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Picture of the Day



Brouillard dans le Vallé
e

The New Mongols
By Sam Hamod
Al-Jazeerah, November 19, 2004

There is an old prophecy among the Iraqis that says that when the Khan was wounded, after he’d conquered Iraq, that as he went home to die that he would return some day to once again conquer Baghdad. The Iraqis remember this prophecy and they have sworn on the Qur’an that when he returned he might once again burn Baghdad as did Ibn Timur (Tamerlane) but that they would set fire to his camps wherever they found them until the Mongols had to go home again.

America was basically a true Christian leaning nation, America as far as the world was concerned followed Jesus’ dictum in the Beatitudes and in Matthew where Jesus said,

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” and things that relate to justice, peace and mercy. Somehow, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Allawi have turned the American troops, most of whom were raised as God-fearing, decent, merciful Christians into Mongols. It’s as if they never read Jesus’ words, or that they forgot the New Testament, that they read the Old Testament or some Mongol book on warfare. Or America may have let the Mossad of Israel and the IDF teach American troops the Israeli/ Nazi SS style which has been used for years on the Palestinian civilian population.

There are total parallels between what happened in Fallujah and what the Israelis did in Ramallah, Hebron and other Palestinian cities. The dictum was, “Destroy everything, kill anything that moves and terrorize them into submission.”

This is exactly what our troops are doing in Iraq, just as their Israeli trainers told them to do. But, as with Palestine, in the short term it may work, but in the long term, you have made enemies who will never forget and who will some day take their revenge.

Otherwise, why would our young men and women go into battle saying, “Let’s kill’em all,” and “Send their souls to hell,” and other such things when they gunned down women, children and yes, Iraqi resistance fighters. Why would an American helicopter crew gun down women and children trying to escape Fallujah by crossing a river in broad daylight. Why would one of our officers gun down wounded civilians in a mosque. We have no excuses except that somehow our troops have become dehumanized. I lay the blame at the U.S. leadership who had the gall and immoral judgment to bring in the Mossad and the Israeli IDF and to send commanders to Israel for further training in this brutal style of warfare not seen since the Mongols (but then again, perhaps we did see it in Viet Nam with Agent Orange and My Lai, etc. but not on this scale). Perhaps this is also why even in Israel there are more and more refuseniks, and in America over 30% of our troops are coming back with mental problems—because it’s in conflict with their Christian upbringing.

There are hundreds of stories as of this past week from eye-witnesses, from photographers, from BBC correspondents, from independent writers and people who escaped the blistering shelling and helicopter straffings who have spoken of women and children trying to escape the bombing who were gunned down by our troops, gunned down by helicopters as they were trying to cross a river, being blown to bits by tanks as they hid in their homes.

THE QUESTION WE MUST ASK OURSELVES IS, WHO MADE OUR TROOPS INTO MONGOLS ON A KILLING SPREE? We must also ask, as I did over 2 years ago, what is going to happen “’When the Killers Come Home” ? We already have evidence from North Carolina and other bases that many of these men abused their wives on their return, others killed them, others are so mentally sick that they cannot return home. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHRISTIAN TRAINING OUR TROOPS HAD.

A friend of mine, a Christian minister had asked the same questions when he visited Camp Pendleton, the big Marine base close to San Diego. I do not use his name or denomination for fear of what he called, “possible reprisals from the base command,” but he said that many hundreds of troops who came back from Iraq had either turned so cold that they refused to talk about Christ and mercy, and others broke down and cried about what they’d done to women and children.

My- Lai in VietNam pales beside the butchery our Mongol-like troops, on the ground and in the air, have performed against these civilians and even against the resistance fighters who were but defending their families, their homes, their city and their country. Wouldn’t we have done the same; wouldn’t we do the same, defend our families, our homes, our cities and our country?

It is time we all did something about this, for a start, send this article to your ministers, to your rabbis, to your friends and most of all to your senators and congressmen and to George W. Bush himself so that he may hopefully wake-up from the narcotic of war and return to the words of Jesus, “Mercy, “ and “Blessed are the peacemakers,” not those who make war or kill women and children.

This curse of the Mongols is on his head and ours if we don’t stop this—Bush has no mandate from God or man to order the killing on this scale (and yes, he is the man who pulls the strings on Allawi, to order this brutal and inhumane attack on Fallujah), everyone knows that unless they were born without a brain or a moral conscience.

