Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-JadczykPrinter Friendly Version
Picture of the Day
from Carlos Castaneda's The Active Side of Infinity
A man staring
at his equations
Consider the absurdity of humanity's obsession with beginnings and endings. No doubt each of us has been to at least one celebration for the birth of a new relative. Perhaps we even attended some sort of religious baptismal ceremony. We helped to welcome this new little person into this terrible, twisted reality we call "the world" in the name of a kind, loving, and paradoxically vengeful deity. It is highly unlikely that any of the participants in the baptism thought about the fact that someday, the newborn would die.
Eventually the child started to grow up. Most children, like their parents, fear death. A child's world is generally centered around themselves - I need, I want, gimme now! - and the child's parents, upon whom she is entirely dependent. Therefore, a child will usually not want to think about the death of her parents, just as the parents don't want to think about the death of their child.
One day, perhaps there will be a death in the family. The child, along with her parents, will attend the funeral of an elderly relative. What the child will generally observe is a whole slew of relatives and friends crying and carrying on, essentially feeling more sorry for themselves than for the deceased. If one observes interactions at most funerals rather carefully, one may notice that the conveying of "sympathy" is a clever game of emotional draining and manipulation.
There seems to be a huge difference between sympathy, and empathy. Sympathy can be defined as sharing the feelings of others, especially feelings of sorrow or anguish. Empathy, on the other hand, is understanding and entering into another's feelings. The feelings of another are generally not something to be feasted upon in the way that one enjoys a good meal. It appears that most people mechanically assume that sympathy and empathy are synonymous, and they therefore readily substitute sympathy for the more creative expression of empathy.
Anyone who has attended a funeral under the control of a flurry of 'A' influences may have noted that the emotional cesspool generated by the preposterous amounts of sympathy being shared may cause a slight reexamination of one's own existence. But, in general, this self-reflection is rather shallow and short-lived. There are plenty of distractions waiting back home to ensure that we are pulled back into the fairytale we call "life".
It seems that if there is one thing that humanity is good at denying, it is the fact that we will all die someday. This basic fear of death spreads into other areas, such as the belief that one's country will always be "the best". Of course, there are two ideas that are particularly problematic about such beliefs about any country. The first is that if one examines history, it is quite clear that no country or empire has ever lasted indefinitely. Nations, and especially empires, always seem to fall eventually. Even if the inhabitants or the borders remain unchanged, perhaps the form of government or the way of life will change. The second idea is that any belief regarding the superiority of one's country seems to be based upon the 'A' influences. As a result, such beliefs generally have little to do with objective reality. On the contrary, they appear to be based entirely on the lies of government and society - and on a certain degree of wishful thinking.
Furthermore, even if a country could last forever, today's official scientific institutions tend towards the belief that eventually, the "Big Bang" will lead to a "Big Crunch". We are also informed that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a big asteroid - but not to worry, as such catastrophic events only occur every few eternities. Regardless of the truth behind these so-called "scientific" declarations, it is clear that even the official line is that nothing lasts forever. Naturally, we tend to read the testimonies of our scientific "experts" and breath a sigh of relief. Don't worry, it's all way off in the future! We'll long since have died. And yet, there is that nagging little problem again! Somehow, some way, we will each experience some enormous change, whether it is death, revolution, or obliteration from the impact of a cosmic body.
When viewed in this light, it is certainly bizarre that so many groups are derided for propagation of "Doomsday" scenarios. Change will happen. We cannot stop it. In a sense, we are the peons of this reality. Why should we desire at all to change anything here? To become the one who is leading or directing everyone else? While that may sound good do certain of our little 'I's', it does nothing to stop change.
From our research, it seems that there are some fundamental problems with the generally accepted forms of history, archaeology, the physical sciences, and even our conception of time itself. Consider the idea of cycles. If everything that begins must end, and every ending is a new beginning, then this reality may just be a jumble of continual cycles. Perhaps we will "recycle" until we learn about this world as it truly is. If we could see this reality from a completely objective point of view, would there really be a point in being here? Is there perhaps a way to move beyond the limitations of our world if we could truly understand them? We don't really know - but we suspect the answer may be 'yes'.
What we do know, is that running programs under the sway of the 'A' influences will obscure our vision to the extent that all possibilities will not be open to us. Making a true choice requires knowledge of the options, and knowledge requires objectivity and "openness". Achieving objectivity requires a development of the will to Do against the screaming voices of all those little 'I's' that try to pull each of us into a limited view of reality and back to sleep. From the beginning of the Work, it all comes down to a choice between the truth or the lie. The truth may very well set us free, perhaps in ways we have not as yet imagined.
AN Iraqi has died of his wounds after US troops beat him with truncheons because he refused to remove a picture of wanted Shiite Muslim leader Moqtada Sadr from his car, police said today.
The motorist was stopped late yesterday by US troops conducting search operations on a street in the centre of the central city of Kut, Lieutenant Mohamad Abdel Abbas said.
After the man refused to remove Sadr's picture from his car, the soldiers forced him out of the vehicle and started beating him with truncheons, he said.
US troops also detained from the same area five men wearing black pants and shirts, the usual attire of Sadr's Mehdi Army militiamen and followers.
Qassem Hassan, the director of Kut general hospital, identified the man as Salem Hassan, a resident of a Kut suburb.
He said the man had died of wounds sustained in the beating.
A spokesman for the US-led coalition could not confirm the incident.
Comment: A foreign army invades the US or the UK, deposes the sitting president or leader and attempts to forcibly establish a government that is unrepresentative of US or UK citizens. Your father is in the street pasting posters on walls in an attempt to highlight the injustice and rally support for a representative American or UK government. Along come soldiers of the foreign invading army and they beat your father to death. How do you feel? Was your father a terrorist? This is happening TODAY in Iraq, carried out by American and British soldiers on the orders of a group of men who claim to be acting on the behalf of and with the support of American and UK citizens. Do they have your support? If they do not, then you must make it clear that they do not. You do this by consciously standing up for the truth in ALL areas of your life. You do this by rejecting the lies that our "leaders" use to manipulate our consent for their brutal inhuman military campaigns against the peoples of the world. And you must begin to do it TODAY.
the Times Editorial
During a 17-minute speech followed by questions from the press, George Bush unsurprisingly offered no apology to the American people for failure to prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001. According to the Associated Press (Bush Says More Troops May Deploy to Iraq), although nearly half of the questions Bush was asked gave him the opportunity to express regret for the government's failings with respect to the 2001 attacks or the US occupation in Iraq, he did not take those opportunities. The best he could do was semi-apologize for not being quick enough to come up with a mistake he might have made, since he had been caught off-guard by the question.
"I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have," he said. "I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."
Let me just repeat that first sentence.
"I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes."
Of course he doesn't. He's a politician. He has an image to maintain. This is no surprise. He would like to make the appearance of being a "normal" person, with all the failings and weaknesses that normal people usually possess, rather than show himself for the self-obsessed, psychopathic liar that he is. This is no surprise. He wants to maintain that image of normalcy, and yet, he fails in his very next two sentences.
"I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't --"
Excuse me? What was that? He just hasn't what, exactly?
He just hasn't had enough time to make up a good lie perhaps? Is that it?
I could be wrong, but I think that might be it, particularly given that he admits to having been caught off guard. Due to their monumental egos, psychopaths have a very difficult time admitting to mistakes, and they would rather lie and blame others than accept responsibility themselves. That is why psychopaths make such good politicians. They can lie through their teeth without batting an eyelid.
Again, Bush wants to appear to his public as a normal person, just a "good ol' boy" who makes mistakes like all the rest, but his ego will not allow this. He was caught off guard, put "under the spot", as he so eloquently put it, and the resulting confusion was reflected in his following statements. It isn't terribly difficult to see that Bush was indeed caught off guard when he was essentially expected to admit to a mistake or express regret over any of his actions, and it isn't surprising to see why he would be a little confused given the inner struggle that seemed to have been going on with his need to maintain his image of being like everyone else and his ego that tells him he is superior to everyone else - "God's chosen"
As for Bush's mistakes that he couldn't seem to recall or admit to at the time, perhaps I can help him a little bit with his memory of a couple of them.
How about responsibility for, or at the very least, complicity in the attacks on 9/11? Might that not be considered a mistake? How about lying that it had anything at all to do with Arab terrorists? How about having used the attacks as an excuse to go into Afghanistan and Iraq, murder their people, plunder, rape and occupy their countries? How about having planned those attacks for this very purpose due to his innate, unquenchable thirst for oil, money, land, and power?
Yesterday, according to Reuters (Bush Says He Will Stake Re-Election on Iraq), after having been given the opportunity to apologize to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy and refusing it, Bush stated:
"I'm sick when I think about the death that took place that day. The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden."
Firstly, this speaks to the psychopathic tendency to shift blame to anyone apart from themselves. Secondly, he is "sick" when he thinks about the death that took place on that day?? Really? Is this true? Can he, the man who when told about the attack on the second tower while sitting in a classroom full of children (See video: Bush at Booker Elementary School, Sept. 11, 2001), expressed NO EMOTION, had absolutely no reaction whatsoever, now claim to have EMPATHY. There was no reaction then, not only because he is not able to empathize with the pain of others, but because the attack was NOT A SURPRISE.
And where is Bush's empathy for the 12,000 plus Iraqi men, women and children that he is responsible for murdering? Where is the empathy for the young soldiers who have been brainwashed into becoming assassins and dying in the process? Where is the empathy for the families of these victims? Even his so-called "empathy" for the four "civilians" that were burned and hung on a bridge in Falluja is only feigned, in my opinion. Those deaths were convenient for him as it sparked a blood thirst in the American public and I'm certain he counted on it increasing support for his "war on terror". It gave him an excuse to send his troops in to commit mass murder of the citizens of that city as "punishment". In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one day we discover that the whole thing was set up to provide this very excuse. That someone was paid to hang up those bodies specifically to generate American support for Bush's war so close to election time. I have been wondering if something similar may not be going on with all of these kidnappings as well, in the hopes of generating support internationally for the US invasion and against the Iraqi "terrorists".
So, no, Bush was not apologetic towards the victims of 911 anymore than he is apologetic for the genocide he and his puppet masters are responsible for in the Middle East, and it is highly unlikely that he ever will be apologetic.
But that's not surprising. Apology is no more a part of a psychopath's vocabulary than empathy or humility are.
For full text of Bush's April 13 speech, click here
By RON JACOBS
Before I take your questions, let me speak with the American people about the situation in Iraq.
This has been tough weeks in that country. Coalition forces have encountered serious violence in some areas of Iraq. Our military commanders report that this violence is being instigated by three groups. Of course, as you all know, these military commanders and their civilian bosses would never lie to me. After all, it is because of the proof they presented to us about Iraqi WMDs that we invaded Iraq in the first place. One of these groups is led by Manny of the Pep Boys, and the other two are led by his cohorts in crime: Moe and Jack.
They want to run us out of Iraq and destroy the profit-seeking hopes of Halliburton and its subsidiaries.
The violence we have seen is a power grab by these extreme and ruthless elements. It's not a civil war. It's not a popular uprising. It’s even crazier than that. Iraq is relatively stable, especially if you compare it to the first or second circle of Hell. Most Iraqis, by far, reject violence and oppose dictatorship. This is why they support the resistance in its struggle against US authoritarianism. In forums where Iraqis have met to discuss their political future and in all the proceedings of the Iraqi Governing Council, Iraqis have expressed clear commitments. They want strong protections for individual rights, they want their independence and they want their freedom. But guess what, they can’t have it except on our terms.
America's commitment to the occupation of Iraq is required by our interests. Iraq will either be a US client regime or it will be leveled.
