Signs Supplement: The Suicide Bombing Cycle
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
| A Letter From A US Soldier
| Some News Source
| well international law what about
the other countrys milosavic rowanda chili nkorea they nto breaking
international laws by not feeding ther ppl like israel
they did the same for roosevelt jfk and Truman do you really think
that if the shoes were on the other feet they wouldnt do the same
why do you hate your country so much with all this propaganda yes
mabe the usa has done bad but we have done more good then bad we need
to stop poking our noses in others affairs all we do is help evreyone
do they help us no they take our buildings down they bomb our ships
they kill our allies and you say im a part of the Evil why cuz i didnt
want my brother to go and get killed cuz hes only 18 i been to afganistan
and iraq and northkorea its not soo good as they say oyu know what
the taliban pris said he says he cannot wait till the propaganda him
and his team have made so it can destroy our nation and make new recruits
for the base i do not like bush are kerry if you ask me i would of
loved for gore to be in prez yeah you call me breaking international
law while im risking my life to save your freinds your neighbors from
the skinnys from ki!
lling them just put this last word i have to say and you dont to email
me back are even talk to me cuz i wont after this you shouold be kissing
the groudn you walk on for you to live in a country like uk and the
usa do because we are the only place well mabe not so much anymore
can do what you want you can set up a website dissing america or whoever
racist cults terrorist cells all with the funds of america you actually
think the world can go wiht out war you wait just wait to see what
countrys do when they break international law they wont give a crap
tehy will tell you to fuck off well one day you shall be drafted i
U.S. Officials say Tape Links Him to Sept.
Dec. 13, 2001 -- The Pentagon has released a videotape of Osama
bin Laden, that it says provides additional evidence that the al
Qaeda leader is responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Administration
officials say the tape shows bin Laden had specific knowledge of
when and where those attacks would occur before they took place.
The videotape -- discovered in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan
-- shows a relaxed bin Laden discussing the attacks in Arabic with
another man who appears to be a cleric. On the tape, bin Laden says
he was pleasantly surprised by the amount of destruction caused
at the World Trade Center; he only expected the top portion of the
twin towers to collapse.
According to a translated transcript issued by the Pentagon, bin
Laden says the attacks on the World Trade Center did more damage
than expected. "...we calculated in advance the number of casualties
from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the
tower," he says, according to the transcript. "We calculated
that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors.
I was the most optimistic of them all. (...Inaudible...) due to
my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the
gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and
collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it
only. This is all that we had hoped for."
Bin Laden also indicates on the tape that he knew of the attacks
in advance. "We had notification since the previous Thursday
that the event would take place that day," he says. "We
had finished our work that day and had the radio on. It was 5:30
p.m. our time... Immediately, we heard the news that a plane had
hit the World Trade Center. We turned the radio station to the news
from Washington. The news continued and no mention of the attack
until the end. At the end of the newscast, they reported that a
plane just hit the World Trade Center."
A German TV show found that the White House's
translation of the "confession" video was not only inaccurate,
but even "manipulative".
Mistranslated OBL video - Germany's Channel One investigates
On 20 December 2001, German TV channel ?Das Erste" broadcast
its analysis of the White House"s translation of the OBL video
that George Bush has called a "confession of guilt". On
the show "Monitor", two independent translators and an
expert on oriental studies found the White House's translation not
only to be inaccurate, but "manipulative".
Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini, one of the translators, states,
"I have carefully examined the Pentagon's translation. This
translation is very problematic. At the most important places where
it is held to prove the guilt of Bin Laden, it is not identical
with the Arabic."
Whereas the White House would have us believe that OBL admits that
"We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the
enemy", translator Dr. Murad Alami finds that: ""In
advance" is not said. The translation is wrong. At least when
we look at the original Arabic, and there are no misunderstandings
to allow us to read it into the original."
At another point, the White House translation reads: "We had
notification since the previous Thursday that the event would take
place that day." Dr. Murad Alami: ""Previous"
is never said. The subsequent statement that this event would take
place on that day cannot be heard in the original Arabic version."
The White House's version also included the sentence "we asked
each of them to go to America", but Alami says the original
formulation is in the passive along the lines of "they were
required to go". He also say that the sentence afterwards -
"they didn"t know anything about the operation" -
cannot be understood.
Prof. Gernot Rotter, professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at
the Asia-Africa Institute at the University of Hamburg sums it up:
"The American translators who listened to the tapes and transcribed
them apparently wrote a lot of things in that they wanted to hear
but that cannot be heard on the tape no matter how many times you
listen to it."
Meanwhile the US press has not picked up on this story at all,
reporting instead that a new translation has revealed that OBL even
mentions the names of some of those involved. But the item is all
over the German press, from Germany's Channel One ('Das Erste' -
the ones who broke the story, equivalent to NBC or the BBC) to ZDF
(Channel Two) to Der Spiegel (the equivalent of TIME or the Economist
- visit http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,174025,00.html
if you can read German).
Instead, we read in the Washington Post of Friday, December 21,
2001 (the day after the German TV show was broadcast) that a new
translation done in the US "also indicates bin Laden had even
more knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon than was apparent in the original Defense Department
translation.... Although the expanded version does not change the
substance of what was released, it provides added details and color
to what has been disclosed."
I'll say. Aren't there any reporters in the US who speak German
(or Arabic, for that matter). An article in USA Today of 20 December
2001 sheds some light on why the original translation might not
be accurate: "the first translation was rushed in 12 hours,
in a room in the Pentagon". So why didn't the new US translation
find the same discrepancies as the German translators did?
Osama Bin Laden has told the mass-circulation
Dawn newspaper in Pakistan that his al-Qaeda group possesses chemical
and nuclear weapons.
But, while the English-language newspaper carries a clear message
from Bin Laden that he has access to such weapons, he makes no such
claim in an Urdu-language version of the interview.
Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, the editor of the Urdu-language
newspaper Ausaf, conducted the interview with Bin Laden, who is
widely held responsible for the suicide attacks on the United States
two months ago.
Dawn's English version quotes Bin Laden as saying: "If America
used chemical and nuclear weapons against us, then we may retort
with chemical and nuclear weapons. We have the weapons as a deterrent."
Mr Mir then asks Bin Laden where he got the weapons, which the
al-Qaeda leader declines to answer.
But in the Urdu version of the article,
Bin Laden does not threaten to use nuclear or chemical weapons.
"The US is using chemical weapons
against us and it has also decided to use nuclear weapons. But our
war will continue," he says, according to the BBC's own translation
of the Ausaf article.
