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Monday, August 23, 2004
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Israel, Palestine and the 'Final Conflict'
A number of readers have written to us privately to make it clear that, in their opinion, we "give too much emphasis" to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and that this belies a bias or prejudice on our part. Most readers will be aware that we do indeed devote a significant amount of our time and energies to reporting on and investigating the "Middle East conflict" as it is known in common, modern parlance. We do not feel however that our efforts in this regard are misguided or a sign of prejudice, and there is a rather simple and self evident reason for this, and one which might become clear to our aforementioned readers if they were prepared to utilise a little critical thinking.
Firstly, consider the following recent story.
NABLUS, West Bank - Israeli soldiers on Tuesday shot and killed a 9-year-old Palestinian boy in Nablus as he sat on the front steps of his home eating a sandwich, relatives said.
The troops were enforcing a curfew when they drove by 9-year-old Khaled Usta's home, the boy's aunt, Ferial Usta said. Youths threw stones at the troops, but the group fled when the soldiers got out of the jeep and pointed their guns at a fence just behind the boys, she said.
Khaled was sitting just behind the fence eating a sandwich when one of the soldiers fired his rifle, the aunt said.
"I saw the soldier fire and the boy fell, and immediately I went downstairs. All the neighbors heard the gunshot and ... ran down also," she said.
A military official said soldiers fired at Palestinians throwing concrete blocks, stones and a firebomb in three separate incidents, but was not aware that anyone was killed. The army said it was operating in Nablus to hunt down militants and find their weapons stashes.
Jarir Kanadilo, a Palestinian ambulance driver, said the boy was shot in the chest.
Sitting alone, on the steps of his home, eating a sandwich - 9 years old - a real threat to Israeli security for sure. Now, our previously mentioned readers may state that - yes, this is a terrible crime and those responsible should be exposed and brought to justice, but, such state sponsored murder of innocent men, women and children takes place in many parts of the world and on a daily basis. While the situation in Palestine is lamentable, is it worthy of any more emphasis than, say the plight of dissenting civilians in China, or North Korea, the dissappearing children of Mexico city or any group of people suffering at the hands of the psychopaths that seem to rise to the top of global society?
We think so. But not as a result of any value judgement on the suffering of one human being over that of another, but rather because of the historical significance of current "Middle East conflict" and the extermely powerful players involved.
As with most attempts to understand the events that transpire here on the BBM, the full implications and meaning of the current situation in Palestine and Israel, and how it might relate, in a very direct way, to each and every one of us, cannot be understood by way of a cursory look at any one particular event - a deeper and broader analysis of the situation is required.
Let's start then with the, by now ubiquitous, slur of "anti-semitism".
It is with some sadness that we observe such events as the mindless blaming of innocent people for the errors of their representatives - true anti-semitism which ought to be clearly understood as different from criticism of Israel and its policies. What is even more saddening is that this general anti-semitism seems to be exactly what the elite rulers of Israel want to propagate as has been clearly stated by Ariel Sharon: "Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don't care." - Ariel Sharon in a 1982 interview with Amos Oz.
The anti-semitism of today is really not that much different from the anti-semitism of yesterday. Historically, anti-semitism has manifested when sections of the Jewish elite chose to promote a politics based on faith, hope, hatred and sentimental collective self-regard for their own race and nation. Naturally, such an attitude only generates a corresponding reaction from the "others" who are defined as "other" by virtue of being outside the "circle of specialness."
Consider the following:
This is, of course, pure Machiavelli.
Okay, you say, let's stop squabbling and all work together.
But, there is another problem here that Machiavelli pointed out: Machiavelli saw religion and its teachings of faith, hope, charity, love, humility and patience under suffering as factors that render men weak and cause them to care less about worldly and political things, and thus they will turn political power over to wicked men who are not influenced by such ideals.
There is a deep truth here that applies to us all at many levels. Clearly, somebody realized this early on and our "standard religions" are the result of this drive to render us not only powerless, but blind and apathetic to real threats, and ever on the march against chimerical threats that have no basis in reality.
Another of Machiavelli's ideas is that a religion is good only if it supports the state or a "hierarchy" and contributes to hierarchical ends. By using religion, one can give "divine sanction" to instructions which people would otherwise have no reason to obey. Therefore, we can see that any form of "hierarchy" is rooted in control of others.
Still another concept defined by Machiavelli is: The leader must APPEAR to be religious, even though he does not believe in nor practice religion. Machiavelli writes:
Another precept of a successful domination of humanity is:
Power and authority can be most easily obtained where people obey because they believe that obedience is morally appropriate. Machiavelli taught that authority is preferable to coercion because coercion is a terribly inefficient method to compel obedience. It requires enormous resources to "hold a gun" against the heads of the masses. In the end, raw power is inadequate in holding a whole population in line by the use of force.
Therefore, an astute prince would harness the power of emotions and manage the passions rather than guide men through reason. The prince must make use of the human passions of love, hate, fear, desire for glory and power, and even boredom.
Think about all of this for a moment.
What system is in place today that fits all of the above criteria for domination and control? Take your time. Think carefully and objectively. No rush here!
If you consider the problem carefully, you will notice that there is a singular problem that emerges as being the turning point on which all of the ideas that presently dominate our world view revolve: Monotheism - the "Dominator mode" of the "One God," over and against all other "gods," who establishes a "covenant" with his people, whether they enter into this covenant by being circumcised or baptized, or just "born again in their hearts."
How did this come to be?
