Monday, November 15, 2004
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The Wave: 4 Volume Set
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Picture of the Day

Lever de Lune
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Who is the Real Enemy?
by John Kaminski

Do you support your country even if what it does is evil?
So what does that make you?

It is truly a devil of a choice. Support American soldiers murdering innocent civilians throughout Iraq and win the hollow, uneasy applause of your neighbors?

Or do you secretly root for Iraqi civilians turned revolutionaries trying the defend their war-wracked country against the murderous Western invaders ... and risk being arrested for treason?

You've heard the stories, if you've chosen to listen. Here's today's roundup: Gunmen in American helicopters shooting a family of five trying to swim across a river while escaping the carnage in Fallujah. Or killing doctors and nurses who were trying to help those wounded by indiscriminate American bombing. Or that story of the American soldier "finishing off" an injured Iraqi man.

These are only the latest of thousands of heartless atrocities wreaked on a ravaged country by an overwhelming military force that can only be described as completely insane. Representing a country that can only be described with the same phrase. The country in question is yours. Can you deal with that?

What America is doing to Iraq is a thousand times worse than Saddam Hussein every dreamed about doing to anyone! What America is doing to Iraq is worse than any dictator, no matter how vilified, has ever done to any other country!

You've heard the pornographic tales about Abu Ghraib prison. How does it sit with you that Americans are regarded as sadistic sex perverts by the rest of the world? Judging by the behavior of American soldiers, that is what we are.

And what do you do about it? How do you react, sitting in your easy chair on Sunday watching football? Turn to your favorite Internet porn site?

Try to ignore all those stories about the election, a trickle turning into a tidal wave of evidence that shows Bush got more votes than there were voters in a number of states? But if your thought process is that evolved, you realize that overturning this recent smelly election would not solve the problem, because the guy who lost is just as much a warmonger as the guy who won.

So you go back to your football game, and maybe turn up the volume a little, just in case you have a little bit of conscience left and can hear in your mind the distant screams of women and children being cut to ribbons by American ordnance in Fallujah. And all for no good reason.

You know, the thing that really gets me about the American butchery in Iraq is that it is a well-known fact — doubted by no one — that the reasons uniformed American men and women are even in Iraq are lies. Well-established lies, proven many times. No weapons of mass destruction. And no connection to al-Qaeda (even though al-Qaeda was invented by the CIA as an excuse to make wars everywhere).

Yet it apparently has occurred to no one with any degree of power in this warped society of ours that this means all the lives we have squandered in our War of Lies in Iraq are an absolutely evil abomination, completely unnecessary, except to maintain the fiction that the lies about weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaeda somehow don't really matter, and that we can kill anybody we want at any time.

There are two ways you can look at this. If you know a little about real American history, you know we have butchered people all over the world and clothed the horrific deeds in noble rhetoric so as not to offend our bloated sense of self-worth. If you know this, then you are part of the choir I so often preach to.

But if you think America has any remaining shred of decency and honesty in the way it barges around the world, killing innocent people with impunity as it goes, then I have to tell you that in your profound and deliberate ignorance, you are an accessory to mass murder. By your silence and inaction, you are assisting in the daily murders of innocent people.

Are you too stupid to make the connection? Waging war on the basis of lies is mass murder, and you are supporting it. Could it be any clearer?

I strongly urge anyone who supports the murderous and evil American presence in Iraq to instruct their children to immediately go and start killing their own neighbors, especially if their skin is not lily white, because this is exactly what the U.S. invasion of Iraq is telling us to do. We don't need a reason to kill people, unless it's because they have something that we want.

Since Iraq has something we want — namely oil — it's OK to kill them. That's what we are teaching are children. This is no joke. That's what our children are learning. Just listen to the soldiers in Iraq describe what they are doing.

How they have unleashed their savage hatred against people who have never done a thing to hurt them.

Oh, don't argue 9/11 to me. Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11. That atrocity wasn't carried out by Arabs, it was carried out by rich white men who pretend to be pious Christians and Jews hiding behind their billions of dollars.

For Americans, this is the profound lesson of the Iraq war. We don't need a reason to rob and kill someone anymore. Our religious president says it's the right thing to do, and has destroyed our Constitution, as well as our reputation around the world, to prove it.

And this is the lesson of 9/11. You stage a terror attack to convince the world we need to fight terror. This is what the Israelis have done over the last century to the Palestinians.

But it appears that we as a people — the American people — will never learn this lesson. Or, we will never learn it in time, anyway.

We have let our world be radically changed by a few evil, rich, white and soulless businessmen who control the information we receive and the appartus that governs us, and now we have let 200-plus years of relative freedom go down the drain simply because these men wanted to make even more money and sold us on a story that convinced us we were in danger from a foreign threat, just like they always do, just like they have always done.

They have changed the character of the world based on a big lie that we swallowed because we failed to have the courage to challenge what they said.

And look what happened. This killing will never stop, you know. The dogs of war have been unleashed. Those American kids who are doing all that killing in Iraq will bring all the stuff back home, and give it to us here.

You've heard about the plans, of course, haven't you? The economic collapse, the concentration camps for debtors and dissenters. Sure, watch your football game. It can't possibly happen here. Don't let your mind wander to the Fallujah scenario being transferred to Oakland, or Ann Arbor, or Houston.

I know, for most of you, it's already too late to change your mind. The die is cast (and the cast will soon be dead).

Paste that "Support Our Troops" ribbon on the back of your car. That way the rest of us will know you are cheering for mass murder because of reasons that are lies.

And when you look in the mirror, don't look directly into your own eyes. That's what happened to some of our soldiers who came back from Iraq, you know.

You know. Some of the ones who went down to the cellar and put a bullet into their temple.

Should your soul suddenly click on after its long period of dormancy, it could happen to you, you know.

This little snippet of an old song has been playing in my head these last few days. It reveals how old I am. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. 1970. "Wooden Ships."

Horror grips us as we watch you die.
All we can do is echo your anguished cries.
Stare as all human feelings die.
We are leaving — you don't need us.

America has become a nation of moral cowards and intellectual liars. Maybe the good people should get out, while they can. A curdled country like this doesn't deserve to survive.

John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and is acutely ashamed, in this rancid day and age, to be an American. His essays have appeared on hundreds of websites around the world and have been collected into two anthologies. The latest, titled "The Perfect Enemy," is available at

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Slapping the Other Cheek
Published: November 14, 2004

You'd think the one good thing about merging church and state would be that politics would be suffused with glistening Christian sentiments like "love thy neighbor," "turn the other cheek," "good will toward men," "blessed be the peacemakers" and "judge not lest you be judged."

Yet somehow I'm not getting a peace, charity, tolerance and forgiveness vibe from the conservatives and evangelicals who claim to have put their prodigal son back in office.

I'm getting more the feel of a vengeful mob - revved up by rectitude - running around with torches and hatchets after heathens and pagans and infidels.

One fiery Southern senator actually accused a nice Catholic columnist of having horns coming up out of her head!

Bob Jones III, president of the fundamentalist college of the same name, has written a letter to the president telling him that "Christ has allowed you to be his servant" so he could "leave an imprint for righteousness," by appointing conservative judges and approving legislation "defined by biblical norm."

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America - though she doesn't deserve it - a reprieve from the agenda of paganism," Mr. Jones wrote. "Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ." Way harsh.

The Christian avengers and inquisitors, hearts hard as marble, are chasing poor 74-year-old Arlen Specter through the Capitol's marble halls, determined to flagellate him and deny him his cherished goal of taking over the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Not only are they irate at his fairly innocuous comment after the election that anti-Roe v. Wade judges would have a hard time getting through the Senate. They are also full of bloodthirsty feelings of revenge against the senator for championing stem cell research and for voting against Robert Bork - who denounces Mr. Specter as "a bit shifty" - 17 years ago.

"He is a problem, and he must be derailed," Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, told George Stephanopoulos.

Sounding more like the head of a mob family than a ministry, Dr. Dobson told Mr. Stephanopoulos about a warning he issued a White House staffer after the election that the president and Republicans had better deliver on issues like abortion, gay marriage and conservative judges or "I believe they'll pay a price in the next election."

Certainly Mr. Specter has done his part for the conservative cause. He accused Anita Hill of "flat-out perjury" for a minor inconsistency in her testimony against Clarence Thomas, that good Christian jurist who once had a taste for porn films.

Some in the White House thought of giving Mr. Specter the post and then keeping him on a short leash. But the power puritans have no mercy. They say he's a mealy-mouthed impediment to the crusade of evangelicals and conservative Catholic bishops - who delivered their vote with ruthless efficacy - to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Dr. Dobson about his comment to The Daily Oklahoman that "Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people-hater.' I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people," noting that it was not a particularly Christian thing to say about the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. (Especially after that vulgar un-Christian thing Dick Cheney spat at Mr. Leahy last summer.)

