Sunday, November 28, 2004
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New Publication! The Wave finally in book form!

The Wave: 4 Volume Set
Volume 1

by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

With a new introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four book set.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 pages.

The Wave is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the Cassiopaean Experiment.

Pre-order Volume 1 now. Available at the end of November!

Pictures of the Day


Sydney, Australia


Polarisation: Prelude to War
SOTT Analysis

Thinking people everywhere were amused by the following post-election pronouncement by President Bush:

"With the campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan effort and results. I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals."

Ah, yes, Bush is willing to reach out in a bipartisan way to "everyone who shares our goals". Unfortunately, after the amusement wears off, one is left with the reality of a man in the White House convinced of his own infallibility and his own "gut instincts". These "instincts" are pushing the world into a growing polarisation as the US sinks ever more deeply into the imperial agenda of Bush and his neo-con advisors. These instincts are fed by his private conversations with God, you know the one, the God who told Bush to invade Iraq. Bush's God sounds an awful lot like the vengeful and jealous God of the Old Testament. That God was ready to smite his enemies, too.

We note in passing that another modern leader who thought he obtained instructions from "higher ups" was Adolph Hitler.

What God might this be that demands blood sacrifice from his subjects?

Following the 9/11 false-flag operation, international good will towards the US was at an all-time high. The French paper Le Monde put the headline "We are all Americans" on the front page. Canadians welcomed stranded US citizens into their homes after their flights were diverted to airports in Halifax and elsewhere. Candle-light vigils were held in front of US Embassies and elsewhere in many countries. The world was shocked and its sympathy went out to the victims, their families, and to the country as a whole. The pictures on this page show the tremendous outpouring of sympathy for the US.

That was then; this is now.

Look at the situation three years later.

Bush and his advisors have lied to the world about Osama bin Laden. First, Bush told us that "he can run, but he can't hide". Then he told us that bin Laden isn't important. Three years later bin Laden is still at large. Or maybe dead from his diabetes. You know, the diabetes he was having looked after when he checked into the hospital in Dubai during the summer of 2001 and had a meeting with the local CIA station chief. What? That wasn't reported on Fox News? Gee, it must have been a busy news day.

Having pushed bin Laden off centre stage -- and with the links between the Bushes and the bin Laden family, Osama's disappearance shouldn't be surprising -- Bush then began his lies about Saddam Hussein and Saddam's supposed WMD. Based upon those lies, he illegally invaded Iraq.


Copenhagen, Denmark


Remember Bush's State of the Union address in January 2003? Nigerian uranium?

All lies.

Remember Colin Powell's presentation to the UN in February 2003?

All lies.

Then we were told how caring and careful the US was going to be during the invasion: precision strikes, smart missiles, the best of high technology applied to saving civilian lives. The techonology was so successful that the US didn't even bother compiling statistics of civilian deaths and woundings during the invasion. They still don't, 100,000 civilian deaths later, according to the report recently published in The Lancet.

Bush lied when he said hostilities were over in May 2003 during his photo op on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, all decked out in his flight uniform. The truth has gone AWOL.

Bush lies today when he tells us how successful the US has been in imposing democracy over a shell-shocked Iraqi people, when he tells us of the successes of US corporations such as Haliburton is rebuilding the country while the Iraqi people have electricity several hours a day at best, while sewage plants have yet to be rebuilt, while the country is so dangerous that Western reporters hide in their hotels and report the PR releases released to them by the military.

Freedom has come to Iraq!

Bush lies when he says that the torturing of prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison was only due to a few bad apples, denying that the orders came from the top, justified in a legal brief composed by his new Attorney General.




Confronted with such open and obvious lies from the Bush Administration, lies that establish clearly for all to see that Bush is willing and capable of lying about anything and everything, more and more people across the globe are asking serious questions about the official story of 9/11. What started right after the attack on a few websites and which blossomed in early 2002 with the publication of Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie has become an international movement of individuals and groups who question the holes and contradictions of the government's version of the events. From Michael Moore's Farhenheit 911 to Power Hour's 911 In Plane Site, from Mike Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon to David Ray Griffin's The New Pearl Harbor, videos and books are appearing that marshall together the evidence that the official story is but more lies from the Bush Administration.


Bejing, China


A recent entry into these investigations comes from a Japanese TV network, TV Asahi:

Some News Source

A two hour long documentary just released by Japan's second largest television network, TV Asahi, probes deeply into the 911 tragedy. It has painstakingly investigated and interviewed numerous witnesses and experts, and exposes further flaws in Washington's 911 myth. Japanese pilots and aviation specialists also give expert opinion in the documentary.

The world is divided between those who are just content to believe stories they hear while gulping beer and junk food, and those who take the troubles to investigate to find out the truth. In today's world when wars are waged and thousands of innocent people are murdered on false information (and, as a double whammy, the victims are demonized as 'terrorists'), people of conscience are becoming more skeptical and demanding proofs. Thankfully, Canadians are in the latter category.

Among the many interesting points the documentary presents, is a strong possibility that United flight 93 was shot down by the military. Several proofs are offered. Also, actual experiments conducted prove that Cell phone calls couldn't have been made from the ill fated flight.

It also makes a strong case that the Pentagon was NOT hit by Flight AA77. According to the experts, not even the most skilled pilot could have manoeuvred the massive 757 plane just a few feet above the ground to hit the Pentagon (at the location where the hole was made). The complexity and precision of the approach manoeuvre are nearly impossible to reconcile with the official account that the plane was piloted by Hani Hanjour, an incompetent pilot of even single-engine prop-planes.

Also, there was no damage to the fence and the lawn and no dead bodies strewn around - remember it was supposed to be a passenger plane! Most eye-witnesses said they thought it was a missile that flew over.

Based on the size of the engine found in the photo taken by the official federal photographer, Jocelyn Augustino, experts speculate that it could have been a Sky Hawk which hit the Pentagon (the diameter of the engine is less than 1 metre whereas that of the 757 is over 2 metres). For a similar detailed discussion on this read: "Pentagon Crash?".

So, if the Pentagon was, in fact, hit either by a missile or a Sky Hawk, then it poses a potentially problematic question: "How on earth did Al-Qaeda get hold of the missile or the Sky Hawk to fire at Pentagon"? Then, another question follows: "If Al-Qaeda did not fire the missile or the Sky Hawk, then, who are the real perpetrators of the 911 Terror Attack?"

One more surprising revelation was about the Egyptian plane, Flight 990. Readers will remember the intense media frenzy alleging the co-pilot to have taken his own life and that of 216 other people, based on an utterance declaring faith in Islam (shahada).

For days and weeks, Islam and Muslims took a savage beating in the Media- a case of victims being demonized.

Britain's John Coleman and other experts believe that the Egyptian plane may have been electronically hijacked, as a trial run before the real 911 attack. The plane carried among the passengers, 33 very important military personnel, including an Army and an Air Force brigadier general.

Since signing the Camp David peace accord with Israel in 1978, Egypt has been receiving $ 1.3 billion a year in military financing from the United States. Much of that aid has paid for weapons from U.S. defense contractors, tanks, fighter planes, helicopters and missile systems. Thousands of Egyptian officers have visited the United States to meet with defense contractors and participate in Pentagon-sponsored training programs. The presence of the 33 officers aboard the commercial flight, has prompted questions about whether they were potential targets of a terrorist attack.

After the US announced the deal to help Egypt in a major military modernization by selling the Egyptians 24 of the latest-model F-16 fighter planes, a Patriot missile battery and 200 new heavy tanks, an Israeli official told The Dallas Morning News that Israel considered Egypt to be a potential risk. One can only speculate if Israel had a hand in the 990 crash, especially when it was carrying 33 military officers!

After laying the blame on the Egyptian pilot and his belief system, suddenly the whole thing hit a black out. Too many questions began to pop up. A scientific analysis of what may have happened, completely disproves the Administrations' theories. Please read "The REAL Mystery of Egypt Air Flight 990" by Mike Bara, who was employed by Boeing as a structural designer for more than 14 years, and worked on every major commercial (and some military) vehicle that the company produced, including the 767.

It will take a lot of time for me to translate the Asahi documentary and give even a brief summary, but almost in every city, readers may find Japanese speakers who could translate. So, purchase a video from Asahi and learn the facts!

TV Asahi
6-9-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-8001, Japan
Phone: 81-3-6406-1111

People, at least some of them, want to know the truth when an event of the gravity and importance of 9/11 occurs.

The 9/11 attacks have been used to justify two invasions and tyrannical laws in countries the world over. Is it too much to ask, what really happened on that day? Who was really behind it?

The story we have been given is full of holes.

Why did US air defence not react in a timely way?