As you are all aware, the world now sees us as butchers.

One German friend said it reminded him of Dresden; I agree. One British friend who has lived in London all his life said it reminded him of when Hitler would bomb and sent rockets into London in WWII. A friend who served in Viet Nam said he can no longer watch the news because it brings back memories of atrocities in Viet Nam. Muslims from all over the world have written me saying they cannot believe the Americans have allowed themselves to become so bestial—they now see America as in league with the devil.

Ironically, Khomeni could not get anyone to see America as “the great satan,” but it took George W. Bush and his minions only a few years to do exactly that, to show America is now the great Satan in Muslim eyes.

We must all do what we can to turn our nation around. After all, as I pointed out, this election and the previous one did not give G.W. Bush a mandate to do these brutal things in the world. His pursuit of war and his bullying is going to backfire, but we must find legal ways to stop him spreading his bestiality further. Even now, the Russians have created a new nuclear device, the Chinese and Russians the Sunburn Missile and its successor that can destroy ships with one missile (so much for our vaunted carrier fleets)—the world is becoming aware that Bush’s voracious appetite for power may lead to a world war of devastating consequences. If we can stop his carnage and his illegal puppet government I Iraq, it will be a good start to righting the world.

It’s time we all pull together and become creative in ways to legally stop this Mongol leader of ours; if not, then we shall be judged guilty along with him when the court calls us to justice either on the earth, or if you are a religious person, on the Day of Judgment before God.

Comment: Indeed, judging by the numerous atrocities carried out by American forces against Iraqi civilians since the start of the invasion, it does seem like they've taken a page right out of the Israel manual for the treatment of the Palestinian population. Their actions are so similar, it's almost as if American forces are being trained directly by the Mossad on how to inflict the most terror upon their chosen enemy-du-jour. What they are now practicing in Iraq will most certainly become perfected in Iran and elsewhere.

While the author above does a interesting job of using the Mongols as a metaphor to describe the actions of U.S. soldiers, there is a much deeper meaning in that comparison, which is further explicated in Laura Knight-Jadczyk's article; Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols

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Groundhog Day
Published: November 20, 2004
NYT Editorial

Stop us if you've heard this one before. The Bush administration creates a false sense of urgency about a nuclear menace from a Middle Eastern country. Hard-liners talk about that country's connections to terrorists. They portray European diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions as a feckless attempt to appease a rogue nation whose word can never be trusted anyway. Secretary of State Colin Powell makes ominous-sounding warnings about new intelligence, which turns out to be dubious.

That is how President Bush rushed the country into an unnecessary conflict with Iraq in his first term, and we have been seeing alarming signs of that approach all week on Iran.

Let's be cleareyed about this: Iran has an active nuclear program, has not tried terribly hard to hide it and has been dishonest in its dealings with the West. But nothing we have seen suggests some new, urgent development in Iran that would impel American officials to start talking about "the military option." In fact, the most recent developments have been encouraging. Last week, under the threat of a looming U.N. deadline, Tehran said it would freeze all uranium and plutonium processing and invite back international inspectors.

It was a welcome step, resulting from efforts by Britain, France and Germany, and signaled that even the hard-liners in Tehran are susceptible to economic appeals. If the negotiations over Iran's nuclear programs go well, Europe promises to resume talks on a preferential trade agreement. If they don't, it will be time for international economic sanctions. After meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Bush went out of his way to praise and endorse the Europeans' efforts.

But on Wednesday, Mr. Powell suddenly offered scary sounding talk about new intelligence that supposedly showed that Iran was not only working on enriching uranium, a big step toward making a bomb, but was also working on ways to attach such a weapon to a missile. His alarmist tone was a bit puzzling, since everyone has already agreed that Iran has nuclear ambitions, and it's hard to imagine a country wanting to own a nuclear bomb without exploring ways to use it. The world has also known for years that Iran was testing guided missiles.

Puzzlement turned to alarm yesterday when The Washington Post reported that Mr. Powell's comments were based on unverified information that had been brought to the United States by a previously unknown source whose reliability and authenticity had not yet been vetted. That certainly did bring back old memories - of Mr. Powell assuring the world that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, based on fanciful intelligence reports about aluminum tubes.

