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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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
IDF Soldiers Humiliating a Palestinian at an Israeli Checkpoint
Of all the revelations that have rocked the
Israeli army over the past week, perhaps none disturbed the public
so much as the video footage of soldiers forcing a Palestinian man
to play his violin.
The incident was not as shocking as the recording
of an Israeli officer pumping the body of a 13-year-old girl full
of bullets and then saying he would have shot her even if she had
been three years old.
Nor was it as nauseating as the pictures in an
Israeli newspaper of ultra-orthodox soldiers mocking Palestinian
corpses by impaling a man's head on a pole and sticking a cigarette
in his mouth.
But the matter of the violin touched on something deeper about
the way Israelis see themselves, and their conflict with the Palestinians.
The violinist, Wissam Tayem, was on his way to a music lesson near
Nablus when he said an Israeli officer ordered him to "play
something sad" while soldiers made fun
of him. After several minutes, he was told he could pass.
It may be that the soldiers wanted Mr Tayem
to prove he was indeed a musician walking to a lesson because,
as a man under 30, he would not normally have been permitted through
But after the incident was videotaped by Jewish women peace activists,
it prompted revulsion among Israelis not normally perturbed about
the treatment of Arabs.
The rightwing Army Radio commentator Uri Orbach
found the incident disturbingly reminiscent of Jewish musicians
forced to provide background music to mass murder. "What about
Majdanek?" he asked, referring to the Nazi extermination camp.
The critics were not drawing a parallel
between an Israeli roadblock and a Nazi camp. Their
concern was that Jewish suffering had been diminished by the humiliation
of Mr Tayem.
Yoram Kaniuk, author of a book about a Jewish violinist forced
to play for a concentration camp commander, wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth
newspaper that the soldiers responsible should be put on trial "not
for abusing Arabs but for disgracing the Holocaust".
"Of all the terrible things done at the roadblocks,
this story is one which negates the very possibility of the existence
of Israel as a Jewish state. If [the military] does not put these
soldiers on trial we will have no moral right to speak of ourselves
as a state that rose from the Holocaust," he wrote.
"If we allow Jewish soldiers to put an Arab
violinist at a roadblock and laugh at him, we have succeeded in
arriving at the lowest moral point possible. Our entire existence
in this Arab region was justified, and is still justified, by our
suffering; by Jewish violinists in the camps."
Others took a broader view by drawing a link between the routine
dehumanising treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the desecration
of dead bodies and what looks very much like the murder of a terrified
13-year-old Palestinian girl by an army officer in Gaza.
Israelis put great store in a belief that their
army is "the most moral in the world" because it says
it adheres to a code of "the purity of arms". There
is rarely much public questioning of the army's routine explanation
that Palestinian civilians who have been killed had been "caught
in crossfire", or that children are shot because they are used
as cover by fighters.
But the public's confidence has been shaken by the revelations
of the past week. The audio recording of the shooting of the 13-year-old,
Iman al-Hams, prompted much soul searching, although the revulsion
appears to be as much at the Israeli officer firing a stream of
bullets into her lifeless body as the killing itself. Some
soldiers told Israeli papers that their mothers had sought assurances
that they did not do that kind of thing.
One Israeli peace group, the Arik Institute, took out large newspaper
adverts to plead for "Jewish patriots" to "open your
eyes and look around" at the suffering of Palestinians.
The incidents prompted the army to call in all commanders from
the rank of lieutenant-colonel to emphasise the importance of maintaining
the "purity of arms" code.
The army's critics say the real problem is not
the behaviour of soldiers on the ground but the climate of impunity
that emanates from the top.
While the officer responsible for killing Iman al-Hams has been
charged with relatively minor offences, and the soldiers who forced
the violinist to play were ticked off for being "insensitive",
the only troops who were swiftly punished
for violating regulations last week were some who posed naked in
the snow for a photograph. They were dismissed from their unit.
Last week the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem criticised what
it described as a "culture of impunity" within the army.
The group says at least 1,656 Palestinian non-combatants have been
killed during the intifada, including 529 children.
"To date, one soldier has been convicted of
causing the death of a Palestinian," it said.
"The combination of rules of engagement that encourage a trigger-happy
attitude among soldiers together with the climate of impunity results
in a clear and very troubling message about the value the Israeli
military places on Palestinian life."
have shot and seriously wounded a four-year-old Palestinian child
in Rafah, in southern Gaza, eyewitnesses and medical sources said.
Palestinian medical sources listed Shayma Hasan Abu Shammala in
critical condition after she was hit by several
bullets fired by an Israeli soldier manning a military tower near
the Egyptian-Gaza borders on Sunday.
Muawiya Hasanain, head of the emergency department at the Palestinian
health ministry, said the child was transferred to the European
Hospital in Gaza due to the gravity of her condition.
Eyewitnesses said the child was playing in the
backyard of her home when the soldier opened fire on her.
