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June 19, 2003

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Is 'Signs of the Times' "In Synch" With Cassiopaea?

"Signs of the Times" has received the following two emails this week. They raise similar issues, pointing out what the writers see as a difference between the writings on the Cassiopaea site and the tone of the Signs of the Times pages. For a longer look at the issue of "politics", please see the article " Splitting Realities".

GZ writes:

I have problems with your news coverage. I agree with your general point of view that a serious escalation of "control" is taking place right before our eyes and all around us. I disagree with the pure "black vs. white" depictions and especially the easy epithets such as "Bush Reich". The problems we face are as serious as you say, but in many cases they are subtler and more difficult to tease out of the gray areas. I don't think you will get very far with the pre-formed conclusion to every story: America = bad; Israel=bad; France/Russia/whoever=good. This, more than anything else, speaks of an underdeveloped ability to think through or discern.

This puzzles me because you and Laura have amply demonstrated these capabilities in your other work. So I have to wonder what is going on at "Cassiopaea". Have you assembled a team of little pit bulls or what?

Don't misunderstand; I agree that something very serious is materializing out of the 4-D ether. I just think it needs to be met with the same level of sophistication with which it is being applied.

So, summing up, I am worried about a certain schizoid behavior of "Cassiopaea". For me, it requires almost a schizoid mentality to read the pages. On the one hand, it's like sipping ambrosia. On the other, I have to be ready to sustain having an ill-tempered little kid slapping me around.

I wouldn't want you to intepret my remarks as going for "sweetness and light" vs. hard truth. There is not much sweetness and light in the ambrosia part. But there is great insight and wisdom, in my opinion.

Again, these remarks are offered in friendship. I want you to succeed in your aims. And I hope I don't offend you and cause you to "go away" (i.e., go silent). That happens all too often when I speak frankly; it's not what I want and I'm getting tired of it. :-) It's fine to just tell me you disagree and we'll drop the matter.

Best wishes

M-L K writes:

Dear Laura and Ark,

Your material is fascinating!

HOWEVER, "Signs of the Times" doesn't quite seem in synch with the rest of your pages.

Unfortunately, "Signs of the Times"... besides slamming President Bush and his Administration, quotes EIR (Lyndon LaRouche) rather liberally...

The above urls will take you to Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, a Man of many masks and a Felon with unquenchable Presidential aspirations.

BTW Lyndon is also a favorite of Mr. Rense, and I've noticed that your "Signs of the Times" could be a mirror for Jeff's own site.


(AKA "Illiterate- Bushite" AKA Recipient of the US Senatorial Medal of Freedom, etc.etc)

Ah, yes. On the one hand, info on the site that people can agree with. On the other, nasty name-calling. Ambrosia versus the bitter truth.

Let us be clear here. We are under no illusions that the Russians or the French are the "good" guys as Mr. GZ is worried.

However, at the moment, Mr. Bush and his group are holding themselves above international law and are quite explicit that those who do not recognise the US imperium are going to pay. Much evidence suggests the complicity of members of the Bush administration in the attack on the WTC, and even if this were not the case, they have certainly used this tragedy to justify the implementation of draconian measures that have nothing to do with "fighting terrorism". Why exactly they are doing this is the real subject of "Signs", not the political infighting between governments as they each use their power to jockey for position.

But within the world as we live it, the "A" influences, we do believe that it is better to live under a mutually agreed upon rule of law than to impose one's will upon others. Within our families and among our friends, life becomes quickly unbearable when one person decides to play God. Playing God is to sin against the soul, so we see that even within the "A" influences, Bush and Co. are not the "Men of God" they pretend; to the contrary, they spit in his face and attempt to usurp his place.

As the entire world rose to denounce the preparations for war in Iraq by the Bush administration, and as countries such as France and Russia used their power to attempt to avoid such a war, we encouraged this movement against Bush's plans. Not because we were under any illusions about the governments of these countries, but because the positions they were taking reflected our own stance. To accept this war was to offer our free will over to the centre of STS forces in the world today. We refuse to do this. We stand for Truth against Lies, not with France and Russia against the US.

It is true that at times the language we use gets colourful as an expression of our reaction to the outrageous character of the events on this planet.

Bush, the little, tin-pot dictator strutting his "right stuff" and puffing out his chest John Wayne style in military garb, ran scurrying behind the skirts of his Daddy to avoid military service during the war in Vietnam. (Yes, this is a clichéd image, but is he not himself a cliché? An actor friend points out that were an actor to portray a politican in the same way that Bush acts the role, he would be accused of caricature.)

Bush avoided Vietnam not out of moral outrage that his country was killing tens of thousands of people or that the war in Vietnam was being carried out for American imperial interests, but because he could get an easy way out and avoid any possibility of putting his life in danger. But getting into the reserves wasn't enough. He was AWOL for the second year of his service. That he now plays G.I. Joe for the evening news is an insult to all those who didn't have an out, who put their lives on the line. His actions deserve ridicule because this ridicule punctures the mask, the illusion Bush and his image-makers are working to construct.

Furthermore, Bush was not elected but was selected for the Presidency by a Supreme Court of right-wing, fundamentalist Christian justices, some of whom were very close to Bush's campaign. This is why we use the term "Bush Reich". The parallels to Nazi Germany and Hitler are alarming. These are the "Signs of the Times". If you do not see it yet, you are missing a fundamental point of the "teachings" on this site. If you think you can separate the writings on the site from "Signs", then you do not understand the writings on the site.

Unfortunately, while the outrageous, horrifying, and rather surrealist nature of the world seems evident to us, it is obvious that this is not the case for the majority of people with whom we share the planet, especially citizens of the United States. Many prefer the "ambrosia" of "spiritual" work, up to and including recognition that something is amiss on the Big Blue Marble, but they remain unwilling to receive the shocks of the true character of this "something amiss", of the real causes and the vehicle of its implementation. We recognize that having been raised to believe that their country was the motor force for good, for progress, for democracy, for the liberation of the world's peoples and their economies, it is difficult for Americans to be confronted with the fact that all this is a lie, and that, to the contrary, the United States of America is the bastion of reaction, oppression, and, dare we say it, "Evil" in the world, the centre of STS forces.

