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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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
© 2004 Pierre-Paul
US uses banned
US troops are secretly using outlawed napalm gas to wipe out remaining
insurgents in and around Fallujah.
News that President George W. Bush has sanctioned
the use of napalm, a deadly cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel
banned by the United Nations in 1980, will stun governments around
And last night Tony Blair was dragged into the row as furious Labour
MPs demanded he face the Commons over it. Reports claim that innocent
civilians have died in napalm attacks, which turn victims into human
fireballs as the gel bonds flames to flesh.
Outraged critics have also demanded that Mr Blair threatens to
withdraw British troops from Iraq unless the US abandons one of
the world's most reviled weapons. Halifax Labour MP Alice Mahon
said: "I am calling on Mr Blair to make an emergency statement
to the Commons to explain why this is happening. It begs the question:
'Did we know about this hideous weapon's use in Iraq?'"
Since the American assault on Fallujah there have been reports
of "melted" corpses, which appeared to have napalm injuries.
Last August the US was forced to admit using the gas in Iraq.
A 1980 UN convention banned the use of napalm against civilians
- after pictures of a naked girl victim fleeing in Vietnam shocked
America, which didn't ratify the treaty, is the only country in
the world still using the weapon.
Los Angeles, Alta California,
November 10, 2004 - (ACN - La Voz de Aztlan).
On April 26, 1937, the Nazi Luftwaffe dropped 100,000 pounds of
bombs on the peaceful Basque village of Guernica, Spain on the urging
of the Fascist Generalisimo Francisco Franco. At the end of the
day, Guernica was in total ruins and 1,654 Basque civilians had
been slaughtered and 889 wounded. The world in those days was horrified
by the deed. Generalisimo Franco initially denied to the press that
the raid ever took place. Later, when photographs of the massacre
were published, the Fascist Franco blamed the destruction of Guernica
and the killings on those who defended it.
The brutal attack on the Basque civilians by massive and indiscriminate
bombardment was immortalized by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso
in his 1937 painting titled "Guernica". The painting "Guernica"
has now become a worldwide symbol of the horrors of war waged by
evil fascists and dictators who place no value on human life in
their pursuits of political goals and conquest of natural resources.
Thomas Gordon and Max Morgan in their book, "Guernica: The
Crucible of World War II" quotes a survivor, "The air
was alive with the cries of the wounded. I saw a man crawling down
the street, dragging his broken legs.... Pieces of people and animals
were lying everywhere.... In the wreckage there was a young woman.
I could not take my eyes off her. Bones stuck through her dress.
Her head twisted right around her neck. She lay, mouth open, her
tongue hanging out. I vomited and lost consciousness”.
"Guernica" is back. This time it is not about the Nazi
Luftwaffe dropping bombs on a village in Spain but about the USA
dropping bombs and massacring hundreds of civilians that include
women and children in the town of Fallujah, Iraq. As Franco in "Guernica",
the USA military is denying that it is targeting civilians, but
censored reports are filtering out of Iraq that say that over half
of the Mosques in the city lie in ruins and that US Marines are
utilizing outlawed lethal gasses against the city's defenders which
are also causing massive casualties among the civilians that remain
in the city. Other reports in the Arab media talk about hundreds
of civilian casualties under the rubble of homes that were hit by
USA bombs during the initial military "softening" of the
city. Gruesome photographs of the dead are reminiscent of the survivor's
account of "Guernica" as quoted above.
It is ironic that in February 5th of 2003, when Secretary of State
Colin Powell was making a call for war against Iraq before the United
Nations Security Council in New York City, that the copy of Picasso's
"Guernica" on the second floor of the UN building was
"covered" with a large drape. Just 24 hours after Powell
failed to convinced the doubtful U.N. Security Council members,
President George W. Bush declared "The game is over" and
launched the brutal Zionist inspired "Shock and Awe" attack
against Iraq. The number of Iraqi civilians that have been blown
to pieces by USA bombs and missiles since then are still being counted.
Fallujah today is America's Guernica and the USA
media is covering up the criminal murderous military operation under
way. In addition there is absolutely no outcry from the USA political
establishment. This points to a deep spiritual and moral malaise
among Americans and decay in the leadership of the USA.
The media is not raising any objections to the war crimes in Fallujah
but instead make the savage military operations as if they were
normal. The media reports conceal from Americans the true character
of the vicious military assault which is to destroy a significant
source of opposition to the USA colonialist occupation and its puppet
Like Generalisimo Franco in Guernica, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld is lying to the American public about the number of Iraqi
civilian casualties in Fallujah. There are about 30,000 civilians
left in Fallujah and many of these have already been killed. The
rest are "fair" targets in the house to house US Marine
assaults. It will take months if not years to determine the extent
of the civilian massacre.
Fallujah is America's Guernica! Who would have foreseen that the
country that liberated Europe from those responsible for Guernica
would today take their place? Bloodthirstiness
now pervades the USA media, the political establishment and large
portions of the American people.
One shudders to think were all this will
lead. Armageddon perhaps?
It looks like a shelf in an elderly lady's
bathroom, scattered with half-full and almost empty bottles so old
the faded labels are peeling off. But Qassem Daoud, Iraq's national
security adviser and Prime Minister Allawi's confidant, calls it
a "chemical laboratory" where Fallujan insurgents supposedly made
"deadly explosives and poisons," including anthrax.
Noninsurgents probably have more chemical containers
underneath the kitchen sink at home.
But Fallujah's where Al-Zarqawi, Jordan's notorious kidnapper,
assassin, and reputed master poisoner, reportedly gave US Marines
the slip. And so when Daoud claims Zarqawi left souvenirs behind,
the world pays attention.
But not everyone is impressed.
Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix urged
restraint: "Let's see what the chemicals are....Many of these stories
evaporate when they are looked at more closely." Blix added
that "the chances" soldiers had actually "found something" significant
"are...relatively small. I would be surprised if it was something
Something real. That's the ticket, always has been. Those elusive
weapons of mass destruction.
And Daoud's perceptions aren't always the best. In an invasion
interview, Daoud (then in Kuwait) assured CNN that US "military
force(s) are (being) received with flowers and with very warm feeling
But actually, Daoud is uniquely qualified to assure the authenticity
of the insurgents' "chemical laboratory" or, alternatively, create
a hoax. Daoud is a scientist with a microbiology doctorate. In office
and in Allawi's affections, he replaces another scientist-politician,
Dr. Mowaffak Al-Rubaie, a neurologist. But Al-Rubaie inopportunely
tested Allawi's patience by promoting reconciliation with radical
cleric Moqtada Sadr when Allawi preferred a more radical solution.
Daoud's proved infinitely more flexible. Originally opposing elections
in January, 2005, Daoud seems to now have no serious objections.
Initially willing to release Saddam Hussein's female science advisors
"Dr. Germ" (Dr. Rihab Rashed Taha) and "Mrs. Anthrax" (Huda Salih
Mahdi Ammash) so "that British guy," as Daoud called hostage Kenneth
Bigley, could be saved, he bowed respectfully when Western officials
resisted. And Daoud is reportedly a decorous neocon "Iraqi friend
with ties to Mr. Franklin," meaning Larry Franklin of the US Defense
Department who's under investigation for leaking secret documents
to AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
One wonders why Daoud rushes to conclude the musty shelf scattered
with aged containers is a covert laboratory. Surely Daoud knows
that much, much more is required even for a primitive weapons operation.
If insurgents planned to make anthrax, as Daoud implies, they needed
Where are the incubators? Anthrax and most biological
agents need a warm, stable place to grow at a very specific temperature.
Refrigerators, dry ice, and vacuum pumps are also needed. Where's
the fermentor, necessary for the growth of large quantities of bacteria
and pathogens? Where's the sterilizing autoclave? Where's the centrifuge
spinning anthrax spores, concentrating them for weaponization?
And such equipment requires copious, steady amounts of electricity.
Sporadic surges would make short work of insurgents' scientific
efforts, unless they had generators. But generators require fuel,
which in Iraq is in notoriously unreliable supply.
Serious insurgents would need yeast extract, tryptone, sporulation
medium, glucose, and salts — all of which make biological
nasties grow. Insurgents would also need glass flasks, tubes, and
Petri dishes to handle nasties safely. A pH meter would be needed
for measuring acidity, although this could run off a battery. But
where is it?
And to make sure the insurgents live long enough to make their
toxic cocktails, decent ventilation is essential. And then an assortment
of extra rubber gloves, masks, and protective clothing.
Finally, for anthrax, insurgents would need a
drying apparatus, ideally less windy than a hair dryer, and a grinding
apparatus — silicate placed in a tumbler of anthrax spores
and mechanically churned. Could one do it by hand? Conceivably,
answered a Washington, D.C. National Institutes of Health scientist,
but it would take days of constant shaking to humanly replace the
What might those dusty jars tell us?
Each bottle of chemical or agent will have a label lot number indicating
where and when it was made, and from what larger batch it derives.
The manufacturer could conceivably determine where smaller batches
were shipped or repackaged, and to whom they were sold. A National
Science Foundation-funded scientist examining Daoud's lab picture
declared: "The chemicals look like they've been taken from a university
laboratory. The lone glove appears to be planted. The most recognizable
bottle is fourth from the left with the light blue top. This is
a Fluka chemical bottle in an old style." Daoud's Fluka bottle is
square-shaped, whereas contemporary Fluka bottles are noticeably
Ironically, the country nearest Iraq that's
done the most anthrax weaponizing research is Israel. Look
at Daoud's shelf, look at what's not there, then look at the clock
and check the time.
Time to examine Daoud's "friendly ties to Mr.
Franklin." Time to look at something real.
Territorial control over Canada is part of
Washington's geopolitical and military agenda as formulated in April
2002 by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Binational
integration" of military command structures is also contemplated
alongside a major revamping in the areas of immigration, law enforcement
At this critical juncture in our history and in anticipation of
the visit of George W. Bush to Canada on November 30th, an understanding
of these issues is central to the articulation of a coherent anti-war
and civil rights movement.
The purpose of this detailed report is to encourage discussion
and debate in Canada and Quebec, as well as in the US. Kindly
circulate this article widely. The Summary can be forwarded by email
with a hyperlink to the complete text.
For nearly two years now, Ottawa has been quietly negotiating a
far-reaching military cooperation agreement, which
allows the US Military to cross the border and deploy troops anywhere
in Canada, in our provinces, as well station American warships in
Canadian territorial waters. This redesign
of Canada's defense system is being discussed behind closed doors,
not in Canada, but at the Peterson Air Force base in Colorado, at
the headquarters of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM).
The creation of NORTHCOM announced in April
2002, constitutes a blatant violation of both Canadian and Mexican
territorial sovereignty. Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld announced unilaterally that US Northern Command
would have jurisdiction over the entire North American region.
Canada and Mexico were presented with a fait accompli. US Northern
Command's jurisdiction as outlined by the US DoD includes, in addition
to the continental US, all of Canada, Mexico, as well as portions
of the Caribbean, contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans up to 500 miles off the Mexican, US and Canadian coastlines
as well as the Canadian Arctic.
NorthCom's stated mandate is to "provide a necessary focus
for [continental] aerospace, land and sea defenses, and critical
support for [the] nation's civil authorities in times of national
(Canada-US Relations - Defense
Partnership - July 2003, Canadian American Strategic Review (CASR))
Rumsfeld is said to have boasted that "the NORTHCOM... with
all of North America as its geographic command... 'is part of the
greatest transformation of the Unified Command Plan [UCP] since
its inception in 1947.'" (Ibid)
Following Prime Minister Jean Chretien's refusal to join NORTHCOM,
a high-level so-called "consultative" Binational Planning
Group (BPG), operating out of the Peterson Air Force base, was set
up in late 2002, with a mandate to "prepare contingency plans
to respond to [land and sea] threats and attacks, and other major
emergencies in Canada or the United States".
