Signs Supplement: The Suicide Bombing Cycle
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
If you could imagine the ideal world, what would you imagine? Are
you a dreamer? What kind of dreamer are you? What images come to
mind when you think of your "dream world"? Or are you
already living there?
Many people do. Live in dream worlds, that is. They dream that
they are living in lands of milk and honey. They dream that their
governments and leaders are just, honorable, honest and ethical.
They dream that they are free, and they dream that they are in control
of their lives. They dream that they see, and they dream that they
understand. They dream that they are chosen, and that others are
inferior by virtue of their race, religion, sex, political views
or anything else they might be able to come up with. They dream
that they are truly alive when they are only machines reacting to
stimuli and programmed by social norms, religion, and propaganda.
They dream on and on and on.
And some are happy in this illusion they have of themselves and
their lives. Others dream that they are happy this way.
Yet others awaken from the dream. And it is a harsh awakening.
It is oftentimes so harsh that it seems like one has awoken from
a dream only to drift off again into a nightmare.
But the scary part is - the truly terrifying bit - is that the
nightmare is not an illusion. It is not a "bad dream. It is
The nightmare is the reality. The cold, hard, desolate objective
But then, once this reality finally hits you and begins to sink
in deep within, once you have passed through the turmoil, the bloody
battles within yourself that can bring on illness or melancholy
so intense that you think you may not survive - something truly
amazing can begin to happen. Something truly wondrous. As you begin
to see, as you begin to understand, as you begin to grasp some of
the answers to all of those questions you have had for so long,
something slowly begins to stir inside of you.
A quickening. The quickening of Life. True Life. Being.
And with the conception of this seed of Being is born Hope. Not
the "hope" that is defined as a constricted expectation
of something specific most certainly coming to pass, if we just
do this or that - but the Hope that is born of the knowledge that
everything is possible, and nothing is certain. The Hope that we
find when we simply attempt to be the best we can be and do the
best we can do and know that if we manage this, that there is at
least then a POSSIBILITY - not
a certainty, mind you, just a possibility - that something good
may come of it.
Possibilities. If people can just find it within themselves to
truly BE, then the possibilities are infinite.
Think about that. Infinite possibilities. Endless, limitless, boundless
possibilities. Does not that give one some measure of hope?
And for these who pass from the old, confining world of illusion
that imprisoned them, a different kind of dream then may be possible.
Not the kind of dream that they had before. Not the dream world
of lies, the veils that cover reality. But a new dream. A dream
of and for the future. A dream of a "new world" that at
least has the possibility of becoming a reality, even if it also
has the possibility of not becoming a
But we will never know unless we do the necessary Work to discover
our Being in the first place. Unless we begin to navigate our ways
on our journeys of soul discovery. Think of those who first crossed
the seas and found the "new world". Do you think they
they would find when they got there? No, I don't think so. For all
they knew, they could have been on their way to a decayed, dead
world full of hungry vipers as long and as wide as the sea vessels
they were travelling in who had a particular penchant for mariners.
For all they knew, after a certain point, they would simply fall
off the edge of the earth into the Great Abyss and be lost for all
But they went anyway. Despite the uncertainty. Despite the general
harsh conditions that they knew they would have to endure on the
way. Why? Because that is what was in their natures and being to
do. Because they had a "dream". Because they were discoverers.
Because they knew that even though there were risks, and even
though there was a possibility for finding something horrific, there
was ALSO the possibility - only the possibility - that they would
discover something wondrous. Perhaps even miraculous.
The journey of the soul is much the same. We embark on this journey
of discovery, not really knowing what we will find, because that
is what is within us to do. We do it because we have questions that
crave answers. Because we are discoverers at heart. Because even
though those hearts have been broken, our spirits have not and Hope
still resides within them. And so we struggle on. Through the tempests
and violent, murky waters. Enduring thirst, hunger, and illness.
We continue our journeys of discovery. Carrying little
more to sustains us than the dream of the future and the hope of
its possibility in our hearts and infant souls.
So, yes, I'm a dreamer, but a very different kind of dreamer now
than I once was. I dream of discovery now. Of possibilities. Of
the future - for all of us. In the words of John Lennon:
... You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.
Imagine, John Lennon, 197
This article may be reproduced for educational, non-commercial
purposes, as printed in its entirety and when proper credit is given.
| DOHA, Sept 17 (AFP) - The
Committee of the Ulema, Iraq's top Sunni religious organisation, accused
the US Army on Friday of hampering efforts to secure the release of
two French journalists kidnapped on August 20.
are under the impression that the American forces do not want the
hostages to be freed because each time we get near a solution, these
forces push for a military escalation," said Mohammed Ayash
al-Kubaisi, the group's representative abroad.
"We believe these forces have political aims, seeking to create
a chaotic situation which does not contribute to progress,"
Kubaisi told AFP while on a visit to Qatar.
The release of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, who were
seized with their Syrian driver, Mohammed al-Jundi, "needs
a secure atmosphere, which has not been the case since we had the
first positive signs for their release."
Kubaisi referred to US bombardment earlier this
month of the Latifiya region, "once they learnt that the two
French hostages were there", souring the atmosphere and "blocking
the path to a settlement that was underway".
Radio France Internationale correspondent Chesnot and Le Figaro
reporter Georges Malbrunot were snatched in Latifiya, south of Baghdad,
by the Islamic Army in Iraq, which has claimed the murder of Italian
journalist Enzo Baldoni.
"I was there (in Latifiya) and I saw the situation. Residents
saw (internationally) banned bombs falling on the heads of their
children," said Kubaisi.
"Nobody can respond to our calls when the US forces are holding
entire towns hostage and do not want to halt their bombardment,"
said Kubaisi, who added that he was unsure of the journalists' current
The Muslim scholar urged France to press for the release of thousands
of Iraqi men and women held by US and Iraqi authorities.
"That would have a positive impact on the kidnappers and make
them feel they (the Iraqis) have not been abandoned or that the
whole world is only interested in the foreign hostages," he
France's Defence Minister Michele Alliot Marie said on Thursday
she had information which led her to believe that the French hostages
held for nearly a month were still alive.
"We have had information which allow us to think that, without
having concrete proof, that our hostages are alive, in good health
and safe," she told the daily Le Parisien.
France on Friday backed UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan's description of the US-led war on Iraq as "illegal".
"You well know that what explains our country's disagreement
with the way the war was carried out was that it clearly did not
at that time abide by international law and there was not a clear
request from the United States to start that action," French
Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told journalists.
That was "traditionally" France's view from the start,
"We have always considered that international law constitutes
the framework for any action, notably against terrorism or for stability
in the world," he said.
Barnier's comments added fuel to a debate over the legitimacy of
the US-British invasion of Iraq that promises to loom large at the
UN in New York next week when world leaders and ministers gather
for the world body's 59th General Assembly.
Annan threw the spotlight back on the issue and tore the skin off
old transatlantic wounds when he told BBC radio on Wednesday that
the US had failed to seek a needed second resolution before launching
the war in March 2003.
"I've indicated that it was not in conformity
with the UN charter from our point of view, and from the charter
point of view it was illegal," Annan said.
Washington hit back on Thursday by claiming it considered that
a previous UN resolution passed four months before the conflict
gave it sufficient authority to wage its action because Iraq had
refused to surrender suspected stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
After 19 months of US troop deployment in Iraq, no such weapons
have been found by US weapons inspectors scouring the war-ravaged
| VIENNA, Austria (AP) - U.S. and
European negotiators at a key meeting of the UN atomic watchdog agency
agreed Friday on a draft resolution meant to deprive Iran of technology
that could be used to make nuclear weapons and setting an indirect
deadline for Tehran to meet the conditions.
But ambiguities in the draft left open the possibility of new confrontation
between Iran and the United States when the board of governors'
conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency reconvenes
The text, made available to The Associated Press, demanded that
Iran suspend all uranium enrichment activities - but also recognized
the right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, a
phrase that left Tehran plenty of wiggle room.
| BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A suicide attacker
detonated an explosives-packed vehicle near a row of police cars on
a bridge in central Baghdad on Friday, killing at least five people
and wounding 20, officials said. The attack came hours after U.S.
jets pounded the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, leaving at least
It was the second car bombing this week targeting Baghdad police,
part of a stepped up campaign to thwart U.S-backed efforts to strengthen
Iraqi security forces ahead of January elections. [...]