By helping to secure Iraq, Americans serving in that country are protecting the interests of a lot of my rich friends. We are grateful to them all and to their families that face hardship and long separation. This weekend at a Fort Hood hospital, I presented a Purple Heart to some of the wounded, had the honor of thanking them on behalf of all my family’s friends. Other men and women have paid an even greater cost. We pray that their families will find God's comfort in the midst of their grief. As I've said to those who have lost loved ones: What a bunch of suckers. Hell, I never had to go to Vietnam, because I wasn’t going to risk nothing for my dad’s friends.
America's armed forces are performing brilliantly, following orders to kill men, women and children and then blame them for their deaths. I am constantly reviewing their needs. Troop strength now and in the future is determined by the situation on the ground. If additional forces are needed, I will send them. If additional resources are needed, we will provide them. After all, I don’t give a shit. I don’t know any of these guys.
The people of our country are united behind the men and women in uniform. They want them to return to the States right away. Guess what? That is not going to happen. One central commitment of their mission is the transfer of a sovereignty back to the Iraqi people. We have set a deadline of June 30. It is important that we meet that deadline. As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation, and neither does America. This means that we have to let them think they’re running the show. So, what we’re going to do is let the Iraqis we pick (because they owe us big time) do some of the little things around Iraq, like planting flowers and holding traffic court. Everything else, like running the army and the police, will still be under our control.
America's objective in Iraq is limited and it is firm. We seek a compliant Iraq where US and British corporations can feel secure as they profit from that country’s resources. Were the coalition to step back from the June 30 pledge, many Iraqis would question our intentions and feel their hopes betrayed. So, we’re going to make a big show about this transfer thing and hopefully that will convince the Iraqi people that we are no longer there running their country and killing those Iraqis who don’t like us. After all, they must be stupid people since they don’t speak English, right?
Iraqi authorities who work for the US are now confronting the security challenge of the last several weeks. In Falluja, coalition forces have suspended the collective punishment we wreaked on that city, allowing members of the Iraqi Governing Council and local leaders to try and convince the insurgents that once they give up the city we aren’t going to kill every one of them and hang their burned bodies from a bridge. Of course, we might.
Our coalition is standing with Iraqi leaders who wouldn’t even be there if US forces weren’t protecting them as they attempt to establish any kind of authority in their country. The transition to what we like to call sovereignty also requires an atmosphere of security. And our coalition is working to provide that security. We will continue taking the greatest care to prevent harm to contractors working for US companies. We will not permit the spread of chaos and violence unless it is US forces conducting that violence. I have directed our military commanders to make every preparation to use decisive force if necessary to maintain order and to protect our troops.
On June 30 when the flag of Iraq is raised, our handpicked Iraqi officials will assume responsibility for a couple of the ministries of government—like traffic and rubbish removal. On that day the transitional administrative law will take full effect. The United States and all the nations of our coalition will establish normal diplomatic relations with our handpicked Iraqi government. An American embassy will open and an American ambassador will be posted. This Embassy will oversee continued US military operations in that country and will also manage the activities of thousands of CIA agents, along with the work of tens of thousands of private mercenaries they have working over there. You can be sure that the US Ambassador will be experienced in intelligence operations and well versed in our colonial aspirations.
According to the schedule already approved by the Governing Council, Iraq will hold elections for a national assembly no later than next January. This government better well be the one we want or there will be some more problems. Iraqis' neighbors also have responsibilities to make their region more stable. So I'm sending Deputy Secretary of State Armitage to the Middle East to discuss with these nations our common interest in a free and independent Iraq and how they can help achieve this goal. Of course, unless they agree with the plans Israel and the US have for that region, they may very well be the next country to feel the wrath of America’s military force.
Let me repeat, our commitment to the success and security of Iraq will not end on June 30. On July 1 and beyond, our reconstruction assistance will continue and our military commitment will continue. This is necessary in order to keep the natives down. Having forced a new government on the Iraqi people, US military forces will be necessary to protect their government from the large numbers Iraqis who disagree with their presence and have no respect for its authority.
Now is the time and Iraq is the place in which the enemies of US imperialism are testing the will of the Empire. We must not waver. The violence we are seeing in Iraq is familiar. The F-16 that drops a bomb on a mosque or in a civilian neighborhood is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid and murdered children in Vietnam and El Salvador. We've seen the same ideology of murder in the killing of millions around the world. The attacks on the Pequot Indians back in the 17th Century, the destruction of two cities in Japan with nuclear weapons at the end of World War II, and in the merciless horror inflicted upon millions of innocent men and women and children during our war on Vietnam.
None of these acts is the work of a religion. All are the work of a fanatical political ideology. The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. They seek the death of every Jew, Christian and Muslim who desires peace over terror. They seek to set free peoples against each other. And they seek weapons of mass destruction to blackmail and murder on a massive scale.
We will succeed in Iraq or we will kill a lot of people trying. We're carrying out a decision that has already been made and will not change. Iraq will be America’s Arab pawn. And America and Israel’s plans for the region will be safer because of it. We serve the cause of unfettered capital and that is always and everywhere a cause worth serving.
Paul Joseph Watson | April 14 2004
George W. Bush's Tuesday night press conference was the usual torrent of endlessly repeated cuddly sugar coated questions followed by the same endlessly repeated worn out monotone responses.
Interestling enough though Bush again let it slip that the press conference was scripted and that the questions had been vetted beforehand by the White House.
Near the end of the conference Bush took a question;
QUESTION: "Thank you, Mr. President.
In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa.
You've looked back before 9-11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have learned from it?"
BUSH: I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it.
John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could've done it better this way or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet."
Anyone who watched the TV footage witnessed the embarrasing sight of Bush pausing for at least five seconds and saying absolutely nothing. Bush's admonition that the question should have been written 'ahead of time' (like the rest) proves that this was an impromptu question in an otherwise carefully scripted briefing.
Many people have speculated that Bush actually wears an ear piece and the responses are fed through to him and he just repeats them. I have done radio interviews but I'm by no means a master of public speaking. If a radio host asks a question about a topic that I have no detailed knowledge of then I can at least give a surface answer and so could most other people. Bush, the President of the most powerful country on earth, could not even do that. He literally stood there in silence fumbling around 'waiting for an answer to pop into his head' (or through the ear piece).
This pep rally for the Neo-Cons has again fallen flat on its face and Bush has only further proven that he runs absolutely nothing in Washington and is just the frontmen for the real powerbrokers behind the scenes.
GEORGE Bush, the United States president, last night set out his resolve to see through the work of the coalition forces in Iraq, pledging that America would "finish the work of the fallen".
Mr Bush told millions of Americans on prime-time television that US forces would complete the transition of power to the Iraqi authorities by the 30 June deadline, despite the mounting toll of dead and wounded.
In his first prime-time news conference since just before the start of the Iraq war in March 2003, Mr Bush spoke for more than 15 minutes about the recent violence and why America had to hold its nerve.
He told the Americans: "Iraq will either be a peaceful democratic country or it will again be a source of terror and a haven for terrorists and a threat to America and to the world."
He attacked the radical insurgents and the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who "must answer the charges against him and disband his evil militia".
He said America would see through the occupation of Iraq and "finish the work of the fallen", as he paid tribute to the armed forces.
He said "most of Iraq was relatively stable, and most of Iraqis rejected violence and opposed dictatorship". The coalition would "not step back from our objective" and "on June 30 sovereignty will be placed in Iraqi hands".
So far more than 670 US troops have died in the conflict. Between 4,000 and 6,000 Iraqi military have died and between 8,000 and 10,000 civilians have lost their lives.
"The president wants to give the American people an update on Iraq and talk about the way forward," White House spokesman Scott McClellan had told reporters earlier.
Mr Bush’s rival in the November election, the Democrat John Kerry, had called on the president to try to bolster the troops on the ground in Iraq by seeking more international support and making the United Nations "a full partner" in the transition of power in Iraq.
President Bush went on TV Tuesday to reassure voters about the war in Iraq. Instead, he came off as a schoolboy who hadn't done his homework.
By Tim Grieve
April 14, 2004 | Four times during his prime-time press conference Tuesday, George W. Bush was asked whether he has made any mistakes in his presidency, whether there was anything -- his decision to invade Iraq on what turned out to be false pretenses, his failure to take decisive action in response to a memo that warned of terrorist attacks in the United States -- for which he might apologize.
Three times, Bush gave rambling responses that addressed everything but the questions presented. The fourth time, the president took a deep breath, blew it out, looked at the ground, looked at the ceiling, stalled for time, then said: "You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet."
It apparently never did. While Bush has found time to visit his ranch in Crawford 33 times in the last three and a half years, he has given only 12 solo press conferences. Tuesday night, it was easy to see why. The president -- who won't testify before the 9/11 commission unless he can do it in private and only if his vice president can come with him -- presided over a press conference that left him looking like a high school kid surprised by a pop quiz on a book he didn't read.
Bush had words to say -- "tough week," "historic opportunity," "free Iraq" -- and he said them so often that he began to sound like one of those tape-loop parody songs that make the rounds on the Web. What he didn't have was answers.
To whom will the United States hand over Iraqi sovereignty on June 30? "We'll find that out soon." Why haven't U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces been effective in quelling the uprisings? "We'll need to find out why." Was the information contained in the infamous Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief accurate? "I presume the 9/11 commission will find out." What about those weapons of mass destruction? "Of course I want to know why we haven't found a weapon yet," the president said. Later, he said of the WMD: "I look forward to hearing the truth as to exactly where they are."
Bush had a script Tuesday night -- he began the press conference with a 17-minute opening statement that sounded more like an Oval Office speech -- and he didn't let questions about Iraq or Sept. 11 throw him off of it. In his opening statement and later in his responses to questions, Bush repeatedly cast the war in Iraq as an integral part of the war on terror. Although there has never been any credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks of Sept. 11, Bush said that the insurgents now fighting U.S. troops in Iraq -- he called them "terrorists" -- share an "ideology of murder" with the attackers who hijacked jetliners and smashed them into the Twin Towers.
And Bush articulated, again and again, the neocon dream that a free Iraq will promote both stability and democratic reform throughout the Middle East. At one point -- while responding to charges that Iraq had become Bush's Vietnam -- the president took his Wolfowitzian Iraq fantasies even a step further: "I fully understand the consequence of what we're doing," he said. "We're changing the world, and the world will be better off and America will be more secure as a result of the actions we're taking." [...]
It could have been worse. Bush wasn't asked about the economy. He wasn't asked about the White House's release Tuesday of the tax returns for the Bush and Cheney families -- returns that underscored the fact that Bush's tax cuts disproportionately help wealthy Americans like, say, Bush and Cheney. And he wasn't asked about the 9/11 commission staff report Tuesday that quoted a former acting FBI director who said that, in the summer of 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft didn't want to hear warnings of terrorist attacks.
Still, when Bush wasn't avoiding questions or declining the opportunity to take responsibility for administration actions on Sept. 11 or Iraq, he was stumbling through his usual fumbles and malaprops. He misidentified Donald Rumsfeld as the secretary of state. He referred to the Pakistani nuclear trading network headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan as a "shadowy network of 'folks'" and said that Saddam Hussein had "funded 'suiciders.'" He proclaimed that "a free Iraq in the midst of the Middle East will have incredible change." And when asked about the domestic political ramifications of the war in Iraq, the president rather indelicately explained, "Look, nobody likes to see dead people on their television screens." [...]
Analysis of Bush Press Conference by John Buchanan
It was reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s meltdown in the spring of 1974, in his infamous “I am not a crook” response to a scathing query from Dan Rather, at a Watergate press conference staged at a National Association of Broadcasters convention in Houston. As he sweat profusely from his brow, and fumbled for a response, Nixon brought himself down in a fashion worthy of Shakespeare’s King Lear.
When asked whether he would apologize to the American people for his administration’s failure to protect them on 9/11, King George evaded the question and failed to give a genuine answer. When asked whether he had made mistakes since 9/11, he evaded the question and failed to give a genuine answer. When pummeled by the final question, from the usually ignored National Public Radio correspondent, he evaded the question and failed to give an honest response. Instead, what the American people, the world, the Iraqi people, the families of the victims of 9/11 and his ill-advised “preemptive” invasion saw, in plain view, was arrogance, plain and simple. But the phony cowboy swagger with which he strode to the podium survived the hour intact – and for it, George W. Bush will lose his job at the polls in November if he is not impeached before that.