Many people outside of the US see this clearly. It is a no-brainer.

For Americans, this realization that everything they have been taught, all that they believe, is a lie, is too much of a shock. They, and here they are no different than anyone else in this, would rather blame someone else than look in the mirror. Admitting to one's own responsibility is a giant step, and it might even be a form of death.

It seems to be true that many people understand at perhaps an unconsicous level that if they were to begin to really objectively look and See, and then accept the reality of this world for what it is, their existing positions in it would become untenable, some very serious and fundamental changes would have to be made, and some rather well-fed sacred cows put out to pasture. For many, this unconscious awareness provokes an equally unconscious "rejection" of anyone or anything that presents this objective view of the world in which they live. We have all been led to believe that this world is a nice flower and not a spade, and of course anyone who tries to "call a spade a spade" is unwelcome, since flowers are nicer than spades, right?

How much more comfortable for an American to believe the "enemy" is the New World Order and the United Nations, Saddam Hussein or Yassar Arafat, and not its own government.

And, of course, people from other countries live under their own illusions.

Mr. GZ above suggests there is more to be teased out of the "gray areas" than our black and white depictions are able to do. Unfortunately, he did not include any examples of this in his message. New data is always welcome, and if Mr. GZ can help us come to a better understanding of the world, we would be happy to share this with our readers, just so long as focusing on the "gray areas" does not amount to "sitting on the fence", allowing him to sidestep taking the action necessitated by his discoveries.

As for the comments from the writer of the second message, it may well be that Mr. Larouche is a felon. That would put him on a par with Elliot Abrams who works in the White House…except that Abrams got an official pardon from Shrub's Daddy. Abrams was convicted of witholding information on the Iran-Contra scandal from Congress. He was also active in arming the Contra's and other "anti-communist" terrorists in Latin America, forces that were responsible for the massacre of thousands of peasants in Salavador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. We doubt Mr. Larouche's crimes are of this order...although we could be wrong.

Nonetheless, it isn't likely that anyone here will be voting for Larouche in the next election.

Nevertheless, discrediting anything published under either his by-line or that of the EIR a priori is to fall into an error of dismissing the message because of a dislike of the messenger.

Let's look at this idea by turning it on its head. Is there any information we automatically accept because of the source? The most likely candidate for such a source would be the Cassiopaeans.

However, we do not accept the information that we receive from the Cassiopaeans because it comes from the Cassiopaeans. We use it as the jumping off point for our own research, seeking to learn from it. This learning may happen in any number of ways: something can be verified or not, but the real learning comes not from the information the C's give us, but from the digging necessary to verify it. We may even discover that the real lesson in a piece of information is that the question posed was full of assumptions, and so the "information" conveyed is a better understanding a blindness within ourselves.

In the same way, we do not discredit information because it comes from a source with a different point of view on the world than our own. Given our outlook, that would severely limit what we read or listened to! We have to take each piece of information as it comes, judge it on its own terms, comparing it to the the available data. Certainly, the provenance will be a factor. Information coming out of the White House will be looked at differently than something from the C's. But nothing is rejected or accepted automatically.

This requires discernment.

It requires a continual reading of everything in the environment and a refusal to accept anything at face value. But we can understand how such an attitude is difficult for someone who wishes to support the Bush administration where the consistent torrent of lies demands that everything be taken at face value. Jeff Rense also has the "nasty habit" of publishing articles that report that the emperor has no clothes. Thankfully there are still people in the US who are willing to do so.

One of the great lies promulgated is that "spiritual work" is somehow not "of this world". True, as one develops the ability to see the machinations within which we are caught, one develops a great desire to no longer be entwined within their snares. But the work of the spirit, of growing the soul, is the work of raising the veil on the Truth of this realm.

This Truth is shocking. What could be a greater shock for a patriotic American than to realize that his country is the neighborhood bully, the mean kid gleefully picking on those smaller than him. That the USA is moreover the vessel by which the aims of 4D STS to control this world after the coming catastrophe are being realised, or, to put it in Biblical terms that Mr. Bush himself would undertstand, that the USA is the anti-Christ, now that has to be a shocker.

Once this "Good News" is delivered, one can either ignore it, refuse the shock and remain asleep, or one can begin the long process of waking up and searching out all of the shocks necessary to ensure it happens. So while the Bush Reich is the tool used by 4D STS to implement their plans, it is also the means of awakening for those who choose to awaken.

To think that one can be in agreement with the writings on the Cassiopaea site while at the same time supporting the Bush administration is to understand nothing of the writings...unless one has made the conscious choice to walk the path of annihilation.

Signs of the Times is not "out of synch" with the rest of the site, it is an example of the art of objective seeing that is required in order to understand the deeper meaning of the teachings of the Cassiopaea website. For the reader it can provoke the first shock of awakening on the path to understanding the true meaning of seeing.

We close with a message from a reader who appears to undersand this:

JM writes:

"You are at once causing my mind to expand and my world to contract. It doesn't feel particularly comfortable, but keep it up. Every once in awhile, I trip on a website that provides a little of what I have been searching for but didn't know where to look or what exactly to look for. Your site and related links are important pieces of the puzzle of life and help in connecting the dots. Kudos."

Comment From a Reader:

Re: Pentagon resignation

You may find it interesting, in regard to the resignation of Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, that Ms Clarke was formerly employed at the well-known public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, famous for their pre-Gulf War I sponsorship of the Kuwaiti "nurse" "Nayirah" (in fact the ambassador's daughter) who testified so heartrendingly (and somewhat
falsely, as if that mattered) before the US Congress about the premature babies ripped from their incubators by Saddam's thugs.

