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Saturday, May 8, 2004

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New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

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Landscape east of Terraube
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

The Guardian is running an article today on two US soldiers from West Virginia who have become famous, or infamous, because of their actions in the Iraq occupation, Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England. Lynch was the soldier "rescued" from a hospital in April 2003 -- a rescue that was later exposed as a propaganda piece from the Pentagon. England is the woman smirking at Iraqi genitals and holding the leash in the pictures that have been recently published.

The article has some interesting comments from the people of their home state that show how difficult it is for them to comes to grips with the behaviour of England. "That's not the Lynndie we know" is a common statement. The other day, we looked at the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment which explain how easy it is for the veneer of civilization to crack and peel in the appropriate circumstances. But it is neither this aspect nor the other comments of the West Virginians interviewed that caught our attention. It was the subheading to the article:

Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England: An American odyssey

Jessica Lynch went off to war and became an all-American hero. Lynndie England went off to war and ended up a global hate figure. Andrew Buncombe journeys between their home towns to tell the story of two girls from the same state who symbolise a nation's loss of innocence.

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"Who symbolise a nation's loss of innocence"?

It is certainly not the US that is innocent as a country. It has been interfering in the internal affairs of other countries for decades, overthrowing democratically elected governments it doesn't like, assassinating or attempting to assassinate leaders it doesn't like, invading and occupying other countries. What is innocent about any of these activities?

Then we have the US population, manipulated by the mainstream press, socially brainwashed in their schooling, and given no instruction in how to think, much less think critically. However, the information that the US is not innocent is out there and has been for decades. What is curious is to find this absurd idea coming from a British journalist who should know better.

This is not the first time we have seen this headline or read the remark that such and such an event marks the "end of innocence." Yet it continues to be repeated. This indicates that in spite of shock after shock, the American people do not wish to wake up and see the world, and their country, as it really is.

We often associate innocence with childhood, and in many ways many Americans are still children, and spoiled children at that. They prefer to believe the fairy tales they are taught about their country and its role in the world than to see what most of the rest of the world sees very clearly. They want their gas and their 24 hour shopping and their home entertainment systems, but they want someone else to pay for them. If someone threatens to shut off the flow of oil, then they do a temper tantrum.

It is very easily for people like this to be manipulated.

Clearly they are.

The Misunderestimated Man: How Bush chose stupidity.

By Jacob Weisberg
Posted Friday, May 7, 2004, at 6:54 AM PT

The question I am most frequently asked about Bushisms is, "Do you really think the president of the United States is dumb?"

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is yes and no.

[...] What's more, calling the president a cretin absolves him of responsibility. Like Reagan, Bush avoids blame for all manner of contradictions, implausible assertions, and outright lies by appearing an amiable dunce. If he knows not what he does, blame goes to the three puppeteers, Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld. It also breeds sympathy. We wouldn't laugh at FDR because he couldn't walk. Is it less cruel to laugh at GWB because he can't talk? The soft bigotry of low expectations means Bush is seen to outperform by merely getting by. Finally, elitist condescension, however merited, helps cement Bush's bond to the masses.

But if "numskull" is an imprecise description of the president, it is not altogether inaccurate. Bush may not have been born stupid, but he has achieved stupidity, and now he wears it as a badge of honor. What makes mocking this president fair as well as funny is that Bush is, or at least once was, capable of learning, reading, and thinking. We know he has discipline and can work hard (at least when the goal is reducing his time for a three-mile run). Instead he chose to coast, for most of his life, on name, charm, good looks, and the easy access to capital afforded by family connections.

The most obvious expression of Bush's choice of ignorance is that, at the age of 57, he knows nothing about policy or history. After years of working as his dad's spear-chucker in Washington, he didn't understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, the second- and third-largest federal programs. Well into his plans for invading Iraq, Bush still couldn't get down the distinction between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, the key religious divide in a country he was about to occupy. Though he sometimes carries books for show, he either does not read them or doesn't absorb anything from them. Bush's ignorance is so transparent that many of his intimates do not bother to dispute it even in public. Consider the testimony of several who know him well.

Richard Perle, foreign policy adviser: "The first time I met Bush 43 … two things became clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was that he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much."

David Frum, former speechwriter: "Bush had a poor memory for facts and figures. … Fire a question at him about the specifics of his administration's policies, and he often appeared uncertain. Nobody would ever enroll him in a quiz show."

Laura Bush, spouse: "George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn't need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn't try to overthink. He likes action."

Paul O'Neill, former treasury secretary: "The only way I can describe it is that, well, the President is like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."

A second, more damning aspect of Bush's mind-set is that he doesn't want to know anything in detail, however important. Since college, he has spilled with contempt for knowledge, equating learning with snobbery and making a joke of his own anti-intellectualism. ("[William F. Buckley] wrote a book at Yale; I read one," he quipped at a black-tie event.) By O'Neill's account, Bush could sit through an hourlong presentation about the state of the economy without asking a single question. ("I was bored as hell," the president shot back, ostensibly in jest.)

Closely related to this aggressive ignorance is a third feature of Bush's mentality: laziness. Again, this is a lifelong trait. Bush's college grades were mostly Cs (including a 73 in Introduction to the American Political System). At the start of one term, the star of the Yale football team spotted him in the back row during the shopping period for courses. "Hey! George Bush is in this class!" Calvin Hill shouted to his teammates. "This is the one for us!" [...]

A fourth and final quality of Bush's mind is that it does not think. The president can't tolerate debate about issues. Offered an option, he makes up his mind quickly and never reconsiders. At an elementary school, a child once asked him whether it was hard to make decisions as president. "Most of the decisions come pretty easily for me, to be frank with you." By leaping to conclusions based on what he "believes," Bush avoids contemplating even the most obvious basic contradictions: between his policy of tax cuts and reducing the deficit; between his call for a humble foreign policy based on alliances and his unilateral assertion of American power; between his support for in-vitro fertilization (which destroys embryos) and his opposition to fetal stem-cell research (because it destroys embryos). [...]

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Manipulation. Bush makes being stupid a badge of honour. However, if he is president, someone, very powerful, wants him to be president. He is the bumbling front for a revision of American law and foreign policy unheard of in US history. Could this have been put through with someone who didn't "earn the trust" of the public by appearing to be "one of them" -- that is, not too bright?

Then there is this article from Robert Fisk on the torturing of Iraqi prisoners. He raises the question of who was ultimately responsible. Certainly the soldiers who did the job and took the photos are responsible. They can't pretend that they didn't know that what they were doing was outside of the Geneva Conventions. But perhaps they were put up to it, encouraged. Who might do such a thing?

An illegal and immoral war, betrayed by images that reveal our racism

by Robert Fisk
07 May 2004

First, our enemies created the suicide bomber. Now we have our own digital suicide bomber - the camera.

Just look at the way Lynndie England holds the leash of the naked, bearded Iraqi. Take a close look at the leather strap, the pain on the prisoner's face. No sadistic movie could outdo the damage of this image.

In 2001, the planes smashed into the buildings; today, Lynndie smashes to pieces our entire morality with just one tug on the leash.

[...] For a year now, Iraqis have been trying to tell journalists of the brutal treatment they are receiving at the hands of their occupiers. They don't need these incriminating photographs to prove to them what they already know to be true.

[...] Not long after the occupation of Baghdad by US troops in April last year, we got our hands on a videotape of the brutal whipping of Iraqi prisoners by Saddam's security police. I'm not sure which circle of hell the victims were enduring in the 45 minutes of sadism. They are whipped, sticks are broken in their throats, they are kicked into sewers and they cower like dogs.

And why were these war crimes filmed? I thought at first that it was intended for the enjoyment of Saddam or his disgusting son Uday.

But now I realise the videos were taken so that the prisoners could be humiliated. Their suffering, their pathetic pleas for mercy, their animal-like behaviour was to be recorded - to add the final layer of degradation to their fate.

And now I realise, too, that the pictures of the Iraqis so cruelly treated - so tortured - by the Americans were taken for precisely the same reason.

Someone decided that the photos would be the final straw, the breaking point, the moment of capitulation for these young men. Make them simulate oral sex. Make them look at the penis of their best friend. Get a girl to admire their attempted erection. This was truly Saddamite in its perversity.