"I saw human flesh and blood in the street, then I fled,"
said one Iraqi witness, Mouayad Shehab.
| The report is being written by US
weapons inspector Charles Duelfer
Bush administration officials say a draft report
has concluded there were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction
to be found in Iraq.
However, they say the
report does claim there is evidence that Saddam Hussein intended
to resurrect his weapons programmes in the future.
The report, which is not yet finished, is being written by top
US weapons inspector Charles Duelfer.
It is expected to be completed and published within weeks.
The first draft of Mr Duelfer's report appears to back the view
of his predecessor, David Kay.
Mr Kay said, when he stepped down in January, that "we were
probably all wrong about whether Iraq had stockpiles of nuclear,
chemical or biological weapons".
But though he has found no stockpiles, Mr Duelfer is said by officials
in the Bush administration to have unearthed other evidence.
They say the evidence shows Iraq was developing
test amounts of chemical weapons and researching how to produce
the poison ricin, perhaps for assassinations rather than mass killings.
There is also said to be evidence that Iraq intended to reinstitute
full weapons of mass destruction programmes in the future.
The document will stop short of offering a final judgement about
the situation before the war.
It might leave open the possibility that illicit weapons could
have been moved to other countries.
With more than 10,000 boxes of documents still to be translated
and studied, the Iraq Survey Group will continue its work, the official
said, and may have more to say in the future.
Every day, US military
forces in Iraq are attacking civilian populations in a calculated
effort to drown a growing popular insurgency in blood. But one would
hardly know the dimensions or brutality of the atrocities being
carried out in the name of the American people from the sparse and
sanitized coverage provided by the major press and broadcast outlets
that purport to disseminate "the news."
The US media-owned and controlled by a handful of huge corporate
conglomerates-play an indispensable role in the mass murder of Iraqi
men, women and children. Together with the Bush administration and
the two major parties of US imperialism-the Democratic Party and
its presidential candidate John Kerry, no less than their Republican
rivals-the media are complicit in a crime against humanity of immense
proportions, one that dwarfs any crimes committed by the various
political leaders who have been targeted for destruction by the
American ruling elite in recent years: from Panama's Noriega, to
Serbia's Milosevic, to Saddam Hussein himself.
One can stare at the 24-hour cable news networks from sunup to
sundown and get no sense of the carnage in towns and cities from
Baghdad, to Fallujah, to Ramadi, to Hilla in the south and Tal Afar
in the north that is left in the wake of US rockets, bombs, tank
shells and sniper rounds. The evening news reports of the major
networks provide at most a fleeting image of the death and destruction,
inevitably hedged with absurd avowals from the US military that
"precision" attacks were carried out against "terrorist"
and "anti-Iraqi" targets.
As for the press, one day's front-page report of US helicopter
attacks on unarmed civilians or air strikes against urban centers
is eclipsed the next day by the latest hurricane threat or new poll
numbers on the upcoming election-an election in which no discussion
of the legitimacy of the US subjugation of Iraq or the real war
aims behind the bogus ones used to promote the war is permitted.
No country's media is more cowardly, or more artful in churning
out the official line and excluding any serious criticism or analysis,
than that of the USA. It would be absurd to hold up the British
media as a model of conscientious and objective reporting, but even
there, articles occasionally appear that provide some insight into
the reality of the situation in Iraq.
The Guardian newspaper, for example, on Tuesday carried an eyewitness
account on its front page of the American helicopter attack on unarmed
Iraqis that occurred Sunday in central Baghdad. Thirteen Iraqis
were killed and dozens were wounded when US copters repeatedly fired
rockets into a crowd that had gathered around a disabled American
armored vehicle on Haifa Street, near the Green Zone that houses
the US and British embassies and the offices of Washington's puppet
For the benefit of our readers around the world, and especially
in the US, we give here some excerpts from the chilling and tragic
account provided by Guardian columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who was
himself wounded while covering the US assault.
Abdul-Ahad describes at least four separate rocket strikes by American
helicopters against the unarmed Iraqis-documenting that the helicopters
returned several times to fire on those seeking to remove the dead
and wounded from the first missile strike.
"When I was 50 m away I heard a couple of explosions and another
cloud of dust rose across the street from where the first column
of smoke was still climbing," he writes. "People started
running towards me in waves. A man wearing an orange overall was
sweeping the street while others were running. A couple of helicopters
in the sky overhead turned away."
He runs for cover, and then: "A few seconds later, I heard
people screaming and shouting-something must have happened-and I
headed towards the sounds, still crouching behind a wall. Two newswire
photographers were running in the opposite direction and we exchanged
"About 20 m ahead of me, I could see the American Bradley
armoured vehicle, a huge monster with fire rising from within. It
stood alone, its doors open, burning. I stopped, took a couple of
photos and crossed the street towards a bunch of people. Some were
lying in the street, others stood around them. The helicopters were
still buzzing, but further off now."
The reporter continues: "I felt uneasy and exposed in the
middle of the street, but lots of civilians were around me. A dozen
men formed a circle around five injured people, all of whom were
screaming and wailing."
Abdul-Ahad's belief that the presence of so many unarmed civilians
afforded protection from a further US strike was shattered in short
order. "I had been standing there taking pictures for two or
three minutes when we heard the helicopters coming back. Everyone
started running, and I didn't look back to see what was happening
to the injured men. We were all rushing towards the same place:
a fence, a block of buildings and a prefab concrete cube used as
a cigarette stall.
"I had just reached the corner of the cube when I heard two
explosions. I felt hot air blast my face and something burning on
my head. I crawled to the cube and hid behind it. Six of us were
squeezed into a space less than two metres wide. Blood started dripping
on my camera but all that I could think about was how to keep the
lens clean. A man in his 40s next to me was crying. He wasn't injured,
he was just crying.
"I was so scared I just wanted to squeeze myself against the
wall. The helicopters wheeled overhead, and I realised that they
were firing directly at us."
The helicopters moved away, and the reporter went back onto the
street to record the carnage and help the wounded and dying. Then:
"More kids ventured into the street, looking with curiosity
at the dead and injured. Then someone shouted 'Helicopters!' and
we ran. I turned and saw two small helicopters, black and evil.
Frightened, I ran back to my shelter where I heard two more big
explosions.... I reached a building entrance when someone grabbed
my arm and took me inside. 'There's an injured man. Take pictures-show
the world the American democracy,' he said."
It is hardly necessary to point out that no major US media outlet
has taken note of the Guardian's damning account of Sunday's bloodletting
in the center of Baghdad. Most US newspapers on Tuesday relegated
to their inside pages news reports of yet another round of US air
and artillery attacks on Fallujah, carried out Monday.
The Iraqi Health Ministry said 20 were killed and 39 wounded in
the strikes. Aljazeera reported that those killed included the driver
of an ambulance and six passengers, whose vehicle was struck by
a jet-fired missile near the northern gate of the city. "Every
time we send out an ambulance, it gets targeted," the director
of the Fallujah hospital told the Arab newspaper.
Aljazeera also reported that US missiles destroyed three homes
in the city's al-Shurta neighborhood, American shells hit a market
place, and US tanks fired on homes in the al-Jughaivi neighborhood
near the city's northern gate.
The Washington Post, in a page-19 article, noted the attacks on
Fallujah neighborhoods and the ambulance fatalities, but reported
without comment the official US line that the attacks were directed
against a "suspected hideout" of associates of Abu Musab
Zarqawi. It printed the Goebbels-like handout from the US military:
"Based on the analysis of these [intelligence] reports, Iraqi
Security Forces and multi-national forces effectively and accurately
targeted these terrorists while protecting the lives of innocent
The New York Times ran a front-page commentary focused not on the
death and suffering being inflicted on the Iraqi people, but rather
on the danger that the US military's bloodletting against insurgent
towns could backfire. It warned of the "classic dilemma faced
by governments battling guerrilla movements: ease up, and the insurgency
may grow; crack down, and risk losing the support of the population."