Within the Pentagon, but prior to her public role, she is "reported to have assembled" Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "strategic communications" (i.e., disinformation) group. She also provided an interesting briefing on biological weapons research on the interesting date of September 4, 2001.

Search engines can turn up such amazing things!

I read somewhere very recently that she just might be in line to take over from the outgoing Ari Fleischer as the president's new press secretary. I can't imagine anyone better qualified for the job.

By the way, it's absurd to think that the death of Sen. Wellstone and his entire family was anything but a tragic accident, very much like the death of Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan (who happened to be running for the Senate against John Ashcroft) on October 17, 2000 (just before the election). As it turned out, the dead man won the election anyway, and
his wife was still alive to take his seat. Mrs and Miss Wellstone were less fortunate.

It's silly to read meaning into coincidences, especially when there are so many of them, and to see conspiracies everywhere when there is in fact nothing going on but groups of people plotting together in secret.

Long live the disinformation revolution!


Comment: Thank you, H, for sharing the troubling history of Victoria Clarke. She has all the qualifications necessary for the Bush administration. The faked story of the babies being ripped from incubators is certainly a morbid classic from the annals of a group of people who will stop at nothing to get their way. Which is why we find your assurance that Wellstone was not assassinated a bit misplaced.

You are referring to the June 17 edition of Signs which posted a link to Conspiracy theories thrive after Wellstone plane crash, in which we commented: The idea that Wellstone was murdered is not so far fetched see: THE SECRET HISTORY OF AIRPLANE SABOTAGE , by Sherman H. Skolnick, and one begins to think that this is business as usual.

We were careful not to assert that the Wellstone tradgedy was an assassination, because we do not know. We agree that it is silly to see conspiracies everywhere and can be down right detrimental to seeing reality as it really is.

While we are on the subject of conspiracies that H kindly brought up, we do think it wise to ask oneself the question of who benefits when someone in public office dies, particularly when they are in opposition to a murderous regime. In this case, Wellstone's death permitted a republican to win his seat, helping to give the Bush Reich its majority in the Senate. The Bush adminstration has amply demonstrated they are capable of killing as many as 10,000 civilians for oil, political gain, or whatever other murderous plans they have up their sleeves. It is perhaps not so farfetched to imagine them removing a political opponent.

Perhaps the time is over for us all to stop being so easy on these murderers, and by extension ourselves. Perhaps it is time to demand the answers to such questions as "Was Wellstone murdered?" To no longer put up with a media that identifies an Al-Quaeda conspiracy theory behind every bush, but never behind a Bush, yet right away blames the weather when a public figure opposed to the current murderous regime dies. Wellstone was rare in that people liked and trusted him, and if he were to have shown public outrage at what was really going on in Iraq, perhaps more Americans would have had the courage to demand that Bush be tried for treason.

Of course, our monopoly media would never ask such questions. Thanks to these propaganda machines 41% of all Americans believe that the US has found weapons of mass destruction. After considering the information in our timeline, it may be easier to perhaps entertain, even if fleetingly, the notion that someone could easily order Wellstone assassinated, or maybe even Carnahan assassinated, and not blink an eye. These are the same people that claim that the Iraqi people have been liberated when in fact many are suffering fates worse than death.

Most seem willing to buy the conspiracy theory that Muslim hijackers are responsible for the 9/11 "terrorist" attack because it is delivered to us prepackaged from the spin masters. But, god forbid anyone independantly asks questions that the media is unwilling to ask.

Panel Probing Sept. 11 Requests Documents

Associated Press Writer
Thursday June 19, 2003 1:19 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks has made sweeping requests for documents from the Bush administration and White House that go beyond the information provided during Congress' review, officials disclosed Wednesday.

A spokesman for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States said the commission expects from its early discussions with the administration that the requests it made over the last two weeks will be met without any presidential claims of executive privilege.

``We have made a substantial request for documents. We didn't issue subpoenas. We made an ordinary request. And we don't anticipate any resistance,'' spokesman Al Felzenberg said.

The requests included documents from the White House, which did not provide all the information that was requested last year by a joint congressional panel that investigated intelligence lapses before the attacks...

Administration officials stopped short of committing to providing everything the commission seeks.

"The president strongly supports the commission and wants it to be successful,'' White House spokeswoman Ashley Snee said. "We will continue to work closely with the commission in response to their requests.''

Comment from a QFS member: This one almost made me laugh in its naivete. Yeah, the Bush Whitehouse is just going to hand over the docs.

"We have made a substantial request for documents. We didn't issue subpoenas. We made an ordinary request. And we don't anticipate any resistance,'' spokesman Al Felzenberg said.

Knesset forbids citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israelis

By Gideon Alon, Haaretz Correspondent
18/06/2003 21:11

A controversial government bill that would halt granting citizenship to Palestinian residents of the territories who marry Israelis passed its first reading Wednesday in a stormy Knesset session.

The bill also forbids granting Israeli citizenship in cases of reunification between families split between Israel and the territories, and it will strictly limit the ability of Palestinians to obtain Israeli residence or to legally remain in the country.

The first reading passed by a vote of 47-28, with 5 abstentions. If and when it passes its second and third readings, it will only be in effect for one year. [...]

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash-Ta'al) said the bill is unethical because it regards to cross-Green Line marriages as ticking bombs that need to be prevented. MK Issam Makhoul (Hadash-Ta'al) called the proposed law "anti-democratic, and anti-human" and said that it flies in the face of international conventions. MK Wasil Taha (Balad) contended that a law that would not allow individuals to freely choose their marriage partners is reminiscent of Germany's World War II-era Nuremberg Laws.

