As Mind Control
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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: Flashback!
|Major newspapers and other
publications have received scores of e-mails wanting to know about
this mysterious figure. Many women, in particular, have inquired
about how to contact him.
"The photo captures
his weariness yet his eyes hold the spirit of the hunter and the
hunted," wrote one admirer in an e-mail. "His gaze is
warm but deadly. I want to send a letter."
The photo seems to have struck a chord, as an image of
Germany striking back at a perceived enemy, or just one young
man putting his life on the line halfway across the globe.
while Iraq burns
Its idolisation of 'the face of Falluja'
shows how numb the US is to everyone's pain but its own
| Naomi Klein
Friday November 26, 2004
Iconic images inspire love
and hate, and so it is with the photograph of James Blake Miller,
the 20-year-old marine from Appalachia, who has been christened
"the face of Falluja" by pro-war pundits, and the "the
Marlboro man" by pretty much everyone else. Reprinted in
more than a hundred newspapers, the Los Angeles Times photograph
shows Miller "after more than 12 hours of nearly non-stop,
deadly combat" in Falluja, his face coated in war paint,
a bloody scratch on his nose, and a freshly lit cigarette hanging
from his lips.
Gazing lovingly at Miller, the CBS News anchor Dan Rather informed
his viewers: "For me, this one's personal. This is a warrior
with his eyes on the far horizon, scanning for danger. See it.
Study it. Absorb it. Think about it. Then take a deep breath of
pride. And if your eyes don't dampen, you're a better man or woman
A few days later, the LA Times declared that its photo had "moved
into the realm of the iconic". In truth, the image just feels
iconic because it is so laughably derivative: it's a straight-up
rip-off of the most powerful icon in American advertising (the
Marlboro man), which in turn imitated the brightest star ever
created by Hollywood - John Wayne - who was himself channelling
America's most powerful founding myth, the cowboy on the rugged
frontier. It's like a song you feel you've heard a thousand times
before - because you have.
But never mind that. For a country that just elected a wannabe
Marlboro man as its president, Miller is an icon and, as if to
prove it, he has ignited his very own controversy. "Lots
of children, particularly boys, play army, and like to imitate
this young man. The clear message of the photo is that the way
to relax after a battle is with a cigarette," wrote Daniel
Maloney in a scolding letter to the Houston Chronicle. Linda Ortman
made the same point to the editors of the Dallas Morning News:
"Are there no photos of non-smoking soldiers?" A reader
of the New York Post helpfully suggested more politically correct
propaganda imagery: "Maybe showing a marine in a tank, helping
another GI or drinking water would have a more positive impact
on your readers."
Yes, that's right: letter writers from across the nation are
united in their outrage - not that the steely-eyed, smoking soldier
makes mass killing look cool, but that the laudable act of mass
killing makes the grave crime of smoking look cool. Better to
protect impressionable youngsters by showing soldiers taking a
break from deadly combat by drinking water or, perhaps, since
there is a severe potable water shortage in Iraq, Coke. (It reminds
me of the joke about the Hassidic rabbi who says all sexual positions
are acceptable except for one: standing up "because that
could lead to dancing".)
On second thoughts, perhaps Miller does deserve to be elevated
to the status of icon - not of the war in Iraq, but of the new
era of supercharged American impunity. Because outside US borders,
it is, of course, a different marine who has been awarded the
prize as "the face of Falluja": the soldier captured
on tape executing a wounded, unarmed prisoner in a mosque. Runners-up
are a photograph of a two-year-old Fallujan in a hospital bed
with one of his tiny legs blown off; a dead child lying in the
street, clutching the headless body of an adult; and an emergency
health clinic blasted to rubble.
Inside the US, these snapshots of a lawless occupation appeared
only briefly, if they appeared at all. Yet Miller's icon status
has endured, kept alive with human interest stories about fans
sending cartons of Marlboros to Falluja, interviews with the marine's
proud mother, and earnest discussions about whether smoking might
reduce Miller's effectiveness as a fighting machine.
Impunity - the perception of being outside the law - has long
been the hallmark of the Bush regime. What is alarming is that
it appears to have deepened since the election, ushering in what
can only be described as an orgy of impunity. In Iraq, US forces
and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal
attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone
- doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies.
At home, impunity has been made official policy with Bush's appointment
of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, the man who personally
advised the president in his infamous "torture memo"
that the Geneva conventions are "obsolete".
This kind of defiance cannot simply be explained by Bush's win.
There has to be something in how he won, in how the election was
fought, that gave this administration the distinct impression
that it had been handed a get-out-of-the-Geneva-conventions free
card. That's because the administration was handed precisely such
a gift - by John Kerry.
In the name of electability, the Kerry team gave Bush five months
on the campaign trail without ever facing serious questions about
violations of international law. Fearing that he would be seen
as soft on terror and disloyal to US troops, Kerry stayed scandalously
silent about Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. When it became
painfully clear that fury would rain down on Falluja as soon as
the polls closed, Kerry never spoke out against the plan, or against
the other illegal bombings of civilian areas that took place throughout
the campaign. When the Lancet published its landmark study estimating
that 100,000 Iraqis had died as result of the invasion and occupation,
Kerry just repeated his outrageous (and frankly racist) claim
that Americans "are 90% of the casualties in Iraq".
There was a message sent by all of this silence, and the message
was that these deaths don't count. By buying the highly questionable
logic that Americans are incapable of caring about anyone's lives
but their own, the Kerry campaign and its supporters became complicit
in the dehumanisation of Iraqis, reinforcing the idea that some
lives are expendable, insufficiently important to risk losing
votes over. And it is this morally bankrupt logic, more than the
election of any single candidate, that allows these crimes to
The real-world result of all the "strategic" thinking
is the worst of both worlds: it didn't get Kerry elected and it
sent a clear message to the people who were elected that they
will pay no political price for committing war crimes. And this
is Kerry's true gift to Bush: not just the presidency, but impunity.