Steven Weisman of The Times reported that administration hawks were also talking about fresh intelligence on Iran's support for Hezbollah, which the world has known about for decades, and Iran's support for insurgents in Iraq, another old story. The hawks seem to be already starting to throw cold water on the prospects for a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear problem while trying to open the door to contemplating a military option. An administration official told The Times that Mr. Powell was trying to avoid meeting with the Iranian foreign minister at a conference both men are to attend in Egypt next week.

Small wonder, then, that the Europeans started to accuse Washington of trying to undermine diplomacy with Iran, just as the Bush administration thwarted their efforts to resume the U.N. inspections of Iraq - inspections that we now know had been highly effective.

Iran has long been a target of the hawks in the administration, who are undoubtedly feeling their oats after the election. But we hope that President Bush has learned enough from the Iraq adventure to understand the dangers of using flawed intelligence to create a false sense of urgency about a national security threat.

Obviously, a nuclear-armed Iran run by its current brand of extremists, who have twisted religion to support terrorism, would be a cause for real concern. But there is no military solution here. Iran's scattered and secretive nuclear program cannot be bombed out of existence. And even if the United States had not stretched its military to the limit in Iraq, invading Iran, a country of nearly 70 million people, would be a catastrophic mistake.

The Bush administration has said that stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons is at the top of its foreign policy agenda. That's where it belongs. But it's a goal that can be pursued only through truly multilateral diplomacy, in which the United States works with its European allies, rather than trying to undermine them, and the Europeans are prepared to stand behind Washington with a credible threat of economic sanctions when they are justified. It is not an excuse for war or even for pretending that war is a rational option.

Comment: This story in the New York Times is interesting for several reasons. On the surface it appears as a well thought-out and reasonable argument against military intervention in Iran based on faulty intelligence, and thereby avoid repeating the mistakes made in Iraq.

On a subtler level however, this editorial is merely masquerading as "opposition from the left". By regurgitating plausible lies using hidden assumptions in the text, it actually serves to bolster the government's position for another round of unilateral preemption (ie: middle-east bloodbath).

Notice in the beginning how the author says "Iran has an active nuclear program", where it is implied to be a "nuclear weapons program", and not a "nuclear energy program", because he then immediately follows it with "... [Iran] has been dishonest in its dealings with the West".

All along Iran has insisted that it's uranium-enrichment technology is to be used in nuclear reactors to create energy for peaceful purposes only, which under IAEA guidelines it is perfectly legal. But because Iran has supposedly been "dishonest", one is lead to conclude the uranium must be meant for nuclear bombs.

Two paragraphs later the writer's biased rhetoric becomes more transparent; "... since everyone has already agreed that Iran has nuclear ambitions, and it's hard to imagine a country wanting to own a nuclear bomb without exploring ways to use it."

See how he ties Iran's missile technology to their uranium enrichment program, thereby guiding the reader to erroneously associate the two together with the idea that they not only have nuclear weapons, but also the means to deliver them. And because "everybody agrees", it must be true.

Deliberately creating subconscious images of a rogue nation with nuclear weapons attached to missiles, all the while pretending to advocate diplomacy over action, against the so-called "hawks" who are clamouring for Iranian blood,

This is how subtle propaganda works most effectively, by offering the "illusion of opposition" while secretly supporting the status quo.

Further on the author abandons all pretext of impartiality when he writes... "Obviously, a nuclear-armed Iran run by its current brand of extremists, who have twisted religion to support terrorism, would be a cause for real concern."

So, according to the NYT's, we are to believe Iran now has nuclear weapons (unproven), is run by "extremists" (unproven), has "twisted religion to support terrorism" (unproven), and in the face of direct evidence to the contrary, we are supposed to hope that this time Bush has learned his lesson and will use diplomacy and sanctions instead of another illegal and unwarranted invasion.

Dream on.

Further evidence the mainstream American media and the U.S. government are playing for the same team.

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Analysis: Echoes of Iraq in Case Vs. Iran
Fri Nov 19, 7:24 PM ET
 Middle East - AP
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is building a case against Iran with disclosures of a covert nuclear weapons program that carry echoes of the run-up to the war with Iraq.

Just as the campaign against Saddam Hussein did not draw the support of all U.S. allies and strained trans-Atlantic relations, the administration is at odds with many Europeans on Iran.

While Britain, France and Germany are trying to work out an agreement in which Iran would terminate or dismantle its nuclear weapons systems, the administration is skeptical, saying Iran in the past has broken promises to stop enriching uranium.