William Bramley writes:
The idea of monotheism being a limitation didn't make a huge impact on me at the time, but it was waiting in the back of my mind to leap out into awareness when, a couple of years later, I read the following written by Regina Schwartz, a principle investigator at the Park Ridge Center, and Director of the Chicago Institute of Religion, Ethics, and Violence, in her book The Curse of Cain:
What is it that generally makes others "other?"
Their worship of "foreign gods." Their allegiance. Their free will to do or be something else!
What was it that this Yahweh/Jehovah wanted to get clear from the very beginning with his "chosen people?"
That exclusion of worship of any other god at all was the fundamental and primary basis on which the covenant was based. Curiously, this was expressed in terms that made it equivalent to sexual infidelity!
"I am a jealous God, you will have none but me!"
Of course, this was immediately translated to the ownership of women and their demotion to mere chattel, but that is another issue.
What is important here is that the Others against whom Israel's identity is forged are abhorrent in the extreme, and vast numbers of them are obliterated, while in the "New Covenant" of Christianity, they are offered the choice of being obliterated or converted!
"Kill them All, God will know his own."
Now, what is the foundation of the "covenant" that Yahweh/Jehovah made with Israel?
Well, the rules of a covenant, including the one between the Jews and their god, are pretty explicit in ancient Mideastern archaeology. Foremost among these rules is the demand for the vassal's complete loyalty to the overlord. Then, there are the "blessings and curses." The overlord promises blessings in return for the vassal's loyalty, and threatens complete annihilation should the vassal fail to fulfill the stipulations.
Again, this doesn't sound like a Free Will choice; it sounds like an ultimatum!
In order to understand what is happening in present day Israel - and its supporter, America - we think that a short survey of World War II may be helpful.
History tells us that the story of Nazi Germany was a tale of the progressive, and almost total, moral collapse of an advanced industrial society at the heart of Europe, many of whose citizens abandoned the burden of thinking for themselves in favor of what George Orwell described as the tom-tom beat of a latterday tribalism. They put their faith in evil men promising a great leap into a heroic future, with violent solutions to Germany's local, and modern society's general, problems. The consequences for Germany, Europe and the rest of the world, were catastrophic. Certainly the Poles (and other slavic groups), and others were subjected to a deliberate campaign to excise and expunge each and every one of them, while the Jews were subjected to a campaign to destroy every one of them that would not emigrate to Israel.
At the end of World War II, almost one-third of the world was uninhabitable and sixty-five million human beings were dead, ten percent of whom were Jews. Germany suffered a massive and total defeat as the price it paid for mass stupidity and overweening ambition for land and power. This price was paid by its citizens whether they directly participated in the war or were simply morally indifferent to what was going on.
What should frighten all of us now as we realize the repeat of this historical pattern is this: in a wider sense, many other people on the planet were subjected to the compromises, indignities and terrors of occupation, forced labor and mass murder. Additionally, the human, cultural and productive resources of almost the entire planet were devoted to creating and maintaining a vast machinery of death and destruction.
What is ironic about the whole World War II affair is that the West viewed it as a clear and straightforward battle between good and evil, in which good "won." Yet the victory of 1944-45 did not bring deliverance from tyranny to the Balts, Chechens, Crimean Tatars, Croats, Poles or Ukrainians, but rather several decades of imperialist oppression and continuing genocide.
The history of Nazi Germany, which we are seeing recycled in America and Zionist Israel, is a history of the long-term and subtle moral breakdown and transformation of an adcvanced industrial society. Encouraged by irresponsible and self-interested elitists, the masses of people are being manipulated to become an "evil rabble" that acts in all ways against charity, reason and skepticism, led on by Ariel Sharon and George Bush whose miserable existence and rage against the world produces one of the most farcical and, at the same time, terrifying figures of modern history.
Modern histories of Nazi Germany describe Nazism as a sort of political religion. Nazism produced a "state church" with its own intolerant dogma, preachers, sacred rites and lofty ideas that offered total explanations of the past, present and future, while demanding unwavering dedication from its adherents. Acquiescence was not enough; such regimes demanded constant affirmation and enthusiasm from their own populations.
In the present day, Zionism and American fundamentalism both reflect the belief that Preovidence has sanctified a specific social order through which alone righteousness can be established on earth. Anyone who opposes this belief is not only in error, but part of a demonic conspiracy, a conviction whose origins go back, ironically, to the earliest conflicts between Judaism and Christinaity. Opponents are not merely misguided - a condition that can be changed by conversion - but fit only for extinction for the simple fact of their existence.
What should be of interest to all is the fact that Political religions such as Nazism, Zionism and American fundamentalism inevitably destroy values that have served humanity well for thousands of years, and these periods during which those values of human empathy are trampled in the dirt are uniformly disastrous for everyone. Such regimes produce nothing of any lasting moment. Their leaders embody the negation of everything worthwhile about being human; their followers demean and shame themselves in the less than edifying histories that are written about them after they self-destruct on the bonfire of their vanities.
Just as Nazism did, Zionism offers redemption from a national ontological crisis. It offers a simple diagnosis of what is really wrong with the world: anti-semitism, without even realizing that this is just the other side of the coin of Nazism who offered a similar "simple diagnosis" of what was wrong with the world: Jews. In both cases, all people have to do is make a simple leap of faith in the proposed diagnosis to solve every problem.
