Global Game of Survivor: America's Next Four Years
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
Publication! The Wave finally in book form!
Wave: 4 Volume Set
With a new
introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions
and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's
vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four
book set. Each of the four volumes include all of the original illustrations
and many NEW illustrations with each copy comprising approximately 300
is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at
the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the
Volume 1 now. Available at the end of November!
of the Day
Locusts invade Israel
GAZA -- The Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) political bureau head Farouq Qadoumi said the late Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat died of poisoning, the official Palestinian
daily al Hayat al Jadeeda said Sunday.
Qadoumi made the remarks when he arrived in Syria Saturday evening
on a short visit for talks with Syrian officials, said the paper.
"I realized this when I visited him and there are results
that we have not received yet," he told reporters upon arrival.
He, meanwhile, affirmed that the Palestinian leadership was a
collective one and no one would monopolize it and "we will
not allow this."
Qadoumi said his visit was aimed at enhancing coordination and
cooperation with Syria and Lebanon.
How to promote negotiations to establish a comprehensive and permanent
peace based on the Arab Peace Initiative, ratified at the Beirut
Summit in 2002, would also top his visit agenda, the official added.
JERUSALEM - Millions of locusts swarmed through
Israel's Red Sea resort town of Eilat on Sunday, devouring crops
and flowers in the country's south.
Israeli agriculture officials sent crop dusters into the air to
spray against the locusts that swept in from North Africa in the
first such invasion since 1959. Eilat residents reported clouds
of locusts eating palm trees bare and wiping out entire gardens.
"You watch as trees that are covered with flowers are devoured.
They ate everything, even a grassy roundabout which is covered with
locusts," said Meir, an Eilat resident.
Curious residents swatted locusts as long as 10 cm (3.9 inches)
which filled the air as they walked outside to inspect the damage.
"It's like the plagues of Egypt,"
said one resident.
In the Bible, locusts were the eighth of 10 plagues that God inflicted
on the ancient Egyptians before Pharaoh, their leader, let the Israelites
The effective sacking of Colin Powell as US
Secretary of State came after he told President George Bush he
wanted greater power to confront Israel over the stalled
Middle East peace process.
Although Mr Powell's departure was announced on November 15, his
letter of resignation was dated November 11, the day he had a meeting
with Mr Bush.
According to White House officials, at the meeting Mr Powell was
not asked to stay on.
"The clincher came over the Mid-East peace process,"
said a recently-retired State Department official. "Powell
thought he could use the credit he had banked as the President's
'good cop' in foreign policy to rein in Ariel Sharon and get the
peace process going. He was wrong."
The Vice-President, Dick Cheney, and his fellow
hardliner John Bolton, an under-secretary of state to Mr Powell,
are believed to have urged Mr Bush to replace him.
Mr Powell's final pitch to remain in office for at least another
year was made during the Washington visit of Britain's Prime Minister,
Tony Blair, 10 days ago. Earlier indications had been that he intended
to step down after enduring four years of clashes with the office
of Mr Cheney and the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld.
Friends of Mr Powell later briefed journalists that he had changed
his mind because he saw the chance of progress on the peace process
and wanted to see through the Iraqi elections.
Mr Powell heads to Israel and the Palestinian territories today
to promote a smooth transition of power after the death of the Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat.
He visited Israel and the Palestinian territories most recently
in May 2003.
Mr Powell said:
"I think the Palestinians have shown
a rather mature approach to the situation they find themselves in,
in the immediate post-Arafat period." [...]
SANTIAGO, Chile - President Bush stepped into
the middle of a confrontation and pulled his lead Secret Service
agent away from Chilean security officials who barred his bodyguards
from entering an elegant dinner for 21 world leaders Saturday night.
Several Chilean and American agents got into a pushing and shoving
match outside the cultural center where the dinner was held. The
incident happened after Bush and his wife, Laura, had just posed
for pictures on a red carpet with the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation summit, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and his wife,
As Bush stepped inside, Chilean agents closed ranks at the door,
blocking the president's agents from following. Stopping for more
pictures, Bush noticed the fracas and turned back. He reached through
the dispute and pulled his agent from the scrum and into the building.