Along with the Big 3 questions already referenced, he also refused to admit that he had lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and exaggerated Saddam Hussein’s danger to the U.S. Instead he reverted, in his moment of Nixonian duress, to an old lie. Months after admitting publicly that there was “no evidence” to link Saddam to Al Qaeda, he resuscitated his old, false claim anew and characterized Hussein as “a major ally” of Al Qaeda. After his own CIA had admitted on the record that there was no evidence of any relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, he invoked the fallen nation as “the central theater in the war on terror.” He failed to admit that there were no terrorists in Iraq until he invaded the country and ignited a post-9/11 brushfire of new Islamist hatred for America.
With arrogance worthy of Lear, when asked whether he was willing to “risk his job” for his convictions about continuing his disastrous war in Iraq, he stated, briskly in one of the few moments where he showed any real signs of life, that he would not lose his job, that the American people would “understand” what he is trying to do and get the message. A few minutes later, in the wake of repeated questions about his falling poll numbers and declining public support for his Iraqi adventure to profit Halliburton, Dyncorp and the rest of the war profiteer predators that form the basis of his “neocon” support base, he walked into the left hook of the “communication” question from NPR.
Comment: We see in the above that the only thing that can provoke anything close to a normal, human, empathic response from Bush is when he is forced to consider "losing his job". Of course, the "empathy" that this ignites in him is directed only toward his own egotistical goals. Bush is a psychopath, through and through. It is not that he chooses not to care, it is that the man is simply incapable of caring. And this is the President, Commander in Chief and international representative of the American people. If that does not speak volumes to our US readers and motivate them to engage in some serious reflection, then we are afraid that there is little hope that our collective course towards utter annihilation can be averted.
Finally, he showed what millions of Americans have known since the 2000 election – that he is unfit for office. Now it is time for us to make sure he gets that message. God willing, Bush will join Nixon among the most infamous and incorrigible liars in the history of the U.S. Presidency, and we the people will be spared from four more years of a war criminal and Constitutional tyrant.
May 19 2003
After intensive research, a British scientist has concluded that lying is an important part of politics.
The study, conducted by Glen Newey, a political scientist at Britain's University of Strathclyde, was described in Britain's Observer newspaper.
"Politicians need to be more honest about lying," he told the newspaper.
According to Mr Newey, whose findings were published by the government-funded Economic and Social Research Council, voters expect to be lied to in certain circumstances, and sometimes even require it.
"Politics should be regarded as less like an exercise in producing truthful statements and more like a poker game," he said.
"And there is an expectation by a poker player that you try to deceive them as part of the game."
Mr Newey said lying by politicians can occasionally be entirely justified, such as when national security is at risk, and the public even has a "right to be lied to" in cases where they do not expect to be told the whole truth, such as during a war.
But the main cause of lying is increased probing by the public into areas that the government would rather not discuss candidly.
If voters only asked fewer questions, politicians would tell them fewer lies.
"When journalists or parliamentary colleagues start to probe at that area which the government wants to keep secret, you are more likely to be pushed further and further toward the territory of lying," Mr Newey said.
Comment: So apparently the solution is for us all to just shut up and make nice and pretend that there is no reason to be concerned about the fact that our "leaders" are involved in activities that actually require a veil of secrecy to be pulled over them. We are expected to be confident that self-confessed liars are really acting in our best interests. Well of course! Why didn't we think of that sooner!?
BASRA - Fifty days after the first reports that the U.S. forces were unloading
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in southern Iraq, new reports about
the movement of these weapons have been disclosed.
Comment: Just when we thought the lies and propaganda could not get any more nauseating, we see the following article...
By Gary Younge
GULFPORT, FL (Talon News) -- In a fundraising ad for likely Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry published last week, a local Democratic Party group called on people to "pull the trigger" on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The St. Petersburg Democratic Club paid for the anti-Bush administration attack ad to run in the April 8-April 14 edition of a St. Petersburg, Florida newspaper called The Gabber.
Beginning the ad with a reference to the recent comments made by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) where he described Iraq as "Bush's Vietnam," the ad calls for a purge of the entire Bush administration.
"But it's not only Bush, it's his whole damn bunch -- Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, and Ridge," the ad exclaims.
Strongly criticizing the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism, the ad charges that Bush does not know what he is doing.
"They've tried to blame the Iraq war on bad intelligence, on Al Qaida, on terrorists, on foreigners from Iran and Syria," the ad contends. "Bush doesn't even know who in the hell we're fighting."
Referring to Iraq, the ad bluntly states that American should "get the hell out of their country now!"
With a focus on the number of casualties and wounded since the war began in Iraq, the Democratic ad asks, "How many have to be killed before the Bush Bunch is satisfied?"
The ad continues by asking, "How many burial services of our Iraq dead has Bush attended? Any? How many military hospitals has Bush visited to talk to our wounded who have lost arms, or legs, or their eye sight, or combinations of these -- how many?"
Then, in an unexplained attack on Rumsfeld, the ad quotes the Defense Secretary as saying about the Iraq war, "We have our good days and our bad days."
"We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad exclaims.
The ad ends by urging people to "get rid of the whole Bush Bunch" by sending in a campaign contribution to the Kerry campaign.
The Gabber's publisher admitted to the Drudge Report that allowing the phrase "pull the trigger" to be used was wrong and that it accidentally "slipped through" the editing process.
St. Petersburg Democratic Club Vice President Edna McCall said the situation in Iraq is so serious that this ad needed to run.
"We want to get our country back," she told Drudge. "In Iraq, we're in deep trouble. If we don't try to get this situation cleared up, we are finished."
Explaining the "pull the trigger" quote in the ad, McCall said it "means let Rumsfeld know where we stand, not to shoot him!" [...]
By John Kaminski
Inexcusable American genocide slaughters defenseless Iraqis
President who talks to God wishes dead innocents a Happy Easter
Happy Easter, 2004, everybody! Praise the Lord! And as you sit in your proper pew this Sunday morning, blubbering out your favorite version of "He is risen," contemplate this:
Americans, just like the Israelis, are now known for killing innocent people as they worship their God in church. Raise your eyes to the heavens you prize so highly. And imagine an American B-52 dropping a 500-pound bomb right on your head, splattering you and your beloved family all over your sacred altar. Your finely dressed friends, your fire-breathing pastor, all those beautiful children in their frilly Easter finery, reduced to bloody bits of still-twitching protoplasm dripping from the flaming pages of the Book of Revelation.
See your murmurs of worship becomes screams of pain. Praise the Lord. Praise Yahweh. He said that's how it should be done. Right in the pages of the Old Testament. And that's how America is doing it today, this very day, Easter Sunday, in Iraq.
Imagine that you're not killed instantly, but your arms have been blown off. Imagine that your daughter's head has been blown off and her body reduced to spasming jelly. You can see her head, eyes wide but sightless, a few feet away. That's how it is today ... in Fallujah, where flies feast on bodies littering the streets.
Do you think this is too graphic? It's nothing compared to what is happening today ... in Fallujah, where American troops prevent medics from tending to the wounded and media from reporting the carnage.
And the reason? There is no reason. You know the reasons for our war against the Iraqi people have been exposed as shallow lies. No weapons of mass destruction. No connection to the terrorists. The dictator is deposed. Yet the killing is rampant, as Iraqis fight for their freedom against the American and Israeli terror-mongers.
In the pitch dark that is the satanic American future, we continue to kill. In the name of democracy. In the name of Jesus. Our president talks to Jesus. He is risen today. Our president says he talks to God every day. God told him to bomb Afghanistan, he told us.
Jesus told him to blast innocent women and children in Fallujah today, and to pile the dead and dying in the football stadium because he won't let medical personnel get to them. Jesus told him to throw away the lives of American adolescents in uniform. Happy Easter.
Praise the Lord! He is risen. Hallelujah! In Fallujah! [...]
Penalty Of An Ancient Fraud
By John Kaminski
Moses said, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Pick up your swords, go
from camp to camp, every man shall kill his brother, every man shall kill
his companion, every man shall kill his neighbor."
SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON - John D. Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who played a central role in trying to win support for war with Iraq, is emerging as the leading candidate for the sensitive job of ambassador to Baghdad.
Several Bush administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Negroponte's nomination would be announced soon, although others cautioned a final decision on an envoy to Iraq had not been made.
The administration plans to restore Iraqi self-rule by July 1, though will keep U.S. soldiers there.
The U.S. Embassy will be housed temporarily in a palace that belonged to deposed President Saddam Hussein and when fully manned will be the largest in the world. [...]
Comment: According to Negroponte's résumé, he is perfectly qualified to help run the US controlled puppet government in Iraq:
FLASHBACK: Nicaragua's former leader jailed
Former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for corruption.
Aleman was found guilty on charges including money-laundering, fraud, embezzlement and electoral crimes, judicial officials said.
The former Nicaraguan leader, who ruled the nation from 1997 to 2002, was arrested in December last year. [...]
Nicaragua is one of Latin America's poorest countries, with around half the population living on less than a dollar a day.
Comment: Aleman is another of the wonderful "democratic leaders" in Latin American that owe their time in power to the US. After the Sandinista's overthrew the dictatorship of Somoza, the US mined the harbors of Managua, the Nicaraguan capital. They were condemned by the World Court. That hasn't changed their behaviour. A large campaign including illegal funding, guns for hostages in Iran, Oliver North, the Contras operating out of Honduras, and the active participation of the current US ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, led to the eventual replacement of the Sandanistas with US controlled puppets. The agrarian reform started by the Sandinistas was reversed, and the country remains, as the article says, "one of Latin America's poorest countries, with around half the population living on less than a dollar a day."
MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines, one of the staunchest allies of the United States, may withdraw its peacekeepers and aid workers from Iraq as security conditions worsen, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said on Wednesday.
The withdrawal of the small force would be a symbolic setback for the U.S. administration as it struggles to contain violent insurgencies on two fronts in Iraq, although Arroyo stressed she had yet to make any decision.
"While the government is determined to help the Iraqi people in rebuilding their nation, the safety of our peacekeeping forces in Iraq is still our utmost concern," she said in a statement.
"The decision on whether or not to withdraw our peacekeeping forces will depend on the security situation in Iraq in the days to come."
Some analysts said the move was aimed at defusing domestic pressure before a presidential election next month. [...]
Japan has urged its nationals in Iraq to leave the country, following the kidnapping of several foreigners, including three Japanese civilians. But despite domestic pressure, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi insists he will not withdraw Japan's 550 troops. Philippines President Gloria Arroyo, however, said she was considering withdrawing her country's forces because of the continuing violence.
The Philippines is a key Asian ally in the US' war on terror. About 70 Japanese civilians - mostly journalists and aid workers - are still thought to be in Iraq, according to foreign ministry estimates. "We have been advising Japanese nationals in Iraq to leave there immediately and safely," Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said on Wednesday. [...]
Wednesday April 14, 07:46 AM
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow says it will airlift over 800 Russians and citizens of ex-Soviet states out of Iraq this week despite the safe release of Russian and Ukrainian hostages in Baghdad.
"Seven flights will be made from Kuwait and Baghdad to fly out 553 Russians and 263 citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States working in Iraq," a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, but gave no further details. [...]
Most Russian companies working in Iraq are involved in projects to rebuild the energy network destroyed by the U.S. military operation last year. Some of them hire nationals from former Soviet states. [...]
Several Russian companies have announced plans to evacuate their employees, including the biggest, Tekhpromexport, with 370 staff in Iraq.
PARIS, April 14 (AFP) - France on Wednesday demanded the immediate release of a French TV journalist, Alexandre Jordanov, who was kidnapped in Iraq last weekend and who has not been heard from since.