Zionism, and Nazism have another similarity that should give us pause to think: Zionism, is suffused in apocalyptic imaginings and beliefs which are self-consciously biblical and primitive. Although Zionism claims to speak the language of applied reason and is capable of sophistication and calculation, it has one foot firmly planted in the dark and irrational world of three thousand year old myths and legends where the sacrifice of one's own son to a jealous god was regarded positively and where the stakes were all or nothing: national and racial redemption or perdition. The subtle difference between Zionism, Nazism and American fundamentalism is this: Christianity regards present sacrifices as the price worth paying for deferred bliss. There is no "deferred spiritual bliss" for Zionists: they seek a worldly kingdom of power and domination exactly as the Nazis did.
The history of the Third Reich reminds us what can happen when desperate people turn to the politics of faith but whose imaginative world is a loathsome travesty of the mythic world of the Old Testament and its Fascist theology. The Zionist ideology blends modern scientific rationality with a strange brand of "weeding" that seeks to deny that Jews should be persecuted for being "different," all the while making that difference a point of doctrine that separates Jews from the "other" and seeks to scare them into returning to Israel where they - being different, special, and "chosen" - belong. This practice involves astonishing cruelty toward those who are "undermining the Jewish race" or allegedly conspiring to bring about its destruction. While all this is going on, many Jews are drifting in a narcissistic ethno-sentimentality, enjoying an improvement in their standard of living and dreams of national greatness. Food on the table, constant work on the kibbutz, an employment package, the all-pervasive fear of "others" all serve to reduce the Jew's interest in their fellow human beings. Certainly, many people - including Jews - are protesting the policies of Zionist Israel, but are not seeing the enormity of the whole situation, an insight that seems to be granted to only a few people. This was the case in Nazi Germany as well.
Adolf Hitler played on the misfortunes of the German people in order to create the Nazi war machine. His quest for "lebensraum" for his tribe of superior aryans at the expense of cattle like Slavs is the same as the drive for the "lebensraum" of the land of Israel is for the Zionists. We see the same drama playing out in the Middle East that once held center stage in Europe. Violent ethnic cleansing began in Poland after the blitzkrieg. To call these actions "war crimes" is a bit misleading: psychopathic murder is more accurate. Polish intelligentsia and leaders were systematically slain and the masses (both Christian and Jews) were expelled from territories annexed to Germany. These policies were repeated in Soviet controlled Eastern Poland. Racial warfare against the Slavs reached an astonishing level of ferocity in these regions, becoming a gigantic program of extermination that stretched across the entire sphere of German influence.
Eric Margolis wrote in the Toronto Sun, November 16, 2003:
To the Jewish leaders however, the above tragedy is insignificant compared to the Jewish suffering. Furthermore, there is much historical evidence to suggest that Zionists played a major role not only in facilitating the Jewish holocaust but also the rise of Communism and the resulting deaths of millions of Jews and non-Jews alike. It is clear that the Zionists leaders NEED the holocaust, it is also clear that they need anti-Semitism, it is an integral part of Israel's "raison d'etre" and the key to the "specialness" that Jewish leaders seem determined to foist upon the unsuspecting rank and file Jews.
"Jews are special, their specialness proven by the fact that the world hates them", this is the psychopathic logic used. It is for this reason that today we see Sharon and his "advisors" vocally branding all of Europe "anti-Semitic". Their goal, it would seem, is to never let the memory of Jewish suffering die, not as it is claimed, to prevent a repeat of the Jewish holocaust, but to actually precipitate one, in order that the fanatical, eschatological dogma contained within the Jewish religious texts be realised. Our chief concern is for the Jewish people, to expose the psychological stranglehold that their "leaders" hold them in and to prevent the fulfillment of the Zionists' megalomaniacal goals.
Naturally, we would like nothing better than to have history prove us wrong about our analysis of the present "Middle East conflict". Unfortunately, it seems that current events and, most importantly, history and its tendency to repeat itself, suggests that we are not mistaken. Something very negative indeed is being prepared for the "holy land" and the Middle East region in general. In the very near future we may all be witness to the unfolding of events that will have knock effects of a global scale, and all of the horror of the events of the Second World War will prove, in comparison, to have been but a 'trial run'.
THE scientist whose pioneering research into human embryonic stem cells paved the way for the creation of Dolly the cloned sheep has been found hanged in his holiday home.
The body of Professor John Clark was discovered on Thursday in the village of Cove, near Eyemouth on the Berwickshire coast.
The 53-year-old professor was the director of the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, one of the world’s leading animal biotechnology research centres.
Prof Clark played a major role in the creation of Dolly - the transgenic sheep that marked a breakthrough in generating human therapeutic proteins in milk. He is believed to have been suffering from depression for some time.
His wife is being comforted by relatives at the family home in Edinburgh.
A source said: "The professor had been under stress for some time and on Thursday morning he apparently left the house as normal to go to work. The alarm was raised when he didn’t appear and his family asked someone to check the house in Eyemouth. Tragically, Prof Clark was found dead inside."
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police added: "There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the procurator-fiscal."
The funeral is expected to be held this weekend in Edinburgh.
Prof Clark had been a head of department at Roslin since 1993 and became director in August last year.
He also founded three spin-out firms from Roslin - PPL Therapeutics, Rosgen and Roslin BioMed.
Comment: One more in a long list of scientists, most of whom were involved in some way with human genome research and who, in the prime of their lives and careers, inexplicably decide that they have had enough and need to commit suicide.
Note in the above the comment that Dr. Clark was suffering from "depression" for some time, which subtly implies that it was this depression that caused his death. In such a case, one might expect that the news did not come as a real shock to his family, yet another story reports that he was simply"stressed" and that the new did indeed come as a "huge shock" to his wife and family.