The president, looking irritated, straightened his shirt cuffs
as he went into the dinner. The incident was shown on APEC television.
"Chilean security tried to stop the president's
Secret Service from accompanying him," said White House deputy
press secretary Claire Buchan. "He told them they were with
him and the issue was resolved."
Hours after President Bush dove into a fracas
to rescue his lead Secret Service agent from a confrontation with
Chilean security officials, word surfaced of another security dispute.
This time, an elaborate state dinner Sunday night was the casualty.
The dinner planned for Bush and 200 others by
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos was reportedly scrapped after Chile
was unwilling to accept security measures sought by the U.S. Secret
Service, including a demand that all guests pass through metal detectors.
Leading Chilean newspaper El Mercurio reported that the disagreement
led Bush and Lagos to instead hold a small "social dinner"
with a handful of aides from each side.
On Saturday night, Chilean security barred Bush's bodyguards from
accompanying the president into a dinner for Asia-Pacific leaders.
As a pushing and shoving match ensued, Bush strode over to the melee,
reached into the group and pulled mustachioed agent Nick Trotta
out by the lapel and into the dinner.
Trotta has been taking good-natured ribbing for having to be rescued
by the man he's charged with protecting.
The melee and Bush's intervention, caught on tape
by the official television camera of the Asia-Pacific Economic cooperation
summit, was replayed incessantly on American stations. "Bush
the Brave," said a Fox News Channel crawler promoting the upcoming
Though clearly pleased at the macho image Saturday night's events
painted of their boss, the White House kept its comments understated.
"The president is someone who tends to delegate, but every
now and then he's a hands on kind of guy," Bush press secretary
Scott McClellan said.
As for the dispute over Sunday's dinner, the White House remained
mostly mum, merely confirming the event had been downgraded.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan refused
to discuss the matter further, referring reporters to the Chilean
SANTIAGO - US President George W. Bush told
Russian President Vladimir Putin in person for the first time that
he worried about "overcentralization of power" in the
Kremlin, said a senior US official.
"The president raised this, noted the concerns that we've
had about checks and balances, about the centralization of power
inside Russia, and asked Putin to give his own explanation of what
was going on and why these steps were being taken inside Russia,"
the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
The official, speaking after the leaders met on the sidelines of
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here, said Putin
"went back deep into Russian history, the Stalinist period"
in his response.
He said that he was trying "to develop a democratic style
of government that was consistent with Russian history and the unique
problems that Russia faced as a multiethnic society on a large land
mass," the US official said.
Putin has drawn fire from Western governments
and rights groups for what they say are increasingly authoritarian
measures, including scrapping direct elections for regional governors
and deputies to the lower house of parliament.
Under Putin's system, which is nearly identical to the one practiced
in the Soviet era, Russians will directly choose only their president
and local officials.
"There was a lot of back-and-forth, the president asking questions,
underscoring his concerns and wanting to know exactly how this would
move forward to, or help develop a democratic Russia," the
US official said.
Bush reiterated "his concern about checks
and balances within the Russian system and the overcentralization
of power," the US official said.
"We've laid the basis for further discussions of this as we
move forward. And, as I said, I think it was a very open and frank
discussion of the nature of the issues facing the Russian state,"
the official said.
A senior Russian official had a slightly
different view, saying that Putin, not Bush, had raised the issue
"at his own initiative," telling the US president about
the steps he had taken. [...]
And Putin was among a handful of world leaders who openly expressed
the hope that Bush would win a second four-year term in the November
2 elections pitting him against Democratic Senator John Kerry, who
was openly critical of Russia.
In their first debate, Bush and Kerry had each said relations with
Moscow were important, but the Democrat had much more forceful criticisms
of Putin's style of governing.