This description is itself a cynical deception, as the Times well
knows. The very fact that the US feels obliged to step up the slaughter
and target civilian populations testifies to the fact that Washington
and its stooge government are hated and despised by the Iraqi masses.
Talk of a risk of "losing the support of the population"
is an attempt to maintain the myth that the anti-US resistance is
the work of a small minority of Baathist "hard-liners"
and foreign terrorists, and the equally absurd claim that the US
is in Iraq to establish "democracy."
In reality, the US media's disinformation operation is among the
most striking and significant expressions of the collapse of American
Soldiers from a combat
unit at Fort Carson say they have been told to re-enlist for three
more years or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to
Iraq, the Rocky Mountain News reported Thursday.
Hundreds of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were presented
with that message and a re-enlistment form in a series of assemblies
last week, two soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity told
Husbands Alleged to
Have Committed Killings; 3 Suspects Were in Special Operations in
The wives of four Army soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., have been
slain in the past six weeks, allegedly by their husbands, in a rash
of violence that has shocked the Special Operations Command and
left Army commanders deeply concerned, officers at the base said
Three of the servicemen involved were members of Special Operations
units and had recently returned from Afghanistan. Two of those soldiers
killed themselves, police said. The fourth slaying, which occurred
earlier this month, was allegedly committed by a sergeant from a
regular Army unit that was not involved in the Afghan war.
In addition to these six deaths, an officer assigned to the Army
Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg was shot and killed earlier
this week as he slept in his home in nearby Fayetteville. No arrests
have been made in that case, a spokesman for the Fayetteville police
"It's mind-boggling," Henry Berry, manager of an Army
family support program, said at a news conference at the base yesterday.
"To be absolutely honest, I was completely caught off guard."
HAMILTON, N.J. (AP) - A woman wearing a T-shirt
with the words "President Bush You Killed My Son" and
a picture of a soldier killed in Iraq was detained Thursday after
she interrupted a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush.
Police escorted Sue Niederer of Hopewell, N.J., from a rally at
a firehall after she demanded to know why her son, 1st Lieut. Seth
Dvorin, 24, was killed in Iraq. Dvorin died in February while trying
to disarm a bomb.
As shouts of "four more years" subsided, Niederer, standing
in the middle of a crowd of some 700, continued to shout about the
killing of her son. Secret service and local police escorted her
out of the event, handcuffed her and placed her in the back of a
Laura Bush continued speaking, touting her husband's record on
the economy, health care and the war on terror to those attending
the rally in this suburban community of 90,000 people near Trenton.
She made several references to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,
and noted that many in New Jersey, including some in neighbourhoods
near the firehall, lost family members that day.
"Too many people here had a loved one that went to work in
New York that day," Bush said. "It's for our country,
it's for our children, our grandchildren that we do the hard work
of confronting terror."
Traveling through the time
By Glenn Becker
"The spirit was
freedom and justice
and its keepers seem generous and kind
Its leaders were supposed to serve the country
but now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
and now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
but it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
it's got our heads into a noose
and it just sits there … watching
The cities have turned into jungles
and corruption is strangling the land
The police force is watching the people
and the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'cause the whole world's got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
no matter who's the winner we can't pay the cost
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
it's got our heads into a noose and it just sits there … watching"
excerpt from "Monster" by Steppenwolf 1970
The more things change, the more they stay the same it's been said,
but, in actuality it's more like technological progress goes forth,
but now these potentially lethal advancements are in the hands of
those whose minds and ingrained methodologies remain mired in the
The lyrics to the song above were written by concerned youth back
when the Vietnam War was sending home hundreds of American servicemen
back home in flag-draped coffins every month. Scores more were returning
with both lifelong physical, mental and emotional scars. Even more
came home with drug addictions that were the result of attempting
to cope with the horrors of war they were forced to live through,
and on occasion, the horrors they had perpetrated on others due
to the bestial nature that war, and life or death, scenarios will
bring. And not to forget, they came home as unduly unheralded scapegoats
for the bastards that sent them there in the first place; the conniving
and self-enriching ghouls of the military-industrial-political complex.
As more and more of our young come home from their military duty
in the depleted uranium killing fields of sand, many of these same
war acquired physical, mental and emotional conditions will shadow
them upon their return. Whenever you can, give them a helping hand.
Whenever they need someone to talk to, lend them a compassionate
and understanding ear. They did not deserve to be lied to by their
leaders who have financially benefited from their suffering. They
have the courage that their leaders lack.
May we all find the same amount of courage, to stand up to the
devious manipulations of our well-heeled and gut-less leaders who
know that they and theirs will not have to walk through the flames
of Hell that they so easily send others into. All too often we find
the truth about others and ourselves when it's way too late to alleviate
the pain and suffering that's already been inflicted. The lyrics
in the song aforementioned are as poignant today as they were back
then. Maybe we can learn from a now obscure snapshot from the past
as we travel through the apparent time loop.
It may not be much…but it's a start.
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purposes, as printed in its entirety and when proper credit is given.
Here's how bad off the Democrats are: They're
cowering behind closed doors, whispering that if it should ever
turn out that Republicans are behind this, it would be so exquisitely
Machiavellian, so beyond what Democrats are capable of, they should
just fold and concede the election now - before the Republicans
have to go to the trouble of stealing it again.
There's no evidence - it's just a preposterous, paranoid fantasy
at this point. But it speaks to the jitters of the Democrats that
they're consumed with speculation about whether Karl Rove, the master
of dirty tricks and surrogate sleaze, could have set up CBS in a
diabolical pre-emptive strike to undermine damaging revelations
about Bush 43's privileged status and vanishing act in the National
Guard, and his odd refusal to take his required physical when ordered.
In this vast left-wing conspiracy theory,
Mr. Rove takes real evidence on W.'s shirking and transfers it to
documents doomed to be exposed as phony (thereby undermining the
real goods), then funnels it through third parties to Dan Rather,
Bush 41's nemesis on Iran-contra. A perfect bank shot.
The secretary for W.'s squadron commander in
the Texas Guard told The Times that the information in the disputed
memos is correct - it's just the memos that seem fake.
"It looks like someone may have read the originals and put
that together,'' said a lucid 86-year-old Marian Carr Knox, who
was flown up to New York yesterday by beleaguered CBS News executives.
She told Mr. Rather that her boss, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, wrote
a "cover-your-back file,'' a "personal journal'' to keep
a record about the politically connected Bush in his charge. She
said the contents of that mirrored the CBS documents, but she said
those documents were not on the right forms and contained Army terms
rather than Air National Guard argot. She
confirmed that young Bush had disobeyed a direct order from Colonel
Killian to take a physical.
"It was a big no-no to not follow orders,'' she said, adding
that the Bush scion's above-the-rules attitude caused some snickers
and resentment among fellow officers.
Those who suspect Mr. Rove note that when
he was Bill Clements's campaign strategist in a 1986 governor's
race in Texas, he was accused of bugging his own office to distract
from a debate, according to James Moore and Wayne Slater,
authors of "Bush's Brain.'' They said it turned the election
because after that, the Democrat could not get any attention.
Was the same scenario playing out yesterday evening on CNN? After
a five-minute report on the CBS memo controversy, CNN spent about
30 seconds reporting that two more marines had been killed in Iraq.
House Republicans started clamoring for a Congressional inquiry
into the documents used by "60 Minutes,'' saying it might be
an attempt to manipulate the election. (Isn't that what the Democrats
are scared the Republicans are doing?)
These same Republicans never wanted investigations into missing
W.M.D., why Congress passed a Medicare bill based on faulty figures,
Abu Ghraib or even whether those Swiftie guys were lying, for Pete's
The Democratic paranoia is a measure of the intimidation the West
Wing is wielding in a race where John Kerry can't seem to take advantage
of any of the Bush administration's increasingly calamitous blunders.
The administration has been so dazzling in misleading the public
with audacious, mendacious malarkey that the Democrats fear the
Bushies are capable of any level of deceit.
Iraq is a vision of hell, and the Republicans
act as if it's a model kitchen. The president and vice president
brag about liberating Iraqis and reassure us that they are stopping
terrorist violence at its source and inspiring democracy in the
region by bringing it to blood-drenched Iraq.