"France demands the immediate and unconditional release of our compatriot, and of all the other civilians being held against their will in Iraq," government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said after a cabinet meeting.
He said officials were working in Iraq to secure Jordanov's release, and he repeated an official recommendation first issued Tuesday that all French citizens leave Iraq.
France's culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, said there has been "no news" about the 40-year-old journalist since his capture last Sunday by a group of armed men 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Baghdad. [...]
PARIS, April 14 (AFP) - The French branch of the Red Cross said Wednesday it has suspended its operations in Iraq because of the growing risks created by the spate of hostage-takings there.
"Confronted with the risk of hostage-taking and violence, the French Red Cross has decided to provisionally close its office in Amman, Jordan, from which it organised its presence in Iraq," a Red Cross statement said.
As a result, programmes to restablish some networks for distributing drinking water in Iraq would be suspended, it said. [...]
By JAY LINDSAY
BOSTON (AP) The wife of an Army specialist killed in Iraq said Tuesday that her husband was killed by ``an ungrateful people'' as he fought for a cause ``that has lost all meaning.''
Spc. Peter Enos, 24, died on Friday in Bayji, Iraq, when his patrol vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. Bayji is in the "Sunni Triangle," an area north and west of Baghdad where Iraq's Sunni Muslims are dominant and most attacks against U.S. forces have taken place.
Shannon Enos, 22, last spoke to her husband last Wednesday, when he expressed doubts about the mission in Iraq.
"The people there seemed to be so ungrateful for all the things the Americans are doing for them," Shannon Enos said. "I feel that Peter's life was taken by an ungrateful people and for a cause that has lost all meaning." [...]
Comment: An "ungrateful people"?? How would most Americans feel if another country invaded the US, removed Bush from power, installed what amounts to a dictatorship, destroyed the infrastructure of the country, and slaughtered 0.05% (12,000 deaths out of an Iraqi population of 26 million) of the US population - or about 140,000 people? We imagine that in such a scenario, there wouldn't be any Americans who would feel gratitude towards the invaders. It may also shock many Americans to learn that much of the rest of the world doesn't want to be just like the US - there are many other cultures and ways of life that are no more or less "right" than those of America.
LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Giving no ground despite rising casualties, President Bush says more American troops may be heading for Iraq with authority to use decisive force in a mission that "may become more difficult before it is finished."
Bush said America's will was being tested by violence that has turned April into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad a year ago.
"Look, nobody likes to see dead people on their television screens," Bush said. "I don't. It's a tough time for the American people to see that. It's gut-wrenching." [...]
Perhaps most surprising was Bush's switch from a consistently upbeat view of the situation in Iraq to what he acknowledged was a "pretty somber assessment" on Tuesday of the difficulties there. He talked of "tough weeks" and "serious violence," acknowledging that recent developments have been hard on the military and their relatives, on the American public and even on his own administration.
He also admitted, for the first time, that Iraqis are not entirely pleased with the situation created by the U.S.-led war.
"They're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either," Bush said.
But he would only go so far, rejecting comparisons to the Vietnam War — which have come mostly from Democrats critical of Bush's Iraq policies — and insisting that most Iraqis are glad that the United States freed their country from Saddam Hussein's rule and are remaining there to help provide security.
"The violence we have seen is a power-grab by these extreme and ruthless elements," he said. "It's not a civil war. It's not a popular uprising. Most of Iraq is relatively stable." [...]
forces mass for attack on holy city
A 2,500-strong US force, backed by tanks and artillery, massed on the outskirts of the Iraqi city of Najaf for a showdown with a radical cleric, raising fears of an assault on the holiest Shi'ite city.
In besieged Fallujah, two intense battles killed a US Marine, forced down an American helicopter and severely strained a truce.
Meanwhile, a US State Department official said four bodies had been found in Iraq. The bodies may be those of private contractors missing since an assault on their convoy outside Baghdad amid a wave of kidnappings of at least 22 foreigners.
Early today, the US military said four marines were killed in fighting in western Anbar province. Two were killed “as a result of enemy action” yesterday while the other two were killed a day earlier, it said in a statement.
With the latest killings, April became the deadliest month for the US military since the Iraq war began in March 2003. At least 87 troops have been reported killed in action in less than two weeks. Last November, 82 were killed.
In the south, Iraqi politicians and ayatollahs tried to negotiate a solution to avert a US attack on Najaf, which would outrage the nation’s relatively pro-US Shi'ite majority and could turn what has been a limited revolt by a single militia into an outright Shi'ite rebellion. A military advance could also inflame Shi'ites in neighbouring Iran.
The vehemently anti-US cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, was holed up in his office in Najaf, shielded not only by gunmen but by the presence of the city’s main shrine only yards away. He vowed to continue what he called “a popular revolution” to end the US occupation of Iraq.
“I fear only God. I am ready to sacrifice my blood for this country. But I call on the Iraqi people not to let my killing put an end to their rejection of the (US) occupation,” al-Sadr told Lebanon’s Al Manar television station.
At a news conference last night in Washington, President George Bush said “al-Sadr must answer the charges against him and disband his illegal militia”. He added that “members of the Governing Council are seeking to resolve the situation in the south”. [...]
Baghdad - At least 80 foreign mercenaries - security guards recruited from the United States, Europe and South Africa and working for American companies - have been killed in the past eight days in Iraq.
Lieutenant-General Mark Kimmitt admitted on Tuesday that "about 70" American and other Western troops had died during the Iraqi insurgency since April 1 but he made no mention of the mercenaries, apparently fearful that the full total of Western dead would have serious political fallout.
He did not give a figure for Iraqi dead, which, across the country may be as high as 900
At least 18 000 mercenaries, many of them tasked to protect US troops and personnel, are now believed to be in Iraq, some of them earning $1 000 (about R6 300) a day. But their companies rarely acknowledge their losses unless - like the four American murdered and mutilated in Fallujah three weeks ago - their deaths are already public knowledge.
The presence of such large numbers of mercenaries, first publicised in The Independent two weeks ago, was bound to lead to further casualties.
But although many of the heavily armed Western security men are working for the US Department of Defence - and most of them are former Special Forces soldiers - they are not listed as serving military personnel. Their losses can therefore be hidden from public view.
The US authorities in Iraq, however, are aware that more Western mercenaries lost their lives in the past week than occupation soldiers over the past 14 days.
The coalition has sought to rely on foreign contract workers to reduce the number of soldiers it uses as drivers, guards and in other jobs normally carried out by uniformed soldiers.
Often the foreign contract workers are highly paid former soldiers who are armed with automatic weapons, leading to Iraqis viewing all foreign workers as possible mercenaries or spies.
14 April, 2004
The bodies have not been identified but there is speculation that they could be US contractors missing since an ambush on their fuel convoy last week.
Foreign nationals are being urged to leave Iraq amid growing insecurity and a wave of kidnappings of civilians.
A spokesman for the US-led coalition, Dan Senor, said 40 hostages from 12 countries were now being held in Iraq.
Two US soldiers and seven civilian employees of a subsidiary of the US oil giant Halliburton have not been seen since the attack on their convoy west of Baghdad on Friday.
US officials said the families of the missing Kellogg, Brown and Root workers had been told of the find.
"We do know that four bodies have been found but we don't have any confirmation of the identities," a state department official told Reuters.
"We have been in contact with the families of the seven missing Americans."
Another US state department official, speaking to the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity, said that the families had been notified of the possibility that the remains may belong to some of their relatives because of the close proximity of the grave to the ambush site.
US television stations NBC and ABC said the remains were discovered near a junction of Highways One and 10 between Abu Ghraib and Falluja, close to the scene of the attack.
The unnamed official added that the poor condition of the remains made it "hard to say right now" if they belonged to any of the missing Americans.
NBC reported that the members of the US-led coalition had been led to the grave site by an Iraqi and that all of the corpses had been "mutilated beyond recognition".
A number of countries have issued formal warnings telling their citizens to leave [...]
April 14, 2004
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Attorney General John Ashcroft laid the blame for the September 11 attacks on the Clinton administration as the official inquiry into the al-Qaeda strikes highlighted flaws in FBI action.
Ashcroft hit back after he was also accused of rejecting a Federal Bureau of Investigation request for extra funds the day before Osama bin Laden's followers flew hijacked airliners into New York and Washington in 2001.
The head of the Department of Justice faced intense questioning from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. [...]
But the attorney general said the fault lay with the administration of president Bill Clinton that left office in January 2001.
"The simple fact of September 11 is this, we did not know an attack was coming because for nearly a decade, our government had blinded itself to its enemies," Ashcroft told the commission. [...]
"My thorough review revealed no covert action program to kill bin Laden," he said. [...]
"Even if they could have penetrated bin Laden's training camps they would have needed a battery of attorneys to approve the capture."
Clinton ordered a Cruise missile strike against suspected bin Laden training camps in Afghanistan in 1998.
And Clinton's national security advisor Samuel Berger told the panel last month: "I assure you, they were not delivering an arrest warrant. The intent was to kill bin Laden."
Clinton's attorney general, Janet Reno, also told the commission on Tuesday that the administration's intention was to "kill or capture" bin Laden. [...]
have not learnt the lessons of history
Around this time last year I had a conversation in Washington that summed up what was bound to go wrong for America in Iraq. I was talking to a mid-ranking official in the US Treasury about American plans for the post-war reconstruction of the Iraqi economy. She had just attended a meeting on precisely that subject. "So what kind of historical precedents have you been considering?" I asked. "The post-Communist economies of Eastern Europe," she replied. "We have quite a bit of experience we can draw on from the 1990s."
When I suggested that the problems of privatisation in Poland might not prove relevant on the banks of the Euphrates, she seemed surprised. And when I suggested that she and her colleagues ought at least to take a look at the last Anglophone occupation of Iraq, her surprise turned to incredulity. Not for the first time since crossing the Atlantic, I was confronted with the disturbing reality about the way Americans make policy. Theory looms surprisingly large. Neoconservative theory, for instance, stated that the Americans would be welcomed as liberators, just as economic theory put privatisation on my interlocutor's agenda. The lessons of history come a poor second, and only recent history - preferably recent American history - gets considered.
That's why there hasn't been a month since the invasion of Iraq last year without some clapped-out commentator warning that Iraq could become "another Vietnam". For many Americans - including the Democratic contender for the presidency, John Kerry - the only history relevant to American foreign policy is the history of the Vietnam War. True, the Department of Defence has commissioned some ambitious historical studies. In August 2001, Donald Rumsfeld's office produced "Strategies for Maintaining US Predominance", which compared America's bid to establish "full spectrum dominance" with the attempts of previous empires. Most of it, however, consisted of pretty superficial economics and the conclusion was that technological change has put the US in a league of its own, so more detailed comparative study would be superfluous.
There was amazement last year when I pointed out in the journal Foreign Affairs that in 1917 a British general had occupied Baghdad and proclaimed: "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." By the same token, scarcely any American outside university history departments is aware that within just a few months of the formal British takeover of Iraq, there was a full-scale anti-British revolt.
What happened in Iraq last week so closely resembles the events of 1920 that only a historical ignoramus could be surprised. It began in May, just after the announcement that Iraq would henceforth be a League of Nations "mandate" under British trusteeship. (Nota bene, if you think a handover to the UN would solve everything.) Anti-British demonstrations began in Baghdad mosques, spread to the Shi'ite holy centre of Karbala, swept on through Rumaytha and Samawa - where British forces were besieged - and reached as far as Kirkuk.
Contrary to British expectations, Sunnis, Shi'ites and even Kurds acted together. Stories abounded of mutilated British bodies. By August the situation was so desperate that the British commander appealed to London for poison gas bombs or shells (though these turned out not to be available). By the time order had been restored in December - with a combination of aerial bombardment and punitive village-burning expeditions - British forces had sustained over 2,000 casualties and the financial cost of the operation was being denounced in Parliament. In the aftermath of the revolt, the British were forced to accelerate the transfer of power to a nominally independent Iraqi government, albeit one modelled on their own form of constitutional monarchy.
