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 19, 2003

As always, Caveat Lector!
The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.

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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 Address

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

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.

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


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It is hoped the threat of the Pink Peril will cut misbehaviour

The threat of arriving at school on a pink "punishment bus" is acting as a deterrent to badly behaved youngsters.

The bus known as "Pink Peril" is the Isle of Wight Crime and Disorder Partnership's answer to misbehaviour on school buses. Niki Haytack, Crime and Disorder Manager, said: "When troublemakers get a taste of the pink medicine, they don't want a second dose."

Threatening, abusive, violent or disruptive behaviour earns offending youngsters a ticket on the bus of shame.

Comment: "Threatening, abusive, violent or disruptive behaviour" sounds like a good description of the Bush Reich to us. It should earn them a ticket on the bus out of the White House in the next election. Too bad its probably already rigged.

Wolves and Sheep

SF Indymedia by Stan Goff Sunday May 18, 2003 at 08:38 PM

[...] Killing civilians was routine by now. This harrowing description from Laurent Van der Stockt, a Gamma Agency photographer with the New York Times Magazine:

On the morning of April 7, the Marines decided to cross the bridge. A shell fell onto an armored personnel carrier. Two marines were killed. The crossing took on a tragic aspect. The soldiers were stressed, febrile. They were shouting. The risk didn't appear to be that great, so I followed their advance. They were howling, shouting orders and positions to each other. It sounded like something in-between a phantasm, mythology and conditioning. The operation was transformed into crossing the bridge over the River Kwai.

Later, there was some open terrain. The Marines were advancing and taking up position, hiding behind mounds of earth. They were still really tense. A small blue van was moving towards the convoy. Three not-very-accurate warning shots were fired. The shots were supposed to make the van stop. The van kept on driving, made a U-turn, took shelter and then returned slowly.

The Marines opened fire. All hell broke loose. They were firing all over the place. You could hear 'Stop firing' being shouted. The silence that set in was overwhelming. Two men and a woman had just been riddled with bullets. So this was the enemy, the threat.

A second vehicle drove up. The same scenario was repeated. Its passengers were killed on the spot. A grandfather was walking slowly with a cane on the sidewalk. They killed him too. As with the old man, the Marines fired on an SUV driving along the river bank that was getting too close to them. Riddled with bullets, the vehicle rolled over. Two women and a child got out, miraculously still alive. They sought refuge in the wreckage. A few seconds later, it flew into bits as a tank lobbed a terse shot into it.

Marines are conditioned to reach their target at any cost, by staying alive and facing any type of enemy. They abusively make use of disproportionate firepower. These hardened troops, followed by tons of equipment, supported by extraordinary artillery power, protected by fighter jets and cutting-edge helicopters, were shooting on local inhabitants who understood absolutely nothing of what was going on.

With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane.

Comment: The writer of this article, Stan Goff, is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Master Sergeant, and he is angry. We have snipped away most of this article which gives a detailed analysis of the illegal war in Iraq, often with harrowing snapshots like the one above. He makes a point of pointing out the psychopathic behavior of the Bush Reich, and the horrible reality of how they used the military. After reading this article in it's entirety, you just might want to have Bush impeached.

In Reversal, Plan for Iraq Self-Rule Has Been Put Off

by Patrick E. Tyler
New York Times

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 16 In an abrupt reversal, the United States and Britain have indefinitely put off their plan to allow Iraqi opposition forces to form a national assembly and an interim government by the end of the month. [...]
"They retracted what they said before," an Iraqi political figure said. The provisional government idea is gone, he said. As for the idea of convening a national assembly to select a government, he said, "there is no such thing anymore." [...]

Plan for Iraq handover government scrapped

Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor
The Observer

Sunday May 18, 2003

US and British plans for rebuilding Iraq were descending into chaos this weekend as officials admitted they had indefinitely scrapped plans for a transitional government and Spain revealed a gaping hole in funding for reconstruction.

Allied officials told leaders of the Iraqi exile community, who have flooded back to Baghdad that they had abandoned plans to allow Iraqi opposition forces to form a national assembly and transitional government by the end of the month.

Instead, say opposition sources who attended a Friday meeting with Paul Bremer, the Pentagon-appointed civilian administrator in Iraq, US and British diplomats announced they would remain in charge for an undisclosed period.

[...] Meanwhile there is a crisis over funding for reconstruction following claims that oil revenue will fall far short of the $41 billion (£26bn) required over the next two years to get the shattered nation on its feet. Before the war senior US administration officials, including President George W. Bush, suggested that the sale of Iraqi oil - at present still covered by UN sanctions and administered by the UN's Oil For Food programme - would largely pay for the reconstruction.

[...] Although Iraq has more than 112 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the second largest in the world, its oil infrastructure is under-developed and deteriorating and - experts say - would require considerable investment to realise its potential as the economic engine of a postwar economy. In 2002 Iraq pumped $13bn worth of oil, a figure it is unlikely to come anywhere close to this year after deliberate firing of wells by Saddam's regime and the near-complete disintegration of Iraq's civic society.

According to the Spanish figures, renovating and modernising Iraq's oil industry will cost $3.5bn alone...

Comment: Are we supposed to believe that the Bush administration was unaware of the state of Iraqi's oil infrastructure? And now that the courageous liberators have freed Iraq from any semblance of social order, what are Iraqi families supposed to do?

Iraqi Parties Say US Sidelining Them

Maher Chmaytelli (AFP)
Arab News

BAGHDAD, 19 May 2003 "7 Two of Iraq's main parties blasted the United States yesterday, accusing Washington of going back on what they said was a firm US commitment to give Iraqis a free hand in running the country.

Officials from one of the two main Kurdish factions and the leading Shiite movement said the new US overseer, Paul Bremer, turned back the clock on months of talks that began before the war to prepare a post-Saddam Hussein government.

The charges stem from a meeting Friday night at which they said Bremer had announced he planned to prolong the US coalition's control over the country and sideline Iraqis from the political decision-making process.

"What we're hearing now from Bremer is what we heard several months ago," said Adel Abdul Mahdi, a political adviser from the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI), the top Shiite movement.

"It's a return to square one," he said, referring to negotiations before the war about the role of anti-Saddam Hussein groups in a future government.

[...] "The Americans are doing as they please," said Adel Murad, spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). "Iraq is a big country. Foreigners cannot run it."

The emotionally and politically explosive issue of when the United States would be prepared to hand over power to an Iraqi government was largely left untouched in the immediate aftermath of Saddam's fall on April 9.

Kurds go it alone with international oil deals: Local authorities ignore US administration and seek to lure major companies with generous contracts

Andrew Buncombe in Washington
The Independent

May 18, 2003

Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq are offering hugely lucrative oil deals to European and American companies without consulting either the US administration in Baghdad or any other Iraqi groups. The move threatens to raise new problems over the future ownership of Iraq's vast oil reserves.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which controls the Sulaymaniyah region as part of the regional government of Kurdish Iraq, has in recent weeks started seeking investment from international companies interested in oil exploration and production.

