Friday, September 10, 2004
The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity 

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©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

We received the following from a reader claiming to be an American soldier.

The message is rather incoherent. However, it contains so many of the prefab slogans that many people substitute for real thought that we would like to answer them.

The spelling and punctuation have been left uncorrected.

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 cannot wait

Comment: We do not know if this message comes in fact from a US soldier. The strange point he makes about having been in Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea seems odd, given that there are, as far as we know, no US troops in North Korea. Of course, there are certainly other types of US operatives there....

Perhaps the message is merely a troll, that is, someone who is trying to provoke an emotional response. In any case, we think the slogans that he has presented warrant a considered response -- not an emotional response -- because we hear them so often.

The points the writer appears to be making are the following:

  1. Other countries are not feeding their people.
  2. Other countries wouldn't "help" the US if the shoe were on the other foot.
  3. Why do we hate "our country" so much?
  4. Maybe the US has done bad, but it has done more good.
  5. The US should get its nose out of other people's affairs because people then bomb the US and kill its allies.
  6. He's been to Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea and it isn't as good as they say.
  7. He was risking his life for us.
  8. We should kiss the ground of the US and the UK because they are, or were, places where we can say this sort of thing.
  9. The world cannot do without war.

Let us respond to them point by point.

Other countries are not feeding their people.

Yes, this is true. Whenever, wherever, and however this takes place it is a crime.

We do not take sides, thinking that some countries are better than others. Yes, we think that there are some countries at the moment where freedom of speech is better protected than in the US, but, then again, it depends upon the question. In some countries one may speak freely about some issues and in other countries, other issues. In the US, it is harder and harder to speak freely about Bush. Everywhere, it is difficult to speak freely about what is going on in the occupied countries.

There is much starvation in the world. There are many countries, in Latin America and Africa for example, that have populations in great poverty. Sometimes this is due to the greed of their rulers who pocket aid funds that come into the country or the profits from oil revenues, sometimes it is due to Western corporations who milk the countries for as much profits as they can. And in many cases you have the local politicians working hand-in-hand with the corporations. Then there is the case of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela who is attempting to use their oil profits to bring education and health care to the poor. The consequence of that is a constant and relentless campaign, backed by the US, against him.

Other countries wouldn't "help" the US if the shoe were on the other foot.

Here we have a slight problem because the writer believes that the US is "helping" the Iraqis. We, obviously, do not. We think the US is in there to promote US companies like Haliburton at the expense of the Iraqis. Over 800,000 Iraqis have died since the First Gulf War. Most of those were children whose deaths were caused by US policies. One would have to have an extremely macabre view of "help" to justify US actions.

However, we agree that other countries are motivated by many of the same motives as the US. Were they in Iraq, they might give a larger slice of the pie to the Iraqis than the US seems to be doing, but they would certainly be looking to profit from it in some way.

Why do we hate "our country" so much?

The Signs team is composed of people from several different countries. Yes, there are some Americans. They do not "hate their country" as the writer believes. Rather, they are sickened by what they see done in the name of all Americans. They see that the US government and US corporations hide behind the slogans of "freedom" and "democracy" while invading and pillaging a country that was no direct threat to the United States. Saddam did not have the stockpiles of weapons that Bush and his cronies claimed. These were lies told to justify the invasion.

The Americans on the Signs team are appalled that the Bush Administration tortures its prisoners, and considers this normal, that it has brought in legislation that severely curtails the rights and liberties Americans have fought for, that it can now hold American citizens without due cause if they are labelled "terrorists", that it is tearing up international agreements that were signed in good faith, that it supports, to the tune of billions of dollars a year that come from the pockets of hard-working Americans, a regime in Israel that is bent on the destruction of the Palestinian people and that has no interest in a negotiated peace -- and will not as long as they know American politicians will back them no matter the horrors they commit. The list goes on.

American governments have dragged the name of the US through the bloody muck for decades.

Of what is there to be a proud American today?

Maybe the US has done bad, but it has done more good.