So let's, as the Americans say, get real. Who taught Lynndie and her boyfriend and the other American sadists of Abu Ghraib prison to do this? Who taught the Syrian and Iraqi secret police to do this?

The answer to the latter question is simple: the East German secret police. But the answer to the first question? Well, we have been told that there were "contracted" interrogators at Abu Ghraib.

I have reason to believe that US General Janis Karpinski, the luckless prison commander who is going to be dumped out of the army for interrogations over which she had no control, knew that "outsiders" were questioning her inmates. She was never allowed into the interrogation room. And I can see why. So, no doubt, can she.

So who were these mysterious "interrogators" if they were not CIA or FBI staff? Several names are already going the rounds - so far, journalists claim they have no final proof of them - and a number, so I understand, hold more than one passport. Why were they brought into Abu Ghraib? Who brought them in? How much were they paid? And who trained them?

Who taught them that it was a good idea to get a girl to point at an Arab who was being forced to masturbate, to humiliate an Iraqi into submission by hooding him with a girl's lingerie?

We are not just talking "sick" here. We're talking professionals.

Bush finally apologised last night for this filth but the constant, insistent, unending refrain from US officers that the soldiers involved were just a tiny group of unrepresentative Americans makes me suspicious.

Lynndie and her boyfriend were not part of a "rogue" unit. They were told to do these despicable things. They were encouraged to do them. This was an order from someone else.

Who? When can we see their pictures, their identity, their passports, their orders?

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"We're talking professionals" with dual passports no less, specialists in the humiliation of Arabs. Hmmmm. Any Jew in the world can become an Israeli citizen while retaining his or her citizenship of origin. How convenient for Israel. No Palestinian who left the country has the right to return.

But if it wasn't clear enough who the mysterious "professionals behind the curtain might be, there is this report today in Al Jazeera:

Israeli lessons for the US in Iraq

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
Friday 07 May 2004, 2:48 Makka Time, 23:48 GMT

The torturing of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghuraib prison by US occupying forces has shocked the world - but for most Palestinians they come as no surprise.

In fact, tens of thousands of Palestinians who have served time in Israeli prisons and detention centres see striking similarities between Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners and American treatment of Iraqi detainees.

In some cases, the torture technique or form of mistreatment is almost identical, some former Palestinian prisoners told Aljazeera.net.

[...] Hisham Abd al-Razzaq is a Palestinian Authority minister in charge of overseeing and catering for more than 7000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, many of them interned without charge or trial.

He believes that what the Americans are doing to the Iraqis amounts to a "carbon copy" of what the Israelis have been doing to the Palestinians.

"I am inclined to think that the Americans copied the Israeli techniques. I can’t prove it in an objective manner, but the striking similarities are overwhelming."

[...] Ofer Yisler, spokesman for the Israeli Prison Authority, vehemently denies any "similarity between our treatment of the Palestinians and what we have seen in Iraq".

"There is no comparison whatsoever, what the Americans did in Iraq is something entirely different."

But Yisler refused to comment on accusations that the hooding technique, the shabh, sleep deprivation and forced stripping were still being used by Israel. Yisler ended the interview and refused to answer further questions, insisting that written questions be submitted to his office.

Yisler’s reluctance to speak, however, seems to underscore Israel’s desire to stay away from the international outcry over what happened in Iraq.

But Israeli-Arab Knesset member Talab al-Sanai says Israel is indirectly but heavily involved in "the systematic mistreatment of Iraqi people at the hands of the American occupation troops".

Israeli experts

"It is not secret at all, there are many Israeli experts on torture in Iraq who are transferring to the Americans their accumulative experience of thirty seven years of torturing and mistreating Palestinians," al-Sanai told Aljazeera.net.

[...] "It took Israel 37 years to develop and perfect these barbaric methods of repression and humiliation. Surprisingly, the Americans surpassed and outmatched the Israelis in their savagery in less than two years."

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It can't really be any clearer than that, can it? So we see that there is a very high probability that Israelis are involved. But this is no surprise because Israel is the only country in the world that has benefited from the war on terrorism. It has permitted them to carry on with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine under the banner of fighting terrorism, and the rest of the world, including the Arab world, has allowed them to get away with it.

Israel benefits. The rest of the world loses.

Bush, who has gone further in admitting openly what the world long knew, that it was in no way a disinterested mediator, has been forced to throw the Palestinians a bone. He is going to give them a letter of assurances. That isn't worth much as each passing day means more death and destruction wrought upon Palestinians and their land. Delay for them means death, and so, no surprise, Bush announces another delay, just a day after giving assurances about a letter:

Bush: Delay for Palestinian state

US President George W Bush has said the deadline for setting up a Palestinian state has slipped due to violence and a change of Palestinian leaders.

"I think the timetable of 2005 is not as realistic as it was two years ago," Mr Bush told Egypt's al-Ahram daily.

[...] "I think that we have plenty of time from this moment until the end of 2005... to work towards a comprehensive and permanent agreement," Mr Qurei said.

"If we are delayed, that means that we are giving in to the desire of the Israeli government to stretch out the negotiations and drag them out, for another 10 or 15 years as I have heard many times in the Israeli press.

"By then, no-one will have the ability to take control of the situation."

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If one were prone to conspiracy theories, one could imagine that each time Bush takes a step towards the Palestinians, even if they are obviously only for show, there is someone standing over his shoulder who pulls him aside and makes threats. Each time Bush has made such a step, he then takes it back the next day or soon afterwards. It is as if those who are in control are so obsessed that they don't want even the slightest leniency in the treatment of the Palestinians. And what group has historically had this attitude?

The result of Israel's destruction of Palestine is a growing criticism of Israel around the world. Of course, the Israelis and their supporters want you to believe that this is "anti-Semitism." Then they whine about how put upon they are. Yeah. Great play-acting. They know the role of victim works.

The trouble is, it is inciting some to an anti-Western rage.

European al-Qaeda supporters openly call for jihad

[...] Among his ardent followers is Ishtiaq Alamgir, 24, who heads Al Muhajiroun in Luton and calls himself Sayful Islam, the sword of Islam. He says there are about 50 members here but exact numbers are secret. Most days, he and a handful of his followers run a recruitment stand on Dunstable Road much to the chagrin of the Muslim elders of Luton. Mainstream Muslims are outraged by the situation, saying the actions of a few are causing their communities to be singled out for surveillance and making the larger population distrustful of them. Muhammad Sulaiman, a stalwart of the mainstream Central Mosque here, was penniless when he arrived from the Kashmiri frontier of Pakistan in 1956. He raised money to build the Central Mosque here and now leads a campaign to ban Al Muhajiroun radicals from the city's 10 mosques. "This is show-off business," he says in accented English. "I don't want these kids in my mosque." Other community leaders look to the government to do something, if only to help prevent the demonization of British Muslims, or "Islamophobia," as some here call it. "I think these kids are being brainwashed by a few radical clerics," said Akhbar Dad Khan, another elder of the Central Mosque. He wants them prosecuted or deported. "We should be able to control this negativity," he said.[...]

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So, apparently, Europe is next, if we are to believe this article. Three months after Osama's truce offer to Europe, it will be open season. But in thinking about this rationally, the only interests served by a religious war between Moslems and Christians in Europe would be those of Israel. Fomenting hatred is a typical Mossad ploy. As the excerpt above indicates, it is a small minority of Moslems that have these fanatical beliefs. How many agents would it take to rouse up disgruntled Moslem youths, victims of racism in their new countries, to the jihad against "godless Europe"? How many agents would it take to alight the fuse of civil war given the outrageous lies and manipulations of the US, their occupation of Moslem countries, their continual support for Israel's genocide of the Palestinians? Where is there any hope left for the Moslems in a negotiated solution?

But if Mossad is going around the world doing this, if they are behind the torture, and probably the release of the photos, we have to ask: WHY?

If things continue, the world is going to explode, because Israel is lighting the fuse.

WHY?

While we are considering this question, let's look at Rummy's performance before the US Senate.

Senate Questions Rummy's Coverup: He crumbles and turns petulant under grilling by senators

James Ridgeway
May 7th, 2004 2:00 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday morning to talk about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, went through the motions of taking responsibility (Rumsfeld: "It took place on my watch"), issued almost perfunctory apologies, and then tried to explain away the Abu Ghraib torture story as old news.