Head of clone institute hanged in holiday home
By Jane Hamilton
THE head of the science lab which created Dolly the cloned sheep has been found hanged in his remote holiday cottage.
The body of Professor John Clark was discovered on Thursday in the village of Cove, near Eyemouth on the Berwickshire coast.
The director of the famous Roslin Institute in Midlothian, he was believed to have been suffering from depression for some time.
The 53-year-old professor, who played a major role in Dolly's creation, had only recently returned to work.
Last night, his wife Helen was being comforted by relatives at the family home in Edinburgh.
She said: 'We are trying to deal with telling family and friends at the moment but it's been a huge shock.'
A source said: 'The professor has been under stress for some time and on Thursday morning he apparently left the house as normal to go to work.
'The alarm was raised when he didn't appear and his family asked someone to check the house in Eyemouth. Tragically, Professor Clark was found dead inside.' The professor's funeral is expected to be held next weekend in Edinburgh.
He was one of the inventors of the technique which allowed scientists to create the world's first cloned animal.
He joined Roslin in 1985 and helped set up their human embryonic stem cells programme.
His pioneering techniques led to the creation of Dolly by Professor Ian Wilmut.
Professor Clark, who became director in August last year, also helped found spin-off firms PPL Therapeutics, Rosgen and Roslin BioMed.
PPL was forced into voluntary liquidation last year after its valueDOLLY fell from £500million to £5million. Last night, a police spokesman said: 'There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.'
No one was available at the Roslin Institute for comment.
Comment: So what kind of work was Dr Clark involved in?
head for Roslin
By Pat Hagan
LONDON — The Edinburgh-based Roslin Institute behind the cloning of Dolly the sheep is to be headed by one of the scientists who pioneered the development of transgenic animals.
Professor John Clark, who has been head of department at the institute since 1993, will take up his position as director of one of the world's leading animal biotechnology research centre next August. He succeeds Professor Grahame Bulfield, who has already left the institute to become vice-principal of the University of Edinburgh.
According to a the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the bioscience funding body which made the appointment, Clark — who has worked at the Roslin Institute since the mid-1980s — is an "excellent appointment".
BBSRC chief executive Julia Goodfellow commented: "His research on the development of transgenic animals for the production of pharmaceutical proteins in milk has helped establish the Roslin Institute as a world-leading centre for research in animal biotechnology. Under his direction, the institute will continue to flourish — building upon the many successes of his predecessor."
Clark studied natural sciences at Christ's College, Cambridge, before gaining an MSc at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and a PhD in genetics at the University of Edinburgh. In 1997, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire — an honour bestowed by The Queen — for services to the biotechnology industry.
But what are the major challenges facing Professor Clark as he moves away from the "coal face" of science to a more public role as director of the institute? According to Harry Griffin, currently Roslin's acting director, a major priority will be to continue to find ways of combining its expertise in animal breeding with the needs of the biotechnology sector.
An example, says Griffin, is the work the Roslin has done on identifying a gene in plasma cells that is downregulated in mice suffering from transmissible sponfigorm encephalopathies (TSEs). It has now secured funding from the Food Standards Agency, the BBSRC and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to look at whether this finding could be used to develop a way of diagnosing other types of TSEs — such as Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease in humans.
Comment: So there he was, a little over 18 months ago, "an excellent appointment" to the top position in the world's foremost institute on stem cell research and cloning (among other things). What could have happened in the interim that caused him decide to end it all to the great shock of his wife and family?
by Gordon Prather
What's going on at the State Department? Can't Colin Powell keep Undersecretary John Bolton in his cage?
Apparently, not, because last week Bonkers Bolton made a mind-boggling presentation at the Hudson Institute – which was carried live on CSPAN – entitled "Preventing Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons."
Virtually every paragraph in the inflammatory 2,800-word address contained allegations that were either misleading or flat-out wrong.
Here is how Bolton began, and it was downhill from then on:
"Today I'd like to speak about Iran, which has concealed a large-scale, covert nuclear weapons program for over 18 years, and which, therefore, is one of our most fundamental proliferation challenges.
"All of Iran's WMD [weapons of mass destruction] efforts – chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and ballistic missiles – pose grave threats to international security. Iran's pursuit of these deadly weapons, despite its signature on treaties that ban them, marks it as a rogue state, and it will remain so until it completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantles its WMD-related programs."
Iran denies that it has a covert nuke program. Yet, Bolton charged that German, French and British diplomats had told him that the Iranian representatives to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had told them that the Iranians could produce enough weapons-grade enriched uranium for a nuke within a year's time, and threatened to do so if the Brits-French-Germans didn't uphold their end of their deal.
(There were immediate news reports that French and German diplomats denied having told Bolton any such thing.)
You see, Iran had made a deal with the Brits-French-Germans about a year ago. In return for continued access to peaceful nuclear technology, Iran agreed to sign an Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In the interim, while the terms of the Additional Protocol were being negotiated, Iran granted Mohamed ElBaradei – Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency – the unrestricted access to all its nuclear-related facilities that the Additional Protocol would eventually provide.
For months, now, IAEA inspectors have been going anywhere they wanted to go and inspecting every thing they wanted to inspect. Iran may have a covert nuke program, but IAEA inspectors have yet to find any "indication" that Iran now has – or has ever had – a nuke-development program.
Yet, Bolton claims that the IAEA has found such evidence.
"Iran is pursuing two separate paths to nuclear weapons, one that would use highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and one that would use plutonium.