The US has actively meddled in the internal affairs of other governments and other countries for decades. In fact, this goes back to the war with Mexico in the 19th century. The imperialist quest for foreign territories began in earnest at the turn of the 20th centuries in Cuba and the Phillippines. Latin America has been the site of coup after coup organised against democratically elected governments: Guatemala, Chile, Brazil and on. The US always backs the rich and powerful of these countries against the poor and the landless.

US involvement in Europe after WWII allowed the US to set up a network of pro-American politicians and businessmen, many of whom came from the ranks of the fascists and their close supporters, a network that worked against the interests of the people in these countries and for the interests of US money.

Tens of thousands of Americans died in Vietnam trying to prop up a corrupt government. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese died.

When the good and the bad is weighed, we are doubtful that the "good" will outweigh the bad, but then, our definition of good is that it is done disinterestedly, in the genuine interests of the people involved. When has the US ever acted in this way?

The US should get its nose out of other people's affairs because people then bomb the US and kill its allies.

This idea is one that is heavily promoted in the US. It is related tof the preceding question. Bush would have you believe that "they hate us because of our freedoms". But that is a lie. The Arab world is upset because the United States is backing a racist regime in Israel. The Arab world is upset because the US funds billions of dollars a year to prop up the Zionist state while the Palestinians are being killed off, relentlessly, and getting no support.

The Arab world is upset at US politics, not at its "freedoms". But Americans are kept in the dark about the real reasons if they only watch the US mainstream media, a media that gives biased and one-sided reports of the rest of the world.

The writer believes the rest of the world is "ungrateful" for all the US has done for them. He suggests the US withdraw.

We couldn't agree more on the solution. The US should withdraw its troops from overseas. It should withdraw its companies from other countries. But this is not a lack of "gratitude": it is anger that the US interferes in their internal affairs. Were another country do in the US what the US does elsewhere, Americans would be upset. If another army set foot on American soil, would Americans welcome them with flowers?

Americans are patriots who believe that one should "Buy American", but when US companies move into the markets of other countries, this is OK. Citizens of other countries who promote their own goods are "anti-American".

He's been to Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea and it isn't as good as they say.

We wonder about this. As far as we know, there haven't been any US soldiers on North Korean soil since the Korean War.

But let us look at this question. It is not for us to tell another people or another country what sort of social, political or economic system they should have. That is the internal affair of the country. Many Americans seem to think that it is their business what goes on in Iraq or Afghanistan or Korea.

Is it?

Take a small example: that of Christian missionaries. Imagine the reaction Americans would have if people from the Islamic world began doing missionary work for Islam across the United States, yet for hundreds of years, Western Christian missionaries have gone out to Latin American, Africa, and Asia spreading their version of Jesus.

There is a double standard, one which is admittedly not only limited to the US.

He was risking his life for us.

No. He was risking his life for a mirage, the mirage of American democracy.

There is no threat to the Western way of life from Iraq or Afghanistan. The Islamic world does not wish to conquer America. But America does wish to conquer the Islamic world.

We should kiss the ground of the US and the UK because they are, or were, places where we can say this sort of thing.

The founders of this site were living in the United States until early 2003. They left because they were receiving death threats for publishing things like the Signs of the Times. They saw the writing on the wall, recognised the changes that were happening in the US under Bush: the abridging of freedoms and liberties, the large gulf that was opening between the crazy, venomous Right and the rest of the country, a gulf that was a return to the mindset of the fifties and McCarthyism, where dissidence was "un-American", where freedom of speech was only permitted if you said what the government wanted you to say.

They began to see disturbing parallels between events in the US and events in Germany during the thirties, beginning with the false flag operation of 9/11, the restriction of civil liberties, and the movement to war that followed.