But what they haven't mentioned is that they have known since
July that their rosy scenarios are as bogus as their W.M.D. That's
when the president received a national intelligence estimate that
spelled out "a dark assessment of prospects" for stability
and governance in Iraq in the next 18 months, as Douglas Jehl wrote
in today's Times. Worst-case estimates include civil war or anarchy.
Unlike the president, the young men and women trying to stay alive
in the unraveling chaos of Iraq can't count on their daddies to
get them out of the line of fire.
Regarding the "Mark of Rove," an
even more insidious idea occurred to me a couple of days after the
phony "forged document scandal" began. Sure, it would
be super clever of Rove to fake documents that essentially contain
the truth thus discrediting that truth. But
it would be even more of a Grandmaster move to use actual documents
to destroy the truth.
Back during the 2000 campaign, it was reported that Bush's TANG
files in Texas were thoroughly researched by his campaign team.
Of course, folks like us interpreted that as a scrub job. Why wouldn't
The team must have found these documents in Col. Killian's P-file.
Killian was his CO; of course they checked his files. They left
everything in place and immediately created a plausible story to
account for the documents, i.e. -- they are forgeries. Friendly
"experts" were gathered to create a full-on 24-bit true
color oppo plan. They took their time and did a very good job of
discrediting the documents. Everyone got
their marching orders then waited. This was critical. If anyone
traced a leak of the TANG files to Rove after Bush's supporters
cried "forgery" then you'd have him red-handed. That was
Remember this was 1999-2000. Rove was preparing for Gore with
this. But as we all know a landmine is a patient thing. If it doesn't
get the intended victim, it will get someone else eventually.
Rove NEVER leaked the Killian memos; he didn't have to. As Election
2004 came around he set his oppo team to dig into Kerry's Vietnam
record. The Swift Boat Liars did their damage to Kerry and made
Vietnam an issue. There's your bait. Rove waited for a respected
news source to find the files, to take the time to verify the documents
and the man who wrote them, to step into the trap. 60 Minutes went
public and SNAP. The trap closed. The response was IMMEDIATE and
MULTIFACETED. There was a full laundry list of issues in less than
a day: document experts with multiple arguments, family members
of Killian's, retired TANG officers, etc. No one was ready for that.
60 Minutes never had a chance. As far as they
knew, the documents were real and correct BECAUSE THEY WERE REAL
How could 60 Minutes see that they were actually playing to Rove's
plan? They couldn't. This is Rove's mastery of political intrigue
in action. The files that years ago were deadly to Bush transformed
into a shield placed over the monster's heart. How freakin' clever
is that? Every swing voter or mild Bush supporter who watched 60
Minutes that night saw the truth and was swayed by it, even if only
a little bit. Hell, even strong Bushies might have felt a lapse
Then, the "Rove Bomb" went off.
EVERY news outlet carried the forgery rap the NEXT DAY. Why?
Because the bomb had been planted in advance. All the work had been
done ahead of time. A few bloggers and Drudge trotted out some lies
about typewriters; some "experts" gave opinions on "breaking
news" that had been prepared years ago; the 24 hour news machine
rolled it all up in neat bulletins and all the Bushites and swing
voters who had felt even an iota of doubt about Bush were inoculated
against the truth almost immediately and became IMMUNE to further
exposure. The myth of the liberal media grew stronger and
Kerry and the Democrats were painted with the tar brush.
I think the scenario above was what we really saw. And if that's
true, what other traps are out there? Think about it. The press
has not just given these people a four year free pass on all skeletons
in the Bush Closet. They have given the Bush Family Evil Empire
(BFEE) time and opportunity to turn each of those liabilities into
What this means is that despite the huge amount of blood, sweat,
tears and time so many of us have put into researching the past
of the BFEE in order to pull down the monster's mask, what we need
to do is focus on NOW. The BFEE stole the past and rigged it with
tripwires. The press let them do it and it is too late to get it
back. Our battleground is NOW.
NOW over 1000 American kids have died for nothing in Iraq. NOW
our security is a lie. NOW our friends and allies fear and loathe
us. NOW our economy has been turned upside down and its pockets
picked for the benefit of the few. NOW class war is being waged
on the poor and working class. NOW our rights are gone. NOW Bush
has violated his oath of office. NOW Bush is a war-criminal. NOW.
NOW we stop playing their game. NOW we start playing ours. We
DO NOT dig up the past. WE KEEP THEM FROM BURYING THE PRESENT! [...]
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A former Texas Air National
Guard officer who served at the same time as President George W.
Bush said he believes the bigger story about gaps in Bush's service
is being overlooked in disputes over the validity of certain Guard
"I think the public ought to be concerned
about his preferential treatment getting in and whether he satisfied
his commitment to the Air Guard. Those are the two fundamental questions,"
said Robert Strong, the administrative officer in charge
of air operations at Guard state headquarters from early 1971 until
Documents publicized last week by the CBS TV news magazine program
60 Minutes have been called into question by some experts and relatives
of the late Lt.-Col. Jerry Killian, who was supposed to have written
them when he was one of Bush's commanders in 1972 and 1973. The
memos indicated Killian had been under pressure to sugarcoat Bush's
performance and the future president ignored an order to take a
CBS stood by its reporting but CBS News president Andrew Heyward
said the network would redouble its efforts to determine the authenticity
of the documents.
Killian's former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, 86, of Houston,
Texas, said she believes the memos were fake but their content accurately
reflected Killian's opinions.
"I know that I didn't type them," she said in an interview
"However, the information in those is
Strong said Thursday he couldn't vouch for the authenticity of
the memos but "if Mrs. Knox didn't type those documents and
she thinks they're fake, I'll go with her judgment."
He said he doesn't know who provided CBS with the documents.
But Strong added he and Knox worked closely with Killian and are
in better position than Killian's family to know how he did business.
Killian's five children were between the ages of two and 19 in 1972.
Strong said Killian's official records would have been removed from
his Guard office by colleagues and commanders before his family
would have been allowed to retrieve his personal items after he
died in 1984.
Regardless of the authenticity of the memos, the question should
be centred on Bush's Guard service and what is indicated in the
documents, Strong said.
"Why aren't we focusing on the content?" Strong said,
adding he believes there are holes in Bush's official Guard record.
"The White House has just got to be thrilled to death that
everybody's tormenting about subscripts and superscripts,"
he said, referring to the several days of debate among experts about
whether the memos were forgeries generated on a computer or if a
typewriter common in the 1970s was used.
As Bush flew to campaign in Minnesota on Thursday, White House
spokesman Scott McClellan said aboard Air Force One: "CBS has
now acknowledged that the crux of their story may have been based
on forged documents."
Strong confirmed at least two of the documents used by CBS bore
a faxed header indicating they had been sent from a Kinko's copy
shop in Abilene, Texas. Strong said he was shown copies of the documents
about three days before the 60 Minutes broadcast on which he appeared
Bill Burkett, a retired National Guard officer who lives just
outside Abilene, has been cited in reports in Newsweek magazine
and the New York Times newspaper as a source for CBS report. His
lawyer, David Van Os, issued a statement saying Burkett
"no longer trusts any possible outcome of speaking to the press
on any issue regarding George W. Bush."
Burkett did not return several phone messages left this week and
did not talk to a reporter who visited his ranch in Blair, Texas,
Burkett, 55, said in February he had overheard a conversation
in 1997 between Bush's chief of staff when he was governor of Texas,
Joe Allbaugh, and Adjutant Gen. Daniel James of the Texas Air National
Guard in which the two men spoke about destroying
any military records that would "embarrass the governor."
Burkett said he saw documents from Bush's file discarded in a
trash can a few days later at Camp Mabry in Austin. Burkett described
them as performance and pay documents. Allbaugh and James denied
French report claims
terrorist leader stayed in Dubai hospital
Two months before September 11 Osama bin Laden flew to Dubai for
10 days for treatment at the American hospital, where he was visited
by the local CIA agent, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
The disclosures are known to come from French intelligence which
is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA, and to restrain
Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.
Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta
in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards,
to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited
by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the
The CIA chief was seen in the lift, on his way to see Bin Laden,
and later, it is alleged, boasted to friends about his contact.
He was recalled to Washington soon afterwards.
