oust the target regime, although the pacification process is just under way.
But there are also important similarities that reflect both the continuity in character and policy of the imperial state managers and their agents of propaganda and the minimal constraint on the US exercise of power in the global system. One important similarity is that both invasions represent cases of aggression in the accepted meaning of the word, while in both cases the propaganda agencies simply brushed aside or ignored such charges and usages, considering them irrelevant to the operations of their leaders, just as the right to exterminate the Native Americans and seize Mexican territory had been unquestioned by their predecessors. In the case of Vietnam, while admitting that its chosen and imposed minority government couldn't compete politically with Ho Chi Minh and the forces we were fighting, US officials and media charged that it was Ho and the National Liberation Front (NLF) that were committing aggression in resisting the rule of our puppet. We even coined the wonderful phrase "internal aggression" to describe the resistance of the South Vietnamese to our imposed government -- the people in the country were committing aggression, whereas we were "defending South Vietnam," meaning protecting against its own citizenry a government of our choosing. The media never challenged this Orwellian usage.
[...] Bush and Blair have committed an even more straightforward aggression in Iraq, a case as clear as Mussolini's attack on Ethiopia in 1936 or Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939, with an armed invasion of conquest against a small, distant country that posed no threat to the aggressors, who were unable even to get a Security Council legal cover for their attack despite bribery and intense arm- twisting. It goes almost without saying that the mainstream media are no more able to call this attack aggression than the Italian and German media of the 1930s called their attacks by their right name.
Comment: It's business as usual for the military-industrial- pharmaceutical complex and it's lap dog media. An interesting way to spend an afternoon is to research the internet on Cointelpro activities in the 60's, and how activist groups where infiltrated and the outrageous attempts at discrediting them. The same is happening now, but with newer technology and they have learned from their mistakes. Knowledge protects.
[...] DR: Is it compatible with a democracy to have these filters [as described in the linked article] in the mass media, filtering out unwanted information that is contrary to an elite agenda?
Ed Herman: I don't think it is. A democracy assumes that you're going to have a free flow of information that is not going to be constrained by special interests, and these filters reflect special interests. The majority of people are not involved in the working of these filters. The majority of people, for example, are being hurt by downsizing and by the growing insecurity in the economy. There ought to be media that would attend to these issues. In fact there are. There are marginal alternative media institutions that will publicize these things, but the New York Times and CBS will not.
In 1986, Alan Greenspan went before Congress and explained why there wasn't a great threat of inflation in the United States. The reason, he said, was because workers were scared to death. Workers were so insecure that they were not able to ask for wage increases. I thought at the time, and I still think, 'My god, what a condemnation of the system.' Worker insecurity should be considered a real welfare detriment. If the system is making workers insecure, isn't this bad? Isn't the system supposed to be helping, making the workers happy? Yet the media didn't pick this up at all.
All the union busting and the terrible weakening of the unions in the 1980's got almost zero attention. The media were focusing on the stock market, in which 80 percent of the people were not participating in any degree whatsoever. So, if you argue that democracy requires a media that is going to be able to treat the interests of 80 percent of the people generously and fairly, this elite media that we have doesn't do it.
In the election of 2000, the New York Times explained why it was okay for presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, not to participate in the national debates, and why his candidacy was irrelevant. They said the other two parties "afford adequate options" to the public. Nader was opposing the big military budget and the corporate abuses that were growing, but he was not allowed into the debates. I think this is a very good illustration of the fact that the media were not allowing a discussion of the basic issues that were affecting the majority of people. They were following an elite agenda. They wouldn't talk about an agenda that would address the interests of 80 percent of the public.
This has a corollary in the political system itself. The election was essentially between two parties that were funded by business and that served the business agenda. So the inadequacy of the media as a democratic instrument was well paralleled by the inadequacy of the political options that were given to the public. A democracy needs a really good information system that is going to speak for the majority as well as the elite and discuss issues that are relevant to the needs of the majority. If this doesn't happen, then we don't have a democracy.
DR: If the media is a propaganda organ with these filters that filter out objective information, where can listeners go to learn the truth?
Ed Herman: That's a tough proposition. Actually, if you read the mainstream media, and if you have some advance knowledge of what to look for, there's a lot in there that you can find, but you have to know what to look for. In other words, you have to have frames of reference and an analysis that allows you to look at the media critically. [...]