It is astonishing to watch as the political discourse gets so full of hatred and venom. Republicans portray Democrats as less than American because they do not support Bush. It is, on the one hand, a useful façade because it gives the impression that there is real choice in the US between one party and another. On the other hand, far away from the backrooms where the political pundits understand that this is only a game, the rank and file of the Republican Party appear to believe the rhetoric. Thus, a cleft is appearing. Cars with Democratic bumper stickers are scratched. People who are against Bush are afraid of speaking their mind other than in mass rallies and marches. A reign of terror is arriving with people becoming afraid to express dissident views among family or at work.

The American public is being psychologically brutalised.

The world cannot do without war.

We agree that this world is a world of war. We do not harbour hopes that this can be changed. Too many people of good heart have tried to change this over the millennia, to no avail. Therein lies one of the messages of this page, a point we return to again and again. The world is perfect as it is, and we have no right to change it.

But we do not, in reaction, have to support war. We can recognise the inevitability of war without supporting individual wars. War is an economic and political reality. It is more than that. It is a psychological reality, even an esoteric reality. Until the people of this world change fundamentally, war will remain inevitable.

We think, however, that it is important to shine the light of truth on all war. Show it for what it is, the logical consequence of a world populated by mechanical beings who are caught in mindless programmes of cause and effect, unable to think clearly enough to rise above their automatic reactions.

War happens because as people we are incomplete. We have become focused solely upon the external world of material success, driven by fear and desires we do not recognise within ourselves. We are raging children throwing tantrums because we do not get our way, but there is unfortunately no parent to discipline us and set an example. Those areas of human society that should set the example, our religions, our philosophies, are as caught up in the illusion of material success as are the rest of us, the rest of our activities. So there is no one to set the example of how life could be lived differently.

Therefore it is up to us, as individuals, to set that example in our own lives. We must each become the beacon of truth in everything that we do. We stand against war not because we think we can stop it, but because we think that it is necessary that the lies that are the basis of war to be exposed.

Wars are always based upon lies. The people of a country are told there exists a threat against them, and that in order to counter this threat, they must go to war. Or they are told that going to war will solve the problems they are facing within their countries: it will provide jobs, or breathing room, or resources.

These are all lies.

War is death and destruction. The youth are sent off so that the wealthy can get wealthier. The Bushes and the Cheneys can get differments and avoid the battles begun by their fathers, sending off the young of the poor and the disenfranchised.

War is a lie. To stand against war is to stand against the lie, if it is done without expection of changing anything. As soon as one gets fixed on producing a result, fixed on outcomes, one has a stake in the material conditions. One is taking sides.

We think, rather, that it is important to simply see the world as it is. If war is inevitable, admit it is inevitable. Stand against the lies, but do not fool youself into thinking that a world without war is possible.

Do not support the war, but look, study, and understand the reasons that bring people to war. Understand what this says about ourselves, about humanity. Understand how politicans manipulate populations to whip up war fervour, how they paint the enemy as less than human, how they always tell us that "God is on our side". Hitler and the Nazis believed that on was on their side. That should wake you up to something!

Sit back and learn from these horrible moments of history. Study and see how hopeless the situation is on this earth. It has been this way for thousands of years. What makes us think that we can change it.

We can't.

Before this is understood, nothing can be done.

After this truth is understood, in the despair of this horrifying realisation, that is when something else becomes possible. But it will never be found in the places we seek in our habitual, unthinking, mechanical way. It can only be found by tapping into the Creatvity of the Universe. And that can only be reached when one has passed through a completel bankruptcy of one's ideas and beliefs.

Creation is limitless. It knows no bounds. It is our programming and preconceived ideas about the world that set the limits on our abilities. But this doesn't mean we can stop war here and now. However, it may well mean something even more fantastic may come to pass in the future.

But only after we have completely given up on the world we see before us, only after we have hit bottom and accepted this world for what it is, for what it has always been, for what it shall always be: an integral part of the lessons we are here to learn, a school that one day we may have the good fortune to leave behind.

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And the mails about the Pentagon Strike Flash presentation just keep coming.