The two versions are otherwise very similar, says the BBC Monitoring
Mr Mir told the BBC he was wrapped in a blanket and taken by jeep
to meet the al-Qaeda leader at a location about five hours drive
from the capital, Kabul.
He said Bin Laden was in high spirits and apparently healthy, but
was surrounded by tight security.
The Dawn newspaper said this was the first interview given by Bin
Laden since the 11 September attacks.
Bin Laden told Mr Mir al-Qaeda's mission was to spread the word
of God, not to massacre people.
He said: "I am ready to die. I know that they can bomb this
place also. They are not aware that I am present here. But they
are dropping bombs blindly everywhere. So I may get killed even
"But my cause will continue after my death. They think they
will solve this problem by killing me. It's not easy to solve this
problem. This war has been spread all over the world."
Bin Laden refused to say whether or not he was behind the US attacks,
describing the targets as the American icons of military and economic
He accused the US and its allies
of massacring Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir and Iraq and
said they had the right to attack America in reprisal.
He said the whole of America was
responsible for what he called the atrocities perpetrated against
When asked about Pakistan's role, he said his group was disappointed
by President Pervez Musharraf and the majority of Pakistan was against
Earlier, a senior member of al-Qaeda said the group remained intact
despite over a month of US bombing of Afghanistan.
Speaking in a video message to the al-Jazeera TV station, Ayman
al-Zawrahi said what he called the jihad or holy war would not end
until all American Jewish troops had been expelled from all Muslim
He accused President George W Bush of lying when he said the bombing
campaign had destroyed al-Qaeda and hurt the Taleban.
The issue of Palestine, he said,
was the crux of the conflict, and al-Qaeda would
continue to fight until what he termed "every last US Jewish
soldier" had left Palestine, the Arabian peninsula, and all
There is a toxic quality to war that affects
the inner life of individuals and, as a collective consequence,
the society itself. In the degradation and dehumanization of the
individual lies the destruction of all mankind. — Butler Shaffer
Americans have a great and terrible secret they hide within themselves,
ever pretending that it doesn't exist. But in the deepest, darkest
part of their hearts, if they're honest, they know with certainty
that it does.
But, oh, do they deny it! Americans couch this denial in all manner
of panicky rationalizations — religious, political, psychological,
astrological, you name it ... any pretense will do in order to deny
what's really going on, in order to avoid the crushing guilt for
what is nothing less than inexcusable, semiconscious savagery.
This secret is so big and so dark it can't be confronted all at
once. Better to take it one little piece at a time, and then let
the idea of its overwhelming magnitude sink in just a little bit
at a time, so that by the time you confront all the aspects of this
multi-faceted horror, some of you who read this can perhaps begin
to publicly admit this terrible secret and perhaps even begin to
take positive steps to correct the stupendous damage this secret
has caused — and is causing right this very minute.
One little piece at a time. Let's start with Iraq, since that
seems to be the one place in the world at present where the needless
bleeding is the worst.
Listen to this carefully, Americans. Do you understand that the
death toll in Iraq over the past 13 years numbers in the high hundreds
of thousands? And do you understand that America is responsible
for virtually all of those deaths? Let's say 99 percent of them.
I can hear all those denial switches clicking on out there as
I ask this question. Hey we're fighting terror! Those Muslims are
savages! Saddam deserved what he got! We're trying to bring democracy
to an uncivilized country!
I'll repeat it as a statement. Iraqis murdered since 1991? 800,000
to 1.5 million. American lives lost because of combat initiated
by the United States? 1,000 or so in the past two years, 10,000
more in the intervening years since the first Gulf War introduced
deadly depleted uranium ammunition onto the world's stage, and fatally
poisoned so many of our own troops.
11,000 Americans dead! Around a million Iraqi lives suddenly snuffed
out for reasons you can bet most of them really never understood.
And worse, future generations of both Iraqis and Americans doomed
to complicated lives of cancer and birth defects. And that's just
in this one single country, in this one continuous military action.
Americans are responsible for every single one of these murders,
every single one of these tragedies. And not a single one of these
sad stories — these shocking terminations of unsuspecting,
productive and innocent lives — ever represented any threat
to the physical security of the United States.
Can you comprehend that? Is anything getting through?
Americans, in their selfish, willful blindness, are responsible
for thousands of deaths all around the world — EVERY YEAR!
And they have been for more than a hundred years.
No, you can't get away with saying we're fighting a war, and war
is hell. This is not a war in Iraq! Saddam had no airforce, and
we made him destroy all his missiles. Then we embraced the lies
told about him in order to begin a multi-year campaign of mass murder.
Iraq never had a chance. It was never a fair fight.
Let me ask you this. We went to war in Iraq to get rid of Saddam.
Saddam is long gone. Why are we still killing people? Why are we
still sacrificing our own soldiers? And why are we planning more
You know the answer. It's in the deepest, darkest part of your
heart. We didn't go to war against Iraq to overthrow a tyrant. We
invaded Iraq because we wanted to steal a country's precious resources,
because we, in the blatant hubris of our soulless blindness, believe
we can steal for any reason.
This is how Americans come to support mass murder of innocents
for reasons that are lies. This has been going on full bore since
at least the late 1890s, when American obliterated a million Filipinos
to keep them safe from the Spanish. All this of course is not counting
the 60 million Native Americans we exterminated throughout the 19th
century, because they were savages, less than human.
And this is of course the paradigm that civilization has followed
ever since, the British in India, the French in Indochina, the Belgians
and the Portuguese in Africa, and all of the above and more throughout
the bloody conquest of the Western Hemisphere.
Some literature asserts that even Hitler was impressed with the
extermination policies of the white Europeans as they raped and
pillaged their way across an undeveloped continent. Of course the
more germane comparison these days is the way the Israelis have
cut down the hapless Palestinians over the last half century, using
their "holy" books to declare anyone in their voracious
path to be less than human, and therefore eligible to be murdered
without a second thought.
But Americans need to realize — and admit — that Israelis
learned this heartless attitude from us. I even heard the esteemed
Jewish theologian Michael Lerner — darling of the Zionist
gatekeeper liberals — use this argument: how can Americans
complain what the Israelis are doing to the indigenous inhabitants
of their accursed chunk of Middle Eastern sand when the Americans
set the example for the world to follow by exterminating the entire
indigenous population of North America, and have behaved the same
way throughout the rest of the world ever since? He has a point.
And this is the great and terrible secret all Americans hide within
themselves, and palliate their guilt with such lame rationalizations
as manifest destiny or "we need that oil."