While most companies appear wary of getting involved in deals with the regional authorities in the absence of a settled - and internationally approved - government in Baghdad, the proposed deals represent a challenge to the US-led occupying force. Some have even suggested the proposals may be an effort by the PUK to present any new government in Baghdad with a fait accompli...

1,700 Baghdad Civilians Killed in the battle for the Iraqi capital:

LAURA KING Toronto Star

More than 8,000 injured, say records of hospitals, clinics. Pentagon has no plans to present an official account of casualties

BAGHDAD At least 1,700 Iraqi civilians died and more than 8,000 were injured in the battle for the Iraqi capital, according to a Los Angeles Times survey of records from 27 hospitals in the capital and its outlying districts.

In addition, undocumented civilian deaths in Baghdad number at least in the hundreds and could reach 1,000, according to Islamic burial societies and humanitarian groups trying to trace those missing in the conflict.

More than a month after the war, no official tally of civilian casualties has been given. With disorder attending the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime and the start of American military occupation, one might never be made.

Robert Fisk: So what was the war for?

LONDON. (The Independent)

More than 50 dead in a week. Thanks for the Iraq war.

Thank you, Mr Bush and Mr Blair, for making our world safer by ridding us of the one tyrant - Saddam Hussein - who never had any connection with 11 September 2001, or with the Riyadh bombings or with the bombings in Casablanca.

The "liberation" of Iraq was supposed to free us from the bombers of al Qaeda. So said Mr Blair. So said Mr Straw. Could you talk to us, please, Messrs Blair and Straw? What was Iraq for? No, we don't have any "claim of responsibility" for the Casablanca massacre, but the nature of the cold calculation behind the Casablanca bombings is sufficient. [...]

Afghanistan is in a state of anarchy, its pathetic government scarcely ruling over Kabul. Iraq is in an even more incipient state of anarchy, largely without electricity, money or petrol. And this is a war of good against evil?

Casablanca is a sorry and pertinent page in the history of America's folly in the Arab world. So what comes next? More boasts by President Bush that he is winning the "war against terror" or more claims - yes, he told you so - that the "war on terror" is eternal? Heaven spare us all.

1,700 civilians died as US took Baghdad

By Andrew Gumbel
The Independent

May 19, 2003

A tally of Baghdad hospital records published yesterday suggested that at least 1,700 civilians died in the Iraqi capital during the US invasion and another 8,000 were injured. Several hundred other civilian deaths went undocumented because of the chaos of the conflict and the destruction of some hospital records. As many as 1,000 people are still missing, according to Islamic burial societies and humanitarian groups.

The tally "6 much higher than US propaganda might have led the world to believe "6 was compiled by the Los Angeles Times and based on a tour of hospitals in Baghdad and its immediate suburbs. The paper relied on the meticulousness common to all Iraqis and dating from Saddam Hussein's obsessively bureaucratic era.

[...] There was further disappointment over the weekend when it emerged that the US and Britain had decided to put off plans for an interim Iraqi government because of the security situation. This had been planned for the end of this month and the postponement is likely to bolster the perception that the foreign presence represents a de facto colonial takeover.

Comment: Perception of a colonial takeover? It IS a colonial takeover, pure and simple.

Do you want to know who the Americans running Iraq really are?

By Jan Oberg 05/15/03: (TFF)

They are people with a background in the far-right of the Republican Party, the Israel lobby, Perle and Wolfowitz henchmen, central to the war on terror, to the Homeland Defence authorities, to anti-ABM and pro-Ballistic Missile Defence (Star Wars), close to conservative think tanks, affiliated with mercenary companies, the military-industrial complex (MIC) and CIA. They are former "stabilisers" in Bosnia and Kosovo, and Marine Corps-people (many in Vietnam); they are private consulting firm executives affiliated with the inner circles of power in Washington. And, of course, several are associated with the oil industry, the computer industry as well as the media and public relations industry. With a few exceptions they are Pentagon and not State Department people, they are generals and technocrats.

Less than a handful have any prior experience in Iraq or in nation-building, conflict-resolution, reconciliation, post-war trauma healing, civil society empowerment and other quite relevant matters. In short, they are perfectly fit to "do" Iraq for the US and totally unsuitable for the Iraqis. They are not accountable to anyone, except President Bush and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. Their operations and decisions are not transparent to the world community or any world organisation.


Ideologists with their own Special Plans. Masters of a war meaning peace and other "Newspeak"

With the illegal war on and occupation of Iraq, the first two personalities need no further introduction. They are Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secreary of Defence, Paul Wolfowitz.

Then there one of the leading architects of the whole Iraq imbroglio, "The Prince of Darkness", Richard Perle of the American Enteprise Institute and of the Defense Policy Board. It's objective is to "serve the public interest by providing the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Policy with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning major matters of defense policy. Nine members of the Board have ties to defense contractors. Further, Perle is well-connected to the international media world through Hollinger Digital Inc., the media management and investment arm of Hollinger International Inc. whose online newspapers and holdings include The Daily Telegraph in London and Jerusalem Post. Perle is also former director of the latter. He is on the board of Onset Technology, the world's leading provider of message conversion technology also with close ties to Israeli companies and investment funds. Here is a more personal interview with Perle about his background and beliefs. Perle is on the advisory board of JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Los Angeles Times recently revealed more about Perle's combined political and business interests.

Comment: For a run down on the rest of the men behind the scences read the full article here:

New Front Sets Sights On Toppling Iran Regime


A budding coalition of conservative hawks, Jewish organizations and Iranian monarchists is pressing the White House to step up American efforts to bring about regime change in Iran.

For now, President Bush's official stance is to encourage the Iranian people to push the mullah regime aside themselves, but observers believe that the policy is not yet firm, and that has created an opportunity for activists. Neoconservatives advocating regime change in Tehran through diplomatic pressure — and even covert action — appear to be winning the debate within the administration, several knowledgeable observers said.

"There is a pact emerging between hawks in the administration, Jewish groups and Iranian supporters of Reza Pahlavi [the exiled son of the former shah of Iran] to push for regime change," said Pooya Dayanim, president of the Iranian-Jewish Public Affairs Committee in Los Angeles and a hawk on Iran.

The emerging coalition is reminiscent of the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, with Pahlavi possibly assuming the role of Iraqi exile opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi, a favorite of neoconservatives. Like Chalabi, Pahlavi has good relations with several Jewish groups. He has addressed the board of the hawkish Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and gave a public speech at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, and met with Jewish communal leaders.

Pahlavi also has had quiet contacts with top Israeli officials. During the last two years, according to a knowledgeable source, he has met privately with Prime Minister Sharon and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israel's Iranian-born president, Moshe Katsav.

In another parallel to the pre-invasion debate over Iraq, an intense policy battle is heating up between the State and Defense departments over what to do in Iran.

"The president, the vice president and, even more so, the Pentagon support regime change," said a source who follows the internal debate closely. "But State does not want to meddle in Iran, so you have a big fight right now within the administration."

As was the case during the Iraq debate, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol is leading the charge for a more aggressive policy on Iran. In the magazine's May 12 issue, he wrote an editorial pushing for covert action and other steps to trigger regime change in Tehran.

...Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith are known to support regime change, although they have been much less vocal about Iran than Iraq.

...One key Pahlavi supporter who has become popular in Iranian American circles is former Reagan administration official Michael Ledeen, now a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

In numerous addresses and articles, Ledeen has been arguing that the mullah regime is on the brink of collapse and that the time has come for Washington to push it over the edge. He has joined with Amitay, ex-CIA head James Woolsey, former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, former Senator Paul Simon and oil consultant Rob Sobhani to set up a group called the Coalition for Democracy in Iran. Several of them took part May 6 in a one-day American Enterprise Institute conference titled "The Future of Iran." During the event, Ledeen argued that help from outside actors was needed to help ignite revolutionary changes in Iran.

While Ledeen has not called for military action, some of his declarations appear to suggest that aggressive action could be taken.

Last month, Ledeen gave a speech to a pro-monarchist crowd in Los Angeles. In the question-and-answer session, he reportedly said that with $20 million, there could be a "free Iran" — and that he knew how best to use the money.

Ledeen, who was involved in the Iran-contra scandal but never charged, declined comment.

Asked about the possibility of covert action, a member of the Pentagon-linked Defense Policy Board answered with one word: "maybe." He refused to elaborate.

Comment: America's relentless march towards world domination continues.

Our friends the Sauds: Why Britain continues to allow Saudi Arabia's corrupt ruling house to get away with murder

Nick Cohen
The Observer

[...] In Britain's case the corruption wasn't 'all about oil,' but all about bombs. Between 1986 and 1988 Britain signed the al-Yamamah arms deals, which authorised what was probably the biggest weapons sale in history. The scale of the deal was staggering. By the mid-1990s, Saudi Arabia, a country of just 13 million people, was accounting for 75 per cent of total UK arms sales.

Just about everything else to do with al-Yamamah has been kept secret. After this newspaper published accusations in 1989 that bribes had been given and taken by both the Saudi royal family and 'British citizens with close contacts to the government', the National Audit Office launched an investigation.

Its report was not released. In fact, many MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, which is meant to supervise the NAO, were not allowed to read it either. Jonathon Aitken lied through his teeth in his libel case against the Guardian to cover up the fact that John Major had made him the Minister responsible for supervising arms procurement, even though he had been up to his neck in arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

You can say with certainty that the people of Saudi Arabia haven't benefited. Their money has been pocketed by 'middlemen' and channelled overseas to become the lifeblood of the British arms industry. Without al-Yamamah there wouldn't be much of a British arms industry.

There's a bluff common-sensical view which is usually dignified with the label 'pragmatism' or 'realism' that mimsy ethical considerations cannot stand in the way of business. But the result of 'realism' towards Saudi Arabia has been to blind us to the reality of one of the most frightening countries in the world.

US POW rescue was 'stage-managed'


NEW DELHI: The dramatic rescue of US soldier Jessica Lynch on April 2 from an Iraqi hospital made headlines everywhere, including in this newspaper.

The whole world saw dramatic footage - conveniently filmed by US Army night vision cameras - of helicopter-borne American special forces kicking down doors and firing their guns, apparently at Iraqi soldiers.

The rescue of the young POW boosted morale on the US home front at a time when the invasion of Iraq had appeared to run aground. "It was a classic operation done by some of our nation's finest warriors, who are dedicated to never leaving a comrade behind", US brigadier general Vincent Brooks declared. And the entire media breathlessly retailed this story.

There was only one problem: the story simply wasn't true. The dramatic rescue was a well-prepared 'infowar' operation staged for the cameras. The purpose being to shift media focus away from the killing of civilians by the US bombardment of Iraq and on to the 'heroism' of US forces.

Interviews conducted by the Toronto Star and BBC at the hospital in Nasiriya where Lynch was being treated have revealed the following facts about the entire affair:

All Iraqi troops and fidayeen had withdrawn from the area two days before the 'daring' rescue.

The hospital staff had driven Lynch to a US checkpost in an ambulance a day earlier in an attempt to hand her over but were fired upon. US soldiers involved in the rescue fired blanks to create the impression that they had to fight their way in.

"It was like a Hollywood film", Dr Ammar Uday told the BBC, "They cried 'go, go, go', with guns and blanks without bullets and the sound of explosions. They made a show...".

"The most important thing to know", Dr Harith Houssona told the Toronto Star, "is that Iraqi soldiers and commanders had left the hospital almost two days earlier".

He said that the night they left, his colleagues moved Jessica Lynch out of intensive care and into an ambulance. "We began to drive to the Americans, who were just 1 km away. But when the ambulance got within 300 metres, they began to shoot".

The BBC, whose documentary on the stage-managed 'rescue' will be telecast on Sunday, said the Pentagon "had been influenced by Hollywood producers of reality TV and action movies, notably the man behind Black Hawk Down, Jerry Bruckheimer," whose advice "was taken on and developed on the field of battle in Iraq".

Comment: Welcome to reality, designed, constructed and presented to you by US government think tanks, all in glorious techincolor, please deposit your brain in the lobby before taking your seats - you wont need it. Enjoy the show.

Casablanca bombings fuel calls for global fight on terror

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for an international campaign to stamp out terrorism as governments already on high alert condemned suicide bombings just days apart in Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

Analysts have warned of the risk of more carnage to come after 28 late-night revellers and 13 suicide bombers died in Casablanca, just days after a triple suicide bombing blamed on al-Qaeda killed 34 people in Saudi Arabia.[...]

"The secretary general considers that the recent wave of terrorist outrages, coupled with fresh warnings of further attacks being planned, underlines the need for the international community to give its full attention to the need for a broad-based and sustained campaign against international terrorism," Eckhard added.[...]

US President George W. Bush, who launched a war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks left about 3,000 people dead in New York and Washington, immediately offered Morocco assistance to track down those behind the blasts. The US administration has been criticised in recent days, amid charges the war on Iraq has detracted it from its bid to smash the al-Qaeda terror network blamed for September 11.

U.S. suspects al Qaeda in Morocco bombings

From Chris Plante
Sunday, May 18, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States suspects that al Qaeda was responsible for Friday night's bombings in Morocco and warns that similar attacks are likely.

[...] Future attacks will likely be "on a small scale" and against "soft targets" like the ones attacked in Casablanca, U.S. officials said.

[...] A well-placed U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN that "there may not be much we can do" to stop such suicide operations.

Al Qaeda is suspected in the bombings because of their coordinated nature and the tactics used, he said, though he added that available intelligence has not established a direct link.

Comment: When has the US ever provided a direct link in the so-called War on Terror? Think about it. When has the Bush Reich provided any evidence that actually stands up to even the slightest scrutiny? It's all lies, smoke, and mirrors designed to terrorize Americans and their allies into submitting to the Reich's agenda.

[...] Al Qaeda might "feel the need to show they are still there" after being largely ousted from Afghanistan by the U.S. military and having its international operations disrupted by international law enforcement efforts, a counterterrorism official said, adding that the organization might be considered "akin to a wounded animal -- getting more dangerous" as it finds itself in greater peril.

