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 30, 2003
Cassiopaea relies completely on individual reader contributions. This allows us to keep our independence.
Send your comments and suggestions to sottSPAMNOT@cassiopaea.com.
IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!
"In the beginning of a
"Fear not the path of truth,
"I read the news today, oh
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.
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.
"It is dangerous to be right in
matters on which the established authorities are wrong."
Faith of consciousness is
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.'
AlltheWeb indexes over 2.1 billion web pages, 118 million multimedia files, 132 million FTP files, two million MP3s, 15 million PDF files and supports 49 languages, making it one of the largest search engines available to search enthusiasts. AlltheWeb provides the freshest information because we update our index every 7 to 11 days and index up to 800 news stories per minute from 3,000 news sources.
[prev] [list] [???] [join] [next]
U.S. 'negation' policy in space raises concerns abroad
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — While much of the talk around the Pentagon these days focuses on "transformation" of the military, some of the United States' closest allies worry about another buzzword being used in subtler ways at the National Reconnaissance Office: "negation."
The nation's largest intelligence agency by budget and in control of all U.S. spy satellites, NRO is talking openly with the U.S. Air Force Space Command about actively denying the use of space for intelligence purposes to any other nation at any time—not just adversaries, but even longtime allies, according to NRO director Peter Teets.
At the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in early April, Teets proposed that U.S. resources from military, civilian and commercial satellites be combined to provide "persistence in total situational awareness, for the benefit of this nation's war fighters." If allies don't like the new paradigm of space dominance, said Air Force secretary James Roche, they'll just have to learn to accept it. The allies, he told the symposium, will have "no veto power."
Beginning next year, NRO will be in charge of the new Offensive Counter-Space program, which will come up with plans to specifically deny the use of near- Earth space to other nations, said Teets.
The program will include two components: the Counter Communication System, designed to disrupt other nations' communication networks from space; and the Counter Surveillance Reconnaissance System, formed to prevent other countries from using advanced intelligence-gathering technology in air or space.
"Negation implies treating allies poorly," Robert Lawson, senior policy adviser for nonproliferation in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, said at a Toronto conference in late March. "It implies treaty busting."...
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Judd Blaisdell, director of the Air Force Space Operations Office, said recently, "We are so dominant in space that I pity a country that would come up against us."
Missile-defense critic William Hartung, of the Institute for Policy Studies, said none of this should be a surprise. U.S. unilateralism in space was codified in a Sept. 20, 2002, document titled the "National Security Strategy of the United States."
After the administration renounced the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty last year, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made it clear that the abrogation of treaty constraints in the use of radar and tracking devices was not just for the benefit of fielding a missile-defense system, but to build better unilateral networks to manage the planet from space.
In fact, NRO director Teets said here and in earlier Congressional testimony that it is artificial to see communication tools, intelligence tools and missile-defense tools as separate. In reality, he said, the programs all feed into each other and help reinforce the Pentagon's current overwhelming space dominance...
The constellation of 27 satellites in the Global Positioning Satellite navigation network were used in Iraq to turn dumb bombs into precision weapons. With further upgrades planned in the GPS-III system, DoD wants to be sure the United States holds the trump in space-based navigation.
The SBIRS-High infrared detection system, meanwhile, has become one of the Defense Department's biggest white elephants.
Comment: The question of the control of space is going to become an ever more important issue as the US seeks to clamp down its total control of the world. It "implies" treaty busting, but the US is a law unto itself. Below we report that Bush is planning to stay at the three-day G-8 meeting for only 24 hours, an obvious affront tot he other members. He has a schedule to maintain. Let's remember what happened tha last time he started to waver....
OTTAWA - Canada will begin talks with the United States on its possible participation in a ballistic missile defence system.
Defence Minister John McCallum made the announcement Thursday in the House of Commons.
McCallum said Ottawa has three reasons for entering talks: to protect Canadian lives, to preserve Norad's role in the defence of North America, and to reinforce Canada's opposition to the weaponization of space.
"It is our responsibility to ensure any arrangement protects our national interests. This will be at the forefront of our discussions," said McCallum.
Missile defence can benefit Canada, he said, but our participation is not unconditional.
McCallum stressed Canada's desire to keep space free from weapons, saying the American position on the issue is "unclear."
North Korea says any action the United States takes against it will result in a nuclear war that will reduce the peninsula to ashes.