How is it that Bush was able to see the first crash before he entered the classroom that day when the only known tape of the crash, that of the French Naudet brothers, wasn't broadcast until later in the day?

Who made a killing on future's trading on United and American Airlines' stocks in the days just before the crashes?

How did the Pentagon get so lucky as to be hit in a reinforced area that was almost empty due to renovations?

What happened to the plane that hit the Pentagon?

And these are only a few of the questions that researchers have raised.

Is asking for answers to these and the other questions of 9/11 unpatriotic? Is asking for the truth un-American?

According to Fox News, it appears so:

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Breaking Point: Hating America

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m and 12 a.m. ET
Hosted by John Gibson

Our country is under attack, but instead of bombs and bullets — the weapons of choice are hateful words and images aimed at distorting American policy and image around the world.

From Toronto to Tehran, "Hating America" shines a bright light on the haters themselves, exposing the malicious messages they send out with each passing day.


Berlin, Germany


With America's steadfast support of Israel and the ever-widening War on Terror, we might expect anti-U.S. feelings in the volatile Middle East, but a new survey shows that anti-Americanism is growing in Europe too.

What's behind this disturbing trend and what can we do to reverse it?

Will the outcome of the hotly contested presidential election improve or worsen our standing in the world?

"Hating America" is another in an important series of investigative documentaries brought to you by the staff of the FOX News Channel, including reports from FOX News' bureaus in London, Paris and Baghdad. Don't miss it!

Comment: So what does Fox offer? Several members of one of our on-line discussion groups suffered through the Fox documentary when it was rebroadcast last night. Here are some of their comments:


Helsinki, Finland


I was confident that a search at (which normally has listings stretching out two weeks) would turn up a re-run, but anticipation got me -- there were no hits. However, a search of the site indicates that the original broadcast was on Tuesday, and that the re-runs are Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9PM and midnight. But, of course, Nov. 27 is Saturday. What a mess. I just turned on the TV and it's on right now, although pressing the cable INFO button gives information for a different program. Scheduling foul-up.

Anyway, I started taping at 12:16 AM. I was disgusted by the one minute I saw, in which various "experts" were rending apart Barrie Zwicker who compares the current administration to the Nazis, calls America the Fourth Reich, and accuses the gov't of killing its own people. They call him the "far fringe."

More on Zwicker at these sites:

At Thanksgiving, one of my sisters, a librarian, was speaking to the room about 9/11, "Did you hear the one about how Israel did it, and sent emails to all the Jews in America to stay away? Ha! How ridiculous!" One of my co-workers said that to another, who replied, 'Uh, did you know I'm Jewish? I didn't get any email.'"

I winced, unaware and astounded to hear that this kind of story is being floated in the mainstream. Typical COINTELPRO -- take a core truth, mix it with obviously preposterous lies, put it out there for the gullible to spread, discredit the truth in the process, make those who suspect the truth appear to be loony, and even make the original gullibles feel stupid. Just like Rovian trick with the phony Bush AWOL documents.

It's taped. I don't even know where to start on this so I'm just going to type up a transcript with a sick bag in hand.

I know what you mean.

This is the second time I've ever watched Fox News channel and both times I felt very ill afterward. I had to go and lie down for over an hour after turning it off. I had to force myself to sit through the whole thing. I think it is more than what was said. The images are also disturbing. And there may be some kind of subliminals and/or stroboscopic entrainment? I thought of the "frequency fence." But it literally makes me feel physically ill.

A transcript is a good idea, if you can do it. Every bit of it was geared to having affects on the masses.

What I noted particularly is that they seemed to be "preparing" the Amurikan public for whatever news reports might leak out to them about protests in Canada on Tuesday, when Bush visits there. Canada was put before Europe in the bashing order.

And Fox's next "documentary" is the "Oil for Food scandal" aimed at Europe and the U.N. on Tuesday. It was advertised throughout.

I was left wondering why Thierry Meyssan agreed to be interviewed by that nut. Did you see the cartoonesque facial expressions and intonations during his questions to Meyssan? I suppose Meyssan figured it was better to have people get exposure, even if under these circumstances...?

Zwicker might be another story...


Warsaw, Poland


As far as subliminals, did you notice the red, fire-like graphics they added around Zwicker in the clips of his speeches? I'm surprised they didn't add a pointy black beard and horns as well.

[Won't be able to do the transcript], it's taking too long and most of the programming techniques are visual and auditory, so the parts I've transcribed so far don't do it justice. I'll make a downloadable version of the video instead.

That part [with Meyssan] was very hard to watch, and Meyssan's frustration was palpable. I think 'nut' is an understatement though. Gibson is clearly a psychopath. According to him, people who 'hate' America (question its government's actions) are at fault. He just kept stressing his point that it is THEIR problem and couldn't possibly have anything to do with the US government's actions. He also kept making NLP associations between questioning the government and words like "threatening" and "dangerous." It's like they are trying to rally public support for imprisonment (or worse) of dissenters.

He also spoke very broadly of American public opinion. As he said to Meyssan, "The American people are divided over a lot of things, but they are not divided over their opinion of your book," or some such nonsense. That seemed really creepy for some reason.

----------------------------- Zwicker interview:

Gibson: How can you support a line of inquiry which supports the notion the whole thing is a lie?

Zwicker: Well, the US government has lied a great deal...

Gibson: You even question whether Osama bin Laden was responsible when he has taken responsibility.

Zwicker: Well, I think that it's absolutely preposterous to say that such a sophisticated crime was conducted out of a cave in Afganistan.

Gibson: Let's try another [unintelligible]. You believe that the president of US, George W. Bush, would sanction an attack on his own people that killed 3000 civilians in order to promote a war for oil, or hegemony, or something... like that.

Zwicker: I've said things like that..

Gibson: I know you have, that's why I'm asking, do you believe that?

Zwicker: I think it's very possible, very possible, that it was a Reichstag Fire 2001. A Fake attack. It's called a false-flag operation. It always mobilizes the public.

Gibson: This is basic anti-Americanism. You so hate those people in the US government and the American public that you can believe the most preposterous things.

Zwicker: This is where I think, and with all due respect John, you go off the rails here. The government is not the country.

Gibson: We have 30 million Canadians, in large part, kicking us in the shins here when we are their best customer.

Zwicker: You're generalizing here.

GIbson: That's what the polling says there.

Zwicker: Yeah, look, what we...

Gibson: And I think part of the reason is because of ideas like yours. (he shouted to interrupt, and then dropped into a whisper while leaning into Zwicker's face. Hard to explain how strange it was)

[Poll showing that 40% of Canadian teens believe the US is a force of evil in the world.]

Gibson: What is your reaction, to what I think the typical American reaction will be to hearing this, which is "That is pathetic."

Zwicker: My reaction is that I am a friend of the US. Very much so. And that all of the Americans in the US who also question along these lines are patriots because they want proper accounting of what happened that day.

I took some notes during the show, mainly about the sequence of items presented, but the feeling I got during the whole show was to play on people's emotions. This was the first time I watched John Gibson. He reminds me of another flavor of Bill O'Reily, both of them turn my stomach.

Order of events:

1. Discussion of Arab TV influence on inciting anti-American sentiment. Comparison of reaction in the Arab world to the Abu Graib prison pictures versus the lack of reaction (according to John Gibson) at the Berg beheading. I recall public statements by Arabs against the beheading, so JG is obviously using selective recall.

2. Interview with Canadian journalist Barry Zwicker about US government complicitiy in the 911 event. Camera use is very interesting in this segment. They get some tight, grainy close-ups of Barry which, to me, was an attempt to make him look a little crazy (very similar to the Charles Manson close-ups for those of you who rememeber those days). Criticism from JG on Barry's organization ( use of revenue from video, book, and speaking engagements to imply the motivation is financial.

3. Discussion of European (French, German, and, surprisingly, British) view of Bush, the US gov, and anti-American sentiments.

4. Segment with Thierry Meyssan. Thierry appeared calm and professional throughout the entire segment, although he did show a couple of moments of subdued frustration with JG's comments. JG called Thierry the "Johnny Appleseed of the disbelieving America movement" (I believe that's what he said). Definite use of emotional triggers in this interview. JG would constantly interrupt, use intimidating body and verbal language, and was obviously emotionally charged.

5. Discussion of the start of Anti-Americanism with Henry Kissinger and Andrew Cohutt (spelling?).

6. Discussion of how economic boycotts impact America, the creation of an Arab language channel based in Virginia and funded by the State Department (!), and use of a "reality TV" show to select Middle Eastern Arabs to join American families to experience American culture. Typical Fox stuff...

It was very difficult to sit through the entire show without wanting to turn off the TV.


