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June 22, 2003

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Defying Roadmap, Israel Settles Indian Jews In W. Bank

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, June 20 ( – In yet a new attempt to dodge implementation of the roadmap plan, which stipulates a freeze of all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel is settling Indian immigrants in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip instead of housing them inside its territories.

The Knesset's Committee for Immigration, Absorption, and the Diaspora debated on Wednesday, June 18, settling Indian Jews, though to belong to Bnei Menashe tribe, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, reported the Israeli channel 7 on its website. It quoted the committee chairwoman Colette Avital as saying that the aim of luring new settlers from India was to salvage the Jewish settlements.

She argued that there were millions of people in India willing to live in Gaza settlements rather than being caught in continued shootout between Indian and Pakistani forces in Kashmir. For his part, Labor Knesset member Ofir Paz lashed out at the settlement scheme, charging that the Indian immigrants are "being cynically exploited for political purposes.

"I think the whole thing is something that is totally unacceptable. You bring people from all over the world - from Mexico, from India, from whatever - straight to the 'settlements.' I don't think they should be the people who are taking the houses of those that left the settlements during the last years and came back to inside the Green Line," he asserted.

"I think it is cynical, I think it is unacceptable, and I demand that they will stop bringing these innocent people to become settlers. It is unthinkable," said the Israeli lawmaker.

"If they want to bring them, okay. Bring them to Afula, bring them to Tel Aviv, bring them to Beersheba, bring them to Rishon Lezion, but don't bring them straight to Gush Katif and to Kiryat Arba. It is immoral," he said, in reference to the two biggest Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Knesset member Marina Solodkin, another member of the committee, branded the scheme as illegal, asserting that similar projects were being carried out in secret involving Jews from countries that were once part the former Soviet Union.

However, Amishav, the non-profit organization funding the immigration of Bnei Menashe Jews challenged Paz's charges. Amishav director Michael Freund claimed Indian immigrants are being sent to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip because no one else agreed to accept them. "We are bringing the Bnei Menashe here [to Israel] with the approval and permission of the Interior Ministry and the Chief Rabbinate."

Fifty of the Bnei Menashe tribe, whose members all hail from the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, arrived in Israel Tuesday, June 17, to join 700 others already in the country, most of whom living in Kiryat Arba and Gush Katif, said the Israeli website. It noted that there are approximately another 5,000 Bnei Menashe members still living in India and observing a fully Jewish lifestyle.

The new comers, who graduated from the Amishav Hebrew Center of Aizawl, India, would continue to study Hebrew and Judaism in the town of Shavei Shomron, and would eventually undergo formal conversion by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

They, like compatriots, have entered Israel on tourist visas, as part of an arrangement with the Ministry of the Interior, said the website. After the 50 members complete their conversion course, they will be granted the status of olim (new citizens), it added.

Comment: Just what could be the real agenda of Sharon and the Zionists?.. Why are Jews the world over being "secretly" brought "home" to Israel...

Hopes Rise for Accord On Gaza Strip Security

By Glenn Kessler and Molly Moore
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, June 21, 2003

JERUSALEM, June 20 -- Palestinian and Israeli officials today reported progress on an agreement that would give Palestinians responsibility for security in the entire Gaza Strip and lead to a cease-fire by Palestinian militant groups.

Predictions of an agreement, which came after Secretary of State Colin L. Powell flew here to press Israelis and Palestinians to demonstrate real progress in a U.S.-backed peace plan by reaching such a deal, could easily be thwarted by a variety of difficult issues, particularly Israel's desire to protect 8,000 Israeli settlers living in Gaza. Past hopes repeatedly have been dashed, and both sides are under pressure from the United States to demonstrate progress on the plan, known as the "road map."

Violence, meanwhile, erupted again today in the occupied territories, when a suspected Palestinian gunman fired on a carload of Americans driving from a settlement in the West Bank, killing a U.S. citizen who lives in a settlement and injuring his parents and wife. [...]

Israeli Troops Kill Top Hamas Militant

Sat June 21, 2003 04:33 PM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead a senior official of the militant group Hamas in the West Bank city of Hebron Saturday, security sources said. Witnesses said they saw soldiers shoot at a car, killing Hamas militant Abdullah Kawasme. Security sources said troops were attempting to arrest him.

"During an arresting operation in Hebron, an armed Palestinian was shot and killed," the sources said.

Israel pressed the Palestinian Authority Saturday to rein in militant groups led by Hamas and vowed to continue its controversial track-and-kill operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [...]

Israel accused of hampering truce talks

BBC On-Line

Palestinian officials have accused Israel of undermining their efforts to secure a peace deal with extremist militants.

Cabinet minister Yasser Abed Rabbo was speaking after Israeli forces shot dead a senior leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas in the West Bank.

Israel held Abdullah Qawasmeh responsible for three suicide bombings this spring - one in Haifa in March and two in Jerusalem in May and June - in which about 50 people died.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has held talks with militants to persuade them to agree a ceasefire against Israelis as required by the international peace plan for the Middle East.

In his first reaction after Mr Qawasmeh's killing, Hamas said it would continue to consider the prime minister's plea but Hamas would "continue its resistance to put an end to Israeli terror".

International sponsors of the peace plan - known as the roadmap - are meeting in Jordan on Sunday to discuss the situation.