Intelligence sources say that another CIA agent was also present;
and that Bin Laden was also visited by Prince Turki al Faisal, then
head of Saudi intelligence, who had long had links with the Taliban,
and Bin Laden. Soon afterwards Turki resigned, and more recently
he has publicly attacked him in an open letter: "You are a
rotten seed, like the son of Noah".
The American hospital in Dubai emphatically denied that Bin Laden
was a patient there.
Washington last night also denied the story.
Private planes owned by rich princes in the Gulf fly frequently
between Quetta and the Emirates, often on luxurious "hunting
trips" in territories sympathetic to Bin Laden. Other sources
confirm that these hunting trips have provided opportunities for
Saudi contacts with the Taliban and terrorists, since they first
began in 1994.
Bin Laden has often been reported to be in poor health. Some accounts
claim that he is suffering from Hepatitis C, and can expect to live
for only two more years.
According to Le Figaro, last year he ordered a mobile dialysis
machine to be delivered to his base at Kandahar in Afghanistan.
Whether the allegations about the Dubai meeting are confirmed or
not, the wider leaks from the French secret service throw a worrying
light on the rivalries and lack of coordination between intelligence
agencies, both within the US and between western allies.
A familiar complaint of French intelligence is that collaboration
with the Americans has been essentially one-way, with them happy
to receive information while giving little in return.
A Special Forces soldier
says that troops had Osama bin Laden pinpointed in Afghanistan in
November, but leaders took too long to decide to go after him and
he slipped away.
Military officials have discounted the story.
The soldier, who said he was on the ground at Tora Bora when bin
Laden was located, agreed to talk about the incident on condition
that his name not be used.
The Observer has been unable to find other soldiers who can corroborate
his account, and official military spokesmen say they have no knowledge
Reporters are rarely permitted to accompany special operations
troops into battle, so verification of battlefield accounts can
But the story is consistent with previous reports from other sources
that bin Laden was seen in the Tora Bora cave complex. American
and Afghan troops spent weeks attacking and searching the caves
late last year in the hunt for bin Laden and al-Qaida terrorists.
"We had 'the man' and lost him," said the Special Forces
soldier. "We knew the exact cave he was in and had the coordinates.
It was 30 minutes away from our position. But we couldn't get orders
Following the operation, military leaders were criticized in the
press and in Congress for allowing hundreds of al-Qaida members
to escape into Pakistan.
On Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that Gen. Tommy Franks,
the commander of U.S. forces in the region, acknowledged that many
al-Qaida members had escaped the assault on Tora Bora. Franks was
testifying before a Senate Armed Service Committee examining the
hunt for the terrorists.
According to the soldier who believes bin Laden could have been
captured, teams from the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell,
Ky. -- working alongside members of the Central Intelligence Agency
-- believe they had the location of the terrorist leader on Nov.
Intelligence reports placed bin Laden in an elaborate cave complex
in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
The soldier said bin Laden's captured cook had told American military
officials bin Laden's exact location.
But a Special Forces team captain on the ground would not give
approval to go after bin Laden because there was no specific mission
order to do so, the soldier said.
While the Army was deciding what to do, Special Forces soldiers
saw two Russian-made helicopters fly into the area where bin Laden
was believed to be, load up passengers and fly toward Pakistan.
"I said, 'There he goes,'" the soldier said.
According to a story published Dec. 5 in Newsday, bin Laden had
reportedly been spotted in the Tora Bora area in late November.
WASHINGTON: Pakistan's intelligence officials knew in advance about
the 9/11 attacks, a well-known American analyst has said, based
on a ''stunning document'' that he claims was given by a Pakistani
source to the 9/11 Commission on the eve of the publication of its
The document, from a high-level, but anonymous Pakistani source,
also claims that Osama bin Laden has been receiving periodic dialysis
in a military hospital in Peshawar, says Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large
of the news agency UPI.
''The imprints of every major act of international Islamist terrorism
invariably passes through Pakistan, right from 9/11 - where virtually
all the participants had trained, resided or met in, coordinated
with, or received funding from or through Pakistan,'' Borchgrave
cites the confidential document as saying.
But one does not have to go to Borchgrave's unnamed sources to
find Pakistan's involvement in terrorist activity leading to 9/11.
The 9/11 commission report itself nails Pakistan in chapter after
chapter, revealing that the Pakistani intelligence was in cahoots
with the Taliban and al Qaeda, far more than Iran and Iraq ever
Among the inquiry commission's observations, quoted verbatim here
* ''Pak[istan's] intel[ligence service] is in bed with bin Laden
and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for
a bombing campaign'' – quoting Richard Clarke
* ''Islamabad was behaving like a rogue state in two areas –
backing Taliban/bin Laden terror and provoking war with India''
- quoting NSC Bruce Riedel
* Pakistani intelligence officers reportedly introduced bin Laden
to Taliban leaders in Kandahar -Commission's own observation.
* Pakistan's military intelligence service, known as the ISID (Inter-Services
Intelligence Directorate), was the Taliban's primary patron - Commission's
* Pakistan helped nurture the Taliban. The Pakistani army and intelligence
services, especially below the top ranks, have long been ambivalent
about confronting Islamist extremists. Many in the government have
sympathized with or provided support to the extremists - Commission's
| WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (Xinhuanet)
-- Two national polls released Thursday showed that US Democratic
presidential nominee John Kerry has significantly narrowed his gap
with President George W. Bush, settling into a virtual tie in the
race for the White House.
The Pew Research Center and Harris Interactive found equal levels
of support for the two candidates as Kerry rebounded from the withering
attacks the Republicans have launched during the party's convention
that ended on Sept. 2.
The latest of two Pew polls, conducted Sept. 11-14 showed Bush
and Kerry were tied with 46 percent of support among registered
voters each. An earlier Pew poll, conducted Sept. 8-10, showed Bush
led Kerry by 52 percent of registered voters to 40 percent.
While Bush leads Kerry on Iraq and the war on terrorism, Kerry
regained his advantage over Bush on the economy, the Pew polls showed.
"This poll finds a lot of the positive impact Bush had in the
convention remains. But Bush's vulnerabilities on Iraq and the economy
continue," Pew said in a report.
The Harris Interactive poll for The Wall Street Journal, which
was conducted Sept. 9-13, gave Kerry a 48 to 47 percent lead over
Soon after the Republican convention, Bush led Kerry by up to
11 percentage points, forcing Kerry to shuffle his staff and sharpen
his message. Several other recent polls have shown Bush's convention
bounce was fading.
WASHINGTON - A United States politician has
introduced a constitutional amendment in Congress that would allow
foreign-born citizens to run for president.
The proposal introduced in the House of Representatives by Republican
congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California is seen as an effort
to help his friend, state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was
born in Austria.
Rohrabacher acknowledged that criticism in a media release on Wednesday,
but rejected the charge that the amendment was only intended to
help Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder and action movie star.
He suggested that the person he really wanted to help was Tom
Lantos, a Democratic congressman from California who was born in
"This is no ploy," said Rohrabacher. "I honestly
believe that Tom Lantos should be able to seek the highest office
in the land, just like any other elected official."
The amendment would allow people who have been U.S. citizens for
more than 20 years to run for president. Schwarzenegger became a
citizen in 1983.
Rohrabacher said the founding fathers adopted the provision barring
foreign-born individuals from the top U.S. job to prevent foreigners
from meddling in American democracy.
But once an immigrant demonstrates commitment to America and wins
public support as a leader, "then there is no good reason to
bar him from seeking the highest office in the land," he said.
Similar motions have been introduced before, by both Democrats
But a change to the U.S. Constitution requires support of two-thirds
of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the backing
of 38 state legislatures.
Schwarzenegger is focused on governing California at the moment,
a spokesperson told Knight-Ridder Newspapers when asked to comment
on Rohrabacher's proposal.
There has been speculation that he would be an
attractive Republican candidate in the 2008 election.
A recent poll done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International
for Newsweek said Republicans chose Schwarzenegger as the most attractive
candidate for the 2008 election, providing the U.S. Constitution
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia is "seriously"
preparing to carry out preventive anti-terror strikes, President
Vladimir Putin said Friday, as he denounced calls for talks with
Chechen rebel leaders as similar to appeasing Hitler in 1938.