Moscow, Russia


We can well imagine the reaction to this hysteria from a United Statesian
who has never had a critical thought in his life. Manipulated by the emotion and flashy graphics, he'll come away from the program convinced that it is the rest of the world that is going stark, raving mad. He'll be convinced that Canada and France are the new Enemy Number One of the US. When angry Canadians demonstrate against Bush during his visit to Canada this week, the US walking dead will identify with their "Commander-in-Chief" and take insults directed at him as being directed at them.

And we know where that is going. A little lebensraum, anyone?

The result is that the world is becoming polarised, extremely polarised. The basis of this growing split is, to put it simply, the Truth. Those outside of the US can clearly see the stakes, can see that the psychopathy inherent in US culture is coming more and more brazenly to the fore. The rest of the world suffers from US arrogance; the average United Statesian is flattered to think that no matter how poor or disenfranchised he may be, that, at least, he is an "American", and in so doing, he then ignores that fact that the US has even usurped the very title "American" from everyone else who dwells in either North or South America. So let us call the citizens of this besotted country "United Statesians", after the term used by the journalists at Voltaire, the journal published by the very evil Thierry Meyssan, the man who dared to tell us the emperor was wearing no clothes.


Palestinians, East Jerusalem


As United Statesians continue to accept the Lie, and it is a growing Lie, a lie that has metastatised throughout the culture, they will continue to find themselves more and more isolated from the rest of the world. As the US economy tanks in the coming months, the blame will be put upon the rest of the world. As the war in Iraq becomes more and more obviously a lost cause, the blame will be put upon the rest of the world. As Bush is ridiculed as he travels outside of the borders of his country, surrounded by an armed guard keeping away anyone who has even the slightest disagreement with the President and is eventually forced to remain at home, the blame will be put upon the rest of the world. As other countries seek to unite to stifle and quash US unilateralism through international forums such as the UN, the blame will be put upon the rest of the world and their institutions, such as the UN. We saw earlier this week that a publicity campaign is beginning, no doubt another brainchild of Karl Rove, to whip up anti-UN feelings.

As the US and its United Statesians find themselves isolated, let them remember that it is through the politics of the Bush Administration that the good will of the world towards 9/11 was turned into incomprehension and then anger. Bush has repeated on several occasions that the election of November 2 has given him political capital and that he will now be spending it. We have seen how the President has spent the political capital of 9/11. That he is now embarking on another spending spree bodes no good for the peoples of this planet.

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America Is Embarrassing Itself

By Michael Goodspeed

"The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam..."
--J.G. Ballard, British Author

"No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots." -- Barbara Ehrenreich

My date of birth is July 4, 1975. I once told this fact to an Army recruiter, and he replied that this was a sign from God that I was meant to serve in the U.S. military. I think that if God were to speak for Himself, he would differ with that assessment.

I feel no shame in admitting that I am not a "patriot." It makes no difference to me what country I was born and raised in, because my humanity is not defined by my nationality. My American "heritage" is as meaningless to me as the color of my skin. Why should I take "pride" in my place of birth and residence? Doing so implies that there is something undesirable about the rest of the world's citizens. And I have never looked at a "foreigner" and said to myself, "Thank God I am not like him or her."

I can't help but think that my attitude is currently frowned upon by a majority of U. S. citizens. For the last three years, nationalism has been relentlessly fomented by the U.S. news media, festering and metastasizing like the blackest cancer in our very souls. And no matter what one thinks of the validity of the '04 election results, the fact remains that a President whose defining characteristic is his stupidity is going to serve a second term in office. And if the election was stolen (which it almost certainly was), where is the outrage over the result? Unlike the Ukraine, where hordes of citizens have marched the freezing streets in protest of a fraudulent election, Americans seem as indifferent to their fate as placid cows awaiting slaughter.

With all of that stated, I repudiate the notion that I am "anti-American." I don't hate the United States or her citizens, and I would never deny the enormous benefits and privileges entailed by the American lifestyle. I am grateful that I have ever experienced hunger, abject poverty, disease, or torture. But my dispassionate view of my nationality enables me to honestly recognize the numerous and devastating problems endemic to my home country.

I don't the hate the U.S., but increasingly, I feel embarrassed by and for her. She has become the drunken friend at a party dancing naked on a table, and you want desperately to cover her nakedness and restore her dignity. You pity her, yet at the same time, she is pissing you off, and you're tempted to walk out the door and pretend not to know her.

I am embarrassed by the image America presents to the rest of the world. Thanks to 21st century media, nothing that happens here can be kept secret from the global community. Other nations catch a glimpse of our culture and our way of life, and God knows they must turn up their noses in disgust.

Over the past 3 years, anti-Americanism has ignited like a global conflagration. Many people blame this on the constant warfare waged by the Bush administration, but remember that Bush is not the first President to outrage the international community with his foreign policies and use of military might. The difference between America in 2004 and, say, the Vietnam era is that corruption in the Whitehouse is now both expected and TOLERATED. The world community knows that Americans are indifferent to the criminality of Bush Co., and hence, any last vestige of respect they felt towards our culture has been irretrievably lost.

We accept a criminal in the White House, because our values and priorities have been twisted beyond all repair. If there can be one defining word to describe the attitude of 21st century Americans, it would be "egocentric." Every cultural plague destroying this country stems from our neurotic and near-total involvement in ourselves. This should surprise no one, since the guiding principles of our economy are, "Every man for himself," and "Screw everyone but me," and "Win at all costs." These "values" are in display at the highest levels of corporate power, where CEOs happily pillage the life-savings of "worker bees" while simultaneously cheating on their taxes, so they can meet a repugnantly decadent and totally illusory "standard of living."

This neurotic self-involvement is reflected in our lifestyle choices, which generally range from gluttonous to hedonistic. The U.S. has by far the highest rate of obesity, with 55% of the population classified as overweight or obese. Paradoxically, we also have by far the highest incidence of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Of course, this is to be expected in a country where media perpetuate the illusion that physical appearance defines a person's value.

An extreme result of egocentrism is sociopathy, so it is not surprising that America overwhelmingly leads the world in the production of sociopathic pathologies. Although the U.S. sports only 3% of the world's population, it has given birth to 76% of the world's serial killers. We also have the highest rate of childhood murder and suicide among the world's 26 wealthiest nations. You will never hear these facts on the Fox News channel or any other government mouthpiece designed to procure mindless nationalism.

These sociopathic "values" are presented in every form of American "entertainment," which has spread across the globe like the most virulent pandemic. Hollywood films, TV shows, music, and video games portray murder and mayhem as fun and even admirable behaviors. American "good guys" no longer need to be GOOD. Quentin Tarantino and the makers of Grand Theft Auto have made sure of that.

Let's not forget, the Americans most admired by the global community tend to be professional athletes. More children in third-world countries have heard of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods than George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And what does the world think when they see the Indiana Pacers' Ron Artest, a man whose salary exceeds many countries' national budgets, charging into the stands and swinging his fists at everyone who looks at him cockeyed?

This is a country where the people entrusted with protecting our safety, including our non-elected officials in the Food and Drug Administration, have sold us out for a fistful of coins and a pat on the head. It's a country where our government has deliberately dumbed our children down to make them more pliable and useful for God-knows what evil purpose. But again, where is the OUTRAGE? U.S. citizens are too busy going to the movies, watching sports, and planning their next Wal-Mart shopping spree to give a shit what their government is doing.

Of course, none of these facts are supposed to matter, because we live in THE FREEEST NATION IN THE WORLD, where the democratic process guarantees us personal choice. But when that process is subverted and irrevocably destroyed by our most trusted and powerful leaders, what real choice have we been left with?

And this is the "way of life" that we seek to impose on the rest of the world?

Do not underestimate the intelligence of the global community. They watch and learn and may even know more about us than we do of ourselves.

I am aware of the microscope my nation is under, and I am embarrassed. Aren't you?

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Minsk, Belarus


'Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah

Dahr Jamail

BAGHDAD, Nov 26 (IPS) - The U.S. military has used poison gas and other non-conventional weapons against civilians in Fallujah, eyewitnesses report.

"Poisonous gases have been used in Fallujah," 35-year-old trader from Fallujah Abu Hammad told IPS. "They used everything -- tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah has been bombed to the ground."

Hammad is from the Julan district of Fallujah where some of the heaviest fighting occurred. Other residents of that area report the use of illegal weapons.

"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," Abu Sabah, another Fallujah refugee from the Julan area told IPS. "Then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them."

He said pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns. Phosphorous weapons as well as napalm are known to cause such effects. "People suffered so much from these," he said.

Macabre accounts of killing of civilians are emerging through the cordon U.S. forces are still maintaining around Fallujah.

"Doctors in Fallujah are reporting to me that there are patients in the hospital there who were forced out by the Americans," said Mehdi Abdulla, a 33-year-old ambulance driver at a hospital in Baghdad. "Some doctors there told me they had a major operation going, but the soldiers took the doctors away and left the patient to die."