You can see it perhaps best of all in the Marlboro man in Falluja,
and the surreal debates that swirl around him. Genuine impunity
breeds a kind of delusional decadence, and this is its face: a
nation bickering about smoking while Iraq burns.
At the beginning, the occupation
of Iraq was that of a classic war of predation. But today, the
impossibility of peacefully exploiting the oil resources and the
cost of maintaining an extremely large contingent has made of
it a financial pit. Nevertheless, the US has decided to continue
on and to pay the price. This shows, aside from its long-term
strategic objectives, that there is an indirect economic interest
in their military deployment. This demonstration of force is indispensable
in order to safeguard the unique status of the dollar, alone capable
of compensating for the instability of a United Statesian economy
on its last legs.
The economic imperatives that conducted the US and several vassal
states to invade Iraq have been the object of numerous analyses,
most of which are wrong or incomplete. The neo-conservatives tried
hard to refute the claims that the war had no other goal than
the pillage of Iraqi oil. They pushed forward the idea that the
oil is sold on the international market at the going price, respecting
the rules of competition. Moreover, anyone can see that the Coalition
has not been able to exploit Iraqi oil as they wished and that,
nevertheless, it persists and is getting bogged down in a costly
occupation. The reality is therefore more complex and a close
examination of the macro-economic processes at work is necessary.
For certain aspects the invasion of Iraq is a classic predatorial
war. The administration of a conquered country by a private provisional
Authority, based upon the model of the East Indian Company, is
firmly within the Anglo-Saxon tradition.  The allocation of
contracts for the rebuilding of the country to companies like
Haliburton, paid for by the profits from the exportation of Iraqi
oil, permits the reintroduction into a dying United Statesian
economic system of a source of real value, and not simply speculative
profit. Washington’s foreign debt has reached abysmal proportions:
twenty years ago household debt in the US was equivalent to half
of the economy of the country. Today, it has reached 85%, debt
for which the Treasury must compensate by importing $2.6 billion
of liquidities each day, principally thanks to the system of recycling
petro-dollars . From this we can better understand why states
like Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, that had envisaged transferring
their dollar reserves into euros, were accused by president Bush
of forming an “Axis of Evil”.
However, the resistance is hindering this predatorial activity,
and, in any case, the riches open to pillage cannot suffice to
compensate for the instability of the US economy. As well, the
Bush Administration must maintain an influx of foreign capital
to its soil by rendering investment attractive. To do this, the
administration first lowered the cost of labour, guaranteeing
a high level of profit. For this, it must lower the salary base
and social charges. The balance sheet for the first term of the
Bush Administration reflects this: the number of unemployed increased
prompting the population as a whole to give up a part of its social
coverage, which led to a clear reduction in the cost of labour.
That is why the candidate Bush was supported by big industry.
To the contrary, the premature announcement, November 2, 2004,
of a possible Kerry victory, the candidate favourable to an increase
in social protection for more modest electors, translated into
a general lowering of prices on Wall Street. The Democratic candidate
was supported by large speculators, like Warren Buffet and George
Soros, who get their revenue from the growing inequalities in
the world and who are not interested in the internal economic
health of the US.
Secondly, in order to preserve the confidence of foreign investors,
the Bush Administration deployed its military force . Capital
doesn’t like risk, and there is no better sanctuary than
the country that wishes to rule the world by force. Permanent
war confers an all-mighty image that acts as a veritable magnet
But contrary to the Gulf War, where the costs were repaid by
the financial contributions of the member States of the Coalition,
the rest of the world is paying indirectly for the invasion of
Iraq: attracted by US power, foreign investors place their extra
dollars in US Treasury Bonds, thus transferring a large part of
the cost of the war to foreign countries, including those who
opposed the war!
Most “liberals” [Economic liberals, neo-liberals
– translator’s note] in the world supported the invasion
because it was motivated by a world-wide profit crisis. They had
realized several years earlier that the “dot com”
economy produced only artificial profits, and that the future
lowering of net energy production globally around 2010 (the beginning
of the decline of world oil production) would have as its consequence
an unprecedented contraction in the world economy . From which
came the simple calculation: if we can’t increase global
wealth, we must lower the number of people who benefit. It is
the same reasoning that led the proponents of zero growth, and
before them the neo-malthusians, to propose different, humanist
and, of necessity, collectivist solutions. But one thing is certain,
that the agenda for “sustainable development” failed
long ago, precisely when the world’s population growth surpassed
that of available resources, that is, in the early 80s.
To avoid the collapse of their economy, the United States has
no other choice than to prepare itself to repress a generalized
insurrection against the capitalist interests of an ever-shrinking
minority. It is a situation that Samuel Huntington anticipated,
in 1957, in his work Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics
of Civil-Military Relations. At that date, he was already affirming
that the US Army had as its vocation not the defence of its population
or its territory, but the defence of the economic interests of
Just as the militarization of the Hitler regime permitted Germany
to brutally rebound from a profound economic crisis by attracting
capital, principally from the US, in the same way the militarization
of the US guarantees to foreign capital that it will be safe as
long as it remains on United Statesian soil. In parallel, the
army is placed in the service of capital by opening markets that
were formerly nationalised, and then, eventually, by maintaining
chaos and terror – when its power is not accepted.
If we return to the example of the 1930s, Hitler’s Germany
had attracted US capital based upon the promise of a military
response to the Bolshevik peril. In the same way, in 1999, large
industrial groups invested in the war in Kosovo in the hope that
NATO would subdue and open the final socialist economy in Europe.
And it was again in the perspective of the privatization of another
vast public sector that the Anglo-Saxon employers invested in
the invasion of Iraq in 2003; a privatization that was led by
the Pied Piper, L. Paul Bremer III, assisted by East European
experts who had participated in the liquidation of the socialist
economies, such as the ex-Bulgarian president, Peter Stoyanov
or the ex-Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar .
The question that torments the strategists in the war rooms in
Washington today is that of knowing by what means they can most
efficiently control the populations of the new strategic colonies.
The neo-conservatives consider the invasion of Afghanistan a success
in terms of return on investment: control of the country was had
with little cost by subcontracting the fighting out to low-paid
local war lords rather than by deploying high price GIs with large
transportation costs. On the other hand, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein
prepared his country for guerrilla war, putting into place beforehand
the necessary structures for an insurrection, forming, according
to the US Army’s own jargon, a “counterstate”
. Believing that they could avoid the error of Vietnam, where
the CIA alone waged counter-insurgency operations through most
of the war, the Pentagon thus decided, given the size of the task,
to confide the mission of counter-insurrection to the regular
army . According to a very military and bureaucratic logic,
all means possible must be put at the service of a clear objective.
Several failures forced the Pentagon to take up this solution:
in the first place, it was up to the intelligence services to
neutralize the political leaders. The files listing Ba'athist
leaders, carefully compiled by Ahmed Chalabi, came to nothing
because the Ba'ath Party, foreseeing the insurrection, had doubled
its structure. This explains the political fall from grace of
Chalabi after the searching of his house by Coalition forces that
doubted his good faith.
Next, the strategists watched on as the insurrection achieved
its first strategic victory in its first phase : because the
essential elements of the political and military structure of
the resistance had been left intact after the invasion, they were
able to infiltrate the collaborating Iraqi security forces and
rally the population by provoking murderous actions by the occupation
forces. Today, after the “Guernica” of Fallujah, there
is no possibility that the majority of Iraqis will ever accept
the occupation or the puppet regime.
It is therefore an initiative saturated with contradictions that
was recently approved behind the walls of the Pentagon: hand out
to the conventional military forces a manual that is supposed
to aid them in conducting the counter-insurrection . The manual
recuperates diverse theoretical elements accumulated during the
course of the last decades’ conflicts, in particular those
from Vietnam, trying to adapt them urgently to the Iraqi context.
This redefinition of the role of the US Army, now being forced
to make up for the absence of a real Iraqi collaboration force,
is a contradiction in itself because the soldiers that bombard
a country can hardly win the confidence of its population themselves.
Nevertheless, given the size and organization of the resistance,
it must above all limit the damage brought on by the manu militari
control of the population, and explain to the strong arms of the
army in what way this type of mission differs from those to which
they are used. It isn’t a simple thing because the Iraqi
resistance is active throughout the entire country, in different
phases according to the region and the population. The resistance
wages a war of position (Phase III) in Fallujah or Mossul while
waging one of strategic defence (Phase I, which includes sporadic
actions, principally against collaboration forces) in Baghdad.
Mao’s original theory of guerrilla warfare implies that
even if the guerrillas don’t evolve from one phase to another
in clear ways and may be active in different phases at the same
time, the simultaneous activity of the resistance in different
phases signals an evolution of the conflict in its favour.
As efficient work of political intelligence gathering, supported
by targeted actions by special forces, is the only way to wage
a victorious counter-insurrection, we are forced to conclude that
the guerrilla war is lost for the United States. From this sombre
balance sheet, we are forced to conclude that the Pentagon has
chosen to terrorise the Iraqis by military force in order to maintain,
at whatever the cost, its control over the second largest oil
reserves in the world and to keep its economy afloat. All the
apologies of the Democratic electorate of the US will change nothing:
we are watching the pure and simple destruction of a people and
a country in the name of capital and fossil fuels.
 « Qui
gouverne l'Irak ? » by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire, 13
 See « Economic
"Armageddon" Predicted », by Brett Arends,
From the Wilderness, 23 November 2004.
 « Le
talon d'Achille des USA », by L.C. Trudeau, Voltaire,
4 April 2003.
 See « What
is new in today's imperialism ? », by Peter Hudis, News
and Letters, November 2003.
 See the article « Les
ombres du rapport Cheney », by Arthur Lepic, Voltaire,
30 March 2004. A point of view that is fed by the public
reports of the CIA announcing an immament reduction of global
 « Buts
de guerre et bilan stratégique de l'attaque de l'Irak
» by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire, 6 October 2003.
 See the article « Opération
Phénix », by Arthur Lepic, Voltaire, 16 November
 See the article « Faute
de collaborateurs, les États-Unis sacrifieront leurs fils
», Voltaire, 15 November 2004.
 The Maoist theory of insurrection, notably
adopted by the Viet Cong and then by the Bathists in Iraq, distinguishes
three phases in the insurrection’s development: Phase I
is strategic defence, Phase II is overt confrontation, and finally,
Phase III is the formation of regular troops to wage an offensive.
 The manual is available for download
on the site of the Federation of American Scientists.
English translation by Signs of the Times
Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment
banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being
But you should hear what he's saying in private.
Roach met select groups of fund managers
downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity. His
prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of
avoiding economic "armageddon.''
Press were not allowed into the meetings. But the Herald has
obtained a copy of Roach's presentation. A
stunned source who was at one meeting said, "it struck me
how extreme he was - much more, it seemed to me, than in public.''
Roach sees a 30 percent chance of a slump soon and a 60 percent
chance that "we'll muddle through for a while and delay the
The chance we'll get through OK: one in 10. Maybe.
In a nutshell, Roach's argument is that America's record trade
deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners
buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest
rates further and faster than he wants.
The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs,
will get pounded.
Less a case of "Armageddon,'' maybe, than of a "Perfect
Roach marshalled alarming facts to support
To finance its current account deficit with the
rest of the world, he said, America has to import $2.6 billion
in cash. Every working day. That is an amazing 80 percent of the
entire world's net savings. Sustainable? Hardly.