The communist country has been getting more warlike in its rhetoric since the recent summit between US President George W Bush and his South Korean counterpart, Roh Moo Hyun.
In its latest outburst, Pyongyang warned that any steps taken against it by the US and its allies will result in "nuclear disaster". The statement said North Korea has developed a "powerful deterrent force".
"Our military deterrent force serves as a merciless sledgehammer to the aggressors but an iron shield for the South Korean people," the Korean Central News Agency said. "The compatriots in South Korea should be highly proud of our powerful military deterrent force."
WASHINGTON (CP) - Even with pledges of reconciliation, this year's summit of the world's eight most economically developed countries promises to go down as one of the most unusual.
The Iraq war exposed a big rift in the transatlantic alliance. And while leaders say they will seek agreement on boosting a sluggish global economy, fighting poverty and AIDS in Africa and promoting Middle East peace, President George W. Bush's decision to leave early will be a sharp reminder of their differences.
France, Germany, Russia and Canada - the four Group of Eight countries that opposed the war - have all sought in recent days to heal the divisions with leaders insisting that they are looking forward to a productive three days of talks starting Sunday in Evian, a French alpine spa.
"Although there is some anxiety (about the recent differences), I am convinced that Evian can convey a message of confidence in world economic growth," French President Jacques Chirac said this week in a newspaper interview.
But the White House announced Wednesday that Bush will cut his time in Evian to a little over 24 hours, leaving at mid-afternoon Monday so that he can fly to the Mideast for an intensive round of talks with Arab and Israeli leaders aimed at getting the Palestinian peace talks back on track...
Bush wants to convey to France and Germany that "there is a price to pay for defying the United States in the way that they did," said Ivo Daalder, a National Security Council European expert in the Clinton administration.
Certainly, in the run-up to the summit, the administration went out of its way to emphasize the close ties Bush enjoys with summit leaders who supported the war - Britain's Tony Blair, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and Japan's Junichiro Koizumi, who was awarded a prize visit to Bush's ranch last week. Likewise, Bush's visit to Poland will reward a European country that committed troops to the conflict...
Bush would normally devote considerable time to a string of one-on-one meetings with the other leaders, but this year he will meet briefly only with summit host Chirac and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Comment: Game Theory is a form of strategy-making where those without conscience, especially psychopathic types, will always win when they have interactions with people who do have a conscience, who are able to hurt for another. Looking at Bush's behaviour, it is clear that his actions are being planned out according to Game Theory: his constant pushing everyone else into situations where they are obliged to accept his insults, his violence, his psychopathology because it is clear he doesn't care one whit about them and is willing to go to extremes to impose his will on others regardless of the consequences.
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie Thursday accused the US media of poisoning French-US ties with a disinformation campaign because of France's opposition to the Iraq war.
Speaking to reporters in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, she said certain US media had "sowed disinformation which could poison relations between the peoples of the two countries."
"There are many lies and defamatory statements against France by some newspapers, and the editors of those papers bear a heavy responsibility," said Alliot-Marie after talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. [...]
By DOUG SAUNDERS From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
UPDATED AT 2:37 AM EDT
Trapped on the other side of the country aboard Air Force One, the President has lost his cool: "If some tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me! I'll be at home! Waiting for the bastard!"
His Secret Service chief seems taken aback. "But Mr. President . . ."
The President brusquely interrupts him. "Try Commander-in-Chief. Whose present command is: Take the President home!"
Was this George W. Bush's moment of resolve on Sept. 11, 2001? Well, not exactly. Actually, the scene took place this month, on a Toronto sound stage.
The histrionics, filmed for a two-hour television movie to be broadcast this September, are as close as you can get to an official White House account of its activities at the outset of the war on terrorism.
Written and produced by a White House insider with the close co-operation of Mr. Bush and his top officials, the movie The Big Dance represents an unusually close merger of Washington's ambitions with the Hollywood entertainment machinery.
A copy of the script obtained by The Globe and Mail reveals a prime-time drama starring a nearly infallible, heroic president with little or no dissension in his ranks and a penchant for delivering articulate, stirring, off-the-cuff addresses to colleagues...
Lionel Chetwynd, the film's creator, sees nothing untoward about his role as the semi-official White House apologist in Hollywood. For him, having a well- connected Republican create the movie was a way to get the official message around what he sees as an entertainment industry packed with liberals and Democratic Party supporters.