The BPG's mandate goes far beyond the jurisdiction of a consultative
military body making "recommendations" to government.
In practice, it is neither accountable to
the US Congress nor to the Canadian House of Commons.
The BPG has a staff of fifty US and Canadian "military planners",
who have been working diligently for the last two years in laying
the groundwork for the integration of Canada-US military command
structures. The BPG works in close coordination with the Canada-U.S.
Military Cooperation Committee at the Pentagon, a so-called "
panel responsible for detailed joint military planning".
Broadly speaking, its activities consist of two main building
blocks: the Combined Defense Plan (CDP) and The Civil Assistance
The Militarisation of Civilian Institutions
As part of its Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the BPG is involved
in supporting the ongoing militarisation of civilian law enforcement
and judicial functions in both the US and Canada. The BPG has established
"military contingency plans" which would be activated
"on both sides of the Canada-US border" in the case of
a terror attack or "threat". Under the BPG's Civil Assistance
Plan (CAP), these so-called "threat scenarios" would involve:
"coordinated response to national requests for military assistance
[from civil authorities] in the event of a threat, attack, or civil
emergency in the US or Canada."In December 2001, in response
to the 9/11 attacks, the Canadian government reached an agreement
with the Head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, entitled the "Canada-US
Smart Border Declaration." Shrouded in
secrecy, this agreement essentially hands over to the Homeland Security
Department, confidential information on Canadian citizens and residents.
It also provides US authorities with access to the tax records of
What these developments suggest is that
the process of "binational integration" is not only occurring
in the military command structures but also in the areas of immigration,
police and intelligence. The question is what will be left
over within Canada's jurisdiction as a sovereign nation, once this
ongoing process of binational integration, including the sharing
and/or merger of data banks, is completed?
Canada and NORTHCOM
Canada is slated to become a member of NORTHCOM at the end of the
BPG's two years mandate.
No doubt, the issue will be presented in Parliament as being "in
the national interest". It "will create jobs for Canadians"
and "will make Canada more secure".
Meanwhile, the important debate on Canada's
participation in the US Ballistic Missile Shield, when viewed out
of the broader context, may serve to divert public attention
away from the more fundamental issue of North American military
integration which implies Canada's
acceptance not only of the Ballistic Missile Shield, but of the
entire US war agenda, including significant
hikes in defense spending which will be allocated to a North American
defense program controlled by the Pentagon.
And ultimately what is at stake is that beneath
the rhetoric, Canada will cease to function as a Nation:
• Its borders will be controlled by US officials and confidential
information on Canadians will be shared with Homeland Security.
• US troops and Special Forces will be able to enter Canada
as a result of a binational arrangement.
• Canadian citizens can be arrested by US officials, acting
on behalf of their Canadian counterparts and vice versa.
But there is something perhaps even more fundamental in defining
and understanding where Canada and Canadians stand as a Nation.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern
history. The US has launched a military adventure
which threatens the future of humanity.
It has formulated the contours of an imperial project of World domination.
Canada is contiguous to "the center of the empire". Territorial
control over Canada is part of the US geopolitical and military
The Liberals as well as the opposition Conservative party have
endorsed embraced the US war agenda. By endorsing a Canada-US "integration"
in the spheres of defense, homeland security, police and intelligence,
Canada not only becomes a full fledged member of George W. Bush's
"Coalition of the Willing", it will directly participate,
through integrated military command structures, in the US war agenda
in Central Asia and the Middle East, including the massacre of civilians
in Iraq and Afghanistan, the torture of POWs, the establishment
of concentration camps, etc.
Under an integrated North American Command, a North American national
security doctrine would be formulated. Canada
would be obliged to embrace Washington's pre-emptive military doctrine,
including the use of nuclear warheads as a means of self defense,
which was ratified by the US Senate in December 2003. (See
Michel Chossudovsky, The US Nuclear Option and the "War on
Terrorism" http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO405A.html May
Moreover, binational integration in the areas of Homeland security,
immigration, policing of the US-Canada border, not to mention the
anti-terrorist legislation, would imply pari passu acceptance of
the US sponsored police State, its racist policies, its "ethnic
profiling" directed against Muslims, the arbitrary arrest of
Various groups plan three days of demonstrations
'Expect delays, disruptions and detours'
OTTAWA—Close the streets, erect the barricades and weld shut
the manhole covers. The president's coming. And so are thousands
George W. Bush is scheduled to arrive here Tuesday for his first
official visit to Canada's capital and as
many as 15,000 people are expected to march through Ottawa's downtown
core, protest organizer Joe Cressy said.
Some of the protesters are expected to be Americans who have lost
family members to the Iraq war, he said.
Ottawa police plan to erect barricades and to close roads and
bridges near the House of Commons. They will
probably remove Canada Post and newspaper boxes, which could be
used to house bombs, and they may weld down manhole covers.
It's unclear how many of the Ottawa Police Service's 1,100 officers
would be deployed for the protest. There are also plans to have
RCMP and Ottawa police vessels patrol the Ottawa River behind Parliament
Hill; the airspace over the city will be closed for parts of the
"Residents should expect delays, disruptions and detours,"
said John Ash, manager of Ottawa's emergency measures unit.
An RCMP spokesperson wouldn't say whether police have ruled out
employing a large chain-link "security fence" such as
the 3.8-kilometre barrier used for Summit of the Americas protests
in Quebec City three years ago.
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan said the president's security
while in Canada "is a matter of key importance to all of us."
"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is working with the City
of Ottawa police, working with (the Department of National Defence),
and working with the OPP to ensure that President Bush and his party
will be safe and secure while they are here," McLellan said.
Conservative MP Merv Tweed (Brandon-Souris) said he was concerned
that the slogan for the planned demonstrations — "When
Bush comes to shovel" — may be "a call to violence."
There are three days of demonstrations planned by various groups.
Anti-Bush protests in other countries have been marred by violence
No one can say definitively that the three days of planned demonstrations
to mark Bush's visit to Ottawa won't be marred by violence, as have
other recent large-scale protests. Of course,
it takes only a few violent protesters or a handful of overzealous
police officers to make a peaceful situation chaotic.
At the recent summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile, police
launched tear gas and turned water cannons on thousands of anti-Bush
protesters. Some carried signs branding the U.S. president as a
"killer." Ensuring the safety of demonstrators is critical,
Cressy said, "especially when we're looking to attract grandmothers
Yesterday, Amy Bartholomew, spokesperson for Lawyers Against the
War, said the prospect of some protesters trying to hijack the demonstration
"is not a relevant worry."
Even so, The Ottawa Hospital will have extra staff on, said spokesperson
In a move designed to attract TV cameras, protesters plan to topple
a large papier mâché statue of Bush in the same manner
that statues of Saddam Hussein were brought down after the U.S.
invasion of Iraq.
OTTAWA—Despite having stormy relations
with George W. Bush and Paul Martin in his last years in power,
former prime minister Jean Chrétien will be one of the special
guests dining with the president and the current Prime Minister
New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton, meanwhile, is thinking
about staying away from the event and plans to release an open letter
to Bush outlining why the president's visit and policies are stirring
up "angst" in the Canadian population.
"I was proud to be part of the peace
movement that helped convince former prime minister Chrétien
to keep Canada out of the war on Iraq. More than 100,000 people
have since died, and yet despite the correctness of global opposition
to the invasion, your administration shows few signs of working
with the world on meaningful efforts to make us all safer,"
Layton writes in his letter.
The NDP leader also warns that Martin, a minority-government leader,
is not in a position to speak for all Canadians on the subject of
the proposed North American missile-defence shield.
"You need to be aware Mr. Martin does not speak for Canadians.
His support for missile defence runs counter
to our tradition of multilateral peacekeeping, and it is incompatible
with Canadian values for us to join a weapons system that could
only be pursued if arms control treaties were abandoned," Layton
writes. "I urge you to outline to Mr. Martin the full scope
of missile defence, which your administration's documents and officials
clearly say weaponizes space. For two years, he has incredibly refused
to look at the facts, and your meeting with him provides a crucial
opportunity for his voluntary ignorance to end."
Layton, annoyed that Bush has agreed to meet Conservative Leader
Stephen Harper but not the other opposition leaders, will reportedly
consult with his caucus today to decide whether it is worth attending
"We are not impressed over the prospect of chatting about
the next arms race over canapés and champagne," said
an NDP source. [...]
The President of The World is not President
of The World for Life, at least not yet. But is he a weenie?
What evidence is there of Dubya's weenieness, apart from him chickening
out when it came to going up against the filthy Commies in the skies
over the Rio Grande during the unpleasantness in Vietnam?
He was afraid to speak to real, live U.S. voters except in situations
where everybody had been required to sign a loyalty oath.
He was afraid to speak to the British Parliament.
The thought of being anywhere near Parliament in Ottawa has scared
Every American who heckled him during the election campaign got
arrested. But in satellite nations like the United Kingdom, not
to mention rogue countries like Canada, it's out of his hands. Anybody
could holler anything when he's here next week and get off scot
free. This makes him very, very anxious.
In Santiago he did wade into a mob of Chilean security goons to
rescue his bodyguard, but while this made him look brave, it was
provoked by his fear of not having somebody at his side to protect
him against evildoers. At times like that, said his press secretary,
he can be "a hands-on kind of guy."
According to David Brooks, the neocon columnist, "he's a
towel-snapping kind of guy" too. And if there's one thing we
know about guys who are towel-snapping guys, it's that the thing
they fear most is having mice nibble on their machismo.
In other words, Dubya's a sensitive kind of guy. If he were subjected
to the type of verbal barrage that the owner of the Hamilton Tiger
Cats wishes his team's fans would stop firing at the Argonauts,
think what might happen.
"Do I suck?"
"You don't, sir, believe me," his press secretary would
say. "Look how brave you were in Colombia when they had exactly
the same number of troops in the street to protect you as you invaded
Falluja with. Look how brave you were when you congratulated your
friend Vladimir Putin for his election victory in Ukraine. Ukraine
is a democracy, you said, so if 110 per cent of the voters cast
ballots, the people have truly spoken."
"What if I suck?"
You see? Heckling could plant a seed of doubt.
The last thing Canadians need when we're hanging by a thread so
slender that the President of The World isn't completely sure we're
on his side, is for him to develop even more doubts about us.
We should bear the bigger picture in mind, too. Since he has doubts
about almost everybody else in the world, shouldn't we do something
to ease those?
We have to help Dubya get over his weenieness.
The trick will be to entice him into the Commons.
"Won't that vulgar woman be there?" (Comic relief: Did
you hear about the George W. Bush doll? You wind it up and Carolyn
Parrish steps on it.)
"Oh, no, sir. The Canadians fitted her with a cement bathing
suit and took her swimming in the Ottawa River. As a gesture of
"Really? Maybe they're not such evil folks after all."
Then, once he's in there, the minute he starts to speak, everybody
jumps up and starts yelling at him. His bodyguard draws his gun.
Dubya is about to order him to shoot the varmints, when his press
secretary says, "Sir, wait! Listen to what they're yelling."
And Dubya listens. And what they're yelling is, "You the
man!" Every last one of them, the MPs, the opposition leaders,
the Prime Minister. "You the man!"
"They think I'm the man!" He is awed, and shocked, but
in the nicest possible way.