"Mr. Putin now controls all the television
stations. His political opposition is being put in jail," he
said. "This is a very important country to us. We want a partnership,
but we always have to stand up for democracy."
How better to commit the perfect crime
than to insist it never happened?
Bush & company's theft of the election was a crime so obvious
that it requires more effort to deny than to affirm. This rip-off
was as flagrant as the L.A. cops' assault on Rodney King, Kerry's
stellar soldiering in Vietnam, or Bush's lousy record in the Texas
Air National Guard, and yet this national calamity is being dismissed
as a delusion.
The reason for the Busheviks' denial is as obvious as the theft
itself: How better to commit the perfect crime than to insist it
And yet what makes this stance so dangerous is not just its use
on the right, but its prevalence throughout the corporate media
(MSNBC's Keith Olbermann excepted) and even among those on the left.
To charge that the Republicans did not legitimately rout the Democrats
provokes the counter-charge that such claims "hurt the cause"
by floating angry fantasy instead of scientific fact.
Rather than urge cautiousness, such automatic
counter-claims quash all discussion of electoral fraud, as if the
very notion were far-fetched. "This charge was false,
so all charges must be wrong," is the response that Karl Rove
wants from us, as we will then conclude, conveniently for him, "Case
A niggling over-focus on particulars is just the attitude that
propagandists seek to cultivate because it helps them cloud the
issue. Thus were a few trivial aspects of John Kerry's military
record used to call that entire record into question. And thus did
Rove succeed in driving journalists away from Bush's scandalous
Guard service by distracting them with the canard that those incriminating
documents revealed by CBS were fakes—or rather, that one of
them might not have been authentic.
To let ourselves believe that the "election" was legitimate
because this claim or that has been disproved(apparently) is to
not honor reason. On the contrary, a veritable
sea of evidence, statistical as well as anecdotal and circumstantial,
supports the claim that Bush, again, was not elected by the people.
To nod agreement that this was indeed an honest win is to forget
how Bush was shoehorned into office in the first place; to ignore
the ease with which electronic totals can be changed without a trace;
to suppress the fact that Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S—the
major manufacturers of touch screen voting machines and central
tabulators—are owned and run by Bush Republicans, who have
made no secret of their partisan intentions; to deny the value of
the exit polls, which turn out to have been "mistaken"
only in the swing states; to downplay the weird inflation of the
Bush vote in county after county, where the number of votes for
president was somehow higher than the number of voters who turned
out; to ignore the bald chicanery of the Bush supporters who ran
the central polling station in Ohio's Warren County and forced out
the press and poll monitors so they could count the vote in secret;
to forget the numerous accounts of vote fraud coast to coast throughout
the prior weeks of early voting; to overlook the fact that every
single "glitch" or "error" that has been reported
favors Bush; to ignore the countless instances of ballots—absentee,
provisional—thrown away or left uncounted; to forget that
the civilian vote abroad (some four million Americans) was being
mishandled by the Pentagon (which had somehow become responsible
for doing the State Department's job); and to ignore the many dirty
tricks reported—the polling places quickly relocated at the
last minute, the fake voter-registration drives, the thousands of
Americans who found themselves not on the rolls, the police road-blocks,
the bullying pro-Bush poll workers, the machines that kept translating
votes for Kerry into votes for Bush. And so on.
To forget or ignore all this and to accept—on faith—the
mere say-so of Bush & Company (and our compliant media) is to
make clear that you are not a member of what the Busheviks deride
as "the reality-based community." Those who help discredit
false reports are doing that community, and this erstwhile democracy,
a precious service. But, those who would abort the whole inquiry
in the name of science or journalistic probity and "closure"
are putting that community, and this nation, at grave risk.
Condoleezza Rice may be the apple of U.S.