Meanwhile, he notes that household debt is at record levels.
Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S.
households was equal to half the size of the economy.
Today the figure is 85 percent.
Nearly half of new mortgage borrowing is at flexible interest
rates, leaving borrowers much more vulnerable to rate hikes.
Americans are already spending a record share of disposable income
paying their interest bills. And interest rates haven't even risen
You don't have to ask a Wall Street economist to know this, of
course. Watch people wielding their credit cards this Christmas.
Roach's analysis isn't entirely new. But recent events give it
extra force. The dollar is hitting fresh lows against currencies
from the yen to the euro.
Its parachute failed to open over the weekend, when a meeting
of the world's top finance ministers produced no promise of concerted
It has farther to fall, especially against Asian
currencies, analysts agree.
The Fed chairman was drawn to warn on the dollar, and interest
rates, on Friday.
Roach could not be reached for comment yesterday. A source who
heard the presentation concluded that a "spectacular wave
of bankruptcies'' is possible.
Smart people downtown agree with much of the
analysis. It is undeniable that America is living in a "debt
bubble'' of record proportions.
But they argue there may be an alternative scenario to Roach's.
Greenspan might instead deliberately allow the dollar to slump
and inflation to rise, whittling away at the value of today's
consumer debts in real terms.
Inflation of 7 percent a year halves "real'' values in a
decade. It may be the only way out of the trap.
Higher interest rates, or higher inflation: Either way, the biggest
losers will be long-term lenders at fixed interest rates.
You wouldn't want to hold 30-year Treasuries, which today yield
just 4.83 percent.
Washington, DC, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- President
Bush has ordered the CIA to embark on a massive recruiting drive
to boost by 50 percent
the numbers of analysts and spies with the language and other
skills needed to improve intelligence about terrorist groups and
rogue nations seeking weapons of mass destruction.
Some reformers praised the directive in the form of a memorandum
sent to CIA Director Porter Goss last week and released by the
White House late Tuesday. But others worried it plays a numbers
game that might lead to a reduction in standards.
"It will be extremely difficult to increase the numbers
of people like that, especially because you cannot afford to let
standards slip," Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger,
D-Md., a member of both the Intelligence and Homeland Security
committees, told United Press International.
The memo gives Goss 90 days to work with national security adviser
Condoleezza Rice and the Office of Management and Budget to produce
a plan and a budget to:
-- increase by 50 percent the numbers of "fully qualified
officers in the Directorate of Operations," also known as
the clandestine service, which recruits and runs agents;
-- ensure that "a majority" of the new recruits are
"drawn from diverse backgrounds with the skills experience
and training needed";
-- increase by 50 percent the numbers
of "CIA officers tested and proficient in mission-critical
languages" like Arabic, Persian and Pashtu;
-- increase by 50 percent the numbers of analysts in the Directorate
of Intelligence; and
-- double the numbers of CIA staff involved in research and
development of new technologies to help with the war on terror
and the fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The number of staff currently
in the Directorate of Operations is classified, but it
is thought to be several thousand, and the Directorate of Intelligence
is several times larger than that.
The memo gives no time frame within which the plan must be executed,
but such a huge undertaking is likely to take several years, and
the memo asks for biannual updates on its implementation starting
in June 2005. [...]
But critics of the CIA said there would be no way to reach the
goals without lowering standards and poured scorn on the idea
of measuring success by numbers of officers.
"The numbers will force them to lower the bar," said
retired Col. Pat Lang, a former case officer with the Defense
Intelligence Agency, who quoted Napoleon to illustrate his point.
"In war, men are nothing; the man is everything."
Ruppersberger said there was a need to maintain standards and
"focus on the crucial issue of training. ... Otherwise you
get credibility problems."
But Lang, author of a textbook about recruiting and running
agents called "Intelligence: The Human Factor," said
that there were very particular skills involved that could not
necessarily be imparted through training.
"The people who are good at this
are a kind of elite, a group not of the common clay," he
said, explaining that they needed to be both "empathetic
and domineering," able to simultaneously
"represent themselves to (the agent) as caring about their
welfare, while being prepared to sacrifice them without hesitation
"People like that -- people with the potential to become
like that -- don't grow on trees," he said. [...]
During his November 21 pre-Thanksgiving
sermon, Reverend Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority founder and national
chairman of the Faith and Values Coalition, encouraged his audience
to "praise the Lord" at Thanksgiving for "alternative
news media" sources such as FOX News Channel, Sean Hannity,
and Rush Limbaugh, which he said are "telling the truth."
From Falwell's November 21 televised sermon, broadcast from
his Thomas Road Baptist Church:
Let me talk to you about five good things of late ... for
which this week I hope you and your family around your Thanksgiving
table will praise the Lord. ... No. 5: America has alternative
news media and is no longer held hostage by the major print
and broadcast media. I remember a day when ABC, CBS, NBC, and
CNN and the major print media controlled all the news flow to
the American people and we found ourselves getting warped and
distorted news. I thank God now in the
21st century for talk radio, that three hours a day people like
Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and hundreds of others are telling
the truth of what really is going on. I
thank God for FOX News Channel [applause]. I thank God for the
Internet bloggers and the news producers like NewsMax.com, WorldNetDaily.com,
even The Drudge Report.
Media Matters for America has documented numerous instances
of false statements made by the so-called "truth" tellers
that Falwell is thankful for:
Falwell is pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a 22,000-member
church in Lynchburg, Virginia, that is affiliated with the Southern
Baptist Convention. Falwell's weekly services, titled "The
Old Time Gospel Hour" are broadcast from the church and reach
global audiences by television, radio, and Internet. Falwell is
founder and chancellor of Liberty University. He operates the
Liberty Channel cable and satellite network, publishes the National
Liberty Journal, and writes a weekly column published by conservative
news outlets such as WorldNetDaily.com
Falwell endorsed President George W. Bush's reelection.