I am willing to bet that not one senior military commander in Iraq today knows the slightest thing about these events. The only consolation is that maybe some younger Americans are realising that the US has lessons to learn from something other than its own supposedly exceptional history. The best discussion of the 1920 revolt that I have come across this year was presented by a young Chicago-based graduate named Daniel Barnard at a Harvard University history conference. This week at New York University it was the economics undergraduates who organised a question and answer session for three senior UN diplomats, including the current (German) president of the Security Council. Their questions - particularly about the likely consequences of a premature American withdrawal - seemed a great deal better informed about the realities of modern imperialism than the anodyne stuff routinely trotted out by the White House.
The high quality of political debate in the American universities suggests that the delusion of American "exceptionalism" may be waning. But for the time being US policy in Iraq is in the hands of a generation who have learnt nothing from history except how to repeat other people's mistakes.
T.E. Lawrence, Sunday Times August 2nd, 1920
The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia (Iraq) into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster. . .
We said we went to Mesopotamia to defeat Turkey. We said we stayed to deliver the Arabs from the oppression of the Turkish Government, and to make available for the world its resources of corn and oil. We spent nearly a million men and nearly a thousand million of money to these ends. This year we are spending ninety-two thousand men and fifty millions of money on the same objects.
Our government is worse than the old Turkish system. They kept fourteen thousand local conscripts embodied, and killed a yearly average of two hundred Arabs in maintaining peace. We keep ninety thousand men, with aeroplanes, armored cars, gunboats, and armored trains. We have killed about ten thousand Arabs in this rising this summer. . .
A Minister in the House of Lords said that we must have so many troops because the local people will not enlist. . . Four weeks ago the staff in Mesopotamia drew up a memorandum asking for four more divisions.
REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org
Ariel Sharon was born in Palestine in 1928, grandson of a Russian migrant family and the son of farmers. When he was 13, his father gave him a knife. Sharon remembers, "The knife was symbolic, to protect ourselves from our enemies. It was a lesson I have never forgotten."
His first military experience began when he fought in the underground Haganah, the largest of the Zionist groups that fought to seize Palestine in 1948, creating the state of Israel and dispossessing the native Palestinians.
At the age of 22, he led commando units that specialised in behind-the-lines raids and forcing Palestinians to flee their homes.
By the 1950s, he had become a major and formed an elite "anti-terrorist" group called Unit 101. Operating without uniforms, the group, nicknamed "the avengers", met Palestinian resistance attacks with institutional terror. The group carried out outrage after outrage, in terror raids across the Israeli borders, into refugee camps and villages.
In one notorious attack on Jordan in 1953, Unit 101, under Sharon's command, slaughtered 69 civilians, over half of them women and children, when they blew up their homes in Qibia village.
Two years later he was reprimanded for giving logistical support to four young Israelis who took random blood revenge on Bedouins for Arab attacks on Israeli settlements. By this time Sharon was a lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army.
The independence of Unit 101, its murderous methods and the free hand given to it by the political establishment led to strong resentment among other sections of the military leadership.
In the 1956 Suez war, Sharon disobeyed orders and sent his paratroopers into the Mitla Pass in the Sinai desert. In doing so, he deceived his superiors, sacrificed his men for no apparent military purpose and gained the displeasure of the Israeli chief of staff, Moshe Dayan. Four of his junior officers accused him of sending men to their deaths for his own glory. [...]
Sharon's settlement campaign was one of the keys to Likud's re-election in 1981, as he was credited with making swift and permanent progress in establishing a perpetual Israeli presence on the West Bank. After the election, Begin appointed Sharon defence minister.
It was said in Israel that Sharon was "a war looking for a place to happen". The war in Lebanon was planned and executed by Sharon.
In early 1982, he made a visit to the Phalange Party (Lebanese militia organisation) to coordinate long-held plans for the coming conflict. Israel was to support and supply the Phalangists, an authentic fascist party, formed in 1936 after the founder had returned from a visit to Hitler's Germany.
Sharon believed that the demoralisation of the Palestinians would be complete if he inflicted a crushing military defeat on the PLO in Lebanon.
As for Lebanon, Israeli's aim was to establish a Phalangist government which would then make a treaty with Israel. Phalange Party leader Bashir Gemayel said that his party wanted every Palestinian civilian out of Lebanon, and Israel wanted them scattered among the other Arab countries.
In order to rationalise the invasion and the bombing of civilians, Begin and Sharon went to great lengths to dehumanise the Palestinians. Begin declared emotively, "If Hitler was sitting in a house with 20 other people, would it be correct to blow up the house?". In a speech tot the Knesset, Begin described Palestinians as "beasts walking on two legs". Sharon described Palestinians as "bugs" while their refugee camps were"tourist camps".
On June 5, 1982, tens of thousands of Israeli troops poured across the border and fought their way up the Lebanese coast. Heavy Israeli sea, air and land bombardment had a devastating impact, laying waste to a substantial portion of southern Lebanon.
The cities of Sidon and Tyre were a scene of desolation, with much of the cities levelled by Israeli tank and artillery shells. Palestinian refugee camps around Tyre and Sidon bore the brunt of the colossal destruction.
Ain Hilweh (Sweet Spring), the largest Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon with 25,000 residents, was razed. Nearly half a million people were made homeless by the invasion.
One week later, Israeli forces laid siege to Beirut, shelling, bombing and trying to break stiff Palestinian and Lebanese resistance. By the end of July, the Lebanese government (as well as church and aid groups) stated that at least 14,000 people had been killed and twice that number seriously wounded. Over 90% of those killed were unarmed civilians.
After three months of war, an agreement was reached under the sponsorship of US envoy Philip Habib. The PLO pledged to withdraw its fighters from Beirut, after receiving US and Lebanese government promises that multinational forces would secure the safety of the Palestinian and Lebanese civilian population. And Israel would not enter Beirut.
The last contingent of defenders left the city on September 1, 1982. Two days later, the Israeli army occupied a new position at the southern entrance of the city and thus dominated the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila. The USA did nothing. On September 7, the Israeli army advanced again, and again the USA did not react. On September 15, the Israeli army entered Beirut, just after the departure of the US marines, who had stayed only 16 days.
Ariel Sharon declared that Israel had entered Beirut in order to dislodge 2000 Palestinian fighters who had remained in the city. The task of purging the camps Sharon had given to the Phalange.
The same day that Israel occupied Beirut, the chief of staff of the Israeli army, Raphael Eytan, quoted in the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, stated that only a handful of fedayeen fighters remained with their families, as well as a small staff of the PLO bureau. General Drori telephoned Ariel Sharon and told him, "Our friends are going to the camps. We have coordinated their entry." Sharon replied, "Congratulations, our friends' operation has been approved".
So the massacre of defenceless Palestinian and Lebanese civilians began. Whole families were murdered, many raped and tortured before being killed. Because many bodies were heaped into lorries and taken away, or buried in mass graves, the exact toll will never be known. It was estimated that at least 2000 people were killed.
After an international outcry, Israel established an inquiry headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Kahan. Despite its shortcomings, the commission's report was a damning indictment of Sharon and a number of his colleagues. The commission said that Sharon had received intelligence warnings that the Phalangists might go on the rampage if allowed into the camps. "In our view, even without such a warning, it is impossible to justify the minister of defence's [Sharon's] disregard of the danger of the massacre."
"... responsibility is to be imputed to the minister of defence, for having disregarded the danger of acts of revenge and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps and having failed to take this danger into account when deciding to have the Phalangists enter the camps.
"In addition responsibility is to be imputed to the minister of defence for not ordering appropriate measures for the prevention of the massacre." (Kahan Report)
The commission's conclusions constituted the minimum that could be deduced from the evidence. The facts warranted a finding of more than just indirect responsibility:
The Phalangists militia was "ordered" into the camps by Israeli chief of staff, Lieutenant General Raphael Eytan.
Phalangist commanders met with General Amir Drori, commander of Israeli troops in Lebanon, and General Amas Yaron, commander for West Beirut, to "coordinate the militia's entry into the camps and arrange communications".
The Phalange were given logistical support by the Israeli army during the massacre.
The Phalange took orders, salaries and training directly from Israel.
Sharon and the Israelis knew that the Phalange leaders planned to expel most of the Palestinians from Lebanon by committing some atrocity.
The Phalangists were at all times under Israeli army orders. "Only one element of Israeli Defence Forces will command all forces in the area", revealed the Kahan report. The Israeli head of intelligence quoted commented, "This means that all forces in the area, including the Phalangists, will be under IDF command and will act according to its instructions".
Comment: And this is the man that US tax payers are financing to the tune of $5 billion every year. Who are the real terrorists?
Of London: Throw Sharon In Jail
London Mayor Ken Livingstone, in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, called for throwing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a cell with former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, for the Saudi Arabian royal family to be "swinging from lampposts," and for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to press US President George W. Bush regarding Israel.
As for President Bush, though, "I'm not even sure he was aware there were any Palestinians before he was elected…." Livingstone said.
Furthermore, he explained, there cannot be peace in the Middle East until "the West shows it is taking on board the injustice of what's happening to the Palestinians, and looks at the financial network of corruption between some of the oil sheikhdoms, the oil companies and the White House."
The conservative Tory party opposition candidate in London, Steve Norris, took a surprising tack in his reaction, saying, "With the threat of a terrorist attack on London in the air, this kind of Livingstone rant is downright dangerous." Liberal Democrat candidate Simon Hughes mentioned the offense given to the Americans and Saudis.
No British politician condemned Livingstone's remarks regarding Prime Minister Sharon.
Friends help each other out. That’s why the US sends billions of dollars every year to Israel. In return, Israel advances US strategic interests in the Middle East. But despite this mutual back scratching, Israeli-American relations are enduring a rough patch. Last December, a senior State Department official blasted Israel for having “done too little for far too long” to resolve the conflict with its Palestinian neighbors. Indeed, President Bush himself had scolded Israel a month earlier with his demand that “Israel should freeze settlement construction, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people and not prejudice final negotiations with the building of walls and fences.”
Harsh words, but is it all just window-dressing? This was not the first time Bush criticized Israel and he has made numerous calls for a “viable” Palestinian state during his presidency. Nevertheless, he has never concretely punished Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for ignoring US directives and shrugging off his commitment to the peace process. It’s also worth noting that diplomatic admonitions are the responsibility of the State Department which has been on the losing end of the policy wars in Bush’s White House. One wonders what Israeli-American relations, and indeed what American relations with the rest of the world would look like if the neocon hawks who control Rumsfeld’s Defense Department were also in charge at State.
A lot of ink has been spilled chronicling the pro-Israel leanings of American neocons and fact that a the disproportionate percentage of them are Jewish. Some commentators are worried that these individuals – labeled ‘Likudniks’ for their links to Israel’s right wing Likud party – do not distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests. For example, whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?
Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. But the point is not that Jews (who make up less than 2 percent of the American population) have a monolithic perspective. Indeed, American Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat and many of them disagree strongly with Ariel Sharon’s policies and Bush’s aggression in Iraq. The point is simply that the neocons seem to have a special affinity for Israel that influences their political thinking and consequently American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential neocons in the US (see above). Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish. See here for list.
With sporadic fighting in Falluja and US forces moving into position outside Najaf, the Arab press is pointing to similarities between US military operations in Iraq and the tactics Israeli forces employ in the West Bank and Gaza. Such similarities are not coincidental.
The Israeli army has long experience of offensive operations in urban areas and it is experience that the Pentagon has been eager to draw upon. Israel and the US have developed a close military relationship over the years. Israel's armed forces are undergoing a process of transformation similar to that advocated by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the emphasis on lighter, more agile units employing devastating firepower and drawing on a variety of new information and intelligence gathering systems. Go to any US military exercise and Israeli observers are much in evidence.