"A feeding frenzy had started to develop around this story, and a lot of people who wanted to do this story had a very clear political agenda, very clear," Mr. Chetwynd said in an interview from his Los Angeles home Tuesday. "My own view of the administration is somewhat more sympathetic than, say, Alec Baldwin's. . . . In fact, I'm technically a member of the administration [Mr. Chetwynd sits on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities], so I let it be known that I was also interested in doing it. I threw myself on the mercies of my friend Karl Rove."
Mr. Rove is the President's chief political adviser, so this was not a typical Hollywood pitch.
Comment: For a different take on the President's day...
Brendan Nyhan and Bryan Keefer May 28, 2003
In the wake of the war in Iraq, a number of questions have arisen about events during the war and Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda. As in our earlier columns about the Iraq debate, this article is intended to deal only with claims that have been addressed definitively or near-definitively in the public record. It is our hope that this column will serve to clarify some of the key issues being debated in the aftermath of the war and correct some of the most pervasive myths in circulation.
Have weapons of mass destruction been found in Iraq?
To date, no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) have been found. During and after the war, there were a number of highly publicized reports of WMD finds, such as this April 2 report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on the possible presence of chemical and biological weapons and this April 11 Fox News report on a discovery of possible weapons-grade plutonium. All have proven false or inconclusive, however (and usually receive far less attention when disproved).
On April 24, President Bush suggested for the first time that Saddam Hussein may have destroyed the WMDs Bush alleges he possessed before the war. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld offered the same suggestion yesterday for the first time during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The administration has claimed that two trailers it has found in Iraq were mobile laboratories used to produce biological weapons, but, as the New York Times reported, experts reached this conclusion by ruling out other possible uses of the trucks rather than finding direct evidence of biological weapons or the production of them.
Nonetheless, the White House has seized on these findings to support its claims about Iraq's WMD programs before the war. Last week, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan cited the labs in response to criticism from Senator Robert Byrd, D-VA, and Reuters reported yesterday that Rumsfeld echoed these allegations at the Council for Foreign Relations.
18:28 Thursday 29th May 2003
Saddam Hussein is alive and co-ordinating terror attacks inside Iraq, a leading opposition figure has claimed. But he says a wide-scale resistance movement against coalition forces does not exist. [...]
Chalabi said Saddam was renewing his activities inside Iraq and his supporters had been distributing leaflets in recent days. "They are also trying to capitalise on the issues of occupation and presence of foreign troops," he said.
Attacks and ambushes against coalition forces have increased in recent days. Nine American soldiers have died in the past week.
When asked how strong the level of popular Iraqi resistance to the occupying US and British forces was, Chalabi said: "There is no resistance, there are acts of terrorism conducted by Saddam and his associates against the coalition and against other Iraqis."
Lieutenant-General David McKiernan said more forces may have to be deployed on combat operations around the country.
US units have been come under nearly daily attacks which General McKiernan blamed on "thugs under [Saddam Hussein's] regime" who have "no future in this country".
His comments came as UK Prime Minister Tony Blair made the first visit to Iraq by a Western leader since the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
Mr Blair told British troops in Basra that they took part in "a momentous and mighty act" in liberating the country. [...]
Mr Blair said history would look back on the Iraq conflict as "one of the defining moments of the century". [...]
"But I can assure you of one thing - there is absolutely no dispute in Britain at all about your professionalism and your courage and your dedication and not just in the way you won the war, which was extraordinary, but the way you are conducting the peace, which is remarkable." [...]
Comment: Horse hockey. Blair is a consummate liar and most likely a psychopath.
There have also been reports of protests turning violent in the town of Hit, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Baghdad. [...]
Angry residents surged into the streets, burning police cars and throwing stones and hand-made grenades at US forces, the Reuters news agency said.
Comment: First we are told that coalition forces are fighting "organised remnants" of Saddam's regime, and then we are told that it is angry residents who are protesting and combatting the occupation of their country. So which is it? The following article provides some clarity:
5/29/2003 9:55 AM
BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 29 (UPI) -- An Iraqi group that claims to have elected its command committee from most of the country's provinces has been formed to fight and prevent cooperation with U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.
The group, called the "Unification Front for the Liberation of Iraq," announced its existence with a statement published Thursday by the Lebanese newspaper As Safir.
The group said its principal mission was to "liberate the Iraqi territories from foreign occupation," using "all adequate political and military means." It called on all Iraqi national political forces for quick resistance action, preventing cooperation with the occupation and boycotting its "agents."