Also, in recent months al Qaeda has "had some success in recruiting" new followers to its cause, he said...

Comment: More of the same old Osama-Under-the-Bed routine...

Thousands of al-Qaida suspects ready to attack, warns US official

Giles Tremlett
The Guardian

A senior US official warned that thousands of al-Qaida activists are still at large and preparing more attacks, as police raids around the world netted several dozen suspects yesterday.
"We have had good evidence that there are literally thousands of al-Qaida trainees around," Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC television. "And there is good reason to believe that some of those people are in the United States of America."

US Democrats said last week's attacks in Morocco and Saudi Arabia showed that George Bush had overstated claims of success in the war against terrorism. "Al-Qaida never went out of business," Senator John Kerry, a Democratic presidential candidate, said on CBS television. "What's happened is we broke the beehive, but we didn't kill the bees and we certainly haven't killed the queen bee," he said.

U.S. public warned to be on alert for truck bombers

By Jerry Seper

In the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia this week, the State Department issued a nationwide alert yesterday for the U.S. public and American businesses to be on the lookout for possible attacks by suicide truck bombers in this country.
Saying it had no specific information that a truck bombing of any kind was being planned in the United States, the department — through its Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) — said the nationwide alert was designed to pre-empt any such attack by advising the public as well as people who own and operate businesses on how such a terrorist event might take place

Comment: Woowoo! Look out behind you! Ahhhhhh!!! Run for your lives! They're out to get us!! Jesus! Jesus! Where are you? SAVE US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Democrats turn on Bush over handling of national security

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
The Independent

May 19, 2003

Democratic contenders for next year's presidential election made their first spirited attack on George W Bush over the weekend on the issue widely regarded within the United States as his greatest strength "6 his handling of national security and the so-called "war on terrorism".

[...] Senator Edwards said: "We should not cede this issue to a President and a party whose idea of homeland security is plastic wrap and duct tape."

[...] Mr Dean said: "This President has ruled by making us fear each other. We've lost a lot in the past two and a half years."

Carol Moseley Braun, the former senator of Illinois, focused on Mr Bush's tax cuts: "This crowd is into fighting the needy and helping the greedy."

[...] Such sentiments went down well with the union-heavy crowd in Des Moines. A long struggle still lies ahead, however, in convincing a scared and largely trusting electorate that the man in the White House, with his talk of war and crisis without end, is part of the problem and needs to be replaced.

[...] The new-found vigour of the Democrats in Iowa went only so far, however. Like all presidential candidates since the Cold War, they avoided discussing the United States' role in the world. There was no mention of Mr Bush's diplomatic isolationism or policies of pre-emptive defence or drastically increased military budgets.

Comments: The Democrats are avoiding the real issues. The two different parties exist only to present the illusion of choice. Ultimately, they are two sides of the same coin.

Cooperation Under USA Patriot Act Considered a Crime

by Michelle Locke

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA -- More than 100 cities, and one state, have condemned the USA Patriot Act as giving the government too much snooping power. In Arcata, a liberal fold in Northern California's Redwood Curtain, the City Council has gone a step farther and criminalized it.

Starting this month, a new city ordinance makes it a crime punishable by a $57 fine for a city department head to voluntarily cooperate with unconstitutional investigations or arrests under the aegis of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism bill passed in the dark days after Sept. 11.

Arcata's law is more than a bit symbolic. The federal Patriot Act trumps local law and the ordinance is moot if a court rules the act is constitutional, a decision that hasn't come up yet. [...]

Villagers vs oil giant: Ashcroft to the rescue

Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service) WASHINGTON -

In a move that has provoked outrage from human-rights groups here, US Attorney General John Ashcroft has asked a federal appeals court in effect to nullify a 214-year-old law that has provided foreign victims of serious abuses access to US courts for redress.

Ashcroft's Justice Department has filed a "friend of the court" (amicus curiae) on behalf of California-based oil giant Unocal in a civil case brought by Myanmese villagers who claimed that the company was responsible for serious abuses committed by army troops who provided security for a company project.

But the department's brief was not limited to defending the company against the plaintiffs. Instead, the document, which was submitted last week to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California, asked the court to reinterpret the 1789 Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) in a way that would deny victims the right to sue in US courts for abuses committed overseas.

"This is a craven attempt to protect human-rights abusers at the expense of victims," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW). "The Bush administration is trying to overturn a long-standing judicial precedent that has been very important in the protection of human rights."

Military waste under fire: $1 trillion missing - Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting

Tom Abate Chronicle Staff Writer

[...] Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. [...]

Comment: What's a trillion dollars among psychopaths...

Local Communities Refuse to Enforce Patriot Act


WASHINGTON In a rare occurrence, conservative watchdogs are siding with liberal groups who say that several provisions of the anti-terror USA Patriot Act (search)Êare cause for concern by Americans seeking to protect their basic rights.

"We must balance at all times the fact that national security is important, but freedom is essential," said Phil Kent, president of the conservativeÊSoutheastern Legal Foundation (search), which has taken issue with expanded federal surveillance powers granted under the law.

Kent and others are applauding local efforts to try to ward off provisions of the Patriot Act. As of this week, the state of Hawaii as well as 104 cities and counties across the country have passed resolutions protesting federal law enforcement measures in the USA Patriot Act.

Sri Lanka Floods, Landslides Kill 84

The Associated Press

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka May 18

Flash floods and landslides killed at least 84 people in south-central Sri Lanka and 47 more were missing and feared dead, officials said Sunday.

About 150,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, said a relief official in the capital, Colombo. They are being housed in temples, schools and public buildings.

"The worst has happened, an entire village has been wiped out rising our death toll to more than 80," said chief administrator Malini Premaratne in Ratnapura district, 60 miles southeast of the capital, Colombo.

[...] Floods of this magnitude are rare in Sri Lanka, a small tropical island country off India's southern coast.

Last week, a cyclone hit Sri Lanka, blowing roofs off houses, uprooting trees and leaving some streets in the capital under three feet of water. Since then it has been raining heavily in central and southern parts of the country, caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal...

Israel closes West Bank after string of attacks

Sunday, May 18, 2003

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The Israel Defense Forces closed off the West Bank on Sunday after a string of terror attacks killed nine Israelis and prompted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to postpone a meeting with President Bush at the White House.

The most deadly attack came Sunday morning in Jerusalem as a suicide bomber dressed as an Orthodox Jew and wearing a prayer shawl got on a commuter bus, Israeli police spokesman Gil Kleiman said...

Comment: If all you ever read were the US media, you might think that the Palestinians were uncivilized dogs, that is, the opinion of the Palestinians held by the Zionists around the world. However, the Zionists stole Palestine from the Palestinians after the Second World War, drove them from their homes, and forced them into camps where they have lived in horrific conditions for over fifty years. Palestinian children are gunned down by Israeli soldiers on a regular basis. Houses are plowed under. Israeli "settlements" are established on Palestinian land. Hamas was set by and funded by the Mossad to counter Arafat in the eighties. When the so-called "roadmap" for peace was brought forward, the Israeli government stepped up its persecution of the Palestinians. Yet it is the Palestinians who are labeled "terrorists".