Rumsfeld Defends Prewar Intelligence On Iraq Weaponry

WASHINGTON (AP)--The secret information the Bush administration used to build its case for a war to disarm deposed Iraqi President Saddam of weapons of mass destruction was "imperfect but good," U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

Speaking at a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld said the intelligence that indicated Saddam had an arsenal of banned weapons was consistent "for a decade or more." Rumsfeld said Saddam's regime had gotten quite skilled at hiding it from determined U.N. inspectors.

"They learned to live in an inspections environment," the defense secretary said. "In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general. And you will always find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it."

Failure of troops to find any chemical or biological weapons in three months of trying has led critics to suggest the administration exaggerated intelligence findings in order to win support for the war.

Comment from a QFS member: Oh I see, they have WMD, they've just hidden them. Right. Maybe they're hidden under the bed with Osama... If they were hidden then why aren't they found yet? Couldn't they use their super-sophisticated, ground-penetrating radar to look around? Or their overly powerful eyes in the sky satellites to see such movent? Or maybe Echelon to monitor all communications to learn of what the Iraqi plans were at any given moment in time? Psychopathic liars!

US troops kill Baghdad protester

AFP - US troops fired on protesters, killing a former Iraqi soldier, as a British minister warned that lack of security 10 weeks after the fall of Baghdad was hampering rebuilding efforts.

It was the first time that US soldiers fired on a crowd of angry demonstrators in the Iraqi capital since it fell to the US-led coalition on April 9.

The crowd of up to 300 former soldiers was demonstrating at coalition headquarters in central Baghdad and started throwing stones at American troops, who opened fire, said an AFP correspondent at the scene.

A US army spokesman refused to comment.

One of the protesters, Essam Mansur Hussein, a 49-year-old officer under the ousted regime, warned that they were now prepared to take up arms against the US troops occupying the city.

"Every day we come to protest peacefully, but it's useless. In the coming days it will not be peaceful. They have to realise that if we have nothing to eat there will be Feyadeen (militia) operations every day.

The former soldiers were demanding payment of salaries still unpaid three weeks after the top US civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, officially dissolved the Iraqi army on May 23.

Bremer, the top US overseer in Iraq, last month abolished the Iraqi army and the network of security services which propped up Saddam Hussein's regime, announcing that a non-political army would be created.

In London, International Development Secretary Baroness Valerie Amos said she has postponed a trip to Iraq because of the threat of a guerrilla attack by Saddam loyalists.

Amos said that the security situation in the country was hampering rebuilding efforts.

"The safety and security situation, which we really need to get right to enable us to really go for the reconstruction effort is slightly hampering things," she told the Financial Times.

Amos admitted the US-led coalition had failed to anticipate the magnitude of the post-Saddam problems.

With hindsight there was "no doubt we would all say there were things we did not get right with respect to the planning and administration", she told the newspaper.

On the ground, the US army has been pursuing a sweep of diehard Saddam supporters after rounding up than 400 people in Operation Desert Scorpion in north-central Iraq. U S-led coalition forces conducted 69 raids, US Central Command (Centcom) said in a statement...

In Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, and the oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk, "coalition forces conducted 36 raids and detained 215 individuals," army spokeswoman Sergeant First Class Mayra O'Neil said.

Comment from a QFS member: Iraqi protestors wanted back pay from military service, and food to eat. They became roudy and threw stones at US troops. So the US, taking a series of cues from Israel apparently, opened fire on the stone-throwers killing one. Our tax dollars at work, starving people and feeding hot lead to those who complain they're hungry. A recipe straight out of a fascist cookbook.

US captures Saddam's secretary, as three killed in Baghdad clashes

Thursday June 19, 12:27 AM

US forces have captured Saddam Hussein's secretary, the most important official caught since the downfall of the Iraqi regime in April, US defence officials said.

The news came after a US soldier and two Iraqi demonstrators were killed in separate incidents in Baghdad, but the White House indicated it did not intend to send more troops to Iraq.

Abid Hamid Mahmud, number four on the US list of most wanted former regime members, is a distant cousin of Saddam and was the ace of diamonds on the pack of cards of wanted Iraqis distributed by the US Defence Department.

US Central Command said he was captured Monday in Iraq, but gave no details.

Mahmud's official title was presidential secretary, but according to a British government dossier he was responsible for Saddam's personal security, as well as defence, security and intelligence issues.

The dossier said Mahmud, a lieutenant general in the army, "is regarded by some as the real number two figure in the Iraqi leadership" as he controlled access to Saddam and could override government decisions. [...]

Iraqis Voice Fear of Signing Away Their Identity

Civil employees must declare in writing to obey the orders of the U.S. administration.

By Michael Slackman, LA Times Staff Writer
June 18, 2003

HILLAH, Iraq — After all that has happened in Iraq - the bombing, the fall of the government, the disruption of services, the looting, the crime and foreign troops in the streets - the latest affront to many Iraqis is one sentence in one document. All citizens who work for the government are required to sign a document that states, "I will obey the laws of Iraq and all proclamations, orders and instructions of the Coalition Provisional Authority."

In an Islamic society where faith and state are intertwined, many fear this provision is designed to undermine their religion.

Hundreds of residents of this city about an hour's drive southeast of Baghdad took their concerns to the streets Monday in a peaceful demonstration, and their leaders are threatening further protests - even a call for a nationwide strike - if the document is not amended. The U.S.-led administration has refused.

"We are afraid that this is paving the way in order for the Americans to abolish our Iraqi and Islamic identity," said Said Adnan Unaibi, who serves as a local representative for one of the two main schools of Shiite Muslim thinking in Iraq. "This represents a provocation of the people." [...]

"According to what the U.S. government said, this was a liberation," said Dr. Hamid Naimer, 41, the director of the clinic. "Now that they say American law should be implemented, it means this is an occupation. They didn't say anything about Iraqi law. This is a full occupation." [...]