Disputed accounts

Abdullah Qawasmeh was shot dead by an elite Israeli army unit in Hebron on Saturday night in disputed circumstances.

The Israelis say their forces tried to arrest him and only opened fire after he pulled a gun.

But Palestinian sources said Mr Kawasmeh was shot while standing at the entrance to a mosque.

"This is another proof that the Israelis are... continuing the assassinations," Mr Rabbo said.

"These operations are meant to obstruct any success of the dialogue to reach a truce," he said.

Hamas truce

Prime Minister Abbas - also known as Abu Mazen - had been trying to get the militants to halt their attacks on Israelis and a reply from Hamas had been expected within the next day or two.

But Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi - who survived an Israeli attempt to kill him earlier this month - said no decision had been reached yet.

"We will continue dialogue with Palestinians as if there is no Israeli terror, and we will continue resisting terror as if there is no dialogue with Palestinians," Mr Rantissi said.

Israel has accepted the roadmap, but it says it reserves the right to continue its hunt for militants who it says are "ticking bombs".

Israel demands that the Palestinian Authority dismantle Hamas.

It maintains its forces are showing restraint in order to give Abu Mazen a chance to persuade Hamas and other militant groups to accept a ceasefire.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell described Hamas as an "enemy to peace" on Friday and urged Abu Mazen not to wait for it to agree a truce before starting to implement the roadmap.

Mr Powell is meeting the other members of the Middle East peace quartet who drafted the roadmap - the European Union, Russia and United Nations - on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum in Jordan.


by Brian Downing Quig

After turning on my TV to see the burning tower after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, my attention was arrested like all others. When the second plane hit the second tower I said to myself what is happening here? When the 3rd hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, the first witnesses reported the "plane circled the Pentagon in a sharply banked 270 degree turn that was distinctly different than any commercial plane and more like a military plane" and bypassed a straight in shot at the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, only to hit an insignificant spot in the back of the Pentagon. I said to myself then, it is not a real terrorist attack!! Thank God!!

One hour after the second plane hit a CIA analyst on ABC announced that it was Osama bin Laden who was behind the attacks!

When on the first day I saw it announced that terrorists left a flight manual for the BOEING 757 written in Arabic in their rental car parked at Logan airport I said, this looks like planted evidence reminiscent of the faked photo of lee Harvey Oswald with the rifle used to kill the president in one had and the communist newspapers in the other that was used to convict Oswald in the minds of the American public.

When the passport of the alleged lead terror pilot, Mohammed Atta, was found in 2 feet of rubble 2 blocks from the WTC I said WHO DO THEY EXPECT TO BELIEVE THAT!! Then they expected us to believe that Atta packed a bag for his suicide flight and by some good fortune it did not make his flight. To top it all off the baggage contained a suicide note. Then bin Laden makes a confession on video tape and leaves the tape where it is found. And the gullible American public buys it all primarily because it is unchallenged by the entire mass media!!

I can now give 25 compelling reasons to indict Daddy Bush, Cheney, the Pentagon and the Carlyle Group for the real terror behind 911. Daddy Bush and Cheney were in the Situation room at the White House during the terror attacks (during the 34 minutes between the second WTC hit and the Pentagon hit while a stand down order was issued to the AIR FORCE to supersede established intercept procedures for planes that stray off course).

Junior Bush was reading stories to grade school children during the attacks. He knew one plane had crashed into the WTC when the reading started. When his top aid Andrew Card whispered in his ear about the second plane hitting the WTC this was caught on videotape and is widely available on the internet. Junior Bush only looks up and nods and then goes back to reading stories to the kids for 25 more minutes!! It clearly looks more like Card is informing Bush of an expected event. There was for example no time for Card to add "and there are several other hijacked planes in the air"

The Director of the White House situation room, where all military crises are managed is with Junior Bush at the grade school. At the end of the 25 minutes of reading Bush goes immediately to the library of the school where a press conference was set. He says there "I called my vice president and my FBI director and the governor of New York." This was a lie!! There was not enough time for that.

It takes $5 million to make the minimum investment in Carlyle Group, the defense contractor investment group whose stock has gone up 37% since 911. The friends of Bush and Cheney are the other investors in Carlyle Group along with the bin Ladens and John Major. Carlyle Group was having their international investors conference in Washington D.C. at the Ritz Carleton at the exact time of the 911 attacks. Carlyle Group had a big interest in BIOPORT a company that was the sole source of anthrax VACCINE for the Pentagon. BIOPORT gave Admiral Crowe, the former Chairman of the Joint chiefs of staff a 27% interest in the company for his pull with the Pentagon. Do I have to connect all the dots regarding the anthrax attack that was traced to US military sources?

It was widely reported by The New York Times Feb. 17, 2002, MSNBC Oct. 7, 2001 and others that Pakistani ISI Chief, General Mahmud, wire transferred $100,000 to alleged lead terror pilot Mohammed Atta the week before the terror attacks. At the exact moment of the terror attacks Mahmud was having breakfast with the chairmen of the HOUSE (Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla) and Senate (Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla) intelligence oversight committee along with my senator Jon Kyl. I will have words with Kyl at the next opportunity. The $100,000 was sufficient to remove Mahmud from office but not enough for the light to go on in the brains of our top US intelligence officials!!