On Monday, Iran is to temporarily suspend enrichment, but the deal still must be sealed in a detailed way in another round of talks planned for Dec. 15 between the European Union nations and Iran.

Diplomatic overtures to Iran do not appear to be part of the U.S. strategy, but Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage told the Arab world Friday, "We're talking about resolving this problem by diplomatic means."

"War is obviously not an option that we want to consider if we can help it," Armitage said in an interview on the Al-Jazeera television network.

Armitage also was skeptical of European diplomacy with Iran, but said, "We are not trying to block them. That's fine. Let's see if it works."

Even though Secretary of State Colin Powell will attend an Iraq conference next week in Egypt with diplomats from Iran and other countries, he has no plan to meet with Iranian diplomats on U.S. nuclear concerns, State Department officials say.

Responding to diplomatic reports that Iran is stepping up production of a dual-use gas that could be processed to make nuclear weapons, a Bush administration official said this illustrates why the United States is concerned about Iran's programs.

Despite the latest Iranian pledge to the three European allies, the administration intends to take its case against Iran to the U.N. Security Council for consideration of economic and diplomatic sanctions against Iran.

That would not be until after the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency meets Nov. 25 in Vienna. The U.N. agency is expected to support the Bush administration with criticism of Iran's record of not ending its uranium enrichment program in a verifiable way.

Whether the United States would gain the votes it needs at the United Nations it not clear. Before invading Iraq, the administration did not get the Security Council support it sought.

Already suspicious that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, the administration now has intelligence provided by a resistance group that Iran is trying to adapt missiles to deliver them, Powell said Wednesday.

"I have seen some information that would agree that they have been actively working on delivery systems," Powell said en route to an Asia-Pacific economic summit meeting in Chile.

The State Department on Friday declined to say whether Powell was referring to information from the Central Intelligence Agency, which was the source of faulty information that Saddam Hussein had hidden weapons of mass destruction.

Adam Ereli, the department's deputy spokesman, acknowledged Friday that "there are differences of opinion" on whether Iran has a covert nuclear weapons program.

However, he said, "We believe the arguments stack up in our favor. We will continue to press this case."

Ereli said the public should take a broad view of the situation.

"Don't just focus on a uranium enrichment program, on a nuclear plant here or a nuclear plant there," he said. "Look at the totality of the picture. And the picture is you've got undeclared nuclear activity, deliberate misinformation on nuclear activity, development of delivery systems and other technical research that, added all up, paints a very troubling picture."

Iran was one of three countries singled out by President Bush as part of an "axis of evil." He went to war with one, Iraq, and is backing diplomacy to try to halt nuclear weapons programs in a second, North Korea.

His approach to the third, Iran, is only now starting to take shape. It is marked by rising rhetoric.

Joseph Cirincione, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Thursday there was a widespread assumption the Iraq conference next week was the "perfect opportunity" for Powell to negotiate informally with the Iranians.

But Cirincione said in an interview that the United States was not about to give Iran the security guarantees it needs.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the private Arms Control Association, said the administration must decide whether "it will further complicate or complement" the European allies' effort to pursue a diplomatic solution. "By failing to engage in a dialogue with Iran, the administration is missing a strategic opportunity to exploit the EU (European Union)-Iran opening," Kimball said in an interview.

Cliff Kupchan, vice president of the Nixon Center and an expert on Iran, said, "Both sides are hardening their positions, trying to get leverage before a Dec. 15 meeting of the European allies and the Iranians."

At the meeting, Britain, France and Germany are expected to offer fuel, trade and security guarantees in exchange for a permanent freeze on uranium enrichment.

"The show has not started," Kupchan said Friday in an interview. "The show starts Dec. 15 and Iran is trying to scare the West as the West tries to scare Iran."

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Pentagon turns heat up on Iran

Peter Beaumont and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday November 21, 2004
The Observer

Washington and European Union on collision course over how to neutralise Tehran's nuclear capabilities

Pentagon hawks have begun discussing military action against Iran to neutralise its nuclear weapons threat, including possible strikes on leadership, political and security targets.

With a deadline of tomorrow for Iran to begin an agreed freeze on enriching uranium, which can be used to produce nuclear weapons, sources have disclosed that the latest Pentagon gaming model for 'neutralising' Iran's nuclear threat involves strikes in support of regime change.