"George," Dr. Dobson haughtily snapped back, "do you think you ought to lecture me on what a Christian is all about?" Why not? The TV host is the son of a Greek Orthodox priest.

Acting as though Mr. Bush's decisions should be taken on faith, John Ashcroft lashed into judges for not giving Mr. Bush unbridled power in his war against terror.

Speaking Friday before an adulatory Federalist Society, a group of conservative lawyers, Mr. Ashcroft echoed remarks he made to the Senate soon after 9/11 arguing that objecting to the president's antiterror proposals could give "ammunition to America's enemies."

He asserted that judges who interfere in or second guess the president's constitutional authority to make decisions during war can jeopardize the "very security of our nation in a time of war."

And since the president has no end in sight to his war on terror, that makes him infallible ad infinitum?

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The Texan who would be top U.S. lawman
Nov. 14, 2004. 10:40 AM

It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child.
— Andrew Card, White House chief of staff, speaking of George W. Bush on Sept. 1

President Bush does see himself as America's parental guardian.
It's an electorally winsome conceit but sincerely held. For Bush well knows the value of those protective loyalists who've long watched over him.

As he has failed upward, he has had the good sense to cling to his protectors.

They include his family, with its rich political and business connections.
The forgiving financiers who backed his failed Texas oil ventures.

The preachers, notably Billy Graham, who helped the born-again Bush cast off the demon drink and save his marriage.

And the clutch of Texas political hand-holders — campaign strategist Karl Rove, image polisher Karen Hughes and legal counsel Alberto Gonzales, most conspicuously — who nurtured Bush's success in Austin and who were easily coaxed to bring their Bush fealty to the White House.

Gonzales, nominated by Bush last week for the post of U.S. attorney-general, busied himself throwing up a Nixonian wall of secrecy around the first Bush administration.

He stonewalled U.S. senators wanting information about the hard-right judicial appointees he was selecting for Bush's nomination and took extraordinary steps to prevent the public from glimpsing what Dick Cheney's energy-policy conclave was up to.

This was all of a piece with Gonzales' work in Austin, where, among other things, he was a fixer who protected then-governor Bush from the political and legal fallout when the press learned of Bush's 1976 arrest, at age 30, for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Of far greater import was Gonzales' role in preparing last-minute summaries of clemency cases for potential death-row commutations.

Relying almost exclusively on those summaries, Bush allowed all but one execution in the 57 cases in which he was briefed by Gonzales.

Those briefings chronically omitted crucial facts tending to favour the condemned, as chronicled by investigative journalist Alan Berlow in the July/August 2003 edition of The Atlantic Monthly.

In Bush's six-year tenure as Lone Star governor, 150 men and two women were executed in Texas — a record unparalleled among other governors in living memory.

In many of these instances, Berlow reported, "Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel (one clemency seeker's public defender had slept through an entire hearing), conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence."

As a career corporate lawyer in Houston before signing on with Bush's office in 1995, Gonzales was unschooled in criminal law.

What qualified him for the task was knowing that his boss sought political advantage from a hard-line record on law-and-order.

When he followed Bush to the White House as the president's legal counsel, Gonzales similarly lacked knowledge of national security law and international jurisprudence relating to war.

But he knew Bush's mind.

In his characteristically zealous determination to protect Bush from accusations of infamy, it's hardly surprising that Gonzales penned his notorious Jan. 25, 2002, memo to Bush advising the president that the United States need not abide by the "obsolete" Geneva Conventions in prosecuting its war on terror.

Together with a string of subsequent "torture memos" produced by the justice and defence departments on Gonzales' watch, the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus was given the green light to conduct its incarcerations and interrogations in a manner that inevitably led to the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal.

Secretary of State Colin Powell objected to the substance of the January 2002 memo. But Powell didn't work in the White House. And Gonzales, who did, had a far better understanding of his client.

Some might argue that there is a sadistic streak to this president that "Bring 'em on" Bush has done little to disguise. It begins with the second-degree burns inflicted on the Yale fraternity pledges that Bush branded — and for which he was unapologetic when called to account — and runs through to his mockery of Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman to be executed in Texas in 100 years.

(Bush imitated Tucker in a Talk magazine interview published in 1999: "`Please,' he whimpers, pursing his lips, `don't kill me.'")

And so we come to the sorry pass in which Alberto Gonzales, the enabler, is poised to become the 80th U.S. attorney-general.

"It is distressing that (Bush's) first nominee post-election not only doesn't have a record of defending human rights but has a record of actively opposing their recognition," complained Jamie Fellner, head of the U.S. branch of Human Rights Watch.

Worse, into Gonzales' untutored hands fall the tasks of pursuing anti-trust cases, reforming the FBI and overseeing probes into alleged misconduct by Halliburton Co. and other politically sensitive matters.

But loyalty trumps competence in this White House.

The conservative U.S. historian Richard Brookhiser took Bush's measure back in 1999.

In a quaint National Review piece that year, Brookhiser despaired that "George Washington copied out an etiquette book when he was a teenager, and George W. squints his eyes and laughs at dead women."

Seeing little distinction between the worldview of 10-year-olds and their presidential guardians, Brookhiser complained that, to prove his potency, Bill Clinton romped with Monica Lewinsky and casually fired cruise missiles into Khartoum and Kosovo.

And what, Brookhiser asked, "will President W. do, when he runs out of pardons to withhold?"

The past four years have revealed part of the answer. And without much difficulty we can guess the rest.

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US secretary of State quits

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, known as the odd man out in the Bush cabinet, has resigned, US TV networks have reported.

The former general, who headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War, was regarded as a dove in a White House full of hawks.

His resignation was not a great surprise.

Powell told his staff he had handed his resignation to President Bush on Friday and that he will remain in office until a successor is appointed.

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is regarded as a likely successor.

State Department officials confirmed the resignation.

Powell had long been rumoured to be determined to serve only one term as Bush’s foreign minister.

The White House was preparing an announcement to confirm Powell’s resignation.

According to one official, Powell expects that his departure date will be sometime in January. It was not immediately clear whether he will leave before Bush’s second inauguration on January 20.

Most of the speculation on a successor has centred on UN Ambassador John Danforth, a Republican and former senator from Missouri.

Powell has had a controversial tenure in the chief of state’s job, reportedly differing on some key issues at various junctures with Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Powell, however, has generally had good relations with his counterparts around the world, although his image standing has been strained by the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Powell led the Bush administration argument at the United Nations for a military attack to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, arguing a weapons-of-mass-destruction threat that the administration could never buttress.

The word of his imminent departure kicked off a new week of Cabinet shuffling for Bush, who is planning his second term.

Education Secretary Rod Paige has also let it be known he wants to leave.

Last week, the administration had announced the departures of Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

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ACLU slams Ashcroft comments
Nov. 12 (UPI)

WASHINGTON, -- The American Civil Liberties Union said outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft showed "his clear disdain for the law" in a speech Friday.

In a speech to the National Lawyers Meeting of the Federalist Society, Ashcroft warned about "activist" judges who he said were "encroaching" on the president's constitutional powers.

The attorney general did not mention specific instances, but the Justice Department is appealing a ruling by a federal judge in Washington this week that says the administration must follow the Geneva Convention in handling terror detainees, unless an impartial tribunal shows that they are not entitled to its protections.

"The nation's top law enforcement officer today expressed his clear disdain for the rule of law," ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said in a statement. "The Bush administration and its attorney general nominee should immediately denounce today's comments by outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft."

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New Border Security Technology Faces Test

By LYNN BREZOSKY, Associated Press Writer
November 15, 2004

LAREDO, Texas - Bridges to Mexico in this traffic-choked city began testing a new immigration security program Monday that requires some U.S. visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed as they cross the border.

The screening by the Homeland Security Department was being tested Monday at Gateways from Mexico in Laredo and Douglas, Ariz., and the Canadian border city of Port Huron, Mich.

The technology — which also calls for running checks on the visitors — has been in place at U.S. airports and seaports since Jan. 5, but officials want to pinpoint any glitches before the program extends to the nation's 50 busiest land crossings by year's end.

"We always test first," said Anna Hinken, program outreach manager.

Fabian Gonzales was among the first in line Monday morning. The 34-year-old walked up to row of bank-like teller machines on the U.S. side of the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge, answered a few questions, then inserted his finger into a small fingerprinting machine. A golfball-sized camera snapped his picture.

Digital fingerscans and photos are matched with databases to determine if visitors might be wanted for immigration problems and crimes or are on lists barring them from entering the country because of suspected terrorist ties.

Gonzales, a restaurateur from Monterrey, Mexico, who is looking to open up a store in San Antonio, said the process was simple and only took about 7 minutes.

"It's OK," he said. "I hope this new process improves the security and also helps the tourists."