LOS ANGELES - A California teacher has been
barred by his school from giving students documents from American
history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.
Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School
in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination
on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by
principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.
"It's a fact of American history that our founders were
religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders
in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful,"
said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.
"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of
our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment
Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from
showing students the Declaration of Independence." [...]
More than a million people from all over
Europe are to deliver a petition to Tony Blair and fellow EU leaders
calling for changes to the constitution recognising Europe's Christian
Refusing to accept a secular "fait accompli" from Brussels,
a Christian coalition is demanding that each EU state publish
its version of the constitution's preamble, with references to
God if desired.
Already armed with 1,149,000 signatures and
with thousands more pouring in from Holland since the murder of
the film-maker Theo van Gogh, the group claims that most states
want some reference to Christianity but were blocked by France.
The move is keenly backed by Pope John Paul II, who has repeatedly
condemned the "moral drift" of Brussels. "One does
not cut the roots to one's birthright," he told pilgrims
Euro-MPs voted this week to back the calls for a change in the
text. Petitioners, led by Italy's International Mission Centre,
will now take their case to EU governments. The current version
of the preamble eschews Christianity, talking vaguely of "the
cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe".
Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president, deliberately
left the issue open when he wrote the document, inviting a petition.
"I have chosen not to insert the reference
to the Christian heritage in the constitution,"he said. "Rather
I appeal to you to persuade me of its necessity."
A British official said it was too late to change the preamble,
although national parliaments could add a "rider" stressing
their country's Christian roots.
An EU official said: "These Christians
could at least have the good grace to accept that they lost the
LONDON (Reuters) - EU foreign policy chief
Javier Solana had secret talks with the Palestinian militant group
Hamas even though it is on the European Union's list of banned
organizations, he said in an interview broadcast Thursday.
"I have had direct contact with Hamas but not in the last
few days," Solana told BBC Radio. "Those meetings were
not long. They were just to pass a clear message of where the
international community was."
He declined to say who he met or where the meetings took place.
Asked how long ago they took place, he said: "months."
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, talking to the BBC from
Jerusalem, declined to comment directly and repeated British policy
on Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction.
"Our position is very clear. We do not have contact with
Hamas," Straw said.
"We do not believe in contacts with Hamas or other proscribed
organizations. What these organizations have to do if they want
to take part in discussions is to renounce violence."
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned
Hamas but stopped short of criticizing Solana for meeting its
"We don't see Hamas as a political partner," the spokesman
told BBC Radio's Today program.
"We see them as a deadly terrorist organization responsible
for countless suicide bombings in Israeli cities and towns. We
think they're part of the problem, not part of the solution."
Hamas has spearheaded many attacks on Israel, including suicide
bombings, during a 4-year-old Palestinian uprising. The Israelis
have killed several of its leaders.
The EU and the State Department placed Hamas
on their lists of banned organizations last year.
Former UN chief
weapons inspector Hans Blix says he would be surprised if a chemical
laboratory found in the Iraqi city of Falluja was capable of creating
"Let's see what the chemicals are," Blix told a packed
gathering of the Oxford Union debating club on Thursday, after
Iraqi officials said they had uncovered a chemical bomb factory
"Many of these stories evaporate
when they are looked at more closely," he told the
mainly student crowd. "The chances [that the laboratory could
produce weapons] are, I think, relatively small. I would be surprised
if it was something real." [...]
If the U.S. or Israel attacks Iran, operations
would not be limited to the targeting of Tehran's suspected nuclear
sites, but could also include attacks against several key military
and industrial installations, the former
head of Mossad's foreign intelligence told WorldNetDaily in
an exclusive interview.
"From a hypothetical point of view, one shouldn't assume
any attack would only target nuclear facilities. Other
targets of significance to the Iranians could be attacked, including
military bases, oil facilities and certain industrial facilities,"
said Uzi Arad, former director of Mossad's Intelligence Division
and Chairman of Israel's prestigious Herzliya Conference.
"The Iranians shouldn't make the assumption that just because
they hide a few nuclear sites they are safe. There
are enough targets to exact a very heavy price on Tehran, so much
so that it should render their entire nuclear exercise a losing
proposition," said Arad.
Last week, the National Council for Resistance, a grass-roots
Iranian organization that in the past has accurately revealed
Iranian nuclear sites, announced Tehran was producing enriched
uranium and testing biological and chemical warfare projects at
a secret plant in northeast Iran that had not been disclosed to
United Nations inspectors.
WorldNetDaily reported exclusively the site is hidden many feet
below a development of luxury villas in the Iranian suburb of
Nour in the Lavizan district of northeast Tehran.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said he has seen intelligence
corroborating some of the Council's disclosures and that Iran
may be researching the use of conventional warheads to deliver
Arad said the Iranians shouldn't view America's troubles in
Iraq as an impediment to its ability to attack Iran.
"The Iranian planners should not make the easy assumption
that Iraq will hamper America's efforts.
Iraq gives the U.S. certain important tactical advantages, including
a major staging base. We may be talking
here mostly about an air campaign against Iran, and this kind
of targeting can be mounted and staged from neighboring Iraq,"
Arad said for now America and the international community must
continue to press for sanctions and other methods of intense pressure
against Tehran, and suggested the Iranian regime should view Iraq
as a warning.
"We saw in Iraq what happens to a country that supports
terrorism and tries to obtain WMDs," he said. "Iraq
should serve as an example, both from this war and during the
first Gulf War, that when America acts, it brings an overwhelming
force to bear. The Iranian leaders must
ask themselves whether they are willing to take this very high
risk gamble with their nuclear program because they might end
up where Saddam is today."
Arad warned allowing Tehran to develop nuclear weapons would
have widespread serious negative consequences.