Comment: We have said before that global domination has been on the US "to do" list for many many years. We seem now to be in the final phase of tidying up the few loose ends that remain like Iraq (next Iran, then North Korea). Try to think of an example of ANY country in the world (outside the G8 countries and western europe) of significance (i.e. resources or military might) that has not been (or is not about to be) "liberated" by the almighty USA.

Details emerge on Lynch convoy ambush

From Barbara Starr
Wednesday, June 18, 2003 14:24 GMT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- New details are emerging of the battle that led to the Iraqi capture of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and her comrades.

Mechanics from the 507th Maintenance Company -- rather than trained front line soldiers -- fought a fierce 90-minute firefight against Iraqi paramilitary and regular forces after getting lost in the Iraqi desert.

They tell of coming under fire from soldiers on rooftops near Nasiriya as their vehicles were hit by rocket-propelled grenades and some weapons were clogged with sand.

"It was Mogadishu," said one military source familiar with the reports from survivors, referring to a 1993 incident in the Somali capital when 18 U.S. Army Rangers were killed by a Somali mob while attempting to rescue comrades from two downed helicopters.

Lynch and 32 other soldiers got lost when their 18 vehicles lost touch with the 3rd Infantry Division's convoy of 8,000 in the drive from Kuwait to Baghdad, missing a crucial left turn south of Nasiriya, Defense Department sources told CNN. [...]

Comment: Say you're the Bush administration, and you're caught lying about the story of a captured soldier named Jessica Lynch. What do you do? Why, you make the lie even BIGGER! Surely people will stop asking questions now that it wasn't soldiers, but mechanics that engaged in the fierce firefight. Now, in addition to Pfc. Lynch gunning down Iraqis while she lay injured in the scorched sand, we also have a bunch of underdog mechanics whose determination to bring freedom, democracy, Jesus, and Big Macs to the Iraqi people gave them the sheer force of will to survive and defeat Saddam's Evil Terrorist Soldiers. We don't know about you, but we feel like a big slice of apple pie, a good ballgame, some vigorous flag waving, and several rousing renditions of "God Bless America"...

Bush: World Must Not Let Iran Have Nuclear Weapons

By Steve Holland
Wed June 18, 2003 04:02 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush said on Wednesday the international community must make clear to Iran that "we will not tolerate" construction of a nuclear weapon by Tehran.

Speaking to reporters as he met members of Congress at the White House, Bush directed some of his strongest language at Iran since lumping that country with Iraq and North Korea as three "axis of evil" states in early 2002.

"The international community must come together to make it very clear to Iran that we will not tolerate construction of a nuclear weapon," Bush said. "Iran would be dangerous if they have a nuclear weapon."

With the situation in Iraq still unsettled after the U.S.-led war there, Bush offered strong support for Iranians protesting their government's lack of progress on promised reforms and the hardline clerics who have blocked reform in the Islamic republic.

Bush said the protestors need to know the United States "stands squarely by their side." [...]

Comment: Not only "squarely by their side" but right in the middle of them provoking the dissent as the CIA etc are wont to do. Are you all enjoying Mr. Bush's WMD 101 class above? Here it is again for those that missed it:

"Now children, listen closely and repeat after me: Nooclear weapons BAD! - Nasty Arabs with Big Nooclear bombs BAD! - USA Good! - USA Nooclear bombs good! - USA Army good - War Necessary - Protect you from Bad Arabs with Nooclear bombs - You support USA - You LIKE Apple pie and Baseball - Nasty Arabs HATE Apple pie and baseball - Watch TV! -

Get it?

Woman dies after setting self on fire over Paris raids on Iran opposition

Thursday June 19, 12:06 AM

An Iranian woman who set herself on fire in Paris in protest at a French crackdown on the Iranian armed opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen, has died of her injuries, police said.

Marzieh Babakhani, a political refugee living in Paris, had suffered severe burns to her face and chest after spraying herself with petrol and igniting it.

The woman was one of four people who have set fire to themselves -- two women and a man in Paris and a man in London -- since French police on Tuesday swooped in on 13 sites in the Paris region linked to the exiled Iranian group. [...]

A fifth person, a man, tried unsuccessfully to set himself on fire outside the French embassy in Switzerland on Wednesday during a protest against the crackdown in Paris, Swiss police said.

Iranian exile warns of further radical European protests

Wednesday June 18, 11:40 PM

Protests against a French crackdown on the main armed Iranian opposition group will grow increasingly desperate, an Iranian exile warned after three people set fire to themselves in separate incidents.

"The protests will become more and more radical," said a spokesman for the International Committee for the Defence of Iranian Political Refugees.

Two women set fire to themselves near the offices of the French counter-intelligence services (DST) in southern Paris, to protest Tuesday's police swoop on the People's Mujahedeen in which more than 160 people were arrested.

It followed an incident in London late Tuesday, when a 38-year-old man is believed to have doused himself in petrol outside the French embassy and ignited it.

Laila Jazayeri, a supporter of the People's Mujahedeen who took part in the London demonstration, said: "This Iranian man has set his life on fire to tell the world to condemn the actions of the French police and French government.

"The arrests come just when in Iran we are witnessing demonstrations by students who are saying no to the regime there." [...]

Instant Replay

As the war drums beat with ever greater insistence in Washington DC, once more we see the UN being used as a pawn in the US-UK's grand imperialist strategies to commandeer the key resources of the planet and to crush any and all opposition to its rule

By William Bowles
Information Clearing House


WMDs Iranian style? Let me quote from the UN press release on the issue of Iran's supposed nuclear weapons programme:

"Mr. ElBaradei noted that the report points out that corrective actions are being taken in cooperation with the Iranian authorities. But he added: "I continue to call on Iran, as with all States with significant nuclear programmes, to conclude and bring into force an additional protocol at an early date, in order to enhance the Agency's ability to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities." [...]