Extra security requirements were passed by Congress in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and have been in place for nearly all non-U.S. citizens since January.

The information gathered at the borders will be stored indefinitely in a national database, but Homeland Security officials promised its use would be restricted to ensure privacy. By the end of 2005, the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, or US-VISIT, is scheduled to be used at all 165 land border crossings.

Homeland Security is spending $340 million implementing inkless fingerprinting machines, digital cameras and computer equipment. Another $340 million has been allocated for 2005.

Business and political leaders in some border cities fought the system initially, fearing the program could slow traffic and have a negative effect on local economies. But, the infusion of federal money and personnel to the border could actually improve trade.

Laredo each year has 4.6 million pedestrians, 1.4 million trucks, 6.8 million private vehicles and more than 40,000 buses cross its four international bridges, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"At the very beginning we were led to believe... that this program was going to be bad for us," Laredo Mayor Betty Flores said. "From what I witnessed ... the program is going to be good for us."

Maria Luisa O'Connell, president of the Border Trade Alliance, agreed.

"From what I have seen and what I have heard in our conversations with Homeland Security, what they're looking to do at this first stage seems to be OK," she said. "We don't believe that it's going to cause more backups or lines."

Leaders of the other two pilot sites also said they were optimistic.

Douglas, Ariz., Mayor Ray Borane said he had met with Homeland Security officials and was convinced US-VISIT would not disrupt the busy crossing to Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Thomas Hutka, city manager of Port Huron, Mich., said US-VISIT made city officials feel more secure. "Anything that helps them identify who people are helps us," he said.

Jim Williams, director of US-VISIT, said Mexican citizens holding Border Crossing Cards, or laser visas, would not be subject to the printing and photographing.

The cards allow Mexicans to enter the United States for short visits, as long as they do not travel more than 25 miles from the border in Texas, California and New Mexico; and 75 miles in Arizona.

Comment: When the population is willing to do anything to "feel more secure", individual freedoms must become a dream of the past. The US is isolating itself more and more from the rest of the world, and all because of a fabricated threat of terrorist "evil-doers ".

We highly recommend the three-part BBC series "The Power of Nightmares". While we think that the producers left several stones unturned in their investigations and analyses, the series is certainly a good introduction to several core issues in the so-called War on Terrorism, including Evangelical Christianity and the manipulation of ordinary information and individuals into an ominous terrorist threat.

For example, the third installment in the series includes a report on a videotape made by young Arabs visiting Disneyland. The individuals in question made a videotape of their visit, which looked just like any other home-made record of a vacation to Disneyland. US officials concluded that the tape was actually intended to "case" the theme park for possible future terror strikes. The argument that it looked just like an ordinary home movie made by some kids on vacation was dismissed with amazingly twisted reasoning: US officials claimed that the fact that the videotape seemed like an ordinary home movie was proof that it wasn't, because terrorists would no doubt try to hide their reconnaissance in the form of an innocent video travel log.

How does one defend oneself against such illogical conclusions?

This incredible story is only one of many that show quite clearly that the War on Terror is based on little more than lies, manipulations, and the twisting of numerous facts to suit the particular agendas of the Neocons and Zionists.

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Bordering On Nukes?

New accounts from al-Qaeda to attack the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction

Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004

A key al-Qaeda operative seized in Pakistan recently offered an alarming account of the group's potential plans to target the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction, senior U.S. security officials tell TIME. Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian who was captured in late August near Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan, has told his interrogators of "al-Qaeda's interest in moving nuclear materials from Europe to either the U.S. or Mexico," according to a report circulating among U.S. government officials.

Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S.," according to the report, parts of which were read to TIME. Masri says his family, seeking refuge from al-Qaeda hunters, is now in Iran.

Masri's account, though unproved, has added to already heightened U.S. concerns about Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met publicly with top Mexican officials last week to discuss border security and smuggling rings that could be used to slip al-Qaeda terrorists into the country. Weeks prior to Ridge's lightning visit, U.S. and Mexican intelligence conferred about reports from several al-Qaeda detainees indicating the potential use of Mexico as a staging area "to acquire end-stage chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material." U.S. officials have begun to keep a closer eye on heavy-truck traffic across the border.

The Mexicans will also focus on flight schools and aviation facilities on their side of the frontier. And another episode has some senior U.S. officials worried: the theft of a crop-duster aircraft south of San Diego, apparently by three men from southern Mexico who assaulted a watchman and then flew off in a southerly direction. Though the theft's connection to terrorism remains unclear, a senior U.S. law-enforcement official notes that crop dusters can be used to disperse toxic substances. The plane, stolen at night two weeks ago, has not been recovered.

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US to deploy hyper-missiles

Anywhere on Earth could be targeted 'within two hours'

Robin McKie and David Smith
The Observer
Sunday November 14, 2004

American scientists are developing hypersonic cruise missiles that will fly 10 times faster than current rockets, penetrate concrete armouring and could be launched from any site in the world.

The missiles would have a range of 9,000 miles, more than a third of Earth's circumference and be able to reach their targets within two hours. First prototypes are expected to be tested next year, though the missile is not expected to be deployed until the end of the decade.

'If someone is messing with us - or Britain - from far away, we could whack them straight away,' said Preston Carter, an aerospace engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in California.

The new missiles will exploit supersonic combustion ramjet - or scramjet - technology. Nasa engineers will tomorrow attempt to fly a robot X-43A scramjet over the Pacific at speeds around 7,200 mph, 10 times the speed of sound.

The flight will be crucial in demonstrating the feasibility of hypersonic travel. Most media attention has focused on its commercial exploitation for jets that could travel from London to Sydney in two hours. The prime aim is to create hypersonic rockets that would replace current cruise missiles.

'The new missiles could strike pretty much anywhere within a couple of hours,' said Graham Warwick, Americas editor of Flight International.

'Current cruise missile have to be carried on a B52 bomber. That involves planning and takes at least 24 hours. The military want a quick solution, so if they knew bin Laden was sipping coffee at a cafe they could get a bomb on target in two hours.'

Scramjets work on the same principle as all jets, by igniting fuel in compressed air and using the expanding gases to propel the aircraft. Standard turbojets use fans to compress the air: scramjets use a plane's forward motion alone to bring air into the combustion chamber and require an initial boost from a rocket.

The entire aircraft then becomes an enormous scoop that receives air which is compressed and injected - and ignited - with a chemical called silane before hydrogen fuel is added. The feat compares to 'lighting a match in a hurricane', says Nasa.

'We'll see a military application initially as a "bunker buster" that would hit its target and bore into the ground before exploding,' said Carter.'

'We are talking about the ability to strike more cost-effectively. If the US has to deploy troops to the other side of the world, it is expensive. This may keep enemies in check and act as a deterrent.'

Comment: How appropriate that the world will tremble at the sound of the Fourth Reich's new rockets, just as they did when the Third Reich was conducting its own quest for world domination...

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New Bill in Congress Targets Teachers Who Dare to Question US Support for Israel
By Michael Collins Piper
November 15, 2004

The Israeli lobby has launched an all-out drive to ensure congressional passage of a bill, approved by the House and now before a Senate committee that would set up a federal tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American college campuses.

Ten months ago the New York-based Jewish Week newspaper claimed that the report by American Free Press that Republican members of the Senate were planning to crack down on college and university professors who were critical of Israel was "a dangerous urban legend at best, deliberate disinformation at worst." They were claiming that AFP lied.

However, on Sept. 17, 2003, the House Subcommittee on Select Education unanimously approved H.R. 3077, the International Studies in Higher Education Act, which was then passed by the full House on Oct. 21. The chief sponsor of the legislation was Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a conservative Republican from Michigan.


Critics charge that the bill is dangerous—a direct affront to the First Amendment and the product of intrigue by a small clique of individuals and organizations which combines the forces of the powerful Israeli lobby in official Washington.

Leading the push for Senate approval of the bill are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, run by Abe Foxman, the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee.

Also lending its support is Empower America, the neo-conservative front group established by William Kristol, editor and publisher of billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s Weekly Standard, which is said to be the "intellectual" journal that governs the train of foreign policy thinking in the Bush administration.

One other group has lent its support: the U.S. India Political Action Committee, an Indian-American group that has been working closely with the Israeli lobby now that Israel and India are geopolitically allied.

H.R. 3077 is bureaucratic in its tone, decipherable only to those with the capacity to wade through legislative linguistics. It would set up a seven-member advisory board that would have the power to recommend cutting federal funding for colleges and universities that are viewed as harboring academic critics of Israel.

Two members of the board would be appointed by the Senate, two by the House, and three by the secretary of education, two of whom are required to be from U.S. federal security agencies. The various appointees would be selected from what The Christian Science Monitor described on March 11 as "politicians, representatives of cultural and educational organizations, and private citizens."