But the transfer of doctrine and tactics is not just a one-way street. US commanders have drawn extensively on Israel's experiences in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for lessons that might be applicable to Iraq. Fighting in urban areas is something that modern armies tend to avoid wherever possible. In the low-rise warren of alleys and narrow streets the advantages of technologically sophisticated soldiers are much reduced. Even lightly armed opponents with local knowledge can constitute serious opposition. And the proximity of civilians adds the risk of significant loss of innocent life and widespread damage to property.
While many of Israel's methods are controversial it has, in purely military terms, developed highly effective tactics for offensive operations in urban areas along with a range of specialised equipment which, for example, can help troops to breach walls, gather intelligence, and locate snipers. The Pentagon has already bought some Israeli equipment. It is planning to buy more. And senior US commanders have visited Israel specifically to discuss what the Pentagon jargon calls "Military Operations on Urban Terrain".
Comment: The 55 plus years of Israeli military operations in occupied Palestine seems to be an invaluable information resource upon which the US can draw from in their ongoing occupation of Iraq. Despite the shallow protestations of targeting only "terrorists", the ongoing "robust" military tactics in Fallujah demonstrate that no one living on "Urban Terrain" can rest easy when Uncle Sam comes to town.
The article below shows that years of poverty and war can hone one's thinking faculties towards a more objective assessment of the term "US anti terror base".
Few cheered when United States forces landed in Djibouti to hunt al-Qaeda in Africa, a continent where poverty and war are bigger worries than attacks on Westerners. Sixteen months on, the welcome remains lukewarm. The poverty-stricken country's role as a US anti-terror base arouses more scepticism than support on its pot-holed streets.
'Bin Laden is not here - sorry'
"They are looking for (al-Quaeda leader Osama) bin Laden, but bin Laden is not here - sorry," said Abdallah Bouraleh, who drives a taxi to support his two wives and nine children. "We're afraid Djibouti will become like Somalia and that they will screw things up," he added, referring to a disastrous American foray into peacekeeping in the early 1990s.
Since December 2002, Djibouti has allowed US troops to use it as a base from which to hunt the kind of militants who in 1998 blew up US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 200. Behind Camp Lemonier's barbed wire and columns of sandbags lies the nerve centre of Washington's main anti-terror base in Africa, one of the most important but low profile frontiers in the United States' self-styled "war against terrorism".
Washington fears al-Qaeda cells may be seeking new havens on the continent where weak political institutions and poor policing of deserts and coastlines have made it favourable territory for militants bent on mass attacks on civilians. Those concerns were sharpened when German President Johannes Rau cancelled a trip to the country at the last minute in March amid warnings by German intelligence of a plot to kill him.
Comment: How convenient; what better way to plant a seed that something foreboding is in Djibouti? Take an educated guess on who might have fed that information to German intelligence.
Few share such worries in Djibouti: When it comes to politics, local people have very different priorities. A visit to noon prayers shows how different. Inside Djibouti's main mosque, the imam offers a prayer for the soul of militant Palestinian cleric Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, assassinated last month by Israeli forces, before starting a sermon about the occupation of Arab land by foreigners. His mosque is so well-attended that latecomers line up in rows outside, kneeling on makeshift cardboard mats, patterned sarongs flapping in the breeze, flip-flops piled in a heap.
'We have the impression they have come to colonise us'
Arab grievances outrank Western ones in this sleepy, desert society, which views the global war on al Qaeda through the lens of its own Islamic culture and national pride. "We want the ideas developed by George Washington - but we don't want his army," said imam Abdourahman Souleiman Bachir. "The Americans come with arms to Djibouti and we have the impression they have come to colonise us," he told Reuters. "There's no hatred towards them here, it's just that we don't approve of their politics."
Up to 1 600 US troops are stationed in the country, given the task of hunting down militants in Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Yemen. Looking at the map, it is a logical choice. Sitting at the mouth of the Red Sea, Djibouti has for centuries provided a strategic link between Africa and the Middle East. But experts say the Americans will be hard-pressed to make genuine friends in the society, half of which is ethnic Somali, not least because of language and cultural barriers. "I don't think they (the Americans) are going to convince people who are sceptical about their operation that their presence is going to be beneficial," said Kevin Rosser of the London-based Control Risks Group.
It's less of a problem for the French, who keep their biggest military base in Africa in Djibouti, because many locals speak the language of the former colonial master. Members of the French Foreign Legion wearing peaked kepi hats, shorts and long socks are as common a sight as local men lazily chewing the green leaves of qat, a mild narcotic, in the afternoon heat. In contrast, US forces are almost invisible.
At Camp Lemonier, a former Foreign Legion post, signs order troops to "Keep a low profile" and wear civilian dress off-base. "The Americans stay in their corner - it's better for them and for us," said Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh. Rather than take unilateral action, the US task force wants to train national security forces to capture militants, and cultivate support among ordinary people by community work such as renovating schools. No one disputes such help is needed.
Poverty is on display across Djibouti's desolate landscape of rubble, abandoned vehicles, fly-infested markets and crumbling colonial buildings. Many leaving the mosque after Friday morning prayers voiced suspicion and distrust of the US presence in Djibouti. "They (the Americans) have come in their own interest and to fight Islamism," said market trader Abdullahi outside the mosque, just off the notorious Rue d'Ethiopie - a favourite haunt of French legionnaires on the prowl for girls.
Working at the French base, 18-year-old Mohammed Said summed up what many Djiboutians say they feel: "The government accepts the presence of the Americans but the people do not." "We say that al-Qaeda is a term the Americans have invented. We don't even know what it is."
Comment: Brings to mind the wise words of a well known American: "You can fool some of the people all the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people, all the time". Abraham Lincoln.
ON FEBRUARY 19 this year two private charter planes took off from Polokwane in Limpopo for Ndola in Zambia. The planes were denied landing rights and had to return to SA. Seven of the 10 men on board are now being held captive in either Equatorial Guinea or Zimbabwe, facing charges related to a conspiracy to stage a coup in the west African country. This is one piece in the puzzle of a somewhat bizarre plot to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's government or abduct former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor from Nigeria, or both.
When news first broke last month that a jet had landed in Harare with suspect cargo and dodgy passengers, and that a similar group had been apprehended in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, it emerged that the South African security agencies had assisted in alerting their counterparts, which led to the arrests. Some of the key figures involved in the scheme, we learnt later, are South African. The authorities in Malabo took action after being tipped off by Angolan intelligence.
Apparently Equatorial Guinea's spooks were suspicious about alleged coup leader Nick du Toit's motives after he requested aviation rights there for two aircraft. Until then Du Toit had been living well. He and his wife, together with friend Simon Mann a Briton who allegedly has the mercenary life down to a fine art had sailed up to Malabo some months before from Cape Town, where he was granted a licence to operate a fishing trawler. Du Toit is also said to have enjoyed a close working relationship with senior figures in Equatorial Guinea's government.
So how did he and his friends land themselves in this predicament? They were part of an old order (apartheid) network, running an agency that hires out soldiers of fortune on specific missions based on their skills and proficiency in war tactics. In the guise of security companies they undertake hit and run missions. Some are part of the postwar security frenzy in Iraq. And while they make money out of the third world's miseries, there is a wider political edge to their agenda. The hand of some western powers in these missions is sometimes evident, but difficult to prove conclusively. The reason Pretoria is nervously watching the theatre up north is that South African law has limited powers to stop its citizens treating the rest of the continent like the Wild West.
The Foreign Military Assistance Act does not seem to be tough enough to evoke fear in the hearts of apartheid combatants. Although it carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment and a fine, the harshest penalty so far is a R6000 fine. So when the US government dangles a reward of R13m over Charles Taylor's head, foreign affairs ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa's finger-wagging about the consequences of defying the act seems nugatory. The legal framework does not allow government to contain these apartheid cowboys.
In some countries, legislation provides for former security personnel to be monitored and called on to do national duty when necessary. But in SA we shed apartheid baggage from the military and police in the name of transformation, letting loose a group of highly trained mercenaries. The alarm bells should have sounded when the Boeremag plot to overthrow government was uncovered, but most laughed it off as a ludicrous scheme by right-wing fundamentalists. Only when Soweto erupted with bomb blasts was the plot taken seriously.
The reason SA's government will not consider bringing the captives in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea home for trial is that it would cause it further embarrassment. Even if the alleged mercenaries were found guilty at home, they would get no more than a slap on the wrist. With no real punitive tool to scare these hired guns, it would probably be a matter of time before they were off on another adventure.
There are, of course, grounds for concern about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea. It is clear that their governments want to make a political point with their captives and are not above manoeuvring the judicial process to do so.
But there is a real need to make mercenary activity in Africa unappealing. The images of our fellow citizens wallowing in their rat holes in Malabo and Harare may be an effective warning to their cohorts back home.
Comment: As the above article intimates; there is so much more to this 'coup plot' than meets the eye. This from an article run by Agence France-Presse, on March 24th. 'Taylor was the Target'. In September, the United States passed a law setting aside $2-million (about R13-million) to serve as a bounty on Taylor's head for anyone who could get him to Sierra Leone. This Day said the mission was linked to the reward.
The elusive leader of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebels broke his long silence by accusing the army of carrying out atrocities blamed on his movement and threatening to kill President Yoweri Museveni. Joseph Kony, who leads a force that includes abducted children, used an interview with Sudan's The Referendum magazine to issue a rare public statement of his desire to "liberate" northern Uganda and rule according to the 10 Commandments.
Kony has long been blamed for using a bizarre blend of Christian symbolism and traditional "magic" to sway his child followers into massacring civilians and kidnapping girls for use as sex slaves, but he blamed the military for the killings. "All the allegations are not true. Museveni killers are the ones doing ungodly practices," Kony was quoted as telling the inaugural issue of The Referendum, a political monthly published by Nairobi-based southern Sudanese exiles. 'Museveni killers are the ones doing ungodly practices'
Kony, who is seldom photographed and has talked to the press very rarely during his 18-year war, said he had defied pressure from the Sudanese authorities not to speak to the media to give the interview, conducted by one of his former guards. "President Museveni cannot talk peace, he is (a) killer and he wanted to kill me by all means. I have asked the lords of the LRA to kill Museveni," Kony said, referring to his commanders. The remarks appeared to downplay hopes of a negotiated settlement to the rebellion which has ravaged northern Uganda for much of the past 18 years, despite calls from religious leaders and politicians for the government to open talks.
Believed to roam parts of northern Uganda and neighbouring southern Sudan with his band of followers, Kony said he would not speak to Museveni on the telephone for fear the army would use the call to locate his position. "I will communicate with Museveni through the holy spirits and not through the telephone," Kony was quoting as telling the Referendum during the interview, conducted in the southern Sudanese town of Juba on March 6. A former altar boy who tells abducted children he can read their minds, Kony told his interviewer to refer to him as "Lord", not by the "commander" title adopted by many rebels.
"I am Lord Joseph Kony, or refer to me as lordship. All liberators are lords not commanders," he said. Kony's movement says it is fighting to liberate the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda from southern oppression, although Acholi villagers form the majority of its victims. "Dreams of the spirit came to me one night and asked me to launch a lord's resistance movement. I spent 60 days praying and appealing to God to strengthen my faith so that I could liberate the people of Uganda from corruption, sins and immoral thinking," Kony said. Uganda and Sudan had for years exchanged accusations of backing each other's rebels until they struck a deal in March, 2002 allowing Ugandan forces to pursue the LRA into Sudan.
Sudan denies backing the LRA, but Kony admitted in the interview that he had visited a club for military officers in the Sudanese capital Khartoum as late as 2002. Kony said that he would continue fighting even if moves towards peace between Sudan's government and southern rebels made his position in Sudan more precarious, saying he had been invited by some "lords" to go to southern Ethiopia.
