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!

June 6, 2003

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Who is Bush's Brain?

Karl Rove is, according to a New Book Chronicling the Political Life of the Machiavelli Behind the Throne of King George: A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

With James Moore, Co-Author (with Wayne Slater) of "Bush's Brain"

Some readers have e-mailed us asking why BuzzFlash is offering a book about Karl Rove as a premium. Our answer is simple: know your enemy. Rove may be evil, but he is an evil genius. Freedom loving Americans ignore him at their peril. Rove never graduated from a college, but he is a masterful three-dimensional chess player, albeit working for the forces of radical extremism. Rove runs circles around the Democratic leadership. He's a bear hunter who knows how to bait and trap with the best of them.

It's too bad he is the most powerful man in Washington, working on behalf of the forces of evil. Karl Rove would do Lucifer proud.

In a May 7th op-ed in the Los Angeles Times , this is what James Moore had to say about Rove:
Karl Rove led the nation to war to improve the political prospects of George W. Bush. I know how surreal that sounds. But I also know it is true.

As the president's chief political advisor, Rove is involved in every decision coming out of the Oval Office. In fact, he flat out makes some of them. He is co-president of the United States, just as he was co-candidate for that office and co-governor of Texas. His relationship with the president is the most profound and complex of all of the White House advisors. And his role creates questions not addressed by our Constitution.

Rove is probably the most powerful unelected person in American history.

The cause of the war in Iraq was not just about Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda links to Iraq. Those may have been the stated causes, but every good lie should have a germ of truth. No, this was mostly a product of Rove's usual prescience. He looked around and saw that the economy was anemic and people were complaining about the president's inability to find Osama bin Laden. In another corner, the neoconservatives in the Cabinet were itching to launch ships and planes to the Mideast and take control of Iraq. Rove converged the dynamics of the times. He convinced the president to connect Hussein to Bin Laden, even if the CIA could not.

This misdirection worked. A Pew survey taken during the war showed 61% of Americans believe that Hussein and Bin Laden were confederates in the 9/11 attacks.
Here is the BuzzFlash interview with James Moore.....

Line Up for a Lobotomy
How You Can be Deliriously Happy

By PAUL DEAN
CounterPunch
June 5, 2003

Good news for all of you anxiety sufferers out there! Are you are stressed, upset or depressed over the current state of our democracy? Worried about the complete breakdown of logic, and the absence of compassion on the part of our government? Do you lie awake at night, worrying about your job, your future, your retirement, lack of health care, and permanent war? Do you fear a worldwide backlash as a result of America's belligerent foreign policy? Upset at the loss of your civil rights at home?

These worries, and many more like them, can soon be a thing of the past.

Yes my friends, through an amazing new application of existing medical technology, in combination with major advances in control and dissemination of information, you can completely eliminate all worry about the blatant totalitarian nature of our government, freeing you to blissfully accept, and even embrace, the march towards fascism!

Sound simple? It is! How many of you have hoped and prayed for relief from these well founded and difficult to suppress worries? How many of you have attempted to drown those nagging fears by immersing yourselves in ultra- nationalist patriotic displays? You've tried flag waving and unquestioning support of authority figures. You've tried to conquer your own fears by trying to silence and intimidate others whose questioning of these trends has made you feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, and frightened.

If you are like many Americans, you have done all of the things described above but it just isn't enough. With each new revelation about the inconsistencies, lies, and disinformation foisted upon us by our government, that nagging sense of worry returns. Despite your best efforts to ignore the truth, and to listen only to sources that support your illusions, you are still troubled by the fact that "news" stories like the Jessica Lynch rescue tale are now revealed (by our closest ally and even by our own corporate press) to be nothing but manufactured lies. You still have difficulty overlooking your government's multiple violations of international law, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. Or perhaps the fruitless search for the all important, but apparently nonexistent Weapons of Mass Destruction has gotten you down.

If you, like millions of others, still suffer from anxiety over these troubling events, the time has come to take decisive action. You can put all such worries out of your mind once and for all. At long last there is an affordable new treatment that utilizes the best elements of medical science, psychology and corporate engineered mind control. Now you can achieve guaranteed, permanent results, with very little effort, and minimal expense. Now, you too can have your very own, FRONTAL LOBOTOMY! [...]

Weapons dossier 'sent back six times'

BBC

Blair says the charges are totally untrue

A dossier including the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes was repeatedly returned to intelligence chiefs for changes, the BBC has learned.

A source close to British intelligence has told BBC diplomatic correspondent Barnaby Mason that Downing Street returned draft versions of the dossier to the Joint Intelligence Committee "six to eight times".

He said Prime Minister Tony Blair was involved in the process at one point.

Mr Blair has vigorously denied that the document was "sexed up" in order to garner support for war. [...]

Intelligence chiefs tell Blair: no more spin, no more stunts

MI5 and MI6 win assurances over spy reports

Richard Norton-Taylor and Michael White
The Guardian

MI6 and MI5 chiefs have sought the government's assurance that it will never again pass off as official intelligence information which does not come from them.

They are also insisting that any information used by Downing Street claiming to be based on intelligence should be cleared by them first.

Their demands, which the government has bowed to, reflect deep unease in the intelligence community about the government's attempt to use secret information to push its case for military action against Iraq.
Senior officials in the security and intelligence services made it clear that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not as great as ministers suggested. [...]

Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney Visits

Walter Pincus and Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writers

Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials.

With Cheney taking the lead in the administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction, the visits by the vice president and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here," one senior agency official said yesterday. [...]

'Staging Private Lynch' nothing new on propaganda front

The Laporte Herald Argus

Hundreds of news media, including this paper, did a takeoff of the “Saving Private Ryan” movie title when Jessica Lynch was rescued in the midst of the Iraq war, headlining the incident “Saving Private Lynch.”
Now new reports indicate we might’ve instead called it “Staging Private Lynch.”

Some Americans were outraged by the BBC report that maintained the Lynch “rescue” was a perfectly timed, artfully staged ploy to get more people behind the war effort. If that was indeed the case, it was nothing new under the sun and the U.S. flag in times of battle.

Staged and contrived war propaganda is as old as Uncle Sam. Stories still persist that the dramatic photo of Marines planting a U.S. flag at Iwo Jima was staged to create a stirring patriotic image. In the same vein, Time magazine pointed out, back in 1898 Congress and the press insisted the USS Maine sinking was the result of an attack, prompting the U.S. to go to war with Spain, even though the Maine’s demise was never proven to be at the hands of enemies. And in 1964, two U.S. destroyers reported being attacked by torpedoes in the Gulf of Tonkin, then recanted the report, but President Lyndon Johnson used the pseudo-incident anyway to hurl the U.S. deeper into the Vietnam War.

In these and other cases, one man’s propagandizing was another man’s patriotism.[...]

The mainstream media has acted more like a public relations firm than a critical tool of democracy.

John MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine ... and author of "Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War," takes on a lazy and overly obsequious media establishment in a piece in the current Columbia Journalism Review .

His basic argument is that the press failed in its obligation to question what the Bush and Blair administrations were saying.

Basically, President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair began building its case for the war with Iraq in September with a very public declaration citing a supposed International Atomic Energy Agency report that said Iraq was six months away from a weapon — evidence that has turned out to be nothing but a lie. Mr. McArthur says the mainstream media not only bought it but helped the administration expand on the lie, eventually creating the momentum for war. [...]

Former agents working on PR polish for FBI

Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON -- The FBI ( news -web sites ), whose reputation has been tarnished by spy scandals and criticism for not foreseeing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is about to get some help polishing its image.
 
Members of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI have been discussing a public relations strategy with Rubenstein Associates of New York, image makeover artists whose clients have included Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, Mike Tyson, Marv Albert and the New York Yankees. [...]

Senate weighing a fast-track path to overturn FCC

By Geoff Earle
The Hill

Senate Democrats may employ a controversial and rarely used procedure to try to overturn a new Federal Communications Commission rule on media ownership.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), an opponent of the new rule who chairs the Democratic Policy Committee, says he is considering using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a 1996 law that provides a fast-track way for Congress to overturn federal regulations.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) “We do not use it often,” Dorgan said. “That’s what it’s there for.” By using the procedure, Democrats would have a good chance of forcing the issue to the floor, and at least requiring senators to go on record on the issue.

Senate Republican leaders used the CRA once before, in 2001, in a move spearheaded by then-Majority Whip Don Nickles (R-Okla.). Republicans caught Democrats off-guard with the tactic and were able to undo workplace safety regulations dealing with ergonomics that had been issued during the Clinton administration.
The tactic provoked howls of protest from Democrats at the time. “We weren’t objecting to the right the Senate has to exert a legislative veto,” Dorgan explained yesterday. “That’s what the act is about. I think there’s every reason to try to overturn this.” [...]

Fight the Matrix

Distorted intelligence on Iraq is part of an Orwellian world of fabricated reality

Timothy Garton Ash
The Guardian

Perhaps we live in the Matrix after all. Wherever we turn, we find a politics of manufactured reality that recalls the world of that cult film. How can we, the citizens, unplug ourselves and fight it? Take three of the main media stories of the last week. It turns out that we went to war with Saddam Hussein on the basis of Anglo-American intelligence reports that were, at best, politically misrepresented, or, at worst, falsified. The world leaders' summit in Evian produces stage-managed photo-opportunity smiles between President Bush and Chancellor Schröder that reflect the precise opposite of the truth about their relations. The British rightwing press paints a picture of a steamroller European federal superstate that stands to the reality of what is happening in the constitutional convention in Brussels as a Salvador Dali sculpture does to a plain metal saucepan.

This systematic attempt to fool most of the people most of the time is the work of some of the most intelligent, best-informed and highly paid men and women in western societies: spin-doctors, PR consultants, hacks and spooks. Like the Inner Party member, O'Brien, in George Orwell's 1984, they know better. They have seen the photograph, tape or transcript that shows the public claim is wrong, but then, like O'Brien, they have dropped it down the memory hole: " 'Ashes,' he said, 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.' "
In Orwell's centenary year, the "war against terrorism" takes us to an Orwellian world in a quite unexpected way. We are told that Oceania (America, Britain and Australia) must go to war against Iraq, or, as it might be, Orwell's Eastasia or Eurasia, on the basis of reports from secret intelligence sources. One of the strongest passages in Tony Blair's powerful speech to the House of Commons justifying the war was his rhetorical reiteration "I know ... I know ...", followed by claims about dictatorships being "a short time away from having a serviceable nuclear weapon" that the ordinary citizen has no way of checking.

I do not believe that the British secret services, or their coordinators and interpreters in the joint intelligence committee, knowingly passed false intelligence to the prime minister. Their job was to warn, which, especially in the case of the real threat of dictators or terrorists trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction, means warning of worst-case scenarios even on the basis of a single source.

How well they did that job a special inquiry must now investigate. Nor do I believe that Tony Blair said things he himself thought to be untrue. I can not say the same about the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and Office of Strategic Influence; nor about the spin doctors who produced the second Downing Street dossier; nor about some of the hacks who peddled this dope.

The broader point is that 21st-century democratic politics operates in a media world of virtual reality, in which appearance is more important than reality. The genre of modern politics is neither fact nor fiction, but faction. It's a 24/7 dramadocumentary. This is the world not of Newspeak but of Newscorp. It's shaped not by a single totalitarian bureaucracy, but by an intimate, habitual interplay between politicians, spin doctors, PR consultants and journalists working for media corporations, whether in London, Berlin, Paris or Washington. Visit www.newscorp.com the website of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and you'll find there its mission statement: "Just as our assets span the world, our vision spans art and humor, audacity and compassion, information and innovation. Every day, hundreds of millions of people are entertained and enlightened by the authors and actors, printers and producers, reporters and directors who fulfill [sic] our mission." Enlightened, indeed.

Thus the original nugget of intelligence, itself often just a guess or hint, passes from a lonely secretary in a Baghdad office to the Pentagon, the CIA or MI6, where it is aggregated and talked up a little (no intelligence service wants it said that it did not warn), to the spin doctors at the White House or No 10, where it is hyped up a lot, and thence, via background briefings that add more hype, to the sensationalist, often factitious front page of the Sun or the New York Post. By the time it reaches the end of the food chain, the original nugget is unrecognisable. Fact has become faction.

What can we do against this real-life Matrix? Find the facts, and report them. "Facts are subversive," said the great American journalist IF Stone. A friend and I have long had a fantasy of starting a newspaper called, simply, The Facts. Not The Truth: that is so difficult to find, and so much a matter of interpretation. Just the facts. For those of us who believe this, the American quality press remains a beacon in the darkness. That is why the revelations of reporters inventing stories on the New York Times - for my money, still the best newspaper in the world - have been so shocking.

Anyone who heard the BBC's John Humphrys on yesterday's Today programme facing up to the wildly spinning chairman of the Labour party, John Reid, on the subject of the intelligence reports, knows that the BBC generally stands up for the facts too. Against Newspeak and Newscorp, we still have Newsnight. Across the world, there are quality papers - including, one hopes, the Guardian and its much-visited website - and individual journalists that hold out.

Yet the trend, in journalism as in politics, and probably now in the political use of intelligence, is away from the facts and towards a neo-Orwellian world of manufactured reality. This is something slightly different from (though close to) straight lies.