Gilbert Merk, vice provost for international affairs and development and director of the Center for International Studies at Duke University, has echoed the fears of many when he charged that this advisory board "could easily be hijacked by those who have a political axe to grind and become a vehicle for an inquisition."

The primary individuals promoting this effort to control intellectual debate on the college campuses are prominent and outspoken supporters of Israel and harsh critics of the Arab and Muslim worlds. They are:

• Martin Kramer, a professor of Arab studies at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel;

• Stanley Kurtz, a contributor of ex-CIA man William F. Buckley Jr.’s bitterly anti-Arab National Review Online and a research fellow at the staunchly pro-Israel Hoover Institution; and

• Daniel Pipes, founder of the pro-Israel Middle East Forum and its affiliate, Campus Watch, an ADL-style organization that keeps tabs on college professors and students who are—or are suspected of being—critics of Israel.

These three, along with the Israeli lobby, are claiming that they are fighting "anti-Americanism" as it is being taught on the college campuses.

Republicans in Congress have joined this chorus, preferring to allow their constituents to think that this is an "America First" measure.

Juan Cole of the History News Network responds to this extraordinary twist on reality saying that the claim of "anti-Americanism" is intellectually dishonest.

"What they mean . . . if you pin them down is ambivalence about the Iraq war, or dislike of Israeli colonization of the West Bank, or recognition that the U.S. government has sometimes in the past been in bed with present enemies like al Qaeda or Saddam. None of these positions is 'anti-American,' and any attempt by a congressionally appointed body to tell university professors they cannot say these things—or that if they say them they must hire someone else who will say the opposite—is a contravention of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution." [...]

Comment: How is a law that prohibits rational criticism of Israel putting "America First" and fighting "anti-Americanism"? Apparently, either most US politicians are well aware of the power that the Zionists wield over the American government, or they are incapable of distinguishing between America and Israel...

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US troops 'preventing aid' to Falluja
Sunday 14 November 2004
US troops are preventing a Red Crescent convoy of emergency aid from reaching helpless residents inside Falluja, a spokeswoman says.

Hopes were raised that the military would make an exception to a no-entry rule when the trucks were allowed as far as the Falluja general hospital, which was seized before a US-Iraqi assault to gain control of the city, the spokeswoman said on Saturday.

But wounded residents inside the war zone were unable to enter the hospital on the western outskirts, and US forces forbade the aid convoy from reaching them, Red Crescent spokeswoman Firdus al-Ubadi said.

Access denied

"They are in the general hospital, but until now the Americans will not let them distribute medical supplies in the city," al-Ubadi said, referring to the team of 50 volunteers and three doctors that had travelled from Baghdad to Falluja.

Doctor Jamal al-Karbuli, the secretary-general of the Iraqi Red Crescent, "is negotiating with the Americans to let them distribute the supplies to the people", she added.

"Jamal is insisting, at least, to have permission to get the injured people out of Falluja and into the hospital."

Civilians hiding in the city, where US and Iraqi troops have clashed with the resistance since Monday, are dying of starvation and thirst and something must be done to help them, al-Ubadi said.

"They need us. It is our duty as a humanitarian agency to do our job for these people in these circumstances," she said.

The Iraqi government said it was evacuating wounded civilians out of Falluja and that the main hospital would soon be operational again.

A US military spokesman said the city was too risky for the aid workers.

"We have to take into consideration safety and security," he said.

Refugee town struck

Late on Saturday, Aljazeera reported that the town of Amiriyat al-Falluja - hosting about 4000 families fleeing the fighting in Falluja - was struck by a US aerial assault, which killed five people and injured four others.

Earlier, the Red Crescent society had despatched a convoy of four relief trucks and an ambulance to Amiriyat al-Falluja and a tourist village in Habbaniya - where an additional 1500 refugees are camped.

The Red Crescent believes that only 150 families are still in the heart of Falluja, but it is concerned about the plight of tens of thousands of people living in refugee camps and villages dotted outside.

"They are dying of starvation and a lack of water, especially
the children," al-Ubadi said.

"If there is no solution to this crisis it will expand to other cities and other parts of Iraq and there will be a great disaster here."

An AFP correspondent in Falluja said he had seen a number of
families emerge from the devastation.

One group among them complained on Friday of severe thirst and hunger. Another was on the edge of despair.

Witness contradicts denials

Local journalist in Falluja, Haza al-Afify, told Aljazeera that there were many civilian casualties, contrary to what the US military said.

"The humanitarian situation is miserable. The US forces have cut the electricity power supply.

"Water-pumping operations have now stopped for good. Water pipes carry polluted water supply. There is a severe shortage of foodstuff and food supplies," he said.

"The US forces denial is something but the realities on the ground are another. The US tanks and aircraft keep bombarding residents' homes day and night.

"The US snipers keep dominating rooftops and target everything that moves on the ground. This is mass murder for Falluja residents," the journalist said.

"There are scores of families buried under the rubble of destroyed homes. Others have bled to death. There is a stench from every street due to decaying bodies."

"So how can I believe the US forces' allegations on what I have witnessed by my own eyes?"

Comment: It would appear that when Bush used the word "crusade" to describe the phony "war on terror" his scriptwriters were not joking. Under the original crusades in Europe some 700-800 years ago, the forces of the church of Rome would often attack a city and besiege it, cutting off water and food supplies and starving the people inside into surrender or death. It was an extremely effective, if brutal, form of warfare and it is still being put to "good use" in the modern theatre of war.

Unable to defeat the Iraqi fighters the green light has been given to the US military to besiege the city of Fallujah and starve the entire town into submission, civilians included. As far as the US troops and commanders are concerned this course of action is fully justified because, by now they have realised that the ordinary civilians of Fallujah are providing cover for the "insurgents".

We can almost see the perplexed look on the faces of those young marines, who, up until now, were convinced that they were in Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people from "al-Qaeda terrorists". Suddenly they are faced with the reality that the Iraqi civilians are actually supporting the "terrorists". Does this mean that the Iraqi civilians are terrorists too? Probably, so just kill 'em all, right?

To do otherwise would require a little thought and reflection, which might result in some of the foot soldiers/cannon fodder waking up to the fact that there are no terrorists in Iraq and the war they are waging is a war of occupation of a foreign country, a war on the ordinary Iraqi population, some of whom will naturally take up arms and fight back - and that's the last thing BushCo wants to see happen.

Where does this leave the ordinary US soldier? Well, if justice were to be done they would all end up in a dock in the Hague answering multiple murder charges, as would most of the Bush cabinet and many US military leaders along with genocide. But justice is seldom done on this planet, indeed it seems that Bush and his handlers have redefined the word, due process and the rule of law has been done away with in favor of "you are with us or you are with the terrorists" - agree with us or die.

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AP Photographer Flees Fallujah
Some News Source
The 33-year-old Associated Press photographer [Bilal Hussein] stayed behind to capture insider images during the siege of the former insurgent stronghold.

In the hours and days that followed, heavy bombing raids and thunderous artillery shelling turned Hussein's northern Jolan neighborhood into a zone of rubble and death. The walls of his house were pockmarked by coalition fire.

"Destruction was everywhere. I saw people lying dead in the streets, wounded were bleeding and there was no one to come and help them. Even the civilians who stayed in Fallujah were too afraid to go out," he said.

"There was no medicine, water, no electricity nor food for days."

By Tuesday afternoon, as U.S. forces and Iraqi rebels engaged in fierce clashes in the heart of his neighborhood, Hussein snapped.

"U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses, so I decided that it was very dangerous to stay in my house," he said.

Hussein said he panicked, seizing on a plan to escape across the Euphrates River, which flows on the western side of the city

"I wasn't really thinking," he said. "Suddenly, I just had to get out. I didn't think there was any other choice."

In the rush, Hussein left behind his camera lens and a satellite telephone for transmitting his images. His lens, marked with the distinctive AP logo, was discovered two days later by U.S. Marines next to a dead man's body in a house in Jolan.

AP colleagues in the Baghdad bureau, who by then had not heard from Hussein in 48 hours, became even more worried.

Hussein moved from house to house dodging gunfire and reached the river.

"I decided to swim ... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."

He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross. Then, he "helped bury a man by the river bank, with my own hands."

"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards."

He met a peasant family, who gave him refuge in their house for two days. Hussein knew a driver in the region and sent a message to another AP colleague, Ali Ahmed, in nearby Ramadi.

Comment: "He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross [the river]."

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US Soldiers Guilty Of War Crimes
Some News Source
Human rights experts said Friday that American soldiers might have committed a war crime on Thursday when they sent fleeing Iraqi civilians back into Fallujah.

Citing several articles of the Geneva Conventions, the experts said recognized laws of war require military forces to protect civilians as refugees and forbid returning them to a combat zone.