"Today in Russia, we are seriously preparing
to act preventively against terrorists," Putin told an international
meeting of mayors in Moscow in televised comments.
"This will be in strict respect with the law and constitution
and on the basis of international law," he added Friday.
The Russian leader also rejected pressure from the West to seek
dialogue with separatists from Russia's breakaway republic of Chechnya
after the Beslan school tragedy that killed nearly 340 people, half
of them children.
"I call on you to remember the lessons of
history, of the 1938 Munich accord. These are of course different
situations, not least in terms of the consequences of the Second
World War. But there are striking similarities," Putin said.
In 1938 amid growing concern about Hitler's aims, the British prime
minister Neville Chamberlain traveled to Munich to try to make a
deal with Hitler.
Chamberlain returned to London announcing that he had secured "Peace
in our time" with the Munich Accord giving Germany the Sudetenland
in Czechoslovakia, but Hitler viewed it as a green light to take
over the entire country and prepare for his next conquest.
"You cannot think that by dealing with criminals
we can make a deal for them to leave us in peace. This will not
happen. Every concession leads to aggression, wider demands and
multiplies our losses," Putin said.
"We face double-standards regarding terrorism, attempts to
divide terrorists into radicals and moderates," he added.
Russia on September 8 first said it was considering staging surgical
strikes against terror bases to try to avert attacks such as that
on a school in Beslan, near breakaway Chechnya, on September 1.
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the deadly
three-day school hostage siege in a statement posted on a rebel
Russian considers the rebel commander its public enemy number one
and has offered a 10 milllion-dollar reward both for Basayev and
a more moderate Chechen rebel leader, Aslan Maskhadov.
Moscow's military policy is to permit pre-emptive
strikes if it feels its security is under threat -- a policy similar
to that of the United States, reinforced by President George W.
Bush in his declared war on terror -- and to use nuclear weapons
only if the country's very existence is in question.
The theories sweeping Jakarta are fascinating
insights into the nature of Indonesian politics and international
relations, writes Damien Kingsbury.
Jakarta has always been a city of intrigue, and for every significant
political event there are usually any number of theories to explain
it. Usually, one or even a couple of these explanations is close
to the truth.
There are five theories doing the rounds at present to explain
the bombing of the Australian embassy last week, which shed light
on the nature of Indonesian politics as well as the status of Australian-Indonesian
The first, lunatic-fringe theory is that
John Howard organised the bombing with the assistance of the CIA
at the direction of President George Bush. This theory notes
that Howard stands to benefit from his strong stand against terrorism,
and that Bush wants to see him re-elected.
Support for this theory comes from more extreme nationalist and
Islamic Indonesians suspicious of the US and Australia. In arguing
this case, they point to the injury of just one Australian citizen.
The second theory is that Jemaah Islamiah organised and carried
out the bombing in a bid to free its alleged spiritual leader Abu
Bakar Bashir, and to punish Australia for its involvement in Iraq.
The reason the Australian embassy was chosen is because the US embassy
is much less accessible.
It is possible that the attack was carried out by JI. But
JI knows that the Australian Government has no capacity to influence
proceedings against Bashir, and the short warning of the attack
did not allow time to address such demands.
It is also believed two people were killed in the van that blew
up, and JI would be unlikely to sacrifice two operatives in such
an attack, while the alleged suicide notes would be easy to fake.
Well-paid but innocent delivery men, perhaps chosen from the strongly
Islamic area of Solo, central Java, and a remote detonating device,
is more likely.
Regardless, attacking an Australian target resonates with some
Indonesians, who view Australia as Christian, anti-Muslim and with
a hidden agenda to undermine Indonesia's territorial integrity.
The third theory involves elements of the Indonesian military.
This is that the bombing was intended to undermine the authority
of the national police chief, Dai Bachtiar, who at the time was
telling the national legislature that the terrorism issue was under
There is deep division between the police and the military, notably
political links and civilian control, as well as illegal business
activities. This, then, starts to look like conventional Indonesian
political in-fighting, which in the past produced thousands of civilian
Supporting military involvement has been the public naming of
two Kopassus (special forces) members as being connected with the
bombing. Kopassus members specialise, among other things, in explosives
and creating terror. Two Kopassus members were convicted of the
Jakarta Stock Exchange bombing in 2000 which killed 15 people, as
well as several other illegal acts.
Further, the explosives found to have been used
in the embassy bombing included those which matched explosives manufactured
by the military's munitions manufacturer, P.T. Pindad. The military
was asked to conduct an audit of P.T. Pindad just after the Bali
bombings of 2002, but is yet to do so.
Pindad weapons and explosives have found their way to many places
in Indonesia, not all of which are formally connected with the military.
The fourth explanation is that there is a group within the military
that wants to create instability ahead of Monday's presidential
election. The political allegiance of this group depends on who
can make the most political capital from the event. Given that President
Megawati Soekarnoputri was in Brunei at the time of the blast, this
goes against her camp being involved. However, the speed with which
she returned to Jakarta and the bombsite was unusual for this otherwise
The fifth interpretation is that the bombing was organised by
a former general who is politically influential and who has close
links to Kopassus and previous dirty tricks. This person wants a
senior position in the next cabinet, regardless of who is president,
and is said to have used the bombing as a means to inform both candidates
that he has the capacity to destabilise either if they do not comply.
An Australian symbol was targeted, as they have been in the past,
because Australia remains a convenient scapegoat.
This scenario will be seen to be much stronger depending on who
becomes the next minister for political and security affairs.
Regardless of which of these scenarios it is, or indeed if it
is another, Australia remains a target of opportunity in Indonesia
- a simple fact that is not likely to change for some time.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 - A longtime Foreign
Service officer at the State Department, who until recently was
a ranking official on East Asian affairs, was arrested on Wednesday
and charged with concealing a trip to Taiwan, and is suspected of
improperly passing documents to Taiwanese intelligence agents, law
enforcement and intelligence officials said.
The diplomat, Donald W. Keyser, appeared in federal court in Alexandria,
Va., and was charged with making a false statement to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation in a government background check.
A career foreign service officer, Mr. Keyser
was a top advisor on China to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
before resigning abruptly several weeks ago in the face of accusations
that he had passed information to the Taiwanese, officials
F.B.I. agents in the bureau's Washington field office are investigating
the case as possible espionage, but officials would not characterize
the seriousness of the investigation. "The allegation is what
it is - a case of making a false statement to the F.B.I.- and that's
all we can say," said a Justice Department official speaking
on condition of anonymity.
The State Department declined comment on the case because of the
ongoing criminal investigation. A spokesman noted that Mr. Keyser
is currently assigned to the Foreign Service Institute, a department
training branch. Mr. Keyer is alleged to
have met with a Taiwanese intelligence agent in Tapei last year
during an official trip to China and Japan, officials said.
He did not disclose the meeting as required during a background
check and was the subject of an F.B.I. surveillance operation as
a result, officials said.
Because the United States does not have direct
diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is rare for diplomats to travel
to the country, especially in any official capacity, without specific
An F.B.I. affidavit in the case said he
was seen meeting with two Taiwanese agents in a series of covert
meeting around Washington this summer and that he handed the Taiwanese
contacts what appeared to be government material, including a document
titled "discussion topics," The Washington Post
reports in Thursday's editions. A copy of the affidavit could not
be obtained independently late Wednesday.
In a separate matter, the F.B.I. is also investigating accusations
that an analyst at the Pentagon may have improperly passed information
to Israel through an Israeli lobbying group. [...]
Seoul -- As new evidence reveals that uranium
enrichment experiments in South Korea have been assisted by laboratories
in the United States and Russia, Greenpeace is calling for an immediate
end to international collaboration on plutonium and uranium enrichment
denouncing such programs as recipes for nuclear weapons proliferation
These experiments have sparked concerns over a nuclear weapons
program in South Korea.
According to the nuclear industry journal, Nuclear Fuel, the
Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) benefited from the
direct assistance of both the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLL)
in California, where key Korean nuclear scientists were trained,
and the Institute of General Physics in Moscow before carrying out
experiments in producing nuclear weapons usable enriched uranium,
"Nuclear non-proliferation policy is in chaos. Government
labs and the international nuclear industry are helping countries
access or produce nuclear weapons materials, technology and expertise.