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, and others were told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. In an exercise, called Operation "Swift Sword" planned for four years, 23,000 British troops were on their way to Oman the day before the attacks. These troops were the ones used to assist the Americans in the Afghan invasion. At the same time two U.S. carrier battle groups arrived on station in the Gulf of Arabia just off the Pakistani coast. Also at the same time, some 17,000 U.S. troops join more than 23,000 NATO troops in Egypt for Operation "Bright Star." All of these forces were in place before the first plane hit the WTC!

Dan Hopsicker found plenty of CIA connections to the flight school in Venice Florida where Atta and others trained and much more of this nature

Ariel Sharon canceled his address to ISRAELI support groups in New York City just the day before his scheduled 9-11 address. The 120 Israeli art student spy ring active in the United States before 911 had a group living on the same street just 3 blocks form Mohammed Atta. US intelligence and US media had no interest in this ring or the 2 Israelis who were disarmed in the Mexican congress with guns and explosives and fake Pakistani passports at a time when the congress was not going along with Fox's support for the Bush invasion of Afghanistan.

Those who consider it unthinkable that the United States government and the ISRAELI government would fake a terror attack killing thousands to initiate a war to benefit those controlling these governments should listen to the sound track of the Loss of Liberty (2 hours on 56k) This is the account of how the 1967 WAR was started wherein all the Palestinian lands now in occupation were taken and how Israel tried to sink an American ship and blame it on the Egyptians. The US government was clearly a party to this infamy!!

In my search for the best evidence of fake 911 terror I have found a great deal. As far as stand alone evidence, the capability of the BOEING 757 and BOEING 767 to take off and land by computer alone is the most compelling. These planes are fully capable of being remotely piloted which is what happened during the terror attacks. Each of the four hijacked planes had 6 hidden panic alerts for just such events that were known to the flight crew. None of them were activated!! The alleged terrorists were the equivalent of Lee Harvey Oswalds --- patsies lured into place to take the blame. Our FBI has made no effort to reconcile their initial list of terrorists with the real people with those identities shown to be alive in the Middle East!!

The overall plan to send operatives to the US and have them train to fly commercial aircraft at single engine flight schools is a very doubtful affair. Real terrorists financed by bin Laden's billion dollars would have already been trained pilots quickly infiltrated shortly before the operation. In secret operations like this time is the great terminator. One of the alleged pilots trained at a single engine flight school in Phoenix that I once attended. One day a year WILLIAMS AIR FORCE BASE opened their flight simulators to the public. Their simulators were on hydraulic lifters with switches to day and night flight as well as various aircraft. I used to consider myself lucky when I could crash the F-16 on the runway. Usually I did not do that well! For any terror master to bet the farm on such a dubious plan would be unthinkable. But fooling the gullible American public is a far easier prospect.

The software of the BOEING 757 and 767 over rides pilot error and will not let a pilot make banking turns like the Pentagon plane which was pulling 5 Gs at its final approach or the second WTC plane that was pulling 3 Gs. This is the most fruitful area to explore for those wishing positive proof that the terror attacks were faked.

The American public has no concept of how the entire broadcast industry is monolithically controlled --- all offering the same lies at the same time. There are 6 corporate groups that own all of the newspapers in America. The last time the senate examined the corporate ownership of the broadcast industry was 1970 when they issued a report showing an enormous crime in progress. A handful of international banks were illegally usurping corporate control of the entire broadcast industry in the United States It has only gotten much worse since then.

There is an ISRAELI WAR LOBBY numbering in the thousands beating the drum for war totally unchallenged on TV. They are not registered as agents of a foreign government as law requires. In the news media they fill the ranks of the very most prominent, like Ted Kopple, George Will, Mort Kondrakie, Wolf Blitzer and Billy Kristol.

The ambitions of the Bush administration go far beyond getting the Afghan pipeline to move the $350 billion of central Asian oil. They are pressing for full-scale war where more is destroyed in a day than is produced in an entire year of peace. From the business standpoint WAR IS THE ULTIMATE CONSUMER!!

Comment: If there exists the will and the means to do something, then the only thing that might prevent it being done is some form of morality or conscience or consideration for its effect on others. The people who make and direct US foreign policy have shown themselves to be lacking in all three. We have a group of power hungry amoral men with both the will and the means to do as they please and convince the public (via the media they control) that all is right with the world.

Flashback: Air Force Officer Disciplined for Saying Bush Allowed September 11 Attacks

By Jerry Isaacs
21 June 2002

A US Air Force officer in California recently accused President Bush of deliberately allowing the September 11 terror attacks to take place. The officer has been relieved of his command and faces further discipline. The controversy surrounding Lt. Col. Steve Butler's letter to the editor, in which he affirmed that Bush did nothing to warn the American people because he "needed this war on terrorism," received scant coverage in the media.

Universally ignored by the press, however, was that the officer was not merely expressing a personal opinion. He was in a position to have direct knowledge of contacts between the US military and some of the hijackers in the period before the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. [...]

Powerless Iraqis rail against ignorant, air-conditioned US occupation force

By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
22 June 2003
The Independent

As temperatures reached a scorching 45C (113F) in Baghdad last week people in al-Thawra, a sprawling working-class slum, unearthed hidden rifles and threatened to kill the manager of the local electrical sub-station if he did not resume power supplies.