Fact is, none of those Palestinians, nor any of those Iraqis,
would have died without the tacit approval of Americans. It wouldn't
Sure, you can sit back and pontificate that those Islamic "savages"
would have killed each other anyway, but you can't prove that, and
you can prove that it has been American manipulation, first and
foremost, that has allowed that vicious bunch of Israelis to go
into that region and become a raging terminal cancer. I supposed
it's only poetic justice that now Israel, with its pervasive political
control of the U.S. political system, can manipulate events to the
point where it can get America to come into the same region and
do its dirty work, as is happening now in Iraq.
Iraq is not now nor ever has been a threat to the physical security
of the United States. But Americans lie to themselves — we
all know about THOSE lies — and arbitrarily declare that Iraq
can bomb us with imaginary drones in 45 minutes, so we better bomb
Same with Palestine. Palestinians were never a threat to anyone.
But like Iraqis, they had something we wanted. And it is the great
and terrible secret of every American that we will permit —
and even cheer — the mass murder of innocents simply because
we want to rob them of what is rightfully theirs.
Ask your preacher about that. I'm sure he'll produce a suitable
Biblical quote that approves of the murder of anybody who has something
But we can't blame this on a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, nor
on the Jesuits, the elusive Illuminati, nor even the London-based
global banking aristocracy. This is about the American people, and
their continuing willingness to look the other way while those who
are all too willing to prey on the innocent kill people for profit
and pass the price savings on to the blind cowards who sputter half-baked
maxims about terror and security while they sit in their easy chairs
in their stiflingly boring and braindead American suburbs.
And contemplate the horrid fact that both presidential candidates
endorse this indefensible policy of war based on lies, guaranteeing
exactly the kind of future so chillingly outlined in Schwarzenegger's
We no longer need an excuse to kill anyone with impunity. Of course,
in our materialistic American coma we have apparently become too
dumbed down to realize that what happens "out there" will
soon happen "in here," but by the time that the neocon
self-immolation of America finally dawns on us, it will be way too
late to do anything about it. Perhaps it already is.
As the globalized American war machine spreads its flaming hell
around the globe, the heart of the devil (enthusiastically cheered
on by many who call themselves preachers) beats loudly in inane
American hamlets among those silent morons who simply refuse to
acknowledge what is being done in their names, who simply refuse
to realize that what is happening to those faceless strangers so
far away is one day soon also going to happen to us, right here.
John Kaminski is an Internet columnist based in Florida whose
essays are seen on hundreds of websites around the world. They have
been collected into two anthologies, "America's Autopsy Report"
and the soon-to-be-published "The Perfect Enemy." For
more information go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/
Let's begin by calling liars, liars.
1. Bush is a liar. He says there are now 50 million people in
Iraq and Afghanistan who are free today because of U.S. action.
This is a blatant lie. The Iraqis are suffering under a new dictatorship
imposed by Bush and his puppet, Iyad Allawi. There is no freedom
in Iraq, there is little running water, children are being infected
every day by filthy and untreated water because we bombed the water
and sewage plants and there is little or no electricity in all of
Iraq. There also is no democracy, there is only the dictatorship
of Allawi imposed by Bush and enforced by the U.S. military.
2. General Franks is a liar. Neither President Mubarak of Egypt
or King Abdullah of Jordan told him that Saddam Hussein had WMDs
or poison weapons; Franks, in his book of lies, told these lies.
Furthermore, General Franks says he wants to "keep the war
over there in Iraq." He knows that eventually that war will
come here and America will be attacked all over the world, not simply
3. Richard Cheney is a liar. Saddam had no WMDs and Cheney knew
it and knows it to this day, but keeps insisting that he had them
and that he was going to use them on the U.S. Pure driveling lies.
Iraq did not plan to attack America, no matter what Cheney says;
he has no proof, only assertive lies. Furthermore, he went one step
further and said, "If Kerry is elected, the terrorists will
attack us…" How does Cheney know this unless he plans
to be behind the attack; many of us wouldn't put this past Cheney.
4. Iraq did not attack America and Iraq was not part of 9/11—no
matter how much Cheney and Bush say Iraq was. In fact, Saddam and
Bin Laden were enemies, Saddam was a secularist and Bin Laden a
strong Wahabi fundamentalist. The two had sent agents to kill one
another; there was no way they could be allies.
5. Israel has killed 20 times as many Palestinians, as have Palestinians
killed Israelis. An Israeli life is no more precious than a Palestinian
life, but to listen to the American media you'd think the Israelis
were human and the Palestinians sub-human.
6. There is no longer a 4th estate called an honest, investigative
press. The press is now owned by the financial interests, who are
themselves often tied to the Republican party or the industrialists.
It is not in the interest of America's TV and radio stations to
be critical of our government even when our government is wrong—it's
all about money and sleeping with the power's that be. If you sleep
with dogs, you are bound to get fleas.
7. We no longer have much of a democracy left. The 2 major parties
have managed to keep third party candidates out of the major elections.
In 2000, the "Election Commission," a self-appointed group
of Democrats and Republicans raised the minimum percentage of votes
required so that Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan were kept out of the
"presidential debates." Thus, the debates were dull, full
of ignorance and the brightest man of all, Nader, was kept out,
as was the articulate Buchanan. To choose between Republicans and
Democrats, between Bush and Kerry is like asking people to choose
between Vanilla and Vanilla-Lite.
I could go on with more examples, but this is enough. We have
to remember the truth in times like these. Unfortunately, in America,
with our politicians and our media, the truth is often drowned out
[...] Framing that question in a declarative
way, as usual, is The Black
Commentator's editor in chief, Glen Ford, who says of Kerry:
"He made the party bland, projecting generalities and banalities,
and focusing all attention on his own personal character and history.
He refused to take up the cause of a vast majority of Democrats—and
now, a clear majority of Americans—by presenting an exit
strategy from Iraq."
More to the point about the national party's disconnect from its
frustrated horde of protesters is The Black Commentator's Margaret
Kimberley, whose latest Freedom Rider column praises the New York
City marchers for doing what Kerry's campaign has not only not done
but has even scorned:
Those 400,000 people are the ones whose voices should be heeded
and yet they are the most scorned. The August 29 march was the
largest demonstration at any political convention in American
history. Of course, the significance of the event was lost on
what passes for leadership among the Democrats. Terry McAuliffe,
chair of the Democratic National Committee, went out of his way
to disassociate the party from the people who despite their misgivings
about John Kerry are the most committed to getting him elected.
"We have nothing to do with the demonstrators," McAuliffe
"The Democratic base is crying for help but has been left
to its own devices in fighting the Bush administration. While
their party’s nominee did not utter one word of even qualified
support for their actions they continued to hold marches, vigils,
and other actions while the convention took place. John Kerry
said nothing about the FBI harassment of protesters that took
place before the convention even began. He said nothing about
the people who left their home states to march through the streets
of New York, all in an effort to get him elected."