President George W. Bush's eye, but in Europe
her nomination as Secretary of State is being met with disappointment
The long-anticipated resignations of the respected state secretary,
Colin Powell, and his tough, able deputy, Richard Armitage, leave
U.S. foreign policy in the hands of bellicose VP Dick Cheney and
his neocon Pentagon allies. The new National Security Adviser, Stephen
Hadley, is a bland functionary well known for being under Cheney's
Powell, an honourable soldier and gentleman, was humiliated, ignored,
and cynically used to sell the Iraq war. He made a fool of himself
before the world with his UN presentation about Iraq's supposed
arsenal of death. In my view, Rice, an academic
Soviet expert, has been the worst national security adviser since
the Reagan administration's bumbling William Clark, whose
only foreign affairs experience, wags said, came from eating at
the International House of Pancakes.
But Rice is totally loyal to Bush, a consummate
yes-woman in an administration prizing subservience and the party
line. At least she will speak abroad with full presidential
Prior to 9/11, Rice advocated cutting anti-terrorism spending
and concentrating on anti-missile defence. She
played a key role in misleading Americans into believing Iraq had
weapons of mass destruction and Saddam posed a dire threat. She
urged Bush to invade Iraq and plunge deeper into Afghanistan. Her
ludicrous claims about Iraqi "mushroom clouds" panicked
many Americans. For this alone she should have been dismissed.
The most important function of national security adviser -- and
I can say this having myself been interviewed at the White House
for a position on the National Security Council -- is to co-ordinate
all national security policy. But under Rice, defence, state and
CIA were at each other's throats. She allowed the president to humiliate
himself over Iraq's non-existent weapons, Saddam's uranium and "drones
After the European powers refused to join the trumped-up Iraq
war, Rice famously advised Bush to "punish France, ignore Germany,
and forgive Russia." Bush followed this amateurish, vindictive
misadvice, seriously damaging U.S.-Europe relations and helping
advance dictatorship in Russia.
Bush's second-term foreign policy may grow even
more aggressive, unilateralist, and driven by right-wing ideology
and religious zealotry.
Fortunately, Bush's declared intention to pursue his ideological
crusading will be curtailed by the fact that he has run out of more
soldiers and money for new military adventures.
Educated Americans must yearn for foreign policy greats George
Marshall, Dean Acheson, Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and Zib Brzesinski
whose brilliant strategic minds ably guided the U.S. through the
Instead, we have Rice, who, whatever she may know about outside
world, knows a lot about Bush, with whom she reportedly likes to
belt out gospel hymns. And at the Pentagon, that latter-day Robert
McNamara, Don Rumsfeld, is stuck in a lost war in Iraq engineered
by the neocons.
CIA's new chief, Porter Goss, another Bush yes-man, whose agency
is in revolt, just issued a ukase to all CIA officers ordering them
to obey Bush's party line or else. Such boot-licking is how the
Bush administration got so much wrong about Iraq.
Attorney General John Aschroft blessedly took his leave. But further
dashing hopes Bush would soften and upgrade his cabinet, Ashcroft
is to be replaced by an unknown lawyer, Alberto Gonzales, whose
main claim to fame is authoring a memo to the president saying the
"quaint" Geneva Conventions governing treatment and torture
of prisoners did not apply to al-Qaida or the war in Afghanistan
-- an act that hardly merits elevation to high office.
The image of Condi Rice and George Bush sitting
at the White House piano singing Onward Christian Soldiers is unsettling
Europe, which thought Bush II might restore America to its traditional
multilateral foreign policy. Even Bush's faithful British retainer,
Tony Blair, is looking increasingly unhappy.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - When a hail of bullets hit
the car in which Jinan Adnan and her family were riding, she followed
her maternal instincts and paid with her life.
Adnan, 37, used her body to shield her three children in the back
seat. Her husband and the children survived. She was mortally wounded.
Because American soldiers had been in a firefight nearby around
the time, it remains unclear if a U.S. bullet killed her, though
her husband, Aref Taha, says he saw four American soldiers firing
in the car's direction.
"That's what Americans do, isn't that so?"
Taha said. "They do this all the time in Iraq."