"Some had guns and others threw stones at us, but I told them this was just a sub- station and we aren't receiving any electricity," said Bassim Arman, the harassed-looking manager. "Now I have to close down anyway, because employees are too frightened to come to work."

Electricity is vital to life in the Iraqi capital where the temperature can soar as high as 60C (140F) at the height of summer. Without it there is no air-conditioning, no refrigerators to prevent food rotting and no light in a city terrified by looters. The failure to get the electrical system working has become a symbol for Iraqis in the capital of the general failure of the American occupation to provide living conditions even at the miserable level they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein.

Asked about Baghdad's lack of electricity at an air-conditioned press conference, Paul Bremer, the American head of the occupation authority, looking cool in a dark suit and quiet purple tie, simply asserted that, with a few exceptions, Baghdad was now receiving 20 hours of electricity a day. "It simply isn't true," said one Iraqi, shaking his head in disbelief after listening to Mr Bremer. "Everybody in Baghdad knows it." [...]

Iraqis Suffer From Radiation Symptoms

By SABAH JERGES, Associated Press Writer
Sat Jun 21, 3:30 PM ET

AL-MADA'IN, Iraq - Dozens of people are showing up every day at a hospital near a defunct Iraqi nuclear plant, suffering from rashes, bloody noses and other symptoms of radiation poisoning, doctors said Saturday.

The Tuwaitha nuclear facility, 12 miles south of Baghdad, was left unguarded after Iraqi troops fled the area on the eve of the war. It is thought to have contained hundreds of tons of natural uranium and nearly two tons of low-enriched uranium, which could be used to make nuclear weapons

U.S. troops didn't secure the area until April 7. By then, looters from surrounding villages had stripped it of much of its contents, including uranium storage barrels they later used to hold drinking water.

People suffering from symptoms of radiation sickness started showing up at the hospital closest to the nuclear site as early as two months ago, two doctors interviewed by The Associated Press said Saturday. Their numbers have since grown considerably.

"Some 30 to 40 patients suffering from bloody diarrhea visit our hospital every day, probably due to their exposure to nuclear radiation," said Bassim Abbud, a physician at the Mada'in General Hospital, about 9 miles from the Tuwaitha nuclear facility. [...]

Shiite Muslims protest U.S. presence

Saturday, June 21, 2003 Posted: 1930 GMT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- About 2,000 Iraqi Shiites demonstrated against coalition forces Saturday in Baghdad, as U.S. troops continued to crack down on those responsible for recent deadly ambushes on their forces.

The protesters from the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City -- formerly known as Saddam City -- crowded the streets in front of the coalition's headquarters, holding posters of their Shiite leader and waving the Iraqi flag.

Coalition officials met with the demonstrators to hear their grievances before the rally. Shiites have traditionally supported the U.S. military presence in the country.

The protesters are displeased with the U.S. presence in Iraq and are demanding an Iraqi government to replace coalition rule. [...]

U.S. Seeks WMD Data in Seized Iraq Papers

Jun 21, 2:19 PM ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. soldiers, acting on a tip, seized top secret code equipment and piles of Iraqi intelligence documents in a raid Saturday on a community center. The find, including references to a nuclear program, is being sent to senior intelligence analysts to look for information on Iraq's banned weapons programs.

"It's potentially significant," said Capt. Ryan McWilliams, an intelligence officer with the Army's 1st Armored Division, who examined the documents. He said there were "potentially some pretty strong documents regarding the intelligence service." [...]

In his weekly radio address Saturday, Bush defended initial administration claims about the existence of the weapons but did not promise they will be found, as he had on other occasions until recently. The president said documents and suspected weapons sites were looted and burned "in the regime's final days."

"We are determined to discover the true extent of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs, no matter how long it takes," Bush said. [...]

Now Bush blames failure to find WMD on looters

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
22 June 2003
The Independent

It has taken more than two months. But belatedly, from his Democratic challengers for the White House and in committee rooms on Capitol Hill, President George W Bush is starting to feel the heat of the controversy over Iraq's missing weapons stockpiles.

In his weekly radio address yesterday, Mr Bush was forced to produce a new explanation of why the US has not found Iraq's alleged chemical and biological weapons. He told listeners that suspect sites had been looted in the closing days of Saddam Hussein's regime. [...]

More fundamentally, most Americans still do not accept the critics' premise. One recent poll found that a third of the population actually believes that weapons have been discovered, even though the best investigators have come up with are a couple of vehicles some experts say might have been mobile bio-weapons laboratories. According to a Gallup survey last week, 83 per cent of Americans believe Saddam was developing nuclear arms, despite no serious evidence to support that view. [...]

Comment: And therein lies the rub. The next explanation could be that the Tooth Fairy swiped the WMDs, and apparently, frighteningly few Americans would doubt it.

Bush Says Hussein Loyalists Cause Soldier Deaths

The New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 21 — President Bush, speaking at length for the first time about the continuing casualties among American troops in Iraq, said today that remnants of the ousted government were trying to "kill and intimidate" American soldiers there. [...]

Foreign Fighters Add to Resistance in Iraq, U.S. Says

The New York Times

CAMP DOHA, Kuwait, June 21 — United States military commanders say foreign fighters are being actively recruited by loyalists to Saddam Hussein to join the resistance against American forces in Iraq, posing a new challenge to efforts to stabilize the country.