Asked to react to suspicions among some Sudanese observers that Egypt was backing the LRA to destabilise Uganda and foil Kampala's ambitions to take a bigger share of the Nile waters, Kony declared the interview over. "Stop here, please. I have not connections with Egypt and I want this issue closed."
Comment: Just as a matter of interest, Egypt is currently at loggerheads with 9 other African countries over a more equitable sharing of the Nile waters. Egypt is, next to Israel, the biggest recipient of US funding.
In the debacle over the Nile waters, Egypt's President Mubarak has said that any breaking of a colonial 1929 treaty that gives her the largest share of the Nile waters would be construed as "An act of war". See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3541617.stm.
Egypt is also a key player in the planned pull out of Israel from the Gaza strip. Apparently Mubarak is concerned that Israel will pull out of Gaza, leaving a potential powder keg on his doorstep. In his recent meeting with President Bush, he was seeking re-assurances that Israel wouldn't leave a mess in its planned pull out from the Gaza Strip. From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3620961.stm .....the The focus of these discussions was the planned Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Egypt wants to hear that this is not a dead end - an attempt by Israel to dump Gaza and abandon the peace plan known as the roadmap. President Mubarak also fears another source of instability on his doorstep if Gaza descends into chaos.
Badru D. Mulumba Kampala
American senators have asked for a report detailing the operations of the Joseph Kony-led rebel Lord's Resistance Army. The senators have given Secretary of State Colin Powell six months to produce the report before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives. The directive is contained in a bill titled, Conflict in Northern Uganda. "The report," the bill says, "should include...the individuals or entities that are providing financial and material support to the LRA - including a description of any such support provided by the Government of Sudan or by senior officials of such a Government."
Comment: Note from the previous article that the Sudanese are reportedly suspicious that Egypt is funding Kony, to destabilise Uganda's claim to a greater share of the Nile waters.
It would also include "the activities of the Lord's Resistance Army that create obstacles that prohibit the provision of humanitarian assistance or the protection of the civilian population in Uganda." The senators also want to know what practices the UPDF employs to ensure that children and civilians are protected - that civilian complaints are addressed, and that any member of the armed forces who abuse a civilian are held accountable. Democratic Senator Russel D. Feingold introduced the bill that is co-sponsored by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander (Tennessee). The bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.[...]
The bill was tabled days after ambassador Jimmy Kolker revealed US plans to talk to the LRA. The 16-year old rebellion, the senators note, has displaced more than 26,000 people from their homes, and rendered some 26,000 children abductees of the LRA. Quoting the Human Rights Watch, the bill notes that since the mid-1990s the only known sponsor of the LRA has been the Khartoum government, though Sudan denies it. The bill wants the US to make clear to Sudan that relations between the two countries will depend on its severance of links with the murderous rebel outfit.
Comment: Bearing in mind that the US runs the World Bank and the IMF, this thinly veiled threat would be disastrous for the Sudan. Especially if the US suddenly thought Osama might be hiding there.
"The conflict has resulted in a lack of security for the people of Uganda and as a result of such each night more than 18,000 children leave their homes and flee to the relative safety of town centres, creating a massive 'night commuter' phenomenon that leaves already vulnerable children subject to exploitation and abuse," it says. But, it adds, the military solution, including the arming and training of local militia forces, has not ensured the security of the civilian population in the region.
Comment: The LRA has been doing its dirty business for 18 years, so when did the US start caring about the people of Uganda?. Note the above article says 16 years, so they don't seem to even care enough to get their facts right.
US Vice President Dick Cheney has reportedly presented new evidence to Beijing about North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. Washington wants China, a key ally of Pyongyang, to flex its diplomatic muscle in resolving the crisis. Beijing, for its part, has put pressure on Mr Cheney over Washington's policy on Taiwan.
Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, has long been a sticking point in Sino-US relations. "Time is not necessarily on our side," a senior administration official said of the North Korean nuclear crisis after the talks. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr Cheney brought with him new evidence which could end Chinese doubts about whether Pyongyang has a highly enriched uranium programme.
It is not clear on what this evidence is based, but the move comes amid US reports that Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist who admitted exporting nuclear technology to North Korea, reportedly told his interrogators that he saw three nuclear devices during a trip to the North five years ago. [...]
By Mark Mardell
The times when photocalls with the secretary general of the United Nations and the leader of the free world belonged to the dignified part of the constitution are long gone. This trip is fraught with dangers for a prime minister haunted by the Iraq war, in alliance with a president heartily detested by most in the Labour Party. It has a ghastly element of deja vu about it.
First stop the UN in New York and then the White House in Washington. It is all reminiscent of that frantic, failed diplomacy just over a year ago aimed at getting an agreement for a controversial war. Blair, the "transatlantic bridge", didn't get that agreement and when the two men warmly shake hands and meet the press they will be as much under siege as Falluja, with ghostly voices off, from Europe and the UK and now increasingly the USA itself, saying "We told you so!"
Those who supported the war will not be any more supportive as a result of this visit, but opponents will find new energy for fresh criticisms. For, in the absence of weapons of mass destruction Tony Blair's justification for war has become a peaceful, democratic Iraq free of Saddam Hussein. Iraq is clearly not at peace, and that in itself puts a big question mark over the creation of a democracy. Put crudely, the question is whether a transfer of power to an unelected group of Iraqis in a few weeks time is more likely to lead to proper elections or civil war.
Put even more crudely can democracy be flourishing by the time of Presidential elections in November, or even the more distant British general election? Iraqis may be able to take full control of the ministry for this and for that, they won't be able to command or direct the coalition forces who will remain in the driving seat. Although there won't be a hint of it in public, some expect Mr Blair to raise questions in private about the recent "robust" tactics of the American forces. Certainly one gets the impression from the British military in Iraq, with their experience of Northern Ireland, that chasing after the bad guys with all guns blazing accompanied by a series of massive explosions may be very satisfying and even make for a decent Hollywood film, but falls far short of the requisite for nation building.
It's pretty certain that neither man can countenance a delay in the handover of power to the Iraqis in the face of the recent flare up of violence and disorder. Although voices on both sides of the Atlantic are urging such a delay in the handover, planned for the end of June, this is a bit of a red herring. In Iraq power certainly grows from the barrel of a gun and while Iraqis may be able to take full control of the ministry for this and for that, they won't be able to command or direct the coalition forces who will remain in the driving seat. It's likely that Tony Blair will seek to disguise the very real problems with another mission to the United Nations, attempting to get more countries involved in sending troops to Iraq to restore and maintain order.
The trouble is that few will want to take the tremendous risks involved without being allowed to drive the politics as well. This part of the visit is likely to generate a few headlines about "new initiatives" but it may be more about media management than real diplomacy. Some say that President Bush hoped this photocall with the First Ally would help his re-election. Now, even in America, the war is not such a bonus.
For Tony Blair this association at American election time does him tremendous damage in his own party. New Labour and the Democrats have long been natural allies. Yet Mr Blair could not even bring himself to send the anti-war John Kerry congratulations when he won the nomination to be Democratic challenger to President Bush. The official reason was that the Labour Party does not get involved in foreign elections unless it has filial links. Of course the only reason that it doesn't was that the Democrats were originally seem as too right-wing, insufficiently socialist for such links to exist. For Tony Blair to be acting as President Bush's shield against democratic attacks makes even close allies uncomfortable.
For him it is an uncomfortable reminder that if Bush loses he will be isolated as the remaining world leader who wanted the war. When the prime minister and the president met for the first time George W declared that they had such a lot in common: they both used the same brand of toothpaste. This week their problem is that they both share the same brand of foreign policy and to many observers it's got that clumsy squeezed-in-the-middle look.
A couple of youths loiter near an ATM, and he zooms in. When they move on, he turns his attention to another screen, where shoppers are browsing in a street market. "We don't miss much," says Codrington, twiddling the joystick on his desk. "We've got cameras all over the place now."
SAINT-LO, France (AFP) Apr 14, 2004
A bomb hoax forced the evacuation of around 100 staff members from a French nuclear power plant in the northern town of Flamanville, police said Wednesday.
The incident occurred Tuesday when a telephone caller told authorities that a bomb had been placed near a reactor at the power plant which had been shut down for regular maintenance.
The false alert did not interrupt the operation of the rest of the plant, the police said, adding that the employees returned to their posts after a five-hour search failed to find any device.
WASHINGTON, April 12, 2004 – The Defense Department stands ready to assist authorities at the federal, state and local levels in the event of another terrorist attack on the homeland, a senior DoD official said here April 8.
In prepared remarks delivered to Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association members, Peter F. Verga said the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense "is responsible for DoD's support to civil authorities for domestic incident management," such as during attacks on the homeland.
In the event of a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological attack on the United States, Verga said, the Joint Task Force Civil Support in Norfolk, Va.; the Joint Task Force Consequence Management East at Fort Gillem, Ga.; or the Joint Task Force Consequences Management West at Fort Sam Houston, Texas -- all under U.S. Northern Command -- "would be available to provide command and control of forces in support of civil authorities."
"We are working to strengthen DoD and civilian capabilities and surge capacity to address multiple, simultaneous CBRN attacks in the United States," Verga said.
Each day, Verga continued, TTIC "coordinates terrorist threat assessments with partner agencies," including DoD, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and State Department.
In a terrorist attack on America, NORTHCOM -– which defends land, air and sea approaches to the United States -- would also provide support to U.S. civil authorities, Verga noted.
This, he explained, would include "military support to civilian law enforcement agencies, military assistance for civil disturbances, and incident management operations in response" to an attack using weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, he noted, monitor sea approaches to America and "patrol international waters and our territorial seas."
DoD's role in border security involves providing support, particularly to the Department of Homeland Security, "when appropriate," Verga said. DoD maintains quick- and rapid-reaction forces for this purpose, he added, and these Army and Marine forces would operate under NORTHCOM's command and control.
Verga said DoD maintains "excellent" working relationships across the Department of Homeland Security. For example, he cited the 64 people assigned within DHS who provide critical intelligence and communications specialties.
DoD also has an around-the-clock presence in DHS's operations center "with direct connectivity back to DoD for rapid response."
The Defense Department also is developing a "comprehensive" homeland defense strategy for the 21st century, Verga said. That plan, he noted, will "provide the framework for pursuing operational capabilities to prepare for tomorrow's challenges."
Comment: Now think about this rationally. For a moment put aside the programming that "they wouldn't do that" and ask yourself, when was the last time you saw bands of armed terrorists roaming the streets of US cities? The above measures are clearly being planned for forcible control of US citizens.
Courts Continue Their Assault On The Bill Of Rights
A recent appeals court ruling in Louisiana directly assaulted the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment clearly states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."
However, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, in a decision, which if upheld, could be the death knell of yet another constitutionally-protected liberty, recently chose to ignore, even dismiss, the Fourth Amendment. Here is how the story was reported on The New Orleans Channel, "It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business."
Carpenter Kelly Rushing thought he was doing a good thing when he bought some video tapes from Alex Jones Productions, a firm in Austin , Texas that produces and markets what they call films exposing “The New World Order.” Clearly Jones could be classified as a Right Wing Conservative for his views on the deterioration of the country under Bill Clinton and others like him. He has a right to do that under our Constitution. Rushing also taped a C-Span show in which Congressman. Ron Paul gave a talk titled Neo-Conned in which he detailed governmental corruption at all levels [...]
One of the films titled “ 9-1-1 , The Road to Tyranny ” describes a potential Police State and the threat of such a state. Mr. Rushing had already passed the Jones video along to several of his friends, including the Lyon County Prosecuting Attorney, Wendell Chope. PA Chope viewed the tape and returned it to Rushing with the comment that it was “ it was interesting ” and he “ enjoyed it .”