Kellie Gasink Thursday May 15, 2003
On July 3, cities around the country will sponsor independent public hearings called by the National Coalition to Repeal the Patriot Act. I would like the folks in each city to select a representative to work with me because I will be working through ALL the steps to make these a successful public hearings with all the cities that choose to hold public hearings.
Comment: Information on how to participate is available at the original article.
Los Angeles Times
AMMAN, Jordan The suicide bombing attacks in the Saudi capital of Riyadh this week left many Arabs appalled at the death toll and frustrated that the United States seems blind to the anger triggered by its Mideast policies.
People on the street, policy experts and major newspapers alike expressed a mix of sympathy for the victims and exasperation with U.S. leaders. Many Arabs believe that the U.S. adheres to a double standard, unleashing its fury against Muslim Iraq but ignoring transgressions by other countries.
At the same time, the perpetrators of the car bomb attacks - which killed 34, including at least seven Americans - found few defenders. The fact that the attack claimed the lives of civilians and fellow Arabs didn't play well in the region.
[...] "These attacks are going to keep happening, because each time the U.S. does things to humiliate the Arabs and Muslims, it is encouraging these fundamentalists," he said.
But hatred and resentment are no excuse for murder, said Syrian merchant Amin Rammal.
"God did not say go kill people and bomb them even if they were bastards," he said. "I hate what my neighbor does to me, but I will not torch his house. On the contrary, I visit him when he is sick - this is what God wants us to do."
The attacks also drew condemnation from Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, who has been frozen out by Washington for allegedly failing to rein in militants, and from Arab League chief Amr Moussa.
Arab League spokesman Hisham Youssef said extremism is fed by U.S. favoritism toward Israel and by unilateral military actions against nations such as Iraq.
"The American policy is not conducive to defeating terrorism, whether in the occupied territories or in Iraq. What we are seeing now are repercussions of that policy," Youssef said.
Palestinian newspaper columnist Adli Sadek wrote in the Al Hayat al Jadeeda daily that the U.S. could not uproot terrorism unless it "adopted clean and just policies, quit its greedy ambitions in Iraq, ended its bias toward the killers in the occupied Palestinian land and stopped threatening others."
Others think that the attackers were targeting Saudi Arabia more than the United States.
Comment: The U.S. knows exactly what it is doing. The Bush Reich is sowing the seeds of terror and mayhem and perpetual war.
Nicholas M. Horrock
WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- House Homeland Security Committee members on Thursday sharply questioned the cost, usefulness and adequacy of a $5.6 billion, 10-year Bush administration plan designed to pay drug companies incentives to make vaccines and treatments for deadly terrorist bio-weapons like anthrax.
...The pharmaceutical industry wanted the government to provide companies with liability protections in this event, but Tauzin said such provisions are not in this version of the bill. The Joint Committee on Homeland Security also will present its version of the bill.
Comment: A convenient way to take out large chunks of the American population. The pharmaceutical companies can't be sued and they can always claim they where just trying to save lives. Manufactured terrorist events with a manufactured "bio terror product" where the cure is worse than the disease. The U.S. government sees you as the enemy to their plans.
France says it is a victim of a smear campaign by the Bush administration whose officials are spreading lies about French complicity with Saddam Hussein's regime, a charge Washington dismisses.
The French government's accusation comes in a letter written by the French ambassador Jean-David Levitte to the United States, due to be delivered to the White House and Congress today, a French diplomat familiar with its contents told CNN.
"This is not acceptable," said one French diplomat. France "does not consider it a policy, but considers that some people have done some damage to the relationship."
But a U.S. official involved in national security matters told CNN the French claim was baseless. "There are a lot of things we don't like, and we have not been shy about that," the U.S. official told the cable network. "But there is no campaign against the French." That the Bush administration bitterly resented the French role in blocking a U.S.-led attempt to win the support of the U.N. Security Council for a second resolution authorizing military action in Iraq is no secret, especially since the French campaign succeeded and the United States, Great Britain and Spain were forced to go ahead and invade Iraq with a "coalition of the willing" without U.N. backing.
"We cannot accept to be accused repeatedly for stories sourced in the administration for things we have not done," said the French diplomat familiar with the letter. "Who did this? Why? For what agenda?" the diplomat wondered aloud.
In his letter, Ambassador Levitte cited eight examples he charged proves that there is a deliberate U.S. campaign to spread misinformation about the French government....
Here is an edited excerpt of the text from the list from CNN:
In a September 2002 "Week in Review" section, The New York Times published an article entitled "Psst ... Can I Get a Bomb Trigger?" alleging that in 1998 France and Germany had supplied Iraq with high-precision switches used in detonating nuclear weapons.