Military officials say that American troops in Iraq have had to contend with Syrians, Saudis, Yemenis, Algerians, Lebanese and even Chechens.

Many of these fighters took up arms against the United States during the American thrust to Baghdad. A significant number remain, and a new effort is under way to lure more to Iraq to join the fight against the Americans, officials say.

"You have got Baath Party and regime loyalists west and northeast of the city who are calling buddies in foreign countries and getting fighters to come across the border," Maj. Gen. William Webster, deputy commander of the allied land command, said in an interview. "They are also rounding up those who are already here and issuing them weapons." [...]

DNA tests after missiles strike 'Saddam convoy'

Human remains removed after US Hellfire missiles target source of dictator's satellite phone call

Jason Burke in Baghdad
Sunday June 22, 2003
The Observer

American specialists were carrying out DNA tests last night on human remains believed by US military sources to be those of Saddam Hussein and one of his sons, The Observer can reveal. The remains were retrieved from a convoy of vehicles struck last week by US forces following 'firm' information that the former Iraqi leader and members of his family were travelling in the Western Desert near Syria.

Military sources told The Observer that the strikes, involving an undisclosed number of Hellfire missiles, were launched against the convoy last Wednesday after the interception of a satellite telephone conversation involving either Saddam or his sons.

The operation, which has not yet been disclosed by the Pentagon, involved the United States air force and ground troops of the Third Armoured Cavalry Regiment based around Ramadi, a major town 70 miles west of Baghdad...

Another US military source confirmed that there was 'an incident in the Western Desert' and said that information about it was 'unreleasable pending verification'. Other sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that they were awaiting confirmation that the remains were those of Saddam and Uday following full DNA tests. It was not known when the tests would be completed, but the sources indicated it was 'imminent'...

White House officials said on Friday it was unclear if the former Iraqi leader was alive or dead. 'We know that this guy (Mahmud) was his (Saddam's) shadow at one time. But who knows what's true and what's not here,' one US official said last night.

Mahmud was regarded by Washington as the most wanted Iraqi figure after Saddam and his sons.

The presidential secretary was the ace of diamonds in the US 'deck of cards' of 55 most-wanted Iraqis and the highest-placed of them caught so far.

US forces have now captured at least 32 of the 55 on the list.

Comment from a QFS member: looks like the "ace of diamonds" coughed up Saddam's personal cell phone number. Moral to story: If you're a despotic dictator who has crossed a Bush; get some carrier pigeons.

Putin refuses to cut Iran link

BBC On-Line

He told the BBC that Russia's opposition to the war in Iraq had not damaged ties with Britain, saying that his relationship with Prime Minister Tony Blair was open and friendly.

We believe it is possible to tell each other what we actually think rather than what our diplomats advise us to say, he said.

But he is scheduled to meet for only 30 minutes with Mr Blair on his visit, the BBC's Bridget Kendall says.

Mr Putin told the BBC that Russia will insist that some of the multi-million- dollar contracts Russian oil companies signed with Saddam Hussein's Iraq be honoured.

And he said Russia would not be dissuaded from helping Iran with its nuclear programme by US fears that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

He framed the issue as an economic one.

"We won't let the issue of nuclear proliferation be used to stop Russian companies dealing with Iran," he said.

Iran willing to sign $4 billion worth oil contract

18:12 2003-06-19

Iran is prepared to sign a $4 billion worth contract on the development of oil fields in Azadegan and Bagestan, reports the secretariat-general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with reference to Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh.

When in operation, these deposits will enable the increase in the extraction and production of Iranian oil by 400,000 barrels a day. A contract on the Azadegan field to produce 300,000 barrels of oil a day, valued at $2 billion, will be signed with Japan's consortium led by the Inpex concern already this July, said the minister. [...]

Fibbing It Up at Fox

by Dale Steinreich

Since the Iraq conflict began on March 20, Fox News has been on a mission to legitimize it. One problem for Fox's protracted apologia is that despite promises of evidence of current weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by the Bush Administration, the evidence has been ambiguous at best. Unfortunately for the network, I’ve been keeping a scratch diary of their reports since the war began.

U.K. MP rejects paper's apology: Story alleged he was on Saddam's payroll

Documents were forged, editor admits

The Toronto Star

Left-wing British MP George Galloway has rejected an apology from the Christian Science Monitor, which in April claimed he was paid $13.5 million to promote Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the West.

Galloway, who called the last two months "a walking nightmare," said he will continue with his libel case against the newspaper, which is published by the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.

"I just can't accept an apology like this," Galloway, Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin, said yesterday.

The Monitor story, which it said was based on documents obtained in Iraq, claimed the Iraqi regime had paid Galloway almost six million pounds ($13.5 million) over an 11-year period.

Galloway immediately rejected the accusation as false.

Yesterday, in a full and unreserved apology, Monitor editor Paul Van Slambrouck admitted an extensive investigation has determined the six Iraqi documents on which the newspaper relied for its April 25 story are almost certainly forgeries.

Hidden Agenda behind the "War on Terrorism": US Bombing of Afghanistan restores Trade in Narcotics

by Michel Chossudovsky
Centre for Research on Globalisation

In 2000, the Taliban government under advice from the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) imposed a total ban on opium production. Prior to the ban, according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Afghanistan produced more than 70% of the world's opium in 2000, and about 80% of opiate products (meaning heroin) destined to the European market.