"Yes, sir. Isn't that nice?"
"It's real nice." A tear forms in Dubya's eye. "Maybe
I don't suck after all."
We'll have made the world a nicer place.
There is one problem.
Parliament does represent a country that is composed of an embarrassingly
consequential number of what Dubya regards as "cheese-eating
He can't quite tell the difference between the gallant Royal 22nd
Regiment that has just returned from making Afghanistan safe for
opium growers, and Les Voltigeurs de Les Tirailleurs de la Force
de la Frappé de Gaulle who have stayed snug at home in gay
Paree eating snails gratinée.
"They eat snails, too?" he asks. "Geez, even using
them to catch fish would make me nauseous."
We've still got a couple of days. Let me work on this.
In a protest in London's Trafalgar Square,
a feeble-bodied man stands defiantly against the warmongers. He
embraces the families of the dead and speaks a truth that so many
continue to refuse to hear.
The US-led war on Iraq is based on lies, said Stephen Hawking,
the most famous British scientist, who suffers from motor neuron
disease. Except for the ability to move some fingers, Hawking is
Yet as he spoke and led the London protest, he did not need arms
or legs or speech.
"It has been a tragedy for all the families that have lost members,"
said Hawking during the protest, shaming the actively unconcerned.
"As many as 100,000 people have died, half of them women and children.
If that is not a war crime, what is?"
Resistance is eternal and imperial rule ephemeral in the brief
history of time.
"One person with a belief," John Stuart Mill once said, "is equal
to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests." Perhaps even
equal to a force ten times greater. Or more.
From the bell tower of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Mordechai
Vanunu gazes at the expanse below, pulls at the center bell and
speaks: "Down there is where they sentenced me to 18 years in prison.
This is my way of saying I am still here."
While working as a technician at the Dimona nuclear plant in the
Negev desert, Vanunu became disquieted by his discovery of Israel's
clandestine nuclear weapons program. Despite his awareness of the
risks, Vanunu took photos of the plant and smuggled them out and
sought the help of the media in exposing to the world Israel's illegal
factories of weapons of mass destruction. A short time later, the
whistle blower was kidnapped and shipped back to Israel by the Mossad—Israel's
thugs—with the help of agents from the intelligence services
of America, Britain and Italy.
In the first 11 years of his captivity, Vanunu was kept in solitary
confinement. How did he survive? "I decided from the beginning that
they could have my body in prison but my spirit, mind, brain, I
would keep free, under my control; that would be my way out," said
Vanunu. When he finally stepped out of Israel's prison, among Vanunu's
first words were two simple declarations of fact: "They have not
broken me. Israel's illegal nuclear weapons program must be shut
Seven months after his release, Vanunu was rearrested, then released
again. But released to what? Vanunu is forbidden to leave Israel,
forbidden to approach any of Israel's borders, forbidden to associate
with foreigners, forbidden to talk to journalists, forbidden to
speak, forbidden to live the normal life, forbidden to spread his
"I want to continue to seek the abolition of nuclear weapons around
the world, not only in Israel . . . . I also plan to find a woman
and have a family," said Vanunu in a recent interview he knows he
is not allowed to have.
"I don't know what is the best way to overcome [the Israeli government's]
restrictions," said Vanunu. "Is it by silence or is it by speaking?
I decided it was by speaking. If I speak. . . I am teaching them
that they cannot silence anyone . . . . If they take away your right
to speak, you are not a human being anymore . . . . [T]hey could
kill me. If they want to do something, it's not a big problem for
them; but I am not in fear, I am just living my life. Fear will
not help me."Fear will not help any of us either. And neither will
In the far reaches of Hong Kong, a Filipina mother toils day and
night for a family she is not a member of. She sweeps their floor,
cleans their toilets, takes care of their children, cooks their
daily meals and wipes their tables and chairs and desks, changes
their bedsheets and does their laundry and takes out their trash.
Over and over without letup.
After all this, Loretta Brunio has as much time left as she has
energy—very little and close to nothing. And yet somehow this
mother of three finds both time and energy to attend to the needs
of the Coalition for Migrant Rights (CMR), an organization she helped
form in 1999 from idea to fruition while working full time as a
domestic help. Along with her equally dedicated colleagues, Brunio
saw to it that the first composition of CMR was not just Filipinos
but included Indonesians, Sri Lankans, Thais, Nepalese and Indians
Where does she find the time to do all this? Rest should take
up the remainder of the day after her work: the body needs pause
and the soul needs respite in order to shore up the walls that hem
in the cloister of heartaches and loneliness. Yet she always finds
The Filipino mother turns on its head the biblical adage "to whom
much is given, much is expected in return." Given close to nothing,
Brunio gives everything and expects nothing in return.
A man imprisoned for close to eternity whose dreams continue to
travel around the world and who still longs only to find a woman
to fall in love with; a totally paralyzed man whose heart has somehow
surpassed the heights reached by his towering intellect; a poor
woman who does battle daily with back-breaking work and isolation
all the while armed with dignity.
In a world imprisoned by self-inflicted ignorance,
among people sedated by affluence, inside communities immobilized
by fear, the conduct of three imperfect individuals reminds us today
of the essence from which spring acts that we have come to know
as that glorious but seemingly unattainable thing called heroism.
We honor our heroes not merely by erecting monuments in their
likeness. We celebrate them, too, by recognizing that they were
not uncommon women and men but ordinary people like us who carried
attributes that we, too, in truth possess: extraordinary hope, will
WASHINGTON - In a confidential report, the
International Committee of the Red Cross said it found prisoner
abuse that amounted to "a form of torture" at the US military
facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The New York Times said.
Based on a visit to the prison in June, an ICRC
team that included humanitarian workers and experienced medical
personel found a system devised to break the will of prisoners through
"humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes,
use of forced positions."
"The construction of such a system, whose
stated purpose is the production of intelligence, cannot be considered
other than an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading
treatment and a form of torture," the report said.
Sent to the US government in July, the report -- a detailed memorandum
of which was obtained recently by The New York Times -- said the
prisoners were also exposed to loud and persistent noise and music
and to prolonged cold.
It also said that detainees were subjected to
"some beatings," the daily added.
The daily said the report did not mention how many of the 550 detainees
currently being held at Guantanamo were subjected to such treatment.
The United States has used the military facility to hold people
detained around the world in its "war on terror" indefinitely
and without trial.
The ICRC team also found that physicians and medical
personnel at the Guantanamo prison provided information about the
prisoners' mental health and vulnerabilities to interrogators, a
practice a human rights expert told the daily was in violation of
international ethical standards.
The daily said a statement from the Pentagon said "the allegation
that detainee medical files were used to harm detainees is false."
"The United States operates a safe, humane and professional
detention operation at Guantanamo that is providing valuable information
in the war on terrorism," the Pentagon statement said.
Personnel assigned to Guantanamo, the Pentagon statement added,
"go through extensive professional and sensitivity training
to ensure they understand the procedures for protecting the rights
and dignity of detainees."
Transferred from military prisons in Iraq and
Afghanistan, many of the detainees at Guantanamo have been there
for almost three years without any access to lawyers.
Only four have been charged, as the US government resists a legal
onslaught over its handling of al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees, most
of whom it believes fall outside the protection of the Geneva Conventions.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Center for Constitutional Rights
David Lerner; 212-260-5000
NEW YORK, NY -- November 29 --
In a historic effort to hold high ranking U.S. officials accountable
for brutal acts of torture including the widely publicized abuses
carried out at Abu Ghraib, on Tuesday, November 30, 2004, the Center
for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and four Iraqi citizens will file
a criminal complaint with the German Federal Prosecutor’s
Office at the Karlsruhe Court, Karlsruhe, Germany. Under the doctrine
of universal jurisdiction, suspected war criminals may be prosecuted
irrespective of where they are located.
The four Iraqis were victims of gruesome crimes including electric
shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and
sexual abuse. (Further details of the treatment of the complainants
will be provided at the press conference.)
The U.S. officials charged include Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, Former CIA Director George Tenet, Undersecretary of Defense
for Intelligence Dr. Steven Cambone, Lieutenant General Ricardo
Sanchez, Major General Walter Wojdakowski, Major General Geoffrey
Miller, Brigadier General Janis L. Karpinski, Lieutenant Colonel
Jerry L. Phillabaum, Colonel Thomas Pappas, and Lieutenant Colonel
Stephen L. Jordan. [...]
On Sunday November the 21st, during his pre-Thanksgiving
sermon, the Reverend Jerry Falwell had this to say…
………"Let me talk to you about five good
things of late ... for which this week I hope you and your family
around your Thanksgiving table will praise the Lord. ... No. 5:
America has alternative news media and is no longer held hostage
by the major print and broadcast media. I remember a day when
ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and the major print media controlled all
the news flow to the American people and we found ourselves getting
warped and distorted news. I thank God now in the 21st century
for talk radio, that three hours a day people like Sean Hannity,
Rush Limbaugh and hundreds of others are telling the truth of
what really is going on. I thank God for FOX News Channel [applause].
I thank God for the Internet bloggers and the news producers like
NewsMax.com, WorldNetDaily.com, even The Drudge Report."………
Excuse me, Reverend Falwell? While every single major media source
repeated the Bush administration pre-Iraq press release lies as
if they were facts, no media source had its head (and its camera)
further up the Bush administration's poop chute than did Fox News.
By constantly portraying those who opposed
the war (those who were smart enough to know they were being lied
to) as being anti-American, unpatriotic and unsupportive of the
troops (it's called defining the dialogue) many of the more objective
news sources acquiesced to the Fox game plan of completely dishonest
war mongering disguised as flag wrapping patriotism - instead of
honest investigative news reporting.
It is largely because of Fox's bullying and their blatant lies;
along with Sean Hasn't Any and Rush Limbaucracy's lies - and the
rest of the media's ensuing acquiescence to them - that over 1,230
of our soldiers have died - as many as perhaps 30,000 soldiers lives
have been transformed forever because of injuries they've suffered
- and over 100,000 innocent Iraqis, the majority being women and
children - have been indiscriminately and senselessly murdered –
all in Iraq. And this bloated charlatan and self-righteous pig who
professes to be a pillar of Christianity THANKS GOD… for Fox
News, Sean Hasn't Any, and Rush Limbaucracy?
I really don't think there's a physical Hell, but I can't help
but wonder if God is considering creating one just for the harlot
Falwell - for the media whores at Fox News - and for the egregious
liars who host conservative talk radio shows – along with
the republican criminals in government they not only protect, but
promote and canonize as well. And herein lies the current sick,
twisted foundation of conservatism and republicanism in George W.
Bush's America that no one seems comfortable discussing.
As one Bush aide confided to Ron Suskind back in 2002, "We
create our own reality." Put another way, these people are
not grounded in true reality, but rather, in their alternative self-created
reality. This behavior can only be described
as "psychotic", using any definition of the word I've
ever seen. Call it what you will, but creating a more convenient,
alternative reality is nothing more than good old-fashioned lying.
We already knew these people were serial liars. Now that
we know they are serial, psychotic liars, anybody smell danger ahead?
These new self-created realities then act as shields that these
psychotic cowards hide behind to mask what genuinely sick, dishonest,
twisted, evil bastards they truly are. Unfortunately, these people
are smart enough to give their alternative reality shields catchy,
meaningful buzz-phrase oriented titles and decorate them accordingly.
Fox paints an American flag on it and labels their shield "patriotism"
- or at least, their own twisted, perverted version of patriotism
- which to them means blind obedience to, and no criticism of the
Bush administration. War is good – war in necessary - death
is acceptable - if you don't want our troops to die in Iraq, you
don't support them – if you question Bush, you're anti-American
and unpatriotic, etc. etc. etc.