At the Evian summit, for example, Chancellor Schröder came out on to the terrace of the hotel as Bush and Chirac were chatting awkwardly. Schröder was talking on his mobile phone. Schröder thrust the mobile phone into Chirac's hand, indicating this was an important call; Chirac stepped aside to take it. Bush was left with no alternative but to be seen chatting amicably with Schröder, whose forced guffaw could be heard many metres away. Schröder had his "Germany and the US kiss and make up" photo for the next day's German papers. Later it emerged that the caller with a message of world political urgency for Chirac was ... Schröder's wife Doris. Entirely stage-managed. Meanwhile, according to those in a position to know, the truth behind the picture is that Bush will never forgive Schröder for what he sees as his flagrant breach of a private promise over Iraq.
"Two million jobs in peril", trumpeted the Sun on Tuesday May 27. "EU to hijack our economy." This "news" story began: "Two million jobs will be lost if Tony Blair signs the new EU treaty, it was feared last night." On an inside page it emerged that this 2 million figure was just a guess of one Eurosceptic economist, Patrick Minford. Welcome to another corner of the Matrix.

And so it goes on. The best place to start combating neo-Orwellianism is at the end of the food chain, in the media. So if you want to fight the Matrix, become a journalist. Find the facts and report them. Like Orwell.

Comment: "Like it or not, we now live in a new age of 'One World.' This is the age of global companies, of global communications and transport, of global food supply and finance and...just around the corner...global accommodation of political systems. In this sense, there are no home markets, no isolated markets and no markets outside the global network. It is time to face the fact that true national sovereignty no longer exists. We live in a world of big business, big lawyers, big bankers, even bigger moneymen and big politicians. It is the world of 'The Secret Team.'

"In such a world, the Secret Team is a dominant power. It is neither military nor police. It is covert, and the best (or worst) of both. It gets the job done whether it has political authorization and direction, or not. It is independent. It is lawless. [...]

"I was the first author to point out that the CIA's most important "Cover Story is that of an 'Intelligence' agency. Of course the CIA does make use of 'intelligence'and 'intelligence gathering', but that is largely a front for its primary interest, 'Fun and Games.' The CIA is the center of a vast mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations...or as Allen Dulles used to call it, 'Peacetime Operations'. In this sense, the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level Secret Team, or High Cabal, that usually includes representatives of the CIA and other instrumentalities of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. [...]

"It must be made clear that at the heart of Covert Operations is the denial by the 'operator,' i.e. the U.S. Government, of the existence of national sovereignty. The Covert operator can, and does, make the world his playground...including the U.S.A." [1992 Preface, THE SECRET TEAM: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, L. FLETCHER PROUTY, Col., U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 1997]

Disgraced German Politician Dies in Parachute Jump

By David Crossland

BERLIN (Reuters) - One of Germany's most controversial politicians, former deputy chancellor Juergen Moellemann, fell to his death Thursday in a parachute jump that police are investigating as a possible suicide.

His death came within hours of a search of his home in Muenster, western Germany, by prosecutors probing allegations he violated party funding rules. Also Thursday, the German parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution.

Moellemann's populist stunts -- he often parachuted into campaign events -- had helped propel him to the top of the liberal Free Democrat party, but he quit in March in disgrace over charges of anti-Semitism and irregular party funding. [...]

Moellemann's main parachute opened normally after he jumped out of the plane with nine fellow skydivers at 13,000 feet. But he then fell away from the chute at under 3,200 feet and the reserve parachute did not open, she said.

"Mr. Moellemann went into freefall and apparently did not manage to open the reserve parachute," said state prosecutor Wolfgang Reinicke, who is investigating the death.

No suicide note had been found and police were trying to determine if the death was an accident, suicide or whether someone had tampered with the parachute, he said. [...]

Prosecutors had been investigating whether he hid party donations that financed a campaign leaflet criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Moellemann hit the headlines last year for supporting a Syrian-born politician in North Rhine-Westphalia who had accused Israel of using "Nazi methods" against Palestinians.

He argued at the time he was merely challenging a taboo in a country still afflicted by guilt over the Holocaust and was questioning its unwavering public support for Israel.

Moellemann was economy minister and vice chancellor from 1991 to 1993 when the FDP was junior partner in a coalition with the conservatives under Helmut Kohl.

Comment: Moral? Avoid all dangerous sports if planning to criticise Israel in any way

Sharon Gives His People an Unlikely Gift

By Marc Sirois
YellowTimes.org Columnist (Lebanon)

(YellowTimes.org) -- There are good reasons to suspect that the much-ballyhooed "road map" to peace was stillborn. Palestinian militants have vowed to continue their campaign of suicide bombings; the Palestinian Authority is powerless to stop them; and the Israeli Cabinet castrated its "acceptance" of the blueprint by attaching obstructionist conditions. All the same, the event and its aftermath produced at least one radical change in Israeli behavior that bodes well for some form of eventual reconciliation, however distant it may turn out to be.

The Cabinet decision was revolutionary in that a hard-line government officially recognized the necessity of Palestinian statehood, but the aforementioned conditions and subsequent obfuscation by key ministers combined to mitigate its significance. The real news was a comment that had jaws dropping from right to left, the statement of an opinion so much at odds with past experience that observers were left speechless, unable to either absorb or explain what they had just heard: "I think the idea that it is possible to continue keeping 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation -- yes it is occupation, you might not like the word, but what is happening is occupation -- is bad for Israel, and bad for the Palestinians."

It was not the substance of that statement that was so extraordinary, acknowledgment of plain fact being insufficient in itself to merit special attention. Instead, it was the identity and record of the man who uttered those words that made them historic. Ariel Sharon is the Israeli whom Arabs love to hate; the officer who bested their commanders on the battlefield for decades, the defense minister who stood by as hundreds of Palestinian civilians were massacred in Beirut, the demagogue who sabotaged the Oslo Accords from their very inception, the agent provocateur who ignited the second Intifada by leading 1,000 border policemen through Islam's third-holiest shrine in a vainglorious expression of sovereignty over the remains of Judaism's most sacred site, the infrastructure minister who presided so prolifically over the illegal settling of the Occupied Territories, the prime minister who put the nail in Oslo's coffin by reoccupying the West Bank.

And yet it was he who told an audience of furious legislators from his own Likud Party after the Cabinet decision that Israel's occupation of Palestinian land is, in fact, occupation, that it is no different at bottom from the presence of any other foreign power on someone else's real estate. The audience was important as well, for Sharon had recently voiced similar positions, albeit far more vaguely, for general consumption. This time, he spoke the unvarnished truth to those most tightly wedded to a philosophy of denial.

One of the constants of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been the ubiquity of references to Arab truculence. Ever since the first calls to "drive the Jews into the sea," Israel and its supporters have beaten the Arabs over the proverbial head with the notion that they (the Arabs) refuse to acknowledge the Jewish state's right to exist. There is copious evidence to the contrary (both the Arab League and the Palestine Liberation Organization have officially accepted this reality since 1982 at the latest), but there is certainly an argument to be made that this acceptance was tactical. [...]

US soldier killed, five wounded in new Iraq attack

Friday June 6, 12:44 AM

(AFP) - The US military said one soldier was killed and five others wounded in an attack in the tense Iraqi city of Fallujah, where furious residents vowed to spill more blood to drive them out.