It blamed the collapsed Baath Party regime of ousted President Saddam Hussein for the presence of the U.S.-led coalition forces. [...]
Tony Blair today thanked British troops in Iraq for the "magnificent" job they had done in helping to liberate the country.
Addressing some 400 British personnel in Basra, southern Iraq, Mr Blair said: "I know there are a lot of disagreements in the country about the wisdom of my decision to order the action, but I can assure you of one thing, there is absolutely no dispute in Britain at all about your professionalism and your courage and your dedication."
Mr Blair told the troops they could be proud "not just of the way you won the war, which was extraordinary, but the way that you are conducting the peace, which is remarkable".
Mr Blair told the troops: "I would just like to express the sense of pride that everybody has in Britain over the magnificent job you have done."
The Prime Minister said the taking of the Al Faw peninsula and the city of Basra with a minimum of civilian casualties was "famous right round the world". [...]
Comment: This article contains more excerpts from Blair's speech to his troops. It is an exceptional example of the delusional drivel that seems to be the standard in the US and UK these days.
Desert Rats soldier arrested over 'torture' of
Details of the arrest emerged hours after the Prime Minister visited the Desert Rats in Basra, lavishing praise on their conduct and performance during the war. “There is absolutely no dispute about your professionalism and your courage and your dedication,” he said.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that a member of the 1st Battalion of Royal Regiment of Fusiliers had been arrested after allegations that he had photographs depicting maltreatment of prisoners and the Army’s Special Investigations branch has launched a war crimes inquiry. If the allegations are found to be true, they would be a clear breach of the Geneva Convention.
Comment: What were Blair's words? "Professionalism, courage and dedication in the way you won the war" The above must be an example of what Blair means, and we can be sure that the policy was rife with this one soldier being made a scapegoat.
"We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong
for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost
the war, but that they started it," US Supreme Court Justice Robert
L. Jackson who was a representative to the International Conference
on Military Trials at the end of World War II. He further stated
that, "no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive
war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of
29 May, 2003, 17:16 GMT
Published last September, the dossier warned that Saddam Hussein had the capacity to activate his biological and chemical weapons in just 45 minutes.
But the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has suggested that the weapons might have been destroyed before the fighting began. The intelligence official told the BBC the dossier had been "transformed" a week before it was published on the orders of Downing Street.
He said: "The classic example was the statement that weapons of mass destruction were ready for use within 45 minutes. "That information was not in the original draft. It was included in the dossier against our wishes because it wasn't reliable.
"Most things in the dossier were double source but that was single source and we believe that the source was wrong." He said "most people in intelligence" were unhappy about the changes because they "didn't reflect the considered view they were putting forward". [...]
Comment: Does anyone feel a little angry that we have been deliberately duped and lied to? Many people mulled over the information that was presented to make the case for war in Iraq, perhaps giving the benefit of the doubt to Bush and Blair in the belief that such impassioned conviction that Saddam must be removed was based on some reliable evidence and that we should trust them. Now we see that they are simply very adept liars, men without conscience who have no problem blatantly lying to millions of people on live television. These are the men who are ruling over us, deciding our fate. Happy about that? If not, what are you gonna do about it?
WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com)—The U.S. invasion of Iraq was the most serious act of aggression in the country's history and it was in clear violation of the most important provisions of international law, according to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
The "crimes" committed by President George W. Bush and others in his administration warrant the severest response from an alarmed citizenry: impeachment, Mr. Clark told a luncheon audience at the National Press Club May 12.
"I urge everyone who cares about the integrity of our Constitution to take back the Constitution by insisting that the House of Representatives, which has the sole power of impeachment, process impeachment proceedings now against President Bush for launching this war of aggression," Mr. Clark said. [...]
Comment: We urge everyone to do the same, who knows what a little pressure from a lot of people can do...
By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI, Associated Press Writer
NASIRIYAH, Iraq - The U.S. commandos refused a key and instead broke down doors and went in with guns drawn. They carried away the prisoner in the dead of night with helicopter and armored vehicle backup — even though there was no Iraqi military presence and the hospital staff didn't resist.
In the tale of Pfc. Jessica Lynch's rescue, this is the Iraqi side.
New attention has been drawn to the April 1 rescue since a BBC report earlier this month created controversy by charging the Pentagon (news - web sites) exaggerated the danger of the raid.