The French Embassy issued a denial, which was published the following week in that section's Letters to the Editor column, noting that a French company had indeed received an order for 120 switches, presented as "spare parts" for medical equipment, but that the French authorities had immediately barred this sale and alerted both Germany and the country that had previously sold the equipment that incorporated the switches.
[NewsMax]Editor's note: France Hates America and Is in Bed With Saddam - Boycott Cowardly France!
[Signs of the Times] Editor's note: America Hates France and Is in bed with Osama...and Saddam...and Pinochet...and Duvalier...and every other evil despot since the Second World War. Note to the Patriots: Feel free to send your boycotted French wine to our offices...
The Pentagon's Total Information Awareness program gets an image makeover
TIMOTHY J. BURGER
Wednesday, May. 14, 2003 After attacks from civil liberties advocates on the left and the right, the Pentagon is planning to change a controversial system now being developed to hunt terrorists plotting attacks on the U.S. Change its name, anyway.
In a report to Congress expected May 20 and now being circulated to top Defense Department brass for comment, the Total Information Awareness program headed by controversial ex-Navy Admiral John Poindexter is slated to be re-named with the more narrowly-focused moniker Terrorist Information Awareness, sources in and outside the Pentagon tell TIME. Pentagon spokespeople declined comment on the plan or on what, if any, substantive changes might accompany a possible name- change.
In a recent congressional hearing, Tony Tether, head of the Pentagon agency that houses the program, said TIA would be operated with the expectation that "the American public and their elected officials must have confidence that their liberties will not be violated before they would accept this kind of technology."
Critics have said the program, as described by Poindexter at various points since its inception, could promote Big Brother-like government snooping on ordinary Americans as much as on terror suspects.
"We must become much more efficient and more clever in the ways we find new sources of data, mine information from the new and old, generate information, make it available for analysis, convert it to knowledge, and create actionable options," Poindexter said last year. Poindexter has been controversial for his role in the Reagan administration Iran-Contra scandal, which led to a 1990 conviction for providing false information to Congress, though that verdict was ultimately overturned in 1992.
Comment: We have already seen how the Bush Reich is putting laws into place that will turn anyone expressing dissent into a "terrorist", so this name change is just another example of the window-dressing being done to fool those who prefer prime-time idiocies to thinking clearly.
Lack of 9/11 investigation fuels war against the world
[T]he Bush administration's National Security Strategy... lays out a plan for permanent U.S. military and economic domination of every region on the globe, unfettered by international treaty or concern. To meet the demands of empire, a much larger military presence over the globe is advocated, in addition to the roughly 130 nations in which US troops are already deployed. This strategy is derived directly from conservative think-tank policy dating as far back as 1992, when it initially drew so much criticism that it was withdrawn and repudiated by president Bush Senior. Now, because of 9/11, it's back again, without the benefit of public debate.
According to journalist John Pilger, the conservative think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC) proposed two years ago that what was needed for America to dominate the world and its resources was "some catastrophic and catalysing event"like a new Pearl Harbor." According to Pilger's report, "The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the 'new Pearl Harbor,' described as 'the opportunity of ages.'... The PNAC was founded by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz (deputy defense secretary), and others, including Richard Perle. Pilger cites a quote from Perle from a recent interview. Perle said "This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war... our children will sing great songs about us years from now." (London New Statesman, 16 December 2002, pilger.carlton.com)
WASHINGTON - Construction and engineering firms seeking federal contracts to rebuild war-torn Iraq made millions of dollars in political contributions last year, including extensive use of big-money donations to the major political parties.
THE FINAL three minutes of hijacked United Flight 93 are still a mystery more than a year after it crashed in western Pennsylvania - even to grieving relatives who sought comfort in listening to its cockpit tapes in April.
A Daily News investigation has found a roughly three-minute gap between the time the tape goes silent - according to government-prepared transcripts - and the time that top scientists have pinpointed for the crash.
Several leading seismologists agree that Flight 93 crashed last Sept. 11 at 10:06:05 a.m., give or take a couple of seconds. Family members allowed to hear the cockpit voice recorder in Princeton, N.J., last spring were told it stopped just after 10:03.
The FBI and other agencies refused repeated requests to explain the discrepancy.
Comment: And the Bush Reich needs a good
source of propaganda for the easily duped, and to hide their
complicity. The signs team has just discovered this site that
points out the many discrepancies.