"As to the uranium route, Iran has tried to develop two different uranium-enrichment methods in order to produce weapons-grade uranium. First, it has established a number of facilities for the manufacture and testing of centrifuges (many of which are owned by military industrial organizations), a pilot enrichment facility designed for 1,000 centrifuges, and a large buried facility intended to house up to 50,000 centrifuges.
"In parallel, Iran has pursued another program to enrich uranium with lasers. Both of these programs were successfully concealed from IAEA inspectors in Iran for years until an Iranian opposition group disclosed their existence."
Under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Iranians have the "inalienable right" to do everything that the Iranians are known to have done thus far.
The laser enrichment program was – as are all such programs in all countries – a research program. Therefore, Iran was not required to inform the IAEA about it – or any other research program – unless significant quantities of enriched uranium were produced thereby. The IAEA has confirmed that the Iranian laser program was unsuccessful – never producing more than milligrams of low-enriched uranium per day – and was abandoned years ago.
And even if the Iranians eventually do manage to get 50,000 centrifuges on-line, the Iranians could never produce weapons-grade uranium – as opposed to reactor-grade uranium – while subject to continuous IAEA monitoring and periodic on-site inspection.
The thing to note about ElBaradei's reports is that – contrary to insinuations made by Bolton – virtually everything the IAEA has "discovered" in Iran about Iran's nuclear programs basically confirms what the Iranians have voluntarily told the IAEA.
By making his completely unsubstantiated charges, Bolton is either attempting to provoke Iran – as he did North Korea – into withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or setting the stage for another unilateral application of the Bush Doctrine to a "rogue state."
Bolton ended his remarks with this threat:
"We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of international terrorism, acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Europe, most of central Asia and the Middle East, or beyond. Without serious, concerted, immediate intervention by the international community, Iran will be well on the road to doing so."
The deaths, the latest in a string of civilian casualties at the hands of U.S. forces in the past year, were likely to spark anger in a population that often views American soldiers as heavy-handed and overly aggressive.
The deaths occurred at about 9 p.m. local time Saturday when the pickup ran through a joint U.S.-Afghan military checkpoint, the military said in a statement Sunday. Soldiers searched the truck but did not find any weapons.
The military said the incident was under investigation, although it gave no indication any soldiers were believed to have acted improperly.
“Vehicle checkpoints play an important role in maintaining security in the area, providing security forces the opportunity to find wanted people and contraband, such as weapons, bombs and drugs,” the statement said. “Vehicle occupants approaching checkpoints should stop and follow security personnel's instructions.”
A critically injured man and woman and an uninjured infant were evacuated for medical treatment to Bagram Air Base, the U.S. military's main base in Afghanistan, the statement said.
Jawed Ludin, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, said the government was looking into the deaths and would have a statement later in the day.
Local leaders have repeatedly complained of heavy-handed tactics by the U.S.-dominated coalition, especially during searches that sometimes involve air power and take place in the dead of night.
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) –- Thirty-seven civilians and militiamen loyal to rebel Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr were summarily executed last Monday in camps established by U.S. army intelligence units on the outskirts of Najaf, informed sources in Najaf have said.
Afterwards, the bodies of the victims were abandoned in the rubble of the battles in the city, added the sources, who requested anonymity.
The sources also reported that the U.S. occupation forces tortured the captives before summarily executing them.
In addition, some former Iraqi police officers who recently deserted their posts have said that U.S. troops have been killing people for entertainment.
The sources corroborated the report, saying a number of former Iraqi Baathist officers who are serving in the Iraqi National Guard receive money from U.S. forces for killing people in Najaf.
Some Iraqi officers have also revealed that mass graves containing the bodies of Iraqis killed by U.S. occupation forces will soon be unearthed in Iraq.
Some of the over 200 deserters from the Iraqi police have also said that U.S. forces have been looting houses in Najaf.
Attacked by the Mahdi Army for cooperating with the Americans, suspected by the Americans of having insurgent sympathies, lionized by the Iraqi government for holding the line against insurgents, and criticized by journalists for abusing human rights and press freedoms, the Najaf police have a siege complex that mirrors the Mahdi Army. It's yet another sign of how difficult it is for the 55-day-old Iraqi interim government to establish its authority in a far-flung country where most of the territory is outside Baghdad's control.
Sunday, fighting resumed as talks to end the Shiite uprising led by radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr appeared to have stalled over how to surrender control of the Imam Ali shrine.
Last Thursday afternoon, Mahdi Army fighters fired three mortars at the Najaf police headquarters, striking a room full of police officers. Eight were killed, 26 were injured. It was the single deadliest incident since the violence began in April, in which 12 police have been kidnapped and 20 others killed.
Armed struggle between the Mahdi Army and the police was perhaps inevitable. The latest standoff in Najaf began just after midnight on Aug. 12, when Mahdi Army fighters attacked and nearly overran the police station, a crucial symbol of government control. Police insist they are merely an instrument for maintaining law and order, but increasingly they find themselves involved in a complex political battle as the government tries to assert its legitimacy and authority in the Shiite majority south. It's a situation that makes every policeman a marked man.
"They kill officers just to take their money, their weapons, their uniforms, their IDs, it has nothing to do with religion," says Lt. Col. Najah Yassim, acting deputy police chief of Najaf. "We don't like to fight, but if all doors are shut in front of us, and if we are trying to help and they keep fighting, nobody will continue to perform in this situation. It is a fact that we are just trying to make the city safer for all people."
To be sure, the police in Najaf appear at times not to realize that they are living under the rule of law.
In the days before the shrine standoff began, Najaf Police Chief al-Jezari told journalists to leave Najaf "for their own safety," and said those remaining in Najaf would be arrested.