An Associated Press reporter spoke to more than 20 doctors, nurses and other workers at the hospital. In interview after interview, the assessment was the same: The dramatics that surrounded Lynch's rescue were unnecessary. Some also said the raid itself was unneeded because they were trying to turn Lynch over, although they conceded they made no attempt to notify U.S. troops of that effort.
U.S. military officers answer that the rescuers didn't know Iraqi troops had left Nasiriyah General Hospital and that the Americans had to storm in ready to deal with any circumstance. They add that U.S. troops outside the hospital were fired on and that fighting was still going on elsewhere in the southern city, which saw some of the fiercest combat of the war.
"If they had come to the door and asked for Jessica, we would have gladly handed her over to them. There was no need for all that drama," said Dr. Hazem Rikabi, an internist.
"Why the show? They just wanted to prove they were heroes," he said. "There was no battle." [...]
Comment: More BS from the US war propaganda machine.
stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of
now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for
the production of biological weapons.
declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once
again misleading the world.
for a fact that there are weapons there.
intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the
materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX
that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass
destruction, is determined to make more.
sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi
field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the
dictator tells us he does not have.
the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of
mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment
has to be clearly not.
Intelligence gathered by this
and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime
continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons
there is no question that we have evidence and information that
Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical
particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the
operation, for whatever duration it takes.
no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of
mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will
be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them
and who guard them.
I have no
doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass
our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a
number of sites.
where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass
destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.
you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a
measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass
destruction will be found.
learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi
scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he
destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find
people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so
that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that
find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had
weapons of mass destruction.
believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in
surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam
Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.
officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and
find" weapons of mass destruction.
don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean,
there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago --
whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether
they're still hidden.
the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had
weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected
them to be found. I still expect them to be found.
time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating,
I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass
have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.
bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass
destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the
one reason everyone could agree on.
key countries - whose governments openly allow these
money-laundering systems to exist – were Switzerland,
Liechtenstein, Panama and Nassau. Corporate registrations and bank
accounts there use "straw men" and secrecy rules to cover up true
owners of companies and accounts.
was the question:
For the record, Rumsfeld's answer: "The Department of the Treasury has been working with other countries and attempting to locate the assets that the Saddam Hussein family and regime have placed in other countries. They found some, and I’m sure they have not found additional sums, and I’m sure they’re working on it."
Rumsfeld clumsily side-stepped the question, because the Bush administration has reversed the Clinton-era policy that attempted at least minimal reforms of the offshore system. It has blocked European efforts to pierce bank secrecy by allowing tax authorities to share information on non-residents' bank accounts. It does not want to change the offshore system, because its corporate and wealthy supporters use it to evade taxes.
Rumsfeld would know how that works, because he was CEO of G.D. Searle & Co, a worldwide pharmaceutical company, and of General Instrument Corporation, which deals in broadband technologies. International corporations routinely use the offshore system for "transfer pricing" - corporatespeak for the practice of moving bookkeeping entries around the globe so they can report near-zero profits to the IRS.
Here we go again. While postwar Iraq continues to crumble, the Bush administration is now setting its sights on a new target--Iran--in its so-called effort to reshape most of the Middle East and bring democracy to countries ruled by vicious dictators. But the Bush administration is again relying on flimsy evidence and thin intelligence information in claiming that the Iran poses an immediate threat to the United States.
The U.S. still hasn't uncovered any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which was the prime reason for launching an attack against the country. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in an interview reported by CNN Tuesday that it's possible the WMD in Iraq may have been destroyed prior to the war. So, right now, the Bush administration has a credibility problem similar to that of The New York Times, which is still reeling from a spectacular scandal that one of its reporters fabricated dozens of national stories.
In taking a hardline stance against Iran, the Bush administration is going to have to do better than "trust us" and this time offer some hard evidene that countries like Iran pose an immediate threat to U.S. interests.
Still, if the rhetoric coming out of the White House this week is any indicator, the U.S. is gearing up for war, again. The reasons, however, are based on accusations, not tangible evidence. [...]
29— The Pentagon is advocating a massive covert action
program to overthrow Iran's ruling ayatollahs as the only way to
stop the country's nuclear weapons ambitions, senior State
Department and Pentagon officials told ABCNEWS.