Although the United States has made clear that it would seek sanctions against Iran through the United Nations should it not meet its obligations, rather than undertake military action, the new modelling at the Pentagon, with its shift in emphasis from suspected nuclear to political target lists, is causing deep anxiety among officials in the UK, France and Germany.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to meet on Thursday to decide whether to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for being in breach of non-proliferation measures.

Sources close to the Bush administration have warned that Tony Blair will have to choose between the EU's pursuit of the diplomatic track and a more hardline approach from the White House.

While George Bush clearly favours more stick and less carrot, it is not yet clear what the stick might be: US administration sources say targeted air strikes - either by the US or Israel - aimed at wiping out Iran's fledgling nuclear programme would be difficult because of a lack of clear intelligence about where key components are located.

Despite America's attempt to turn up the heat on Iran, analysts remain deeply uncertain whether the increasingly bellicose noises which are coming from Bush administration figures represent a crude form of 'megaphone' diplomacy designed to scare Iran into sticking to its side of the bargain, or evidence that Washington is leaning towards a new military adventure.

Details of the emerging Pentagon thinking have come as US officials have spent the past week turning up the pressure on Iran before the deal comes into force.

US officials are expected to meet European diplomats and IAEA officials to complain about Iran's continuing production of substantial quantities of uranium hexafluoride, which can be used in a weapons programme.

Although not explicitly barred in the accord, US officials believe it amounts to a serious show of bad faith by Iran. [...]

Comment: Wow! talk about grasping at straws! "Bad faith", is that to be the pretext for an invasion that will likely set the entire Middle East on fire?! Probably, and who can blame Bush, with a domestic population riddled with apathy and ignorance they could probably claim that Adolf Hitler was in league with the Iranians and most people would believe them.

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IDF: Iran has secret nuclear program

Nov. 21, 2004
By ARIEH O'SULLIVAN
Jerusalem Post

The IDF believes that Iran is running a secret nuclear weapons program in parallel to the one it had agreed this week to temporarily suspend.

Senior military sources told The Jerusalem Post that in the worst-case scenario Iran could produce a nuclear bomb within two years.

"Without a more determined stance by the West against Iran, they will reach a point of no return within six months," said a senior officer. From then it would take another 18 to 24 months to produce a nuclear bomb, they added.

Meanwhile, US President George W. Bush tried to marshal international support to counter dual nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Chile. Reports from the US said that Iran is racing to produce large quantities of enriched uranium that can be used for making nuclear weapons before its agreed-upon program freeze goes into effect this week.

"The Iranians have a 'declared' secret program which they have agreed to temporarily suspend," said one senior Israeli officer. "But they also have a 'secret' secret program. The agreement with the Europeans is not touching this program. Furthermore, it is our understanding that the suspension is only temporary and partial."

The military source said the negotiations Iran conducted with Britain, France, and Germany over the pace of its uranium enrichment program amounted to a "Persian bazaar."

The military sources declined to give details about their knowledge of Iran's parallel program.

The assessment in the IDF is that once Iran has converted several dozen tons of uranium tetrafluoride (yellow cake) into UF6 (uranium hexafluoride), it would be able to make a few bombs.

The IDF source also said that the Iranian test launches of the Shihab-3 rockets conducted in August and October were part of a program to extend their range and put Europe and Asia in its reach.

"It is very important for the Iran government to hear that we are concerned about their desires and we're concerned about reports that show that before a certain international meeting, they're willing to speed up the processing of materials that could lead to a nuclear weapon," Bush said on Saturday. "This is a very serious matter. The world knows it's a serious matter and we're working together to solve this matter," he said.

Comment: Well, there it is folks, Sharon has given the world less than 6 months notice to prepare itself for the next stage in the forced reshaping of the Middle East. Justification will take the form of unverified and unverifiable claims by the IDF and no doubt the Washington NeoCons that the Iranians are indeed running a "secret secret" nuclear programme. Forget about the fact that, despite Bush's rhetoric, what the world really "knows" is that Iran poses NO THREAT whatsoever to anyone. Even in the case that Iran is pursuing a nuclear programme, they are fully entitled to do so!

But Bush and his handlers are not the types to let lack of evidence stop them accusing anyone of anything. Indeed, in US political circles "evidence" for the truth of what BushCo says is to found in the simple fact that they said it. Of course, anyone is entitled to disagree, but it won't make a damn bit of difference.

The question we must ask ourselves is: would Israeli and US politicians say that Iran was developing nukes in the full knowledge that such a claim were untrue. Precedence shows that they would - and why? Because precedence also shows that the vast majority of Western people believe whatever their "leaders" say, so there is nothing to stop them saying whatever they want.