It was the second deadly assault on US troops in Fallujah in nine days and came just hours after more than 1,000 soldiers poured into the area to clamp down on the spate of violence against the US occupation forces.

"We have not even started attacking them yet," shouted resident Nahaf al-Diaji outside the local police station where the attack took place early Thursday morning. "This is just the beginning." [...]

"New environment" in Iraq should enable weapons truth to emerge: Blix

Friday June 6, 12:38 AM

The fall of Saddam Hussein should make it possible to discover the truth about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix said, amid mounting controversy over official US and British claims.

The failure of US and British forces to find any weapons since they invaded Iraq 11 weeks ago has forced US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to deny reports that they fabricated an excuse for going to war.

Blix told the United Nations Security Council that "there remain long lists of items unaccounted for" in the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes which Iraq claimed to have dismantled more than a decade ago.

"But it is not justified to jump to the conclusion that something exists just because it is unaccounted for," he added.

It was the kind of phrase that caused the Bush administration to express increased frustration with Blix in the weeks leading up to the invasion of Iraq on March 20, and to bar his inspectors from returning to Iraq since then.

"The lack of finds could be because the items were unilaterally destroyed by the Iraqi authorities, or else because they were effectively concealed by them," Blix said.

But he noted that there was a "new environment in Iraq, in which there is full access and cooperation, and in which knowledgeable witnesses should no longer be inhibited to reveal what they know," and he added: "It should be possible to establish the truth we all want to know." [...]

Blix's final report questions war justification

CBC Online
Last Updated Thu, 05 Jun 2003 18:03:53

UNITED NATIONS - The Iraqi government wouldn't answer a lot of questions about its chemical and biological weapons, the UN's chief inspector said on Thursday. But for Hans Blix, that's not evidence that Iraq has stockpiles of illegal weapons.

"There is a long list of items unaccounted for, but it is not justified to jump to the conclusion that something exists, just because it is unaccounted for," Blix said...

He has called on the Security Council to allow UN inspectors to resume the search for Iraq's proscribed weapons that was halted in early March, just before the U.S.-led invasion.

Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, Blix said, "it should be possible to establish the truth we all want to know."

The unaccounted-for weapons could have been either destroyed or hidden by the Iraqis, Blix said.

Blix didn't mention the U.S. opposition to a resumption of UN arms inspections, but the failure of U.S. forces to find any weapons of mass destruction in 11 weeks of searching 230 sites has become a hot political issue in Washington, London and elsewhere...

Comment: The only one who is still claiming that Iraq had WMD is Herr Bush. The psychopath is able to tell a lie and hold that lie in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Bush: War Vs. Iraq Over Weapons Justified

By TERENCE HUNT,
Associated Press Writer

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar - President Bush insisted anew on Thursday that war to rid Iraq of destructive weapons was justified, and he said the truth about Saddam Hussein's ability to create and use deadly germs and bombs would come in time.

"We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth," Bush said in a speech to 1,000 cheering troops as he wound up a seven-day tour of Europe and the Middle East. He flew back to Washington along a path that took him over Baghdad.

At 31,000 feet, Bush sat on a bench and gazed out a left-side window of Air Force One along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and White House chief of staff Andrew Card.

He pointed out landmarks, including two airports, a predominantly Shiite area known as Saddam City and the site of the first night's attack. Four F-18 fighter jets escorted in pairs at each wing, a protection routinely afforded presidential aircraft.

The fly-over was the closest Bush has come to the former battlefield. [...]

Comment: Or any battlefield, for that matter. It's interesting that even though Iraq has been "liberated," Bush did not set foot on Iraqi soil, and we find it hard to believe that Bush pointed out any Iraqi landmarks when he probably couldn't point out Mount Rushmore from 10 feet.

UN Members to United States: Let Inspectors Into Iraq

By Evelyn Leopold
Thu June 5, 2003 06:37 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Security Council members, including Britain, tried to convince the United States on Thursday to allow U.N. arms inspectors back into Iraq, but Bush administration officials shrugged off the appeal.

The failure of the United States and its close ally Britain to find unconventional weapons after 11 weeks of searching has developed into a political issue in both countries with the Bush administration defending intelligence used to justify the war. Prime Minister Tony Blair has had to do the same as parliamentarians press for an inquiry.

At issue is a global credibility problem, with accusations that the United States fabricated evidence and Britain went along with it, unless a neutral body verifies any discovery of weapons. [...]

British Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock appealed for patience and said he believed the U.N. commission would be a great help in "completing the overall business of accounting for Iraq's weapons." A British official said London was doing its best to convince the United States on inspections.

Asked why all council members except Washington wanted to discuss the future of U.N. inspections, Greenstock said, "Even the closest ally cannot answer for the United States."

French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere asked why the Bush administration wanted to wait at all before considering the return of inspectors.

"There is no reason to deprive ourselves any longer of the experience and skills acquired over the past 12 years," he told council members, according to his speaking notes. [...]

Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' May Have Survived

Thu Jun 5,10:01 PM ET

WASHINGTON - U.S. officials had been confident that a coalition airstrike killed one of Iraq's most notorious officials, the man nicknamed "Chemical Ali." Now, they are not so sure.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that interrogations of Iraqi prisoners indicated Ali Hassan al-Majid might be alive.

Myers and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had said on April 7 they believed an airstrike on a house in southern Iraq had killed al-Majid. They showed reporters video of laser-guided bombs obliterating the house where a tipster told coalition forces al-Majid was staying.

"We believe that the reign of terror of Chemical Ali has come to an end. To Iraqis who have suffered at his hand, particularly in the last few weeks in that southern part of the country, he will never again terrorize you or your families," Rumsfeld said at the time.

An officer with the British military in Basra, Maj. Andrew Jackson, also said on that day that a body believed to be al-Majid was found in the rubble after the airstrike.

Myers and Rumsfeld, speaking to reporters after briefing members of Congress, did not elaborate on what they called "speculation" that al-Majid may have survived.

Al-Majid, a cousin of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, once ran Iraq's armed forces. His opponents called him "Chemical Ali" for his role in 1988 chemical weapons attacks that killed thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq. [...]

US, South Korea agree to US force pullback

Friday June 6, 11:36 AM

The United States and South Korea agreed to the withdrawal of US forces from near the Demilitarized Zone to bases further south in one of the biggest realignment of forces there since the Korean War.

The movement involves most of the 37,000 US troops on the Korean peninsula, who will be pulled back into "hub" bases south of the Han River beyond the range of North Korean artillery.

No timetable was set but the two sides agreed the South Korean government would begin procuring land for the move next year.

"The consolidation will take a number of years and proceed in two phases," said a joint statement released after a meeting in Seoul between US and South Korean officials. [...]

Military analysts say a North Korean invasion of the south would be defeated by US and South Korean forces but at a cost of hundreds of thousands of casualties because Seoul is so near the DMZ.

The classic response would be for US forces to fall back south of the Han river, regroup and then push north through Seoul.