Kassem Mohammed Ahmed who escaped from Fallujah a little over a week ago told IPS he witnessed many atrocities committed by U.S. soldiers in the city.

"I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks," he said. "This happened so many times."

Abdul Razaq Ismail who escaped from Fallujah two weeks back said soldiers had used tanks to pull bodies to the soccer stadium to be buried. "I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could bury them because of the American snipers," he said. "The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near Fallujah."

Abu Hammad said he saw people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to escape the siege. "The Americans shot them with rifles from the shore," he said. "Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.."

Hammad said he had seen elderly women carrying white flags shot by U.S. soldiers. "Even the wounded people were killed. The Americans made announcements for people to come to one mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed."

Another Fallujah resident Khalil (40) told IPS he saw civilians shot as they held up makeshift white flags. "They shot women and old men in the streets," he said. "Then they shot anyone who tried to get their bodies...Fallujah is suffering too much, it is almost gone now."

Refugees had moved to another kind of misery now, he said. "It's a disaster living here at this camp," Khalil said. "We are living like dogs and the kids do not have enough clothes."

Spokesman for the Iraqi Red Crescent in Baghdad Abdel Hamid Salim told IPS that none of their relief teams had been allowed into Fallujah, and that the military had said it would be at least two more weeks before any refugees would be allowed back into the city.

"There is still heavy fighting in Fallujah," said Salim. "And the Americans won't let us in so we can help people."

In many camps around Fallujah and throughout Baghdad, refugees are living without enough food, clothing and shelter. Relief groups estimate there are at least 15,000 refugee families in temporary shelters outside Fallujah.

Comment: Having read the above, we hope that American readers can see the parallels between the actions of their "brave troops" in Iraq and the actions of Nazi soldiers in Poland in the early 1940's. During that time, ordinary Poles were hunted down and murdered without mercy or pity. Old men, old women, children - it made no difference, all received a bullet in the head as they attempted to escape or defend themselves.

Today in Iraq and Fallujah in particular, there are no "terrorists", there are only ordinary Iraqis who, like the ordinary Poles of WWII, are simply attempting to defend themselves against an aggressive and brutal invading army. We recommend that our readers view the film "The Pianist" and understand that American soldiers are the new Nazis, and their government the Fourth Reich.

What should be very clear to all is that Americans, and people in general, are a resource that is used by certain "elite" groups to accrue power to themselves. There can therefore be no claims by any such "resource" that they are not responsible for the actions of their leaders. Without the gullible masses to be ruled, there would be no "ruling elite" - period.

If we were to indulge in a little biblical terminology, we might say that the USA is increasingly playing the role of the fabled "anti-christ", with every American that refuses to recognise the truth about their government and continues to give overt or tacit approval to its actions, making up the "body of the anti-christ". We are sure you all know how the story ends.

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US in Iraq worse than Hitler?
"The occupation has turned into barbarism. The
U.S. administration is committing Iraq.
"This occupation has entirely imperialist aims."

Mehmet Elkatmis,
Head of Tukish Parliament's human rights commission

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 28 November: Americans are busy with their favorite passtimes, shopping and going to often childish and excessively bloody and patriotic adventure movies. But much of the world is seething. We wouldn't and we haven't phrased things in the way this respected Turkish Parliamentarian has, but the very fact that he and others are doing so, lashing out at the American Empire in this way, is telling in itself. True, the historical record of Turkey when it comes to human rights is quite awful in many aspects, most especially with regard to the Kurds. True as well the Turks have in recent years allowed themselves to become aligned with both the U.S. and Israel geostrategically for reasons of their own crass 'national interests'. But those are subjects for another day that we've dealth with before and will deal with again.



Ottawa, Canada


Turk lawmaker says US in Iraq worse than Hitler

By Gareth Jones

ANKARA (Reuters - 26 November) - The head of Turkey's parliamentary human rights group has accused Washington of genocide in Iraq and behaving worse than Adolf Hitler, in remarks underscoring the depth of opposition in Turkey to U.S. policy in the region.

The United Sates embassy said the comments were potentially damaging to Turkish-U.S. relations.

"The occupation has turned into barbarism," Friday's Yeni Safak newspaper quoted Mehmet Elkatmis, head of parliament's human
rights commission, as saying. "The U.S. administration is committing Iraq.

"Never in human history have such genocide and cruelty been witnessed. Such a genocide was never seen in the time of the pharoahs (of ancient Egypt), nor of Hitler nor of (Italy's fascist leader Benito) Mussolini," he said.

"This occupation has entirely imperialist aims," he was quoted as telling the human rights commission on Thursday.

Elkatmis does not speak for Turkey's government but he is a prominent member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a centre-right grouping with Islamist roots which has become increasingly critical of U.S. actions in Iraq.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul played down Elkatmis's comments but defended Turks' right to speak freely.

"In open societies everybody can say what they want," Gul told reporters.

"Regarding U.S.-Turkey relations we can comfortably discuss any subject," he added.

The U.S. embassy in Ankara rejected Elkatmis's accusations.

"Such unfounded, inaccurate, exaggerated claims are not good for relations, especially at a time of strain when Turkish public
opinion is so critical of what the United States is trying to do in Iraq," one U.S. diplomat told Reuters.

Tellingly, Elkatmis's comments, which might have sparked outrage in many Western countries, drew barely a flicker of interest in Turkey, where opinion polls point to a growing tide of anti-American sentiment.

Turkey has been especially disturbed by the recent U.S. offensive against insurgents in the city of Falluja in which civilians also died and mosques were damaged.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan relayed Turkish concerns over the Falluja offensive in two recent telephone calls to U.S. President George W. Bush and to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Elkatmis accused U.S. forces of deliberately targeting mosques and schools in Falluja.

Washington says the Falluja campaign was necessary to bring the Sunni Muslim city back under the control of the central Baghdad government ahead of planned Iraqi elections in January.

The U.S. diplomat said Elkatmis had overlooked the fact that Iraqi insurgents like those in Falluja had abducted and beheaded a
number of Turkish truck drivers in recent months.

Underlying Turkish criticism of U.S. policy in Iraq is the fear that Kurds in the north of the country may use the general turmoil as an excuse to seek independence from Baghdad, a move which could reignite separatism among Turkey's own Kurds.

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Abu Ghraib-style torture was used on us, say German army conscripts
By Tony Paterson in Berlin
26 November 2004

German army conscripts broke their silence yesterday over a scandal of widespread physical abuse of soldiers at a military base, and told how they were bound, beaten and subjected to electric shocks by instructors in staged hostage-taking exercises this year.

The scandal, which has provoked comparisons with the torture of Iraqi detainees at the US Army's Abu Ghraib prison, is being investigated by state prosecutors and 16 NCOs have been suspended, although no victim had been prepared to speak out in public.

But yesterday, two soldiers said they were among 80 conscripts subjected to systematic maltreatment at the German army's Coesfeld base near Münster between July and September last year. They told Bild newspaper they were abused during regular hostage-taking exercises in which they were hooded and beaten.

One soldier, identified as Sven G, told Bild he was in a group of 12 recruits on a 20km night march. "Suddenly we were grabbed by masked men who pulled sacks over our heads and bound our limbs," he said. "We had no chance to defend ourselves."

The conscripts were pushed on to a lorry and taken to a cellar for "interrogation". Another recruit, Lars K, told Bild: "We all had to kneel down and wait. Some lay down, they couldn't get up because of how they were tied. Then every one of us was led away and interrogated. They screamed at us. If we didn't answer correctly, they screamed even more. Some of us were sprayed with water, others were struck on the neck. It was so humiliating."

Lars K told the newspaper he had witnessed recruits being given electric shocks by their instructors. "They held a wire on the neck of one of my companions and gave him electric shocks," he said, "They forced him on to the floor, but he kept on screaming."

Other evidence, apparently leaked by state prosecutors to the German media, stated that army instructors were reported to have applied electric shocks to the groin, neck and stomachs of their victims and to have recorded the abuse on video. One recruit was said to have been shown naked from the waist down.

Unidentified witnesses also spoke of recruits "gripped by panic" who tried to attack their instructors during the abuse sessions and of others who returned to their barracks after the "simulated torture" and wept all night.

"The affair raises nasty associations with the conditions at the Abu Ghraib US military prison in Iraq," Der Spiegel magazine said, pointing out that the abuse was committed at almost the same time as reports about the Iraqi prison scandal started appearing.

One of the abused recruits told Bild that none of the victims had dared to speak out until now because they were terrified of being branded a "weakling or a coward" by their comrades.

Münster prosecutors began investigating 20 German corporals and an officer serving as a captain in connection with the affair last week.