The televangelistic Falwell paints a picture of God on his shield,
(which, not surprisingly, looks a lot like Falwell himself?!), and
labels his shield Christianity - or at least, his own twisted, perverted
version of Christianity - which to him means bigotry, judgementalism,
intolerance, death, carnage and murder.
Impressed by the power of these inspiring titles and sheer pageantry
of the accompanying artistic design on the shields, and... Ultimately
confused, marginalized and quite frankly, numbed by the accompanying
24/7 marketing campaign by the conservative, corporate controlled
media (no Virginia, there really is not a "liberal media")
many American sheep are only too willing to
accept the harlot's alternative reality versions of patriotism and
Christianity as the true versions.
Having done that, the sheep are then only too willing to vote
against their best interests and elect to public office who these
whores tell them must be elected - which is of course, the party
who hides behind the shields of Christianity and supporting our
troops. In, what the same Bush aide referred to as "our reality
based community," these harlots and whores neither support
our troops, nor do they understand even one founding principle of
Problem is - once the brainwashing sets in and people start accepting
agenda obsessed harlots and whores as true patriots and Christians,
even people who know better start walking around on egg shells,
fearful of telling these corporate hookers and their "sheep
johns" how out of touch with true reality they indeed are.
Can't criticize Jerry Falwell – he's a minister –
he's a man of God. Bull crap. He's a self indulgent, cowardly, chubby
little charlatan who condones and promotes republican lies and murder.
Period. Even if the alternative reality shield he hides behind says
Can't criticize the news anchors at Fox News
- they're patriotic, they love America and they support our troops.
Bull crap squared. They hate America - they hate their fellow Americans
- they hate our troops - they hate the truth – and, like Falwell,
they too condone and promote republican lies and murder, no matter
what their alternative reality shield says either.
The bottom line is… the only thing these right wing whores
give a damn about is their bottom line. And here's the worse part
of this sick scenario - the unholy, unhealthy connection between
these sick, twisted ideologues in the media - and the sick, twisted
ideologues in the Bush administration. It's a 2-way, mutually beneficial,
self-fulfilling, sick, twisted prophecy.
Greedy, self-absorbed prostitutes like Falwell, Limbaugh, Hannity
and Fox News praise republican administrations for one main reason
only. They want to further consolidate media ownership (like all
fascists do) to eliminate competition, and to increase their profit
from and control over the American people. But who can help them
do that? Answer… a government who just so happens to need
what only the media can provide – cover.
So Falwell, Limbaugh, Hannity and Fox say "We'll cover for
you and tell the people your policies really do benefit them and
thereby convince them to vote for you… if… you help
us increase our bottom line as well as our control over the American
sheep." And the Bush administration says "Ditto"
- or would that be mega-dittoes? – "We'll cover for you
if you don't' disclose what liars we are, and you help us increase
our bottom line and our control over the American sheep." And
if we both agree to continue chanting "liberal media",
this will provide even further cover for both of us.
And all harlots and whores on both sides say "I do",
and the minister - attired all in red - then pronounces corporate
and state to be man and wife. We now have, as Benito Mussolini referred
to it - fascism in its purest form. And thus the sick, twisted cycle
is complete - both sides win - and America loses.
Added note: Shortly after the unholy nuptials, it is rumored a
knocking sound can be heard coming from Adolph Hitler's coffin that
is apparently not being made by his hands or his feet. (*Boing*
sound effect appropriate here for those a little slow on the draw.)
In a country like America, however, fascism
works and looks better if you dress it in a miniskirt, and not a
long sleeved, brown shirt. This of course, necessitates the
process of creating, setting up, and marketing another alternative
reality shield - this one for the Bush administration to hide behind.
It also means, giving that shield a catchy title – Hey…
how about "compassionate conservatives?" Much more effective
than bigoted, homophobic, greedy, fascist, corporate whores, don't
And don't forget to decorate the government's shield accordingly
- how about a picture of the Twin Towers along with some scruffy,
bearded middle eastern man; Osama – Saddam - doesn't matter
- with the media in your back pocket, it won't be long before a
majority of the sheep won't be able to tell the difference anyway.
'And just think of the added benefits this will accrue; you can
invade any country you want and just blame it on an abstract noun
– terror - that you've already brainwashed the people into
associating with bearded Muslim males. Absolutely brilliant. Diabolically
evil, but brilliant, nonetheless.
On a side note… rumor has it if you look real close at the
Bush shield… you will notice other clever little alternative
reality statements, such as "Our tax cuts are not for the rich,
no matter what our Congressional Budget Office said", or…
"Iraq is better off since our invasion, no matter what our
General Accounting Office said." In small print, it has been
reported one can see other gems, such as, "I really was concerned
about terrorism, prior to 9-11, no matter what the 9-11 commission
found"… "God told me to bomb Iraq," and...
"We really do want clean air and clean water."
Rumor further has it if you hide behind a shield that is thusly
decorated, the sheep will allow any number of atrocities to be committed
in their name – especially when your partners in crime (the
media and religion) tell them a) it's part of your war on terror;
and b) that's the way God wants it to be.
And for those who see through your transparent alternative reality
shields and who care enough to go beyond your controlled media to
learn the truth? Not to worry. They'll be the minority - they certainly
won't be hired by any of your media sources – therefore, not
that many sheep will ever even hear their exposés.
As a result, the majority of the sheep
will never learn what you truly represent, and will therefore be
entirely enthralled and completely content with what your alternative
reality shield claims is true reality, and which your bought and
paid for media will be only too happy to reaffirm.
We now live in a nation whereby up is down – black is white
– right is wrong – war is peace. Welcome to the alternative,
unreal reality in which we now dwell. Welcome… to George W.
I think I'm going to hurl.
Among some conservative Christians, there
is a belief that President Bush received a "moral mandate"
to win the recent presidential election — and they are calling
on him to act on their agenda now.
"I believe Our Lord elected our president and I believe he
put him in office and it is my prayer that he will sustain him in
office," said one woman at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Another was asked if she believed that God intervened in the election.
"Absolutely," she said.
"Values" voters delivered for the president, and the
president must now deliver for them — especially in the courts,
said Gary Cass, head of a grassroots political organization affiliated
with Coral Ridge, called the Center for Reclaiming America.
"It's about the next 40 years and how the courts are going
to affect the world in which my children and grandchildren are going
to be raised in," he said.
Cass wants a U.S. Supreme Court that will outlaw abortion and
gay marriage. "Do you want to take your children to a National
League baseball game for instance and have homosexuals showing affection
to one another? I don't want my kids to see that," he said.
Risking God's Wrath
By one measure, conservative Christians comprised 12 percent of
the electorate this year — the same as four years ago. But
they see themselves as a crucial piece of the president's political
They believe that if their agenda is not implemented quickly —
if their concerns are not addressed in a timely fashion —
God will be angry.
One leading evangelist recently warned, "God's patience runs
Dr. James Kennedy delivers sermons at Coral Ridge which are broadcast
to 3 million homes. He said he knows of no timetable for God's wrath,
but wants results fast.
He dismissed the concerns of people who worried about the impact
of Christian conservatives on the U.S. government.
"Repent," he said with a laugh. "Repent. That's
what I'd say."
People who are concerned about the influence of Christianity "have
never really surrendered their life to God and submitted themselves
to his commandments — and if they did that they wouldn't have
so much concern about some court saying again that it's wrong,"
Asked about the millions of Americans who are not Christian, or
have a different interpretation of Christianity, Kennedy said with
another laugh: "I couldn't care less. It's true."
"I think that the idea that the worst sin that somebody can
commit is to offend somebody is ridiculous," he said.
Evangelicals say Kennedy may seem intolerant, but there's no greater
love than upholding the will of God.
Election in Palestine and Iraq does not reflect
the hope and the aspirations of the Palestinian and Iraqi peoples.
It serves the interests of the Zionist US-'Israeli' occupation of
Iraq and Palestine, in order to impose governments to be moved like
robots with no brains of their own. The candidates in Iraq came
on top of American tanks. These tanks destroyed Iraq and left no
stone without being turned and shot at.
The bombs and guns of the invading forces in Iraq are killing
civilians, men, women and children who have no connection to military
operations. The American soldiers are mutilating the corpses of
the dead and physically eliminating the wounded and injured. They
destroyed, and are still destroying, what is left of the vital systems
and services such as electricity, bridges, clinics, hospitals and
other institutions. Homes were damaged or completely demolished
many times on top of the occupants. The thugs of the invaders are
attacking churches and mosques. Innocent people are being kidnapped
for ransoms and sometimes executed in order to smear the reputation
of the gallant fighters of the Resistance.
George W. Bush considers himself God's representative in charge
to deliver "democracy", "security" and "Justice" on Earth. His sophisticated
machines of terror were employed to spread death and havoc on this
planet with no restraint. He and his ally, the Zionist entity, in
Palestine want to legitimize the occupation in Iraq and Palestine.
They want to extinguish the hope of the Arab people of being liberated
and united in one Democratic Arab state free from Zionism and Imperialism.
The election that the US Zionist Imperialists want to impose on
Palestine and Iraq does not come from the muzzles of the guns of
the invaders but through the barrels of the guns of the Freedom
Fighters in Palestine and Iraq.
President Bush resorted to new tactics to legalize the illegitimate
occupation and robbery of Iraq by calling for a limited international
conference, like the one convened recently in Sharm El-Sheikh in
Egypt. Those who attended the conference do not represent the Iraqi
people. They were the ones who were responsible for the pillaging,
destruction and mass killing in Iraq.
The closing statement of the conference was pre-prepared by the
occupation powers in Washington and Tel Aviv. It was adopted with
no amendment or without being read by the delegations of the neighboring
states of Iraq.
Common sense tells us that the statement's purpose was to secure
Allawi and sectarianism in Iraq. When sectarianism is secured, the
pro Iran reactionary clerics and the pro Iran religious parties
were confirmed by the guns of US Zionist Imperialist so that Iran
would have a strong role in the area and Iraq would be ripped apart
and the southern part would be part or under the influence of Iran.
The election in Palestine will never represent the Palestinian
people for the simple reason that a free election that truly would
represent the Palestinian people would be achieved when Palestine
is liberated from the river to the sea and the Palestinians in the
Diaspora return home to establish their Democratic State.
The Iraqi National Resistance and the Leadership of Iraq -under
Saddam Hussein- are the legitimate ones to lead Iraq under freedom
and democracy, a democracy, which genuinely springs from the people
of Iraq and is not imposed upon them by Imperialism and Zionism.
This Revolutionary Democracy will be achieved when Occupation is
defeated and Iraq is liberated.
A true International progressive and peaceful movement realizes
that genuine peace and security would come when the followings are
1. Palestine is Arab and it belongs to the Palestinian people.
2. The Palestinians have the right to go back to their homes from
which they were evicted by force in 1948.
3. The Palestinians have the right to choose their leadership without
any foreign influence.
4. The Palestinians have the right to establish their democratic
state in historic Palestine that extends from the Mediterranean
Sea to the Jordan River.
5. Those who came to Palestine for colonization purposes should
return to the country of origin.
The Palestinians have the right to achieve all the above by all
The International progressive and peaceful movements must recognize
1. The Iraqi Leadership under Saddam Hussein is the legitimate
one and not that of Allawi and the imposed ones by Washington.
2. The Iraqis have the right to resist the occupation by all means
available to liberate Iraq and keep it united.
3. All prisoners of war must be released and the legitimate Leadership
must be restored.