But US plans call for pulling US forces south of the Han, consolidating them in large bases in the Osan-Pyongtake area in the west, and in the Chinhae-Taegu area in the east out of reach of North Korea's 12,000 artillery pieces.

The presence of nearby sea ports and air bases would allow for rapid projection of power into the country and to the north, which US officials believe would make for a more effective defense of South Korea.

Ashcroft Pushes Anti-Terror Law Expansion

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft urged Congress on Thursday to expand the new anti-terror law to permit the government to hold more suspects indefinitely and extend the death penalty to more people accused of terrorist crimes.

He also said the current anti-terror law, which critics say is cramping citizens' legitimate rights, needs to be expanded to let prosecutors bring charges against anyone who helps or works with suspected terrorist groups as "material supporters." [...]

Ashcroft also said some courts have said that "going and taking training, and joining up with" terrorist groups abroad could not be prosecuted under the current material support statute, and he wants that fixed.

"We need for the law to make it clear that it's just as much a conspiracy to aid and assist the terrorists, to join them for fighting purposes, as it is to carry them a lunch or to provide them with a weapon," the attorney general said.

In addition, federal suspects in gun, drug and organized crime cases "where public safety is a concern" automatically are held indefinitely when they are arrested, Ashcroft said. "It seems as though the crime of terrorism should have the same presumption," he said. [...]

Comment: New and improved! Now with 50% less logic! It's Patriot Act II.

Washington seeks extension of exemption from UN war crimes court

02:29 AM EDT Jun 06

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United States said Thursday it will seek an extension of a deal to exempt U.S. troops from prosecution by the new international war crimes tribunal.

Last year's battle pitted the world's lone superpower against countries around the world, including European powers, Canada and Mexico. It ended in July, when the UN Security Council agreed to exempt from arrest or trial troops from the United States and other countries that have not ratified the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said Thursday the United States would like "a technical extension...of the resolution," though he didn't give a timeframe or say when a draft resolution would be introduced.

"It's very straightforward. We wouldn't introduce any substantive changes into the resolution we adopted last year by unanimity in the council and we would assume - certainly hope - that this would receive overwhelming support," he said. [...]

Afghan battle ends with death of 40 guerrillas

By Phil Reeves Asia Correspondent
06 June 2003

About 40 guerrillas opposed to Afghanistan's US-backed transitional government were killed yesterday in one of their biggest battles with pro-government forces since the Americans toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

The seven-hour fight, in which at least six Afghan pro-government fighters were also killed, underscored the country's instability. It came as interim President Hamid Karzai held talks with Tony Blair in London yesterday to lobby for more support.

One year after the transitional government was confirmed by a national assembly, Mr Karzai has yet to establish control over much of the country, and faces persistent opposition designed to undermine reconstruction efforts.

There are regular guerrilla attacks against the 9,000 US troops in Afghanistan, and on members of the fledgling national army. International aid workers have also become targets in recent weeks. [...]

France arrests al-Qaeda suspects

Friday, 6 June, 2003, 00:35 GMT
BBC


Two suspected al-Qaeda militants have been arrested at France's main airport in recent days, French officials say.

Karim Mehdi, a Moroccan national, was taken into custody at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris on Sunday.

Investigators believe he is linked to al-Qaeda militants based in Germany who planned the attacks on New York and Washington.

The second suspect, Christian Ganczarski of Germany, was arrested on Monday. [...]

Officials say Mr Mehdi, 34, had arrived from Germany and was travelling to the French island of La Reunion, in the Indian Ocean, when he was arrested.

The sources say he was planning an attack a tourist resort there.

Mr Ganczarski, 36, is described as an associate of Mr Mehdi.

Investigators believe Mr Ganczarski is linked to the April 2002 suicide attack against a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia, which killed 21 people - including 14 German tourists. [...]

World's water supply 'running low'

Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 16:11 GMT
BBC


The world's natural supply of underground water, on which two billion people depend, is being run down, according to the United Nations.

Water tables are falling by about three metres a year across much of the developing world, according to a study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Launching its report on World Environment Day, the UN said governments must take immediate action to reverse the decline. [...]

In Arizona, the amount of water being taken from the ground is twice what is replaced naturally, the report says.

In parts of the Arabian Gulf, underground water sources are being contaminated by salty sea water pumped from the coast through leaky pipelines to boost city supplies.

Developing countries in particular are using up groundwater at what the report calls "an alarming rate".

Dhaka in Bangladesh has been tapping into its underground water sources so vigorously that in some places the water table has fallen by 40 metres. New boreholes produce a third less water than 30 years ago, experts say. [...]

Water crisis looms for millions in China

BEIJING (AP, AFP) - Millions of people in China's north face water shortages this summer as the overused Yellow River falls to its lowest level in 50 years and heavy pollution limits supplies from elsewhere.

Environmental officials said yesterday that more than half the watersheds of China's seven main rivers are contaminated by industrial, farm and household waste.

'China is a country that lacks water resources and the problem of water pollution remains severe,' Mr Xie Zhenhua, head of the State Environmental Protection Administration, said in a bleak annual report on the nation's environment.

'This year, our top priority is to ensure clean drinking water for our people.'

Only one-quarter of the 21 billion tonnes of China's annual output of household sewage is treated, Mr Xie said. He described the discharge standards as 'pretty low'. [...]

Health System Unprepared For Water Terrorism

Science Daily

Washington, D.C. — National public health experts reported today that front-line health care responders are not adequately prepared to identify and control major outbreaks of waterborne disease, including outbreaks resulting from acts of terrorism. The conclusions were reported at a conference convened by the American College of Preventive Medicine on waterborne disease and acts of water terrorism. Michael Sage, Deputy Director of CDC's Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, likened health care providers to front-line soldiers in the war on terror. The heightened risk of terrorist attack -- evidence has been uncovered suggesting that terrorists may be targeting municipal water systems -- underscores the need for practicing health care providers to be able to recognize unusual disease trends and early warning signs that may result from intentional contamination of water supplies. [...]

PRE- DAWN RAIDS-GOOD REASON TO BE ALERT AND ALARMED

Families in Brisbane , Sydney and Melbourne awoke in fear to the sound of Australian Federal police officers banging on doors and windows at 5am Tuesday.

They demanded that children be woken and removed to one room. They did not use sledgehammers as occurred in raids on homes in October 2001. The raids lasted 7 hours with computers, phones, papers, documents, money bank accounts and cards being removed. No charges were laid. The search warrants cited contact with a number of groups including the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) as one of the reasons for legitimising the raid. Members of

RAC were last night wondering if they have achieved the status of a "proscribed" organization.
The raids on the homes of Iranian Australians, follow the recent visit of Minister Downer to Iran, a visit of an Iranian parliamentary delegation and the MOU between the Australian and Iranian governments which Australia has refused to disclose. Could raids and oppression of opposition groups be part of the price demanded by the Iranian regime for accepting the forced return of 277 Iranian asylum seekers? Is the Australian government doing the Iranian governments dirty work in raiding people who are known opponents of the repressive Iranian regime? [...]