In this case South Korea has benefited. However,
over the last two decades, its neighbor, Japan, has acquired a vast
stockpile of nuclear weapons usable plutonium with direct US, French
and UK involvement," said Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace
In addition to assisting in uranium enrichment, since the early
1990s KAERI has been cooperating with Russia and Europe in the development
of sensitive plutonium research. Greenpeace research has identified
Korean cooperation in plutonium fast reactor fuel technology at
the Dimitrovgrad facility in Russia, supported by the UK's British
Nuclear Fuels, France's Cogema and Japan's Toshiba (2); and plutonium
MOX fuel experiments in the SCK nuclear facility in Belgium, again
with international assistance.
"The consequences of these efforts,
combined with North Korea's nuclear weapons program can only lead
to nuclear escalation on the Korean peninsula and destabilization
of the whole of North East Asia unless there is a rapid change in
global nuclear policy," said Burnie.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A third interceptor missile
was lowered into an underground silo in Alaska this week, the latest
addition to a ground-based missile defense system that will become
operational this year, the US Defense Department said Thursday.
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said the interceptor missile
went into a launch silo at Fort Greely, Alaska on Wednesday.
Three more interceptor missiles will be fielded by mid-October
at Fort Greely, and two others later this year at Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California, it said.
"Although the system will initially have a limited capability
when it becomes operational later this year, it will mark the first
time the United States has a capability to defend the entire country
against a limited attack by a long-range ballistic missile,"
the agency said in a statement.
A prominent critic, Democratic Senator Jack Reed,
said the agency's claim that the missiles will provide an effective
national defense against long-range missiles "strained credibility."
"The agency has never done a single
test of the interceptor, or the radar needed to guide the interceptor,
or the incredibly complex command and control system to see if they
can actually shoot down an enemy missile," he said.
Flight tests have been cancelled or delayed six times since December
2002 because of technical problems and test failures, and the
first real test is not scheduled until late November -- "safely
after the elections," Reed said.
Nevertheless, the administration planned to announce the deployment
of "this untested, problem-ridden system" next month before
the elections, he said, accusing the administration of "a cynical
approach to our nation's defense".
The greatest mass extinction
in Earth's history, when almost all life on the planet was wiped
out, was triggered by huge volcanic eruptions, Australian research
The cataclysm, known as the Great Dying because 95 per cent of
animal species vanished, occurred towards the end of the Permian
period, more than 250 million years ago.
To pinpoint its timing, Ian Metcalfe, deputy director of the University
of New England Asia Centre, used an improved method for dating minerals
in ancient rocks. With American colleagues, he found the date for
the extinction - 252.6 million years ago, give or take 200,000 years
- coincided with the timing of massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia
- the biggest the world has known.
"This clearly points to a causative link," Professor
At that time, the continents were packed together in a land mass
known as Pangaea. The Siberian eruptions,
thought to have involved thousands of volcanoes, spread lava over
an area bigger than NSW. They spewed out debris and hot gases for
up to a million years.
The eruptions would have had a huge impact on climate. A large
drop in sea levels occurred around then.
Professor Metcalfe's team analysed zircon crystals from volcanic
ash in limestone rocks in China where fossils from the extinction
period have been found. The extinction occurred rapidly, over a
period of several hundred thousand years, the team said.
"We think the volcanic eruptions were
the main cause [of the extinction], but there may have been several
things coming together at the same time to produce the devastation
of life," Professor Metcalfe said. His team's research
was published yesterday in the journal Science.
Another theory about the cause of the extinction
centres on a massive meteor impact, similar to the one in Mexico
that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years
Earlier this year an American-Australian team claimed they had
identified a possible impact site off the coast of Western Australia,
known as Bedout High, for a meteor the size of Mount Everest. Their
evidence included 250 million-year-old rocks found in China, Antarctica
and north of Sydney with characteristics suggesting they were ejected
by an extraterrestrial impact.
ST. PHILIP'S, NFLD. - The family
of a Newfoundland man is overjoyed but looking for answers after
he phoned during his own funeral to let them know he hadn't been
killed in a Toronto commuter train accident after all.
| STRASBOURG, France, Sept 17 (AFP)
- An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale hit a region in
Spain's Basque country, close to the border with France, the Strasbourg
seismological laboratory said, but there were no reports of damage
or casualties from the region.
The quake occurred at 9:17 pm (1917 GMT) on Thursday with an epicentre
at a latitude of 42.92 degrees north and a longitude of 1.45 degrees
west, the laboratory said.
That located it to the east of the main Spanish Basque city of
| Volunteer TV's sister station WYMT
is reporting an earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter Scale has
been felt in Southern Kentucky.
Many viewers are calling Volunteer TV to report feeling the earthquake
as far south as northern Knox County. Those calling say the tremor
felt like a large truck rolling by or loud thunder.
The National Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado reports the
tremor's epicenter was 45 miles west-southwest of Hazard, KY.
That's also 25 miles north-northwest of Middlesboro.
Geophysicist John Bellini says the fault is one of several in the
area that have not been named and is listed as ``unknown.'' the
quake was felt in Laurel, Knox, Knott and Whitley counties.
(AP) - Ivan, Frances and Charley delivered
three staggering blows to the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, as well
as Caribbean island countries, all in just five weeks.
Now here comes Jeanne, which could be lashing north Florida and
Georgia by Monday. Homeowners ritualistically re-hammering the same
plywood over their windows figure it can't get much worse, right?
Brace yourselves: Scientists say 65 million Americans living on
the Gulf and Atlantic coasts should expect weather like this for
another 30 years. Maybe more.
Sure, it's hurricane season and storms happen. But counting Alex,
which swamped the Carolinas in August, that's five in six weeks.
And that doesn't include tropical storms Bonnie, Gaston, Earl and
"I don't remember this happening before in
such a short period of time," National Hurricane Center director
Max Mayfield told reporters, "and the season is only half-over."
It might be a generation before hurricane weather slips back into
a quiet phase, he and other experts say.
"The hurricane threat is much greater than it was in the
1970s through early 1990s," said federal meteorologist Stan
Goldenberg, who flew around hurricane Ivan in research aircraft
as it approached Mobile, Ala. "It could last another 10 to
Goldenberg and other experts believe the current hurricane surge
is part of an obvious storm cycle that probably has been waxing
and waning for hundreds of years.
Roughly from 1970-94, Atlantic hurricane activity in the United
States was relatively mild. Sure, there were monster hurricanes
like Andrew in 1992. Its 285 kilometre-per-hour winds killed 55
people in the U.S. and Caribbean and caused $26.5 billion US in
damage. Every year a big storm whips up; it's just that most fizzle
before veering into a city.
Overall, the 25-year "quiet" period generated about
half as many destructive storms as the previous stormy phase dating
back to the 1920s, and about half as many as today's stormy phase
appears likely to produce.
Since 1995, environmental conditions have shifted and the Atlantic
has been spawning more strong storms. The number of major hurricanes
has more than doubled. In the Caribbean, it's up by a factor of
Even with milder storm years in 1997 and 2002, the period since
1995 is the most active nine consecutive years on record, according
to pioneering hurricane forecaster William Gray at Colorado State
Since 2000, the United States has been hit by an average of four
powerful storms per season.
Forecasters have been warning of this for years. Even back in
1998, a year that saw four hurricanes in September, Gray said: "We
are going to see the return of some of these type of storms. People
have to face up to it. The insurance industry has a major problem."
Last month, Gray tweaked his gloomy 2004 forecast downward, predicting
13 named storms rather than 14. He expected seven storms to blow
up into hurricanes, three with sustained winds of 178 km/h or greater.
So far, he's right. If storms continue brewing, Gray might wish
he had tweaked his forecast up, not down. And don't forget that
last year, two more tropical storms developed in the Caribbean after
the hurricane season formally ended Nov. 30.
Why is the storm cycle intensifying now? Scientists aren't certain
what causes the decades-long shifts in the ocean-atmosphere interplay.