Sixteen of those being investigated have been suspended from the ranks. But Wolfgang Schweer, the chief state prosecutor, said the number of suspected culprits could easily rise. The affair has shocked senior German army officers, because most of the recruits subjected to abuse were not destined to enter combat zones but were conscripts doing ordinary military service, generally served within Germany.

Peter Struck, the German Defence Minister, said the abuse at Coesfeld was an "isolated incident", and warned that any officers caught maltreating recruits would be summarily dismissed from service.

General Alois Bloch said simulated hostage-taking was standard practice for soldiers being sent abroad. "It is indispensable for mission training, but it should done only by specially trained staff," he said.

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Report: FBI Finds Link Between 9/11, Madrid Bombs
November 28, 2004

MADRID (Reuters) - The FBI has established the clearest link yet between the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a Spanish newspaper reported Sunday.

The FBI has told Spanish investigators that one of three men believed to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks from Spain in the summer of 2001 also gave the order to carry out the Madrid blasts, the newspaper ABC reported.

The train bombings killed 191 people and wounded 1,900 three days before a general election. In videotapes, the bombers claimed the attacks in the name of al Qaeda in Europe and said they were in revenge for Spain sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Investigators have long concluded that the Sept. 11 attacks were partially planned in Spain in July 2001.

Hijacker Mohammed Atta, believed to have piloted one of the airliners that crashed into New York's World Trade Center, visited Spain two months before the attacks and met two men.

One was Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, who is being held by U.S. authorities, while the other was unidentified.

ABC said investigators now believe that third man was the one who in December 2003 activated the Qaeda cell that carried out the March 11 attacks, which Spaniards call "our Sept. 11." [...]

Some 30 people are in custody or under court supervision for the train bombings for which one minor has so far been convicted. Seven prime suspects are dead and two or three other suspected collaborators remain at large.

Comment: Well, this article isn't really a revelation - after all, we've been saying for months that the two events were perpetrated by the same group. What we question is the true identity of "Al-Qaeda".

On the March 17, 2004 Signs page, we made the following comments:

While we can hypothesise about the likely perpetrators of the Madrid bomb, one thing is clear; the attack had the effect of bolstering the idea in the minds of European citizens that the "war in terror" is justified and "Arab terrorists" are real and pose a threat to all of us.

But is this the truth?

In any conflict, logically we would expect the goals of two warring parties to be opposed to each other. In the current worldwide "war on terror" the clearly stated goal of the Bush administration and the NeoCons in the Pentagon is to protect "freedom and democracy" and western (American) Christian values, while at the same time spreading "freedom and democracy" throughout the world.

The goal of the "Arab terrorists" is not so clearly defined, yet we gather, as much from the Bush administration as from the "terrorists", that they "hate westerners because of their freedom and democracy" and seek to promote fundamentalist Islamic belief while at the same time protecting their people from Western aggression.

So far so good, both agendas, at least on paper, stand in stark opposition to each other. We, again logically, assume then that the actions of one side in this conflict should in no way contribute to, or serve to advance, the goals of the other party, in fact the opposite should be true.

This is where it gets a little confusing however.

We note that the actions of the Bush administration in attempting to achieve its stated goal to protect "freedom and democracy" and spread these ideals to other countries have, in reality, achieved exactly the opposite. In the US, the "war on terror" has resulted in the systematic dissolution of the civil freedoms and democratic rights of the average American. Around the world, the results of the "war on terror" have been US military attacks on and invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq, leading not to the bestowal of "freedom and democracy2 on those countries, but rather to conflict, death and destruction.

What gives?

The confusion intensifies when we consider the results of the attempts by "Arab terrorists" to achieve their goals. Few will dispute that the actions of "Arab terrorists" have done little to spread Islamic fundamentalism around the world, and far from securing the safety of Arab and Muslim peoples, their alleged actions have in fact served to demonise the Muslim faith, and Arabs in general, in the minds of citizens of Western countries. Are we to assume that Bin Laden and Co were, and continue to be, unaware that, by attacking and killing innocent Americans and Europeans, they merely make enemies of powerful Western countries and provide Bush and Blair with justification to further persecute Arab people? Indeed, we see the exact same dynamic in Israel, where the repeated "suicide bombings", allegedly carried out by Palestinian Arabs, merely provide Sharon with a reason to kill and maim Palestinian civilians with impunity, a task which he goes about with obvious delight.

All of this brings us to the perplexing conclusion that, by carrying out or threatening to carry out "terror attacks","Muslim terrorists" are actually generating significant popular support and backing in the US for Bush's "war on terror", or to put it plainly, support for the NeoCon agenda which states that all Muslims are terrorists and hate the US!! So what gives?

Now it could be argued that those "Muslim terrorists" are really very devious and realise that by attacking and threatening the US they can in fact bring about the decline of "freedom and democracy" in the US which, we are told, is the main reason they hate Americans. They may be figuring that Bush will be so scared that he will tear up the constitution and impose severe clamp-downs on civil liberties.

But hang on a minute! In this case we see that the roles have been reversed and it is not a case of the terrorists furthering the Bush agenda but Bush furthering the terrorists agenda!!

Clearly something is not right here, and we will remain in a state of confusion until we read the words of Taylor Caldwell in "The Devil's Advocate" (1952):

"You see, when a nation threatens another nation the people of the latter forget their factionalism, their local antagonisms, their political differences, their suspicions of each other, their religious hostilities, and band together as one unit. Leaders know that, and that is why so many of them whip up wars during periods of national crisis, or when the people become discontented and angry. The leaders stigmatize the enemy with every vice they can think of, every evil and human depravity. They stimulate their people's natural fear of all other men by channeling it into a defined fear of just certain men, or nations. Attacking another nation, then, acts as a sort of catharsis, temporarily, on men's fear of their immediate neighbors. This is the explanation of all wars, all racial and religious hatreds, all massacres, and all attempts at genocide."

Henry Kissinger, speaking at the Bilderbergers meeting in Evian, France in 1992 also made it abundantly clear:

"Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." -- Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderbergers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting

Or perhaps Hermann Hesse summed it up best when he said:

"The greatest threat to our world and its peace comes from those who want war, who prepare for it, and who, by holding out vague promises of future peace or by instilling fear of foreign aggression, try to make us accomplices to their plans."

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Russians suggest foreign help in attack
Some News Source
November 27, 2004

MOSCOW -- The head of a parliamentary commission investigating the September hostage seizure at a school in southern Russia said there is evidence of involvement by a foreign intelligence agency, the Interfax news agency reported Saturday.

The statement was the latest of several in which Russian officials and politicians have alleged foreigners were involved in the Sept. 1-3 attack on a school in the southern town of Beslan, which ended in bloody chaos and left more than 330 people dead, many of them children.

"For the moment the evidence that we have of this involvement is indirect, so I consider it premature to name exactly which special service it is," Interfax quoted commission head Alexander Torshin as saying. Russians refer to intelligence and security agencies as special services.

Torshin, deputy speaker of the Federation Council, Russia's upper parliament house, said that "when we gather enough convincing evidence, we won't hide it."

Russian officials initially said the attackers killed at the school included nine or 10 Arabs, but they never provided any proof. Shamil Basayev, a Chechen warlord who claimed responsibility for the raid, said his militants who seized the school included two Arabs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials have cast the hostage seizure as part of a war against Russia by international terrorists -- not a product of the Kremlin's military campaign in Chechnya, where officials said several of the attackers were from.

Many Russian officials have accused foreign countries, particularly in the West, of double standards on terrorism. In a televised address after the attack, Putin suggested some Cold War throwbacks in the West who are bent on weakening Russia are aiding terrorists.

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Rights group flays Israeli army chief

Friday 26 November 2004

A leading Israeli rights group has called for the resignation of army Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon for what it denounced as a culture of impunity over Palestinian civilian deaths.

B'Tselem published adverts on Friday in local papers putting 10 questions to Yaalon about the army's rules of engagement in the occupied territories.

It questioned the lack of accountability and inconsistent punishment handed down to troops for killing civilians.

"Do you intend to resign?" read the last question.

B'Tselem also asked Yaalon: "Is it true that there are 'zones of destruction' in the Gaza Strip where the army receives orders to kill anyone if even that person does not endanger the lives of soldiers?"

The media campaign came a few days after an Israeli military court indicted an army officer accused by his own soldiers of emptying his weapon into a Palestinian schoolgirl who was already dead.


The charges were levelled just five weeks after the soldier was cleared of any wrongdoing in another army investigation.

Channel Two broadcast a conversation between the officer and other troops recorded on military radio at the time of shooting, where he said: "Anything that's mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed."

The rights group also asked Yaalon why "at least 1369 unarmed Palestinian civilians were killed by soldiers since the beginning of intifada when only 22 troops were accused of illegally firing and one actually charged?"