IAEA welcomes Iran's willingness to sign nuclear fuel return agreement with Russia

19:04 2003-06-05
Pravda.RU

Senior officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) welcome Iran's willingness to sign an additional accord with Russia on the return of spent nuclear fuel in exchange for fresh uranium fuel rods, a highly placed IAEA Secretariat official told RIA Novosti in Vienna after Iranian ambassador to Russia Gholamreza Shafee issued his statement that "the text of the document has already been agreed by both sides." IAEA officials reckon that representatives of the Agency, which is an important international organization facilitating the development of civilian uses of nuclear power and monitoring safety at nuclear facilities and which enjoys the confidence of Moscow, should attend the signing of the agreement.

The IAEA believes that the possible signing of the agreement between Russia and Iran could be "the first step toward Iran signing the additional protocol to the agreement between the IAEA and Iran, which would open up possibilities of Agency experts' inspections in that state." This would result in "world opinion knowing the true state of affairs in Tehran's atomic industry and the answer to the main question of whether Iran is engaged in developing its own nuclear programs to make an atomic bomb," the IAEA reckons.

USA To Deploy Its Army Closer to Russian Borders

Pravda

It is rumored that an American army base may appear even in Vietnam

Hardly had the G8 summit ended in Evian when another important event in international politics impended. The heads of foreign policy departments of the Russia-NATO council are to hold a meeting in Madrid. The meeting will be even more pressing against the background of the USA's intention to perform the most massive redeployment of its troops since WWII. More importantly, a very large part of American troops is going to be deployed closer to Russian borders. In fact, this is not a sensational piece of news. Before the military operation was launched in Iraq, it was known that the White House and the Pentagon were going to abolish some of their bases in Western Europe. According to an official point of view, Washington is going to deploy its troops to Poland, Romania and Bulgaria in order to be closer to the Middle East region. Yet, there is also an unofficial point of view, which says that the American administration wants to get even with obstinate European allies who protested against the Iraqi war. One way or another, the American presence in Eastern Europe is going to increase considerably in the nearest future - that's a fact. [...]

Requests for Jobless Benefits Increase

By AP WASHINGTON, June 5 — The number of American workers filing new claims for jobless benefits climbed to a five-week high last week as companies coped with an economy that is struggling to regain its footing.
The Labor Department reported today that new applications for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 16,000 to 442,000 for the workweek ending May 31. The increase pushed claims to their highest level since the end of April. [...]

Mars rovers' plutonium not a threat, NASA says

By Kelly Young and John Kelly
FLORIDA TODAY

CAPE CANAVERAL -- One ounce of radioactive plutonium will ride on each of the twin Mars rovers to launch this month. It's enough to draw protests, but probably not enough to harm residents in a disaster.
NASA says the mission poses a 1-in-1,030 possibility of a radioactive accident near the launch site. And, even in the worst-case disaster scenario, people there would be subjected to less radiation than a single medical X-ray.
"We really don't see them as a safety hazard," said Peter Theisinger, project manager for the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Brevard County officials would not ask beachside residents to evacuate if a launch accident occurred.
"We would never do any more than ask people to stay indoors," said Bob Lay, director of Brevard County's emergency management office.

Opponents say the government is downplaying the odds of an accident and its consequences. They say any plutonium is too much and even the slimmest chance of a radioactive accident is not worth the risk.

"NASA is lying," said Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. [...]

Man Jailed for Airport Explosion

AMMAN (Reuters) - A Japanese journalist was jailed Sunday for 18 months for blowing up a Jordanian airport security guard as he tried to show that a souvenir cluster bomblet from the Iraq ( news -web sites ) war was harmless. [...]

Monsoon Arrival Welcome Relief for Scorched India

Thu June 5, 2003 07:07 PM ET

BOMBAY (Reuters) - The southwest monsoon arrived in India Thursday a few days behind schedule but bringing welcome relief for the country broiling in a heat wave that has killed more than 1,200 people.

India's weather office said the rains hit the northeast first, coming off the Bay of Bengal instead of moving in from the Arabian Sea and hitting the southwest coast as is usual.

Heavy rain lashed Bangladesh's capital Dhaka and other parts of that country Thursday, bringing relief after weeks of a hot spell that has killed about 40 people.

People rushed out of homes to cool off, while flooded streets slowed traffic in the capital. [...]

They said previously that the devastating El Nino weather pattern that last year triggered the country's worst drought in 15 years was nearly over.

Large parts of India have been reeling under a three-week heat wave in which temperatures have touched 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit).

Most of the deaths have been in Andhra Pradesh state, where 1,209 people -- mostly rickshaw pullers, street hawkers and the homeless -- have died of sunstroke and dehydration. Dozens have died in Pakistan. In the Himalayan foothills of the north, six people, including four children, died in a forest fire, a government official said. [...]

Saudi executioner 'proud to do God's work'

'Contented' father of 7 also specializes in amputations

Posted: June 6, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern
WorldNetDaily.com

When he got started in his unusual line of work back in 1998, Muhammad Saad al-Beshi suffered from "stage fright" because so many people were watching him. But the nervousness soon left him, just like his victim's head.

"The criminal was tied and blindfolded. With one stroke of the sword I severed his head. It rolled meters away," said al-Beshi, Saudi Arabia's top executioner, according to a story in the Saudi daily Arab News.

And how does al-Beshi feel about killing people for a living? In the interview, reported also by the BBC, al-Beshi said he's "very proud to do God's work." Conceding that he has executed numerous women, as well as men, he hastened to add: "Despite the fact that I hate violence against women, when it comes to God's will, I have to carry it out."

Al-Beshi expressed indifference about the number of beheadings he was required to carry out.

"It doesn't matter to me," he said in the interview. "Two, four, 10 -- as long as I'm doing God's will, it doesn't matter how many people I execute."

The death penalty can be prescribed for many offences in the Saudi kingdom, which is under strict Islamic or Shari'a law. Not only murder and rape, but armed robbery, drug trafficking and repeated drug use – and even apostasy – are capital offenses.

What about the methods of execution? Sometimes, said Al-Beshi, he shoots convicted women to death. "It depends what they ask me to use. Sometimes they ask me to use a sword and sometimes a gun. But most of the time I use the sword," he said, according to the Arab News interview. [...]

In addition to executions, al-Beshi also specializes in amputations of hands or legs.

"I use a special sharp knife, not a sword. When I cut off a hand I cut it from the joint. If it is a leg the authorities specify where it is to be taken off, so I follow that."

Since forgiveness on the part of the victim's family can result in a reprieve for the condemned criminal, al-Beshi actually visits the victim's family before executing the convict, in hopes the victim's kin will forgive the perpetrator.

"I always have that hope, until the very last minute, and I pray to God to give the criminal a new lease of life," he said, according to the BBC account.