Taha said he did not lodge a complaint with the U.S. military,
which had no comment on the alleged incident. It is not clear why
American soldiers would fire at a car carrying a family, although
similar incidents have taken place when cars failed to stop at checkpoints.
The four American soldiers moments earlier had checked the family's
car for weapons, Taha said.
But even if it can't be proved that an American bullet killed
Adnan, it's the kind of heartbreaking incident that Iraqis routinely
blame on U.S. soldiers.
Accounts of events such as the Nov. 9 shooting of the Taha family
have spread through mosques, coffee shops and markets of this crisis-ridden
nation, fueling anger and stoking the insurgency. The credibility
Iraqis give to such accounts stems in part from the humiliation
felt by many because of the U.S. military presence in Iraq despite
the formal end to the occupation on June 28.
Many of the stories amount to little more than hearsay or are
grossly exaggerated. But some are credible,
and they have contributed to an image of American troops as trigger-happy,
fond of excessive force and acting with little regard for Iraqi
The recent video of a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded and apparently
unarmed Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque, aired frequently by Arab satellite
television stations, has only served to reinforce the negative stereotype.
"They are criminals," Zaid,
Adnan's 15-year-old son, said of the Americans on Friday. His father
said he cannot find words to describe his rage at the loss of his
wife of 16 years. Making matters worse, U.S.
troops surrounded the cemetery in Mahmoudiya, an insurgent-heavy
area south of Baghdad, while his wife was being buried on Nov. 10.
Anmar Faleh, who attended the funeral, said the Americans told
the 1,000 mourners that they surrounded the cemetery because they
believed insurgents killed in a gunfight the previous day were being
The U.S. military has investigated virtually every case of unlawful
killing or gross abuse by its soldiers in Iraq. Some of these investigations
have led to trials and convictions. But Iraqis remain bitter.
Killings are not the only cause of discontent.
Other acts that provoke rage include raids of private homes, the
detention of women and the perceived humiliation of men in front
of women and children. The recent U.S. military campaign
to retake the Sunni city of Fallujah has given rise to an entirely
new set of dangerous accusations.
Residents who fled Fallujah this week speak of
U.S. soldiers defacing mosques, destroying minarets to deny insurgents
their use as firing positions and causing widespread devastation.
U.S. military commanders say their men operate under difficult
circumstances in a country where they don't speak the language,
don't share the Islamic faith of most of its people and face the
constant threat of attack.
Individual American soldiers complain that
the rules governing when they can shoot are too restrictive and
almost guarantee the insurgents the first shot. [...]
US military says marines in Fallujah have shot and killed an insurgent
who engaged them as he was faking being dead, a week after footage
of a marine killing an apparently unarmed and wounded Iraqi caused
a stir in the region.
"Marines from the 1st Marine Division shot
and killed an insurgent who while faking dead opened fire on the
marines who were conducting a security and clearing patrol through
the streets," a military statement said.
The point-blank shooting on November 13 of a wounded Iraqi was
caught on tape and beamed around the world.
It raised questions about the degree of military restraint and
fanned Arab resentment.
The marine was withdrawn from combat and an investigation launched.
Military sources had said that the rules of engagement were looser
during the operation launched in Fallujah, for fear that rebels
would be disguised, fake death or wear suicide explosives belts.
The US military and Iraqi government troops are still carrying
house-to-house searches in the rebel bastion but two weeks after
it was launched, the largest post-Saddam military operation in Iraq
is all but over.
According to US military figures, more than 1,200 insurgents have
been killed in the intense fighting, as well as 51 US troops and
eight Iraqi personnel.
NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - The US military said
it has discovered close to 20 torture sites in the course of its
massive military operation against the insurgency in the Iraqi city
The US military also said that it had no immediate plans to scale
back its deployment in Fallujah and added that a small delegation
had arrived to start planning the reconstruction of the battered
"They had a sick, depraved culture of violence
in that city," Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Wilson, from the 1st
Marine Expeditionary Force, told reporters at a briefing near the
"It looks like we found a number
of houses," where torture took place, said intelligence officer
Major Jim West. The US officers said the number of torture sites
was "close to 20".