But this is a small "discrepency" compared to that around the "plane" that hit the Pentagon. Keep the public focused on Flight 93 so that they don't ask too many questions about Flight 77. We see this manoeuver over and over again. This week we have Bob Graham venting his storm and fury about the Congressional investigation into 9/11, all staged to make us think that the CIA, the Pentagon and the other spooks had prior information but didn't act...which ignores the real questions about the complicity of the Pentagon etc in the actual organization of the attacks of 9/11 in order to implement the whole Bush Reich fascist agenda.
But, no, that is just too scary to think about while the temperature is being turned up one degree at a time...
POLICE could be forced to shoot members of the public to maintain order in the event of a terrorist "dirty bomb" or biological attack on Britain, it was claimed yesterday.
The Police Federation annual conference in Blackpool was told that so few officers have been trained to deal with a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological strike that they would have to resort to "very unsavoury but necessary" crowd control.
Bob Elder, the chairman of the constables’ central committee, did not refer specifically to officers firing on civilians, but sources within the organisation said it was clear police could have to resort to firearms to stop contamination being spread by fleeing victims.
The government had failed to explain how important it would be to keep the public inside a cordon after such an atrocity, Mr Elder said.
"This is not about creating mass hysteria," he said. "This is about the opposite. The public has a right to know.
"The natural reaction from the public caught up in such an incident will be to get as far away from the scene as possible. This could, of course, only extend the problem."
In another reference to the possible use of firearms to keep control of an area, Mr Elder added: "We will be the ones who would have to carry out that containment and we would be the ones held responsible for our actions - whatever those may be."
Comment: Is it just me or until now wasnt this type of scenario the stuff of science fiction and the movies? Welcome to the 21st century, by the looks of things it may not last very long, but just sit back and enjoy the show, you're part of it after all..
Four North Oakland residents arrested this evening while peacefully observing Oakland police violently detain another Oakland citizen
Ingrid Chapman, Josh Warren-White, and Brian Lowe were attempting to photograph at least a dozen police officers as they brutalized a young woman, choking her as she bled from the mouth, and breaking her arm. Ingrid, Josh, and Brian were placed under arrest and taken to the Oakland City Jail on charges of obstructing an officer.
After loading the young woman police had been beating up into an ambulance, the same officers then proceeded to a near by residence and illegally entered and searched the house, without a warrant or consent from the residents.
Another young man, Tim Barsky who had filmed officers as they illegally entered the house, continued to film police as they pulled away in patrol cars and vans. Police then stopped, jumped out of their cars, placed Tim under arrest and confiscated his camera.
Police then grabbed an 11 year old girl at the scene, twisting her leg, arrested her, and confiscated the camera she was holding. The child was later released.
Tim Barsky, along with Josh Warren-White, Brian Lowe, and Ingrid Chapman are still being held under $1500 bond each.
By James Palmer 16 May 2003
Victims of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) who "deliberately" spread the disease could face life imprisonment or the death penalty, the Chinese authorities said yesterday.
The Supreme Court warning was issued as a doctor who allegedly broke quarantine and infected more than 100 people became the first person to be arrested for spreading the virus. Authorities in the northern city of Linhe were preparing to charge Dr Li Song with violating China's infectious disease law. He allegedly carried Sars there from Beijing, violating a quarantine and causing an outbreak that infected 102 people, including 23 medical staff.
Terrorists are plotting to hijack petrol tankers and turn them into horrific mobile bombs.
Scotland Yard has been warned by the FBI that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda plan to launch attacks against soft targets in the UK. One anti-terrorist detective said: "The belief is that something will happen soon." The threat comes after 29 were killed and 194 injured on Monday night in suicide bomb attacks against western targets in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
The explosions happened 24 hours after an email warning from al-Qaeda to a London-based Arab magazine.
"Keeping police on the ground aware of what al-Qaeda are thinking is a sensible course of action."
He added: "It is not a question of being alarmist but prepared. We listen closely to what they FBI have got to say. We'd be foolish not to."
Senior policemen involved in Operation Lightning have daily discussions with the FBI's counter-terrorism division in Washington about the latest intelligence on movements of al-Qaeda members.
The FBI's report to Scotland Yard claims known "al-Qaeda operatives have discussed pre-operational screening and acts of intelligence involving fuel stations, fuel lorries and underground fuel storage locations".