"If Iran proceeds, it will be disastrous for the world,"
said Arad. "It would place nuclear weapons in the hands of
a hostile totalitarian regime. It would be a victory for all states
that support terrorism, a clear signal to hard-liners that they
can get away with such things. It would stiffen the negotiating
positions on key diplomatic disputes, including the Arab-Israeli
conflict. It would have a spillover effect on other countries
– Saudi Arabia would want such weapons. It would destabilize
the Gulf region, have consequences for the world oil supply. And
it would mean the total unraveling of the nonproliferation regime
and the International Atomic Energy Agency's ability to be effective."
Support of Iranian opposition by the international community
could be an effective way of handling the current regime, said
"The regime does not have strong domestic support. There
is a great deal of resentment on the surface. Its stability can
be greatly reduced by the people themselves."
Arad told WorldNetDaily the issue of Iran and other key regional
issues, including Israel's Gaza withdrawal and its growing relationship
with the EU and involvement in NATO, will be discussed at this
years Herzliya Conference in mid-December.
The conference, in its fifth year, is known to set the tone
for regional policies and has been the site of several major policy
speeches by Israeli leaders. Sharon last year announced at the
conference his disengagement plan, and in 2002 detailed the U.S.-backed
roadmap to peace. Arad said to expect similarly important diplomatic
announcements this year, as well.
THE HAGUE : The results of the Ukraine presidential
elections results are absolutely clear, Russian President Vladimir
Putin said after a summit meeting with the European Union.
"I congratulated Viktor Yanukovich", the Ukrainian
prime minister, for the "results are
absolutely clear," Putin said Thursday after talks
in The Hague with the EU.
Earlier before the summit started Putin sent a congratulatory
message to pro-Moscow Yanukovich, who was the
handpicked choice of outgoing President Lenoid Kuchma to
"The Ukrainian people have made their choice --
a choice in favor of stability, the strengthening of the state,
further development of democratic and economic transformation,"
Putin told Yanukovich in the message published by the Kremlin.
OTTAWA - The federal government yesterday
rejected the results of Ukraine's bitterly disputed presidential
election and vowed to force authorities in Kiev to review a vote
that was described as rigged by Canadian and other international
"Considering the allegations of serious
and significant electoral fraud from international and
Canadian election observers, the government of Canada cannot accept
that the announced results by the central election commission
reflect the true, democratic will of the Ukrainian people,"
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan announced in the Commons.
"Canada rejects the announced final results." [...]
Before the election, the Government mobilised
groups of thugs to harass voters. On the day of the election,
police prevented thousands of opposition activists from voting.
Nevertheless, when the votes were counted,
it was clear the opposition had won by a large margin. As a result,
the ruling party decided to falsify the result, and declared victory.
Immediately, the Russians sent their fraternal congratulations.
No, that was not a description of the presidential election
that took place last Sunday in Ukraine. It
was a description of the referendum in Soviet-occupied Poland
in June 1946.
But although that infamous Polish election took place nearly
60 years ago, there are good reasons why it sounds so much like
last weekend in Ukraine. According to the Committee of Civic Voters,
a volunteer group with branches all over Ukraine, the techniques
haven't changed much in 60 years. In the Sumy region, they record,
a member of the electoral commission was beaten up by unidentified
thugs. At one polling station, "criminals"
disrupted the voting and destroyed the ballot boxes. In
Cherkassy, a polling station inspector was found dead.
More "criminals" broke polling station windows and destroyed
ballot boxes. In the Zaporozhye region and in Kharkov, observers
saw buses transporting voters from one polling station to the
There was, in other words, not much that was subtle about the
disruption of the election - no arguments about hanging chads
or "secret software" here - and not much that was surprising
about the result. Polls taken before and
after the vote showed a large margin in favour of Viktor Yushchenko,
a pro-Western liberal.
Nevertheless, victory has been declared for Viktor Yanukovich,
the pro-Moscow candidate. He has already received warm congratulations
from the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who backed him with
praise, money and, possibly, some advice on how to steal elections.
It can't be a coincidence that if the Ukrainian
election is settled in Moscow's favour, it will mark the third
such dubious vote in Russia's "sphere of influence"
in the past two months, following the polls in Belarus and the
separatist province of Abkhazia.
All of these places may seem obscure and far away. But so did
the events 60 years ago in Poland, at least until it became clear
they were part of a pattern: 1946 was also the year Winston Churchill
gave his celebrated speech describing the "iron curtain"
that had descended across Europe. [...]
Ukrainian web news portal Ukrains'ka Pravda
posted what it claims are transcripts of four telephone conversations
between Yury Levenets, PR adviser to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
and unidentified campaign workers on election day.
The tapes, which the online newspaper says were given to opposition
leader Viktor Yushchenko's headquarters by high-ranking law enforcement
officials, document alleged collusion on
rigging the results of the Nov. 21 election.
In the first reported conversation, Levenets asks who is winning,
and an unidentified campaign worker responds that as of 2:30 p.m.
their candidate is losing by 1.46 percent, and they
agree the vote needs to be rigged so that by 8 p.m. he appears
to be winning.
It is not clear which district is being referred to. Nor is
it clear how the vote would be rigged. According to the newspaper
and Yushchenko's headquarters, the most
popular method used by Yanukovych's campaign team was to obtain
numerous absentee ballots and then have the same people cast them
at several polling stations.
The second taped conversation allegedly features Levenets and
another campaign worker, identified by his first name, Valery.
The two discuss how results of a nationwide
exit poll should be tweaked to give Yanukovych a 3 to 3.5-percentage-point
advantage. The third tape allegedly features a brother
of Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Klyuyev debating with a campaign
worker how to organize fights with students. The fourth tape allegedly
records Levenets being briefed by an unidentified campaign worker
on how to invalidate seven protocols from
district election commissions to tilt the overall balance in the
remaining protocols toward Yanukovych.