On November 8, US troops backed by Iraqi government forces launched
the largest post-Saddam military operation in Iraq in a bid to reclaim
lawless enclaves across the country ahead of the January elections.
The marines believe they found some
of the houses where foreign hostages were held.
Among them were the homes where British engineer Kenneth Bigley
and his two US colleagues, Jack Hensley and Eugene "Jack"
Armstrong, were executed after being kidnapped in mid-September.
West said the marines had found a house thought
to belong to associates of Iraq's most wanted man, Al-Qaeda frontman
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
However, US intelligence indicates that Zarqawi
himself did not live in Fallujah -- a city of 300,000 west
of Baghdad that had become a no-go zone and one of the main obstacles
to the January polls -- although he had visited several times.
Activities at the nearly 20 "atrocity sites"
included "murder and torture", West said, as he showed
slides of bloodstained walls and floors.
"These thugs depended on fear and intimidation,"
West said, adding "hostages have been found chained to walls
in some incidents." [...]
According to official figures, the Iraq war
has so far seen 9,000 US soldiers wounded in action, in addition
to the more than 1,200 troops killed. These wounded, whose numbers
may well be underestimated, include those with gunshot and shrapnel
wounds, lost limbs and other injuries caused by landmines and bombs.
Less well known, however, is the terrible
toll enacted through brain and psychological injuries, which frequently
have devastating and permanent effects.
The war has seen unusually high rates of traumatic
brain injury (TBI). This head injury causes life-long damage in
many cases. Symptoms include memory loss, difficulty with attention
and reasoning, headaches, confusion, anxiety, irritability and depression.
TBI rates in previous wars have been estimated at about 20 percent.
In July, a San Francisco Chronicle survey of troops being processed
through Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in Washington DC indicated
that as many as two-thirds of all soldiers wounded in Iraq suffer
from the condition.
The increase in brain injury cases is largely due to the advanced
body armor and helmets now used by US forces. As
the death rate of wounded troops has declined compared to previous
conflicts, the rate of TBI has shot up. The nature of the
Iraq war has also increased the number of brain injuries. Rocket
propelled grenades, mortars, and other explosive devices cause concussive
shock blasts damaging to the brain.
Traumatic brain injury often goes undetected until the affected
soldier returns home and his or her family notices that something
is wrong. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the case of Sgt.
1st Class Alec Giess, of the Oregon National Guard, whose truck
rolled over him as it crashed while avoiding a suspected land mine:
"Geiss' wife, Shana, noticed after his return that the easygoing,
relaxed dad who went to Iraq had become a quick-tempered man who
couldn't remember the family's daily schedule, jumped up screaming
when the family cat landed on his bed and couldn't tolerate crowds.
The world inside his head, Giess said, was even stranger: he felt
bewildered, with no sense of time other than 'daytime' and 'nighttime.'
He also felt cut off from his emotions. 'When
my kids come and hug me, I don't feel a thing,' he said." [...]
Memo To: Editors and reporters
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Please get off your behinds
Now that most of you have apologized for sitting on your duffs
while the neo-cons planned and executed the totally unnecessary
war against a toothless regime in Baghdad, I suggest you get off
your duffs in regard to the neo-con plot to war against Iran. I've
been posting memos here for months pointing out that Iran
has not done anything to warrant the propaganda directed at it from
the Perle Cabal, i.e., Richard Perle's network that is laced
through both political parties, Congress and the White House.
Iran is in full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) and has a hundred times publicly pledged to permit the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect any gol-durned site inside
its borders if someone has reason to believe it has a secret nuclear
program underway. Iranian exile
groups pop up from time to time with press conferences about some
diabolical site they have discovered, but
Iran ALWAYS allows the inspectors to go in, and they find nothing.