The annual proceeds of the Afghan Golden Crescent drug trade (between 100 and 200 billion dollars) represented approximately one third of the worldwide annual turnover of narcotics, estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $500 billion.

In many regards, the trade in narcotics as well as the drug routes to the European and North American markets are considered to be "strategic". There are powerful financial interests behind the drug trade, which have a pervasive influence, behind the scenes, on the conduct of US foreign policy.

These multibillion dollar revenues of narcotics were deposited in the Western banking system. Most of the large international banks -together with their affiliates in the offshore banking havens-laundered large amounts of narco-dollars. In other words, Afghanistan, the poorest country on earth, was the source of tremendous financial wealth derived from the drug trade to financial institutions, business syndicates and organised crime. Part of the drug related revenues accrue to the CIA, which continues to protect both the Asian and Latin American drug trade. Visibly, only a very small  percentage of these revenues stays in Afghanistan. .

Following the year 2000 ban on poppy production imposed by the Taliban government, opium production collapsed by more than 90 percent, leading to a dwindling drug trade and substantial losses to the inters underlying this multibillion dollar trade including Western financial institutions.3  The Northern Alliance became the main political force involved in protecting the production and marketing of raw opium.

The Drug Trade Restored by the US Puppet Regime

While oil and oil pipelines out of the Caspian sea basin were undoubtedly a factor, the bombing of Afghanistan also served to restore the multibillion drug trade, which is protected by the CIA.

Immediately following the installation of the US puppet government under Prime Minister Hamid Kharzai, opium production soared, regaining its historic levels. According to the UNDCP, opium cultivation increased by 657 % in 2002 (in relation to its 2001 level). In 2001, opium cultivation had fallen to an estimated 7606ha.(See table below). It is currently estimated by the UNDCP to be of the order of 45 000 -65 000ha. 

In the immediate wake of September 11, the price of opium in Afghanistan increased three-fold. By early 2002, the price (dollar/kg) was almost ten times higher than in the year 2000.

Comment: And now the CIA is involved in the search for WMD in Iraq, and of course it is entirely unrelated that U.S. Forces May Have Found WMD Documents "bearing the seal of Saddam Hussein's secret service." (oooh, scary) And surprisingly enough here comes more of the same old video tape Says al-Qaida behind Saudi bombings which may very well get more play in the average U.S. citizen's mind than the report that casts doubt on Iraq-Al Qaeda connection. The play for the American mind is truly heart breaking to watch, as they refuse to consider Similarities Among Bush, Hitler, Stalin and the GOP , and instead get caught up in soap opera cover stories like "Others forgive France; Rumsfeld holds a grudge" Go ahead, make fun of the "frogs" and ignore the the growing case for domestic state sponsored terrorism, it's easier that way. Meanwhile reports of your children and spouses continued fighting and dying, ( one of today's latest report) are in the media everyday, and Bush, comfortable in the stolen oval office says, "US forces in Iraq still face 'danger and sacrifice,' as their death toll mounted. In his weekly radio address, Bush also reaffirmed his determination that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction would be found. Meanwhile U.S. forces launched an air assault in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday to help clear the way for deploying troops along the Afghan-Pakistan border to stop al Qaeda and Taliban fighters crossing and carrying out attacks."

The Necessity for Enlightened Thinking

By Norman D. Livergood

We who live in the post-World War II period possess an immensely valuable symbol, even if we don't understand it or use it effectively: the example of Nazi Germany .

We've been conditioned to see Germany under Hitler as an unquestionably horrible example of dictatorial tyranny and inhuman barbarity--and to see our present American culture as completely opposite to that of Nazi Germany. And we like to think that if a tyranny such as that in Germany under the Nazi regime were present and growing in America we'd unquestionably be able to see it.

So it's a shock when we realize: most people living in Nazi Germany didn't see the tyranny! They thought it was the best time of their lives!

How could Germans living under Hitler's National Socialism not have seen what it was? How did their lack of social and personal awareness make them blind to their reality?

How could Americans now possibly be living under a creeping dictatorship and not know it? And how could we not only not see a police state condition but actually think we're living in complete freedom?

Because most of us don't WANT to know what's going on. We've lost the ability to think critically about political, economic, and social dangers confronting us.

If we have a job--as most people did in Nazi Germany--if the political-economic system seems stable--as it does in America--then that's all we want to know. [...]

ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Police officer probed for killing dog

Owner calls for criminal investigation of front-yard shooting

A dog owner is calling for a criminal investigation into the lethal shooting of her 6-year-old cocker spaniel by a police officer.

Valerie Mueller was in her backyard with her dog Sprite in the early morning hours last Saturday trying to talk a friend out of suicide when police arrived, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The 38-pound dog bounded into the front yard toward the officers as they got out of their squad cars and just seconds later was struck by a bullet and killed. [...]

Advocate 'amazed' over furor over listing part of lawmakers' Social Security numbers


SACRAMENTO (AP) - A consumer advocate says he's amazed by the furor he set off when he revealed part of the Social Security numbers of eight lawmakers who failed to support a financial privacy bill.