Wake up to the fact that The Black Commentator is not some black-only
site, like a UPN or WB black sitcom (see what Alvin Pouissant has
to say about blacks on TV). Go on, white people, click on it. Don't
If the Bush campaign has its way, the 2004 presidential election
will be decided by fear.
Strategically speaking, the approach is
brilliant. Fear blinds people. It can cause intelligent, thoughtful
individuals to turn off their brains and revert to instinct, and
that instinct tells them to seek a strong leader who can protect
When no such leader exists, sufficiently frightened
people will even invent one, projecting an imaginary strength onto
figures who are in reality mediocre.
And unfortunately, this administration is all too adept at provoking
fear. Two years ago, by warning that mushroom clouds might soon
rise over American cities and that Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicles
might spread smallpox over our neighborhoods, they frightened this
nation into a misbegotten and mismanaged invasion of Iraq that has
so far cost the lives of more than 1,000 of our finest men and women,
and in the process has made us significantly less secure.
Now they're at it again. As Vice President Dick Cheney put it Tuesday,
"it's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on
Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice
then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in
a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United
Vote for us or die.
The claim is particularly charming given the testimony by ex-CIA
Director George Tenet that in the late summer and early fall of
2001, "the system was blinking red" with intelligence
signs warning of an impending terror attack by Osama bin Laden.
Yet the administration that now sells itself as our only salvation
against the bloodthirsty hordes did nothing. President
Bush didn't even interrupt his vacation.
Comment: Well, of course
Bush didn't interrupt his vacation! After all, he has to set the
example after telling Americans that they should carry on with their
lives as if nothing is wrong. Unfortunately, something is
very wrong, and it isn't Arab terrorists...
That doesn't mean that the attacks of Sept. 11 were the fault of
the Bush administration. But it ought to be cause for a little humility.
Fear is useful for another reason: It makes
people more docile and less tolerant of others who dare to question
Those readers who frequent our Signs
Forum have had a unique opportunity to observe this effect recently
- and we generally reject the posts that consist solely of emotional
rampages that are generally comprised of foul language.
If you're the one in authority, that makes fear a valuable commodity.
In his keynote address to the Republican National Convention --
a speech in which the key note was fear -- Zell Miller played upon
that human foible, bitterly charging that "the Democrats' manic
obsession to bring down our commander in chief" was weakening
the nation. The Democrats' crime? In an election
year, they actually criticize the president. [...]
Of course, Miller has never been much for tolerating the opinions
of others. A few months ago, he got so angry
at a column I had written that I got word back that he wanted to
shoot me. At the time I took it as a playful joke, part of
the behind-the-scenes banter that sometimes humanizes this business.
But after watching an angry Miller all but
challenge talk-show host Chris Matthews to a duel, telling Matthews
that he yearned to "get a little closer up into your face,"
I realize he meant it more seriously.
(Despite the senator's professed affection for getting in people's
faces, I should note that he did not deliver his angry message to
me in person, or even by telephone or letter. He
had his press secretary do it for him.)
The truth is, there's little reason to be terrified. The threat
that faces us is certainly real, and it must be met with conviction,
strength and wisdom. We need to hunt down terrorists and kill them
as quickly as possible, while ensuring that we don't create even
more terrorists in the process. But in the scale of threats this
nation has faced in the past, this one is well within our capacity
It's the goal of terrorists to make us terrified; we don't need
leaders eager to help that process along. If somebody has to frighten
you out of your wits to get your vote, it ought to tell you something.
It was stamped on buttons, projected on building walls, paraded
proudly down Seventh Ave. as a single giant white plywood letter.
When they nominated George W. Bush on Thursday night, Republicans
said it stood for Winner.
Arguably, however, W could also stand for Where? — as in
where would four more years of Bush take America and the world?
There can be only two certainties at this point.
One is that another Bush term would further deepen
the already profound political fault lines that divide this country.
Second, a renewed mandate for the commander-in-chief
in the war on terror likely would bring more assaults on personal
liberties at home and tighter controls at the Canadian border.
But would it also mean four more years of a Bush doctrine that
equates security at home with the spread of freedom and democracy
at the point of a gun elsewhere in the world?
"I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom
in a new century," Bush told the nation in accepting his party's
presidential nomination Thursday.
"I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence
for their liberty.
"I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most
honourable form of government ever devised by man.
"I believe all these things because freedom is not America's
gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and
woman in this world."
The man with the self-described swagger and blunt
manner believes he was placed in the White House by a higher power
in order to win the war on terrorism, the pivotal struggle of our
It is this, more than anything, that divides America,
stretches its military and bleeds its federal coffers.
But for many Republicans, there is no other issue.
During a week in which angry speakers railed against those they
claimed do not support American troops and would flinch in the face
of terror, there was no doubt what the delegates who filled Madison
Square Garden want from their president in a second term.
They applauded wildly as they all but adopted 9/11 as the party
brand, in much the same way they appropriated the Statue of Liberty
in their official convention logo.
From former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani to state Governor George
Pataki to the president himself, they relived that day of terror,
through tributes to first responders, images of fallen buildings,
memories of burned bodies and videos in which sirens wailed through
midtown Manhattan once again.
Speakers from the podium told Americans to be afraid
— afraid of anyone but their man in the White House.
In chats with dozens of delegates, from all parts of the country,
the focus came back to the struggle to defeat terrorism.
Joseph Avery's son reported for duty in Fort Sill, Okla., last
week and the delegate from Johnson County, N.C., said he couldn't
abide anyone in the White House other than George W. Bush —
especially now that his boy is preparing to fight for his country.
"This old man is too old to fight the battles any more,"
Avery said. "But somebody has got to continue the fight. We
can't have the bombs showing up in our schools and our parking lots.
"I'm nervous for my son, but we have the right man at the
helm at the right time."
Innocent people, chasing the American dream, were killed six kilometres
from the room in which he sat, and for Avery, that meant fighting
the terrorists where they are — on their turf — even
if one of those doing the fighting is his own flesh and blood.
But are there limits to the quest for national security?
How would Bush deal with threats from Iran and North Korea, threats
much graver and more immediate than anything faced from Iraq? How
tough would Patriot Act II be?
There are other questions.
Would Bush move on a conservative agenda, further limit stem-cell
research, take more steps to outlaw abortion, move again to make
gay unions unconstitutional, further blur the distinction between
church and state?