It said 529 children were among those killed civilians.

More than 3550 Palestinians - armed and unarmed - and 961 Israelis have been killed since the start of the Palestinian uprising in late September 2000, according to an AFP count.

"This is the first time we publish such adverts because the situation has become unbearable and the number of civilian deaths has steadily soared without any serious army investigation," B'Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said.

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'Invisible ink' used at polling stations
David Charter
November 26, 2004

THE senior British MP in charge of monitoring last Sunday's polls in Ukraine has revealed how the election was undermined by intimidation, fraud and invisible ink.

Bruce George, chairman of the Commons Defence Committee and head of the international Short-Term Observation Commission in Ukraine, told The Times one of the election monitors handed him a suspicious pen from a polling station.

Mr George, a veteran Labour MP who helped to oversee the election in Georgia last year, found that anything written with the pen vanished in 15 minutes. "I saw a pen that had ink that disappeared when it dried," he said.

"People were issued with pens to cast their votes, but their votes would have disappeared after they dropped the paper into the ballot box."

The pen with disappearing ink was the most devious example of a range of underhand methods observed by the 600-strong STOC on behalf of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

"My deputy went to a polling station and could not see the ballot boxes, so he became very suspicious," Mr George said.

"But we had heard that people were going around throwing some kind of chemical into the ballot boxes to destroy the contents, so they were hiding them or putting masking tape over them to protect them."

In Ukraine, prison inmates have the vote, but Mr George received reports of intimidation.

"A group (of monitors) told me that prisoners had been told that unless the Prime Minister (Viktor Yanukovych) gets 90 per cent of the vote, privileges will be withdrawn."

Mr George visited a dozen polling stations in Kiev without incident, but said: "In eastern Ukraine (a staunchly Yanukovych area), the turnout in Donetsk was more than 96 per cent, and in one polling station it was 99.8 per cent.

"It is an entirely improbable statistic in an area which was very heavily for the Prime Minister. Even the dead were voting to accentuate the total."

Mr George heard reports of people being bused around to swell the vote, of many names being added and removed from electoral registers, and intimidation at polling stations.

"A Swedish MP saw some thugs come in and say that the polling station had been illegally constituted and they were going to close it down and impound the ballot boxes," Mr George said.

"The entire local election commission consisted of young women, who jumped out of their chairs and formed a human shield between these thugs and the ballot boxes. A stand-off ensued and eventually the thugs left, no doubt to intimidate someone else.

"The fraud starts fairly high up," he said. "If you make sure that the central electoral commission is run with your appointees, it guarantees that complaints are thrown out.

"Abuse of administrative resources to advance the interests of one political party ... was done blatantly.

"It will take some years before they are able to conduct half-decent elections," he said.

"They make up the rules as they go along."

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Hiding Breast Bombs
Ny Times
November 25, 2004

WASHINGTON - It always makes me feel slimy and humiliated, as though I'm in one of those cheesy women-in-prison movies, with titles like "Caged," "Slammer Girls" or "Reform School Girls."

First you have to strip, unzipping your boots, unbuckling your belt and unbuttoning your suit jacket while any guys standing around watch. Then you have to walk around in some flimsy top and stocking or bare feet. Then you have to assume the spread-eagled position. Then a beefy female security agent runs her hands all the way around your breasts, in between, underneath - again with guys standing around staring.

Flying on business, I've gone through this embarrassing tableau two dozen times in airports all over the country in the last couple of months. I've been searched more than Martha Stewart. I watched a Transportation Security Administration screener brusquely insist that my friend take off her blazer even though she had on only lingerie underneath - a see-through camisole - and the man behind her was leering.

Airport screening procedures are more reactive than imaginative. There's an attempted shoe bombing, so all passengers must shed their shoes. Two female Chechens may or may not have sneaked explosives onto Russian planes, so now some T.S.A. genius decides all women are subject to strips and body searches.

I get flagged for extra security every time I buy a one-way ticket, which seems particularly lame. Doesn't the T.S.A. realize that a careful terrorist plotter like Mohammed Atta could figure this out and use his Saudi charity money to pop for round trips even if the return portion gets wasted?

In two articles in The Times, Joe Sharkey has chronicled the plaints of women angry about new procedures in airport security that have increased both the number and intensity of the airport pat-down, or "breast exam," as one woman put it.

He described the experience of Patti LuPone, the singer and actress, at the Fort Lauderdale airport, who resisted taking off her shirt and got barred from her flight, and of 71-year-old Jenepher Field, who walks with the aid of a cane, being subjected to a breast pat-down at the airport outside Kansas City, Mo. (Do we have intelligence telling us that grandmothers are part of Al Qaeda now?)

Even a stripper complained in an e-mail message to Mr. Sharkey that she found her experiences degrading: "On one occasion a screener flat out asked if they were fake."

Somebody tell me what quantity of explosive material they have found through these strip searches, because I've got a hunch it's zero. How many billions are they wasting on this?

Maybe we're not at the Philip K. Dick level of technology yet. But how about some positive profiling? If airport security can have a watch list for the bad guys, why can't it develop a watch list for the good guys? Can't there be a database of trustworthy American frequent travelers who are not going to secrete things in their bras? After all, no one is going to sneak anything in there without our knowledge. Can they at least get a screen?

I know it's not just women who are uncomfortable; a guy I know said a male screener at the Miami airport recently stuck a hand down the front of his pants, making him feel "totally manhandled." And I heard the sad tale of a red-faced Washington businessman who took off his shoes, only to show the room the red painted toenails he had forgotten to wipe off.

Barry Steinhardt of the A.C.L.U. told Court TV that the new procedures are not only "an open invitation for harassment" - there are not enough female screeners, so sometimes men are doing the pat-downs of women - but they're also "not particularly effective."

I've never wanted to complain because I assume there are inconveniences that go along with greater security. But I would feel less creepy if I thought this were part of an effective overall strategy of protecting the country. I don't.

Iraq is draining money we should be spending protecting ourselves. Only 3 to 5 percent of containers coming into ports are checked, and only a tiny percentage of air, rail and truck cargo is inspected. Congress is turning homeland security money into another avenue of pork. Tom Ridge is still making fuzzy ads telling people to have a plan of action and referring them to his Web site, which hasn't gotten much beyond duct tape.

If we were buttoning up the borders and making the airlines safer, unbuttoning in public would be more bearable.

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Covert X-rays tested as security tool
By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff  |  November 27, 2004

Airport X-rays aren't just for baggage anymore.

Radiation-emitting devices now are screening people and vehicles at terminals, border crossings, and other checkpoints where security officials want to look for weapons or contraband. More such use is likely after officials from the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies described how lower-level radiation machines could be used without special precautions.

The FDA is planning discussions with Homeland Security officials about covert X-ray screening of people as well. But already some passengers at US and foreign airports are knowingly being X-rayed, part of a broader effort to step up transportation security in the wake of terrorist attacks.

Several years ago, US Customs and Border Protection officials began X-raying some passengers arriving on foreign flights. Then last month scanning was begun of some passengers departing from London's Heathrow Airport by a low-powered X-ray system. Also in October, officials started scanning vehicles driven onto a ferry between New Jersey and Delaware.

Law-enforcement agencies say they're just testing the effectiveness of these devices before deciding whether to buy more of them. The machines are based on new technology set to emit lower levels of radiation than medical X-ray systems, and until recently were used primarily to peer into cargo containers as a way around having to open them.

But X-raying of individuals is likely to become more common since the FDA and other groups crafted recommendations last year on how to mitigate health concerns, say government and security industry officials.

Frank Cerra, who leads an FDA radiation laboratory in Rockville, Md., expects growing demand for the X-ray systems from security officials to move people through checkpoints quickly. ''That's why we were very interested in getting the standards written," Cerra said.

Industry and scientific groups, including the Health Physics Society, say people should know when they're exposed to the radiation created by the machines, but Cerra said he plans to talk with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies about when individuals might be scanned without their knowledge.

''If it's covert, no matter what we regulate, certain agencies are going to do it," Cerra said.

The idea of covert scans also came up last year in a report Cerra helped write for the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements called ''Screening of Humans for Security Purposes Using Ionizing Radiation Scanning Systems." The report says one possible use of the X-ray technology would be to scan vehicles and their occupants at customs checkpoints or at the approach of a vulnerable bridge or tunnel. ''Covert systems capable of scanning a vehicle traveling at 5 to 30 m.p.h. are possible," it states.

The report technically defined what it called ''general use systems," meaning those that don't require special precautions because they emit low levels of radiation.

Some see the low-power X-ray systems as preferable to the increasing use of pat-down searches at airports that have drawn criticism, especially among women, for being intrusive. But because the X-rays penetrate clothing, they show images of their subjects essentially naked. For that reason, others fear the X-rays pose their own potential invasion of privacy.