What is wrong with this picture?

Yet the Jews in Israel have been led into a trap. The Zionists and the Nazis collaborated to put into place the psychological mechanism to lead the Jewish sheep to slaughter by collecting them in the land stolen from the Palestinians, collecting them together in one place where they could all be wiped out, Palestinian and Jew alike, by the inferno Bush and Co and now stoking in the Middle East.

For a good look at the issue of the settlements, look at this article in a past Signs page, "Settlements: a user guide".

Sharon spokesman hints at Arafat's removal

Sunday May 18, 2003

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon mulled the possibility of removing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whom Sharon's office accused of being responsible for a double attack which killed seven people plus the two bombers.

"Let me just refer you to an experiment that took place in Iraq a month ago -- what happened when a reign of terror by one leader was taken off, how the people reacted," Raanan Gissin told reporters Sunday.

Comment: A more appropriate comparison would be between Sharon and Saddam. And in any case, after Saddam's reign of terror was ended by the noble American "liberators," all hell broke loose in Iraq while the US forces sat around the oil fields and roasted marshmallows.

"... When people say 'he's the leader and he's doing this' well, they haven't had the opportunity really to see what it means to live, or to behave or to act without Yasser Arafat calling the shots, literally," Gissin said.

Comment: And what would life be like for the Palestinians AND Israelis without Sharon calling the shots?

Gissin stressed any hope for moving along the peace process rested not on the internationally-backed Middle East roadmap, which calls for the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005, but in ousting Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority...

Israel "aided Hamas directly

...the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative," said a former senior CIA official.

According to documents United Press International obtained from the Israel-based Institute for Counter Terrorism, Hamas evolved from cells of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928. Islamic movements in Israel and Palestine were "weak and dormant" until after the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel scored a stunning victory over its Arab enemies.

According to ICT papers, Hamas was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Mujamma al Islami, which widened its base of supporters and sympathizers by religious propaganda and social work.

According to U.S. administration officials, funds for the movement came from the oil-producing states and directly and indirectly from Israel. The PLO was secular and leftist and promoted Palestinian nationalism. Hamas wanted to set up a transnational state under the rule of Islam, much like Khomeini's Iran.

...A further factor of Hamas' growth was the fact the PLO moved its base of operations to Beirut in the '80s, leaving the Islamic organization to grow in influence in the Occupied Territories "as the court of last resort," he said.

When the intifada began, Israeli leadership was surprised when Islamic groups began to surge in membership and strength. Hamas immediately grew in numbers and violence. The group had always embraced the doctrine of armed struggle, but the doctrine had not been practiced and Islamic groups had not been subjected to suppression the way groups like Fatah had been, according to U.S. government officials.

But with the triumph of the Khomeini revolution in Iran, with the birth of Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorism in Lebanon, Hamas began to gain in strength in Gaza and then in the West Bank, relying on terror to resist the Israeli occupation.

Israel was certainly funding the group at that time. One U.S. intelligence source who asked not to be named said that not only was Hamas being funded as a "counterweight" to the PLO, Israeli aid had another purpose: "To help identify and channel towards Israeli agents Hamas members who were dangerous terrorists."

In addition, by infiltrating Hamas, Israeli informers could only listen to debates on policy and identify Hamas members who "were dangerous hard-liners," the official said.

In the end, as Hamas set up a very comprehensive counterintelligence system, many collaborators with Israel were weeded out and shot. Violent acts of terrorism became the central tenet, and Hamas, unlike the PLO, was unwilling to compromise in any way with Israel, refusing to acquiesce in its very existence.

But even then, some in Israel saw some benefits to be had in trying to continue to give Hamas support: "The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place," said a U.S. government official who asked not to be named.

"Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with," he said.

All of which disgusts some former U.S. intelligence officials.

...Aid to Hamas may have looked clever, "but it was hardly designed to help smooth the waters," he said. "An operation like that gives weight to President George Bush's remark about there being a crisis in education."

An Israeli defense official was asked if Israel had given aid to Hamas said, "I am not able to answer that question. I was in Lebanon commanding a unit at the time, besides it is not my field of interest."

Asked to confirm a report by U.S. officials that Brig. Gen. Yithaq Segev, the military governor of Gaza, had told U.S. officials he had helped fund "Islamic movements as a counterweight to the PLO and communists," the official said he could confirm only that he believed Segev had served back in 1986.

Comment: The bottom line is that Israel is behind Hamas and many of the suicide bombings. How else can you explain the fact that Sharon has repeatedly benefiited from such attacks, coming as they so often do right at a time when he needs support for this genocial policies and to further scupper any chance of peace? Very similar in fact to the realtionship between US and al-Qaeda.

Possible Hamas link with bomber

18/05/2003 14:01 - (SA)

Hebron, West Bank - A 19-year-old Palestinian from the southern West Bank town of Hebron with close ties to the Islamic radical Hamas movement, was most likely the author of Sunday's early-morning suicide bombing in east Jerusalem, which left seven passengers dead, his family said.

Israel in charge of the US military dictatorship,

By Tariq Al-Maeena 5/18/03

If "Terror" attacks were to stop, then Israel would lack any viable excuse to continue killing Arabs. The bulldozers would fall silent. For Israel, that would be the worst thing that could happen. Even worse than the so-called "Road Map." In America, the Religious Right mandates Bush that the "Holy Land" must be purged of all Muslim Arabs. They cite that act as a Christian Religious Edict, supported by their interpretation of Biblical Scripture. Bush cannot be reelected without their support, nor can he be reelected without Jewish support.

Ariel Sharon is not a Religious man, and he has stated that he would not form a Government if he had to form a coalition with Orthodox Religious Jews, or any other Jewish Religious groups. Obviously, Sharon is ruthless, controls Israeli Intelligence, and that Service readily admits it has "operatives" inside all Arab Organizations. Israeli Intelligence is rated the best in the world, with complete! access to American Intelligence, and they are not shackled by any sort of morality.

The time has come to put 2+2 together and understand where "World Terrorism" is originating or being exploited, and the purpose it serves. Bin Laden may have started this process, but Israelis understand how to use it to further their ambitions. Suicide bombers can be either manipulated, or used as "scapegoats" for any explosion. ( Israelis claimed the last Bus bombing was caused by a bomber entering the front of the Bus, yet the photographs show the roof of the Bus pealed back from the rear, where the charge was set)

Anthrax: Finally, the FBI Uncovers a Tantalizing Clue Investigators have stumbled on a new theory of the 2001 anthrax attacks

NEWSWEEK May 26 issue

After months of frustration, FBI investigators have stumbled on a new theory of the 2001 anthrax attacks that some sleuths hoped could crack the case. Earlier this year, acting on a tip, FBI divers recovered a plastic container from the depths of an ice-covered pond near Frederick, Md. Some suspect it could have been used as a crude piece of lab equipment. THE BUREAU HAS long believed that the anthrax perp is a disgruntled bioweapons researcher. One of the "persons of interest" the bureau has focused on is Steven J. Hatfill, a doctor and bioterrorism researcher who formerly worked at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick. (Hatfill has steadfastly denied any involvement in the attacks and has criticized the FBI for singling him out.) Earlier this month The Washington Post reported the discovery of the new evidence, a clear plastic container resembling a "glove box," a device often used by researchers handling deadly pathogens to protect them from contamination. The Post also reported a tantalizing new theory. Some investigators believed that the perp may have submerged the box underwater to manipulate the spores into envelopes without sickening or killing himself. While some law-enforcement officials are taking the novel theory seriously, others have dismissed it as fantasy. "It got a lot of giggles," says one FBI source.