4. All the invading forces must withdraw immediately and unconditionally.
5. Iraq must be compensated for all the damages and suffering
it has endured under occupation.
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has escaped U.N. censure
over its nuclear programme but Washington, which accuses it of seeking
an atomic bomb, says it reserves the right to take the case to the
Security Council on its own.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a U.N. watchdog,
passed a resolution approving Iran's week-old suspension of sensitive
nuclear activities as part of a deal with the European Union.
Crucially, and in line with Iranian demands, the resolution described
the freeze as a voluntary, confidence-building measure and not a
legally binding commitment.
Its passage meant that Tehran, which denies it wants the bomb,
had achieved its immediate goal: to prevent the IAEA from referring
it to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions.
"This resolution which was approved by the IAEA was a definite
defeat for our enemies who wanted to pressure Iran by sending its
case to the U.N. Security Council," President Mohammad Khatami
was quoted by state radio as saying on Monday.
The United States believes Iran is playing games with the international
community and wants to see it referred to the Council. U.S. envoy
Jackie Sanders told the IAEA's board of governors that Washington
reserved the right to go it alone.
"Quite apart from the question of how this board chooses
to handle these matters, of course, the United States reserves all
of its options with respect to Security Council consideration of
the Iranian nuclear weapons programme," she said.
"Any member of the United Nations may bring to the attention
of the Security Council any situation that might endanger the maintenance
of international peace and security."
Sanders also issued a stern warning to companies, including multinationals,
against exporting weapons-related equipment to Iran. The United
States "will impose economic burdens on them and brand them
as proliferators", she said. [...]
DALLAS (Reuters) - A U.S. Army Black Hawk
helicopter clipped wires supporting a TV tower and crashed in foggy
weather in central Texas, killing all seven soldiers on board, witnesses
and military officials say.
A spokesman at Fort Hood, where the helicopter was based, said
the names of those killed in the crash have not yet been released.
The identities of the dead would likely be released once the next
of kin were notified.
Witness Rock Eicke, who lives near the crash site, said he heard
the 1,800-foot (549-metre) metal tower rattling and then saw Monday's
"I looked out the window and that is when I saw something
burst into flames," Eicke told reporters.
The downed Black Hawk was spotted burning in a field near the
tower, about 35 miles (55 km) south of Waco, by Eicke and police
he led to the site.
The helicopter, from the Army's 4th Infantry Division, was headed
to Texarkana, Texas, officials said. Its smouldering wreckage was
strewn across several hundred yards (metres) of ground near the
On Wednesday 3 November I was
driving along the Embankment towards the City when a police constable
stepped out into the road and flagged me down. It was 11.30 in the
morning, and I was in reasonable time for a meeting with some corporate
lawyers which was due to start at midday.
The constable was accompanied by another policeman and a group
of three men in what looked a little like traffic wardens’
uniforms, with pale blue bands round their caps. These,
I later discovered, were Mr Blunkett’s new militia, the police
community support officers. Their task, according to Sir
John Stevens, is to ‘perform the vital role of security patrols
in central London, deterring criminals and providing intelligence
to police officers’.
‘We are conducting random stop and search
under current anti-terrorist legislation,’ began the constable,
addressing me through my open side window. ‘Would you mind
if we searched your vehicle? We’re training these new community
Although a little worried about being late for my meeting, I was
impressed by their air of professionalism and vigilance. I was pleased
that the government was doing something to keep us all safe and
thought it would be selfish to refuse. ‘I don’t mind
at all,’ I replied, ‘as long as it doesn’t take
a huge amount of time.’
I unlocked the doors and they went through my car and its contents:
my overnight bag, my wash bag and glove box. Next, they gestured
towards my briefcase and asked if I could open it. Of course, I
said, and as I lifted the lid I pointed out to them a Victorinox
Swiss multi-tool, contained in a small webbing case, and a small
collapsible baton, contained in another piece of webbing.
It is perfectly legal to buy both of these items. The penknife
I carry because I find it useful for many small everyday tasks —cutting
through packaging, opening bottles. The baton I bought over the
Internet to keep at home for security reasons. I live in a rural
part of Suffolk that, although thankfully relatively crime-free,
is policed very sparsely. I often hear people outside the house
at night — that same Wednesday evening, for instance, my wife
discovered a harmless but mentally ill tramp yelling loudly in a
nearby barn — and I feel more comfortable with the baton inside
the front door. A week or so before my police search, I had discovered
my nine- and twelve-year-old girls playing with it and had locked
it in my briefcase for safekeeping.
The community support officers reacted immediately.
They behaved as if they had never seen a penknife before, pulling
out the bottle-opener, the corkscrew, the thing that gets stones
out of horses’ hooves. ‘This device
has a locking blade,’ said the constable, after which
a short, whispered debate ensued. My goodwill towards the police
began to give way to alarm. I reached for my mobile to call the
lawyers and explain that I was going to be late for my meeting,
but the constable stopped me. ‘Turn
that phone off,’ he said. ‘You’re about to be
arrested for possessing offensive weapons and carrying a bladed
instrument in public. You’ll be allowed one call when
we get you to Charing Cross police station.’
I felt confused and indignant. As we stood by
the side of the road, waiting for a police van to arrive, I asked
the constable whether this whole business was, in his opinion, a
valuable use of police time and resources.
This was when the policemen and the PCSOs started to become hostile.
‘You’ve committed an offence, mate, and you’d
better get used to the fact that you’re going down for six
months,’ said one policeman.
‘Do you realise, sir,’ said another, ‘that behind
us is the Ministry of Defence, a key target for potential terrorists?’
‘But why did you stop me in the first place: do I seriously
look like a potential terrorist?’ I asked.
‘We stop one in every 25 cars on a random basis, and, let
me tell you, sir, criminals and terrorists come in many different
guises,’ replied the policeman.
‘Shouldn’t you be concentrating on men of Arab extraction?’
This seemed to me to be a sensible question, relevant to the current
state of the world. The policeman said, ‘That
is a racist comment, sir.’ Then the van appeared. I
was locked in the back and ferried to Charing Cross. As we drove
there, the policemen made small talk. They told me that they would
be out for a pint tonight, whereas I was going to prison. They wondered
what it would feel like for me not to be sleeping in my own bed.
Upon arrival at Charing Cross, I was subjected to the as-seen-on-TV
rigmarole of being booked in by the desk sergeant. Most of the questions
focused on my racial origin and HIV status. They asked if I had
a craving for non-prescription drugs, and if I required any religious
paraphernalia. My belt and personal effects were removed, and after
a statutory telephone call to my lawyer I was ‘banged up’.
By this time it was about 12.20 and I spent the next three hours
dozing on a wooden bench. At about 4.30 p.m., my solicitor had arrived
and it was time for an ‘interview under caution’. First,
I had to be fingerprinted. The police constable who had originally
flagged me down reappeared, and began the arduous business of ‘processing’
me. The man’s lack of competence was comical. He had problems
applying my fingers to what appeared to be a sophisticated and expensive
fingerprint-scanning machine, and with each failed attempt he became
angrier and angrier. Tired and fed up, I gave in to the temptation
to needle him. ‘Having problems with your new toy?’
I asked. He replied, ‘Shut the fuck up, you arsehole.’
He was no better at operating the tape recorder used for my interview.
Much fumbling of cassettes was followed by screeching noises from
the equipment. During the interview itself, I found him inarticulate,
incompetent and only tenuously in control of his temper.
After the interview, I was re-introduced to my cell. I understood
from my solicitor that the same police constable would speak to
the Crown Prosecution Service, and a decision would be made about
whether to charge me formally. I was also told that if the policeman
had wanted to, he could have let me off with a caution after my
car had been searched and the penknife and baton discovered.
Sitting in my cell, I thought a bit about the way I had been treated.
For the police to be behaving like this at a time when we are all
concerned about terrorism and street crime, and when resources are
stretched and manpower is limited, seemed extraordinary. It was
also, I decided, in direct contrast to the qualities of professionalism,
endurance and discipline that are the hallmark of Britain’s
armed forces. I have (now long outdated) personal experience of
two training establishments, the old Guards’ Depot at Pirbright
and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, both of which are successful
in creating tough but professional men who are in control of their
actions and able to make sensible decisions under pressure. Whether
on the streets of Belfast, in the mountains of Bosnia or in the
deserts of Iraq, lieutenants and second lieutenants as young as
19 and 20 provide the linchpin between senior officers and rank-and-file
men on the ground.
And this, I suspect, is the problem with the police — they
have no proper training and no officer corps. The old adage goes
‘there is no such thing as bad soldiers, only bad officers’.
The scruffy, overweight, badly turned-out, ill-mannered policemen
I encountered at Charing Cross police station were desperately in
need of decent leadership.
So I was not surprised when I was brought back before the desk
sergeant and told that the CPS had made the decision to go ahead
and charge me with possessing an offensive weapon and carrying a
bladed instrument in public. I was bailed to appear at Bow Street
magistrates’ court and informed that I was free to leave.
As I was about to pass through the door to freedom, I am ashamed
to say that I snapped. The knowledge that we could, so easily, have
avoided the whole drawn-out, expensive and upsetting procedure was
too much for me. I turned to the police constable and said, ‘You
really are a prize wanker.’ At this point, and in full view
of my solicitor, he lost it. He grabbed my lapels, and pushed me
up against the wall. My solicitor yelled, ‘You have just assaulted
Four other police officers rushed into the corridor, accompanied
by the desk sergeant. ‘Right, rearrest him: public order,
breach of the peace,’ shouted the sergeant at me. ‘You’ll
be spending the night here.’ My solicitor said that she wanted
the assault entered in the daybook, and that we would be bringing
an action. So they let me go.
In the aftermath of my experience, I started some
purely anecdotal research on the type of behaviour and attitude
displayed by the police towards me. In speaking to friends, acquaintances,
tradesmen, cab drivers and people in the pub I rapidly came to realise
that a quite staggering number of ordinary, law-abiding people had
endured similar experiences.
It is worth remembering how new these powers are.
It is only since the Terrorism Act of 2000 that the new community
support officers, in the company of a constable, have been allowed
to stop and search a car; and that is by no means all they can do.
After a mere three weeks’ training, a CSO can give you a £30
fixed penalty ticket for such minor derelictions as riding your
bike on a pavement, or dropping a crisps packet. He or she may take
away your booze if you are drinking in public, or confiscate the
fags of an underage smoker. These CSOs may detain you by force for
30 minutes, pending the arrival of a police officer, if they think
you may be guilty of an arrestable offence. And who can doubt that
they will soon be able to demand the production of an ID card, and
detain you if you fail to produce it?
And on it goes. Last week Parliament passed the new Civil Contingencies
Act, which gives the government astonishing powers to declare and
prolong a state of emergency sine die. This week Her Majesty announced
in the Gracious Address that there is to be a new Counter-Terrorism
Bill, and among its provisions are rumoured to be judge-only
Diplock courts for terrorist suspects.
Such measures are surely only justified in a society at war, and
they might be acceptable if we were truly a nation under siege.
But that is not how it feels to most of us. We have a terrorist
threat to London and elsewhere, a chronic and worrying problem;
but that does not amount to a war, any more than the IRA bombing
campaigns of the 1970s did, and yet we are enacting measures more
repressive than those applied in the Blitz.
By the way, once I had been sprung from the police station, I walked
back to the Embankment, where my car had been left since the arrest.
It was, by this time, 6.45 in the evening and, sure enough, there
on my windscreen was a Metropolitan Police parking ticket. One further
thing — I have just found out from my solicitor that the copy
of the interview tape sent to us by the police is entirely blank.