"This is highly problematical conduct in terms of exposing people to grave danger by returning them to an area where fighting is going on," said Jordan Paust, a law professor at the University of Houston and a former Army prosecutor.

James Ross, senior legal adviser to Human Rights Watch, said, "If that's what happened, it would be a war crime."

A stream of refugees, about 300 men, women and children, were detained by American soldiers as they left southern Fallujah by car and on foot. The women and children were allowed to proceed. The men were tested for any residues left by the handling of explosives. All tested negative, but they were sent back.

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Iraqis dispute US progress in Falluja
Sunday 14 November 2004

A spokesman for the Falluja resistance says US forces are at an impasse in the city, and denies the US offensive against the town has succeeded.

Speaking to Aljazeera by telephone on Saturday, the spokesman said the US military was suffering increasing numbers of casualties.

"The announcement of the end of the military offensive is proof that American forces are in an impasse ... the American criminals and the Iraqi apostates have suffered more than 150 killed and more than 270 wounded," said Abu Saad al-Dlimi, spokesman of the Shura (consultative) Council of the Muhajidin in Falluja.

Earlier, US-backed Iraqi government officials pronounced the conclusion of a massive six-day US offensive on Falluja.

"Today alone, young freedom fighters have been able to torch more than 12 [American military] vehicles," said the resistance spokesman, adding that the situation had not changed for the past three days.

"US forces are still outside the [northwestern] Julan neighbourhood. US forces were not able to gain one metre of this district," Dlimi added.

"US forces are meeting with fierce resistance from inside Falluja districts ... and are surrounded. They are under missile and artillery fire," he said.

Only pockets left

A senior Iraqi official said earlier on Saturday that the battle to retake the city was over, with more than 1000 fighters killed, but that the country's most wanted man, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had fled.

"Operation Fajr (Dawn) has been achieved and only the malignant pockets remain that we are dealing with through a clean-up operation," Qasim Dawud, a minister of state, said.

The US military, which spearheaded the six-day assault, said commanders on the ground had yet to declare the operation over.

But a US officer said on Sunday that fighters were showing much less resistance than before.

"Two days ago they were coming out and fighting us. Last night they were running. It looks like we are about to break their will," tank company commander Captain Robert Bodisch said.


Dlimi rejected Dawud's assertions.

"The number of martyrs among young fighters does not exceed 100, the others are unarmed civilians who were crushed by American tanks," said Dlimi.

"If [the Americans] say they have wrapped up operations in Falluja, we are telling them that if that is true allow all satellite networks to enter the city this night so the world can see what is really happening in the streets of Falluja.

"Everything they are announcing is disinformation. Falluja is the theatre of butchery and destruction. Today they bombed the only telecommunications centre which provided links between Falluja and the outside world. Americans are criminals," said the spokesman.

So many pockets

Local journalist in Falluja, Haza al-Afify, told Aljazeera: "Fierce clashes are still under way at the northern and northwestern edges of Julan neighbourhood. Fighting is also raging in the southern and southeastern neighbourhoods, particularly at al-Shuhada neighbourhood and the industrial quarter.

"What we have heard on ending military operations as stated by the Iraqi State Minister for Defence Qasim Dawud does not bear credibility in relation to the reality of the situation on the ground.

"Fierce clashes are still continuing in several neighbourhoods. If these neighbourhoods are mere pockets, Falluja will be harbouring so many pockets."

He added that while US tanks and armoured vehicles had the main roads under control, the narrow alleys were still out of reach to US forces.

"I assure you that the reality of the current situation does not imply a halt to military operations, he said."

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Attack on Fallujah can't be justified
Friday, November 12, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Do Americans of good conscience really believe that we are making the United States more secure by bombing and killing the people of Fallujah?

That's the justification President Bush and his hawkish circle have given for their brutal offensive against the Sunni stronghold as they push ahead for the total military occupation of Iraq.

Why are we killing Iraqis in their own country? And why are our forces being killed?

Of course it was convenient and the better part of valor for the president to wait until after the election to start dropping the 500-pound bombs on Fallujah as well as raking the streets with artillery and aircraft firepower.

Bush, who has never been in war, flaunted his commander in chief status during the campaign. But clearly he did not want to put it to the test at Fallujah before Election Day.

Had he done so, the president would have had to explain why he took the United States into Iraq and why he was targeting innocent Iraqis.

From day one, the U.S. government has been hard-pressed to find legal justification for being in Iraq by force. U.S. military moves were contrary to the U.N. Charter and the laws that came from the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II.

Under the U.N. Charter, armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of another state is a violation of international law.

Does anyone believe that hand-picked interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, on the CIA payroll for years, is a free soul? Did we really make war against Iraq out of the goodness of our hearts to ensure free elections for Iraqis?

The silence of the Democrats is playing into the president's hands. As was the case with the original October 2002 congressional resolution authorizing war, Democrats are unsure of themselves and therefore unwilling to challenge the president.

Once the offensive was under way, many Americans were appalled to learn that among our first major targets were the hospitals in Fallujah.

By now everyone in this country must know that every reason Bush gave to attack Iraq has turned out to be a false. No weapons of mass destruction were found after two task forces took months and spent millions to hunt for them.

There was no imminent threat by Iraq against the United States. And virtually nothing has been found to connect al-Qaida with deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Presidential credibility used to have some meaning in this country. The president visited the soldiers wounded in Iraq at Walter Reed Hospital Army Medical Center on Tuesday for the first time since March. He told reporters that the U.S. soldiers in Fallujah were doing "the hard work necessary" for a free Iraq to emerge.

And he said the coalition forces were moving into Fallujah "to bring to justice those who are willing to kill the innocent, those who are trying to terrorize the Iraqi people and our coalition (and) those who want to stop democracy."

The Bush administration has no count on civilians who have lost their lives in the current massive assault on Fallujah, but some 900 civilians reportedly died in the fighting last April when the U.S. retreated temporarily from Fallujah.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters he knew of "no specific estimate of civilians" who may have been killed in the recent fighting.

But he added: "I know the military goes out of its way to minimize the loss of civilian life, and what we are working to achieve in Iraq is an important cause that will make America more secure."

Thousands in Fallujah fled their homes and are living in tents, knowing that the U.S. attack was about to begin.

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers are going from house to house in urban street fighting -- something Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, wanted to avoid as a way of reducing the human cost of the first Gulf War. For that reason he resisted going on to Baghdad after the liberation of Kuwait.

To understand the Iraqi resistance, I suggest reading the Scottish poet Sir Walter Scott. He wrote: "Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himself has said this is mine own my native land."

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Butchered blonde woman found with throat slit
November 15, 2004 - 7:38AM
The body of a blonde woman with her legs and arms cut off and throat slit was found today lying on a street in Falluja, a notorious Iraqi enclave for hostage-takers, US marines said.

"It is definitely a Caucasian woman with long blonde hair," said a military official, who cut open a cover that had been placed over the corpse.

Another unit stumbled across eight Arab men, apparently Iraqis, who had been shot in the head execution-style, and laid out in two courtyards, four in each, said an AFP reporter embedded with the marines.

The gruesome discoveries were made as marines moved through the south of Falluja, hunting out the remaining rebels after a week of fierce fighting to regain control of the city.

"It is a female ... missing all four appendages, with a slashed throat and disembowelled; she has been dead for a while but only in this location for a day or two," said Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the Navy Corps, who had inspected the body.

An AFP photographer embedded with the marines noted that the woman was wearing a blue dress and her face was completely disfigured.

Sweeps of rubble-strewn neighbourhoods in Falluja have uncovered a grisly underworld of hostage slaughterhouses, prisons and torture chambers as well as the corpses of Iraqis who had been executed, marines say.

Later in the day, a unit of marines found the eight men, all fairly burly and aged between about 20 and 45, in central Falluja, said the AFP reporter.

There were no uniforms or distinguishing features to identify the bodies, but two were dressed just in their underwear, he said. [...]

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Iraqi City Lies in Ruins
By Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
FALLOUJA, Iraq — Even as small groups of guerrillas continued putting up fierce resistance here Sunday, U.S. commanders were preparing for the next phase of the operation: the complete reconstruction of a city that has been devastated in battle.

"It's a monumental task," acknowledged Marine Maj. Timothy Hanson, one of the first civil affairs officers on the scene to assess the scope of destruction in the city that had become the tactical and inspirational capital of the Iraqi insurgency. [...]

The reconstruction effort in Fallouja will require tens of millions of dollars in U.S. funds to compensate residents for damaged property and to rebuild large parts of the city damaged by weeks of U.S. airstrikes and street-by-street fighting.

The project seems likely to dwarf the large-scale rebuilding scheme in the southern city of Najaf, where damage was estimated at $500 million after a Marine offensive in August ousted Shiite Muslim militiamen.