''We don't willy-nilly allow people to be strip-searched," said Barry Steinhardt, a technology specialist for the American Civil Liberties Union. Steinhardt said he's also concerned about potential health risks from the systems.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Donald W. Tighe said in a statement: ''We look forward to working with the FDA and other federal, state, and local partners in evaluating what protective measures are put in place and what technologies are used, balancing security and privacy with public health."

According to the report by the radiation protection council, a nonprofit organization in Bethesda, Md., passenger scans with low-power X-ray technology require ''no special precautions" even for children or pregnant women. The report said it would take at least 2,500 scans of the same individual per year before the total exposure would reach maximum recommended exposures. It did recommend testing to ensure scanning units remained below certain thresholds.

Traditional X-ray systems transmit their rays through a subject to be captured on film or sensors. The newer versions are called ''backscatter" systems because their beams bounce back to sensors on the same side of the subject.

According to the radiation protection council's report, the backscatter systems expose humans to about 5 microrem per checkpoint, one hundredth as much as a person might receive on a one-hour commercial flight, or one-thousandth as much as a medical chest X-ray.

David J. Brenner, professor of radiation oncology at Columbia University, and a co-author of the radiation protection report that the various government agencies will use to decide whether to broaden the use of X-rays, said he wants to see more research before concluding it would be safe to screen all 700 million US air passengers per year. Some people, he noted, are more sensitive to radiation than others.

''Of course the needs of aircraft security cannot be ignored, but if there are alternatives to the use of X-rays for mass screening of passengers . . . they should certainly be fully investigated before the country commits itself to a mass X-ray program," Brenner wrote in an e-mail.

Brenner mentioned one alternative scanning technology that uses high-frequency microwaves, which are theoretically safer since they are reflected by the skin. Companies working on that technology include Safe-View Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., and a Woburn unit of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.

''We just believe the real test is how the general public reacts and health officials react to the use of ionizing radiation. Obviously some have concerns," Safe-View chief executive Rick Rowe wrote in an e-mail response to questions.

The trial X-ray system at Heathrow Airport is made by Rapiscan, a division of OSI Systems Inc. of Hawthorne, Calif.

Rapiscan vice president Peter Williamson said his company is also looking at high-frequency microwaves but doesn't think the technology is effective yet. He said the radiation protection report and similar guidelines from the American National Standards Institute have helped him address customers' fears about the X-ray system's health effects. When he mentions the reports to airport officials, Williamson said, ''that takes one concern off the table."

The system at the New Jersey/Delaware ferry, testing of which was to end Nov. 21, is made by American Science and Engineering Inc. of Billerica. American Science executives passed along a 1996 letter from the FDA stating the agency ''has no objection" to marketing the product. In addition to its ''Bodysearch" X-ray device for screening individuals, American Science sells a truck-mounted version called the ''Z Backscatter Van." The company had sold 57 as of September, including a $23.2 million federal order.

The van's X-ray is more powerful than the Bodysearch version, and so far the company doesn't have the certifications to screen individuals with it. Richard Mastronardi, American Science vice president, said the company is in talks with the FDA about the van but wouldn't describe them. The FDA's Cerra said one topic is the van's lack of a backstop to absorb some of the energy it emits, which might raise concerns on where it can be used. Even so, Cerra said, he expects the company will market the van for covert surveillance uses. ''I"m sure they'll target that market," he said.

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US urges ban on antitank mines but happy with anti-personnel varieties
27 November 2004 1423 hrs
WASHINGTON, United States : The United States, stung by insurgent attacks in Iraq, is urging the international community to consider banning all sales of anti-tank and other heavy landmines, but has ruled out its participation in an international conference on landmines designed primarily to maim or kill people.

Members of the so-called Ottawa Convention will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday to review implementation of the 1997 accord that bans use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.

As many as 143 nations have signed up to the accord, which took effect in March 1999. But a group of 42 countries led by the United States, Russia and China have refused, citing the need to protect their troops in various theaters of deployment.

In a written statement, Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli gave no indication of change in the US approach and said US diplomats will not be attending the Nairobi gathering.

But he pointed out that important work still "remains to be done" to rid the world of the scourge of landmines that, according landmine ban supporters, still kill and maim between 15,000 and 20,000 people around the world every year. [...]

Comment: Did you catch that? In a demonstration of unparalleled hypocrisy, the U.S. is urging countries to stop making landmines that damage their vehicles, but still want the freedom to use landmines that kill and maim people.

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CIA report cites N. Korean proliferation threat
By Bill Gertz

North Korea threatened in secret talks to export nuclear weapons and to conduct a test blast, according to a CIA report made public this week.

"In late April 2003 during the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, North Korea privately threatened to 'transfer' or 'demonstrate' its nuclear weapons," the semiannual report on arms proliferation to Congress stated.

"North Korea repeated these threats at the Six-Party Talks in August 2003."

The CIA's description was the first official confirmation that the official North Korean statements were a threat. The disclosure also contradicted public comments on the matter by Bush administration spokesmen.

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Official: Colombian rebels had planned to kill Bush
Nov. 27, 2004, 10:34AM
Reuters News Service

BOGOTA, Colombia - President Bush was targeted for assassination by Colombia's biggest Marxist rebel group this week when he visited the Caribbean port city of Cartagena, a top Colombian official said today.

"According to informants and various sources, we had information indicating that various members of the FARC had been instructed by their leaders to make an attempt against President Bush," Defense Secretary Jorge Alberto Uribe told reporters.

He would not be drawn out on the details of the threat.

The 17,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, fighting a 40-year guerrilla war against the state, has long accused the the United States of backing business interests in this Andean country while ignoring the 60 percent of the population that lives in poverty.

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Soldiers blame ills on drug
By Eileen Kelley
Special to The Denver Post

Two Fort Carson GIs say they took an anti-malaria drug in Iraq and now are suffering

Fort Carson - Spec. Heather Stanbro finds herself standing in rooms with no idea how she got there. She shakes uncontrollably and has trouble walking without staggering. She recently bit and punched her husband in what she calls a psychotic episode.

The 25-year-old soldier blames her medical problems on the anti-malaria drug Lariam that she was forced to take weekly last year while serving as a medic in Iraq.

Stanbro said a military medical specialist recently told her that she is suffering from brain-stem damage, with Lariam being the probable cause for at least her balance problems.

The medical expert, Dr. Michael Hoffer, on Thursday confirmed the conversation and added that he suspects Lariam is also to blame for the physical problems Fort Carson soldier Georg Pogany suffers. Pogany became the first soldier since the Vietnam War to be charged with cowardice after his panicked reaction to seeing a dead Iraqi in a body bag. His career is in limbo, and, like Stanbro, he has balance problems and other troubles.

"I've had the ringing in my ears pretty much since I have been back," Pogany said. "I hear sounds when there is none. It can drive you crazy." [...]

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Imam survives racist attack
27/11/2004 20:51  - (SA) 

Sartene, France - Attackers shouting racist slurs opened fire on a Muslim prayer leader and scrawled a swastika in front of his door in the latest in an increase of racist incidents on the French island of Corsica, police said.

The Moroccan imam, Mohammed al-Akrach, was not injured in the attack at around 02:30 on Saturday at his home, which doubles as a prayer hall, in Sartene in southern Corsica.

Having first knocked at the imam's door, the attackers shouted racist slurs and fired gunshots when he came to answer. Before leaving, the group of several men also scrawled a swastika on the ground and the Corsican words "Arabi Fora" - Arabs out.

"They opened fire straight away, five or six shots," al-Akrach, 53, told reporters. "I hid myself near the wall. They tried to open the door by hitting it."

"I was very afraid but happily they then left by car," he added. "What happened is very serious."

There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Police were investigating.

A year ago, the front door of the imam's prayer hall was doused with inflammable liquid and set afire.

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Mail bomber blows himself up
27/11/2004 20:51  - (SA)  

Munich - A German man who had sent letter bombs to nine officials in the southern region of Bavaria has committed suicide, a day before he was set to undergo a police DNA test, police said on Saturday.

The 22-year-old blew himself up on Friday by detonating a gas bottle in a field near Hutthurm, a Bavarian town where investigators had been testing 2 300 residents for a possible link to the explosive packages.

Police had already carried out some 600 DNA tests when news surfaced of the man's death. DNA analysis revealed the young man, who was unemployed and lived on the family farm in Hutturm, to be the sender of the trapped letters.

The packages, which targeted regional officials of both the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SDU) as well as the Polish consul in the city of Munich, between April and August this year.

All were detected before they could wreak any damage, except one which slightly injured a municipal worker in the southern town of Regen in August.