How would Bush react to the almost certain departure of Secretary
of State Colin Powell, the administration's biggest — perhaps
only — proponent of diplomacy and coalition building?
How big would be the battle if he tried to appoint conservatives
to the Supreme Court?
"The real time to be asking these questions is now,"
says Charles O. Jones, a political scientist at the University of
Wisconsin who has studied second-term presidents.
Jones says the war on terror would remain Bush's top priority and
the fear of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would keep him
an activist president, unlike some second-term presidents who've
run out of agenda halfway through their second terms.
"The continuing question of whether it will happen again will
keep him active."
Patrick Maney of the University of South Carolina expects a second
Bush term would be even more activist, given the uncertainty in
Others see something sinister looming.
Robert Reich, who served as labour secretary in
the Clinton administration, wrote recently in American Prospect
magazine that a source inside the administration told him that only
the need to be re-elected has stopped the White House from "storming
into Iran and North Korea."
Reich quotes the source as saying: "If Bush
is re-elected, (Dick) Cheney and (Donald) Rumsfeld are out of the
box. They'll take Bush's re-election as a mandate to wage the `war
on terror' everywhere and anywhere."
Reich sees Condoleezza Rice taking over Powell's
position and Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq invasion,
gaining more power, possibly even replacing Rumsfeld at defence.
"Domestic policy will swing further right,"
"A re-election would strengthen the White House's hand on
issues that even many congressional Republicans have a hard time
accepting, such as the assault on civil liberties."
He envisions the justice department and FBI getting
more power to inspect mail and e-mail and to examine personal insurance
records, bank accounts and medical records.
"Right-wing evangelicals will solidify their
control over the departments of justice, education and health and
human services — curtailing abortions, putting federal funds
into the hands of private religious groups, pushing prayer in the
public schools and promoting creationism." [...]
The United States is already an angry nation. The spectre of deeper
divisions in the nation is the most depressing — and dangerous
— potential outcome of a second Bush term.
WASHINGTON - The election-year terrorist threat
will extend until after January's presidential inauguration, Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Thursday.
And he said President Bush has pointedly asked his national security
team to re-evaluate hostage crisis tactics in light of the recent
Russian school attack.
"The president said to all of us: just make sure you know
what you are going to do, who is going to be doing it, where we
are going to be doing it, what resources we are going to apply"
if an attack like the Russian terrorist incident occurs, Ridge said
in an interview with Associated Press reporters and editors. [...]
However, Ridge conceded, he doubts the country will return to its
pre-Sept. 11 innocence.
"I think it's virtually impossible for the country to ever
go back, to ever be comforted by the notion that may have existed
on Sept. 10 that we are immune from the kind of attacks that we
had witnessed in other parts of the world," he said. "Sept.
11, I believe, fundamentally and for the foreseeable future changed
how we view our own potential vulnerability."
On other issues, Ridge said:
- In looking at the Middle East, Ridge said one country can't be
singled out for supporting al-Qaida and similar organizations. [...]
| A ban on military-style assault
weapons in the United States is to lapse on Monday, 10 years after
it was passed.
The move means that ordinary citizens will be
allowed to keep heavy assault weapons in their homes.
The ban needed to be renewed by next week, but President George
W Bush's supporters in Congress refused to make time available for
a vote to extend it.
The president has said he approves of the ban, but many of his
core supporters are opposed to it.
These include the influential National Rifle Association (NRA),
a lobby group with close ties to his Republican Party.
Several police chiefs have expressed concern about the move.
The Democratic Party's presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry,
says he will make it an issue in the November elections and hold
the president accountable for betraying police officers.
The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says Mr Kerry, who is falling
behind in the polls, has seized on the issue as a possible vote-winner.
The ban on 19 different types of military assault weapon was approved
in 1994 during Bill Clinton's presidency, after a series of high-profile
It covers weapons such as AK-47, Kalashnikov and Uzi rifles, as
well as high-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10
In order to get the measure through Congress, Mr Clinton agreed
to demands for a vote to be held 10 years later to confirm the ban.
However, Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress,
have refused to schedule such a vote.
| CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The military has lost
key evidence in its investigation into the death of an Iraqi man beaten
by Marine prison guards, throwing into doubt the status of a court-martial
of one of the guards.
The missing evidence includes bones taken from
the throat and chest of Nagem Hatab, attorneys said Thursday at
a hearing for Maj. Clarke Paulus.
Hatab, 52, died last year at a makeshift camp in Iraq that was
run by Marines. He had been rumored to be an official of Saddam
Hussein's Baath party and part of the ambush of a U.S. Army convoy
that killed 11 soldiers and led to the capture of Pfc. Jessica Lynch
and five others.
Paulus' court-martial, scheduled to start Monday, was delayed at
least a week while the judge presiding over the case ordered prosecutors
to try to find the missing bones.
"I'm looking at some extreme measures to make things right,"
said the judge, Col. Robert Chester. He did not elaborate.
He also called the missing evidence "serious
problems that are interfering with a fair and just resolution in
The missing bones are just one of several errors in the investigation
that came to light at Thursday's hearing.
Hatab's organs, which were removed during autopsy,
were subsequently destroyed when they were left for hours in the
blazing heat on an Iraqi airstrip. A summary of an interrogation
the Marines conducted with Hatab shortly before his death at the
camp also is missing, as is a photo of Hatab that was taken during
Paulus' civilian defense attorney, Keith Higgins, asked the judge
to delay his client's trial until the bones taken from Hatab's body
can be located.
"This looks bad for our system, for our military justice system,
and it's specifically bad for this accused," Higgins said.
LONDON - Moscow's threat to launch pre-emptive
strikes on terror bases around the world following the school massacre
in southern Russia drew support from London and Washington, but
sparked misgivings in several other capitals.
'We will take steps to liquidate terror
bases in any region in the world,' Russian chief of staff
Yury Baluyevsky told reporters at a meeting with United States General
James Jones, Nato's supreme allied commander for Europe.
General Baluyevsky, quoted by Interfax news agency, noted that
the doctrine of preventive military action against terror targets
had been spelled out publicly before, and said such steps were only
an 'extreme measure' that did not include use of nuclear force.
In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that Russia's
stance was 'understandable' and within international law.
'I think the reaction is an understandable
one,' said Mr Straw.
'The United Nations Charter does give the right of self-defence
and the UN itself has accepted that an imminent or likely threat
of terrorism certainly entitles any state to take appropriate action.'
He added that he did not think that Russian President Vladimir
Putin was thinking 'about launching any immediate attack'.
A senior White House official, speaking on condition
of anonymity, said Washington did not oppose Russia's stance.