But what is more intriguing to the FBI is the source of the tip in the first place. NEWSWEEK has learned that the tipster was an acquaintance of Hatfill's; agents searched the pond after interviewing the friend, who relayed a provocative conversation he'd had with the bioweapons researcher. Hatfill, the source told the bureau, was questioning the FBI's current theory of the case, that whoever manufactured the anthrax would have needed access to sophisticated equipment and a lab. He said the toxic bacteria could be made in the woods and the evidence could be tossed "in a lake." When agents found the box in the Frederick pond, they thought they had a eureka moment. The FBI tested the box for residue of anthrax bacilli, and at first got a positive result. But subsequent tests have been negative. (It is possible that the spores would wash off underwater.) Investigators still have no physical evidence linking Hatfill, or anyone else, to the crime. Hatfill's lawyer, Tom Connolly, would not comment on the discovery of the box or his clients's alleged conversation. "Dr. Hatfill had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks. Period," Connolly told NEWSWEEK. Next month the FBI may drain the entire pond in hopes of finding new evidence. One item agents might be looking for: a wet suit that could have been used and disposed of by the anthrax attacker. —Daniel Klaidman and Michael Isikoff

If 9/11 prompted the attack on Iraq, then thousands will die beneath a mountain of lies

Opposed by everyone in the world who was not bought off, the illegal invasion of Iraq was undertaken for many reasons -- the imminent replacement of the dollar by the euro as the world's primary currency, the tempting lure of untapped oil reserves, the desire to consolidate U.S./Israeli military hegemony over a strategically vital region -- but the most important reason was to further obscure questions about the awesome deception staged by the American government that has come to be known as 9/11.

by John Kaminsky

9/11 was a hoax. This is no longer a wild conspiracy assertion; it is a fact, supported by thousands of other verifiable facts, foremost of which are:

* The attacks of 9/11 COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED without the willful failure of the American defense system. In Washington, D.C., Air Force pilots demanded to fly but were ordered to stand down. Yet instead of prosecuting the president and military leaders for this unprecedented dereliction of duty, military leaders were promoted and the president was praised for presiding over a defense system that suspiciously failed the most crucial test in its history. None of the deaths would have happened without deliberately unplugging America's air defenses.

* Planes that lose contact with control towers are usually intercepted by fighter jets inside of 10 minutes, as the incident with the golfer Stewart Payne's plane a few months earlier so clearly demonstrated. Yet on 9/11, the jetliners that struck New York were allowed to proceed, unmolested, for more than a half-hour, and the plane that supposedly crashed into the Pentagon was not intercepted for more than an hour and 40 minutes after it was widely known that four planes had been hijacked.

* The twin towers could not have collapsed as a result of burning jet fuel. Most of that fuel was consumed on impact. In the south tower, most of the fuel was spilled outside the building. What does stand out as particularly suspicious and still unexplained is that fires raged out of control beneath three of the collapsed towers for 100 days, indicating the possibility of some kind of substance utilized in the demolition of the structures.

The Twin Towers did not fall because of plane impacts or fires. Most likely explosives were placed on structural supports in the towers (as was done in Oklahoma City), and these controlled implosions snuffed out the lives of at least 3,000 people.

* FBI Director Robert Mueller insisted officials had no idea this kind of attack could happen when, in fact, the FBI had been investigating the possibility of exactly this kind of attack for almost 10 years. Numerous previous attempts at using planes as weapons, intimate knowledge of terror plans called Project Bojinka, and knowledge of suspicious characters attending flight schools who were being monitored by the FBI make his utterance a clear lie on its face.

In the weeks before 9/11, the U.S. received warnings from all over the world that an event just like this was about to happen, but FBI investigations into suspected terrorists were suppressed and those warnings were deliberately disregarded.

* The names of the alleged hijackers, all ostensibly Muslims, were released to the public only hours after the attacks, despite Mueller saying we had no knowledge this would happen. This is an impossible twist of logic. If he didn't know of a plan to strike buildings with planes, how would he know the names of the hijackers? Various artifacts were discovered in strategic places to try to confirm the government's story, but these have all been dismissed as suspicious planting of evidence. Since that time several names on that list have turned up alive and well, living in Arab countries. Yet no attempt has ever been made to update the list and none of these names were on the airlines' passenger lists. So, where did the FBI get the names of these suspected terrorists?

* Much like the invasion of Iraq, the anthrax attacks were designed to deflect attention from unanswered 9/11 questions in the patriotic pandemonium that followed the tragedy. In addition to making large amounts of money for the president's father and his friends from the hasty sale of inefficient drugs to a panicked populace, the investigation into these killings was abruptly halted when the trail of evidence led straight to the government's door, and has not been reopened. The anthrax attacks also amped up the climate of fear and deflected attention from the passage of the government's repressive Patriot Act.

* The Patriot Act was presented in the days after the tragedy supposedly as a response to it, yet it was clear that this heinous act, drafted to nullify provisions for freedom in the U.S. Constitution, was put together long before 9/11. In addition, testimony by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) revealed that most members of Congress were compelled to vote for the bill without even reading it. This was a vote to eliminate the Constitutional Bill of Rights, which has defined American freedom for 200 years, and it was accomplished when legislators voted for the bill without even reading it.

* The invasion of Afghanistan was presented as an attempt to pursue the alleged perpetrators of 9/11, yet it had been discussed for years prior to the tragedy and actually planned in the months before the attacks on New York and Washington. Statements by Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Republican-written Project for a New American Century [see the website at and read the neo-conservative think tank's arrogant vision for U.S.-led global corporate imperialism] have stressed that America needed a formidable enemy to accomplish its aggressive geopolitical aims. The supposed enemy we attacked in Afghanistan was a diverse group of men from all over the world who were initially recruited, encouraged and supported by the American CIA.

* The hole in the Pentagon was not made by a jumbo jet. Damage to the building was simply not consistent with the size of the hole nor the absence of debris. At the supposed point of impact, a whole bank of windows remained unbroken where jet engines and wings should have smashed them. There were no marks on the lawn and no airplane debris (except what was planted on the lawn) nor were remains of passengers ever found.

* The president stated he watched as the first plane hit, yet continued to read a story to schoolchildren in Florida for 30 minutes after being informed a second airplane had struck New York and the nation was under attack. He has never explained this puzzling behavior, nor how he saw the first plane hit. It was never televised, only recorded by a French crew filming firemen in New York. In that film, the plane in question does not appear to be a passenger airliner.

* The plane in Pennsylvania was shot down and broke apart in midair.