Hurricanes reflect the complex dance between the atmosphere and
When the Pacific Ocean cools during the La Nina climate phenomenon,
the Atlantic warms up, and more hurricanes are the result. Over
the Atlantic, wind shear that knocks down rising storms tend to
slacken, while humid westerly winds from Africa's bulge grow stronger.
Scientists look for large pools in subtropical ocean where water
is at least 27 C. The warm sea heats the air in a rising column,
creating a centre of moist low pressure.
Trade winds rush in toward this depression. Combined with the
planet's rotation, they spin clouds counterclockwise around this
steamy core, or "eye" of the storm.
Most scientists agree that global warming plays little or no role
in the number of storms in the current hurricane cycle.
Global climate models show that air pollution from industry and
traffic will drive up average world temperatures by up to one degree
Celsius this century. All that extra heat could fuel more stormy
weather. And local evidence of temperatures rising may already be
apparent with some glaciers melting and spring flowers blooming
early. But so far, climate change is too uncertain and today's hurricane
patterns are too complex to draw a connection.
"I don't think the warming now is anywhere near enough to
account for the increase in hurricanes that we're seeing,"
said Robert Gall of the National Center for Atmospheric Research
in Boulder, Colo. "To me, this is just a natural variation
in the frequency of hurricanes."
Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful natural events. Spinning
as fast as a race car, the wall of clouds can rise 15 kilometres
into the stratosphere and span more than 600 kilometres, as wide
The amount of mechanical energy generated by a such a swirling
storm translates to a power supply of 360 billion kilowatt hours
per day. That's equal, by some estimates, to all of the electricity
consumed in United States in six months.
Only 12 per cent of the world's swirling storms spawn in the Atlantic.
About 100 of these cyclones are reported annually worldwide. Most
of them crank unnoticed in the North Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
A large storm might seethe and spin for 5,000 kilometres, inhaling
the energy from billions of tonnes of warm seawater. Incoming dry
air from high pressure zones can choke it off, or landfall can quickly
Forecasters are much less comfortable predicting how a storm will
behave once it hits land. That's a major focus of their research
A $350 million class action lawsuit was filed
on September 15, 2004 in United States District Court in San Francisco,
California, case no: C 04 3872. This class action racketeering (RICO)
lawsuit was filed against the NutraSweet Corporation, American Diabetes
Association, Dr. Robert H. Moser and John Does 1-50. Plaintiffs
maintain that this lawsuit will prove how deadly the chemical sweetener
aspartame is when consumed by humans.
Contained in the lawsuit is the key role
played by current Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld in helping
to get aspartame pushed through the FDA. Back in the 1980s,
Rumsfeld was the President and CEO of Searle who originally owned
the patent on aspartame. Plaintiffs maintain
that Rumsfeld used his political muscle to get aspartame approved
by the FDA despite objections of many FDA health researchers and
According to spokesman attorney Britt Groom from Idaho, this lawsuit
was filed on behalf of a Mr. Joe Bellon of Concord, California.
Groom says a press conference is scheduled for Thursday, September
16, 2004, 11:00 AM at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento,
California. At the press conference, details of the lawsuit will
The lawsuit contains the following counts:
1. R.I.C.O. (racketeering charges)
2. Unfair Competition
3. False Advertising
4. Consumer Remedies Act
6. Breach of Warranty
7. Breach of Merchantability
8. Filed as a Class Action representing the People as a whole and
Joe Bellon's personal injuries as well.
According to the press release issued on this RICO lawsuit: "On
or about September 8, 2004 an affidavit was signed describing the
initial third world studies and the health hazards of aspartame.
These studies conducted in 1983/84 by the J.D. Searle Company were
translated to English from Spanish by a translator in 1984. The
"double blind" studies showed conclusive evidence that
aspartame caused severe health problems and even death to the exposed
study group. According to the Affidavit, the doctor directing
the studies has been missing since the approval of aspartame in
1984. The affidavit also describes how the
affiant was directed by J.D. Searle officials to destroy all records
of the studies - including filed notes and/or translations - possessed
by the affiant. The affiant describes in detail how the translations
were forwarded upon completion to J.D. Searle corporate offices
This isn't the first lawsuit filed alleging that aspartame is
hazardous to the health of humans. The National Justice League filed
three other lawsuit on April 26, 2004, in three separate California
courts. The defendants in those lawsuits number twelve and all produce
or use the artificial sweetener aspartame as a sugar substitute
in their products. Defendants in those lawsuits include Coca-Cola,
PepsiCo, Bayer Corp., the Dannon Company, William Wrigley Jr. Company,
Walmart, ConAgra Foods, Wyeth, Inc., The NutraSweet Company, and
Altria Corp. (parent company of Kraft Foods and Philip Morris).
This lawsuit charges the defendants engaged in unlawful acts of
"knowingly and intentionally using the neurotoxic Aspartame
as a sugar substitute in the manufacture of Equal, while knowing
that exposure to Aspartame causes among other diseases/symptoms:
abdominal pain, arthritis, asthma, brain cancer, breathing difficulties,
burning eyes or throat, burning urination, chest pains, chronic
cough, chronic fatigue, death, depression, diarrhea, headaches/migraines,
hearing loss, heart palpitations, hives (urticaria), hypertension,
impotency and sexual problems, memory loss, menstrual problems or
changes, nausea or vomiting, slurring of speech, tremors, tinnitus,
vertigo and/or vision loss." The lawsuit also states, "Further,
Aspartame disease mimics symptoms or worsens the following diseases:
Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease,
Lupus, Diabetes and diabetic complications, Epilepsy, Alzheimer's
Disease, birth defects, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lymphoma, Lyme
Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Panic Disorder, Depression
and other psychological disorders."
Further allegations include, "G.D. Searle denied knowledge
of/or involvement with the initiation, design or performance of
the study. Yet, the false results were submitted to the FDA like
the rest of the 150 G.D. Searle studies (on aspartame and other
products), bearing a Searle Pathology-Toxicology project number.
Both Dr.Waisman and G.D.Searle were responsible for the study design.
A number of false statements were made by G.D. Searle, including
that reported the animals were unavailable for purchase for autopsy
after the termination of the study."
Defendants in this lawsuit continue to maintain that aspartame
is safe for consumption. Aspartame is found in more than 5,000 food
products and all soft drinks sold in the United States.
A white-breasted eagle on the Parramatta River.
Photo: Nick Moir
The only sea eagles nesting on the Parramatta River have both been
found dead, possibly after consuming fish contaminated with deadly
The environmental disaster could not have come at a worse time.
It is believed the pair were incubating eggs in their newly constructed
nest near the Silverwater Bridge.
Although they live in one of the nation's most heavily contaminated
environments, last year the birds, which were only in their second
breeding season together, managed to fledge their first chick. They
had appeared to be in good health and because they both died at
the same time it is unlikely to have been the result of long-term
exposure to pollution.
Sea eagles are among the biggest predators in Sydney and a popular
attraction at Olympic Park. But their territory takes in a part
of the estuary considered so poisoned that fishing is illegal. [...]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers
said on Friday they have invented an antenna that captures visible
light in much the same way that radio antennas capture radio waves.
They say the device, using tiny carbon nanotubes, might serve as
the basis for an optical television or for converting solar energy
into electricity once properly developed.
Radio and television signals are captured using antennas close
to the size of the wavelength of broadcast radiation. These are
often huge -- thus the need for tall antennas.
In a receiver, the wave excites electrons into meaningful currents,
which are amplified and tuned to carry sound and pictures.
But light is carried by photons -- tiny packages that have the
properties of waves and particles. They are visible because cells
in the eye capture them, but no one had been able to make a device
small enough to act as an antenna.
Yang Wang and colleagues at Boston College used carbon nanotubes,
which are microscopic structures built out of carbon atoms.
The tubes, pictured on the Internet at http://www.aip.org/png/2004/221.htm,
are aligned randomly.
The light excites miniature electrical currents, they write in
the latest issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.
A visible-light antenna might work by receiving a television signal
superimposed onto a laser beam sent down an optical fiber, the researchers
This technology may improve the efficiency and quality of television
Or it could be used as the basis of an efficient solar energy device
that turns incoming light into an electrical charge to be stored
in a capacitor, they said.
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