Police warned that the suspect could have sent more letters before committing suicide, advising officials to be on their guard in coming days.

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Afghan opium farmers say crop spraying made them sick
27 November 2004 1132 hrs

HAKIMABAD, Afghanistan : Instead of the handful of people with skin diseases he usually deals with, Dr. Mohammed Rafi Safi says he has recently treated 30 Afghan farmers who allege their opium crops were sprayed with poison.

The flood of patients in the past two weeks has come since farmers in part of eastern Nangarhar province alleged their opium poppies were sprayed with poison from the air earlier this month, destroying food crops and leaving many feeling ill.

"Other illnesses such as eye and respiratory problems have also increased," said the doctor at the 20-bed Khogyani District Hospital.

The Afghan government on November 18 launched a probe into claims unidentified foreign troops sprayed fields in Hakimabad and neighboring villages in Khogyani, Shinwar and Achin districts, in one of the country's biggest poppy-growing regions.

The US military has denied any involvement, although the United States has indicated it intends to take a tougher stance in future against the drug trade in the war-torn country.

"US troops are not involved are not involved in eradication, which would include the spraying of poppy fields which we do not do," US military spokesman Major Mark McCann told AFP last week.

But Nangarhar provincial governor Din Mohammed said there was "no doubt that an aerial spray has taken place."

"I don't know who might be behind this but you know the fact that the airspace of Afghanistan is under the control of the United States," he added. [...]

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17 people killed in earthquake in Nabire of Indonesia 2004-11-27 16:24:27

JAKARTA, Nov. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- At least 17 people have been killed and 75 others injured, and hundreds of buildings destroyed in a powerful earthquake in Nabire district in Papua province in Indonesia, said a local police officer.

Collapsing buildings cut electricity lines, sparking fires that destroyed or damaged almost 180 buildings, homes and places of religious worship, police Deputy Chief for Panial regency in Papuaprovince Comr. Wempi Batlayeri was quoted by Jakarta Post as saying Saturday.

He said that all forms of communication with Nabire have been cut off and "Thick smoke is billowing everywhere."

The runway of the town's airport was damaged in the quake. However, small Twin Otter airplanes are still able to land, he said.

"The residents in those regencies ran out of their homes when they felt the tremors," said Wirda Fakaubun, chief of regental development and planning in Puncak Jaya regency.

The earthquake struck at 11:25 a.m. (0425 GMT) on Friday, with its epicenter some 17 kilometers south of Nabire and 33 kilometers underground.

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Strong earthquake jolts Hokkaido
(Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Nov. 27, 2004)

A fairly strong earthquake jolted Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido Saturday morning, the Meteorological Agency said.

There was no immediate report of casualties or damage to properties, Hokkaido Prefectural Police said. Nor did the agency issue a tsunami warning following the quake.

The temblor that struck at 7:42 a.m. registered 4 on the 7-point Japanese intensity scale in Urakawa, Sarabetsu and Churui and 3 in Niikappu, Shizunai, Erimo, Shikaoi, Toyokoro and Hiroo.

The focus of the earthquake, which is estimated to have registered 5.6 on the open-ended Richter scale, was located about 60 kilometers below the ground in the southern Tokachi district.

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St. Helens Has Largest Earthquake Since Mid-October
KXLY News 4

A three-point-one magnitude earthquake shook the crater at Mount Saint Helens Saturday morning.

That is the mountain's biggest earthquake since the new lava dome began growing in mid-October, according to the U-S- Geological Survey.

Scientists still say no major eruption is imminent -- just a continuation of the minor ash and steam eruptions that have been occurring since the mountain re-awakened this fall.

They hope to take advantage of good weather expected Sunday and Monday to get a better look at the volcano.

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Death toll from Vietnamese floods rises to 21
November 27, 2004

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The death toll from floods and landslides has risen to 21 and two people remain missing following heavy rains in central Vietnam where water levels continue to rise, officials said Saturday.

Up to 125 centimetres of water has been dumped on the region over the last four days and moderate rains were reported Saturday in low-lying areas in four provinces following the worst drought since 1998, officials said.

Disaster officials in Thua Thien Hue province forecast more rain for the next couple of days. [...]

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Storm grounds thousands at Nev. airport
By Martin Griffith, Associated Press Writer  |  November 27, 2004

RENO, Nev. -- Thousands of passengers were grounded Saturday during a snowstorm at Reno-Tahoe International Airport on its busiest weekend of the year.

At nearby Lake Tahoe and elsewhere in the Sierra Nevada, the storm dumped up to 18 inches of snow and delayed thousands of Thanksgiving holiday motorists heading over mountain passes.

Sixty-nine flights at the airport were canceled or delayed during a seven-hour period Saturday after a malfunction in equipment used to guide pilots when visibility is poor, spokesman Brian Kulpin said.

The instrument landing system is maintained and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, which fixed the problem after the storm had left up to 6 inches of snow in Reno.

Travelers were urged to contact their airlines before heading to the airport because delays were expected to continue. Kulpin said some passengers might not be able to get a flight from Reno until Tuesday because flights are booked solid Sunday and Monday.

"This has such a ripple effect throughout the system," Kulpin said. "It has impacts on other airports because there are people stranded at other airports."

The Sunday after Thanksgiving traditionally is the airport's busiest day of the year, with about 10,000 passengers using the facility.

Kulpin said airport officials were livid because it was the second time this month the instrument landing system malfunctioned during a storm. [...]

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Deadly flu pandemic 'more likely than ever'

27/11/2004 - 10:10:41

After almost a year of trying to bring Asia's bird flu under control, World Health Organisation experts are now warning that the disease is the most likely candidate to cause the world's next pandemic, with the possibility of as many as seven million deaths.

"I believe we are closer now to a pandemic than at any time in recent years," Shigeru Omi, Western Pacific regional director of WHO, said yesterday at a regional meeting about the disease.

"The current outbreak (of avian influenza) in poultry is historically unprecedented in terms of geographical spread and impact," he said. "This virus appears to be not only very resilient, but also extremely versatile."

WHO's global influenza expert, Klaus Stohr, said on Thursday that the H5N1 bird flu virus – which has killed 32 people in Thailand and Vietnam and millions of chickens across Asia this year – "is certainly the most likely one that will cause the next pandemic".

Influenza pandemics historically occur every 20 to 30 years when the genetic makeup of a flu strain changes so dramatically that people have little or no immunity built up from previous flu bouts.

"On this basis, the next one is overdue," Omi said.

Health officials fear bird flu could combine with a human flu virus, creating a new form that could spread rapidly throughout the world.

The WHO says a pandemic could cause an estimated two million to seven million deaths and make billions of people ill.

Health ministers from 13 Asian countries pledged at the meeting to cooperate more in efforts to ward off the possible pandemic and to prepare contingency plans to deal with it.

Omi told the meeting that the region must reduce bird flu's threat to humans by changing farming practices.

"This means a thorough overhaul of animal husbandry practices, and the way animals are raised for food in the region. I believe that anything less than that will only result in further threats to public health," he explained.

Hong Kong Health Secretary York YN Chow said his government has set up very strict controls in chicken farms to segregate humans and chickens, and has tried to minimise contact between wild birds and chickens.

Chow said Hong Kong has also prevented contamination by setting up "rest days" in wholesale markets, meaning that a new batch of chickens is delivered every four days after a previous batch has been slaughtered.

Chickens, ducks and other animals are often allowed to roam freely on small Southeast Asian farms, and often come into close contact with wild animals and with family members.

Some animal health experts have been promoting so-called "closed-system farming", in which poultry are raised in a sealed environment where they face minimal exposure to outside infections.

But the system is likely to be prohibitively expensive for many poor farmers.

Comment: See our Flu Supplement for the scoop on who and what is really behind this upcoming "natural" pandemic.

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Tanker spills more than 100,000 litres of oil into Delaware River
November 27, 2004

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A tanker spilled about 114,000 litres of crude oil into the Delaware River between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, creating a 32-kilometre-long slick that killed dozens of birds and threatened other wildlife, U.S. officials said Saturday. [...]

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Rome, Italy



We leave you today with the words of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton (just to emphasise the fact that Republicans and Democrats alike are war criminals. Here is an exchange with CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl from 1996:

LESLEY STAHL: "...We have heard that a half a million children have died. I mean that's more children than died when-wh-in- in Hiroshima. And- and, you know, is the price worth it?"

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it... It is a moral question. but the moral question is even a larger one. Don't we owe to the American people and to the American military and to the other countries in the region that this man not be a threat?"

STAHL: "Even with the starvation and the lack..."

ALBRIGHT: "I think, Lesley--it is hard for me to say this because I am a humane person, but my first responsibility is to make sure that United States forces do not have to go and refight the Gulf War."

"We think the price is worth it."

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