FBI officers apparently intercepted messages between al-Qaeda members talking about "soft targets" involving fuel.
The warning ends by telling officers to "remain alert to the potential for terrorist activity and attacks involving critical infrastructures". Senior police officers have met Department of Transport officials to discuss the potential threat.
Comment: Now for the real story. Go back and read the above again and this time replace every occurance of "terrorist" and "al-Qaeda" with "CIA". Seriously, it makes so much more sense.
A funny thing happened during the Iraq war: many Americans turned to the BBC for their TV news. They were looking for an alternative point of view - something they couldn't find on domestic networks, which, in the words of the BBC's director general, "wrapped themselves in the American flag and substituted patriotism for impartiality."
Leave aside the rights and wrongs of the war itself, and consider the paradox. The BBC is owned by the British government, and one might have expected it to support that government's policies. In fact, however, it tried hard - too hard, its critics say - to stay impartial. America's TV networks are privately owned, yet they behaved like state-run media.
Lynn Landes, EcoTalk
The most successful coup is one that few notice.
Over the last 100 years Americans have slowly but surely surrendered our public voting process to private corporations and their voting machines... in violation of our constitutional right to fair, open, and observable elections. The price paid has been the legitimacy of our democracy.
Voting machines can be easily rigged and impossible to monitor. They are sold and serviced by a handful of private companies dominated by active and wealthy members of the Republican Party...
In the secretive world of voting machines... anything is possible.
Comment: Florida, the fiefdom of Jeb Shrub, appears to be a laboratory for the future in the US. We have seen how the Bush gang stole the election in Florida. We have seen how it is where the "terrorist" pilots were trained at facilities known to be a CIA front, and anyone who has travelled through Miami has a good idea of what is laying in store for the rest of the country in terms of humiliation and abuse simply for wanting to travel.
The Courier-Mail May 16, 2003
...has spooked a Sunshine Coast hinterland farmer and his workers.
The phenomenon, which was accompanied by loud "zapping noises", a flash of green light, lost power and barking dogs has the Gowen family of Glass House Mountains flumoxed.
Fifth generation land owner Kel Gowen said he was woken about midnight on Wednesday by two loud "zaps".
His farm hand, Noel Brady, whose cottage overlooks the 4ha of sorghum, said he was also woken by the first zapping sound, which was followed by the loss of power and bright green flashes.
Mr Gowen said it was only during a routine check of his property early yesterday morning that he noticed the 30 flattened circles in the sorghum.
Mr Gowen said his family had never taken notice of stories of crop circles or UFOs.
BRUSSELS (AFP) May 13, 2003
Lawsuits filed in Belgium against US officials for alleged war crimes are "very serious" and could impact on travel arrangements of US officials, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.
Responding to a lawsit expected to be filed Wednesday against the US commander in Iraq, General Tommy Franks, General Richard Myers said it would be up to diplomats to work out the exact consequences.
But he said: "It's looked upon by the US government as a very very serious situation... It is serious and it could clearly have an impact on where we gather."
On Wednesday a group of plaintiffs, mostly Iraqis, will file the suit under a disputed Belgian "universal competence" law which allows charges to be brought regardless of where the alleged crimes took place.
Their suit relates to about 20 alleged crimes during the Iraq war, including three cases where US troops are accused of firing on ambulances, said lawyer Jan Fermon.
The impending lawsuit has already sparked alarm in the US government, which remains concerned about the controversial law despite recent moves by the Belgian parliament to limit its scope.
In March US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that, unless restricted, the law could affect Belgium's status as an international hub, including the European Union as well as NATO.
Some 30 current or former political leaders are facing legal action under the law, including Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, former US president George Bush and Powell.
If we are not alone in the Universe, why have we never picked up signals from an extraterrestrial civilisation asks New Scientist in this weeks issue? Known as the Fermi paradox after physicist Enrico Fermi, who first posed the question, this long-standing puzzle remains one of the strongest arguments against the existence of intelligent aliens.
But two physicists say they have come up with a solution. They suggest a way in which aliens could send messages to each other across space that not only disguises their locations but also makes it impossible for a casual observer to even distinguish the messages from background noise. Messages sent by this method could be criss-crossing our Galaxy without us ever knowing...
Paul Shuch, director of the SETI League in New Jersey, also points out that being able to disguise a sender's location would be extremely useful for secure military communications here on Earth. "In a few decades, when it's declassified, we may well find that such a technique is already in use."