Note that Mr. ElBaradei says that corrective actions are being taken in cooperation with Iranian authorities. Nowhere in the UN’s reports on Iran's nuclear programme is there any mention of nuclear weapons development. "All states?" For example, what of Israel, which was only forced to acknowledge that it actually had nuclear weapons fairly recently. Is it any wonder, that countries such as Iraq and Iran even contemplated the idea of developing nuclear weapons of their own when threatened by an expansionist, nuclear-armed Israeli imperialism?

And by what bizarre logic does the US exclude itself from the demand to rid itself of its own nuclear weapons programme when, hypocritically, it demands that everyone else (except Israel) does? If there is a single, destabilising source in the world today, it's the US's arrogant position, that it alone has the "right" not only to possess WMDs but to determine under what conditions to use them. Is it any wonder, that countries such as North Korea see possession of their own nuclear weapons (assuming that they are, in fact, developing them) as the only (limited) guarantee that they won't be invaded by the US? [...]

Comment: The fact is that the US is and has been for the last 100 years, the most belligerent nation on the face of the planet. They have caused and been involved in more wars than any other nation, causing the deaths of millions of innocent people. The US is as fit to decide who is and who isn't a threat to world peace as Hitler would be to sit as judge in his own murder trial...

Can we all see it? The US possesses by far the biggest stockpile of WMD and is the only nation to have used a nuclear bomb against a civilian population, yet they decide who should and who should not have them, and they of course are always exempt from the process.

British call for N. Korea blockade

Powell calls for ASEAN support

Wednesday, June 18, 2003 Posted: 1041 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea -- Britain has called on the international community to isolate North Korea, on the same day the communist country's state-run media said for the first time a nuclear program was in place.

British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon on Wednesday said ships and aircraft suspected of delivering materials for use in weapons of mass destruction should be intercepted.

The blockade, which Hoon envisaged would involve a coalition of 11 countries, should also be extended to vessels and aircraft suspected of carrying contraband such as drugs that could help finance North Korea's nuclear ambitions, he said.

North Korea, through the state-run KCNA news agency, on Wednesday acknowledged it has a nuclear weapons program and said it will never give it up without U.S. concessions.

North Korea has stood firm in the face of calls from the international community to curtail its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, while calling on the support of ASEAN nations, on Wednesday said there was "no issue of greater urgency to the U.S. than North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes". [...]

Adding to the renewed push to pressure North Korea, an agreement was struck in Madrid last week by 11 countries to find ways to intercept North Korean vessels. [...]


A Vietnamese cyber dissident accused of dispatching news and documents to be used against the Socialist State of Vietnam as well as being accused for using internet for espionage , was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.

Pham Hong Son, a 34-year-old doctor, employed in a pharmaceutical company, was arrested on 27 May 2002, after publishing an online feature entitled What Is Democracy? from the US State Department's website. In addition, Son had written an open letter, later published on the Internet, protesting in relation to the fact that his house had been searched and his computer and documents confiscated.

The court in Hanoi also ruled that Pham Hong Son should be kept under house arrest for three years after serving his prison sentence. Furthermore, Mr Son was also accused of collecting money for Vietnamese dissidents that live abroad. The trial was held under tight security and on Wednesday foreign diplomats were barred from entering the court.

About a million Vietnamese out of an 80-million-strong population are estimated to have regular access to the web, mainly through internet cafes. But in 2002, the government tightened regulations on the internet by requiring websites to be licensed and restricted access.

To conclude, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Son s trial is part of a crackdown on intellectuals and dissidents who use the Internet to circulate news or opinions banned from the state press. "Son's prosecution is part of a broader effort by the Vietnamese government to control the Internet, which has provided a place for independent journalists to publish news and opinion barred from the official media," the CPJ said.

Comment from a QFS member: The issues here are scary ... Web sites must be licensed and registered; complain about your government and get arrested; spread news banned by the state and kapow! Coming soon to a country near my feet? I hope not.

Dark Star Chambers
Secret Trials, Nameless Defendents, Veiled Threats to Defense Lawyers

June 18, 2003

For those of you hoping the federal courts will save you from the abuses of freedom foisted upon you by the Congress who brought us the USA Patriot Act and Bush, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft, who brought us the "war on terror," I have bad news to report. Yet another federal appeals court has slammed the door on public interest groups trying to stem the power of the government to detain, arrest, try, and deport people in secret.

Yes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that all those nameless and faceless detainees who were rounded up by Ashcroft and his henchmen after 9/11, who were abused by the government as reported by the DOJ Inspector General last week, they all have the right to privacy! Now you and I don't have the right to privacy, common ordinary people charged with anything from jaywalking to murder, no siree, we have no right to privacy. Anyone can walk into any courthouse and get our criminal records.

But so-called "terrorists" (I mean, that is why they were rounded up, wasn't it?) hell, they have privacy! Apparently, that irony was lost on the two who masqueraded as judges. And, just in case you don't buy the privacy argument, they said they must defer to the President in time of "war." Yes, that perpetual war that will never end. That war on evil, that war on terror. Whatever Bush and Ashcroft want from the courts, they will get.

Judge Tatel wrote a stinging dissent, accusing his colleagues (one appointed by Reagan, on by George the First) of totally abdicating their role as protectors of the law. What, he said? You say the Freedom of Information Act falls when the President claims national security? And you are not even going to look at the claim and see if it is legitimate?

Judge Tatel wrote:

"The court's uncritical deference to the government's vague, poorly explained arguments for withholding broad categories of information about the detainees, as well as its willingness to fill in the factual and logical gaps in the government's case, eviscerates both FOIA itself and the principles of openness in government that FOIA embodies. For all its concern about the separation-of-powers principles at issue in this case, the court violates those principles by essentially abdicating its responsibility to apply the law as Congress wrote it."

Judge Tatel also attacked the court for refusing to release the name of the attorneys involved in the cases. The majority reasoned that the attorneys might be embarrased by being associated with representing people who were detained. That is a not so subtle threat and reminder to attorneys that they will be held to be the terrorist that their clients are charged with being, if they dare take these cases. The proof of that is in the government's prosecution of Lynne Stewart.