But under questioning, first by John McCain and then by Ted Kennedy, Rummy began to crumble, unable to describe for the senators such basic things as the chain of command and what instructions the guards had been given. Time and again, Rumsfeld returned to the line that this is an old story: "The idea that this is a story broken by the media is simply not the fact."

As for the issue of U.S. apologies, Rumsfeld said in a petulant tone, "There have been many apologies here today."

[...] Was the torture systemic? Levin pointed out that White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez did not want to conform to the Geneva conventions so as to gain added "flexibility." Rumsfeld, however, told the senators at Friday's hearing that prison personnel were told to operate within the Geneva conventions. In the past, however, when questioned about their applicability to the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Rumsfeld has shrugged off the Geneva conventions.

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Rumsfeld: Unreleased images 'cruel and inhuman'
Defense secretary outlines panel to probe prisoner abuse

Saturday, May 8, 2004 Posted: 8:47 AM EDT (1247 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld revealed Friday that videos and "a lot more pictures" exist of the abuse of Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib prison.

"If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I mean, I looked at them last night, and they're hard to believe."

[...] Rumsfeld told Congress the unrevealed photos and videos contain acts "that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman."

Rumsfeld also announced three of the four people who will sit on an independent panel to probe the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces.

Rumsfeld said James Schlessinger, a former defense secretary under President Nixon, had agreed to participate in the investigation, as did former Rep. Tillie Fowler, a Florida Republican, and Gen. Chuck Horner, a retired Air Force general.

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Rumsfeld says: "It took place on my watch." However, he is squarely placing the blame on the military when he talks about "a lot more pictures" that exist. He is implying is is much more common than the first reports have said.

Of course the Iraqis are well aware of how common it is, as the Palestinians probably are as well.

But what is curious is Rummy's attempt to blacken the image of the US military at home.

We have seen over the last year and one-half a certain "patriotic" faction of the CIA distance itself from Bush's policies. Former agents or analysts appear on the pages of CounterPunch criticising the Bush administration. There are reports of animosity between the military and the cabal around Rummy in the Pentagon. The top brass, reportedly, were against Rumsfeld's plans for the invasion.

The patriot movement in the US openly discusses the idea of "Patriotic generals" stepping in to arrest Bush and his henchmen.

Could the Mossad operation to get these pictures in the press and Rummy's testimony to blacken the military, be part of a counterplan against such a move?

We have no idea, but the idea has occurred to us.

US Rape, Sodomization Of Iraqis Worse Than Imagined

Collusion With US Based Jewish Pornographers Seen


By Ernesto Cienfuegos
La Voz de Aztlan
5-6-4

(ACN) -- By now, the whole world is aware of the decadent, perverted and immoral abuses that took place inside the dungeon near Baghdad known as the Abu Ghraib prison. The vile incidents were committed, not by Saddam Hussein, but by those who call themselves "The Liberators of Iraq". What the world does not know, however, is the full extent of these perverse acts and who are actually and ultimately responsible for them. The horrid sodomization of Iraqi POW's and rape of Iraqi women detainees is much worst than can be imagined by decent minds.

La Voz de Aztlan received information today that many of the rape and sodomization pictures of Iraqis are now being made available to perverts by Jewish owned pornographic websites based in the United States. One of these pictures, also released by CBS News, shows an Iraqi male POW on the ground with his underwear pulled down. The Iraqi has since been released by the US occupiers and has been interviewed by the international media. He says that he was sodomized by a US interrogator (hired mercenary) while a female soldier "cheered" and the whole event filmed.

Why was this sexual torture and humiliation being filmed? Why were thousands of these photographs showing the rape of Iraqi women disseminated among the US troops in Iraq? A Mexican-American soldier said in a telephone interview, "Maybe the officers didn't know what was going on, but everybody else did. I have seen literally hundreds of these types of pictures." He added, "Many of the pictures were destroyed last September when the luggage of soldiers was searched as they left Iraq. The graphic photos were being swapped between the soldiers like baseball cards."

The most important question of all is "Why are these pictures and videos being shown on, for pay, pornographic websites in the US? Were the pictures disseminated to the US occupation forces to encourage the rape of Iraqi women and other nefarious acts against the Iraqi populace?


The American people and the rest of the world are generally not aware that the US government has hired literally thousands of hired guns, many with notorious war crime records. A significant number of these are rapists, sodomites and murderers from South Africa and Serbia. These vile individuals work for so-called "security services" under contract to the Pentagon. Most of these "security services" are cronies of both Bush and Cheney and are owned by nefarious Jews who also have ties to the Burbank, California pornography industry.

Among Afrikaner war criminals hired by the Pentagon are Frans Strydom and Deon Gouws, both with despicable atrocity records against South African Blacks that sought independence
. There are an estimated 1,500 South Africans employed by "security services" in Iraq, according to the South African foreign ministry. Many used their atrocious backgrounds as mercenaries during Apartheid to bolster their credentials to the Pentagon. Many other hired mercenaries are Serbians known to be rapists of Muslim-Croatian women. Some of the mercenaries in the photographs shown raping Iraqi women look Serbian. The Military Police, including Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, has said that the cell where the sexual torture took place were dominated by these mercenaries in collusion with the CIA and Military Intelligence.

La Voz de Aztlan believes that "film crews" run mostly by mercenaries actually instigated the rapes and sodomy of the Iraqi POW's inside the Abu Ghraib prison. These mercenaries had the full cooperation of the CIA and Military Intelligence and perverted elements inside the Pentagon and the US government. In addition, these mercenaries trolled the Iraqi countryside for Iraqi women they could abduct, rape and film.

The ultimate purpose for the films and photographs was to make money in the multi-billion dollar pornography industry in the USA and other western countries. There are powerful people in the US government and wealthy individuals at high levels of US society that pay large sums of money for these decadent sexual materials. Some of these individuals are members of the Satanic Skull and Bones/CIA organization. These materials that also include "snuff movies" of Central American children are being distributed by Jewish pornographers.

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Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Plenary
86th Meeting
06/05/2004

General Assembly Adopts Revised Resolution On Question Of Palestine

The General Assembly affirmed this afternoon that the status of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, remained one of military occupation, as it adopted a revised resolution on the question of Palestine.

By a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 11 abstentions, the Assembly also affirmed that the Palestinian people had the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory, and that Israel had only the duties and obligations of an occupying Power

The Assembly then adopted the text on the occupied Palestinian territories (document A/58/L.61/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 11 abstentions

So basically we see that the only two countries that voted against the resolution who possessed the freedom and independence to do so, were Israel (naturally) and the United States. The US representative attempted to justify his "no" vote in the following way:

JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) said he would vote against the draft, which was inappropriate and ill-timed. It would detract from, rather than enhance, ongoing efforts. The Quartet principals had met at the United Nations two days ago and issued a clear statement affirming their commitment to a common vision of two States and a viable and contiguous Palestine. The Quartet had also called on both parties to fulfil their obligations under the Road Map, as required by Security Council resolution 1515 (2003) and previous Quartet statements, and to meet the commitments made at the Red Sea summits. The Quartet had noted that no party should take unilateral actions that sought to predetermine issues that could only be resolved through negotiation and agreement between the parties.

Political speak is a useful tool when attempting to justify the unjustifiable. To clarify just what was on the table at this most recent UN meeting. Representatives of most of the countries of entire planet were present. All were essentially asked to state their position on two questions.

The first: Do the Palestinian people had the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory, and do you agree that Israel only has the duties and obligations of an occupying Power?

The second: Does the status of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, remain one of military occupation?

To both of these question the US alone answered "NO" Naturally, the Israeli delegate was in agreement, and then some.

DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) said that after a pregnant Israeli mother and her four young children had been brutally murdered last Sunday, the Palestinian leadership had not taken any steps to bring the perpetrators to justice or prevent such actions in the future. In fact, members of Yasser Arafat’s own Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade had claimed responsibility for the “heroic” attack. The refusal of the Palestinian leaders to comply with their obligations to fight terrorism, as required by the Road Map, was killing the peace process. It was ironic that rather than discussing such shortcomings, the Palestinians were instead encouraging the Assembly to yet again support their partisan, distorted agenda.