Given the fact that those who seek power are also those who are most corrupted by it, people like Bush and Sharon et al lack even the tiniest sense of morality or conscience that might make them think twice about giving the green light to their military forces to wreak death and destruction on innocent civilians.

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Palestinian Police Officer Killed East of Jabalia by Israeli Occupation Tank, Targeting Civilians Continues
November 20, 2004 (IPC Agencies)

JABALIA, Palestine, - - Medical sources in the city of Gaza declared today that Israeli occupation forces killed a police officer yesterday east of Jabalia refugee camp.

The sources added that an Israeli tank fired a round at Jihad Abu Leila, 33, a police officer from Al Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City, near the Martyrs Cemetery of Jabalia refugee camp, tearing his body apart.

This came as Israeli forces continued targeting civilians in different parts of Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In Khan Younis province, Israeli forces stationed near the illegal settlements 'Ganei Tal' and 'Neveh Dkalim' opened heavy gunfire at civilians' houses in Khan Younis western refugee camp, damaging several houses and puncturing a number of water tanks. No casualties were reported.

IPC correspondent in the province also said that Israeli forces detained the family of Abu Haddaf yesterday at the town of Qarara, north of Khan Younis City. A number of Israeli soldiers advanced from the military post 'Kissofim' and raided the Abu Haddaf home, detaining the family of ten individuals in one room.

Elsewhere, 15-year-old Ahmad Barhoum from the Sheout quarter in the city of Rafah was wounded moderately in the right thigh when Israeli forces near the Egyptian borderline opened heavy gunfire at civilians' houses in the area, medical sources and eyewitnesses confirmed.

West Bank In the West Bank provinces, Israeli forces raided early this morning the Deheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, and set up a military checkpoint near the Hebron-Jerusalem highway. Israeli troops surrounded the Alqam building in the camp and raided it, before searching the apartments and assaulting the residents.

On the other side, Israeli forces detained dozens of civilians and confiscated their ID cards at the Etsion military checkpoint, northwest of Al Khadr Town in Bethlehem province.

At the same context, soldiers from the notorious 'Border Guard' military unit detained dozens of employees and university students near the Nabi Samuel Village, near Jerusalem, leaving them hours under the rain and standing in the muddy dirt roads, not to mention delaying them from going to their universities and working places.

Israeli forces had started in the past six months bulldozing works in the villages of northwest Jerusalem, prior to constructing the Apartheid Wall, sparking fierce confrontations between the Israeli forces and local land owners, which had so far led to the killing of five civilians and the injury of hundreds.

Also, Israeli forces closed early this morning all roads leading to Birzeit University near Ramallah City, at a time where the university's students council was organizing an obituary ceremony for the late President Yasser Arafat.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers stopped them at a checkpoint near the town of Birzeit early in the morning for more than an hour and a half, and hindered the passage of hundreds of cars, causing severe traffic jams.

In Nablus, local sources mentioned that Israeli forces stationed at military checkpoints around Nablus City curbed the movement of thousands of students and employees attempting to enter the city or leave it, causing massive traffic jams. Two brothers were arrested at one of these checkpoints and forced to take off all their clothes in front of other civilians.

In addition, Israeli forces arrested a 22-year-old girl and her father during a raid on the town of Yatta, south of Hebron province.

Local sources in the town said an Israeli force raided a house east of the town and surrounded a number of civilians' houses, before arresting Mohammed Al Haddar, 45, and his daughter Shamiyya, 22.

The town of Yatta has witnessed several raids and house-to-house search campaigns last week, during which five civilians were arrested and led to an undisclosed location.

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Oleiros removes anti-Sharon signs

By HERB KEINON
Jerusalem Post
Nov 17 2004

Angel Garcia Seoane, mayor of Oleiros in northern Spain, removed venomous signs against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel from municipal billboards Wednesday, following intense public pressure, including a direct request from Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos.

Jackie Eldan, the spokesman at the Israeli embassy in Madrid, said Seoane replaced the signs that read "Let's stop the animal!!! Sharon the assassin, stop the neo Nazis," with others that read "Oleiros is for peace and supports the Palestinian people." Oleiros is a town of some 27,000 people in the Galicia region.

Eldan said that following a conversation Tuesday with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Moratinos issued a strong statement calling for the removal of the signs.