Comment: Notice anything amiss here? First we are told that "tens of millions" will be required to rebuild Fallujah, then we are told that the cost of the damage to Fallujah "dwarfs" the reconstruction costs of Najaf, which were $500 million.

Fallouja once was home to almost 300,000 people, though most fled before U.S.-led forces launched the assault early last week. The city now lies abandoned and in ruins, a tableau of the aftermath of urban warfare.

Comment: Just before the attack on Fallujah began we were told that only half the population had fled, now, in the aftermath, when many civilians have probably been killed by US troops, we are being told that "most" had left before the onslaught began. Is this a ploy in order to cover up the mass killing of civilians by the US military?

The town's main east-west drag, a key objective of U.S. troops, is a tangle of rubble-filled lots and shot-up storefronts. Shattered water and sewage pipes have left pools of sewage-filled water, sometimes knee-deep. Scorched and potholed streets are filled with debris; power lines droop in tangles or lie on the ground.

Many mosques, the city's pride and joy, are a shambles after insurgents used them as shelter and firing positions, drawing return fire from the Marines.

Comment: Do we sense a little "spin" here? Are we really to believe that the average US Marine, being rather intellectually and culturally challenged, would NOT have entered a Mosque and used it as a firing position UNLESS it was already occupied by insurgents? Let's be reasonable here.

Houses have been ransacked by insurgents and further damaged as U.S. troops chased snipers, searched for weapons caches or took cover in the homes. Marines routinely called in tanks, artillery and airstrikes to take out gunmen. [...]

Comment: One gunman, held up in a house, very likely with civilians, and the US military has no qualms about ordering an F-16 to obliterate it. Now THAT'S US-style "freedom and democracy" at work for ya.

But the bombed-out buildings are only the most obvious damage.

There is no running water or electricity. The water, power and sewage infrastructure will probably need complete overhauls.

Food distribution systems must be reinstituted. Shops must be reopened, commerce resumed. Battered hospitals, clinics and schools must be patched up and reopened. [...]

Despite the clear military gains, the city remains insecure enough that major civil affairs units that will oversee reconstruction have yet to arrive. But more than $50 million in contracts has already been let, and people are standing by, ready to start work as soon as it is safe enough.

Comment: Read the above three paragraphs again and what words come to mind? Yes, indeed "Halliburton" and "no-bid contracts". Are you getting just how sinister this whole operation really is? It goes like this. The US government trumps up false charges against a sovereign nation. The US military is ordered in to essentially destroy the infrastructure of said country. US firms are then awarded "no-bid" contracts to "rebuild" the country. These firms are then paid by the US government with money from the stolen resources of that country that would normally have benefited the citizens of that country. To simply, the Iraqi people are paying US companies like Halliburton to rebuild their homes which the US military destroyed. It get's worse however. US firms are free to charge any price they choose, and quite often the quality and extent of the rebuilding done is entirely up to the firms themselves. It's also known as "money for nothing".

A coordinating team — including officials from the U.S. military and civilian agencies as well as the Iraqi government — has been meeting for the last two weeks to figure out how to spend the roughly $200 million allocated for Fallouja and nearby Ramadi. [...]

Comment: "Civilian agencies" = US firms. "Iraqi government" = CIA assets like Allawi. U.S. military = US defence contractors whose pockets will be lined so that they can keep the US troops well stocked with weapons of war for the next "terrorist" country on the list. Yes indeed, the vultures are circling and each wants its slice of the plundered Iraqi pie, filled with the rotting corpses of Iraqi civilians.

In the works is some kind of "Welcome Back to Fallouja" campaign, directing residents to military civil affairs offices where people can find reconstruction help.

"It won't be a fruit basket or anything like that," said Hanson, the Marine major. He had $500,000 in cash for various expenses: compensating civilians who had suffered property losses or injuries or lost relatives deemed not to be insurgents.

Money also will be spread around to pay residents to help clean up the streets [...]

Comment: "Here's $50, now would you mind picking up the remains of your mother from the street?" "Thanks, oh, and eh...I'm sorry for your loss."

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For Iraqis in Harm's Way, $5,000 and 'I'm Sorry'
Published: March 17, 2004

[...] One of the problems with cluster bombs is that some bomblets do not explode right away. That is what disfigured Ayad, the boy whose face looks as if it was tattooed. Ayad said that on April 25, he was tending cows in the village of Kifil, south of Baghdad, when a bomblet in the grass burst open. It embedded bits of metal in his face, leaving him blind in one eye and coating his skin with dark dots that look like pencil stabs.

His mother, Nazar, rushed him to the village doctor. Ayad was in a coma for weeks. When he emerged, his mother looked down at a face she barely knew. "He used to be so beautiful," she said. His father, Ali, went to dozens of Army hospitals and bases. Army doctors said Ayad's cornea was scarred and that rehabilitation would be difficult.

Ayad is a smiley boy but sometimes he flies into rage. "He beats me for no reason," his mother said. "He threatens to cut my throat. But I don't care. I am his mother."

This week, Ayad and his father took a bus to Baghdad. Ayad wore sunglasses and a scarf over his face. He does that often, even when it is boiling hot. "The children tease him," his father explained.

When the two arrived at the center run by Captain Tracy, there was a crowd pressing against the doors. On Sundays and Thursdays, Captain Tracy sits in a room on the second floor of the convention center and doles out stacks of cash to civilian casualty victims. The Army calls them "sympathy payments."

Captain Tracy also helps process claims under the Foreign Claims Act, which covers damages and wrongful deaths but only in noncombat situations. Captain Tracy checks each claim a civilian files against a database of military incident reports. If they match, the military pays the civilians, but does not issue a formal apology or claim of responsibility. Of 540 claims filed, he said he had paid 261. While occasional payments were made to families wrongly bombed in Afghanistan, there was nothing this formalized before.

Captain Tracy, 27, said he had absorbed a lot of grief in that little room. "I'm getting pretty burned out," he said.

He is limited in what he can pay. Guidelines set the maximum sympathy payments at $1,000 per injury, $2,500 per life. With the daily patter of bombings, rocket attacks and inadvertent killings, life in Iraq may seem cheap. But many Iraqis say it is not that cheap.

"This war of yours cost billions," said Said Abbas Ahmed, who was given $6,000 after an American missile killed his brother, his sister, his wife and his six children. [...]

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U.S. Limits Payments to Kin of Slain Iraqi Civilians
by Robyn Dixon
Compensation is possible only in cases of wrongdoing or negligence. Fatal errors and combat-related deaths are excluded.

BAGHDAD — The families of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed or injured by U.S. forces will not receive compensation unless they prove clear-cut negligence or wrongdoing by soldiers, military officials said Sunday.

The policy rules out payments for tragic mistakes, such as the fatal shootings of civilians at military checkpoints, if soldiers believed it was reasonable to fire. And incidents after May 1, when President Bush declared the end of major fighting in Iraq, could still be regarded as combat-related and therefore ineligible for compensation, the officials said.

However, cases involving soldiers who accidentally fire their weapons or traffic accidents involving supply convoys could warrant payments to the victims if negligence is proved.

U.S. military officials said they had settled 1,168 compensation claims totaling $262,263. Most were for property damage, and no payment was more than $15,000. But officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, could provide no information about compensation for deaths.

Comment: Do the math yourself. The above "compensation" amounts to an average of $225 per claim.

"How much is an injury worth? How much is a life worth? It all depends on the value of a life in Iraq. The value of a life in Iraq is probably a lot less than it would be in the U.S. or Britain," one official said.

Sunday's briefing highlighted inconsistencies in the handling of compensation payments: In the city of Fallouja, where U.S. soldiers killed 18 people and wounded 78 in April, the American military commander in the area has been paying $1,500 for each fatality and $500 for each injury, Associated Press reported.

Comment: 18 killed? We think not. An independent inquiry has concluded that at least 400, and up to 1,000 civilians were killed by US troops in the first assault on Fallujah.

The commander was apparently using discretionary funds supplied for his operations.

One official at Sunday's briefing said he would investigate and, if necessary, tell the commander to stop making such payments.

In addition, U.S. military officials offered unspecified payments in a case in late March, when 10 of 15 women and children in a van were shot dead at a checkpoint near Karbala in southern Iraq, according to a Washington Post reporter present at the scene.

"You just killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!" the newspaper quoted Capt. Ronny Johnson of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division as shouting immediately after the shots were fired.

Under the guidelines revealed Sunday, that incident would not have qualified for compensation because it occurred under what could be construed as combat conditions and took place before May 1, while the war was in full swing.

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Bombs explode in military refuge in Spanish Pyrenees, ETA suspected
14 November 2004 0228 hrs
MADRID : Two bombs exploded in a military mountain refuge in the Pyrenees in northern Spain where leaflets from the Basque separatist group ETA were later found, officials said.