Today the General Assembly was being asked to adopt a text that undermined the statement made two days ago by the Quartet, a body which included the United Nations, he said. That statement, like numerous peace agreements and Security Council resolutions before it, asserted that no party should act unilaterally to predetermine issues that could only be resolved through negotiation and agreement. Israel remained committed to a two-State solution, even though it did not have a genuine peace partner, and would continue to work towards an improvement in the situation while seeking to protect its citizens.

He stressed that the situation, despite Palestinian assertions, was not a black-and-white one. Israelis also had rights, and Palestinians also had responsibilities. Compromise did not simply entail an agreement no longer to seek Israel’s destruction. After all, one had to acknowledge the historic and indigenous ties of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. This was the story of two peoples, not just one.

This was a moment for more negotiations, not more resolutions, he said. Nevertheless, the Palestinians were once again seeking to improperly involve the General Assembly on final status issues and, thus, hurt the body’s legitimacy. Many other States with territorial disputes were affected by the present draft resolution. Setting a dangerous precedent, the text would chip away at the credibility of the United Nations, by having it bypass agreed negotiating processes in order to advance certain sides of various conflicts.

It is rich, coming from the Israeli representative, to say that the Palestinians were "hurting the credibility of the UN". Apart from the fact that the US and Israel have ensured that the Palestinians have virtually no voice in the world of international politics, and as such it is ridiculous to suggest that the Palestinians could ever damage UN credibility, last year, it was the US that last year decided to ignore the wishes of the UN and, at the behest of Israel, unilaterally invade Iraq. At the time, many commentators noted that this action had damaged the credibility of the UN and it's 7 member security council. So who really has done most to damage the credibility of the UN? Again we see that lies, half-truths and deception typify Israel's interaction on the world political stage.

As we commented yesterday, Israel and the Jewish lobby groups in the US and Europe are attempting to broaden the definition of anti-semitism to include any criticism of the actions of the state of Israel. We note that, if we use this expanded definition of "anti-semitism", the above UN resolution is indeed very "anti-semitic". Are we then to expect that Israel will now condemn all 140 UN representatives that approved the resolution as anti-semitic? We would not be surprised, for such is the irrationality of many Jewish "leaders".

It seems clear that Israel and the Jewish lobby groups are in fact determined to promote anti-semitism themselves. They go to great lengths to "prove" to us all that we hate Jews. They use any evidence of criticism of the polices of the Israeli government and its representatives in Washington to suggest that this belies an innate, rabid hatred of Jews. The truth however, is that ordinary Jewish people have nothing to fear from members of the non Jewish communities. They have, however, much to be concerned about in regard to their own government and the actions it takes in their name. It is becoming more and more obvious that the one thing that the Jewish "leaders" have to fear is the truth, and as such it too must be condemned as "anti-semitic".

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Rumsfeld Apology Fails to Calm Arab Anger

By Andrew Hammond
May 8, 2004

DUBAI (Reuters) - His apology was late and the damage done, said Arab and European commentators on Saturday, reacting to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"While he (Rumsfeld) has been in charge, murder, torture and humiliation were heaped on Iraqi detainees almost as a matter of course," the Saudi daily Arab News commented.

"Rumsfeld's apology came too late," said Jordanian analyst Hani Hourani.

"I believe Rumsfeld should resign because the torture reflected a widespread policy adopted by the U.S. army in Iraq and maybe Afghanistan as well," he added. [...]

The abuses by U.S. forces recalled the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime, said Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Salem al-Sabah. [...]

The Arab News dismissed Rumsfeld's review of the scandal.

"Rumsfeld's suggestion that an independent inquiry be set up into what happened is a waste of time, and Iraqis simply do not have time to waste," it said. [...]

Underscoring the intense emotions in the Arab world, Egypt's al-Wafd had a picture of a dead Iraqi child with the caption: "The new Mongols massacre the children of Iraq before the eyes of the world." [...]

A number of European newspapers said the scandal signaled the failure of Bush's Iraq policy and called for Rumsfeld to quit.

"If Rumsfeld takes responsibility for what happened in Iraqi prisons, as he declared yesterday in the Senate, his only possibility...is to resign," leading Spanish daily El Pais said.

"(Rumsfeld's) departure would be an admission of failure from which Bush would have trouble recovering," French left-wing daily Liberation said. "The torture was not the work of a handful of corrupt criminals...They were really the disciplined cogs of a system ignorant of the Geneva Convention."

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Is the Game Over? A Comic Apology

By M. SHAHID ALAM
May 7, 2004

"There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern."

George Bush, April 30, 2004

This happens rarely--very rarely. An apology from the President of the United States, not for personal lapses, but for the rare slippage in the workings of America's virtuous, divinely blessed, civilizing mission to the benighted world.

Most Americans truly believe--take this to be self-evident--that the United States is not only the world's greatest country, but it has always been the last great hope of earth, that Americans have always been willing, more than any other Western power, to take on the White Man's burden, to bring life, liberty and happiness to the rest of mankind. This is a testament to the power of American media: that it can claim to be the world's freest media and yet control--like no other 'free' media--what an overwhelming majority of Americans know and believe about their country. And what they know and believe is America the free, pure and virtuous.

Day after day, the mandarins and media in this country work tirelessly, cleverly, to project an image of an America that protects freedoms at home and abroad; an America that has time and again shed its blood to rid foreign lands of murderous tyrannies; an America that cares, that responds with alacrity to famines and calamities abroad; an American that contributes men, money and ideas to bring prosperity to the backward races; an America that has patiently served as an honest broker in the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.

As a result, year after year, most Americans are kept in the dark, unaware of the actual, the real America--the only kind seen by much of the rest of the world. This is the America that daily employs its might to mangle the lives of hundreds of millions, that pushes a globalization that devastates the economies of the Third World, that instructs and arms foreign tyrannies to terrorize their own people, that aids and abets an Israeli machine that is determined to extirpate the Palestinians. This America acts in the name of freedom, in any way that it sees fit and necessary, to keep the world safe for American capital. However, this dark side of America is nearly completely, nearly always, whitewashed by the myth-making powers of America's elites.

Occasionally, this myth-making machine will let slip a few snapshots of the real, the actual America. In fact, such slippages are functional; they serve to validate the trust of the duped and faithful in our 'free' media. Generally, these revelations appear long after the fact. They are also quickly explained away. Americans are told that this is for their own good: they serve higher American values. When they cannot be explained away, they are described as unavoidable lapses, human failings of a few. These lapses remind the faithful to be thankful that the system works well nearly all the time. No apology is tendered. None is demanded.

Yet the matter of the torture of Iraqi prisoners has quickly produced a storm of indignation from the mandarins and the media. It has led to calls for investigations, demands for the resignation of the Secretary of Defense, two television appearances by the President before Arab audiences, and, incredibly, even a feeble Presidential apology. In the words of Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary, "The President is sorry for what occurred and the pain it has caused."

I am assuming that the "pain" in question is the one inflicted by Americans on the Iraqis, as well as anyone who can feel the pain of the Iraqi victims. Or is the President talking of America's pain over the actual, the real America, now irrevocably, unforgettably, caught on camera? For the history books. For posterity.

In any case, that's quite decent for starters. Incredibly, the name of a sitting American President has been linked to the subject of Arab pain, a pain that has an acknowledged American provenance. It must be a first, for any American President--perhaps, any Western leader. We are speaking of the pain of the "natives"--inferior sand niggers, in this case--the pain of whose miserable lives could never earn our sympathy. We do not share in the pain of the natives.

Has the President undergone another conversion? If he has, and now, he, truly and sincerely, feels the pain inflicted by a few Americans on their Iraqi victims, will he follow up by acknowledging the Iraqis who were killed and maimed to advance the interests of Zionists and Oil Corporations? Will he also set up museums to commemorate the deaths of a million and a half Iraqi civilians killed in a previous American war that targeted their civilian infrastructure and followed it up with death-dealing sanctions? Is it just possible that at last the President will begin to recognize the Palestinians as humans, and atone for the pain that he and his predecessors have inflicted upon them for more than fifty years?

Apart from the faithful, no one believes that the President's apology is sincere. In fact, it looks comical--comical because it is based on false premises. We are behaving as if the sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners is the first outrage inflicted by the United States on the Muslims. It is unlikely that the Muslims have forgotten, or will soon forget, the hundred lacerations inflicted upon them by America's conjugal embrace of the Israeli Occupation, by its support for corrupt monarchies and dictatorships in the Islamicate world, by the genocidal first Gulf War, by the strangulating sanctions against Iraq that took the lives of three-quarters of a million Iraqi children, and by the routine demonization of Islam by preachers close to this White House. It is comical when a tormentor inflicts a hundred wounds on his victim and then starts apologizing for stepping on his toes.