A few days later, the police chief arrived at the Najaf Sea Hotel, where most of the news media reside, and threatened to kill all journalists inside if they didn't leave. (Most remained, and more arrived.)
It's strong-arm techniques like this - more characteristic of Saddam Hussein's Baathist Party than of Thomas Jefferson's democratic republic - that have led to some negative coverage, particularly in the Arab news media. And the police compound the problem by daily driving past the media's hotel, their guns aimed at the hotel, with a loudspeaker blaring in Arabic, "Stop telling lies about Najaf. Report the truth."
"It is all the fault of the media that we are being attacked, especially Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya," says Lt. Col. Najah Yassim, acting deputy chief of police in Najaf. "They are saying that the police are cooperating with the Americans and the Iraqi National Guard and attacking the Mahdi Army, and so the Mahdi Army attacks us."
It probably doesn't help matters that the Iraqi government itself announced on Friday, falsely it turns out, that Iraqi police raided the Shrine of Ali and arrested hundreds of Mr. Sadr's supporters inside.
The day after, Mahdi Army spokesmen gave interviews inside the shrine itself, indicating that they were still negotiating a handover of the keys to the shrine to representatives of Iraq's top Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. For Najaf police, it was just another bit of unwanted attention.
But some of the Najaf police department's woes seem self-inflicted. After the Aug. 19 mortar attack, a half dozen police vehicles arrived in front of the Najaf Sea Hotel. The hotel was mainly empty - most of the press corps was at the Shrine of Ali for a press conference with the Mahdi Army - but police officers insisted the remaining press corps go to the hospital to see wounded police officers from the mortar attack. Ironically, most of the press had earlier been forbidden by this same police department from visiting the hospital or from seeing civilian war casualties. [...]
Comment: The Najaf police, as other Iraqi-interim government forces, are seen by some locals as tools of the American occupiers, and so are understandably not always well received by their neighbors. Still, many of them are likely torn between loyalty to their country and religion and providing food for their families. It is a difficult position to be in. For those policemen who at times act above the law, perhaps they are just imitating their American masters who ARE above the law.
by Michael Jordan
The recent Bush move to bring an armored division and an infantry division from Europe back to provide security in the United States smells really bad. Think about it, TANKS and TROOPS to protect us from Mexico and Canada?
These troops and tanks are supposed to be part of a larger redeployment but the entire operation may be just a charade for the purpose of getting troops and tanks into the streets of American cities to quell the inevitable riots that would surely erupt if Bush is handed another dirty election victory through the combined influences of rigged machines, phony voter purge lists and the orchestrated state police intimidation techniques which are being used in Florida right now.
When in the same cities, John Kerry is outdrawing Bush by 20 to 1. 40,000 to 2,000 here on the West Coast over the weekend. Americans throughout the United States who protest another Bush jury-rigged election will face the same force being used in Najaf, Iraq; --because America is the real apple for the Bush swelling stink.
The rest of the world in comparison to the United States pales in actual and latent industrial strength. We have a work force which is seriously out of work. People are wandering the streets homeless, very hungry, and very sick. Our soldiers throughout the world in US military bases hear the daily drumbeat of Limbaugh banging on their heads that American Liberals are in league with the 'enemies' the Bush swelling stink is engaging overseas.
Bush has decided that by bringing troops and tanks home and by pushing and promoting fraudulent policies and crooked elections he can produce a real war right here in the United States. The benefits are huge. With a captive workforce and an army without any serious logistical problems where feeding the troops is only as difficult as raiding the local supermarket shelves, the betting is that the American working class can be had very cheaply.
Our society may soon achieve complete militarization just like 1917 in Petrograd. Troops will open fire with real bullets when the popular rage against the Bush swelling stink hits critical mass and pours out into the streets of America. The question is, "Will the US troops mutiny and resign as the Russians did in 1917?" , or, "Will the brainwashing be complete and the troops turn to enslave their own neighbors and countrymen?"
For people who have the misfortune to meet returnees from the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, the answer is not clear. The widespread acceptance of torture by American troops in Afghanistan, Cuba, and Iraq, coupled with killing injured enemy combatants and the slaughter of innocents through massive bombing, clouds the picture of who Johnny actually has become when he comes marching home. There is a real danger here of training a warrior class which will feel the same disregard for their neighbors and countrymen as they were taught in Iraq. The sick and heartless management of this war in the middle east has thoroughly crazed the participants. The suicide rate among US troops has been astounding. The main cause of the suicides has been the double-think which has been forced upon the enlisted men and women where they are commanded to do things contrary to their nature.
There have been highly publicized opponents of the Bush swelling stink within the rank and file of the US military machine. Members of the rank and file are drawn from the economically disadvantaged, dispirited, and deluded who wake up realizing that the Bush swelling stink was using them to conquer the world for itself, not for the benefit of the masses of struggling Americans but, for the Orcs of the ruling aristocrat class called Republicans. And this is where the shiver comes on strong, because the officer and commander class of the US military machine is overwhelmingly Republican, bent upon holding its unearned privilege and dominion over the "unwashed and useless eaters" of the vast American majority who feel first hand the effects of the Bush swelling stink.
It comes down to this. There are not enough fighting, voting age Republicans within the United States to defeat a thoroughly aroused and raging angry American population. People who identify as Republicans and vote are only about 18 percent of the entire population of the country.