Now I know it is impossible to get the Wall Street Journal editorial
page to take a good look at the dopey charges being leveled against
Tehran. It has been intellectually corrupted by the Perle Cabal
and robotically publishes anything the Cabal asks it to. Today it
runs a long op-ed by Henry Sikolski, a Perle stooge, who
warns that Iran is not only deceiving all of us, but that it could
soon be weeks or months away from having a nuke to rain down upon
its adversaries in the region, i.e., Israel. Can
this be possible? Not on your life. Not on your life.
But for goodness sakes, the New York Times has been pulled into
the same orbit, a recent editorial wringing its hands over Iran
and the possibility that it could have a nuke to threaten the region,
i.e. Israel. The Times editors are well-meaning, but they do not
seem to check anything out with independent sources. Here is what
I wrote the Times editors after reading their editorial:
My longtime friend Gordon Prather, a nuclear physicist who actually
designed nukes (when we were still designing new nukes) tells
me your editorial today is factually incorrect in a very basic
way and that you would do well not to accept the material being
presented to reporters by the Boltons and Sikolskis of the world.
That is, the edit says: "The centrifuges at [Natanz] can
just as easily be used to make bomb-grade enriched uranium as
to prepare lower-grade fuel for reactors. Any country that builds
and operates such a plant has taken the most crucial step down
the road toward building nuclear weapons."
Dr. Prather says your editorial writer seems to think it would
be easy to make a nuke once you have a uranium enrichment plant.
He points out that Iran could not take
the first step unless it first completed the plant at Bushehr
and ran it for a year, then announced its withdrawal from the
NPT, which requires six months lead time, and
then spends several YEARS taking the fuel out of Bushehr, allowing
it to cool down for a few years so it could be handled, then reprocessed,
and eventually turned into one nuke device.... probably
not one small enough to be able to be carried by a missile.
His recommendation is that you send your editorial writer to
one of the URENCO plants in Europe, where he/she can ask the people
who run their uranium enrichment plants what it would take for
Iran to go from A to Z with what they have now. Prather believes
the protocols Iran would sign in order to proceed with a low-enrichment
plant would make it absolutely impossible for them to take steps
two or three or eight hundred, etc., to make a nuke, without being
Because Iran has the right to enrich uranium
under the supervision of the IAEA in order to have a complete
nuclear fuel cycle you are really asking the Iranian government
to give up that right if it wishes to produce nuclear power.
Please editors and reporters, I hate to challenge your collective
intelligence, but I must do so. In 2002-2003, the whole world demanded
through the United Nations Security Council that Saddam Hussein
open up his whole country to prove to us that he had no weapons
of mass destruction. And HE DID SO!!!! He invited inspectors from
the U.N., from the IAEA, and from the US Congress, and from the
CIA to come to Iraq and look into every nook and cranny. We did,
found nothing, and still invaded. Now, dear editors and reporters,
please take note that the neo-cons have been insisting Iran has
all kinds of WMD programs underway and Tehran says it does not...
and says we can send inspectors into any nook and cranny of Iran
to check that out.
Doesn't it ever occur to you, dear journalists of the Fourth Estate,
that you are not doing the MINIMUM to prevent a second or a third
unnecessary war? Huh?
SEOUL, South Korea - Impoverished North Korea
might resort to selling weapons-grade
plutonium to terrorists for much-needed cash, and that would be
"disastrous for the world," the top U.S. military commander
in South Korea said Friday.
Gen. Leon J. LaPorte said the communist state may
have harvested plutonium from 8,000 spent nuclear rods, which
experts say could yield enough material for several atomic bombs.
The North's intent was a mystery, but "from the military
standpoint, they do have a capability that we must address,"
LaPorte said during a breakfast meeting of retired South Korean
air force officers.
In early 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty. It has since said it completed reprocessing its spent fuel
rods. In September, a North Korean diplomat claimed that the country
"weaponized" the nuclear fuel.
"And there is concern that North Korea, in its desire for
hard currency, would sell weapons-grade plutonium to some terrorist
organizations," LaPorte said. "That would be disastrous
for the world."