Nicky Samengo-Turner, formerly an investment banker, now works
in the Formula 1 motor-racing industry. The Metropolitan Police
said, ‘This matter is currently sub judice and as such it
would be inappropriate for us to comment on any of the information
in the article.’
| As we have been announcing for several
weeks, the Ukrainian elections have led to a political crisis orchestrated
by the NED/CIA
that have once more used tactics that have proven themselves in Belgrade
and in Tbilisi, a crisis that is the theme of our focus today. As
always, in order that an operation be successful, it is also important
to gain the support of international public opinion: “America’s
messenger’s” are trying to establish that the majority
of Ukrainians are mobilised in favour of Viktor Yushchenko and that
Viktor Yanukovych is supported only by a minority of apparatchiks
corrupted by Russia.
In this display of mass conviction, Ukrainians who favour Viktor
Yushchenko take an essential role. We note in passing that it is
impossible to find a Ukrainian journalist in the conformist Western
press who is favourable to Yanukovych. The Ukrainian journalist
Ivan Lozowy, in The Independent, and the journalist Veronica
Khokhlova, in the New York Times, deliver a spine-tingling
picture of the demonstrations in Independence Square: Ukrainians
spontaneously gathered there, braving the cold and the obstacles
of power to demand a change of regime and more democracy in the
Ukraine. Parallel to this idyllic vision, the partisan of Viktor
Yushchenko, general Evgueni Martouch, the former Minister of Defence
for Viktor Yanukovych who was fired because he wished to see the
Ukraine join NATO, mocks Russia in an interview in Figaro.
He implicitly accuses it of orchestrating separatism in the Eastern
provinces, and he accuses Kouchma of doing nothing because these
provinces supported Yanukovych.
The picture of the Ukraine given by these authors is that of a
country where the population peacefully militates for their rights
against a power that is ready to destabilise the country with Russia’s
help in order to keep control. Other than certain Ukrainians, the
NED/CIA can count upon its traditional relay posts in France, issued
from Atlanticist circles. Thus, in Figaro, the Soviotologist
Alain Besançon, who is also a member of the New Atlantic
Initiative of the American Enterprise Institute, affirms in a text
dated Saturday that Yushchenko’s victory is not only important
for democracy in the Ukraine, but also for Russia, because it will
break up the Russian imperial dream, and, in so doing, will help
democracy in Russia. Because this country cannot be both a democracy
and an empire, reasoning that he doesn’t apply to his friends
on the other side of the Atlantic who have, however, very concrete
reasons for expanding their empire. Two days later, the same author,
in the same newspaper, signed an appeal with a group of Atlanticist
intellectuals supporting Viktor Yushchenko who was presented as
“the legitimate candidate of democracy”! Oh, really!
In these two texts, we find the same analogies between the Russia
of Vladimir Putin and the USSR that we can read in the open letter
to government heads of the European Union and NATO from the 115
Atlanticists against Russia. Nothing surprising there as two of
the signatories of the appeal supporting Yushchenko (Pascal Bruckner
and André Glucksman) are also signatories to the open letter.
We also note that most of the signatories of the text in Figaro
are members of the Chechyan Committee, such as the Ukrainian journalist
Ivan Lozowy, who wrote the text in The Independent. The
promotion of the “Orange Revolution” is thus done by
a small group of people who fully profit from their access to the
media to give a picture deformed by its own influence.
In the United States, we see many fewer texts on the Ukraine than
in Europe, perhaps on account of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Among the few to express himself on the subject, Matthew Spence,
director of the Truman Security Project, tries less to prove the
well-founded character of the “Orange Revolution” than
to convince United Statesians of the pertinence of the policy of
“democratisation” of the ex-Soviet countries. He affirms
to the readers of the Los Angeles Times that the policy
is the right one and that one mustn’t stop on the pretext
that the results are not immediate. Kenneth Adelman of the Defense
Policy Board, writing in the Washington Times, praises
one of the successes of the US policy of “democratisation”
in the former Soviet Republics: Georgia. Mikhail Saakashvili, who
has given his support to the demonstrators in the Ukraine, is portrayed
as a leader of integrity and a reformer, fighting corruption, and
who well merited the help of the Millenium
Challenge Account for having privatised Georgia’s public
enterprises to the profit of the US and the Georgian diaspora. Even
though he wasn’t talking about the Ukraine in this text, it
is difficult not to see in his words a foretaste of Viktor Yushchenko’s
program in the Ukraine if he manages to take power by the same means
as the Georgian president.
The method used yesterday in Tbilisi and today in Kiev has proven
itself, but it is starting to become known and to become easily
identifiable. As well, a number of analysts in Britain are distancing
themselves from the picture of the democrats in orange braving the
cold to satisfy their democratic hunger. The Guardian’s
foreign affairs correspondent, Jonathan Steele, denounces in his
paper the pro-Yushchenko propaganda, reminding us that certain supporters
of the West’s candidate are nostalgic for the battles against
the USSR during the Second World War and that their favourite isn’t
any more democratic than Yanukovych. One must recognise the hand
of the CIA and its techniques of the “post-modern coup d’état”
behind the demonstrations in Kiev. His analysis is shared by former
British diplomat Peter Unwin who, in The Independent, begins
with the postulat in order to wonder why the European Union would
support Yushchenko in these conditions. He calls for pragmatism:
all that the European Union can gain in this affair is Russian hostility,
and this can only do it disservice. The only beneficiaries to such
a crisis would be the neo-conservatives. In the 90’s, Henry
Kissinger declared “It doesn’t matter if the Ukraine
is democratic or not as long as it is with us”. For Unwin,
it doesn’t matter if the Ukraine is a democracy as long as
it doesn’t lead to a confrontation with the Russians.
The secretary of the Russian National Security Council, Igor Ivanov,
recalls his country’s position in El Periodico: the
Ukraine is a sovereign country with the right to choose its alliances
with foreign countries for itself. In his personal estimation, however,
he doesn’t think the European Union is ready to welcome the
Ukraine and neither is the Ukraine ready to integrate itself into
the EU. He denounces without naming them the “enemies of Russia”
who remain stuck in the mindset of the cold war, as well as denouncing
the logic of the Clash of Civilisations in which Russia refuses
| As I write these words, my wife
has taken our daughter to demonstrate on Independence Square. I will
join them later
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991,
the West shrugged its shoulders at a newly independent Ukraine.
Some believed its statehood would not last, most simply turned away
and returned to their own affairs. Ukraine seemed to be mired in
a post-communist limbo and for a time it seemed the old adage about
an eternally patient Slavic soul applied to Ukrainians. One popular
Ukrainian folk song even begins with: "Oh, where are you wandering,
Yet the warning signs were there. Student protests in the Ukrainian
SSR forced the republic's Prime Minister from his post back in 1990.
In 2000, the "Wave of Freedom" protest movement by Ukrainian
journalists swept from the western town of Lviv towards the capital
of Kiev. One of its organisers was a journalist, Heorhiy Gongadze,
unknown outside Ukraine at the time. The Ukrainian government headed
by Leonid Kuchma, which stands accused of murdering Gongadze, ignored
the danger to its hold on power.
In a deliberately shameless campaign of intimidation and falsification,
the government pushed through its candidate for president, Viktor
Yanukovych, in a second round of voting held last Sunday.
On election day, hundreds of election commission members from the
democratic opposition were summarily expelled. Close to three million
votes were cast by mobile groups of absentee voters whom the government
bussed across the country so they could vote in multiple districts.
Blank protocols for filling in later were submitted by subservient
election commissions, polling stations were broken into, guards
entrusted with election documentation were shot or beaten to death.
Even then, Yanukovych was able to muster a lead of less than 3
percentage points over his rival, Viktor Yushchenko, while exit
polls indicated that, in fact, Yushchenko had won the vote by a
margin of at least 8 percentage points.
Neighbouring Russia's President Vladimir Putin travelled twice
to Ukraine in as many weeks in order to lend public support to Yanukovych.
But this tactic backfired. Occupied for hundreds of years by the
tsarist empire, Ukrainians have always been wary of the Russians.
Now cries of "The Russians are coming!" can be heard and
rumours are circulating that special police units from Russia are
in Ukraine. First, they were said to be changing into Ukrainian
police uniforms in the Irpin region, close to Kiev, then flying
into Borispol airport on a chartered plane.
Russia's concern for its "near abroad", as it prefers
to call the former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine, is understandable.
Russia continues to base its Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine and its
quest to regain world power status is integral to its psyche. Yet
these concerns are as nothing to Ukrainians, because they are not
Rejecting the advice of its northern neighbour, Russia, and given
the scale and severity of election violations, hundreds of thousands
of Ukrainians turned out when Yushchenko called for a nationwide
protest of the official election results. Earlier this week, some
opposition organisers fretted that an advancing cold weather front
would work in favour of the government. They worried in vain. The
ranks of the demonstrators, both in Kiev and other cities in central
and western Ukraine, have swelled as temperatures plunged.
Ukrainians feel an intense desire, akin to a need, to protest at
unfairness. As I write these words, my wife has taken our elder
daughter to demonstrate on Independence Square, if only for a few
hours. If I hurry, I will be in time to join them.
What is it like to protest publicly in a semi-authoritarian state,
knowing there are thousands of specially trained riot police waiting
around the corner?
We know what is at stake today. Not just an election, but our very
survival as citizens of a democratic country. Thus it means a lot
to us that the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and some European
leaders such as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder have refused to
acknowledge the official results of the presidential elections.
We have other friends around the world. Yesterday, Georgia's President
Mikhail Saakashvili wished us victory in the Ukrainian language.
Today, Lech Walesa arrived from Poland in the role of mediator and
gave a message of hope to the crowds massed on Independence Square.
I have never been prouder of my fellow countrymen than I am today.
As Viktor Yushchenko said on the first day of the demonstrations,
whatever tomorrow brings we have shown that we are a nation, proud
and free. It would be as well for those who are living in the prosperous
West to remember that once, they stood up for their yearning to
be free as well. Because today, it is our turn. And we, also, will
Ukraine's Supreme Court is authorised to rule on complaints of
election violations. Yushchenko's campaign team has filed complaints
asking that a number of results in districts supporting Yanukovych
be annulled because of specific election violations.
The barrier is pretty high, however, since Yanukovych leads by
more than 870,000 votes according to the official tally. This means
that all the votes at a minimum of 500 polling stations out of Ukraine's
total of 33,000 will have to be annulled for Yushchenko to take
In addition, the Supreme Court's ability to render a decisive verdict
is in doubt. Ukrainians are perfectly aware that the government
will stop at nothing, including putting illegitimate pressure on
the judges of the Supreme Court, in order to obtain a result contrary
to Yushchenko, thereby retaining power. Since the outgoing president
Kuchma has openly backed Yanukovych, most people presume the two
have come to some form of agreement about guarantees of safety for
Because the hundreds of thousands of people who have turned out
to protest the massive election fraud firmly believe that their
candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, won Ukraine's presidential elections,
only the recognition of Yushchenko as Ukraine's next, legitimate
president will satisfy their demands.
If the Supreme Court returns a verdict that does not satisfy the
demonstrators' demands, the protests are unlikely to die down and
the spectre of confrontation leading to violence looms larger. Yanukovych
has not been sitting idly and has brought some supporters from Donetsk
to Kiev, although their numbers are much smaller than those protesting
on behalf of Yushchenko.
On 24 November, when the Central Electoral Commission was delivering
its final decision on the vote count, a decision now frozen by the
Supreme Court, only several hundred Yanukovych supporters from Donetsk
were in evidence around the commission's building.