When that Republican line officer of yours comes home singing, "Yankee Doodle Dandy", take him/her aside and straighten him/her out. Tell them what the president did to America while he/she was away killing for George's booty. Tell them that there is no sex until they lay down their arms and walk away from the easy life of thoughtless killing. No apple pie. No Mom to dry their tears and muffle their sobs. Nothing for them until they lay down their arms and walk away from little king George.
and...Tell them do not fire on Americans.
hit by Taser 4 times, police say
Denver police officers used a Taser stun gun four times on a man who was high on cocaine Thursday night before he started breathing heavily and later died, according to the police chief.
But Chief Gerry Whitman said the man attacked the two officers ferociously and the officers tried a variety of nonlethal tactics to subdue him, including wrestling with him and hitting him with a police baton.
"I think they used great restraint," Whitman said Friday at a news conference at police headquarters. "They were overpowered by this person."
But family members of Richard "Kevin" Karlo, 44, said he would have survived had authorities treated his case as a medical emergency rather than a crime. [...]
Last Updated Sun, 22 Aug 2004 17:52:37 EDT
- Republican senators proposed removing the largest intelligence bodies
from the Central Intelligence Agency, in a move
that would essentially dismantle the beleaguered agency.
become three new agencies, ultimately overseen by a new national intelligence
The proposal also would sever three major intelligence agencies from the Pentagon, including the country's largest spy operation, the National Security Agency.
The CIA would essentially be dismantled under the plan, although Roberts denied it.
"We are not abolishing the CIA," Roberts said in a paper. "We are reordering and renaming its three major elements."
He said eight Republican members of the intelligence committee support the plan, the most radical proposal to overhaul intelligence services made by anyone since the Sept. 11 inquiry called for major changes.
The commission called for the creation of a new intelligence czar to oversee the activities of the CIA and more than a dozen other intelligence agencies.
The senators' proposal is the latest in a series of attacks on the CIA in recent months. George Tenet, the director who was in charge during the leadup to the Iraq war, resigned in June.
Roberts said details of the proposal have yet to be shared with either the White House or with Senate Democrats.
Comment: Just what we need, more consolidation and reorganization of "intelligence" agencies in the U.S. Why don't they just come right out and say it... all intelligence agencies are the same intelligence agency, and all governments the same government. Once you reach the the apex of the pyramid there is no difference anymore because they're all on the same side.
The puppetmasters know that by pitting one country or religion against the other, it's all for show, smoke and mirrors, while they consolidate power and gather real intelligence. Speaking of smoke and mirrors, the story below serves as an effective diversion keeping the sheeple focused on irrelevent events in the Fatherland, and away from the carnage in Najaf.
J. SNIFFEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Officials reacted warily to a proposal by key Republican senators to transfer the nation's major intelligence gathering from the CIA and the Pentagon to control by a new director.
The warmest response, in fact, came from the camp of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. His national security adviser, Rand Beers, welcomed the plan and described it as very similar to Kerry's. But even Beers said the proposal needed bipartisan support and leadership from President Bush, whom he said was "resisting any real changes."
The White House was less committal about the proposal, announced unexpectedly Sunday by Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"We look forward to reviewing the details of Senator Roberts' proposal," said White House spokesman Brian Besanceney. "We have taken nothing off the table."
Intelligence officials, speaking anonymously because of the political sensitivity, called the plan a step back from greater interagency cooperation. One said that rather than eliminating barriers between agencies, "it smashes them apart."
Roberts offered the most sweeping reorganization proposal by anyone since the commission that investigated the Sept. ll, 2001, attacks called for major changes. He acknowledged that details had yet to be shared with the White House or Senate Democrats.
"We didn't pay attention to turf or agencies or boxes" but rather to "what are the national security threats that face this country today," Roberts said of the proposals supported by eight Republicans on the intelligence committee. "I'm trying to build a consensus around something that's very different and very bold."
But Roberts immediately ran into resistance. Interviewed with Roberts on Sunday, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said, "It's a mistake to begin with a partisan bill no matter what is in it."
In a statement released late Sunday, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, complained that he had yet to see the details. However, he said, "Disbanding and scattering the Central Intelligence Agency at such a crucial time would be a severe mistake."
And former CIA Director George Tenet called the proposal another episode in the "mad rush" to make changes. "This proposal reflects a dangerous misunderstanding of the business of intelligence," Tenet said Monday.
The Sept. 11 commission called for a new national intelligence director with power to force the nation's many agencies to cooperate.
So far, the debate has focused on how much power to give that official, rather than on retooling existing agencies.
Most Democrats support the commission's view that the new director should have authority over hiring and spending by the intelligence agencies. Bush has endorsed creating the position but has not said what powers it should have.
Roberts would put the CIA's three main directorates — Operations, which runs intelligence collection and covert actions; Intelligence, which analyzes intelligence reports; and Science and Technology — into three new, separate and renamed agencies, each reporting to a separate assistant national intelligence director. It also would remove three of the largest intelligence agencies from the Pentagon.
Although the measure would essentially dismantle the CIA, Roberts said in a paper he released: "We are not abolishing the CIA. We are reordering and renaming its three major elements."
"No one agency, no matter how distinguished its history, is more important than U.S. national security," the paper said.
Last week, acting CIA Director John McLaughlin, a career agency employee, urged Congress to move carefully and argued there had been dramatic improvement since Sept. 11 in the sharing of information by intelligence agencies.
A congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there would be no CIA director in the new structure.
Equally drastic changes were proposed for the Pentagon.
The nation's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency, which intercepts electronic communications around the world, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which analyzes satellite pictures, would be removed from the Pentagon and put under direct control of an assistant national intelligence director for collection.