Jupiter's satellite tally raised to 61

CBC Online
Last Updated Wed, 04 Jun 2003 15:14:30

WATERLOO, ONT. - New technology has helped astrophysicists in British Columbia to discover nine new moons orbiting Jupiter.

The moons' small size, distance and poor light made them difficult to spot; they range from about one kilometre to six kilometres across.

Scientists now count 61 satellites around Jupiter and 21 have been discovered so far this year...

Astrophysicist J.J. Kavelaars of the National Research Council Canada's Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics in Victoria said the moons appear as small specks of light that might be mistaken for stars.

By looking at many exposures with a computer, the researchers could track the satellites' movements. When the movements matched Jupiter's, the international search team tagged them as satellites.

An unusual orbit

One satellite, called S/2003 J20, has an odd orbit, said Kavelaars. It drifts towards the pole of the planet and then back down to the equator.

Kavelaars said this is the first time this kind of resonance has been observed for a satellite. The motion is caused by the interaction between Jupiter's gravity and the Sun's gravity, he added.

Ashcroft Wants Broader Anti-Terror Powers

By JESSE J. HOLLAND
The Associated Press Thursday, June 5, 2003; 2:28 PM

WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft asked Congress Thursday for expanded powers to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely before trials and to let him seek the death penalty or life imprisonment for any terrorist act.

Ashcroft told the House Judiciary Committee that the 2001 Patriot Act signed into law after the Sept. 11 attacks should also be expanded to let prosecutors bring charges against anyone who supports or works with suspected terrorist groups as "material supporters."

"The law has several weaknesses which terrorists could exploit, undermining our defenses," Ashcroft said.

Ashcroft, who held up copies of al-Qaida's declarations of war against America and read aloud some of the names of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said new penalties in the USA Patriot Act have helped the Justice Department prevent more terrorist attacks in America.

Ashcroft also said the department did not break any laws despite an internal Justice Department report that criticized the government's treatment of illegal aliens held after the attacks.

The department's inspector general found "significant problems" in the Bush administration's actions toward 762 foreigners held on immigration violations after the attacks. Only one, Zacarias Moussaoui, has been charged in the United States with a terrorism- related crime; 505 have been deported.

Some of the Sept. 11 detainees were held for up to eight months, although most were deported before a 90-day deadline for releasing them...

The USA Patriot Act granted the government broad new powers to use wiretaps, electronic and computer eavesdropping and searches, and the authority to access a wide range of financial and other information in its investigations...

Comment: The American sheeple are starting to ask questions, now that there rights have been eroded, that even some of the daily newspapers and news magazines are asking question about Herr Bush's lies. What they don't understand is that once you have agreed to the lie, it is much harder to get yourself extracted than when you say no from the start. The elements are in place for the Bush Reich to clamp down on dissent to its policies under the banner of the war against terrorism. Bush has made it clear that "you are either with us or against us". He has given an example to the Europeans and seems to be getting ready, via Korea, to see how far he can push the Chinese.

Analysis: Jews flooding into Germany

By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religion Editor From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 6/5/2003 5:26 PM

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- The turbulent relationship between Jews and Germany is taking yet another stunning turn. Seventy years after Hitler's ascendance to power and 60 years after the Holocaust, more Jews are flooding into Germany than into any other country, Israel included.

This makes Germany the one nation with the fastest-growing Jewish community in the world. Ironically, one reason for this state of affairs is the anti- Semitism in their countries of origin, chiefly successor states of the former Soviet Union, Julius H. Schoeps, head of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies in Potsdam, told United Press International Thursday.

"Of course there are other reasons as well, such as economic considerations and the chance to give their children a better education," Schoeps allowed. "Moreover, they see Germany as a 'safe country.'"

As a result of this accelerating migration, the Jewish population in Germany has swollen from 33,000 in 1990, the year of that nation's reunification, to 200,000 today, according to Schoeps. Before World War II more than half a million Jews lived in that country. At the end of the war there were only 15,000 left.

But in 2002, 19,262 Jews from the former Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States settled in Germany, compared with 18,878 who went to Israel and fewer than 10,000 who were admitted into the United States...

Feit interpreted the Jews' return to Germany as "a fulfillment of a biblical spiritual theme -- the rebirth and rejuvenation for which there are many examples in history, where Jewish people in one part of the world or another have seemed to have been eclipsed only to reappear against all odds and common expectations."

Feit added, "The biblical paradigm for this rebirth was the return of the Jews to Israel" from the Babylonian captivity in 516 B.C.

There are many ironies in this sudden rejuvenation of Ashkenazic Judaism. The very word, Ashkenaz, which defines German and Eastern European Jews, is the Hebrew term for Germany. This is so, explained Feit, "because the entire Jewish culture in Eastern Europe derives from Jewish communities that lived in three German cities along the Rhine more than 900 years ago."

"The German and Jewish cultures used to fertilize each other," Feit went on. Yiddish, the idiom spoken by 12 million Jews up until World War II, is essentially a medieval German dialect. The two languages are so close that Arnold Beichman, the New York-born writer and political scientist, often quips, "I like to speak German because it is just Yiddish with a better accent."...

What will Germany's new Jewish culture look like? Before Hitler, German Jews were among the most assimilated in Europe; culturally they were thoroughly German. Berlin was the first city in Europe with a Jewish high school, created in 1778 along the traditional German "Gymnasium" lines at the instigation of Moses Mendelssohn, the great Jewish Enlightenment philosopher.

First Sars victim says sorry

From Oliver August in Beijing
Times Online

CHINESE authorities have identified the patient who started the Sars epidemic that has killed at least 770 people around the world.

Huang Xingchu, 36, a cook who prepared wild animal dishes in a restaurant in Shenzhen on the Hong Kong border, survived the infection, but now lives in hiding for fear of retribution. Medical experts believe that the Sars virus was passed from the civet cat, a favourite on menus around Hong Kong, to human beings. A restaurant kitchen or livestock market are the most likely places where this happened. The infected cook lost his job and many friends because of Sars. The restaurant in which he worked was burnt down.

“I’m an ordinary peasant and for no good reason I got this disease,” he said. “I will never be able to forget this.”
The spread of the disease started on December 5, when Mr Huang developed a fever. A week later he still felt ill, so his family checked him into a hospital in Heyuan. After two days he was transferred to the Guangzhou military hospital, which he left on January 10. Nine medical workers at the hospital in Heyuan were infected, but none at the military hospital, where staff routinely wore masks.

Mr Huang said: “I am very sorry that the virus spread to Beijing and more than 30 countries, but I’m also afraid. I feel like an escaped prisoner. In the street I always wear a hat so that nobody recognises me. I don’t want to be despised by everyone. Sars is not that frightening. I am a healthy person again. My biggest wish is that my life can resume its quietness.”

Comment: Jon Rappoport of No More Fake News wrote this commentary on SARS scare tactics back on May 7th: "Perhaps you've noticed headlines claiming that the death rate from SARS is much higher than originally suspected.