There came a time when Rushing thought it would be nice to give the 911 tape as well as the C-Span tape to local Kentucky State Trooper Lewis Dobbs. Mr. Dobbs is a young State Trooper working out of the Mayfield Kentucky Post in western Kentucky south of Paducah . So Rushing slipped the tape into the Dobbs mailbox one afternoon. Mr. Rushing did not go out “stalking” the state trooper as the trooper seems to believe. He drove past his house nearly everyday and it was well known by many persons where Trooper Dobbs lived.
Rushing pointed out that there was another tape air by C-Span on national television on the same subject, with Texas Congressman Ron Paul and a 45 minutes discussion on the subject of a police state. Rushing had a copy of the C-Span show and he also put that tape into Trooper Dobb's mailbox.
Within a week or two, Rushing was pulled over on his way from work, by Trooper Lewis Dobbs. Dobbs went through the usual procedure, asking for drivers license, registration, etc., after which Trooper Dobbs slapped his handcuffs on him.
Since there was no probable cause as to his motor vehicle operation, Kelly asked Dobbs what he was being arrested for, and Dobbs said, you are being arrested for “giving me that tape. You are being arrested for terroristic threatening.” The trooper also asked Kelly, “Why did you threaten me? ” Kelly answered, “I never threatened you.” In his zeal, Trooper Dobbs never got around to reading the “tape desperado” his Rights.
In response to widespread dissent over a new method to apprehend the serial rapist, University students, faculty and other community members met with local police officials in an open forum last night to address concerns with what some are calling "racial profiling" by police.
In its ongoing hunt for the serial rapist, the Charlottesville Police Department recently implemented a new strategy to aid in the investigation. Under the new system, certain black men are asked to voluntarily undergo a DNA test called a buccal swab test in order to eliminate their names from a database of contacts.
African-American Affairs Dean M. Rick Turner opened the forum with an address to an audience of more than 50 people, including six local television news networks. Turner said the impetus for the meeting was the case of graduate Education student Steven Turner, who was stopped by police officers on two separate occasions to give a DNA sample but declined both times.
"I understood that a person would be stopped for a reason," M. Rick Turner said.
M. Rick Turner also said, however, that repeated requests by police officers for DNA samples from those who do not consent to take the test can be seen as a civil rights violation.
"I believe that we have some officers here who are untrained," he said. "This is bordering on violating someone's civil rights. Now all of this might be legal...but it's not right." [...]
"I know the police have to do their work," Turner said. "I want them to do their work. But I want trained policeman to approach African-American men with some sense of respect." [...]
Comment: Right. How about, "Kind sir, we respectfully request that you submit to a DNA test because we're looking for an African-American rapist, and you just happen to be an African-American." Instead of requesting more respect, why doesn't Turner ask that the police do their job - you know, investigate, search for evidence, follow up leads... Then perhaps the DNA tests could be administered after a suspect is arrested based on something more than just the color of their skin.
School Declares code red
Comment: It is clear that the above tactics are a clear example of the deliberate conditioning of the US population to accept the coming imposition of martial law in the US. If you cannot see this then we have a nice tower in Paris that we would like to sell to you.
What really happened? He allegedly stole at least five cars from ground zero on 9/11 and brought them to his Bayside home. Investigators now believe he gave two of the cars to his children, two to his mother in North Carolina, and kept one for himself.
Investigators are charging William Bennette. He's a civilian worker at the Secret Service. Sources say he's also a retired member of the NYPD. He worked for a time as a quartermaster and was in charge of selling and ordering equipment and supplies.
Investigators tell NewsChannel 4 that on 9/11 he helped supervise the recovery of more than 170 government vehicles. Most were damaged and sent to the landfill, but not all. NewsChannel 4 was told Bennette allegedly had the salvageable cars sent to his home and to an auto body repair shop in Whitestone where investigators say his daughter works.
U.S. Attorney Roslyn Muskoff is expected to announce the charges Tuesday. She has had no comment so far. Neither has the Secret Service.
Zanzibar's parliament unanimously passed a bill late on Tuesday to outlaw homosexuality, with jail terms of up to 25 years for gay relationships. It will have to be approved by President Amani Karume to become law, but a close aide to Karume said the president would assent to the bill. "There is great concern for the erosion of moral standards in Zanzibar," the aide said.
Islamic groups have been calling for a more puritanical approach to running public affairs on the Tanzanian Indian Ocean island, which is overwhelmingly Muslim. The bill was adopted by members of both political parties in the House of Representatives, the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi and the opposition Civic United Front - a rare occasions when the sides agreed.
The law will set a penalty of life imprisonment for a person found guilty of sodomising a minor. The penalty for homosexual relations between men would be 25 years' jail, with a seven-year term for a lesbian relationship. The bill has been supported by the Society for Islamic Awareness (UAMSHO).
A Western diplomat said there were signs that Zanzibar was increasingly being pulled towards Islamism. "The trend shows this in many respects. People in Zanzibar now take their religion very seriously," the diplomat, who did not wish to be named, said. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island which forms part of Tanzania and has long attracted tourists seeking to relax on its beaches and sample its Swahili culture.
Macedonia has come back from the brink of civil war Voting is under way in Macedonia as the country elects a new president after Boris Trajkovski died in an air crash in February. Four men are contesting the election with the ethnically mixed Balkan state's struggling economy high on the electorate's agenda.
Favourite to win is the current Prime Minister, Branko Crvenkovski. "I hope the elections will be carried out in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere," he said at the ballot box. Election officials report that voting has been relatively slow but peaceful.
The attacks, which apparently compromised servers as recently as April 3, are currently be investigated, according to an advisory posted April 6 by the Information Technology Systems and Services group at Stanford.
"Stanford, along with a large number of research institutions and high-performance computing centers, has become a target for some sophisticated Linux and Solaris attacks," the ITSS said in its Web advisory. "The attacker appears to be deliberately targeting machines in academic and high-performance computing environments, rather than attacking systems indiscriminately." [...]
It is unclear when the attacks first occurred, an example of a compromised computer included in the advisory occurred April 3. The unknown attackers use common password-cracking tools to gain access to any account on a server and then gain further access by using security flaws in the software. [...]
Comment: Can a lockdown of the internet be far behind?
BARROUQUERE, Associated Press Writer
At this time of year, Gerald White is used to selling plant seeds and other garden items, but his customers had something else in mind after an unexpected storm dumped rain, sleet and snow on parts of the South.
The garden center was quiet, but there was plenty of demand for winter items, said White, the manager of a Wal-Mart in Hopkinsville, Ky.
"We don't have any coats left. Some people were looking for snow boots and weatherproof shoe covers. Probably could have sold some heaters if I'd had some," he said Tuesday.
One to 3 inches of snow fell west of Louisville, Ky., while several counties along the Ohio River were hit with sleet. Flooding and mudslides blocked roads and closed schools across West Virginia.
Four people died in traffic accidents on slick roads in Kentucky, including a woman and her two children killed when the van she was driving skidded and collided head-on with a tractor trailer.
In Tennessee, Memphis and Nashville reported a few flurries and some sleet, while more than 4 inches of snow fell in several counties in the western part of the state.
Heavy rain also fell in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and New York. [...]
In Beckley, W.Va., a girl was carried to safety by a neighbor after her car was nearly submerged in 4 feet of water, witnesses said. [...]
An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale has shaken the Bolu region of western Turkey, injuring four people.
The Anatolia news agency reports the injured hurt themselves jumping from balconies or windows.
The report also says houses in Bolu have not been damaged, but residents are spending the night outdoors in case of further activity.
TOKYO - A moderate earthquake registering 4.0 on the Richter scale hit northern Japan on Wednesday but there was no threat of tidal waves, the meteorological agency said.
The quake occurred at around 11:11 am (0211 GMT), with the focus located 10 kilometers (six miles) underground in the southern part of Akita prefecture, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Tokyo.
Apr 12 2004
Conservationists last night slammed an Executive plan to strip hundreds of ancient Scottish monuments of their protected status.
Around 800 archaeological sites, including forts, carved crosses, standing stones and cairns, could be dropped from Historic Scotland's official schedule.
Critics said the plan was a 'betrayal of Scotland's heritage', which would allow developers to build on protected sites.
The change follows a decision to restrict protection to sites deemed of 'cultural significance' and 'spiritual value'.
A spokesman said the bid to 'sift out monuments no longer of national importance' could affect up to 10 per cent of Scotland's 7700 ancient sites.
Glasgow University archaeologist Dr Ian Banks said: 'This means there will be less protection for sites and more pressure for building houses.'
Scottish Green Party leader Robin Harper described the plan as 'a gift to developers'.
He added: 'This is an appalling betrayal of Scotland's heritage.'
SNP culture spokeswoman Roseanna Cunningham said: 'I find it hard to believe something considered a historic monument 20 years ago should no longer be worthy of protection.'
The Executive spokesman said: 'It could be argued that some monuments are not of sufficient importance to merit the very strong presumption against development that scheduled status provides.'
Tue Apr 13,
4:28 PM ET
Also, the treatment has no significant effect on coronary heart disease or death from all causes, according to the new report. [...]
Comment: Well, look on the bright side: the pharmaceutical industry made a whole bundle of money!
A mother of seven was kept locked up in a Kenyan hospital for a year because she could not pay her medical bill, local media reported on Tuesday. The woman was admitted to a hospital in the town of Meru last April after a domestic quarrel, and shortly afterwards gave birth to twins. As she was not able to pay the bill of 6 000 Kenyan shillings, the hospital kept her locked up, reports the East African Standard.
A year in hospital confinement has escalated the bill to 103 000 shillings, but the hospital proprietor insists the woman will not be released until the bill is cleared. It is common in Kenya for hospitals to keep patients because they cannot pay their bills. [...]
Yoda owes his longevity to genetic modifications that affected his pituitary and thyroid glands and reduced insulin production — and which left him a third smaller than an average mouse and very sensitive to cold.
On the other hand, at the human equivalent of about 136 years, Yoda is still mobile, sexually active and "looking good," said Dr. Richard A. Miller, associate director of research at the school's geriatrics center.
Yoda lives in a carefully maintained lab with roughly 100 other male geriatric mice being used for a lifespan study. An average lab mouse lives slightly more than two years.
Yoda's cage mate, Princess Leia, is a much larger female who uses her body warmth to keep the dwarf mouse from freezing to death.
Researchers are studying the genetic mutants to determine how altered hormone levels can slow the aging process, with the hope of figuring out which methods, if any, eventually could be applied to humans.
Dan Burisch, who is in lock-down, working with the Lotus project, seeks
immunity to stand before a Congressional hearing or other appropriate
public body, to disclose his first-hand knowledge, with proof, of U.S.
government involvement in designer viruses and other black-ops.
raised by dog dies on welfare
A THAI boy who was partially raised by a dog was found dead at a welfare centre where he had been taken for protection, police and welfare officials said today.
Two-year-old Prateep Chumnoon made headlines in the Thai media last year when he was taken from his impoverished 60-year-old grandmother who regularly left him in the care of her pet.
The toddler's body was discovered early Sunday morning inside a high plastic container used for laundry at a welfare centre in the southern Thai province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, local police said.
Welfare officials reportedly removed Prateep from his grandmother's care after neighbours alerted them that the boy had began making dog, rather than human, sounds.
"She left him at home with the dog while she went out for work," chief provincial welfare officer, Theerasak Kwanphet said.
Theerasak said an internal investigation had been ordered into the boy's death.
A police spokesman said the boy had died from injuries that might have been caused by a fall into the container.
"We are investigating as doctors do not know yet whether his death was accidental or not," the police spokesman said.
your favorite Bushism?
" Education belongs to everybody. High standards belongs to everybody."
" Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
" I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
" I love free speech."
" Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"
" See, free nations do not develop weapons of mass destruction."
" The idea of putting subliminable messages into ads is ridiculous."
" The world is more peaceful and more free under my leadership."
" There´s nothing more deep than recognizing Israel´s right to exist. That´s the most deep thought of all...I can´t think of anything more deep than that"
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