Also on Sunday, a Palestinian boy died of wounds
he sustained when an Israeli explosive device exploded near his
home in Rafah at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian
The boy, identified as 16-year-old Mahmud Said
Qishta, was said to be playing outside his home in Rafah earlier
this week when he inadvertently stepped on an explosive device left
behind by the Israeli army.
Qishta was seriously wounded and transferred to the Nasser hospital
in Khan Yunis, where he succumbed to his wounds on Sunday morning.
Palestinians and human-rights groups often complain
that Israeli forces operating in and around Palestinian population
centres deliberately plant explosive devices in places where Palestinian
children usually play.
Sunday's incidents took place against a backdrop of sharply critical
coverage in the Israeli media of the conduct of Israeli occupation
Many Israeli soldiers have begun to admit publicly
that they are often given explicit orders to shoot Palestinian civilians,
including children, when seen entering or approaching a certain
Last week, the Israeli human-rights organisation,
B'Tselem accused the Israeli occupation army of killing Palestinian
civilians and then covering up the killings or concocting mitigating
circumstances to justify criminal behaviour towards innocent noncombatants.
B'Tselem challenged Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon to tell
the truth regarding the so-called zones of destruction within the
confines of which soldiers are allowed to shoot and kill any Palestinian,
including toddlers and children.
The charges were made in an advertisement after an Israeli TV station
broadcast a conversation between an Israeli officer and other troops
in which the officer said, "Anything that is mobile, any thing
that moves in the zone, even if it is a three-year-old, needs to
It is believed that as many as 1400 Palestinian civilians, including
some 570 children and minors, have been killed by Israeli soldiers
during the past year.
This week Israeli columnist Amos Harel, writing in the daily Haaretz,
described the army's practice of shooting Palestinian children and
then covering up the killing as "despicable and criminal".
Another commentator, Doron Rosenblum, writing in the same paper,
said the Israeli military establishment was more interested in confronting
the negative publicity stemming from the killings of Palestinian
civilians than in taking responsibility for the crimes themselves.
NIRIT, Israel - From dawn until sundown the
bulldozers grind unrelentingly into the West Bank hill opposite
Amira Bahat's Israeli home.
The work is laying the ground for Nof Hasharon, a 52-home settlement
that Bahat and 70 percent of the small Nirit community fear will
shatter their peaceful idyll on the Israeli side of the internationally-recognised
border with the West Bank.
"They're working like crazy. They're six months ahead of their
own schedule," says philosophy lecturer, Tamar Aylat-Yaduri,
who is campaigning against the project.
She and fellow activists say the work proves Israel
has reneged on its promise to the United States to halt all settlement
activity -- a precondition of the only peace plan on the table,
Thanks to Israel's separation barrier that snakes twice across
the hill opposite Bahat's home, the new settlement will be annexed
to her community.
Nof Hasharon newcomers will plug into the same water, sewage and
electricity networks. Their children will go to the same nursery
But the sting is that they will pay their property
tax in Alfei Menashe, a sprawling Jewish settlement some three kilometres
(two miles) deeper into the West Bank, at the moment, on the other
side of the barrier.
A letter written by Major Oded Langerman, an Israeli officer in
the West Bank, summing up a meeting with the Alfei Menashe security
man and quoted in the Haaretz newspaper sums up their worst fears.
"After most of the neighbourhood is populated, the two neighbourhoods
(Nof Hasharon and Nirit) will be linked into a single security zone
by taking down the fence that runs along the edge between the two
neighborhoods," it said.
"If I was right-wing, I'd have been thrilled.
Our prime minister (Ariel Sharon) is laughing at the world. He promises
one thing and does another. I don't want to be part of this game,
but I can't avoid it. It's come to my home," said Aylat-Yaguri.
Coloured banners strung up around the 230-family community proclaim:
"We won't be engaged" with Nof Hasharon, alluding to Sharon's
"disengagement plan" in which he plans to dismantle all
Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and four in the West Bank by
Earlier this month, Nirit petitioned the Israeli supreme court,
demanding that the government stop work. The judge granted the government
21 days to prepare for the beginning of the hearing.
Work only started after the barrier went up -- which Israel insists
is meant to protect against suicide bombers, but which Palestinians
say is little more than a land-grab.
Bahat, a mother of five and special education teacher, feared that
the route of the barrier could easily be moved in order to annex
"The fence is a dynamic thing, moveable to protect civilians
and works as an annexation fence."
Nirit has always been peaceful -- both before and after the Palestinian
uprising began in September 2000.
Now residents fear that mushrooming settlement
activity will inflame passions in a nearby Palestinian village on
the brow of the hill.
"Will they stay quiet? I don't think so. This whole region
will be in flames and we're certainly endangering the peaceful status
quo," said Tom Wegner.