The online newspaper also claimed to have received several other
tapes from Yushchenko's headquarters, including conversations
involving presidential administration chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk,
Central Elections Commission chairman Serhiy Kivalov, and several
other senior officials. The conversations were taped from Oct.
30 to Nov. 24 and will be released soon, the paper said.
Myron Wasylyk, a spokesman for Yushchenko's political bloc,
confirmed Thursday that the opposition candidate received the
tapes from law enforcement officials.
Calls to the prime minister's and President Leonid Kuchma's
press services went unanswered Thursday evening. Vladislav Yezhelin,
a spokesman for Yanukovych's campaign headquarters, denied
any knowledge of the reported tapes.
Leaks of taped phone conversations have been a political weapon
of choice in former Soviet republics, but have been especially
popular in Ukraine. The opposition used alleged intercepts of
conversations between Kuchma and his subordinates in which he
vented his anger with the writings of Ukrains'ka Pravda editor
Heorhiy Gongadze to strengthen its calls for the president's resignation.
Gongadze was abducted in downtown Kiev in September 2000. His
decapitated body was later found buried in a forest outside the
capital. His murder triggered months of violent protests against
Kuchma, who the opposition alleged was involved in the killing.
Kuchma denied the allegations.
| CANBERRA : Australian police say they may soon
follow the United States' lead and issue air marshals with electric
stun guns after a trial of the weapons by an elite security unit.
The Taser X26 stun gun is to be tried out by the Specialist
Response and Security unit in a six-month pilot scheme around
Canberra, Detective Superintentant Rob Gilliland of the Australian
Federal Police said.
The weapon can incapacitate a person by temporarily collapsing
their muscles with a powerful bolt of electricity delivered through
charged probes. [...]
Gilliland said the stun guns could eventually be used more widely,
including by air marshals and Australian police posted overseas.
Asked if arming air marshals with stun guns would eventually
be an option, he said: "Yes, it certainly is."
Australia is in the process of deploying about 200 police in
neighbouring Papua New Guinea under a controversial plan to restore
law and order there.
CAIRO - The head of a local council in Egypt
died after a fellow councillor beat him unconscious with the base
of a microphone stand during a meeting on Thursday, Egypt's state-run
Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.
Mohamed Tahaami, leader of the local council in Beni Suef about
140km south of Cairo, died on his way to hospital after being
beaten on his face, it said.
MENA did not say what provoked the attack but added police were
searching for the attacker, who left the council hall after the
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) -- British
army experts have defused a firebomb discovered in a central Belfast
department store, police said Thursday, in the latest sign that
Irish Republican Army dissidents are targeting the city's bustling
pre-Christmas shopping season.
Staff at the Primark discount clothes store discovered the homemade
device Wednesday night after closing time. They were searching
stacks of clothes in response to a police warning of the increased
risk of firebombs being hidden by IRA dissidents, who oppose the
outlawed group's 1997 ceasefire.
Five firebombs have been discovered this month in Belfast shops,
but none has caused serious damage. [...]
PORT MORESBY - Voluntary evacuations have
begun on a tiny Papua New Guinea island after
a volcanic eruption spewed ash 14km into the air and blanketed
homes, crops and water supplies.
The volcano on Manam, off the countryís north coast,
began erupting in October, but a severe burst yesterday prompted
authorities to upgrade volcanic activity to stage 3.
A Papua New Guinea volcanologist said the volcano coughed up
lava and large rocks. An aviation red alert was issued for aircraft
to avoid the area.
"The people of Manam are helpless - living on an island
that is sitting on a deadly volcano," said Minister for Inter-Government
Relations Sir Peter Barter, who has called for assistance.
"Hunger is setting in because the islanders have lost their
food gardens over the past month since the volcano started erupting."
Emergency officials said an area was being cleared on the mainland
for a possible full-scale evacuation of the 9600 islanders. Evacuation
becomes compulsory if volcanic activity reaches stage 4.
Papua New Guinea lies on the "Ring of Fire", a zone
of volcanic activity around the Pacific that accounts for more
than 75 per cent of the worldís active and dormant volcanoes.
| At least 17 people have been killed
and more than 130 injured after an earthquake hit a town in Indonesia's
Papua province for the second time in nine months.
Terrified residents in the coastal town of Nabire have pitched
tents outside their homes amid continuous aftershocks, badly needing
more tents and medicine.
"A total of 11 bodies have been identified but there are
six others which are still buried under rubble of destroyed buildings,"
said Commissioner Wempi Batlayeri, the town's deputy police chief.
The quake and smaller shocks had injured 133 people, 30 of them
seriously and destroyed 328 homes and other buildings, Commissioner
"The current condition in Nabire is pitch black, there is
no lighting. Almost every minute aftershocks can be felt,"
Residents set up camp outside their houses fearing further tremors
while tents were pitched outside the town's main hospital to treat
"We are still waiting for supplies from Biak town. The airport's
runway is cracked in six places but Twin Otter planes can still
land here," Commissioner Batlayeri said.
The main quake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale, hit Nabire
at 9.25 am (local time).
Some 150 buildings were flattened and another 178 were set ablaze.
The tremor had its epicentre 17 kilometres south of Nabire and
33 kms underground.
In February, strong earthquakes jolted Nabire, which is 580 kms
west of Jayapura, for three days, killing 37 people and injuring
Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 18,000 islands, lies at
the collision point of three tectonic plates.
Pressure between the massive segments of the Earth's crust cause
frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Two weeks ago a succession of powerful earthquakes struck Alor
island in eastern Indonesia, killing 26 people.
About a dozen families in southeastern Indiana
have a special reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving Day.
Their homes were damaged when a tornado or severe thunderstorm
skipped through their communities Wednesday night, but no one
was reported hurt. [...]