Three soldiers were inside the refuge at the time but all escaped unharmed by the blasts, which occurred at around 7:50 am (0650 GMT) in Belagua, in northern Navarra province.

Navarre region governor Vincente Rapa said on national radio that leaflets bearing ETA's logo were found by the shelter.

"It indicates ETA's possible responsibility but we don't have any confirmation," he said.

Police had earlier said there had been only one blast, which caused some damage to the building.

The Spanish civil guard and a team of police scientists were sent to the scene to analyze the explosive device, which had been placed in the kitchen of the shelter, located near the French border.

No claim of responsibility was made following the blast.

The blasts came as Batasuna, the banned political mouthpiece of armed Basque separatist group ETA, was expected to appeal on Sunday for an end to armed conflict in the northern Spanish region.

ETA has killed some 800 people in its campaign for an independent Basque state.

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One card for travel and payment could become reality in Asia
14 November 2004 1554 hrs
By Farah Abdul Rahim, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : There could soon be one standard for ID cards to be used throughout Asia -- from Singapore to Japan and even China -- so you won't need to carry multiple cards in future.

The One Card-One Asia vision is an ambitious expansion of Singapore's EZ-Link card, a smart contactless card now used not just on Singapore's public transport system, but also the library and even a fast food restaurant.

The idea was discussed at the recent Asia ID Card forum.

Participants were issued a card, which contained their biometric data such as fingerprints, and identity details.

The ultimate aim is to use such a card for travel as an e-passport, and even for payment.

Said Dr Tan Geok Leng, vice chairman, Asia ID Card Forum 2004, "With the impetus from the 9-11 US requirements, a lot of countries will have e-passports. Singapore already has NETS and EZ-Link -- we're talking about one standard -- so people won't need many terminals.

"We can merge the e-passport side with the standard for payments; together then you have one card capability in Singapore, and through the Asia ID Card Forum as a vehicle, possibly you can use your same card when you travel to Korea, Japan."

So experts say there is indeed a real possibility that you may say good-bye to the EZ-Link card and instead have a smart card, which could take on multiple applications -- for identification, payment, and travel not just at home but abroad.

But they say it will take at least three more years and some political will from regional countries to bring the One Card, One Asia vision closer to reality.

There are also legal and security concerns that have yet to be worked out.

With one card and multiple applications, it also means you will have more to lose when you lose that all-in-one card.

Comment: Little by little, controls on movement and identification are being placed upon citizens of countries around the world. As usual, the events of 9/11 are blamed as the reason for such restrictions. The prescence of a global terror network necessitates the need for greater security. The "mark of the beast" is for our own good, of course.

The horrible irony is that the real terrorists are the ones pulling the strings in Israel and the White House. They are the ones who desire complete control over the entire world under the guise of "international security".

So much of the recent violence, chaos, death and clampdown on personal freedoms experienced on the planet comes as a direct result of the September 11th attacks. This defining event in history seems to be the catalyst or "marker" for the closing act of some grand apocalyptic finale.

And it was all a lie.

We are being set up.

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What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits
Published: November 14, 2004

HURRICANE FRANCES was on its way, barreling across the Caribbean, threatening a direct hit on Florida's Atlantic coast. Residents made for higher ground, but far away, in Bentonville, Ark., executives at Wal-Mart Stores decided that the situation offered a great opportunity for one of their newest data-driven weapons, something that the company calls predictive technology.

A week ahead of the storm's landfall, Linda M. Dillman, Wal-Mart's chief information officer, pressed her staff to come up with forecasts based on what had happened when Hurricane Charley struck several weeks earlier. Backed by the trillions of bytes' worth of shopper history that is stored in Wal-Mart's computer network, she felt that the company could "start predicting what's going to happen, instead of waiting for it to happen," as she put it.

The experts mined the data and found that the stores would indeed need certain products - and not just the usual flashlights. "We didn't know in the past that strawberry Pop-Tarts increase in sales, like seven times their normal sales rate, ahead of a hurricane," Ms. Dillman said in a recent interview. "And the pre-hurricane top-selling item was beer."

Thanks to those insights, trucks filled with toaster pastries and six-packs were soon speeding down Interstate 95 toward Wal-Marts in the path of Frances. Most of the products that were stocked for the storm sold quickly, the company said.

Such knowledge, Wal-Mart has learned, is not only power. It is profit, too.

Plenty of retailers collect data about their stores and their shoppers, and many use the information to try to improve sales. Target Stores, for example, introduced a branded Visa card in 2001 and has used it, along with an arsenal of gadgetry, to gather data ever since. But Wal-Mart amasses more data about the products it sells and its shoppers' buying habits than anyone else, so much so that some privacy advocates worry about potential for abuse.

With 3,600 stores in the United States and roughly 100 million customers walking through the doors each week, Wal-Mart has access to information about a broad slice of America - from individual Social Security and driver's license numbers to geographic proclivities for Mallomars, or lipsticks, or jugs of antifreeze. The data are gathered item by item at the checkout aisle, then recorded, mapped and updated by store, by state, by region.

By its own count, Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville headquarters. To put that in perspective, the Internet has less than half as much data, according to experts.

Information about products, and often about customers, is most often obtained at checkout scanners. Wireless hand-held units, operated by clerks and managers, gather more inventory data. [...]

Wal-Mart is also driving manufacturers to invest in radio frequency identification. By next October, the company will require its biggest suppliers to tag shipments to some of its distribution centers with tiny transmitters that would eventually let Wal-Mart track every item that it sells.

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Strong earthquake strikes Colombia
Monday, November 15, 2004 · Last updated 5:21 a.m. PT

BOGOTA, Colombia -- A strong earthquake struck western Colombia early Monday, destroying about a dozen homes in a port city west of the capital, but no injuries were reported, officials said.

The 6.7-magnitude quake's epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia's Choco province and hit around 4 a.m. EST, said Viviana Agudelo, a spokeswoman for National Seismology Center of Colombia.

The quake caused 12 homes to collapse, most of them near the port of Buenaventura, 220 miles west of Bogota, she said.

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Quake 'swarm' shakes Scotland
November 14, 2004
Paul Lamarra

MORE than 20 earthquakes have been recorded in Dumfriesshire in the past fortnight. The biggest, measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale, was felt in Lockerbie, where locals reported shaking buildings and loud, booming sounds. They were recorded by the British Geological Survey's (BGS's) earthquake measuring station at Eskdalemuir. The epicentre of the quakes was just five miles away.

One resident said that it felt like a lorry had crashed into the side of his house. "I felt three last Wednesday — with the first one the whole house shook," said Denis Male, a Langholm councillor.

"It felt just the same as the night the plane came out of the sky at Lockerbie. I thought something had happened across the road at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and I went out to look — I was relieved to find out it was earthquakes," he added.

The phenomenon, known as a "swarm", is relatively rare in the UK. The last such swarm was experienced in the Manchester area in 2002 when more than 100 earthquakes struck the city in two months. [...]

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Quake shakes Tehran's suburb

Tehran, Nov 13, IRNA -- An earthquake measuring 3.1 degrees on the Richter scale shook a town near the sprawling Iranian capital Saturday evening, but there was no immediate report on probable damage.

According to seismological bases of Tehran University's Geophysics Institute, the tremor hit suburbs of Roudhen, a town east of the capital, at 18:35 hours (1305 GMT).

Earthquakes near Tehran have always rattled the nerves of the capital's residents, estimated at 14 million, where many buildings are shoddily built and construction regulations are widely flouted according to the press.

The city straddles major faultlines in the Alborz chain, which are actively prone to earthquakes. [...]

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Small temblor strikes near Devore
Posted on Sun, Nov. 14, 2004
Associated Press

FONTANA, Calif. - An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0 struck in a remote area of San Bernardino County on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

The quake hit at 7:33 a.m. and was centered about 6 miles northeast of Fontana and about 3 miles southwest of Devore, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The temblor was the second to strike San Bernardino County in less than 24 hours.

A magnitude-4.2 earthquake rattled Big Bear Lake on Saturday but no damage or injuries were reported.

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Two more die as aftershocks continue in eastern Indonesia
14 November 2004 1610 hrs

JAKARTA : Two people died on the eastern Indonesian island of Alor Sunday as aftershocks continued two days after a powerful earthquake, a relief official said.

The latest deaths bring to 21 the number who have died since Friday when the pre-dawn quake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale hit the island near East Timor.

In the hardest-hit district of Northeast Alor, an eight-month-old baby died Sunday during an aftershock, said Alberth Ouwboly, of the government relief centre.

A second person died after suffering a stroke during an aftershock, he said.

"They are continuously being shaken," Ouwboly told AFP from the island's main town of Kalabahi.

Another 94 people were still being treated at hospital in Kalabahi, Ouwboly said.