No other explanation can account for the wreckage, which was spread over a six-mile area, or the eyewitness accounts that describe debris falling from the sky.

* Cellphone calls cannot be made from airliners in flight that are not close to the ground. As research by Professor A. K. Dewdney has shown, the emotional conversations between hijacked passengers and others would not have been possible under conditions that existed at that moment. These calls were cynical fabrications, exploiting the distraught emotions of those who lost loved ones.

* Radio communications from firefighters on the upper floors of the Trade Center towers clearly indicate that fires were under control and the structure was in no danger of collapsing.

These are merely a few of the facts that counter the deliberately false statements made by U.S. officials about 9/11. They provide crystal clear evidence that our president, his staff, and many legislators should be indicted on charges of treason, obstruction of justice and mass murder. Above all, these evil men should be removed from their positions of authority before they implement more of their moneymaking murder schemes like the one they are now perpetrating on the innocent people of Iraq.

Otherwise, we face a future of endless war abroad and merciless repression at home.

Consider just a few more of the other unanswered questions from among the thousands of unexplained loose ends that all point to 9/11 being an inside job.

* Who benefited from the suspiciously high numbers of “put” options purchased prior to September 11 for shares in companies whose stock prices subsequently plummeted, on the supposition that whoever was behind the hijacking was also behind most of the purchases of these put options? And what was the role of the new executive director of the CIA, Buzzy Krongard, who handled these transactions?

* Why was the debris from the collapsed Twin Towers removed from the site with no forensic examination? Why was almost all of it sold to scrap merchants and shipped abroad where it would not be available for scientific examination?

* Why does the government refuse to release any transcripts of communications or any records relating to signals transmitted by those jets?

* Why did so many people, from San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to many employees of companies in the World Trade Center who failed to come to work that day, know in advance that something bad was going to happen on Sept. 11, 2001?

* Why do all the major U.S. media continue to act as if none of these questions is legitimate or relevant?

Today, millions of people around the world are protesting the criminal destruction of the nation of Iraq. But these protests won't change the number of minds necessary to stop America's criminal madmen from continuing with their genocidal aim of enslaving the entire world.

What WILL stop them is spreading the realization that President George W. Bush and his billionaire accomplices in the oil industry perpetrated 9/11 as an excuse to begin the militarization of America for the purpose of world conquest.

History has shown all too clearly the deceived American people WILL support the destruction of faraway countries on phony pretexts of defending so-called freedom.

Thus the needless wars continue. Right now we watch high-tech weapons slaughter the defenseless people of Iraq. Soon it will be Iran, Syria, Colombia, Venezuela, North Korea, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and who knows where else. All these misguided atrocities will be possible because of the hoax known as 9/11.

But the American people will not -- and cannot -- tolerate leaders who kill our own people merely to invent a pretext -- the war on terror -- to go around killing anyone they like.

If the American people DO tolerate such an insane strategy, then they clearly do not deserve to survive as a nation or a people.

John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the coast of Florida and can't understand why the president hasn't been arrested for his obvious lies and crimes. He can be emailed at

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.

"This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

~Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich-Marshall, speaking at the Nuremberg Trials following WWII

Flashback: Russian MP claims US carried out September 11 attacks

An outspoken Russian MP says he believes America is responsible for the September 11 attacks. Vladimir Zhirinovsky claims the US carried out the attacks to maintain world domination. He made the remarks at a Nato parliamentary conference in Ottawa, Canada.

Zhirinovsky, a former Russian presidential candidate, is known for his inflammatory statements. "The United States is responsible. All the terror has been organised by the United States. Osama (bin Laden) had nothing to do with it," he said.

Speaking through an interpreter, he added: "The United States, in order to consolidate its efforts and to produce a coalition, needed to have some sort of provocation in order to invoke Article 5 of the Nato treaty. It is a new political technology to keep domination in the world."

Zhirinovsky says the war against terrorism is phoney and has been triggered by an unstable US dollar, oil prices and a military industrial complex that "needs an enemy".

"In the 20th century, there were some symbols to fight against, like fascism and communism," he said. "They don't exist any more. Now they have found such a symbol, which is terrorism, which has no borders, which has no time limits."

He believes the Americans could capture bin Laden if they wanted to, reports the Winnipeg Sun.

India, Russia to hold joint naval exercises

Press Trust of India Moscow, May 18

In their largest deployment since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union, Russian warships are set to begin long-planned naval exercises with India this week in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said today, according to the Interfax-Military News Agency.

Nine Russian warships including the Black Sea Fleet's flagship missile cruiser Moskva and the Pacific Fleet's anti-submarine ships Marshal Shaposhnikov and Admiral Panteleyev are already in the region.

Ivanov, speaking during a working visit in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, said the exercises would begin on Tuesday and Wednesday. Interfax quoted him as saying that ships from Russia's Black Sea fleet will train with the Indian Navy's western fleet the Arabian Sea, while the Pacific Ocean fleet vessels will conduct manoeuvres with India's eastern fleet in the Bay of Bengal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that the joint exercises are a first of their kind for Russia, whose clout on the seas has declined since the Soviet collapse.

Russia's Defense Ministry announced the planned exercises last month and denied media speculation that the deployment to the Indian Ocean had anything to do with events in Iraq.

"We purposely delayed the start ... And waited for the end of the war," Interfax quoted Ivanov as saying Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ivanov praised Wednesday's Russian air forc exercises, which involved six strategic bombers firing cruise missiles over the Indian Ocean. He said it was the first time that this type of exercise was carried out "at a very long distance from our borders.

Comment: hmmm...

Ethiopia food crisis 'overlooked'

Sunday, May 18, 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Ethiopia is sliding toward a famine in what aid agencies and politicians complain is a "silent emergency" that has evaded the world's spotlight because of crises in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ravaged by drought and recently flooding, roughly one-fifth of Ethiopia's population is estimated to be at risk of starvation and while aid workers stress the situation is not as dire as the 1984 famine when a million people died, it is very serious.

[...] "We are seriously concerned about the situation in Ethiopia. We are at a point where we have 12.6 million people at risk. We can still avert a large-scale crisis as long as we can move quickly to get food to the people who need it. It certainly is looking like it could be a critical situation," said WFP spokesman Jordan Dey.

Aid agencies complain the world has turned a blind eye to Ethiopia's plight, preferring to focus on conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

[...] U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, said he visited Ethiopia in January and saw the same tragic scenes he also witnessed in 1984.

[...] "If nothing is done, soon we will have a famine of biblical proportions," Wolf added.

Study: Big California quake may be really big

Sunday, May 18, 2003

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The faults that crisscross Southern California may be capable of rupturing in concert to produce larger earthquakes than previously thought, according to several studies of the magnitude-7.9 quake that rocked Alaska last year.

[...] A suite of new studies examining the earthquake reveal that it was actually a composite of three smaller quakes that began on one fault, skipped to a second and then moved on to a third. Details appear Thursday in the journal Science.