"I define as unacceptable this type of initiative taken by the mayor of Oleiros, which is gravely insulting to the democratic prime minister of a nation friendly with Spain. I turned immediately to the head of Galicia, and to the president of the federation of municipalities, calling for immediate steps to stop this campaign," the statement read.

Eldan said that Moratinos also called the mayor.
In addition, heads of the opposition party in the city held a press conference Wednesday afternoon calling for the mayor's resignation, and declaring they will take the case to court because of a misuse of public funds.

Eldan told The Jerusalem Post that the entire incident was covered extensively in the Spanish press, a press which is considered to be among the most anti-Israel in Europe. The coverage, he said, was highly critical of the mayor.

Comment: The above is a very good example of the worldwide power that the Israeli lobby weilds to repress the truth.

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Falluja women, children in mass grave

Sunday 21 November 2004, 18:42 Makka Time, 15:42 GMT

Residents of a village neighbouring Falluja have told Aljazeera that they helped bury the bodies of 73 women and children who were burnt to death by a US bombing attack.

"We buried them here, but we could not identify them because they were charred by the use of napalm bombs used by the Americans," said one resident of Saqlawiya in footage aired on Aljazeera on Sunday.

There have been no reports of the US military using napalm in Falluja and no independent verification of the claims.

The resident told Aljazeera all the bodies were buried in a single grave.

Late last week, US troops in Falluja called on some residents who had fled the fighting to return and help bury the dead.

However, according to other residents who managed to flee the fighting after US forces entered the city, hundreds more bodies still lay in the streets and were being fed on by packs of wild dogs.

Danger zone

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Falluja remained too dangerous to secure proper retrieval and burial of corpses.

"We could not enter Falluja city so far due to the security measures and the continuing battles," Muain Qasis, ICRC spokesman in Jordan, told Aljazeera.

When asked about the security measures, Qasis said: "In order to carry out an independent and acceptable humanitarian action, we must have guarantees ensuring the safety of the humanitarian staff.

"The humanitarian situation in Falluja city is very difficult.

"The city is still suffering shortage of public services. There is no water or electricity. There is no way to offer medical treatment for the injured families still surrounded inside the city," he added.

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Anti-Bush Protesters Battle Police at Chile Summit

Reuters
20/11/2004

Hooded anti-American marchers protesting an Asia-Pacific summit in Chile on Friday hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police who retaliated with water cannons and tear gas.

A large march against the weekend meeting of 21 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum turned violent when a few dozen youths broke away from the main group to attack police.

About 100 people were arrested and four were injured, police said.

President Bush arrived late on Friday for a visit that has been a lightning rod for protests.

Tens of thousands of people streamed through central Santiago carrying banners and chanting slogans against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, including "Fascist Bush is a terrorist."

Comment: You see, the truth is that the ENTIRE world is wrong, and the relatively few fundies Christians in the US are right, Bush and the NeoCons are NOT fascists, the US is NOT turning into a police state, despite the overwhelming evidence. The "war on terror" is NOT bogus, despite the complete lack of any evidence of an international terrorist network. You see, it all lies, don't believe your eyes, believe what you are told by your benevolent leaders and everything will be fine. Ok?

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Plane with 47 aboard crashes in northern China
(AFP)
21 November 2004

BEIJING - A passenger plane carrying 47 people crashed Sunday in north Chinaís Inner Mongolia region, state media and officials said, saying chances of anyone surviving were slim.

Xinhua news agency said the crash happened near Baotou, one of the largest cities in the region, just after the Shanghai-bound flight took off.

An official with the Civil Aviation Authority contacted by AFP confirmed the crash.

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Earthquake Jolts Three Towns in Southern Iran
AP 
 2004/11/20

A moderate earthquake shook towns in southern Iran before dawn Saturday, sending people into the streets until the sun rose but causing no casualties, the official news agency reported.   

The quake in Khouzistan province had a magnitude of 4.9 and was followed by 11 lesser tremors, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The temblor jolted houses and broke windows in Shoushtar, a town of 250,000 people 700 kilometers  southwest of Tehran, at 3:15 a.m. local time Saturday (2345 GMT Friday). People rushed into the streets and stayed there until daybreak.

"Schools are closed and we have put up 500 tents in the town to shelter people," the local head of emergency services, Shapour Rostami, told IRNA. He added that the quake jolted two other towns in the province. [...]

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