'Every country has the right to defend itself,' the official said,
requesting anonymity because the United States has not yet carved
out an official public position on the newly announced policy.
In the past, however, Washington has cautioned
Moscow against undertaking military action in areas such as Georgia's
Russia says the remote region is a haven for Chechen separatist
fighters it has branded terrorists.
In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry offered a more guarded reaction.
'For us, this is a question that should be debated
within the European framework, the Group of Eight and obviously
at the United Nations,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan, meanwhile, took issue
with Moscow's position, saying that no country, 'no matter how powerful',
can combat terrorism 'with a one-sided approach'.
At least 336 civilians and rescue and security workers, along
with 31 hostage-takers, died in the three-day siege last week in
the North Ossetia city of Beslan bordering Chechnya.
In the wake of the Sept 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United
States, Britain actively backed a new US policy of pre-emptive strikes
by joining the US in launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Russian statement caused unease in neighbouring
Over the years, Russia has accused Georgia of
allowing Chechen rebels to take shelter in the remote gorges along
its northern border.
Mr Timothy Colton, a Russian studies professor at Harvard University,
said Moscow's warning comes from a sense of frustration after four
years of terrorist attacks and a still-unsettled situation in Chechnya,
where separatists have fought Russian forces, off and on, for a
'Everything they have tried has not worked,' he said.
'They have this massive military capacity to do things kind of
on the old playing field, and they are trying to let people know
they feel free to use those assets wherever they want.
'The whole point of mentioning that there
won't be nuclear weapons is to remind everybody that they have nuclear
weapons,' he added, though the chances of Russia using them
in such a case are 'close to mathematical zero'.
Mr Alexander Golts, military analyst with the magazine Yezhenedelny
Zhurnal, said it was unlikely that Russia would be able to carry
out effective strikes against Chechen rebel bases.
'Russia has up until now had great difficulties in determining
the location of terrorist bases in Chechnya, to say nothing about
bases abroad,' he said.
IT DIDN'T receive much media play, but did
you notice what the Russian Chief of Staff, General Yuri Baluyevsky,
said after the horrors at Middle School No. 1 in Beslan? He said
that in future, Russia will be prepared to carry out pre-emptive
strikes against terrorist bases anywhere in the world. One man who
would not have been surprised to hear it is Mr Kofi Annan.
Mr Annan is only Secretary-General of the United Nations, so the
big powers don't have to listen to him, but he is a clever man,
and his job is to watch over the peace of the world.
National leaders may care about that too, but they also have a
hundred other priorities; world peace is Mr Annan's primary, almost
his sole, responsibility. And this is what the Ghanaian-born diplomat
said at the UN's General Assembly meeting last September, just six
months after the United States, Britain and Australia invaded Iraq:
'Until now it has been understood that when states... use force
to deal with broader threats to international peace and security,
they need the unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations.
'Now, some say this understanding is no longer tenable, since an
'armed attack' with weapons of mass destruction could be launched
at any time, without warning, or by a clandestine group. Rather
than wait for this to happen, they argue, states have the right
and obligation to use force pre-emptively, even on the territory
of other states...
'This logic represents a fundamental challenge
to the principles on which, however imperfectly, world peace and
stability have rested for the last 58 years.'
Many people saw Mr Annan as an American pawn when he was elected
Secretary-General and he certainly was the US' choice for the job,
but what he was actually saying in that speech,
in thinly-disguised diplomatic code, was that the new US doctrine
of pre-emptive war against potentially threatening groups and countries
is illegal and a danger to world peace. He hasn't been a
very popular man in official Washington since, but he is absolutely
right, and Gen Baluyevsky is all the evidence he needs. [...]
Vice-President Dick Cheney still gets cheers when he trots out
the line about the US not needing a 'permission slip' from the UN
to attack countries it suspects of evil intentions towards America.
The problem which arises - and which is
almost invisible from inside the US - is that other countries don't
need 'permission slips' to invade their neighbours, either.
They can announce that they have uncovered
a grave threat to their security (they don't have to prove it, any
more than the US did) and they are free to invade. What's good for
the goose is good for the gander.
Russia was the natural next candidate to break out of the constraints
of international law and embrace unilateralism. It had already been
sneaking up on it, with highly illegal operations like the car-bomb
assassination of former Chechen leader Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev in
Qatar earlier this year by Russian intelligence agents (two of whom
were caught and have been sentenced to life in prison).
But that was just the learner slopes. Now
Gen Baluyevsky has proclaimed a doctrine that claims the same right
to use force on other people's territory as part of the 'war on
terror' that the Bush administration claimed two years ago.
Which country will the Russians invade on the same pretext? They
probably haven't even chosen one yet: part of the reason Gen Baluyevsky
has announced this doctrine now is to look tough and distract attention
from Moscow's failure to prevent the terrorist attacks. But
the doctrine will still be there when the outrage has subsided,
to be used as and when Moscow wants.
Russia, unlike the US, is not strong enough militarily to invade
countries halfway around the world, but those in Central Asia and
the Caucasus which used to be ruled by Moscow will certainly see
themselves as potential targets.
Eastern European countries won't be feeling too happy about it
either. And, of course, other big countries
like China and India are quite likely to follow where the US and
Russia have blazed a trail.
Which is why Mr Annan is looking so worn and worried these days.
He has every right to be.
The murky events of the school siege in which hundreds of children
were killed are raising disturbing questions as to which entities
were actually behind the co-ordination of the attack. Subsequent
developments will bring a clearer picture but many indicators point
to this event being a staged psy-op.
Most prominent terror incidents over the past twenty years have
been state sponsored. That is not to say that the incident in North
Ossetia hasn't been a harrowing experience for the victims involved.
For them, the events were all too real.
The wave of terror began when two Tupolev passenger airliners crashed
within minutes of each other on the night of August 26th.
The election of the Chechen president which took place two days
later saw the Kremlin's choice overwhelmingly win with a landslide.
The London Guardian called it a 'farcical election'.
The Russians were the only ones to benefit from
the plane crashes.
The independent Russian media, what's left of it after years of
crackdown, are saying that the planes were not hijacked and bombed
by terrorists on board, but that the Russian air defenses purposefully
shot down the airliners to then blame the Chechens. The fact that
the aircraft wreckage was strewn across a large area supports the
shoot down theory more so than the contention that a small shoe
bomb was detonated on board. [...]
Whether these planes were taken down by missiles or hexogen explosives,
the culprits are still unknown and I firmly believe that we'll see
yet more evidence emerge that this was a staged action, albeit sloppily
carried out, as was the March train bombing in Madrid, Spain.