Although his supporters continuously affirm the opposite, Yanukovych
is unlikely to draw on the support of thousands, much less hundreds
of thousands of ordinary voters. His strength lies squarely among
the police and the security services.
The author is President of the Institute of Statehood and Democracy
| A family friend who has a 17-year-old
son told me this last week: "Young people today are so different
from what we used to be, or even from what your generation is. They
don't have our fear - they don't know it. But they know their rights,
and they know how to defend them. They aren't scared to."
Ukraine now gripped in a political crisis stemming from the disputed
results of Sunday's presidential election, I can see what that friend
For example, I have a 20-year-old friend, Tanya. When I was 16
and the Soviet Union collapsed, she was 6. Monday night, Tanya returned
to Kiev, where she is a history student in college, from her hometown,
Zhytomyr, where she had been observing the election.
On Tuesday morning, she, along with half a million other people,
was at Kiev's Independence Square, protesting the declaration by
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych that he was the winner. From there,
together with thousands of other students, she marched to Shevchenko
University, whose leadership had refused to allow its students to
join a growing nationwide strike.
They weren't letting anyone out of the university, Tanya told me
when I ran into her that evening at a huge rally outside the Ukrainian
Parliament building. The students were locked inside, she explained,
but they opened all the windows, and the protesters were passing
them orange flags - the symbol of the opposition candidate, Viktor
Yushchenko, whom most everyone feels was cheated out of victory.
One guy climbed the drainpipe to the second floor to deliver the
flags, Tanya said, and the students pulled him in through the window.
Soon after, the administration relented, the students were liberated,
their classes canceled.
By the time of the rally that night, Tanya had been up and running
for 10 hours in the freezing cold dressed only in a thin green coat,
an orange scarf around her neck and orange ribbons tied into her
braids. She didn't look tired or cold; as we set out in search of
a quick cup of coffee, she made us stop by a loudspeaker and listen
to Mr. Yushchenko addressing Parliament inside the building.
Then, as we moved again, she and her friend started singing the
Ukrainian national anthem. They didn't sound phony; they were singing
for themselves, not loudly, and in beautiful voices (both are members
of a Ukrainian choir), and it moved me to tears.
An hour later, around 7 p.m., we were at Independence Square again,
at another huge rally, listening to Mr. Yushchenko on the loudspeakers
again. Tanya, along with everyone else, was shouting "Yushchenko!
Yushchenko!" and I, standing next to her, found myself shouting
too, with confidence and inspiration I hadn't felt before.
And over and over one hears the chant, "My razom, nas bagato,
i nas ne podolaty!" ("We're together, and there are many
of us, and we can't be defeated!") Three weeks ago, I would
have probably said that this was what students shouted at their
rallies, but now everyone does, and so many people mean it.
When opposition party leaders asked the crowd to stay in the square
through the night, taking turns in order not to get too cold, Tanya
started making plans for the next day. She intended to return at
6 a.m.; she must have been very tired and cold by then, but it still
The past four days have taught me something valuable: when I'm
watching the situation unfold on television, I grow tense, fearful
that it's not going to end well. But when I return to the crowd,
I feel elated, thanks to people like Tanya, tens of thousands of
them, and to everyone else who's out there, people of all ages,
hundreds of thousands of them, fearless.
And our international support has heartened us as well. Almost
every international observer - including experts from the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe and from NATO - has accused
the ruling party of widespread voting fraud. On Wednesday, Secretary
of State Colin Powell said that the United States "cannot accept
this result as legitimate." The only foreign leader who has
sided with Mr. Yanukovych has been President Vladimir Putin of Russia,
which, needless to say, hasn't done much for the prime minister's
Which brings up a joke I've heard a few times recently: a Ukrainian
man shows up at work, all his clothes rumpled. When his colleagues
ask what happened, he replies: "I turn on the TV this morning,
and there's Putin praising Yanukovych. I switch to another channel,
and there's Putin again, praising Yanukovych. So I switch the channels
again, and there's again Putin praising Yanukovych. I turn on the
radio, and Putin is there, too, praising Yanukovych. So I figured
there was no use turning on the iron."
I'm not sure if it's a remake of an old Soviet joke. It may be.
But it fits November 2004 in Ukraine beautifully: there's little
use watching TV, what's happening now is available to everyone firsthand,
out there in the streets of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. And
if the students have no fear in defending their rights, why should
the rest of us?
Veronica Khokhlova, a Ukrainian journalist, writes Neeka's
Backlog, a Weblog.
| Matthew Spence is a director
of the Truman National Security Project and is writing a book about
American democracy promotion in Russia and Ukraine. Website: www.trumanproject.org
Democracy is not born overnight. But democracy captures our
collective imagination in snapshots: the fall of the Berlin Wall,
the lone student standing down Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square,
Nelson Mandela's inauguration as president of South Africa. These
affirm our faith in the potential of freedom to triumph under fire.
A potentially stolen election — as has been playing out in
Ukraine — could have the opposite effect, suggesting how uncertain
democracy's future is, and how little outsiders can do to support
We must not draw that lesson from Ukraine. Last Sunday's corrupt
and condemned presidential runoff election not only threatens Ukrainian
democracy but also the future of democracy promotion by the West.
Regardless of who ultimately assumes power in Kiev, we must not
conclude that assisting democracy is a fool's errand.
Americans are developing democracy promotion fatigue. In Iraq,
we face the hard truth that democracy is more than the absence of
dictatorship. American voters rarely have much tolerance for a policy
requiring patience, struggle and disappointment. During the campaign,
President Bush downplayed the hard work of democracy promotion,
while John Kerry seemed to avoid the phrase altogether. Even the
foreign aid community increasingly speaks of supporting "development"
and "good government," as "democracy" becomes
a four-letter word.
At the precise moment when we are looking for success in promoting
democracy, Ukraine has dealt us yet another blow. Certainly, Ukrainian
democracy will suffer should President Leonid D. Kuchma's handpicked
successor take office despite widespread voter fraud and state interference.
But last week's events should not obscure the effect of Western
assistance to Ukrainian democracy over the last decade.
Examples include contributing to the end of the temniki memorandums
— censorship decrees — and the survival of one of Ukraine's
last independent newspapers; funding exit polls in the March 2002
parliamentary elections that helped ensure that the opposition could
take the seats it actually won; and encouraging civic involvement
in the policymaking process. The protests in Kiev's streets last
week attest to the vibrancy of Ukrainian civil society.
These victories of democracy do not attract the same attention
as last Sunday's election results. But democracy does not happen
only on election day; it is based on broader change that includes
a free press, civil society and rule of law.
Of course, Ukrainians deserve the bulk of the credit. No amount
of Western assistance can substitute for people's willingness to
risk their lives for freedom. Yet, when the opposition has few resources
and faces creeping government harassment, Western assistance can
and has made the difference.
This support comes in many subtle forms that we must continue:
sponsoring more exit polls to undermine the government's attempts
to falsify results; funding more nongovernmental organizations;
and increasing attention from Western leaders to highlight the often
life-threatening harassment of local journalists and civic activists.
Indeed, the international community's response to this election
will powerfully shape Ukraine's trajectory for years. Western governments
must continue to pressure the Ukrainian and Russian governments
to accept only a full and fair accounting of the election results.
This investment of diplomatic energy will create an environment
for Western assistance to do more in the future.
But whatever occurs this week in Kiev, we must not forget what
promoting democracy has achieved over the last decade. Americans
are drawn to the idea that democracy is made with a dictator's downfall
or a free election four years later. But the way we imagine democracy
as a series of Kodak moments must give way to the reality that democracy
promotion is about slow and steady progress, with inevitable setbacks
and struggles along the way.
Democracy's not had smooth sailing
in the former Soviet states. Some such countries have reverted to
totalitarianism, others to tin-horn dictatorships and many to kleptocracies.
Overall, it's a disappointing lot.
But one place is not so dismal. In fact, it's fairly bright: Georgia.
Contrary to the Ray Charles classic, this Georgia's not on our minds.
Not, at least, as it should be — especially this week on the
first anniversary of its own democratic revolution. Despite its
modest population — less than five million — Georgia
remains the only true democracy among ex-Soviet states and in that
rough neighborhood featuring Russia and Iran.
One year ago, Eduard Shevardnadze finally got the message. A man
I knew fairly well when he served — nobly, to my astonishment
— as foreign minister of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev.
After that historic role, Mr. Shevardnadze served ignobly as the
president of Georgia. So badly that, a year ago, hundreds of thousands
of Georgian protesters took to the streets — reminiscent of
those stunning scenes throughout Eastern Europe in 1989 —
with a simple message: It's time for you to go. While a heroic reformer
in Moscow, Mr. Shevardnadze resisted real reform in Tbilisi. During
his eight years in office there, Georgia stayed frozen in its backward
past. Corruption became rampant. The economy kept going nowhere.
Pledges of liberty remained mere words. Shevardnadze was simply
unable to shake his communist past, as he had before in Moscow.
Regardless, Mikhail Saakashvili came along. This youngish, Columbia
University-educated lawyer began a fresh start for Georgia. At critical
moments, he was the local version of Vaclav Havel — a strict
advocate of peaceful nonviolence who implored his countrymen to
carry roses, not rifles.
The Rose Revolution worked there, as it had in Czechoslovakia in
1989. It ushered in a new era, one launched neither with blood on
the streets nor leaders swinging from lampposts.
Two months later, Mr. Saakashvili won the presidency in an internationally-recognized
landslide. Since then, he has been diligently crusading to root
out corruption and repair relations with the West, particularly
the United States.
While others among what President Bush dubs "the coalition
of the willing" in Iraq are heading for the exits, Mr. Saakashvili
is increasing Georgia's troop strength in Iraq five-fold, to 850.
Georgia also has troops performing nicely in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Granted, the number of its soldiers in such global hotspots isn't
staggering. But then again, neither is Georgia's population.
Recognizing Georgia's contribution, the United States is helping
to train and equip many of its forces so they can contribute more
in the war against terrorism. Moreover, the new U.S. foreign aid
initiative, the Millennium Challenge Account, has chosen Georgia
as one of the first recipients. Georgia, rare among developing states,
met the strict guideposts for the Challenge Account, which overall
signify "good local government." Mr. Saakashvili's anti-corruption
campaign — easy to talk about as a candidate, but tougher
to implement once in office — is continuing. In the past year,
notoriously dishonest police officers were fired and replaced by
highly-trained and better paid professionals.
And Georgia's creaking, Soviet-era tax system is now being overhauled
— something badly needed here, during Mr. Bush's second term
— and capped with a flat tax on personal income. Privatization
is proceeding in Georgia, with big slabs of state-held property
being sold to interested parties.
Such reforms are appealing — not only to Americans but also
to Georgians long in the diaspora. Thousands living abroad are returning
to the land of their ancestors, giving the nation a morale boost
and boosting its intellectual capital. There's a "brain gain,"
since many returnees are highly-educated.
It's important to us, and to them, that this Georgian experiment
succeed. It could be a model to other states which were part of
the Soviet Union. We need a decent, successful Georgia to be on
their minds, too.
Ken Adelman, a U.N. ambassador and arms control director under
President Reagan, now co-hosts TechCentralStation.com, an online
| Yushchenko got the US nod, and
money flooded in to his supporters
Oranges can often be bitter,
and the mass street protests now going on in Ukraine may not be
quite as sweet as their supporters claim.
For one thing the demonstrators do not reflect nationwide sentiments.
Ukraine is riven by deep historical, religious and linguistic divisions.