Comment: While the above may be "one of the strongest arguments against the existence of intelligent aliens" for some, to us it seems rather inept, short sighted, narrow minded and even deliberately disinformational. Firstly, why would an extraterrestrial civilisation want to overtly contact us? If alien life forms exist and they are able to travel the vast distances across the universe we might suppose that they are at the very least more technologically advanced than us, giving them the means to "visit" without our knowledge. It is amazing to see these so called scientists tackle the "unknown" with such a limited and restricting set of parameters into which the results must fit. It is this type of "closed" thinking in general, pandering to the edicts of the thought police, that is ultimately responsible for the bleak future that apparently awaits us all.
Red Dots?: Today, one of the QFS members wrote the following:
"For about a week, I've been wondering if someone has me zeroed in their gunsights.
"When I first noticed a wee, golden light (firefly like) streaking a half circle, to the right and just above my head, I was driving to a store at night. At first I passed this off as some kind of reflection from exterior lights; but, the phenomenon has persisted, no matter how I alter the circumstances, and is constant (every few seconds) as long as it's dark out and I'm moving, either by driving or walking.
"Tonight, there was a marked change.
"I went for a walk on the beach, to watch the lunar eclipse; instead of fireflies, little "light bullets" passed, intermittently, from right to left, in front of my forehead as I walked; but, stopped whenever I halted and held my position in space.
"Anybody ever experience something similar or have a plausible explanation?"
To which another member replied:
"Earlier this evening I caught the very end of the news, and they were speaking of a woman who had been arrested for reckless driving with her children in the vehicle. She claimed that she could not stop because the "red dots" would not allow her to."
Comment: If you are experiencing red dots, drop us a line at sottSPAMNOT@cassiopaea.com.
Boulder - May 12, 2003 A new study by a University of Colorado at Boulder geological sciences professor suggests one earthquake causing up to 1 million fatalities on Earth each century could occur unless more earthquake-resistant construction materials are implemented.
Professor Roger Bilham's conclusions are based on a study of the world's urban population growth in the 21st century, including the number of rapidly expanding "supercities" and their locations close to major fault lines that have caused past temblors. [...]
Washington - May 14, 2003 The federal government is urging Memphis and other parts of the Midwest to adopt a new building code that would make buildings as earthquake resistant as those in southern California, where shaking is much more likely to seriously damage a building.
A new study by researchers at Northwestern University, the Reaves Firm in Memphis, and Los Alamos National Laboratory finds that the prescribed measures for the Midwests New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) would cost far more than the damage prevented. The New Madrid seismic zone includes parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Mississippi. [...]
On June 18, 2002, a magnitude 5.0 earthquake occurred in southern Indiana, followed by a 1.2 magnitude aftershock on June 25, 2002. Because the region of occurrence, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, is seismically active, Dr. Won-Young Kim, a seismologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, conducted research to determine the potential hazard of future earthquakes to this region. His findings suggest that an ancient fault line dating back to the Precambrian era of geological history (from 4.6 billion to 570 million years ago) has become reactivated and was the likely cause of the June 2002 earthquakes. Kim is presenting his findings at the Seismological Society of America in May, and publishing in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
The White House makes sure he's always ready for his close-up.
ELISABETH BUMILLER (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON, May 15 — George W. Bush's "Top Gun" landing on the deck of the carrier Abraham Lincoln will be remembered as one of the most audacious moments of presidential theater in American history. But it was only the latest example of how the Bush administration, going far beyond the foundations in stagecraft set by the Reagan White House, is using the powers of television and technology to promote a presidency like never before.
Officials of past Democratic and Republican administrations marvel at how the White House does not seem to miss an opportunity to showcase Mr. Bush in dramatic and perfectly lighted settings. It is all by design: the White House has stocked its communications operation with people from network television who have expertise in lighting, camera angles and the importance of backdrops.
On Tuesday, at a speech promoting his economic plan in Indianapolis, White House aides went so far as to ask people in the crowd behind Mr. Bush to take off their ties, WISH-TV in Indianapolis reported, so they would look more like the ordinary folk the president said would benefit from his tax cut.
"They understand the visual as well as anybody ever has," said Michael K. Deaver, Ronald Reagan's chief image maker. "They watched what we did, they watched the mistakes of Bush I, they watched how Clinton kind of stumbled into it, and they've taken it to an art form."