Furthermore, we're now told now that the black boxes were found
and that they indicate the pilots tried to save the plane after
the explosion had taken place. But initially they said the black
boxes hadn't recorded anything, but now suddenly, after they had
blamed the Chechens, they miraculously fix themselves.
In the case of the school siege, one would expect the terrorists'
identity to be clear and their demands clearly understood. In this
instance, the opposite is the case as a result of a conscious effort
by the Russian government to cover-up the true identity and motive
of the terrorists.
Any real terrorist organization would claim responsibility for
an event almost immediately. Chechen separatist leaders have stated
that the Chechens had nothing to do with the plane crashes or the
The Russian government took the action of blocking all telephone
communications in Beslan, supposedly to prevent the terrorists from
communicating with outside organizers who were not at the scene
of the events. However, if the terrorists had planned to do this,
wouldn't they just use radio communications or satellite phones?
The videotape that the hostage-takers gave to the Russian authorities
was blank. Why would a tape supposedly containing the demands of
the terrorists be blank unless it was deliberately erased by the
Akhmed Zakayev, a special envoy to Chechen separatist leader Aslan
Maskhadov, told the Caucasus Times newspaper, "a third force
that brought Russian President Vladimir Putin to power” is
behind all the terrorist attacks committed in Russia over the past
two weeks. [...]
In a sick twist of fate, Bush re-election campaign commericials
have been running for weeks where Bush makes reference of a mother
being forced to choose between which child she wants to pick up
from school in the event of a
Similar stories have been carried by US news networks related to
the school siege in Russia.
Was this merely a coincidence or a carefully crafted brainwashing
technique? If it is deliberate then Bush and the people who control
him had advanced knowledge of the school siege. [...]
The investigation into the recent spate of
terrorist attacks took a confusing twist Thursday when the Interior
Ministry in Chechnya announced that the suspected suicide bomber
of a Tu-134 airplane was alive and well and that her passport found
at the crash site was forged.
A Chechen Interior Ministry spokesman told Rossiiskaya Gazeta
that Amanat Nagayeva, the main suspect in
the Aug. 24 bombing of the Moscow-Volgograd flight, was alive and
selling toys in the Rostov region.
The revelation casts a strange and ominous light on the investigations
into recent terrorist attacks, which include a Tu-154 that exploded
almost simultaneously with the bombing of the Tu-134 and a suicide
attack near the Rizhskaya metro station a week later.
The passport found at the Tu-134 crash
site was a well-made forgery, but its serial number had not yet
been issued, the paper reported the spokesman as saying.
Authorities are now trying to determine who the woman suspected
of blowing up the plane actually was, and whether the passport found
at the crash site was issued mistakenly or stolen, the paper reported.
A spokesman at the Chechen Interior Ministry was unavailable for
comment Thursday, and a Federal Security Service spokesman declined
to comment on the report. [...]
MOSCOW - Russian security officials identified
10 of the Beslan school hostage-takers Thursday, confirming that
six of them came from the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
Four others were from Ingushetia, the republic bordering North Ossetia,
where last week's siege that ended in the deaths of at least 326
children and adults took place.
So far, regional security sources have not
provided any information to back up Russian President Vladimir Putin's
earlier allegation that about 10 of the approximately 30 hostage-takers
were "Arabs" from the Middle East and might have been
linked to al-Qaeda.
Putin's allegation, as well as Russia's belief that some foreign
countries are sheltering Chechen rebels, led a top Russian soldier
to threaten to attack terrorist strongholds outside its borders.
"We will take all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in
any region of the world," Col.-Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, chief
of the Russian General Staff, told reporters on Wednesday. [...]
Giuliani draws parallels
Also on Thursday, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani expressed
sympathy for the people of Russia as he visited Moscow.
Giuliani was mayor when two airplanes hijacked by al-Qaeda agents
crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York three years
ago this Saturday.
"This will bring our people together,
because we have been through something very similar,"
Giuliani told Russian reporters. "We've unfortunately both
now been victims of terrorism on several occasions."
(LOS ANGELES) - HAIM SABAN, one of the nation's richest and
most improbable media magnates, was slouched in a leather seat aboard
his Gulfstream jet during a trip from Los Angeles to New York this
spring, rattling on about his support for Israel. After devouring
a bagel covered in lox, he leaned forward and launched into his
favorite story from the Democratic presidential primaries.
"Did I tell you what Howard Dean told me?"
he asked, knowing full well that he had not, at least not yet today.
"Do you know how he tells me that he is going to support Israel?"
he recounted, with a look of incredulity. "He tells me, 'Don't
you know my wife is Jewish?' "
Mr. Saban, 59, let out a sharp laugh, pausing for effect, before
delivering his punch line. "Do you know what I told him? I
said, 'Governor, the fact that your wife is Jewish is your problem.'
A self-described "cartoon schlepper," Mr. Saban became
a billionaire by turning the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers into a
global franchise that he merged with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation
and, in 2001, sold to the Walt Disney Company for $5.3 billion.
He has since emerged as perhaps the most
politically connected mogul in Hollywood, throwing his weight and
money around Washington
and, increasingly, the world, trying to influence all things Israeli.
"I'm a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,"
he said in his first extensive interview in years.
To that end, he has become one of the largest individual donors
in the country to the Democratic Party and its candidates, giving
millions over the past decade - $7 million in just one donation
to the Democratic National Committee in 2002. He recently had Senator
John Kerry over to his chateau-style home in Beverly Hills. ("We
played guitar and kibitzed," he said.) He regularly spends
hours at a time on the phone with Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime
minister. He vacations with Bill Clinton.
At the same time, Mr. Saban has been bidding - or at least kicking
the tires - on media properties around the world as he looks to
expand his empire and, by extension, his political reach.
But what really has people talking in Hollywood
and Washington is his most ambitious project yet: he is the proud
owner of the largest television broadcaster in Germany. "I
know, I know. I get the irony," he said with a smile.
A year ago, Mr. Saban beat out his one-time partner, Mr. Murdoch,
and many other media titans to buy the broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1
Media, putting him in control of a company that owns the rough equivalent
of CBS, ABC, TBS and Nickelodeon.
"That level of ownership would never be allowed in the U.S.,"
he acknowledged. "It would be too much concentration."
Since taking over the broadcaster, he has turned it around - cutting
costs and sending it American hits like "The OC," a Fox
Network series about teenage tribulations, and "Nip/Tuck,"
a drama centered in a plastic surgery clinic. Not only is the company
making money, but Mr. Saban may finally be shaking a reputation
that has long dogged him: that he has gone further on luck than
"It's easy to be jealous of someone like Haim," said
Peter Chernin, president and chief executive of the News Corporation.