JERUSALEM - The Israeli government was facing
three no-confidence motions in parliament as the opposition ratcheted
up the pressure on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's minority administration.
The motions will centre on the government's social policies after
the publication of a damning report last week that showed more than
one in five of the population is now living below the poverty line.
The government has been without a majority since early June after
traditional right-wing allies either quit or were sacked over their
opposition to Sharon's plan to pull troops and settlers out of the
Gaza Strip next year.
The main opposition Labour party has been providing a safety net
on issues related to Sharon's so-called disengagement plan but it
is throwing its weight behind Monday's no-confidence motions.
Pundits expect the government to scrape
through Monday's votes with the six-strong left-wing Yahad faction
likely to abstain. But the motions will underline the precarious
nature of Sharon's government.
He has been struggling for the last month to muster enough votes
for his 2005 budget but the secular Shinui party has warned that
it will quit the coalition if Sharon diverts funds towards the favoured
projects of religious parties in a bid to bring them on side.
Two speakers addressing the second Jerusalem
Summit, this morning, called for the establishment of a new international
body, representing democratic states, to undertake the charter of
the United Nations which, they explain, has been sorely ignored.
Opening the assembly this morning in Jerusalem's King David Hotel
was Isi Liebler, Senior Vice President of the World Jewish Congress.
Mr. Liebler stated that since its inception,
the United Nations has become a "burden to global tranquility"
and in its present form, it would be best for the UN "to disappear".
Liebler added that the international body "displays incompetence
on the level of its predecessor, the League of Nations."
Former Mossad Intelligence Agency director
Shabtai Shavit also addressed the forum. Shavit is considered
to be an expert in the field of counter-terrorism. He told the forum
he sees terrorism as being divided into two categories, "classical"
and "current," citing some of the distinctive characteristics
The "classical" age of terrorism ended, Shavit explained,
in the 1970s, and the "current" age of terrorism began,
pointing out that in the past, terrorists were operating more locally;
today we have seen a transition to a global
terrorist operating platform -- motivated
by a "cause" in the past but today, primarily actuated
by "religious fanaticism," specifically "Islamic
Shavit, a 32-year veteran of Israel's intelligence community, is
confident the need exists for the establishment of an international
body to fulfill the mandate of the United Nations.
The next speaker was Prof. Anne Bayefsky of the Hudson Institute,
an internationally acclaimed expert on human rights law.
She labeled the UN as the "leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism".
The professor pointed to the recent American national elections,
during which both candidates during pre-election debates concurred
the United Nations is no longer an option. Prof. Bayefsky added
the shameful Durban Conference was yet another example of the UN's
blatant anti-Semitic agenda.
Prof. Bayefsky pointed out that 30% of all UN Human Rights Commission
resolutions target "human rights" violations committed
by Israel, while in 75% of the organization's resolutions, there
is no mention of some of the world's most blatant human rights violators,
including Syria, Saudi Arabia and China.
The summit, which opened on Saturday night, addressed by former
Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, will continue through Tuesday evening.
On November 12, as US jets bombed Fallujah
for the ninth straight day, a Redwood City California jury found
Scott Peterson guilty of murdering his wife and unborn child. That
macabre theme captured the headlines and dominated conversation
throughout workplaces and homes.
Indeed, Peterson "news" all but drowned out the US military's
claim that successful bombing and shelling of a city of 300 thousand
residents had struck only sites where "insurgents," had
holed up. On November 15, the BBC embedded newsman with a marine
detachment claimed that the unofficial death toll estimate had risen
to well over 2000, many of them civilians.
As Iraqi eye witnesses told BBC reporters he had seen bombs hitting
residential targets, Americans exchanged viewpoints and kinky jokes
about Peterson. One photographer captured
a Fallujah man holding his dead son, one of two kids he lost to
US bombers. He could not get medical help to stop the bleeding.
A November 14 Reuters reporter wrote that residents told him that
"US bombardments hit a clinic inside the Sunni Muslim city,
killing doctors, nurses and patients." The US military denied
the reports. Such stories did not make headlines.
Civilian casualties in aggressive US wars don't sell media space.
But editors love shots of anguished GI Joes. The November 12 Los
Angeles Times ran a front page shot of a soldier with mud smeared
face and cigarette dangling from his lips. This image captured the
"suffering" of Fallujah. The GI complained he was out
The young man doing his "duty to free Fallujah," stands
in stark contrast to the nightmare of Fallujah. "Smoke is everywhere,"
an Iraqi told the BBC (Nov 11). "The house some doors from
mine was hit during the bombardment on Wednesday night. A
13-year-old boy was killed. His name was Ghazi. A row of
palm trees used to run along the street outside my house--now only
the trunks are left There are more and more
dead bodies on the streets and the stench is unbearable."
An eye witness told Reuters (November 12) that "a
9-year-old boy was hit in the stomach by a piece of shrapnel. His
parents said they couldn't get him to hospital because of the fighting,
so they wrapped sheets around his stomach to try to stem the bleeding.