But sources say it is a viable option that is getting a new look as the administration ramps up its rhetoric against Iran, and it is likely to be one of the top items on the agenda as high-level U.S. policymakers meet today to discuss how to deal with the Islamic republic.
The Pentagon's proposal includes using all available points of pressure on the Iranian regime, including backing armed Iranian dissidents and employing the services of the Mujahedeen e Khalq, a group currently branded as terrorist by the United States.
The MEK, which had been primarily supported by Iraq and was responsible for numerous attacks inside Iran, agreed after the Iraq war to a truce with U.S. forces.
The Pentagon specifically set aside a proposal to reconstitute the MEK under a different banner and promote their armed incursions into Iran, much as the MEK had been doing under Saddam. As the State Department insisted, and the White House concurred, the MEK has been disarmed but their forces are still in place and their weapons are in storage.
The State Department argument was that MEK is on the terrorist list and any failure to disarm it would be an act of hypocrisy, which was the same line taken by the Iranians in confidential meetings that have been ongoing in Geneva, until the United States recently cut them off. [...]
29, 2003 02:20 PM ET
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia ignored U.S. objections on Thursday and vowed to keep building a nuclear power plant in Iran, saying only a special U.N. meeting could assess whether Tehran was violating promises not to use it to produce weapons.
Days before Russia hosts summit talks with U.S. President George Bush, the station at Bushehr remained a serious irritant as President Vladimir Putin tries to soothe differences over his refusal to back the war to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Russia's Foreign Ministry said Moscow would defer to the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog in determining whether Iran was keeping promises to confine its nuclear program to peaceful purposes.
"We do note that unofficial information has recently appeared about military applications of Iran's nuclear program," spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement.
"Russia considers that only the International Atomic Energy Agency, as a competent international body, can evaluate Iran's non-proliferation commitments." [...]
29, 2003 11:04 AM ET
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and China called on Thursday for reform of the United Nations to uphold its pivotal role in world affairs.
Both countries are permanent veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, the organization's decision-making body circumvented by the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq without explicit U.N. backing.
Moscow and Beijing restated their commitment to the world body at a meeting of presidents from the six nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which also includes four ex-Soviet states in Central Asia.
"The United Nations can and should be reformed in line with the rapidly changing situation in the world, priority being given to the need to solve in an effective way the problems of world politics and security," a post-summit declaration said.
No specifics were given in the statement. But heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao, stressed they wanted to see the U.N. Security Council preserve its key position. [...]
Printed on Monday, May 26, 2003 @ 20:58:53 CDT
TORONTO (NFTF.org) -- Fighting erupted May 22 in troubled Ituri province in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Background Report), near the border with Uganda. It is not known if there are significant fatalities but the fighting appears to be the result of in-fighting in the rebel group Forces armées pour le Congo (FAPC) which is a breakaway faction of the Union des patriots congolais (UPC). UPC is a militia force of the Hema tribe which has been in fierce conflict with the Lendu tribe for several weeks prior to last weekend's truce.
Printed on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 @ 23:37:30 CDT
TORONTO (NFTF.org) -- The United Nations says that tribal leaders and rebels who hold control of parts of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Background Report) are preventing their efforts to deliver humanitarian aid. Vicious fighting occurred for several weeks in and around the town of Bunia in Ituri province until a truce that took effect on May 17. But to complicate matters further, fighting erupted in Bunia again Tuesday with renewed clashes between rival Hema and Lendu militias, the principle groups who agreed to the truce only 10 days ago.
While the exact reasons for the flare-up are not clear, there are suggestions by the U.N. personnel that it may be linked to a weekend theft and destruction of some 300,000 units of various vaccines from the Bunia General Hospital; the vaccines were funded by the U.N. Children's Fund. There was also a break-in at a World Health Organization warehouse where medical equipment and refrigerators were taken. It isn't known who staged these raids although most assume that since the Hema militia currently controls Bunia, the Lendu were likely responsible.
Printed on Thursday, May 29, 2003 @ 10:23:43 CDT
TORONTO (NFTF.org) -- Multiple international news agencies began reporting on May 28 that an international force, led by France, will begin deploying in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Background Report) next week. Ituri province in northeastern DRC has been the scene of bloody ethnic violence for several weeks and although there is a shaky truce in place at this moment, everyone involved agrees the ceasefire is quite precarious.