The White House efforts have been ambitious — and costly. For the prime-time television address that Mr. Bush delivered to the nation on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the White House rented three barges of giant Musco lights, the kind used to illuminate sports stadiums and rock concerts, sent them across New York Harbor, tethered them in the water around the base of the Statue of Liberty and then blasted them upward to illuminate all 305 feet of America's symbol of freedom. It was the ultimate patriotic backdrop for Mr. Bush, who spoke from Ellis Island.
For a speech that Mr. Bush delivered last summer at Mount Rushmore, the White House positioned the best platform for television crews off to one side, not head on as other White Houses have done, so that the cameras caught Mr. Bush in profile, his face perfectly aligned with the four presidents carved in stone.
[...] Mr. Sforza works closely with Bob DeServi, a former NBC cameraman whom the Bush White House hired after seeing his work in the 2000 campaign. Mr. DeServi, whose title is associate director of communications for production, is considered a master at lighting. "You want it, I'll heat it up and make a picture," he said early this week. Mr. DeServi helped produce one of Mr. Bush's largest events, a speech to a crowd in Revolution Square in Bucharest last November.
To stage the event, Mr. DeServi went so far as to rent Musco lights in Britain, which were then shipped across the English Channel and driven across Europe to Romania, where they lighted Mr. Bush and the giant stage across from the country's former Communist headquarters.
[...] The president's image makers, Mr. Bartlett said, work within a budget for White House travel and events allotted by Congress, which for fiscal 2003 was $3.7 million. He said he did not know the specific cost of staging Mr. Bush's Sept. 11 anniversary speech, or what the White House was charged for the lights. A spokeswoman at the headquarters of Musco Lighting in Oskaloosa, Iowa, said the company did not disclose the prices it charged clients.
[...] Mr. Deaver said. "They understand that putting depth into the picture makes the candidate or president look better."
Or as Mr. Deaver said he learned long ago with Mr. Reagan: "They understand that what's around the head is just as important as the head."
Comment: Especially when the head is empty. Then there is the question of what they are continuing to feed into the heads of the American public via EM waves so that they buy it all.
Jim Shella News 8 Political Reporter
President Bush came to Indianapolis to send the message that his tax cut plan will help everyone and not just the wealthy. That's why all those people sitting behind him were instructed on what to wear.
...George W. Bush came to Indianapolis for the picture. And in that picture, the White House wanted ordinary people.
"These are V.I.P.'s right, ordinary people aren't up on stage behind the president of the United States when he's speaking but the trick is to make V.I.P.'s look like they're ordinary people," said Bill Bloomquist, political scientist.
That's why everyone sitting behind the president wearing a necktie was instructed to take it off.
Comment: Another form of mind-control, folks, though of a more subtle nature.
By PAUL KRUGMAN (NYTimes Op-Ed)
The central dogma of American politics right now is that George W. Bush, whatever his other failings, has been an effective leader in the fight against terrorism. But the more you know about the state of the world, the less you believe that dogma. The Iraq war, in particular, did nothing to make America safer — in fact, it did the terrorists a favor.
How is the war on terror going? You know about the Riyadh bombings. But something else happened this week: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, a respected British think tank with no discernible anti-Bush animus, declared that Al Qaeda is "more insidious and just as dangerous" as it was before Sept. 11. So much for claims that we had terrorists on the run.
Comment: Yes, indeed, Osama is still under the bed.
[...] And so it has been with the campaign against terrorism. Mr. Bush strikes heroic poses on TV, but his administration neglects anything that isn't photogenic.
Saddam wasn't a threat to America — he had no important links to terrorism, and the main U.S. team searching for weapons of mass destruction has packed up and gone home. Meanwhile, true to form, the Bush team lost focus as soon as the TV coverage slackened off. The first result was an orgy of looting — including looting of nuclear waste dumps that, incredibly, we failed to secure. Dirty bombs, anyone? Now, according to an article in The New Republic, armed Iraqi factions are preparing for civil war.
That leaves us facing exactly the dilemma war skeptics feared. If we leave Iraq quickly it may well turn into a bigger, more dangerous version of Afghanistan. But if we stay for an extended period we risk becoming, as one commentator put it, "an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land" — just the recruiting tool Al Qaeda needs. Who said that? President George H. W. Bush, explaining his decision not to go on to Baghdad back in 1991.
[...] The truth is that the pursuit of televised glory — which led the Bush administration to turn its attention away from Al Qaeda, and to pick a fight with a regime that, however nasty, posed no threat — has made us much less safe than we should be.
Comment: Of course, making the world a less safe place is part of the plan.