He died hours later of blood loss and was buried in the garden."
US media's embedded reporters - presstitutes?-- accepted uncritically
the Pentagon's spin that many thousands of Iraqi "insurgents,"
including the demonized outsiders led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who
had joined the anti-US jihad, had dug in to defend their vital base.
After the armored and air assault began and the ground troops advanced,
reports filtered out that the marines and the new Iraqi army that
trailed behind them had faced only light resistance. Uprisings broke
out in Mosul and other cities. For the combatants, however, Falluja
Hell for what? Retired Marine Corps general Bernard Trainor declared
that: militarily "Fallujah is not going to be much of a plus
at all." He admitted that "we've knocked the hell out
of this city, and the only insurgents we really got were the nut-cases
and zealots, the smart ones left behind- the guys who really want
to die for Allah." While Pentagon spin doctors boasted of a
US "victory, Trainor pointed out that the "terrorists
remain at large."
The media accepts axiomatically that US troops wear the "white
hats" in this conflict. They do not
address the obvious: Washington illegally invaded and occupied Iraq
and "re-conquered" Fallujah -- for no serious military
purpose. Logically, the media should
call Iraqi "militants" patriots who resisted illegal occupation.
Instead, the press implied that the "insurgents" even
fought dirty, using improvised explosive devices and booby traps
to kill our innocent soldiers, who use clean weapons like F16s,
helicopter gun ships, tanks and artillery.
Why, Washington even promised to rebuild the city that its military
just destroyed. Bush committed the taxpayers to debts worth hundreds
of millions of dollars, which Bechtel, Halliburton and the other
corporate beneficiaries of war will use for "rebuilding."
Banality and corruption arise from the epic evil of this war,
one that has involved massive civilian death and the destruction
of ancient cities.
In 1935, Nazi General Erich Luderndorff argued in his "The
Total War" that modern war encompasses all of society; thus,
the military should spare no one. The Fascist Italian General Giulio
Douhet echoed this theme. By targeting civilians,
he said, an army could advance more rapidly. "Air-delivered
terror" effectively removes civilian obstacles.
That doctrine became practice in late April 1937. Nazi pilots
dropped their deadly bombs on Guernica, the ancient Basque capital
- like what US pilots recently did to Falluja. A year earlier, in
1936, the Spanish Civil War erupted. General Francisco Franco, supported
by fascist governments in Italy and Germany, led an armed uprising
against the Republic. The residents of Guernica resisted. Franco
asked his Nazi partners to punish these stubborn people who had
withstood his army's assault.
The people of Guernica had no anti-aircraft guns, much less fighter
planes to defend their city. The Nazi pilots knew that at 4:30 in
the afternoon of market day, the city's center would be jammed with
shoppers from all around the areas.
Before flying on their "heroic mission,"
the German pilots had drunk a toast with their Spanish counterparts
in a language that both could understand: "Viva la muerte,"
they shouted as their raised their copas de vino. The
bombing of Guernica introduced a concept in which the military would
make no distinction between civilians and combatants. Death to all!
Almost 1700 people died that day and some 900 lay wounded. Franco
denied that the raid ever took place and blamed the destruction
of Guernica on those who defended it, much as the US military intimates
that the "insurgents' forced the savage attack by daring to
defend their city and then hide inside their mosques. Did the public
in 1937 face the equivalent of the Peterson case that commanded
Where is the new Picasso who will offer a dramatic painting to
help the 21st Century public understand that what the US Air Force
just did to the people of Fallujah resembles what the Nazis did
In Germany and Italy in 1937, the media focused on the vicissitudes
suffered by those pilots who were sacrificing for the ideals of
their country by combating a "threat." The US media prattles
about the difficulties encountered by the US marines. It never calls
them bullies who occupy another people's country, subduing patriots
with superior technology to kill civilians and destroy their homes
and mosques. On November 15, an embedded NBC cameraman filmed a
US soldier murdering a wounded Iraqi prisoner in cold blood. As
CNN showed the tape, its reporter offered "extenuating circumstances"
for the assassination we had witnessed. The wounded man might have
booby-trapped himself as other "insurgents" had done.
After all, these marines had gone through hell in the last week.
The reporting smacks of older imperial wars, Andrew Greely reminded
us in the November 12, Chicago Sun Times. "The
United States has fought unjust wars before -- Mexican American,
the Indian Wars, Spanish American, the Filipino Insurrection, Vietnam.