Today we received an email from a reader exhorting us to remove the video and telling us that we should be "ashamed" for "exposing the public to such lies". We have already talked about such emotionally driven reactions, but the irony gets really juicy when we consider the fact that all we have done is put together a hypothesis based on critical thinking, objective research and plausible evidence, while the US government and media have actually lied to the world and fabricated "evidence" in an attempt to convince the public that their version of events is the correct one. Do you remember the Pentagon's "Osama-9/11 confession video" back in December 2001? Here's a little reminder

Pentagon Releases Bin Laden Videotape
December 13, 2001

U.S. Officials say Tape Links Him to Sept. 11 Attacks

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."

Comment: The problems with this piece of "evidence" are many and varied, not least of which is the physical appearance of the man that the Pentagon claims is Osama. Have a look for yourselves. The images on the left are pictures of the actual Osama that we all come to know and fear. The image on the right is taken from the Pentagon video.

Osama bin Laden
Who is this?

Yet the problems are not confined to the images, the audio is also extremely suspect.

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Mistranslated Osama bin Laden Video - the German Press Investigates
DC Indymedia
23 Dec 2001

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,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?

Comment: The BBC has also exposed the doctoring of Osama's words, this time by the Pakistani press.

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Bin Laden 'has nuclear weapons'
BBC News
Saturday, 10 November, 2001 

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 unit.

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 with you.

"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 power.

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 Muslims.

When asked about Pakistan's role, he said his group was disappointed by President Pervez Musharraf and the majority of Pakistan was against him.

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 states.

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 Muslim countries.

Comment: Now you tell us, who is lying to who here?

The real issue at hand, however, is this: From the emails we receive and from talking to the average person in the street it is clear that most people in western countries find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to believe that certain sections of the US government would have sanctioned the murder of approx 3,000 people on September 11th as a way to consolidate their power and control. Yet if we consider the situation carefully, we see that part of the increased power and control that has resulted from the 9/11 attacks has been over the very same people who disbelieve that their government would ever do such a thing!

Now think about that.

Clearly US global influence and power has increased since 9/11. The US now controls the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq and, as a result, the various resources of those countries, and has strengthened its foothold in the Middle East region in general. The entire war on terror, which is a direct result of the 9/11 attacks, has given the US government a carte blanche to disregard international law and wage war on any country it deems to be a "threat to its security", regardless of whether or not there is any evidence of such a threat. Israel too has "cashed in" as a result of the 9/11 attacks, particularly in terms of justification for continuing its oppression of the Palestinians and calling for war on neighboring Arab states as a way to further its major goal of creating a "greater Israel".

The real question then that "disbelievers" have to answer to themselves is the following:

Are you confident that certain people within the US and Israeli governments were unable to foresee that the vast majority of American citizens would be unwilling to believe that certain sections of those governments would murder 3,000 Americans and then blame it on someone else? And if you decide that it is possible that they could have predicted that rather predictable response, you must then decide whether or not they would, given the motive, choose to capitalise on it.

Remember we are talking here about a hypothetical situation where a group of people, in positions of very substantial power and influence, can be fairly sure that if they murder 3,000 American citizens they themselves will never be accused of that crime, and indeed their own megalomaniacal goals would be greatly serviced if they were to carry out the murders.

While we cannot prove beyond any doubt that the US and Israeli governments orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, although there is substantial circumstantial evidence, there is clear evidence that the majority of US and western citizens are unwilling to allow for the possibility that this could in fact be the truth. That fact in itself puts the disbelievers in an very difficult position, forcing them to believe that their leaders are inherently benevolent, and consciously ignore the plentiful evidence to the contrary.

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The point we keep missing: The biggest problem with the world is Americans
By John Kaminski

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 wars?

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 have happened.

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 them first.

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 you want.

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 "Terminator" movies.

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

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Setting The Record Straight
Sam Hamod

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 in Iraq.

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 with lies.

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While Bush protesters fight locally, where's the putative No. 1 Bush protester, Kerry?
Village Voice
Thursday, September 9, 2004

[...] 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 proudly proclaimed."

Kimberley added:

"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 be afraid.