LaPorte's comments come as nuclear talks with North Korea have
U.S. officials have already designated the isolated and impoverished
North as a key proliferator of missiles, missile technology and
other military hardware. And North Korea has recently threatened
to strengthen its "nuclear deterrent" to counter what
it calls a U.S. plot to launch a nuclear war against it. [...]
Some things, like the DeLay Rule, are outrageous
but not that surprising.
But what I'm about to describe is outrageous and almost literally
As you've probably heard, the congress is pushing through a big
omnibus spending bill this weekend. And at the last minute, Republican
leaders tried to slip in a provision that would give certain committee
chairman and their staffers unlimited
access to any American's tax return, with none of the standard privacy
You heard that right.
They could pull anyone's tax return, read it over and do whatever
they wanted with the information. Those who would have this power
would be the chairs and ranking members of the senate and house
appropriations committees and subcommittees and "their designees."
The key is that the privacy rights provisions,
and criminal and civil penalties that go with them, don't apply
for the appropriations committees.
At the last minute, Senate Democrats caught the language (keep
in mind these omnibus bills can be like phone books), protested
and the Republicans beat a hasty retreat. Some of it is discussed
in this AP article at MSNBC, though they lamely call it a "tax-disclosure
The Republicans are acting like it was all an innocent mistake.
And it seems clear that there are Republican senators who didn't
know anytihng about it and are pissed. But clearly this was no accident,
unless provisions have started to write themselves. [...]
When Ed Schwebel was whittling down his mound
of credit card debt at an interest rate of 9.2 percent, the MBNA
Corporation had a happy and profitable customer. But this summer,
when MBNA suddenly doubled the rate on his account, Mr. Schwebel
joined the growing ranks of irate cardholders stunned by lenders'
harsh tactics. [...]
Mr. Schwebel had stumbled into the new era of consumer credit,
in which thousands of Americans are paying millions of dollars each
month in fees that they did not expect and that strike them as unreasonable.
Invoking clauses tucked into the fine print
of their contract agreements, lenders are doubling or tripling interest
rates with little warning or explanation.
This year, credit card companies are changing
the terms of their accounts at a historically high rate, said Michael
Heller, an industry consultant. [...]
ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) - A strong, early morning
earthquake shook the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe
on Sunday, causing some damage to buildings. There were no immediate
reports of injuries.
The tremor had a preliminary magnitude of 6.0, said John Minsch,
a seismologist at the U.S. National Earthquake Information Service.
It's epicentre was about 45 kilometres north-northwest of Dominica.
The facade of a Roman Catholic Church collapsed in Portsmouth,
40 kilometres north of the capital, Roseau, said Ian Douglas, a
parliamentary representative from the area.
There was nobody in the church at the time. Sunday services had
previously been cancelled because Catholics in Dominica were celebrating
a special feast in the southern part of the country.
Portsmouth's hospital also suffered damage and patients were evacuated
to a nearby building, Douglas told state-run Dominica Broadcasting
The radio station also reported that there was some damage in
EL CAMPO, Texas -- Hundreds of people were
forced to flee their homes in boats and large trucks after 15 inches
of rain fell on this south Texas town Sunday.
The rain, which fell at a rate of up to 2 1/2 inches an hour in
Wharton County before tapering off Sunday afternoon, also prompted
officials to close a stretch of U.S. 59 after a creek overflowed
its banks. No injuries had been reported by Sunday afternoon.
"I haven't seen this much rain in a long time," El Campo
Mayor Randy Collins said. "There are still some areas of town
you are not able to access by car. The south part of town is the
Between 50 and 100 homes were flooded in El Campo, causing about
250 people to be evacuated, Collins said. Two shelters were filled
by Sunday afternoon.
Parts of the surrounding counties of Colorado and Jackson got
10 to 12 inches of rain. A flood watch remained in effect through
early Monday morning for a 23-county area around Houston. [...]
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