Several tornado sightings were reported in southeastern Indiana
on Thanksgiving Eve as powerful storms cut two paths near Greater
Cincinnati but spared the city.
The metropolitan area was under a tornado watch for several
hours, but the storms passed west and east of Cincinnati.
The storm system that moved through Fayette, Union and Franklin
counties produced large hail and winds up to 80 mph that even
blew a semi off the highway. [...]
Drought-stricken central Vietnam has issued
a flood alert as rains triggered by an approaching typhoon have
swept away at least one person.
Rains started this week in the central region, bringing relief
to rice farmers who had faced drought since September.
Disaster management officials in the coastal province of Quang
Ngai have issued a high flood alert as upstream waters pour in.
One man has died after being swept away in the province.
The typhoon has destroyed 200 houses in the southern region
where a sailor is missing after his boat capsized. [...]
FORT BEAUFORT - The "worst drought
in years" in the Nkonkobe Municipal area has sparked fears
of a cholera outbreak in rural villages.
The provincial government and the Department of Water Affairs
and Forestry have been asked to intervene as tens of thousands
of people are suffering in an area where 90 percent of rural villages
are without water. [...]
"Except for a few villages, there is absolutely no reticulation,"
said Nkonkobe mayor Mandisile Mdleleni yesterday.
He said the problem started earlier in the week when he was
inundated with calls from various sectors of the community pleading
"Those who had no option but to use polluted river and
dam water in the past are in the same predicament as these rivers
and dams have dried up as well. In the
light of the prevailing circumstances, an outbreak of cholera
Fort Beaufort villages are the worst affected, as water from
the Kat River is moving too slowly to fill reservoirs that feed
the rural areas. The water evaporates before it can be reticulated
to the villages.
The Middledrift situation was worsened by technical problems
in the water reticulation infrastructure at Sandile Dam near Keiskammahoek.
Since the rural taps, dams and rivers have dried up, many villagers
have had to walk or drive to get water from urban towns. [...]
Officials in Cambodia say drought has hit
a fifth of the country's rice growing land.
A poor monsoon season has affected more than 520,000 hectares
of Cambodia's 2.5 million hectares of paddy.
Reuters news agency says the drought has destroyed nearly 124,000
hectares of paddy and seriously affected nearly 400,000 hectares.
|BANGKOK : An influenza pandemic is being predicted
to affect every country leaving millions
dead and make more than a quarter of the world's population ill
with no vaccines available until at least next March, according
to the World Health Organisation.
An outbreak of bird flu that has killed 32 people in Thailand
and Vietnam this year is the most likely cause of an inevitable
pandemic but it was not clear if it would start in the "next
week or the next years", said Dr. Klaus Stohr of the WHO
global influenza programme.
He predicted more than a quarter of the world's estimated 6.4
billion population would fall ill from influenza.
"There are estimates that would put the number of deaths
at the range between two to seven millions and the numbers of
people affected will go beyond the billion because 25 to 30 percent
will fall ill," he told reporters at a meeting in Bangkok
of health ministers and officials from 13 Asian nations.
"An influenza pandemic would spread globally
and every country would be affected."
The WHO has sounded similar warnings during two waves of bird
flu outbreaks across Asia that have destroyed bird stocks and
infected 44 people, killing 12 in Thailand and 20 in Vietnam.
At least 20 million and perhaps as many as 50 million people
died in the 1918-1919 pandemic, the highest toll of any disease
in the last century, and the worst of four flu pandemics since
Scientists said the disease in 1918, which
also infected up to a billion people, then half of the world's
population, leapt to humans by mutating
from bird flu.
The strain in 1918 was especially lethal for healthy young adults.
Two later pandemics hit the elderly worst but the average age
of those who have contracted flu in Thailand this year has been
20 and only 15 in Vietnam, said Stohr. [...]
IS it all just a dream? Speculation
that reality is nothing but an illusion, or simulation, or controlled
environment, has been with us for thousands of years, most recently
doled out as pop culture brain candy with the likes of the US
film The Matrix.
But now two respected British scientists, physicist Martin Rees
and mathematician John Barrow, are questioning whether all matter
and mind we know is not the creation of some mega-supercomputer
"A few decades ago, computers were only able to simulate
very simple patterns. They can now create virtual worlds with
a lot of detail," Rees told AFP.
"In the future, we could imagine computers able to simulate
worlds perhaps even as complicated as the one we think we're living
Martin, an astronomer at Cambridge University, dares a thought
that could have been deemed far-fetched among serious scientists
only a while back: "The question is : Could we be in such
In this case, the universe would not be all-encompassing but
only part of an ensemble Rees and Barrow call the "multiverse".
Barrow, who also teaches as Cambridge, described in an academic
article that it was long known that a civilization slightly more
advanced than our own could simulate "universes in which
self-conscious entities can emerge and communicate with one another".
In a much more computer-savvy society with vastly more advanced
technology, "instead of merely simulating their weather or
the formation of galaxies, like we do, they would be able to go
further and watch the appearance of stars and planetary systems,"
"Then, having coupled the rules of biochemistry into their
astronomical simulations, they would be able to watch the evolution
of life and consciousness."
With the same ease that we humans watch the "life cycle
of fruit flies", Barrow said, the machine masters of the
universe could "watch the civilizations grow and communicate
with each other, argue about whether there existed a Great Programmer
in the Sky who could intervene at will in defiance of the laws
of Nature they habitually observed".
However, the theory of the Cambridge pair of scientists has not
met widespread approval among peers.
Seth Lloyd, professor of quantum mechanical
engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
pointed out such a simulation would require an "unimaginably
Lloyd, in comments published last week in The Sunday Times, gave
a jab to the duo, comparing them to a science fiction book with
a cult following - Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy, which stars a supercomputer named Deep Thought.
"The Hitchhiker's Guide is a great book but it remains fiction,"
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