Comment: The answer to this question is evidence that Kerry is just an agreeable "straw man" being set up by the PTB to give the illusion of a Democratic election actually taking place.

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Bush team's pitch: Vote for us or die
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 9/9/04


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 them.

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 States."

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 authority.

Comment: 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 to handle.

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.

Comment: The only problem we have with this article is that the last two paragraphs acknowledge a terrorist threat without any real thought as to who these so-called terrorists actually may be.

Where is the evidence to show that Arab terrorists were the ones who actually hijacked the doomed flights of September 11th? The American people have been told by their government that those responsible were Arab terrorists, but no substantial proof has ever been offered. Sure, there were a few frames from airport security videos showing an Arab-looking guy, but that doesn't mean anything.

Can we confirm the identity of the "terrorist" in such a film, or do we have to take the Bush administration's word for it? They lied about Saddam and Iraq, so why not 9/11? Was the man in the frame working for Al-Qaeda, or some other group? Even if he was working for Al-Qaeda, what about the question of the CIA/Mossad's involvement in creating and aiding the terrorist group? Mossad seems to be creating Al-Qaeda cells in at least one country...

Simply put, there are too many loose ends for anyone who views themselves as rational to accept the official story.

We do think, however, that the author of this article is right about the fact that for the powers that be, fear is an invaluable tool to make the masses demand security and bloodshed. Those who are constantly afraid and angry will not have any capacity to ask even remotely intelligent questions of their government.

Nevertheless, the American government still acts in the name of its people, on behalf of its people. The fear in the hearts of the masses is only amplified by scandals such as Abu Ghraib and questions over Iraq or 9/11, for no one wants to admit that they are personally responsible for the actions of their government and country. It is then all too easy for someone like Bush to point the finger at the FBI or the CIA, and the people will fall in line. They must believe that it is the fault of the "other" because they are afraid of what will happen - physically, psychologically, and perhaps even spiritually - if they admit their own guilt in the matter. Thus, the illusion is sustained, and the cycle of fear and anger continues.

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'Four more years' could mean ...
Deeper divisions in this angry nation might be the most dangerous result of the re-election
Sep. 5, 2004. 08:17 AM


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 time.

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 the world.

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," writes Reich.

"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.

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Ridge: U.S. Should Be on Guard for Attack
September 10, 2004

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. [...]

Comment: Of course not. The US believes that they reserve the right to blow up whatever country they choose, whenever they choose, and the invasion of Iraq has clearly shown that they don't need a good reason to do so. The rest of the world will basically sit back and do nothing in response.

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US assault weapons ban to lapse
BBC Online
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 shootings.

It covers weapons such as AK-47, Kalashnikov and Uzi rifles, as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

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.

Comment: Feel safer now? You can load up those empty closets with Uzi's and Kalasnikov's, better to fend off drug addicts and Federal troops.

The spiral of violence will only grow. The American belief that liberty is only guaranteed through gun ownership provides the pretext. Of course, when Iraqis attempt to apply the same principle in Iraq, defending themselves from an invading army, and when that invading army just happens to be American, well, this wonderful principle is thrown out.

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Military Loses Key Evidence in Iraqi Death
By SETH HETTENA, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 9,11:05 PM ET
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 his case."

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 questioning.

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. [...]

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Britain, US back Russia's pre-emptive strike threat
SEPT 10, 2004 FRI

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 Pankisi Gorge.

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 told reporters.

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 Georgia.

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 decade.

'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.

Comment: It's no surprise that the governments of U.S. and Britain would support Russia's preemptive strike announcement against any country dubiously proclaimed as being a haven for terrorists, as this policy has been their own country's modus operandi for centuries. The only difference is that back then, the "terrorists" were known by other names such as Commies, or Viet Cong, or Sandanistas, Gooks, Nips, Krauts, Yellow Devils or Red Menace, Ragheads and Injuns, Us versus Them, the Other... and on it goes. If there was no "enemy" available, with a little help from the media and special ops, one could always be manufactured. We've all seen this show before, only now it's Russia's turn to join the fray. Perhaps the above story contains a clue as to which country they will preemptively and unilaterally attack first.