Our hands are not clean. They are covered with blood, and there'll
be more blood this time." Falluja
should serve as the symbol of this war of atrocity against the Iraqi
people, our Guernica. But, as comedian Chris Rock insightfully
points out, George W. Bush has distracted us. That's why he killed
Laci Peterson, why he snuck that young boy into Michael Jackson's
bedroom and the young woman into Kobe Bryant's hotel room. He wants
us not to think of the war in Iraq. We need a new Picasso mural,
"Falluja," to help citizens focus on the themes of our
time, not the travails of the Peterson case. The Bush Administration
sensed the danger of such a painting. Shortly before Colin Powell's
February 5, 2003 UN Security Council fraudulent, power point presentation,
where he made the case for invading Iraq, UN officials, at US request,
placed a curtain over a tapestry of Picasso's Guernica, located
at the entrance to the Security Council chambers. As a TV backdrop,
the anti-war mural would contradict the Secretary of State's case
for war in Iraq. Did the dead painter somehow know that his mural
would foreshadow another Guernica, called Fallujah?
Saul Landau is the Director of Digital Media and International
Outreach Programs for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.
His new book is The Business of America.
I'm in need of a haircut, so I ask Abu Talat
if he thinks it would be safe to get one here, risking the time
on the street required to do so.
Smiling, he says, "Yes Dahr, it may be possible, but we must
make sure we have confidence in the barber so you get a haircut,
and not a head cut!"
His jokes provide him with great amusement…but I've begun
enjoying them myself, in a sick sort of way.
He has two cars-and we use the older one for our work. It is horribly
beat up and dirty, but makes for good cover. This is the car that
someone offered him $3,000 for not long ago because they said it
would make a good bomb.
So now this is referred to as "the bomb car." Abu Talat
tells me, "Come on, we'll take the bomb car and go to this
interview I've fixed."
This time last year I arrived in Iraq for the first time. I never
thought I would look back on that time as one of relative calm compared
to Iraq one year later. Where a car bomb a day is the norm, heavy
fighting occurring in at least five cities a day, the threat of
kidnapping very real and the infrastructure worse now than a year
Journalists could share cars to work on stories, take taxis, stay
in unguarded hotels, not worry about being kidnapped and car bombs
were rare. Traveling to Ramadi or Fallujah or the south was dangerous,
but doable. Now even braving the outskirts of Baghdad finds the
odds against me.
Today, while driving down the infamous Haifa street where so much
fighting occurs, a deep "thump" shakes our car. Yet another
car bomb in the distance. We are snarled in traffic as sirens blare
throughout Baghdad. Two pickups full of Iraqi National Guard, half
of them wearing black facemasks for fear of reprisal attempt to
navigate through the jam.
They shoot their guns impotently in the air, as if cars which
are bumper to bumper can clear them a path. They take to the side
walk, shoot their guns some more in frustration, and lurch forward.
Ambulances wail, Iraqi Police speed by on the wrong side of the
road, everyone honks at noone. This is Baghdad today.
At the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the 11th floor, Dr. Medhi is
running the operations room. He sits in front of a whiteboard which
lists the major hospitals and governorates of Iraq. Through the
interview his phone rings constantly and he excuses himself to stand
and change casualty counts coming in from different hospitals. The
count in Al-Anbar province (including Fallujah) goes from 3 up to
4 dead, with 6 injured. Another call finds the Diyala governorate
going from 3 to 4 dead, and 4 changed 6 injured.
We finish the interview as he takes another call, comments that
this is a typical day and stands to go back to amend the board of
his dead and wounded countrymen.
Back on the street sirens continue to wail as we creep through
the traffic. At one refugee camp for Fallujans we learn it is closed-because
a man named Kais Al-Nazzal who owns an apartment building in Baghdad
has taken responsibility of the 100 refugee families at the Amiriyah
camp and housed, fed and clothed them. An act of beauty amidst the
tragedy of occupied Iraq.
Most of the aid going to the refugees is coming from Iraqis, rather
than NGO's or certainly not the MOH. Back at the MOH Shehab Ahmed
Jassim, who is in charge of managing the refugee crisis, said they
had provided everything the refugees needed. That they'd sent 20
ambulances to the general hospital in Fallujah.
What he neglected to say was that most Fallujans have been unable
to reach the main hospital due to ongoing fighting and most being
too afraid of detainment by soldiers or Iraqi National Guardsmen
to seek medical help. The ambulances returned to Baghdad.
"During the Najaf fighting, things were not like this,"
said a doctor I interviewed later, "There were delegations,
moveable operating theaters, and plenty of help for them there which
was allowed, but for Fallujah, they have done next to nothing. Why?"
Every doctor I've interviewed concerning the situation in Fallujah
has shared similar sentiments. Theories abound as to why.
We navigate more traffic and arrive at another refugee camp. The
Sheikh in charge of the camp, Abu Ahmed, tells us that at noon today
several Humvees of soldiers and six trucks of Iraqi National Guard
raided their camp.
They asked Abu Ahmed if there were any wounded fighters, and he
told them no. They promptly entered the nearby mosque with guns
and boots, then went tent to tent…finding nothing.