The apology is comical because the United States has hitherto acted on the premise that the Arabs only respect a stout stick. This is the advice that the Zionists have regularly dished out to their American pupils. In part, this was the advice on which President Bush launched his invasion of Iraq. Topple Saddam, the Arab strongman, and all the Arabs will instantly acknowledge US-Israeli hegemony as the greatest gift to them since the descent of the Qur'an. So, isn't it a bit comical so soon after the invasion to come apologizing to the Arabs? Actually, it is worse than comical. It has to be stupid. It will surely be read by many Muslims--not least, those who are in the Islamist resistance--as a sign of weakness, an admission that America's belligerent approach isn't paying off, that the world's only super power is afraid of Arab outrage.

The President's apology is also targeted at domestic audiences. The pictures of American liberators sexually torturing Iraqis do not make the best commercials for America's high civilizing mission. They might just undermine America's faith in its civilizing mission, the principal ideological prop for its formidable military machine. Some quick action was necessary. Americans were assured that the cases of torture were local, not systemic, and their perpetrators are being punished. There was nothing to worry. America's civilizing mission could not be derailed by the actions of a few rogue elements. It must continue to march forward through the jungles, swamps and deserts of the Third World, bringing freedom, hope and prosperity to the inferior breeds who cannot yet manage their own affairs. The civilizing mission is the sacred trust of the White Man.

Still, we must ask, if there isn't an element of panic in the White House response to the scandal of Iraqi prison torture. The whole administration is apologizing, and doing so repeatedly, promptly and with little urging from anyone. The sight of the United States--swaggering, contemptuous of others, unilateralist--apologizing, somehow, makes an eerie sight. Does this suggest that after all the damned lies to cover for the war, after all the blustering as these lies were exposed, this Administration is finally losing its nerve, losing its cool? Could it be that they too know better than what they put out? Could it be that they too fear that the game they started in Iraq--at the cost of American and Iraqi lives--is over?

Comment: Is the game ever over in this reality? One administration commits certain crimes with the authority and agreement of the people, is perhaps evicted from office, and the next crew takes power. Repeat ad nauseam. Whatever happens with Bush, Rummy, Rice, and the rest of the crooked gang, one thing appears to be fairly certain: the "fun" ain't over yet...

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Wolfowitz (center) is escorted through Abu Garib prison last year by General Karpinski (left)

The US has created a new gulag

By Sidney Blumenthal
07/05/2004

WASHINGTON: It was "unacceptable" and "un-American", but was it torture? "My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture," said Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence on Tuesday.

"I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."

Comment: So Rummy is not sure if being sodomised with a fluorescent light bulb is torture. Perhaps if he experienced it himself he might be more sure? The international definition of Torture is:

"Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

It could not be any more clear then that the Iraqi prisoners were subjected to torture, but, in the same way that the other members of the US administration have their own unique definitions of "freedom", "democracy", "truth" and "lies", Rummy decides that he will use his own definition of "torture" also. Isn't that nice!

He confessed he had still not read the March 9 report by Major- General Antonio Taguba on "abuse" at the Abu Ghraib prison. Some highlights: "... pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape ... sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick..."

The same day that Mr Rumsfeld added his contribution to the history of Orwellian statements by high officials, the Senate armed services committee was briefed behind closed doors for the first time not only about Abu Ghraib, but about military and CIA prisons in Afghanistan.

It learned of the deaths of 25 prisoners and two murders in Iraq; that private contractors were at the centre of these lethal incidents; and that no one had been charged. The senators were given no details about the private contractors. They might as well have been fitted with hoods.

Many of them, Democratic and Republican, were infuriated that there was no accountability and no punishment and demanded a special investigation, but the Republican leadership quashed it. The senators want Mr Rumsfeld to testify in a public hearing, but he is resisting and the Republican leaders are blocking it.

The Bush administration was well aware of the Taguba report, but more concerned about its exposure than its contents. General Richard Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was dispatched on a mission to CBS news to tell it to suppress its story and the horrifying pictures.

Comment: On September 11, 2001 General Myers was in charge of NORAD. So apparently he is quite accomplished at supression. Not only supression of information but supression of standing orders that would have lead to US Airforce jets to to intercept the wayward airliners that crashed into the WTC.

For two weeks, CBS's 60 Minutes II show complied, until it became known that the New Yorker magazine would publish excerpts of the report. Myers was then sent on to the Sunday morning news programmes to explain, but under questioning acknowledged that he had still not read the report he had tried to censor from the public for weeks.

President Bush, Condoleezza Rice and other officials, unable to contain the controversy any longer, engaged in profuse apologies and scheduled appearances on Arab television. There were still no firings. One of their chief talking points was that the "abuse" was an aberration. But Abu Ghraib was a predictable consequence of the Bush administration imperatives and policies.

Mr Bush has created what is in effect a gulag. It stretches from prisons in Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantanamo to secret CIA prisons around the world. There are perhaps 10,000 people being held in Iraq, 1,000 in Afghanistan and almost 700 in Guantanamo, but no one knows the exact numbers. The law as it applies to them is whatever the executive deems necessary. There has been nothing like this system since the fall of the Soviet Union. The US military embraced the Geneva conventions after the second world war, because applying them to prisoners of war protects American soldiers. But the Bush administration, in an internal fight, trumped its argument by designating those at Guantanamo "enemy combatants". Mr Rumsfeld extended this system - "a legal black hole", according to Human Rights Watch - to Afghanistan and then Iraq, openly rejecting the conventions.

Private contractors, according to the Toguba report, gave orders to US soldiers to torture prisoners. Their presence in Iraq is a result of the Bush military strategy of invading with a relatively light force. The gap has been filled by private contractors, who are not subject to Iraqi law or the US military code of justice. Now, there are an estimated 20,000 of them on the ground in Iraq, a larger force than the British army.

It is not surprising that recent events in Iraq centre on these contractors: the four killed in Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib's interrogators. Under the Bush legal doctrine, we create a system beyond law to defend the rule of law against terrorism; we defend democracy by inhibiting democracy. Law is there to constrain "evildoers". Who doubts our love of freedom?

But the arrogance of virtuous certainty masks the egotism of power. It is the opposite of American pragmatism, which always understands that knowledge is contingent, tentative and imperfect.

This is a conflict in the American mind between two claims on democracy, one with a sense of paradox, limits and debate, the other purporting to be omniscient, even messianic, requiring no checks because of its purity, and contemptuous of accountability.

"This is the only one where they took pictures," Tom Malinowski, Washington advocate of Human Rights Watch, and a former staff member of the National Security Council, told me. "This was not considered a debatable topic until people had to stare at the pictures."

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Bush Apologizes for Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

FOX News

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Thursday apologized for the "humiliation" some Iraqi prisoners suffered at the hands of U.S. troops as he said that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is safe in his job.[..]

The president rejected calls from some Democratic members of Congress that he should fire Rumsfeld.[...]

Comment: Our sources have it that the President later admitted he could not fire Rumsfeld because"...he's got all the best AD&D campaigns...I mean Ravenloft, Forgortten Realms, plus I just can't keep more that one d20 for longer than a day"

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Abuse was aberration, soldiers say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Some soldiers who have returned from guarding enemy prisoners in Iraq describe detention camps there as hard, dirty places, beset by overcrowding and violent conditions, but say the vast majority of U.S. troops treated prisoners humanely.

Comment: According to a soldier interviewed by the signs team this is basically accurate. Our source who wishes to be called Shallow Esophagus, tells us in the beginning the prisons were mad houses until Dubya finally ponied up the dough for bars of soap on a rope and soldiers stopped playing Cher's hit single "Life after love" over, and over, and over. (Cause it's the funnest!)

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Pentagon Refused Lawyer As Prison Adviser

By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press Writer
Sat May 8, 2:14 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials rejected an Army plan last year to send an experienced military lawyer — who is also a Republican member of Congress — to help oversee the unit blamed for prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib complex outside Baghdad.