The force of the quake opened up a fissure in a mountain and severed the road link between Kalabahi and Northeast Alor, where damage was heaviest.

"There isn't one building, private or public, left standing (in the district)," he said. [...]

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Japanese volcano erupts
Sunday, November 14, 2004

(Tokyo): Mount Asama, one of Japan's largest and most active volcanoes, erupted today, rumbling to life with loud explosions. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The mid-sized burst, at 8:59 pm (1729 IST), was likely to have sent ash and smoke into the air but it was too cloudy to confirm that, the Meteorological Agency said.

The agency rated the eruption at 3 on a scale of 5 in terms of the power of the explosion. [...]

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100,000 Nova Scotians face night without power
Last Updated Sun, 14 Nov 2004 21:24:34 EST

HALIFAX - More than 100,000 Nova Scotians faced a night without power Sunday, after the season's first snowstorm knocked out electricity across the province and shut down Halifax airport.

Power may not be restored to some areas until the end of the week, the province's electricity company warned late Sunday.

The damage to the grid is extensive and getting worse as the storm continues, said Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Margaret Murphy.

he called it a "worst-case scenario."

Heavy, wet snow downed power lines across the province and crumpled four steel transmission towers in Dartmouth, a city of more than 65,000 people.

It badly damaged nine towers by late Sunday.

"When you have four transmission towers crumple, just collapse, under the weight of the wet snow, that shows it's certainly one of the worst winter storms that we've seen," Murphy said. [...]

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Gale-force winds paralyse traffic in Croatia
Sun Nov 14, 4:01 PM ET

ZAGREB - Gale-force winds paralysed air, road and sea traffic along Croatia's Adriatic coast, causing delays, cancellations and power failures, while dozens of people were injured and three were reported missing in the sea, media reports said.

Two Austrians, a man and a woman, fell into the sea early on Sunday from a yacht some 30 nautic miles southwest of the northern Adriatic town of Pula, close to the maritime border line between Italy and Croatia, the national center for search and rescue said.

Due to strong Bora winds rescuers on the Italian and Croatian side were not immediately able to search for them.

A fisherman from the northern island of Krk was also reported missing.

In the northern Adriatic town of Rijeka winds, gusting up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) per hour, toppled trees and ripped off roof-tiles.

Dozens of people were injured and hospitalized in coastal towns and on the islands, notably some 30 in Rijeka, with 20 of them sustaining serious injuries, national radio reported.

Railway and road traffic in the Rijeka region was also disrupted, while parts of the highway linking the capital Zagreb with the southern town of Split were closed.

Due to strong winds airports at Dubrovnik and Split on the southern Adriatic canceled flights, airport authorities said.

Ferry connections to most Adriatic islands were also cancelled and some of the islands had power cuts.

A ferry linking Split with the Italian port of Ancona, which had 140 passangers and some 30 vehicles on board, had trouble to dock in the Split port due to engine problems. Eventually, with the help of divers sent from Split the Split 1700 ferry docked safely after a delay of a few hours.

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Heavy storms pound Italy; two killed when landslide sweeps house
09:39 PM EST Nov 14

ROME (AP) - Two Italians were killed in a landslide this weekend as fierce storms pounded the country, causing floods that slowed trains, cut off traffic and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.

Rescue teams near the northern city of Lecco on Sunday found the bodies of two Italians in their 70s who were killed when a landslide swept over their house, the ANSA news agency said.

About 100 people were evacuated from their homes in the area, as were 200 people in the southern Italian town of Termoli, the agency said. Trains were stalled on the line between Rome and Naples and on a few smaller routes.

In Florence, several parks were closed, including the famous Boboli Gardens. Heavy winds shattered a 14th-century stained-glass window in Santa Croce church, ANSA said. No one was injured.

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Worse than Hurricane Ivan

2 die in floods in Tobago

Saturday, November 13th 2004

TWO people are dead and five family members are critical as a result of a massive landslide which came crashing down in Delaford, Tobago following six hours of heavy rain which battered the island non-stop yesterday. [...]

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Living in an oven
By Stephanie Peatling, Environment Reporter
November 15, 2004

(Australia) - Climate change will stretch fire and rescue services within decades as parts of NSW face 35 degree-plus temperatures for 100 days every year.

A CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology report, to be presented to an international taskforce today, warns of dire consequences in the next 25 to 65 years, with more hot spells and fewer cold snaps.

"Increases in hot days and hot spells can increase bushfire risk, human mortality and energy demand for air-conditioning," says the report, obtained by the Herald. "Heat stress to animals and crops is likely to increase. Transport infrastructure is also likely to be affected, with greater frequency of buckling of railway lines and melting of road tar."

The Premier, Bob Carr, warned yesterday that the financial cost of climate change would only increase as the State Emergency Service and the Rural Bushfire Service faced more severe conditions for longer periods.

"Recent flash floods and storms damaged houses, roads and farmlands," he said. "This study is a warning that there may be more dramatic climatic extremes ahead unless we act." [...]

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Small Plane Crashes, Kills 5 in Texas
By T.A. BADGER, Associated Press Writer
November 15, 2004

SAN ANTONIO - A small airplane trying to land in bad weather crashed near a senior citizens apartment complex, killing all five on the plane and leaving a wing embedded in the wall of one apartment.

John Clabes, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the pilot and a pair of fathers traveling with their sons, died in the Sunday afternoon crash. All were from San Antonio. Their names were not immediately released.

Joe Rios, a spokesman for San Antonio police, said all injuries on the ground were minor. Some people were treated for smoke inhalation. The woman whose apartment suffered the most damage was not injured.

Rios said part of the 34-foot-long plane was buried in the ground at the housing complex and pieces of it were scattered around the area. He said one wing disintegrated on impact, while the other was embedded in the wall of an apartment. The impact left a 3-foot-by-5-foot hole in the wall.

"It looks like it clipped a tree, clipped the apartment and went into the ground," Rios said of the plane. He said there was a small explosion after the crash.

Clabes said that the Piper Navajo owned by Dash Air Charter Inc. of San Antonio was on approach to San Antonio International Airport shortly after 5 p.m. The pilot was off course and was swinging around to try again when the plane crashed.

"He pulled out of the approach and disappeared off our radar," Clabes said.

The aircraft was trying to make an instrument landing in rainy conditions with poor visibility. It had filed a flight plan in Dodge City, Kan., Clabes said.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board were scheduled to arrive in San Antonio on Monday to investigate the cause of the crash.

David Herrmann, vice president of the company that owns the plane, told the San Antonio Express-News that the group was returning from a pheasant hunting trip in Kansas.

The crash site is in a thickly populated residential and commercial area about six miles northwest of downtown San Antonio. The plane, which can seat as many as eight people, crashed about three miles from the airport and just off a busy city street.

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New claim on location of Atlantis
By Tabitha Morgan
BBC News, Cyprus

American researchers claim to have found convincing evidence that locates the site of the lost kingdom of Atlantis off the coast of Cyprus.

The team spent six days scanning the Mediterranean sea bed between Cyprus and Syria using sonar technology.

They believe they found evidence of massive, manmade structures beneath the ocean floor, including two straight, 2-km (1.25 mile) long walls on a hill.

They say their discoveries match accounts of the city written by Plato.

'Greatest coincidence'

Team leader Robert Sarmast said the walls appear to be sited on a flat-topped hill where the temples of Atlantis once stood.

He intends to use the sonar data to make a three-dimensional computer image of the site, 1.5km below sea level, before returning for further research.

"The hill, as a whole, basically looks like a walled, hillside territory and this hillside territory matches Plato's description of the Acropolis hill with perfect precision," he said.

"Even the dimensions are exactly perfect, so if all these things are coincidental, I mean, we have the world's greatest coincidence going on."

However, Mr Sarmast and his team are not alone in believing they have found the lost city of Atlantis.

Other researchers have placed it off the coast of Spain, Cuba and the south west of England, as well as under the South China Sea.

Myth or reality? It is said to be a place of beauty and wealth
The story of Atlantis, a fabled utopia destroyed in ancient times, has captured the imagination of scholars ever since it was first described by the philosopher Plato.

Writing more than 2,000 years ago, he depicted a land of fabulous wealth, advanced civilisation and natural beauty.

Comment: From Laura Knight-Jadczyk's article; Schwaller de Lubicz and the Fourth Reich

Q: Okay. I would like to know what the geographic coordinates, according to our current grid system, that would frame Atlantis. I don't need the exact shape, just a general box shape... the perimeter...
A: Like asking: "What are the geographic coordinates of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?"
Q: Okay, let me get more specific: the Atlantean land that was supposed to have existed in the Atlantic Ocean... what was the farthest north of any any part of Atlantis that was in the ocean, that no longer exists?
A: It is "time for you" to know that Atlantis was not a nation, land, Island, or continent, but rather, a civilization!

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