"Is a 70 year-old woman Osama bin Laden," the sheikh
asked, "Are the kids their terrorists? They have terrorized
our camp, broken our traditions, and scared all of the families
for what? We are refugees without homes."
He added, "Now a 6 year-old will grow up hating the Americans.
Now a 70 year-old woman is saying, ‘God-damn the Americans!"
Other refugees, like Aziz Abdulla, 27 years old, tell more stories
of what they saw in Fallujah. "I saw so many civilians killed
there, and I saw several tanks roll over the wounded in the streets."
Abu Mohammed, 40 years old, told us he saw the military use cluster
bombs. A 12 year-old boy told me, "The Americans smashed our
city, killed thousands of people, destroyed our mosques and hospitals.
Now they come to our camp. Why?"
"The tanks rolled over wounded people in the streets,"
said 45 year-old Abu Aziz near his tent, "They shot so many
wounded people who went to mosques for shelter. Even the graves
This time last year there were no refugee camps. This time last
year I ate kebobs at the famous restaurant in Fallujah several times.
It was bombed before the siege of the city even began.
Later this evening I interviewed another doctor, while mortars
exploded nearby in a US base. "I had so much hope when the
Americans came here," he said while drinking tea, "But
now I am shocked by the reality. I know the Americans came here
for their own interests, for oil and their so-called national security."
He paused, listened as another mortar exploded in the distance
and said, "Many of us accepted why they came to Iraq, but there
has been no improvement for us with their occupation, even when
we tried to work with them. In fact, all has gotten worse. This
is why so many people are now fighting them now."
This time last year, the thought of 100,000 dead Iraqis and over
1,200 dead US soldiers seemed difficult to imagine.
TWENTY-FOUR people, including two Britons,
were feared dead and up to 100 injured, many of them children, after
three explosions rocked a compound housing foreigners in the Saudi
capital Riyadh last night.
The blasts, thought to be the work of Al-Qaeda,
came a day after the United States warned of an imminent terrorist
attack and closed its embassy in the city.
Witnesses reported one big explosion at about midnight local time
followed by two smaller ones 15 seconds apart in the western part
of the city. Smoke could be seen rising from the area of the blasts.
The streets were crowded with late night crowds because of Ramadan,
the holy month when Muslims fast during the day.
A US embassy spokesperson said the attack, which the Saudi authorities
said was perpetrated by terrorists, targeted the B2 compound in
the Nakheel neighbourhood near the al-Muhaya shopping centre. It
is a residential area which houses mainly Saudis, Muslim expatriates
working at the nearby royal palaces and a few foreigners. It
was a soft target, not as heavily protected as the compounds
housing westerners. A British couple and a British woman were believed
to have been staying in the compound. Only the husband has been
accounted for, a Foreign Office spokesman said early today.
Police cars and ambulances raced toward the blasts. Residents
and diplomats said some 10 houses were ablaze and at least 24 people
"I saw a lot of people injured and I believe there are a
lot of people dead," Bassem al-Hourani, who said he was a resident
at the targeted compound, told the Al-Arabiya television network.
The Al-Jazeera satellite television station reported there was
a shootout in the compound when it was struck by suicide bombers.
"The compound is purely residential," Hourani said.
"It has no American residents. It mainly
houses Lebanese, Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians. No Americans
at all here." The foreigners said to be living there
included one French, one Italian and two German families.
The official Saudi Press Agency quoted an Interior Ministry statement
saying that it was a terrorist attack, and a Saudi television correspondent
said witnesses told him two cars had been driven into the compound
and exploded inside. "I can see one of the cars, which is completely
destroyed, and I can see human remains," said the reporter,
who was allowed to enter the compound. "We don't know how many
terrorists were in the cars."
A Jordanian resident of the compound who identified himself only
as Alaa, said he heard heavy gunfire before the explosion. "I
heard shots, many shots, and then one big explosion. "Many
villas were damaged, four or five even collapsed. My house was far
away but my windows were shattered," he said. "There is
a sense of hysteria here and I am shaking as I speak."
Raid Qusti, a local journalist, said the explosions occurred in
an area of royal palaces and VIP mansions and villas about six miles
from the city centre.
"It's strange how an explosion could
occur in that area, bearing in mind the strict security,"
he said. Security had been so tight that even VIP cars were being
regularly checked for explosives. A Saudi government official confirmed
that the attackers had exchanged gunfire with the guards. Most
of the casualties were children, he said, because their parents
were out shopping.
The attacks came as American diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia
were closed yesterday after a terror alert. Saudi Arabia has witnessed
a surge in Islamist violence linked to Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda
network. Five militants have died in clashes with security forces
since Monday, when the authorities said they had foiled a planned
attack on Muslim pilgrims in Mecca. [...]
The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, condemned
last night's attack as "a terrible event carried out by evil
IRAN has been building a secret tunnel since
October to continue uranium enrichment, despite a deal two weeks
ago to freeze the program, Germany's Der Spiegel reported in an
issue to be published tomorrow.