William Pfaff (International Herald Tribune)
PARIS - The trouble with American conservatism during most of the 20th century was that it was not particularly intelligent. The Republican Party was and is a business party, anti-intellectual and to a considerable degree xenophobic.
The radical neoconservatives, who appeared in the 1960s, are the first seriously intelligent movement on the American right since the 19th century. They want to remake the international order under effective U.S. hegemony, destroy America's enemies and cripple or eliminate the United Nations and other institutions making a claim to international jurisdiction.
They have a political philosophy, and the arrogance and intolerance of their actions reflect their conviction that they possess a realism and truth others lack.
They include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Abram Shulsky of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, Richard Perle of the Pentagon advisory board, Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council, and the writers Robert Kagan and William Kristol.
The main intellectual influence on the neoconservatives has been the philosopher Leo Strauss, who left Germany in 1938 and taught for many years at the University of Chicago. Several of the neoconservatives studied under him. Wolfowitz and Shulsky took doctorates under him.
Something of a cult developed around Strauss during his later years at Chicago, and he and some admirers figure in the Saul Bellow novel, "Ravelstein." The cult is appropriate because Strauss believed that the essential truths about human society and history should be held by an elite, and withheld from others who lack the fortitude to deal with truth. Society, Strauss thought, needs consoling lies.
He held that philosophy is dangerous because it brings into question the conventions on which civil order and the morality of society depend. This risks promoting a destructive nihilism...
He believed that Greek classical philosophy, notably that of Plato, is more true to nature than anything that has replaced it. Some critics say that his interpretation of Plato is perverse, but he said that he had recovered the "real" Plato, lost by later Neo-Platonic and Christian thinkers.
He also argued that Platonic truth is too hard for people to bear, and that the classical appeal to "virtue" as the object of human endeavor is unattainable. Hence it has been necessary to tell lies to people about the nature of political reality. An elite recognizes the truth, however, and keeps it to itself. This gives it insight, and implicitly power that others do not possess. This obviously is an important element in Strauss's appeal to America's neoconservatives.
The ostensibly hidden truth is that expediency works; there is no certain God to punish wrongdoing; and virtue is unattainable by most people. Machiavelli was right. There is a natural hierarchy of humans, and rulers must restrict free inquiry and exploit the mediocrity and vice of ordinary people so as to keep society in order.
This is obviously a bleak and anti-utopian philosophy that goes against practically everything Americans want to believe. It contradicts the conventional wisdom of modern democratic society. It also contradicts the neoconservatives' own declared policy ambitions to make the Muslim world democratic and establish a new U.S.-led international order, which are blatantly utopian.
Comment: So leave the philosophy to Shrub, a deranged chimpanzee (our apologies to the world's chimps population...) who no matter how many infinities he was left to type, couldn't write anything more than a declaration of war.
NEW YORK - May 15 - A new legal brief filed by the U.S. Justice Department would roll back twenty years of judicial rulings for victims of human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch warned today...
"This is a craven attempt to protect human rights abusers at the expense of victims," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "The Bush administration is trying to overturn a longstanding judicial precedent that has been very important in the protection of human rights."
[...] No previous administration has challenged the legitimacy of ATCA cases against gross human rights abusers. If the Administration's argument were upheld, some of the cases that would not have gone forward include:
* The 1996-97 Holocaust Litigation cases against Swiss banks, which led to a U.S. government-negotiated settlement to pay Holocaust survivors approximately $1.25 billion. The cases were brought under several laws, including the ATCA. [...]
by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.
The first thing most people notice about Crystal Children is their eyes large, penetrating, and wise beyond their years. Their eyes lock on and hypnotize you, while you realize your soul is being laid bare for the child to see. Perhaps you've noticed this special new "breed" of children rapidly populating our planet. They are happy, delightful, and forgiving. This generation of new lightworkers, roughly ages 0 through 7, are like no previous generation. Ideal in many ways, they are the pointers for where humanity is headed . . . and it's a good direction!
Comment from QFS member: I rarely listen to the Art Bell show but I found myself listening to the show this morning and there was this person by the name of Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.(Pretty High and Deluded?) talking about the new "crystal children" with the "big beautiful hypnotic eyes" whose predecessors were the "gifted" indigo children. Evidently she firmly believes these new children being born in large numbers at the present time are here to save us from ourselves, Yeah, that's right, let the new kids on the block save us from ourselves. Let's kick back, take a long vacation and let the kids save the world!
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