"It's just amazing how politicians suddenly start caring about privacy issues when it's their privacy at stake," Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said Thursday. [...]

Arabs Say U.S. Policies Add to Mideast Insecurity

By Jeremy Gaunt
Sat June 21, 2003 05:59 PM ET

DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) - The head of the Arab League accused the United States on Saturday of not making its intentions clear in the Middle East and adding to insecurity in the region by occupying Iraq.

Kicking off a meeting of high-level politicians and business executives, Amr Moussa said Washington had never sat down with Arab leaders to explain its policy in the region. [...]

Many Arabs fear the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a precursor to a wider policy of forced regime change throughout the region, where Western-style democracy is -- at best -- in its infancy. [...]

Greek Police Arrest 84 After Anti-Capitalist Riots

By Michele Kambas and Philip Pangalos
Sat June 21, 2003 05:48 PM ET

THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) - Police arrested scores of protesters, including 12 foreigners, on Saturday after breaking up riots in Greece's second largest city in which shops were smashed and buildings set ablaze, including a McDonald's.

A group of 200 self-styled anarchists were among 25,000 mainly peaceful anti-capitalist protesters who marched in late afternoon through Thessaloniki's center, about 50 miles west of where a European Union summit ended earlier in the day. [...]

With protest groups promising demonstrations against the EU, NATO and the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Greece had deployed 16,000 troops and police across the scenic coastal region and Thessaloniki in the country's biggest ever security operation. [...]

Comment: Inserting apparent anarchists amidst the peaceful demonstrators would be a wonderful way to detract from the law-abiding protestors' concerns and discourage future demonstrations. It also appears that being against the EU, NATO, or America's imperialist actions makes one an "anti-capitalist."

U.S. court dismisses bid to review abortion ruling

Jun. 21, 2003. 01:00 AM
The Toronto Star

DALLAS—A federal district court dismissed a request by the one-time plaintiff known as "Jane Roe" to reconsider the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 30 years ago.

The court said late Thursday that Norma McCorvey's request wasn't made within a "reasonable time" after the 1973 judgment in Roe vs. Wade. [...]

Venezuelan move to replace US$ with the €uro upsetting Washington more than Saddam's €uro conversion last November

By: Roy S. Carson
Wednesday, June 18, 2003 editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: A move by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias to replace the US$ with the €uro is seen as upsetting Washington more than when Iraq's Saddam Hussein started using the €uro for oil transactions last November ... precipitating the US-led action to invade Iraq. Beltway bullies are now said to be angered by Venezuela's decision to barter oil with thirteen other Latin American countries, dealing moves to dollarize South America currencies. Intelligence reports say that while the US was able to pull the wool over the international community and ally with Britain's Blair to bulldoze action against former Iran War ally Hussein, the situation with Venezuela is proving more difficult. [...]

CIA and other intel organizations, including Britain's MI5, now fear that the next step is that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is about to switch to €uros ... the immediate effect would be a massive devaluation, perhaps sparking of domino-effect devaluations worldwide in US$-related foreign reserves and foreign debt calculations. [...]

US sends warning to Libya over 'pursuit of WMD'

By Kim Sengupta

21 June 2003: (The Independent) Libya has been "aggressively pursuing" the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction since the United Nations sanctions against the country were suspended after the Lockerbie trial, America claimed yesterday.

John Bolton, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, signaled that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime was once again in Washington's sights.

Although the alleged nuclear threats posed by Iran and North Korea have both been in the headlines, the Bush administration is closely monitoring developments in other countries such as Libya and Syria. According to diplomatic sources, America is investigating whether the Gaddafi regime has recruited Iraqi scientists who had previously worked for Saddam Hussein. [...]

Bush to NGOs: Watch your mouths

Friday, June 20, 2003

The Bush administration has found its next target for pre-emptive war, but it's not Iran, Syria or North Korea -- not yet, anyway.

Before launching any new foreign adventures, the Bush gang has some homeland housekeeping to take care of: It is going to sweep up those pesky non-governmental organizations that are helping to turn world opinion against U.S. bombs and brands.

The war on NGOs is being fought on two clear fronts. One buys the silence and complicity of mainstream humanitarian and religious groups by offering lucrative reconstruction contracts. The other marginalizes and criminalizes more independent-minded NGOs by claiming that their work is a threat to democracy. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is in charge of handing out the carrots, while the American Enterprise Institute, the most powerful think tank in Washington, D.C., is wielding the sticks.

On May 21 in Washington, Andrew Natsios, the head of USAID, gave a speech blasting U.S. NGOs for failing to play a role many of them didn't realize they had been assigned: doing public relations for the U.S. government. According to InterAction, the network of 160 relief and development NGOs that hosted the conference, Mr. Natsios was "irritated" that starving and sick Iraqi and Afghan children didn't realize that their food and vaccines were coming to them courtesy of George W. Bush. From now on, NGOs had to do a better job of linking their humanitarian assistance to U.S. foreign policy and making it clear that they are "an arm of the U.S. government." If they didn't, InterAction reported, "Natsios threatened to personally tear up their contracts and find new partners."

For aid workers, there are even more strings attached to U.S. dollars. USAID told several NGOs that have been awarded humanitarian contracts that they cannot speak to the media -- all requests from reporters must go through Washington. Mary McClymont, CEO of InterAction, calls the demands "unprecedented," and says, "It looks like the NGOs aren't independent and can't speak for themselves about what they see and think." [...]