The weekly, citing a secret service file, said that Iranian supreme
leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had personally ordered the facility
built last month near the uranium enrichment site in Isfahan that
is under UN observation.
The tunnel, which Der Spiegel said is out of the view of spy satellites,
is intended to house a production site for large amounts of uranium
UF6 gas which can be enriched in gas centrifuges - a key step in
the building of a nuclear bomb.
The clandestine project is being led by a task force that answers
directly to Khamenei, the report said.
The Islamic republic had agreed with Britain, France and Germany
earlier this month to suspend its uranium enrichment program, in
what was supposed to have been a show of good faith aimed at easing
suspicions it is seeking nuclear weapons.
SRINAGAR, India - A policeman ran amok at
a security camp in Indian-controlled Kashmir after an argument and
shot dead seven colleagues before he was gunned down, police said
It was the latest in a string of such incidents in the divided
region, where India has stationed hundreds of thousands of troops
to try to suppress a rebellion that broke out in 1989.
Doctors treating security forces say psychological problems induced
by high stress among troops are mostly responsible for such shootings.
The incident took place overnight in a Central Reserve Police
Force (CPRF) camp in Baramulla district, north of Srinagar, the
main city of Jammu and Kashmir state.
"A CRPF personnel opened fire on his colleagues after an
altercation," a police officer told Reuters. Three were wounded.
Militant attacks continue on security forces despite a peace process
aimed at resolving the conflicting claims of India and Pakistan
for the stunningly beautiful mountains and valleys that make up
India's only Muslim-majority state.
Separatist violence has killed about 45,000 people so far in Kashmir.
BEIJING - More than 140 miners remained trapped
in the tunnels and shafts of a coal mine in central China following
an explosion Sunday that killed 25 of their colleagues, the government
Some 127 workers managed to escape the state-owned mine, the Xinhua
News Agency said, citing the State Bureau of Production Safety.
Some 45 were hospitalized, five with serious injuries, Xinhua said.
The blast rocked Chenjiashan coal mine in Shaanxi province at
7:20 a.m. on Sunday, when 293 workers were underground, the official
Xinhua News Agency said. The explosion was centered around coal
pits five miles from the mine entrance, it said.
Most of the miners who escaped were working close to the entrance,
Xinhua said, and many suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. High
levels of carbon monoxide was preventing rescuers from reaching
parts of the tunnels. [...]
TOKYO (AP) - Four men were found dead Sunday
in a sealed Tokyo apartment littered with charcoal stoves, a scene
police said appeared to be Japan's latest suicide pact.
It appeared the four died of carbon monoxide poisoning, police
Suicides in Japan hit a record high last year, exceeding 32,000.
Last week in two separate incidents, six people were discovered
dead in deserted cars - also strewn with charcoal stoves. In October,
seven people killed themselves in what police said was Japan's largest-ever
Japan has recently suffered a rash of suicides pacts, with many
involving people who met over the Internet. According to the National
Police Agency, 45 people committed suicide in groups after meeting
online between January 2003 and June 2004.
Worries about the sustainability of the US
economic recovery were stoked on Sunday after Wal-Mart, the discount
retailer that is a bellwether for the country's retail sector, announced
that sales grew by only 0.7 per cent in the year to November.
The world's largest retailer had estimated growth of 2 to 4 per
cent just 10 days ago. But Wal-Mart revised its estimates down on
Saturday evening after disappointing sales on "Black Friday",
the day after Thanksgiving so called because it is traditionally
the time retailers move into profit for the year. It is an indicator
of spending for the holiday season, when a quarter of annual retail
sales are rung up.
Wal-Mart said sales had fallen "below plan" in the last
week of November and sales growth was down on the 2.8 per cent annual
rate it had reported for October. [...]
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- NBC Sports
Chairman and President Dick Ebersol was seriously injured in a charter
plane crash that killed at least two people Sunday, the Associated
Besides Ebersol, rescuers have found two other survivors who were
also in serious condition. They were searching for a sixth person
whose name was on the list of passengers aboard the plane.
The report said the plane burst into flames when it crashed into
a fence at the Montrose Regional airport, 298 km southwest ofDenver.
The survivors had been transported to hospital. Enditem
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, - A powerful cyclone,
which hit Russia's Kamchatka on Saturday night, has grounded passenger
planes bound from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for the mainland, sources
from Kamchatka's main airport told Itar-Tass. Flights are expected
to resume after 5 am, Moscow time, on Sunday.
The cyclone hit the southern part of the peninsula overnight to
Sunday. The wind is blowing at a speed of 24 meters per second on
south-eastern and south-western coasts of the peninsula.
The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Yelizovo and Ust-Bolsheretsky districts
are the most hit by the cyclone. Twenty percent of a monthly norm
of snow has fallen there over the past few hours.