Since there is now only one branch of government, Congress ought to disband the courts and send the judges packing. If you think this decision is bad, wait until those new Bush appointees don their robes. Dissents will be even rarer than they are today--all part of the Bush-Rove plan. Yesterday the Congress, today the Courts, tomorrow the Constitution.

Comment: I know that, here at "Signs of the Times Central" we keep harpin' about this whole "Bush Reich" thing and how Americans are living "slap bang" (or should tha be "kaboom splat"?) in the center of the new Nazi era, but in reality what can the average American do about it? Not much, but at the very least we can all try our best to simply see what is happening, the above is just about as "in your face" as you can get. Let's first at least dispense with the denial, then we can take it from there...

WMDs And The Psychology Of Fanaticism

Arianna Huffington
June 18, 2003

By all accounts, the behind-the-scenes battle within the Bush administration over just what information should be used, or spun, or hidden, to make the case that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to America and the rest of the world was a knockdown, drag-out fight between the facts and a zealous, highly politicized, "who needs proof?" mindset. And, at the end of the day, the truth was left writhing on the floor.

Hey, why let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good war?

This pathological pattern of disregarding inconvenient reality is not just troubling -- it's deadly. And it's threatening to drag us into a Sisyphean struggle against evildoers in Syria, Iran, North Korea, or whatever locale Karl Rove thinks would best advance "Operation Avoid 41's Fate."

Since I'm not a psychiatrist, I consulted the work of various experts in the field in order to get a better understanding of the fanatical mindset that is driving the Bush administration's agenda -- and scaring the living daylights out of a growing number of observers.

Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has identified among the telltale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, a doctrine that is riddled with contradictions, the belief that one's cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one's message.

Sound like anyone you know? George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle... come on down! [...]

Comment: Bush also exhibits many of the characteristics of the psycopathic personality

Ignoring the World's Bloodiest War
What's Behind the Killing in Central Africa?

June 18, 2003

When the mainstream press pays any attention to the Congo--or African wars in general--they invariably characterize the conflicts as "ethnic" or "tribal" wars, rooted in age-old hatreds. This explanation is not only false, but racist.

It provides cover for the argument that "we"--invariably some mix of Western nations, perhaps with UN cover--must intervene to stop this irrational ethnic murder. This argument is a repackaged version of the same racist excuses given for European powers' conquest and colonization of Africa in the late 19th century--that is, to "civilize" the continent. Any prospect of resolving the Congo war requires a much different framework--one that doesn't look to the architects of the crisis to solve it.

It is the case that the militias fighting over Bunia are based in two distinct groups, the Hema and the Lendu. As with many civil conflicts in modern Africa, ethnicity provides a mobilizing lever for politicians, just as it did in the Balkans wars in Europe in the 1990s. But the Congo war--including this latest episode, is about far more than ethnicity or regional politics.

It's the legacy of brutal Belgian colonial rule, the Cold War and U.S. and European imperialism--all aimed at controlling the Congo's massive mineral wealth. [...]

Comment: It's also aimed at controlling the entire population of the globe, sheep herded into pen, not only physically but mentally...

Matter of time before dirty bomb attack, says MI5 chief

By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent
18 June 2003

The head of MI5 warned yesterday that it was "only a matter of time" before al-Qa'ida terrorists carried out a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack on a Western city.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of the Security Service, said "renegade scientists" - understood to be from Pakistan - had given Islamic extremists information to create weapons of mass destruction, such as "dirty bombs", and that they would become ever more sophisticated.

In her first public speech since taking over at MI5 in October, she told the Royal United Services Institute in London: "We are faced with a realistic possibility of a form of unconventional attack that could include chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN).

"It is only a matter of time before a crude version of a CBRN is launched on a Western city, and it is only a matter of time before the crude version becomes more sophisticated."

She also disclosed that there was concern that the dissident Irish terrorist group, the Real IRA, would carry out another bombing campaign on the British mainland.

Ms Manningham-Buller, 54, said: "Al-Qa'ida has the ambition to carry out unconventional attacks against the West. We know renegade scientists have co-operated with al-Qa'ida and provided them with some of the knowledge they need to develop these weapons."

Comment: Blah, blah, blah. Cut the BS, We KNOW by now that it is all orchestrated by the people that are pointing the finger, we are getting sick and tired of these idle threats, just bring it on and then we can get on with the job of exposing the real agenda and the "Wizard behind the curtain".

Nuclear Plants Called Terrorist Time Bombs

SHELBURNE FALLS, Massachusetts, June 18, 2003 (ENS) - Nuclear power plants and their spent fuel can be regarded as pre-deployed radiological weapons that await activation by an enemy, a threat to which the U.S. government and Nuclear Regulatory Commission seem unaware, says a new study published today...

"This agency has a longstanding policy of not requiring its licensees to protect their facilities against enemy attack, and has continued this policy with little change since the terrorist attacks of September 2001," Thompson said.

As a result, he said, U.S. nuclear facilities are lightly defended, and citizens are exposed to the risk of widespread radioactive contamination," he said.

Comment from a QFS member: Why worry about nukes abroad when several countries have nukes waiting to be detonated in the form of power plants? It be easy for the Ayatollah guy to respond that "I don't need nukes in my country because you're an easy target" basically. Those planes in NY could have just as easily been flown into a few nuke power fascilities. Lucky for the masses of people that they weren't -- and unluckily, very unfortunately for many many others, they were flown into major business centers instead.


June 10, 2003

A run through the jungle is too easy; for the ultimate reality show contest, try a race through the Sun's atmosphere, where two comets recently lost their heads. The tails from a pair of comets survived a close encounter with the Sun, even after the Sun's intense heat and radiation vaporized their heads (nuclei and coma), an extremely rare event photographed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft.