Ancient organism challenges cell evolution

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

Scientists have found an organelle - an enclosed free-floating specialised structure - inside a primitive cell for the first time.

Prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria, are relatively simple and have no nuclei.

It is believed they evolved first then absorbed other prokaryotes and became eukaryotes - complex cells that have nuclei and structures like the energy- producing mitochondria.

Finding a self-contained organelle inside a prokaryote is a puzzle as it suggests that the evolution of cells - the basic building blocks of higher organisms - may have to be reconsidered.

Big Bang experiment strikes gold

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

Scientists are on the verge of creating a quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that has not existed since the Universe was less than a millionth of a second old...

The properties of the quark-gluon plasma will hopefully answer many questions about the laws that govern nature's fundamental particles.

The scientists are not yet ready to claim a definite discovery of this ancient state of matter, however. They say that must await corroborating experiments, also under way at the RHIC.

"This is a very exciting result that clearly indicates we are on the right track to an important scientific discovery," says Thomas Kirk, from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, home of the RHIC.

"But the case for having created quark-gluon plasma is not yet closed. We have four experiments looking for a number of different 'signatures' of this elusive form of extremely hot, dense nuclear matter."

Raymond Orbach, director of the US Department of Energy, added: "These results from RHIC are profoundly important. They go to a fundamental question in science: how did the Universe look at the beginning of time?"

Comment: A wonderful example of PR in the sciences. There is no discovery to be announced, simply "an exciting result" that "clearly indicates" they are "on the right track" to that discovery. And an assertion that it is a "fundamental question". Sign the next cheque...

Chinese archaeologists discover 2,000 year old wine


Archaeologists in northern China have discovered a two-thousand year old bottle of light green rice wine.
The discovery was made in Xian -- home to the famous terracotta warriors.

And Finally...

Looking for a cross to bear? Check eBay

The Toronto Star
Jun. 21, 2003. 01:00 AM

None of the nearly 95,000 of us who trooped to the Royal Ontario Museum and examined the box that had supposedly contained the bones of Jesus' brother James was surprised to hear it's been declared a fake. We'd all seen the sticker on the side that read, "Shmuel's Duty-Free Souvenirs, Departures Level, Ben Gurion Airport."

That's why we rolled our eyes when Oded Golan, the Israeli collector who claimed he'd "discovered" it, said he couldn't remember exactly where because he had "lost the receipt."

The box, roughly the size of a bread box, ignited public interest because it was inscribed "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" in Aramaic, the language commonly spoken in the Holy Land when B.C. turned into A.D. But while the box itself dates from that period, the Antiquities Authority of Israel found the inscription was added later, possibly last August.

Nobody is suggesting there's anything shady about Oded Golan, but a stone tablet inscribed in Hebrew that gives instructions for operating the First Temple, built by Solomon and destroyed in 586 B.C., and that he has been trying to sell for $2 million, was thrown into question when the Antiquities Authority spotted language that wouldn't have been in use at that time.

They point to "gefilte," and the words for "sweet table."

My own interest in Jesus and antiquities was ignited long before the so-called "James ossuary" was displayed at the ROM. That's because I have been trying to track down the fragment of the True Cross that was stolen three years ago from the vestibule of St. Michael's Cathedral...

The fact that there was an entire True Cross to be discovered is amazing, too, considering that Jerusalem's bishops had been handing out splinters of it by the handful to pilgrims for years. But at least this mystery has been cleared up. Experiments by Roman Catholic theologians proved that the cross was made from a rare kind of wood that could regenerate itself, so no matter how many pieces were whittled off, it remained, as a historian named Edward Gibbon said, "entire and unimpaired."

This is why John Calvin was able to calculate that there were enough fragments in existence to build a ship out of them, and still have enough left to fill it.

In my efforts to locate the missing fragment from St. Mike's, I have adopted what is known in crime-detection circles as "a narrow approach." What I do is go to eBay on the Internet, punch in "Collectibles: Religions: Spirituality: Christianity: Relics," and click on "Fragments of the True Cross" to check the ones being auctioned off.

Yesterday there were four...

It turned out that the bids on all of them (from $125 for the one that came with Cardinal Villepelet's letter that a dealer in Hollywood, Fla., is interested in unloading, up to $495 for another) were well below the reserve prices. If you sprang for $950, a French dealer said he'd courier his to you right away...

Among the benefits of shopping for fragments of the True Cross on eBay is you can pay by VISA and, as with everything they handle, your purchases are covered by eBay's Fraud Protection Program.

September 30, 1994

Q: (L) Let's go back to Jesus. Are the only miracles he did
A: No.
Q: (L) What other kinds of miracles did he do?
A: Telekinesis.
Q: (L) Did he walk on water?
A: No.
Q: (L) Did he turn water into wine?
A: No.
Q: (L) Are these all just stories?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) What is the purpose of the stories?
A: Control.
Q: (L) Was Jesus crucified?
A: No.
Q: (L) Was somebody crucified?
A: Too vague.
Q: (L) Was somebody crucified on a cross and represented to be Jesus?
A: No.
Q: (L) There was no crucifixion, there was no resurrection after three days, is that correct?
A: Close.

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