That left the prison complex, which holds up to 7,000 Iraqis, without an onsite lawyer to guide interrogations and treatment of prisoners. [...]

The rejected lawyer, Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., and other experts say having had a lawyer at the prison might have prevented or at least mitigated the beatings, sexual humiliation and other abuse detailed in photographs and the Army probe.

"It's always good to have a lawyer around so you've got a conscience for the command and an opportunity to vet questions," said retired Army Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, who commanded an armored brigade during the 1991 Gulf War. [...]

Comment: Somehow we doubt that throwing an American lawyer into the mix would have added any semblance of "conscience" to those involved in the torture at Abu Ghraib.

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Abuse in US-run prisons in Iraq amounted to 'torture': ICRC

Sat May 8, 4:02 AM ET

GENEVA (AFP) - The international Red Cross says the abuse it found in Iraq (news - web sites)'s US-run prisons was systematic and amounted to torture, adding that it first raised concerns with the United States more than a year ago.

At a quickly-arranged news conference, the International Committee of the Red Cross' director of operations, Pierre Kraehenbuehl, said US authorities had broken international laws and their transgressions had been documented in an ICRC report.

"The elements we found were tantamount to torture... There were clearly incidents of degrading and inhuman treatment," he told reporters.

"There are elements... which refer to actions that were contrary to international humanitarian law very clearly in that report," Kraehenbuehl said.

The document, which was submitted to the US government in February, summarized the findings of ICRC officials who visited coalition-run detention centres in Iraq between March 31 and October 24 last year to observe and conduct private interviews with prisoners.
sick or wounded combatants, prisoners of war, and civilians in wartime or under occupation. [...]

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UnAmerican? I Wish That It Were So

By RON JACOBS
May 7, 2004

Un-American? I can't help but smirk every time I see this quote from Mr. Rumsfeld describing the abuse and murder of Iraqi prisoners in US-run prisons throughout Iraq. While these photographs are certainly (as Bush says) "disgusting," they not only do more to represent the US military's standard operating procedure, they also pale when compared to other episodes in US history.

I'm not trying to be cynical or anti-American here when I take a look at history for other un-American activities by our armed forces and its intelligence cohorts. If one is to list just a few well-verified incidents of other murderous and abusive actions by US troops, it makes sense to begin with the decades long war on indigenous Americans-a war that was intended from the beginning to destroy the indigenous nations and their peoples.

1776: Six thousand US troops razed more than 20 Cherokee towns, "destroying crops, inflicting serious casualties on noncombatants and sweeping much of the population into Spanish Florida.

1864: U.S. territorial military commander Colonel John Chivington ordered the brutal murder of as many as 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at Sand Creek (Colorado). The Indians were told that they had been given sanctuary at Sand Creek. More than half of the victims were women and children.

1868: Lieutenant George Armstrong Custer's Seventh U.S. Cavalry attacked a noncombatant Cheyenne village camped along the Washita River in Oklahoma. This resulted in the murders of more than 100 Cheyenne, including women and children and the killing of 875 ponies.

1890/1899: The U.S. Seventh Cavalry massacred 350 unarmed Lakota - mainly women, children, and old men ­ at Wounded Knee creek in South Dakota.

Then, of course, there is the historical reality of chattel slavery in the United States. This holocaust not only enslaved millions of people stolen from their homelands in Africa, it also caused the deaths of untold millions during their transport in inhumane conditions across the Atlantic. In addition, thousands more died due to mistreatment and neglect by their white owners. On top of these deaths, there are untold massacres and individual murders of rebellious and "uppity" slaves by US troops and other militias.

After the Civil War, which was fought between slave-owning and non-slave-owning states over a variety of economic and cultural differences, with the question of slavery being one of those differences, the US economic system began to demand another type of expansion in order to grow and survive. This meant that US troops would soon be called into duty overseas, as the US began its empire-building phase. The first major stop on this journey would be Cuba and the Philippines.

1898-1905: The U.S. Army seized the Philippines from Spain, crushing a Filipino independence movement and killing as many as 600,000 natives of the newly US-acquired Philippine islands.

1915-1934: Haiti is occupied by the U.S. Marine Corps, which dissolves that country's National Assembly, restores virtual slavery, turns the economy over to U.S. corporations, and massacres an untold number of Haitian peasants.
Meanwhile, the US invaded and occupied various other southern neighbors, among them Nicaragua and the newly formed Panama. In the process, thousands of locals were uprooted from their homes, murdered and raped, and subjected to daily humiliation and poverty.

Korean War: U.S. soldiers machine-gunned hundreds of helpless civilians, under the railway bridge at No Gun Ri. At least 300 civilians were killed in this attack. Another 100 died in a preceding air attack. This incident was but one of many similar incidents in the murderous war on the Korean people-a war where over 2 million Koreans died, mostly as the result of US bombardment by a variety of weapons, the most notorious among them being napalm (a jellied gasoline that burns the skin off its victims). Those Korean prisoners who survived the US prison camps in Korea tell countless tales of torture and psychological abuse.

On March 16, 1968, Charlie Company, of the US Eleventh Light Infantry Brigade, was ordered into combat by Captain Ernest Medina. The 150 soldiers, led by Lt. William Calley, stormed into the hamlet, and murdered more than 500 civilians -- unarmed women, children, and old men. They had not encountered a single enemy soldier, and only three weapons were confiscated.

Just as was the case in Korea, this incident is but one of many similar incidents that occurred during America's war on Vietnam. This war finally ended in 1975 with a Vietnamese victory. However, it is estimated that over 2 million Vietnamese were killed during the course of the war; most of them killed by the US military and its counterintelligence counterparts. One of the most well-known and most heinous programs developed in Vietnam to destroy the Vietnamese insurgency was known as Operation Phoenix. This program involved the torture of prisoners, their murder, and the displacement of whole populations into internment camps. In addition, many civilians were also tortured and murdered in the hope that they would provide information about the insurgency.

1989: The United States launched an assault on Panama, ostensibly to rid the country of its leader, Manuel Noriega. Noriega's primary crime seems to have been refusing to go along with US plans for Nicaragua and El Salvador. These plans included the subversion of the anti-imperialist government of Nicaragua via the use of mercenary forces contracted by the CIA and the destruction of the popular insurgency in El Salvador against the US-sponsored government. These operations involved the use of procedures on insurgent forces that were developed in Vietnam: torture, murder, and economic subversion. After the assault on Panama is over, world news media concludes that over 2000 civilian residents of Panama City were murdered in the US attack. The US denies the carnage.

1991: US forces killed as many as 250,000 Iraqis, including large numbers of civilians during "Operation Dessert Storm." Iraqi conscripts were buried alive in the desert by US tank forces and US military planes and helicopters killed thousands of retreating military men after the war was declared over by the US in what became known as the "Highway of Death."

This litany is not all-inclusive, nor is it meant to be. My intention in relaying this list is to graphically illustrate one of the fundamental pillars of our lives in the United States. We are not where we are economically and culturally by the grace of any god, as some of our fellow residents pretend. No, we are here because of our military might and its license to abuse, torture, and kill. I wish that it weren't so, but it is.

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Achtung, Nazi!--One Year Later

by Douglas Herman
Strike the Root

One year after I wrote the controversial, much reprinted column Achtung! Are We the New Nazis?, how much has changed? Have things gotten better or worse in Iraq for "liberating" US troops and the so-called liberated Iraqi people? Sadly, the much-ballyhooed liberation has become the brutal occupation we critics always predicted it would become. But warhawks have now gone from cheerleaders of war to apologists for war criminals, and proponents of the difficult but necessary surgery in Iraq, of indefinite subjugation.

Ten days before the invasion, Bill O'Reilly penned The New Nazis, a concise Neocon memo for a preemptive strike against Iraq, concluding with an ironic twist: "Nobody can predict the outcome and aftermath of any war. But we can learn from history. Evil has a way of killing people"--affirmed the respected talk show host--"that's a fact." Doctor Joseph Goebbels--who predicted the power of radio for the spread of state propaganda--would have been proud of his rapt pupil.