"This fear tactic is unmasked when you read down into the text of the stories. Health officials admit they don't know what they're talking about. There are so many variables in tabulating death rates, no one can deduce useful numbers.

"In fact, it's very easy to jack up fatality percentages. You simply hospitalize elderly people who have the usual flu and pneumonia problems. You tell them they are suspected SARS cases. Terrified, and in the hospital, cut off from visitors, they worsen.

"The 'elevated death rate from SARS' is, indeed, coming from the elderly in hospitals."

Heil Health

by Pierre Lemieux

From the vantage point of a late-twentieth-century observer, the public health policies of the National Socialists who ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945 seem surprisingly modern. Those policies are illuminated in Robert N. Proctor's most recent work, The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), which documents the war on cancer and other public health campaigns by the Nazis. A historian of science at Pennsylvania State University, Proctor has written extensively on medicine, public health, and their relations with politics and, especially, with National Socialism.

The Nazi government was known, and admired, for implementing the most progressive public health policies in their time. State-of-the-art research and regulation were applied to occupational, environmental, and lifestyle diseases. Cancer was declared "the number one enemy of the state." Nazi policy favored natural food and opposed fat, sugar, alcohol, and sedentary lifestyles. The existing temperance movement against alcohol and tobacco became more active under the Nazis, who were involved in what Proctor calls "creating a secure and sanitary utopia."

Not surprisingly, American narcotics officials of the time admired the Nazi war on drugs. Today, admiration would probably go in the other direction.

The longest chapter of Proctor's book is devoted to tobacco, "a focus justified," explains the author, "by the startling fact -- heretofore unnoticed -- that Nazi Germany had the world's strongest antismoking campaign and the world's most sophisticated tobacco disease epidemiology" (pp. 9-10). It is well-known that Hitler himself was a rabid antismoker, but the antismoking movement and interventionist public policies of the Nazi area involved much more than Hitler's personal whims. Tobacco was attacked as a "relic of a liberal life style" and as "masturbation of the lungs." It was in Nazi Germany that medical researchers, some with strong Nazi connections, first established a statistical link between smoking and lung cancer. Antismoking crusaders published magazines like Auf der Wacht (On Guard) and Reine Luft (Pure Air). Half a century before the Environmental Protection Agency enrolled junk science against "environmental tobacco smoke," antitobacco activist Dr. Fritz Lickint coined the term "passive smoking." (He also thought that coffee was a carcinogen!)

Many antismoking controls were enacted, including restrictions advertising and bans on smoking in many workplaces, government offices, hospitals and, later, in all city trains and buses. Women could not legally purchase cigarettes in certain places. "The German woman does not smoke," proclaimed a Nazi slogan.

In 1941, the Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research was created under the direction of Karl Astel. A dedicated Nazi who committed suicide in April 1945, Astel thought that opposition to tobacco was a "national socialist duty" (p . 209). As president of the University of Jena, he banned smoking in all university buildings. It is at Astel's Institute that Proctor traces the most path-breaking scientific work on the relations between smoking and cancer.

Proctor is puzzled and distressed by the fact that "Public health initiatives were pursued not just in spite of fascism, but also in consequence of fascism" (p. 249). But his book is weak on the analysis of this issue: in the closing chapter, where he tries to address it, he does not go much farther than stating that German fascism was a complex mixture of the good and the bad. Fortunately, the extensive documentation provided by the author does gives us the means of pushing the analysis beyond where he left it.

Let us recall that fascism is based on the subjection of the individual to the collective. As Benito Mussolini wrote about the twentieth century, "For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism, it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism and, hence, the century of the State" ( Italian Encyclopedia 1932). The German brand of fascism, National Socialism, was characterized also by racist (as opposed to purely nationalist) beliefs. Let us recall further that, everywhere in the West, public health doctrine has drifted from public-good concerns, such as sanitation or contagious diseases, towards a frontal attack on individual choices and politically incorrect lifestyles (see my review of a book by Jacob Sullum's For Your Own Good, in The Independent Review, 3 [Winter 1999]: 460-465).

The relationship between fascism and public health is probably more symbiotic than Proctor admits. After reading The Nazi War on Cancer, the careful reader will be well positioned to understand why fascism requires strong public health policies. For the fascist State needs "valuable human material" - or, as we would say today, healthy "human resources". Nazi slogans reported by Proctor are more explicit than what present-day crusaders would dare to employ: "Your body belongs to the nation!" "You have the duty to be healthy!" "Food is not a private matter!" Again anticipating today's health fascists, the Nazis' National Accounting Office outlined the so-called economic costs of smoking. Erwin Liek, sometimes called the father of Nazi medicine, thought that curing cancer required moving from "care of the individual" to "cancer prevention on a large scale - for the entire people" (p. 25).

Traffic Pollution Linked to Severe Asthma Attacks

Thu June 5, 2003 07:57 PM ET
By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Asthmatic children exposed to traffic pollution before getting a viral infection have more serious asthma attacks, doctors said on Friday.

In children, about 80 percent of attacks are due to viruses -- most of them from the common cold virus.
Researchers at St Mary's Hospital in Portsmouth, southern England have discovered that exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from vehicle exhausts exacerbates the attacks.

"It drops the lung function and increases the symptoms after a virus infection. It can increase symptoms by as much as 200 percent," said Dr. Anoop Chauhan, a pulmonolgist at the hospital.

NO2 is common but the main sources indoors are gas stoves and, outdoors, traffic pollution.

Chauhan and his team measured the personal exposures of 114 asthmatic children between the ages of 8-11 from non-smoking families over almost a whole year. They found a strong relationship between higher NO2 pollution and the severity of an attack. [...]

And Finally...

Feeling flat? You may think you're a table

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
The Telegraph

People can be persuaded to feel like a table, according to a bizarre experiment that sheds new light on body image disorders such as anorexia.

Scientists have already reported on one odd illusion that occurs when a person cannot see their own hand but can see a rubber hand placed next to them on a table.

When both are tapped and stroked in a sequence simultaneously, the subject experiences the illusion that the touch sensation came from the fake hand.

Prof Vilayanur Ramachandran and Dr Carrie Armel of the University of California, San Diego, took the experiment one step further and simply stroked the table in precise synchrony.

"To our astonishment, subjects often reported sensations arising from the table surface, despite the fact that it bears no visual resemblance to a hand," they report today in the Proceedings B journal of the Royal Society.

"The interesting thing is that this bizarre perception of assimilating a table into one's own body image is so resistant to the person's knowledge of the absurdity of the situation," said Dr Armel.
The work shows that body image is not "hard-wired" but a malleable and continually updated "temporary shell" based on information from vision and touch.

The scientists believe the findings may have implications for helping those with body image disorders such as anorexia nervosa. "The more we can understand how these processes work, the more we can develop ways of improving people's own body image," said Dr Armel.


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