The Defense Intelligence Agency's human intelligence collection activity and CIA's former directorate of operations would become two separate independent agencies reporting to the same assistant national director for collection.
This assistant director also would have direct line control over FBI counterintelligence and counterterrorism units, although they would continue within the FBI administratively and would still be subject to attorney general guidelines.
The Pentagon's huge National Reconnaissance Office, which operates spy satellites, would work under an assistant national intelligence director for Research, Development and Acquisition. That same assistant would also run the CIA's former directorate of science and technology as an independent agency.
Roberts' plan would create a separate assistant national intelligence director for military support and a four-star director of military intelligence who would run Defense Department tactical intelligence units and report directly to the defense secretary.
Comment: Hmm... "Dismantle the CIA?" Isn't that what John Kennedy tried to do? Of course, he tried to do it for a different reason...
Did President Kennedy Plan on Splintering the CIA?
Craig Frizzell and Magen Knuth
late April 1961, over fourteen hundred members of the Cuban Expeditionary
Forces landed at the Bay of Pigs, in Cuba. Their mission was to overthrow
Almost immediately it became known that the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trained the "freedom fighters:" Cubans trained to overthrow the Castro regime. American President John F. Kennedy had approved the mission.
President Kennedy soon after the failure spoke at a meeting of the American Association of Newspaper Editors and assumed all blame for the failed invasion.
His staff then began leaking information to reporters, blaming the failure on anyone except the administration. (1)President Kennedy was quoted as saying, "How could I have been so stupid?" to trust the groups who were advising him, such as the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). (2) Even more damning to the CIA was a reputed quote by President Kennedy that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." (3)
Two and a half years after Kennedy supposedly uttered these words, he was assassinated along a motorcade route in Dallas, Texas. [...]
A popular conspiracy theory claims that because Kennedy was planning on dismantling the intelligence infrastructure, the CIA had Kennedy killed, and then later covered up the assassination plot.
It is conceivable that splintering the CIA into a thousand pieces might cause some in the CIA to wonder whether Kennedy was good for the CIA in particular and the entire country in general. Perceiving the President as a security threat would be ample motive for the assassination. But did President Kennedy indeed intend to dismantle the CIA? [...]
The CIA by that point had also had ample time to improve the President's opinion of the intelligence community. It had done so through its work during such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis. While Kennedy may have had his doubts in 1961, his opinion of the CIA was extremely favorable by late 1963.
President Kennedy was assassinated on November 23, 1963, two and a half years after he threaten to splinter the CIA. Not only did the CIA have ample time to improve the President's opinion of the Agency, it had had ample time to assassinate the President. If Kennedy had not dismantled the CIA within the year, he was never going to dismantle it. In Washington, two and a half years is an eternity and if an agency can survive presidential enmity that long, it no longer has anything to fear.
President Kennedy was somewhat dissatisfied with the CIA after the Bay
of Pigs invasion, there is no evidence that Kennedy actually wanted to
Comment: In the present time, one wonders if the move to dismantle and reorganize intell services in the US is not just a ruse to make the agency itself more dominant though under a different name? There is also the possibility that there will be "hell to pay" for such a suggestion...
ARACAS, Venezuela — A military plane crashed into a mountain in central Venezuela, killing 25 people, including five children, the air force rescue team said in a statement yesterday.
The SD3-30 two-engine passenger and cargo plane took off from a military base in Orchila Island, 175 kilometres north of Caracas yesterday afternoon, and was headed to an air force base in Maracay, 40 miles west of Caracas, said the statement.
All 25 people on board were confirmed dead, including three crew members and 22 passengers, including military personnel and 10 civilians. A five-year-old boy, another boy and three girls, whose ages were not disclosed, died in the accident.
The plane was found around midnight yesterday. It was off course by some 30 kilometres when it crashed into an uninhabited mountain area in Carabobo state, 100 kilometres west of Caracas said the statement.
President Hugo Chavez expressed his condolences during his weekly television and radio show today.
"I am very sorry," said Chavez, a former paratrooper.
Officials did not say what caused the accident.
flock to baby with 'tail'
A CAMBODIAN baby born with a 10cm "tail" has become the breadwinner for a poor family as hundreds of people flock to see her and make offerings, police say.
Yet unnamed, she was born with a spine considerably longer than normal, creating an uncharacteristic protruding tailbone, said Ngil Sophal, the police chief of Svay Chrum district 120km south-east of Phnom Penh.
"But she is healthy," he said.
"The unusual baby was born to a poor family. Now a lot of locals are going to see her."
Some were offering up to 2,000 reil (about 70 cents Australian) for a peek at the girl.
WALES — No one knows for sure what creature it was that crept out of the darkness behind Leo Michaud's home and attacked his 16-year-old Doberman pinscher, ripping her head open. The Doberman, named Dutchess, had to be put down after the Aug. 12 mauling.
That day, Michaud found a den near Dutchess' doghouse that he believes was home to her attacker. A few nights later, he caught a glimpse of what he thinks was the attacker: a large animal, black, gray and brown with wild eyes and a bushy tail.
"The thing was right in the middle of the yard," said Michaud, 46.
The animal glowered for a moment and then ran off, disappearing into the den. Soon after, Michaud began looking at pictures of wild animals fitting that description.
He hit upon a suspect: "It looked like a wolverine," he said.
Experts, however, say that's unlikely. Wolverines are known to thrive in Canada, but not Maine. And while they are known to scrap with larger animals, a wolverine going toe-to-toe with a Doberman would be extremely unusual.
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