The findings suggest a similar situation could arise in seismically analogous Southern California, where a rupture on the Sierra Madre thrust fault could trigger an earthquake on the strike-slip San Andreas fault. In strike-slip faults, two blocks move past each other in a horizontal fashion to produce earthquakes. Thrust faults do so when one block pushes upward over another, as if moving up a ramp.

The San Andreas runs nearly the length of California but comes no closer than about 40 miles (65 kilometers) of Los Angeles. The Sierra Madre passes just miles from downtown Los Angeles.

An earthquake that struck simultaneously on both faults could be as large as magnitude-8, or larger than expected for so close to Los Angeles...

Arkansas Picking Up After Storms, Floods

Sat May 17, 2003

By PEGGY HARRIS, Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Rivers swollen by overnight storms flooded fields and county roads Saturday, hindering efforts to restore electricity to homes and businesses.

At least two traffic deaths were blamed on the rain and heavy wind that started Friday and continued into early Saturday.

Officials in five counties declared local emergencies because of the flooding and wind damage, said Jennifer Gordon, a spokeswoman for the state Emergency Management Department.

[...] The National Weather Service had not yet confirmed that tornadoes were to blame for wind damage at Osceola, and in Jackson and White counties. Meteorologist John Robinson confirmed a tornado rated a path 4.7 miles long through Benton in Saline County...

Astronomy's lords of the ring invade Scotland for eclipse

Stephen Khan, Scotland editor
Sunday May 18, 2003
The Observer

The giant fiery ring will rise before humbled masses as nature takes its course. A flaming circle of Sun above the sea is due to delight thousands of awe-struck sky-gazers drawn to Scotland's extremities from across Europe.
This phenomenon of nature is the annular eclipse - the first visible in Britain for more than 80 years. It is a spectacle expected, for sheer drama, to rival the solar eclipse that drew thousands to Cornwall in 1999.

If - and in Scotland it's a big 'if' - the skies are reasonably clear, television crews, astronomers, tourists, druids, sun-worshippers and latter-day pagans gathered at John O'Groats in the early hours of 31 May will be treated to a stunning event. The newly risen Sun will be almost entirely blotted from the sky by the Moon, but unlike the solar eclipse seen in southern England four years ago, this time a narrow circle of sunlight will be visible around the Moon.

Only those who make the long journey to the north coast of Scotland or beyond will be able to catch a glimpse of the first annular eclipse visible in Britain since 1921. The last solar eclipse prior to 1999 was in 1927. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon covers the centre of the Sun but not its edges, so that a ring - or annulus - of light is left around the Moon.

Taking A Shot At Einstein

By Robert Kunzig

Seeking a grander theory, rebel physicists break a cosmic speed limit.

Even if João Magueijo had not advocated castrating an editor at a prestigious science journal, and even if he hadn't suggested that rival physicists, ostensibly brilliant like Magueijo, were just posers--in short, even if Magueijo were a less colorful rebel, his ideas would have attracted attention. After all, he is taking on Einstein, and ever since we placed Einstein on a pedestal, we have been titillated by the idea of knocking him off. Magazine editors know that putting the antic-haired genius on the cover, perhaps over the words Faster Than the Speed of Light--the somewhat misleading title of Magueijo's recent book--all but guarantees sales.

And yet Magueijo, a physicist at Imperial College, London, is for real, and he is not alone. As we near the end of our first century in a relative universe, challenges to Einstein's theory are in the air. They are respectful challenges; even Magueijo isn't proposing to throw relativity out the window, any more than Einstein junked Newton. "We get E-mail and letters all the time from amateurs who think they have found a mistake in Einstein's theory," says Lee Smolin, a physicist at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. "That's not what is going on here." If relativity is wrong, it is wrong by such tiny amounts or in such particular circumstances that you have to go to great lengths to find the error.

But there is optimism these days that, by studying light from the distant universe, researchers may soon be able to measure such smaller-than-nano deviations. They may need to find them, if they are ever to create a unified theory of all the forces of nature. To fulfill that dream, which obsessed Einstein after he turned 40 or so, physicists may have to tinker with the theory he invented when he, too, was a young revolutionary, disguised as a patent clerk. They may have to bend his best-known principle: the one that says the speed of light is an absolute, always and everywhere the same, and faster than anything else.

C is special. That principle was born in 1905, when Einstein wedded space and time into something called spacetime. Until then, in Newtonian physics, space and time were separate, independent of each other and of the things in them. Time flowed at the same rate for everyone, and space was a fixed stage on which the universe played out its history. Nineteenth-century physicists filled that stage with a mysterious, invisible "aether," a medium that transmitted light waves the way air transmits sound waves. The aether was assumed to be at absolute rest, a fixed "reference frame" for all motions.

No one could ever detect the aether, though; in the 1880s, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley tried ingeniously and failed. And after Einstein proposed his theory of special relativity two decades later, physicists realized they should give up on absolute space and time. Einstein postulated, first, that the laws of physics don't prefer one reference frame over another, as long as each is moving at a constant velocity. Second, he said that c, the speed of light, will appear exactly the same to every observer, in every frame of reference.

A century later, that second postulate still defies common sense. It says that if you're driving down the highway at a quarter the speed of light, you'll still see the photons from your headlights racing ahead of you at light speed--not three-quarters light speed. If I'm coming from the opposite direction at half light speed, I'll still see your photons approaching at c--not 1.5 times c. Since speed is just space divided by time, and we both agree about the speed of light, we can't possibly agree about space and time. You say my clock is too slow and my yardstick has shrunk (not to mention my whole car). Maddeningly, I say the same about you. The one thing we agree on, aside from c itself, is the distance covered by the photons in the weird new reference frame of four-dimensional spacetime. Read more:

Strange Creature Forces Maru Women Indoors

Women in Maru, headquarters of Maru Local Government area of Zamfara have been forced to remain indoors in the evenings for fear of a strange creature which chases them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the mysterious creature, said to be half human, half horse, usually appear in the early hours of the morning and in the evenings.

The appearance of the strange creature has crippled the socio-economic activities in the town, especially at night as people prefer to stay at home from 4 pm till morning.

The creature believed to have surfaced in different locations of the town is causing so much anxiety and fear among residents, particularly women.

When contacted to comment on the issue, one of the sons of Emir of Maru, Alhaji Isa Maru said the rumour was strong and "we are still trying to get to the root of it."

Escape 'The Matrix,' Go Directly to Jail
Some Defendants in Slaying Cases Make Reference to Hit Movie

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 17, 2003; Page A01

Josh Cooke wasn't merely a fan of the hit movie "The Matrix." He believed he lived inside The Matrix, his lawyers say.

The 19-year-old had a huge movie poster hanging in his Oakton bedroom and a trench coat like the one worn by Neo, Keanu Reeves's character. He bought a 12-gauge shotgun, similar to one of the weapons Neo uses to fight the "agents" in the movie.

And on Feb. 17, Fairfax County police say, he walked into his family's basement and shot his father seven times with the shotgun and his mother twice. He then called the police -- twice -- to calmly report the killings.

Cooke's fascination with the movie is shared by others who also have been charged with murder. Some high-profile crimes since the movie's 1999 release have allegedly been committed without any obvious motive other than attempts to escape The Matrix.

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