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No permission slip needed to follow in footsteps of US
By Gwynne Dyer

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.

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Russian School Siege Bears Hallmarks of Potential Staged Psy-Op
Paul Joseph Watson
Alex Jones' Prison Planet
September 5 2004

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 brutal
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 school siege.

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 Russians?

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
terrorist attack.

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. [...]

Comment: With the info they are bringing forward here, why is it that Alex Jones and Co haven't thought about the fact that the Russian School tragedy could be a CIA/MOSSAD False Flag Operation? Note the statement: "In a sick twist of fate, Bush re-election campaign commercials 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 terrorist attack." It's as though the real perpetrators just had to "sign their work." But Jones didn't get it...

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Officials: Tu-134 Suspect Is Alive
Friday, September 10, 2004.
By Carl Schreck
Staff Writer

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. [...]

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No 'Arabs' among militants ID'd by Russia
Last Updated Thu, 09 Sep 2004 19:53:00 EDT

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."

Comment: Giuliani may be telling the truth in that last statement, as there is a growing amount of evidence that suggests both 9/11 and the Beslan massacre were planned and carried out by somebody "other" than the official version claims.

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Schlepping to Moguldom
The New York Times
Published: September 5, 2004

(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 talent.

"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 said.

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 coverage.

Comment: 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 moved on.

"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."

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Flames shoot up, cars 'melt' in highway pileup near Montreal; one man killed

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. [...]

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Grenada police fire tear gas as looters plunder capital
Last Updated Thu, 09 Sep 2004 22:04:32 EDT

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. [...]

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Costa Rica wants off U.S. Iraq coalition list
Sep. 10, 2004. 01:00 AM
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 of peace.''

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" list.

Comment from a reader in Costa Rica: Much has been made about Costa Rica's decision after 9-11 to support president Bush in the so called "coalition of the willing", aptly called by the SOTT staff the "coalition of the duped". This was an unilateral decision by the country's democratically elected president Abel Pacheco which elicited no small amount of public outrage from diverse sectors.

The country upholds a long tradition of respect for peace and what's called "participative democracy". A little over a decade ago it was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in the person of its then president Oscar Arias, and it is a well known fact that it's still the only country in the world that has outlawed all military institutions by a constitutional amendment dating back to 1948. "The country with no army", as is commonly described by people abroad.

Well, thought I'd let you know that in a landmark decision today, the Sala IV (or the Fourth Courtroom), a constitutionally established court of appeal where any citizen can file a suit against any public institution, ministry, or publicly elected officer for that matter, has ruled in favor of a college student, and against none other than the president himself, ordering him to immediately withdraw Costa Rica form the list of countries supporting Bush's war in Irak. Starting with this lone dissenting voice, a student of Law, several other individuals and organizations, like the Ombudsman and the Lawyers Bar, had subsequently joined in the suit against the prez on the grounds that his decision to support Bush was never submitted to the consideration of the people.

So, just cause for celebration here amongst those who would like to see their country remain the true beacon of human rights and democratic values for the whole of Latin America that many people consider it to be. Just a dim little glimmer of hope, perhaps, but hope none the less, for the average citizen opposing the juggernaut of corporate and global elite sanctioned policies.

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Bin Laden aide says mujahedeen control Afghanistan
Sep. 9, 2004. 04:20 PM
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 vote.

However, no Afghan provincial government is considered in jeopardy of falling and Afghan and U.S. forces have largely controlled the country.

"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. [...]

Comment: While Bush and Company tells us that Afghanistan is liberated and free, the facts on the ground are other. But Bush only needs to maintain the pretense for two more months. Once elected, it will no longer matter, because the American people will have cast their vote for their own damnation.

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Rare sighting of wasp north of Arctic Circle puzzles residents
CBC Onlin
Last Updated Thu, 09 Sep 2004 13:15:00 EDT
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 see one.

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