The sadly predictable, American self-denial--that our war crimes do not really represent our core values--smacks of the same self-denial many German citizens expressed when US general General George S. Patton, Jr. forced reluctant civilians to tour Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. Before that time, the God-fearing Germans could almost convince themselves (as we've convinced ourselves), that their Christian ideals were intact--if only they could ignore the stench of death from the prison camp next door. Perhaps those God-fearing Germans really believed the slogan imprinted on the belt buckles worn by their rosy-cheeked, well-fed soldiers--"Gott Mit Uns" (God With Us)--justified any atrocity in a patriotic struggle against the barbarian hordes from the east, as their state-supported media proclaimed. After all, if you really believe God is with you, any atrocity--even imprisonment, torture and death--is justifiable.

American Special Forces veteran Stan Goff observed in an open letter to US troops in Iraq, "Abuses and violations of the Geneva Conventions and Laws of Warfare are already on record, such as: (1) Shooting people who are clearly not armed and who are engaged in no threatening behavior. (2) Shooting into ambulances. (3) Shooting wounded people who are not armed. (4) Shooting wounded people who are obviously no longer capable of fighting. (5) Shooting into crowds."

One year ago I wrote: "Presently, American military veterans—rank and file former soldiers, mostly--are speaking out against American Imperialism, as well as ministers, artists, reporters, scientists and educators. But the powerful alliance of media monopolies and corporate-financed political leaders sway public opinion to war. In America, as was the case in Nazi Germany, the imperceptible slide to tyranny increases in direct proportion to the number of voices of conscience that are ignored."

How many examples of cruel behavior do we need to read about in a year's time before we see the connection? Reporter Dahr Jamail interviewed many victims of systemic abuse, and the unmistakable signs of torture have a disturbing, Gestapo feel. What difference does it make if we call ourselves a Christian nation if we condone the jackboot smashing down of the doors of frightened citizens in the middle of the night, if we justify the beatings and intimidations, if we accept family members handcuffed, hooded and hurried away to a prison camp and held in conditions unfit for stray dogs? If we do not protest, we are accomplices. If those are not Gestapo tactics--and surely they are--perhaps they are closer to those methods used by the KGB, whose chilling motto--"WE never make mistakes"--were revealed in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's indictment of Soviet slave-labor camps. [...]

One year ago I wrote: "Are we the New Nazis? Could it happen here? Has it already begun? . . . . God is on our side, but which one? The vengeful God, the one guiding our radioactive armor-sheathed battle tanks as they slice through families of frightened civilians? Or the merciful one, providing protection to those same civilians? Is ours the God of the Gospels and Torah--or the horrible, hydra-like god of cluster bombs? Do our coins--comparable to the Nazi belt buckles-- really carry the motto, “In God We Trust"? [...]

The imperial war eagle symbolized ancient Rome, Nazi Germany and now--conveniently--the US. One empire rose to power as a republic before slowly eroding into tyranny. The other empire--The Thousand Year Reich--began and ended as a tyranny. America might now be somewhere at the crucial divide, between right and might, between former greatness and outright fascism, where another few years reveals all. The Waffen SS may be closer to our future than we know. [...]

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And in the "You can fool some of the people all of the time..." department, we have the latest poll in the US on the war:

Poll: Americans split on worthiness of war: Majority of respondents say Iraq is going badly

Friday, May 7, 2004 Posted: 10:28 AM EDT (1428 GMT)

(CNN) -- A Gallup Poll released Friday shows Americans almost evenly split on the question of whether it was worth going to war in Iraq, with a majority feeling the situation there is going badly.

The survey of 1,000 adults was taken Sunday through Tuesday, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

When asked if it was worth going to war in Iraq, 50 percent said it was, while 47 percent said it was not, the survey found.

Public opinion was consistent over the month of April, when 137 U.S. forces were killed -- the deadliest month since the U.S. invasion last year -- wavering within a few percentage points over three polls.

With the recent surge in Iraqi resistance, the U.S. public's assessment of how the war is going has slumped.

Since early March, the percentage of Americans who think the war in Iraq is going "moderately badly" or "very badly" has increased from 43 percent to 62 percent in the latest poll.

Over the same period, those feeling the war is going "very well" or "moderately well" has slipped from 55 percent to 47 percent.

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Meanwhile, the 9/11 cover-up continues:

Poor Judgment Cited in Destruction of 9/11 FAA Tape

Thu May 6,11:57 PM ET
By John Crawley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Air controllers who communicated with or tracked hijacked jets on Sept. 11, 2001, taped their recollections later that day but the recording was destroyed without anyone ever listening to it, a U.S. investigator said on Thursday.

Comment: "Poor judgment". Right.

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Bush pauses to comfort teen

'This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11'

Lynn Faulkner, his daughter, Ashley, and their neighbor, Linda Prince, eagerly waited to shake the president's hand Tuesday at the Golden Lamb Inn. He worked the line at a steady campaign pace, smiling, nodding and signing autographs until Prince spoke: "This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11."

Bush stopped and turned back. "He changed from being the leader of the free world to being a father, a husband and a man," Faulkner said. "He looked right at her and said, 'How are you doing?' He reached out with his hand and pulled her into his chest."

Comment: Considering everything, we have no words and will let the sick bag speak for us on this one.

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911 - What Remains Must Be The Truth

By Paul Balles*
5-4-4

"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains--however improbable--must be the truth." --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Not long after September 11, 2001, a story surfaced on the Internet accusing the Israelis of taking part in a conspiracy that resulted in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The origin of the story was attributed to Jordan's Al Watan newspaper; and it was reported that Pakistani publications followed by Islamic clerics in the Middle East and Central Asia spread the story.

Another tragedy was born and reared out of those reports. A number of anti- Semitic bigots hopped on the bandwagon of that ill-considered, wild conjecture and misused it to feed their rant against Jews.

As might be expected, a number of people stormed onto the Internet to debunk the Israel conspiracy theories. That effectively put an end to questioning the official story of a plot generated by Osama bin Laden and executed by his Al- Qaeda operatives. No one dared ask the most important question: Who stood to benefit from the catastrophe that killed thousands on September 11, 2001?

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Marines on the streets of US cities

Arriving in waves over the past few days, the last of 1,700 members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Camp LeJune, N.C., washed into Camp Dawson last night. The MEU is a special operations unit made up of 2,200 soldiers that perform classified, covert missions for the U.S. government.
The 24th MEU is one of only three in the world. For about the next three weeks, the Marines will flood abandoned buildings in downtown Morgantown, downtown Fairmont and surrounding areas to simulate urban combat situations they could encounter on deployment.

When they hit the streets, the Marines will be wearing full combat gear and hopping in and out of helicopters as part of their exercises. Morgantown residents will also hear gunshots -- most of which will be blanks. Any live ammunition will be fired very sparingly into a bullet trap that will catch the shell and prevent it from exploding and causing any possible injuries, according to MEU C apt. David Nevers.

Comment: It appears that the process of acclimitising the US public to the idea of Martial law is moving along nicely. Won't be long now!

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Jail for man who left bag in airport

A plumber who left an unattended bag containing a teddy bear, some fruit and clothes in an airport lounge was jailed yesterday for causing a full-scale security alert. Magistrates sentenced Jose da Silva, 25, to 10 days under public nuisance laws.

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The Boom in Bomb Detection

Get ready to be scanned, sniffed and zapped

Our visitor parks the car and walks through the building's doors, oblivious to the sudden blast of air that propels molecules from his clothes and skin to an overhead array of tiny electronic sniffers that can identify trace amounts of explosives from even a tiny bomb concealed on his person.

Ahead are the x-ray machine and metal detectors that have become fixtures at airports and other key facilities. His briefcase is scanned, and, accustomed to the high rate of false positives, he waits for its inevitable opening. But this x-ray machine has been augmented with x-ray diffraction technology that increases the machine's accuracy. The briefcase thus moves on through, untouched by human hands. That's not the end of the line, however. Our visitor subsequently passes through a portal that employs a technology called quadruple resonance (QR). The QR device transmits low-intensity radio waves that momentarily disturb the nuclei of various materials carried in his pockets. As the nuclei right themselves, they emit a radio signal of their own--call it an echo. That echo is picked up by a receiver, and its signature is instantly compared against a database for explosives. Cleared, our visitor continues to his appointment after being delayed only a few minutes by the security check.

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Likely 'Dirty Bomb' Material Seized in Ukraine

FOX News

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian security forces seized nearly 375 pounds of a radioactive material seen as a likely ingredient for a "dirty bomb", authorities said Thursday.