On May 24, 2003, a pair of comets arced in tandem towards the Sun, their paths taking them to just 0.1 solar radii above the Sun's surface, deep within the searing multimillion-degree solar atmosphere (corona).

They belong to the Kreutz family of sun-grazing comets, often seen by the SOHO spacecraft while diving towards their final rendezvous with the Sun. But as in humans, twins are rare. Even more so, this pair showed another very unusual trait: What looks like a faint tail (or "puff of smoke") can be seen moving away from the Sun, seemingly emanating from a point in the orbit beyond the comet's closest approach. Normally, sungrazers simply fade and disappear at an earlier stage, obliterated by the Sun's intense heat and radiation pressure. [...]

Comment: Nasa's website for the SOHO images seems to be missing large chunks of coverage on the Sun's activity and other bodies interacting with it. Nasa evidently has something to hide..

Michigan town imposes curfew after riots

Residents outraged by deadly police chase

Wednesday, June 18, 2003 Posted: 18:13 GMT

BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (CNN) -- Local authorities declared a state of emergency and imposed a 10 p.m. curfew Wednesday after two nights of rioting that followed the death of a motorcyclist fleeing police.

The curfew will last until 5 a.m. Thursday, said Lt. Ed Sherrick, a spokesman for the Berrien County Sheriff's Department.

Police used tear gas early Wednesday to break up a crowd of about 300 people, some of whom shot at police and set fire to homes. At least five buildings burned in the melee. Hospital officials said at least 10 people were injured.

"It was very violent," Benton Harbor Police Chief Sam Harris said. "We had gunfire. They shot at our trucks, they shot at the captain of police, ran barricades." [...]

On Monday night local resident Terrance Shurn, who is black, was killed in a chase by white police officers from Benton Township. Shurn, 28, crashed his motorcycle into a vacant building. [...]

Researchers link genes to bipolar disorder

Benedict Carey
Los Angeles Times
Jun. 18, 2003 12:00 AM

In the past year, researchers have begun to map out a genetic basis for one of psychiatry's most baffling conditions - bipolar disorder, a lifelong mental disease in which people zigzag from exuberant emotional highs to paralyzing periods of despair.

The latest findings come from the University of California at San Diego, where doctors reported this week that they have identified a gene that is linked to the disorder in up to 10 percent of sufferers.

The discoveries represent a significant advance in doctors' understanding of what causes the mood swings and pave the way for the development of a genetic test that could help diagnose and treat the condition.

"We're getting very close to having a test that could at least help us tell whether a person with a family history is at a higher or lower risk" of developing the disease, said Dr. John Kelsoe, a psychiatrist at UC San Diego and the study's lead author. The paper appeared in the June 16 issue of Molecular Psychiatry, a medical journal...

Comment from a QFS member: The pharmers are up to their shenanigans of course. This story is weird. They say they've identified a gene that is present in "up to 10 percent" of people who suffer biopolar disease. Great, so the gene isn't present in 90 percent of sufferers. Then they go on to say, "We're getting very close to having a test that could at least help us tell whether a person with a family history is at a higher or lower risk." -- They're getting close, as in 90 percent away from 100 percent sure. But, will that stop them from maybe forcing people, including kids, onto Prozac or something similar if they are found to have a gene for it? I don't know.

Maybe that forced anti-psychotic drug application issue in the news recently will quickly lead to other situations.

Appalachians suffer more flooding; 1 dead in West Virginia

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (June 18, 2:21 p.m. ADT) - More heavy rain was forecast Wednesday as residents of the central Appalachians cleared mud and debris caused by flash floods...

A 37-year-old man died Wednesday while wading in a creek in West Virginia. Over the past week, at least six other deaths have been blamed on the floods: a 10-year-old boy in West Virginia; a 6-year-old girl in Kentucky; a cave explorer in Kentucky, and three members of one family in North Carolina. Rain delayed the search Wednesday for the body of an 8-year-old boy who was in the same car as the three North Carolina victims.

Several counties in southern West Virginia were under a flood watch until Thursday.

Parts of Georgia got heavy rain for the second night in a row, with more than 2 inches in some areas, prompting the evacuation early Wednesday of 22 people in the town of LaGrange.

An additional 2 inches of rain was possible in western Georgia and the Atlanta area, the weather service said...

In West Virginia, officials estimated nearly 200 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged by flooding Monday and on June 11 in and around Charleston. More than 60 homes were ruined or severely damaged in nearby Boone County, where as much as 5 inches of rain fell Monday.

51 reported dead in flooding in northwest China

The Associated Press

BEIJING (June 18, 4:10 p.m. ADT) - Landslides and flooding caused by heavy rains have killed 51 people this month in China's northwest, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.

The worst flooding occurred the night of June 5 when 27 people were killed by high waters in the Ili river valley, about 1,800 miles west of Beijing, Xinhua said. The report didn't explain why the deaths weren't revealed earlier.

Officials blamed heavier than usual rains, worsened by deforestation of hillsides caused by heavy logging that reduced the soil's ability to absorb rainfall, the report said.

High waters and landslides also have killed dozens of people in China's south, raising concerns ahead of the annual flooding season on Yangtze and other rivers.

And Finally...

Donkeys marry in India to please rain god

11:49 Wednesday 18th June 2003

A marriage between two donkeys has been performed in southern India in the hope it will bring much needed rain.

Residents of Magadi, a Bangalore suburb, gathered at a temple dedicated to elephant-headed god Ganesh to marry off the donkeys

A Hindu priest read from the scriptures and anointed the animals with vermillion, turmeric and sandal-paste while married women garlanded the donkeys.

The donkeys were taken in a procession through the city's streets and a feast was served to the guests.

The bride, called Ganga, wore a green sari with a glittering gold border while the groom, Varuna, was clad in a white dhoti.

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