"But I think the Germany situation has
the potential to be not just a financial score but serve as the
cornerstone of something bigger."
That, Mr. Saban readily acknowledged, is the plan. As one of the
richest people in Hollywood, he hears about possible deals constantly.
He is toying with the idea of buying The Jerusalem Post from Hollinger
International, which has been canvassing for buyers. "If they
ever come to earth with the price, I would be interested in it,"
He has also stirred controversy in Britain, where he publicly expressed
interest in buying ITV, the country's biggest commercial network,
while accusing its competitors, BBC News and Sky News, the news
arm of the pay-TV provider British Sky Broadcasting, of pro-Arab
When is the last time anyone heard an accusation of "pro-Jewish"
coverage? Can't remember? Isn't that strange...
Of course, not every deal has panned out. Last year, he joined
a consortium led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. that was bidding on Warner
Music, only to drop out at the 11th hour, worried that the group
was overpaying. Now that Warner Music is on an upswing, it looks
as if he may have missed an opportunity. But Mr. Saban says he has
"I don't even think about it," he said.
Mr. Saban said he had other deals up his sleeve, but he refused
to tip his hand. You can count on him to pursue them tirelessly.
"I don't play golf and I don't collect stamps,'' he said. "I
don't ride horses. I don't go mountain hiking, I don't go star gazing.
I don't do any of that."
Don't bother asking him what his hobby is. "I
have none. Zero. It's my family and work."
Comment: Oh, and trying
to influence American politics to support all things Israeli...
Mr. Saban's path to moguldom has certainly been unusual. He was
born in Egypt but fled to Tel Aviv with his parents, his brother
and his grandmother after the 1956 Suez War. Struggling to get by,
the family lived in a one-room apartment and shared a bathroom,
he recalled, "with a hooker and a pimp."
MONTREAL (CP) - Flames shot several metres
into the sky and some cars "melted" as a major pileup
involving several transport trucks killed one person Thursday, injured
six people and caused traffic chaos.
The accident tied up traffic on Highway 20, a major provincial
roadway that passes through Montreal. The pileup was triggered by
one of the transport trucks losing control and slamming into a concrete
wall on the highway, a few kilometres from downtown, said Quebec
provincial police spokeswoman Chantal Mackels. [...]
ST. GEORGE'S, GRENADA - Grenada's police sprayed
tear gas and students armed themselves with sticks and knives as
looters rampaged through the devastation left by hurricane Ivan.
In the capital, St. George's, police fired tear gas Thursday at
hundreds of screaming, shoving people who smashed windows and raced
through the rubble to grab food, water and televisions.
Officers blockaded roads into the city Thursday afternoon and
ordered everyone off the streets, as other Caribbean nations sent
troops to help restore order.
Students reportedly carried knives and sticks to ward off looters.
Most residents lack water, power
The most powerful hurricane to strike the Caribbean in 10 years,
Ivan damaged almost 90 per cent of homes as it plowed through the
island nation on Tuesday night.
At least 13 people died as the storm reduced concrete homes and
government buildings to rubble. Most of the island's 100,000 residents
have been without running water or electricity for days.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency said Grenada's
capital, St. George's, suffered "incalculable damage."
The country's airport was damaged and St. George's main hospital
and emergency disaster office were destroyed. [...]
| SAN JOSE, costa rica—Costa
Rica asked the United States to remove it from a list of Iraq coalition
partners yesterday after the Constitutional Court ruled inclusion
on the list violated the country's pacifist principles.
Foreign Minister Roberto Tovar said a diplomatic note was delivered
to the American embassy in San Jose. "The court has ordered
me to get the country's name off that list, and that's what I'm
doing," he said.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States would
be willing to remove Costa Rica, though a White House website still
had the country listed last night.
"Every country has to make their own decision about how they
want to participate, and in what ways," he said. "And
if that's what they want, then I'm sure we will do that.''
The court ruling, announced late Wednesday, was cheered by a country
that widely rejected the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
"I think it's great," 23-year-old student Rosario Camacho
said. "I was opposed to Costa Rica being on the list because
it couldn't support the war. It is a sovereign country and supporter
President Abel Pacheco said he had agreed only to be on a list
of countries against terrorism and would comply with the court order
to get Costa Rica off the so-called "coalition of the willing"
| CAIRO, Egypt — Osama bin Laden's
deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, said mujahedeen, or holy fighters, have
taken control of much of Afghanistan and driven U.S. forces into the
"trenches," according to a tape aired on Al-Jazeera TV today.
Wearing a white turban with a rifle leaning behind him, the bespectacled
Egyptian surgeon said "southern and eastern Afghanistan have
completely become an open field for the mujahedeen."
Southern and eastern Afghanistan have been racked by the fiercest
resistance to U.S. military forces and there have been frequent
attacks on Afghan election workers preparing for an Oct. 9 presidential
However, no Afghan provincial government is considered in jeopardy
of falling and Afghan and U.S. forces have largely controlled the
"The Americans are huddled in their trenches, refusing to
come out to confront the holy warriors despite the holy warriors'
provoking them by shelling, shooting and cutting the routes around
them and their defence concentrates on strikes from the air which
wastes America's money in kicking up dust," al-Zawahri said
in brief excerpts of the tape aired by the Qatar-based station.
| IQALUIT - Southern Canadians wouldn't
take a second look at a yellowjacket wasp circling around their picnic,
but the discovery of the insect far north of the Arctic Circle has
entomologists, well, buzzing.
Noire Ikalukjuaq, the mayor of Arctic Bay, found a specimen of
Vespula intermedia, or yellowjacket wasp, outside the community
recently. Arctic Bay is on the northern tip of Baffin Island, at
more than 73 degrees latitude.
"I didn't know what that was at the time I saw it," recalled
Ikalukjuaq, who managed to take a picture of the insect. "It
didn't look scary to me, but I'll know better next time I see one."
Ikalukjuaq said he had no word for it in Inuktitut. [...]
Brown said the insect is widespread across North America, but it
has never been seen above the Arctic Circle.
The wasp could be a freak occurrence or a sign the climate and
environment is changing, Brown said.
"I think it's pretty interesting and it's part of the reason
why we need to continue our surveillance of insects in the north
and various other types of animals to find out what's happening
with our world," he said.
Ikalukjuaq said other people in the community have also told him
they've seen wasps this summer.
He also warned the community of 700 not to touch a wasp if they
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Cassiopaean materials Copyright ©1994-2014 Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk. All rights reserved. "Cassiopaea, Cassiopaean, Cassiopaeans," is a registered trademark of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
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