While the news of an international force is welcome, the media appear to be getting ahead of the facts. France has urged the United Nations Security Council to approve such a force and it is expected that a vote on the issue will be held on May 30. But France has been urging this force for about a month and the Security Council has so far not felt sufficiently aroused to take urgent steps.
Marks in Bantayan, Aceh
Aceh is a place where soldiers shoot the fingers off a 14-year-old boy out of spite and an elderly man can no longer read a newspaper after being beaten up for the fifth time.
The man and the boy live in Bantayan, a village undistinguished apart from its location: between an Indonesian military post and the jungle hideout of separatist guerrillas.
Routinely accused of helping the Free Aceh Movement (Gam) rebels, villagers are accustomed to random acts of violence by the security forces. But after a crackdown on Gam was launched last week, they fled their homes and moved into the school, becoming refugees in their own village.
The events that prompted their flight began with yet another firefight on their doorstep. With tensions high after martial law was declared, guerrillas attacked the military post with grenades and AK-47 assault rifles last Friday. Marines chased them through the village, in Bireuen district, but they escaped to the jungle.
A few hours later, troops killed four men who were walking to a nearby village, carrying sugar, eggs and rice. The military claimed they were taking supplies to the rebels. Locals insist that all four were civilians. They were reportedly shot at point-blank range and their bodies tossed into a river. [...]
HYDERABAD (India) -- The death toll from a two-week heat wave in a southern Indian state climbed to 566 on Thursday, a relief official said.
Scores of people suffering from dehydration and sunstroke were being treated at hospitals across Andhra Pradesh state, said Mr D.C. Roshaiah, the chief relief official in the state.
The official number of people dying from extreme heat jumped from 494 on Wednesday as more districts sent updates on casualties, he said.
It was not immediately clear whether there were more deaths on Wednesday and Thursday. Weather officials have said the heat was subsiding in many parts of the state.
Only three of the 23 districts in the state have not been affected. [...]
09:56 - (SA)
Cape Town - The unidentified flying object seen hovering in the sky on Tuesday, could have been two planets.
Numerous listeners telephoned Kfm 94.5 on Tuesday morning to say they saw a UFO at about 06:45 hovering in the sky above Worcester.
One listener told breakfast show DJ, Nic Marais, that he was driving on the N1 and saw a cigar-shaped UFO gliding above the clouds just below the moon in the Worcester area.
Doctor Dave Laney of the planetarium in Cape Town said on Wednesday that the shape of the UFO could indicate that the listeners saw the Mercury and Venus planets.
Laney said Mercury was on the right-hand side of Venus on the morning of May 27. Both were directly below the moon.
"Fast moving clouds could easily create the illusion that objects are moving in the sky. If Venus and Mercury were glowing mistily through the clouds, it could create the illusion of a cigar-shaped object", said Laney.
Laney said it was impossible that the alleged UFO could be an iridium torch. This phenomenon occurs when one of the panels of the numerous communication satellites circling the earth, reflects sunlight.
Comment: This is a good example of the "reality bending" abilities of many people. This guy's explanation is comical.
The successful cloning of a mule, and the groundbreaking research on which it was based, could have a significant impact on fields as diverse as cancer research and racehorse breeding, according to Gordon Woods, a professor of animal and veterinary science at the University of Idaho in Moscow, who led the research team.
Bugs, Weeds, Houseplants Could Join The War
Now, armed with a half million-dollar grant from the Pentagon, the Colorado State University plant biologist is trying to genetically engineer Arabidopsis plants to change color rapidly if they sense a biological or chemical agent.
If her plan works, the technology could be used to turn forest evergreens, backyard shrubs or even pond algae into sentinels for scientists. One day, everyone in America might be able to use a cheap houseplant as an early-warning system. It could be the proverbial canary in a coal mine for the post-Sept.11 age.
Last Updated Thu, 29 May 2003 13:10:24
OTTAWA - Sniffer dogs don't just sniff down airports and high schools across the country. Now a company is providing the service for parents worried that their kids are consuming illegal substances.
"I was concerned that my daughter might have gotten drugs because of some personal problems that she had, and I wanted to be there to help her if she was on drugs," said one mother who did not want to be identified. The mother called Gary Houldsworth and his German Sheppard Bear to search her daughter's bedroom and the rest of the house for drugs, while her daughter was away at school.
New form of terrorism
Check out the Signs of the Times Archives
Send your comments and article suggestions to us.