Meteorologists say the storm will hover over the region till Monday.
HOBART, Australia (AP) - A total of 80 whales
and dolphins died after swimming on to a beach on a southern Australian
island where rescue teams Monday were desperately trying to prevent
others from becoming stranded, a government official said.
The dead animals - 55 pilot whales and 25 bottlenose dolphins
- were discovered Sunday afternoon at Sea Elephant Bay on King Island
between the Australian mainland and the southeast island state of
Tasmania, said Warwick Brennan, a state government environment spokesman.
Late Sunday night, police herded 30 other dolphins and 12 whales
out to sea.
Brennan said another group of about 20 whales had been spotted
Monday close to shore. A whale rescue team would try to stop them
joining the animals on the beach.
"The team will be using boats to try to shepherd them away
from the beach out into deeper water," Brennan said.
Brennan said the success of the rescue would depend on the condition
of the animals and the depth of the water.
Brennan described the beach Monday morning where the strandings
occurred as a terrible sight.
"It is quite grim," he said. "You've got a large
number of spectacular animals that are dead on the beach."
"There are some baby whales as well, so it's not a pleasant
sight," he added.
The beaching comes a year after 110 pilot whales and 10 bottlenose
dolphins died when they were stranded on Tasmania's remote west
Scientists at the time said a predator, such as a killer whale,
may have driven the animals to their deaths.
POACHERS in New Zealand may have killed two
members of a pod of dolphins that recently saved the lives of swimmers
from a great white shark attack, lifeguards said yesterday.
The mutilated carcasses of the two bottlenose dolphins were found
on Wednesday in the Awaroa River, which branches off the upper reaches
of Whangarei Harbour on North Island's east coast.
Staff from New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) believe
the dolphins died about two weeks ago after drowning in fishing
nets set out by criminals poaching fish. DOC officer Richard Parrish
said their tails had been hacked off, probably to free them from
Three weeks ago, seven dolphins protected Ocean Beach lifeguard
Rob Howes, 45, his 15-year-old daughter Nicky, 16-year-old lifeguard
trainee Helen Slade, and Karina Cooper, 15, from the jaws of a great
white shark at Ocean Beach, Whangarei Heads. [...]
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Officials
in Fort Wayne still are seeking the cause of house-rattling booms
while officials in Richmond, Va., believe they have solved a similar
Authorities in Richmond last week arrested a teenager
who they said had created explosive noise-makers using plastic soda
Bill Farrar, spokesman for the Richmond Department of Fire and
Emergency Services, said he contacted Fort Wayne after learning
that its residents had been complaining since August of booms that
shook their homes.
"The symptoms certainly were very similar: homes shaking,
loud booming noises," he told The Journal Gazette. "You
could change the names of the cities and you could just swap news
Not everyone in Richmond, however, is convinced that officials
have found the cause.
"A two-liter bottle isn't going to cause
enough force to move the ground," said Kevin Overstreet, 32,
who said the booms shake his house.
"You'll hear the boom first, and then the
ground will shake," he said. "It's not a mild shaking.
The entire house will shake."
Authorities in Fort Wayne thought the booms earlier this year might
have been caused by one of the industries on the city's northeast
side. But police spokesman Officer Michael Joyner said authorities
still were investigating other possibilities including noise-making
"Without seeing it happen when it happens, we're still somewhat
scratching our heads," he said.
The screams are said to be shrill, like those
of a woman.
But the source of the nighttime shrieks heard from time to time
in Wenonah Cemetery in Mantua, Gloucester County, is a mystery.
"It's a piercing sound," said Jacqueline Blythe, who
lives across the street from the cemetery. "It's something
Some say the cemetery is haunted. Perhaps by Revolutionary War
soldiers who supposedly fought on the surrounding land. Others believe
a big cat - a bobcat or even a cougar - emerges from the wooded
marsh behind the cemetery and caterwauls among moonlit tombstones.
Maybe it's a bagpiper practicing in the cemetery. Or it just could
be a fox in mating season.
Whatever its source, the screeching got so loud two weeks ago that
a resident called Mantua police.
When officers arrived at the cemetery on Nov. 17 around 1 a.m.,
they, too, heard the noise.
"They thought they heard something that sounded like a female
screaming," Lt. Dennis DeMuro said.
Officers searched among the tombstones with a
dog and a thermal-imaging camera that detects body heat. At 2 a.m.,
a helicopter from the Camden County Sheriff's Office arrived to
scan the cemetery, which abuts Mantua Creek, with a high-tech camera
called a FLIR (forward-looking infrared radar).
It also employed a searchlight with enough juice to "light
up a neighborhood like daylight," Sheriff Michael W. McLaughlin
"Whoever was screaming apparently left," McLaughlin said.
"If there was somebody out there, we absolutely would have
found them." [...]
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