Comment: Apparently the material was found within several tupperware containers in the back of Al Roker's fridge. Police also found several copies of a book draft: Big Bad Bombs.

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UN-sanctioned multinational force to be sent to Iraq after June 30: Annan

A UN-sanctioned multinational security force will help maintain security in Iraq after the US military hands limited sovereignty back to the country, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Sunday. The (UN Security) Council will probably authorize a multinational force to remain in Iraq to help create a secure environment, Annan said. I think it will be part of the new resolution that the Council will be discussing and approving that will cover the period after the 30th of June, Annan said

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UN Tries to Censor Book Exposing Wild Sex and Drug Parties

U.N. officials, including General Secretary Kofi Annan, are so afraid of a new book detailing stories of U.N. sex scandals and drug parties, they have threatened the authors with termination if the book ever gets published.

Already, the book, "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Matters" (Miramax Books) by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson -- two current and one former employee of the U.N.'s peacekeeping operations -- has provoked a storm of controversy inside the world body. Now two of the authors could be out of job if U.N. censors have their way.

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Priest in Boston sex abuse scandal is defrocked

Shanley is awaiting trial on charges he raped four boys in the 1980s

Paul Shanley, the priest who was a key figure in the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, has been defrocked, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.

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Former B.C. judge admits to beating, sexually abusing teens

A former B.C. court judge has stunned friends and colleagues by confessing he is guilty of sexually assaulting teenage girls, including one count of causing bodily harm. In a courtroom in Prince George on Monday morning, David William Ramsay pleaded guilty to a total of five charges.

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Child rape trial opens in France

Seventeen people have gone on trial in northern France on charges of gang raping 18 children, aged three to 12, over a period of five years. The six women and 11 men have also been charged with "rape with torture" and "rape with barbaric acts".

Some of their own children were named as victims. The alleged incidents, which have shocked France, happened in Outreau, near the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer

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Police doctor accused of drugging and raping children

A POLICE doctor drugged, raped and indecently assaulted three young girls while filming the attacks as his victims lay helpless, a court heard yesterday. Forensic medical examiner Dr Robert Wells, 52, was able to assault the youngsters aged five to 11 after he befriended their parents, Winchester Crown Court heard. He then drugged the children before either raping them or assaulting them while a camera recorded his actions.

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Man Held in Drive-By Md. School Shootings

By SARAH BRUMFIELD, Associated Press Writer
May 8, 2004

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. - Authorities are questioning a man about a drive-by shooting that wounded four teens leaving a charity basketball game at their high school.

Marcus McClain, William Thomas and Alexander Brown suffered non-life-threatening injuries, while Andre Mellerson was in surgery, Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan said.

The motivation for the attack, which occurred in the parking lot, was not immediately known, but Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. told WBAL-TV that it was a "street crime that happened on school grounds." [...]

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India election campaign ends in acrimony

Saturday 08 May 2004, 18:09 Makka Time, 15:09 GMT

India's mammoth election campaign has ended with both main parties trading insults as exit and opinion polls showed a close race to the finish line.

Much is at stake in a campaign that began with the ruling party of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, buoyed by a booming economy, confident of victory but now finding the main opposition Congress party doing better than expected.

[...] The campaign, which ended on Saturday has become nastier as the race has narrowed, leaving investors nervous about the poll's outcome.

Comment: This line about investors being nervous is an insult to democracy -- if such a thing exists. Shouldn't we be concerned about those voting and being governed? No. We are told that "investors are nervous." During the Russian elections, "investors were nervous," during every election, veiled and not-so-veiled threats are made about scaring investors, always to the detriment of those who live in the country itself. The law of the dollar, of capital, to rape and pillage and exploit.

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Maya culture 'ahead of its time'

[...] After several seasons of digging, the researchers believe Cival was one of the largest Maya cities of the time. In its prime - between 150 BC and AD 100 - it had a buzzing population of around 10,000. But it was not just the city's size that made it remarkable.

As the archaeologists learn more about life in the city of Cival, they are finding it does not sit comfortably with existing notions of Mayan civilisation.

Strictly speaking, Cival flourished in the pre-classic period, which stretches from 2000 BC to AD 240. But it was more advanced than pre-classic societies were thought to be.

Comment: This story is an illustration of the fact that they really know very little about what happened long ago, in spite of their self-assured airs. Remember, everything is open to question. The history of this planet bears little resemblance to that learned in school.

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Scientists want to clone a human embryo in Britain

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NASA Funds Sci-Fi Technology

By Noah Shachtman
May 07 2004

For 25 years, Ross Hoffman has had a vision: to use tiny changes in the environment to alter the paths of hurricanes, slow down snow storms and turn dark days bright.

For most of those years, Hoffman kept his ideas largely to himself. His adviser at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told him weather control was too outlandish for his Ph.D. thesis. The chances of a buttoned-down foundation or government agency funding such research were so slim, Hoffman didn't even bother to ask.

Today's the Day. But, in 2001, all that changed. Hoffman stumbled upon a tiny, obscure cranny of the American space program -- the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, or NIAC. In this $4 million-a-year agency, Hoffman found a place where the wildest of ideas were not only tolerated, they were welcome.

Shape-shifting space suits? Step right up. Antimatter-powered probes to Alpha Centauri? No problem. Robotic armada to destroy incoming asteroids? Pal, just sign on the dotted line. Weather control seemed downright down to earth in comparison.

Hoffman is now wrapping up his half-million-dollar study for NIAC. But the agency is continuing to bankroll concepts for a future decades away. [...]

NAIC isn't the only arm of the space agency engaged in projects that border on the fantastic. The Marshall Space Flight Center, for example, is looking at propelling spaceships with electrodynamic tethers (PDF). But Marshall can be pretty darn practical, compared to the NAIC folks.

Marshall research asks, "How long can I store antimatter?" said Gerry Jackson, president of Hbar Technologies in West Chicago, Illinois. NIAC studies wonder, "How do I integrate it into spacecraft? How does this affect mission priorities? And how many kilograms can I get to Alpha Centauri in a certain number of years?"

Jackson said Marshall scientists are trapping antimatter a fraction of a billionth of a gram at a time. By his NIAC-funded calculations, a trip to Alpha Centauri will require 17 grams. He figures it would take 20 or 30 years to ramp up to harvesting tens of milligrams per year. And after that, it will only be another decade or so until there's enough antimatter for an Alpha Centauri trip.

So we had better start planning now.

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Earthquake hits Taiwan, no casualties

Taipei, May 8 :An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale jolted Taiwan on Saturday, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

The tremor hit at 4:17 am with an epicentre 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Chiahsien in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung County and 6.9 kilometers underground, according to the Seismology Centre.

Taiwan, lying near the junction of two tectonic plates, is prone to earthquakes.

A quake with a magnitude of 5.8 shook Taiwan last Saturday, killing two Taiwanese and a Canadian tourist.

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Light earthquake in Kuch

New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) A light intensity earthquake was felt in kuch area of Gujrat at 0423 hrs today. No loss of life or property has been reported so far.

According to the meterological department of India magnitude of the tremer was recorded at 3.3. The state of Gujrat suffered a major earthquake in January 2001 where thousands of people were killed and sevral high rise building were razed to the ground.

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Quake flattens four schools in southern Iran; no deaths reported

Saturday,May8,2004,11:40 AM

Tehran, Iran-AP -- In Iran, four schools that were badly damaged in an earthquake last month have now been destroyed in another earthquake.

So far no word of casualties from the magnitude four-point-eight quake, which jolted a southern town about 500 miles south of the Iranian capital.

The schools were empty because of the damage they sustained in an earthquake in April. Six other schools also were damaged today.

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Doctors 'cause radiation burns'

By Bethany Bell
BBC correspondent in Vienna

Experts at the UN's nuclear agency have warned that patients worldwide are suffering from radiation burns because doctors have not been properly trained.

[...] Experts say heart patients are at risk during procedures such as angioplasty, in which a tube is passed through blood vessels to open blocked arteries.

This procedure and others like it require constant X-ray monitoring.

That results in radiation exposure that is around 1,000 times more than a standard chest X-ray.

Lewis Wagner, professor of radiological physics at the University of Texas, says most cardiologists have no idea the procedures they perform can cause severe and extremely painful radiation injuries.

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