The crowds in the street include a large contingent from western
Ukraine, which has never felt comfortable with rule from Kiev, let
alone from people associated with eastern Ukraine, the home-base
of Viktor Yanukovych, the disputed president-elect.
Their traditions are not always pleasant. Some protesters have
been chanting nationalistic and secessionist songs from the anti-semitic
years of the second world war.
Nor are we watching a struggle between freedom and authoritarianism
as is romantically alleged. Viktor Yushchenko, who claims to have
won Sunday's election, served as prime minister under the outgoing
president, Leonid Kuchma, and some of his backers are also linked
to the brutal industrial clans who manipulated Ukraine's post-Soviet
On some issues Yushchenko may be a better potential president than
Yanukovych, but to suggest he would provide a sea-change in Ukrainian
politics and economic management is naive. Nor is there much evidence
to imagine that, were he the incumbent president facing a severe
challenge, he would not have tried to falsify the poll.
Countless elections in the post-Soviet space have been manipulated
to a degree which probably reversed the result, usually by unfair
use of state television, and sometimes by direct ballot rigging.
Boris Yeltsin's constitutional referendum in Russia in 1993 and
his re-election in 1996 were early cases. Azerbaijan's presidential
vote last year was also highly suspicious.
Yet after none of those polls did the Organisation for Security
and Cooperation in Europe, the main international observer body,
or the US and other western governments, make the furious noise
they are producing today. The decision to protest appears to depend
mainly on realpolitik and whether the challengers or the incumbent
are considered more "pro-western" or "pro-market".
In Ukraine, Yushchenko got the western nod, and floods of money
poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organisation,
Pora, to various opposition websites. More provocatively, the US
and other western embassies paid for exit polls, prompting Russia
to do likewise, though apparently to a lesser extent.
The US's own election this month showed how wrong exit polls can
be. But they provide a powerful mobilising effect, making it easier
to persuade people to mount civil disobedience or seize public buildings
on the grounds the election must have been stolen if the official
Intervening in foreign elections, under the guise of an impartial
interest in helping civil society, has become the run-up to the
postmodern coup d'etat, the CIA-sponsored third world uprising of
cold war days adapted to post-Soviet conditions. Instruments of
democracy are used selectively to topple unpopular dictators, once
a successor candidate or regime has been groomed.
In Ukraine's case this is playing with fire. Not only is the country
geographically and culturally divided - a recipe for partition or
even civil war - it is also an important neighbour to Russia. Putin
has been clumsy, but to accuse Russia of imperialism because it
shows close interest in adjoining states and the Russian-speaking
minorities who live there is a wild exaggeration.
Ukraine has been turned into a geostrategic matter not by Moscow
but by the US, which refuses to abandon its cold war policy of encircling
Russia and seeking to pull every former Soviet republic to its side.
The EU should have none of this. Many Ukrainians certainly want
a more democratic system. Putin is not inherently against this,
however authoritarian he is in his own country. What concerns him
is instability, the threat of anti-Russian regimes on his borders,
and American mischief.
The EU should therefore press for a compromise in Kiev, which might
include power-sharing. More importantly, it should give Ukraine
the option of future membership rather than the feeble "action
plan" of cooperation currently on offer. This would set Ukraine
on a surer path to irreversible reform than anything that either
Yushchenko or Yanukovych may promise.
Sceptics wonder where the EU's enlargement will end, but Ukraine
is undoubtedly a European nation in a way that the states of the
Caucasus, of central Asia and of north Africa are not.
The EU must also make a public statement that it sees no value
in Nato membership for Ukraine, and those EU members who belong
to Nato will not support it. At a stroke this would calm Russia's
legitimate fears and send a signal to Washington not to go on inflaming
a purely European issue.
| Imagine an election in Mexico that
produces a president favourable to the United States, as elections
there have done for 70 years now. But this time international observers,
God forbid, detect electoral abuse. Vladimir Putin demands a recount,
a rerun. Consider the outcry in the US. Unthinkable? Not really. Has
there ever been a really fraud-free election in Mexico?
Now consider Ukraine. For 70 years it was an intrinsic part of
the Soviet Union and for centuries before that Kiev was inseparably
twinned with Moscow. In 1991 it made its dash for independence.
In doing so it shattered the assumptions on which the old Soviet
economy and Soviet defence were built. Moscow and Kiev then tried
laboriously to divide the old Soviet Union's assets between them.
Over such difficult issues as nuclear weapons and the Soviet Black
Sea fleet they found solutions the world approved. Their economic
problems that remain can be solved only if they work together. So
if any outsider has a legitimate interest in the outcome of the
Ukrainian elections, President Putin does.
But was not Putin trying to prop up an unconscionable dictator?
Maybe, but it is naive to think that the election was a clear clash
of baddies and goodies. No one disputes that the election was at
the very least deeply flawed. But it is childishness to imagine
that all the abuse was on one side. Yulia Tymoshenko, for example,
whom we saw on TV preaching democracy beside Viktor Yushchenko,
made herself a billionaire from nothing in 10 years. The fruit of
honest enterprise alone? It seems unlikely. A truly convinced democrat?
All the same, the Ukrainians invited in observers who have condemned
the outcome of the election in forthright terms. The next move is
the Ukrainians'. But for the West to go eyeball to eyeball with
Putin over the outcome merely complicates Ukraine's domestic problems
and takes East-West relations back a dangerous step to the bad old
days. By all means tell Putin privately to keep his nose out of
Ukrainian affairs - and keep our own out too.
While we are about it, we might make an effort to see Ukraine and
the world through Putin's eyes. His job is to make Russia rich and
strong. To do so he needs neighbours who want to co-operate with
him. But in the past five years he has seen most of eastern Europe
absorbed into the European Union and Nato. Fifteen years ago the
Russians had an army on the Elbe. Now Nato's reach extends to within
100 miles of St Petersburg. Must Putin now ask proud Russians to
accept that Ukraine too should go down that path: new elections
this year, then Nato bases, then European Union membership by 2020?
For that is the road Ukraine will take if the electoral result
is reversed. A new regime in Ukraine brought into power by the Western
support and pressure we have seen would be bound to seek EU and
Nato membership. Having intervened so egregiously in Ukrainian affairs,
the West would be hard put to say no. Yet Moscow could see Nato
bases in Ukraine only as a mortal threat to Russia. And with Ukraine
as an EU member, Putin would see the end of his last hope of building
an economic community out of the ruins of the Soviet Union.
Look at all this, lastly, in terms of western Europe's interests.
Do we really want to see the EU take in 50 million Ukrainians as
well as 70 million Turks? Do we want a union so disparate that it
can never make itself effective as a political voice in tomorrow's
world? Do we, for that matter, want an EU facing an implacably hostile
Russia, hostile to us because we have so recklessly forced our way
into Russia's back yard? American neo-cons may want that, but we
It is time for Britain and for western Europe to get real. For
too long now we have gone along with the idea that spreading democracy
on our terms is all good. Where there is a real demand for it, we
should do what we can to help; but democracy that grows out of the
barrels of Western guns will not endure. And we have to factor in
other, more old-fashioned considerations too - the need for stability
in international relations, for one, the stability that comes from
respecting your opponent's interests as well as your own. Acceptance
of diversity, for another, of the fact that the whole world does
not want to be emptied into an Anglo-Saxon mould. Acceptance, finally,
of the reality that in the long run only home-grown solutions to
ancient political and social problems will stick.
Peter Unwin was British ambassador to Hungary in the mid-1980s,
and is the author of 'Baltic Approaches and Where East Met West'
But experts challenge diagnosis
that relies on snapshots of politician.
Yushchenko, Ukraine's opposition leader, in Kiev on 19 November.
A British toxicologist says his skin condition is characterisitic
of dioxin poisoning.
As disputed presidential election results provoke protests in
Kiev, a British toxicologist is supporting candidate Viktor Yushchenko's
claim that he was poisoned earlier in the campaign.
Yushchenko, the leader of the opposition, was hospitalized with
a mystery illness in September and later claimed that he had been
poisoned by the government. However, the Austrian doctors who treated
him denied having found any evidence of this.
John Henry, a clinical toxicologist at St Mary's Hospital, London,
and a consultant for Britain's National Poisons Information Service,
points out that current photos of Yushchenko's face show a dramatic
transformation compared with a few months ago.
He says that Yushchenko's disfiguring acne is almost certainly
'chloracne', a characteristic symptom of dioxin poisoning.
Dioxins are a group of chlorinated organic molecules. They are
long-lived and form as a by-product of many industrial processes,
such as waste incineration.
on 2 August 2004, before his mystery illness
Exposure to dioxins is known to increase the risk of cancer and
can cause severe reproductive and developmental problems.
The most toxic dioxin is a compound called 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin,
or TCDD. In 1976, an industrial explosion in Seveso, Italy, released
20 kilograms of dioxins into the atmosphere, causing the highest
known exposure of any population to TCDD.
Skin lesions similar to burns appeared on some children a few hours
after the accident. Two months later, chloracne broke out on the
people most exposed to the cloud.
Marcello Lotti, an expert in occupational medicine at the University
of Padua, Italy, questions the validity of Henry's conclusion. He
argues that it is impossible to make such a diagnosis simply by
looking at a photo.
Lotti adds that he would be surprised if anyone were to select
dioxin as a poison. "Dioxins have only modest toxicity and
you would need an extremely high dose to get chloracne," he
says. "Only kilos of contaminated food, administered over several
days, would give you chloracne."
Henry admits that he does not have any toxicological evidence to
back up his claim. "My diagnosis is from the photo and from
the medical report of him being normal two months earlier,"
"Very few medical conditions give this type of transformation
in such a short time," he points out.
Henry also argues that it would be possible to produce the effect
seen in Yushchenko's face from a single high dose of dioxin hidden
PARIS - China, Japan and North America will
pull the global economy forward over the next two years despite
headwinds thrown up by high oil prices and tenacious deficits, the
The OECD forecast economic growth of 2.9 percent in 2005 for its
30 member countries, not including China, down from 3.6 percent
But high oil prices and rise of the euro clouded the outlook, notably
Global growth should pick up to 3.1 percent in 2006, the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its twice-yearly
The ongoing economic recovery "will benefit from continued
Asian dynamism", the OECD forecast.
It pointed to growth in China "where activity accelerated
in the third quarter, following a desirable slowdown during the
first half of the year".
The OECD also highlighted Japan "which has staged a spectacular
comeback" that has marked a pause in the past few months.
"The strength of this recovery will also be enhanced by positive
developments in North America. [...]
A wealthy bond
dealer and prominent City figure has been murdered at his
home in one of Britain's plushest neighbourhoods.
John Monckton, a director with Legal & General, and his wife
Homeyra were stabbed and seriously injured when two men forced their
way into the house last night.
They were found by their nine-year-old daughter who was in the
house at the time. The couple had another daughter, aged 12, who
was not home at the time of the murder.
Mr Monckton died later in hospital and his wife underwent "significant"
surgery. Mrs Monckton remains in a serious condition.
Mr Monckton was a cousin of Rosa Monckton, a close friend of Princess
Diana, who is married to Dominic Lawson, the editor of the Sunday
Detectives have appealed for any witnesses who saw two men running
from the scene in Upper Cheyne Row to contact police.
Detective Superintendent Mark Jackson said police would speak to
Mrs Monckton when she recovered from surgery.
A statement released by Mr Monckton's family described him as a
"incredibly gentle and thoughtful man".
The statement read: "The Monckton family is profoundly shocked
by the murder of John Victor and the attack on Homeyra.
"Obviously our thoughts are very much with her and her children.
John Victor was an incredibly gentle and thoughtful man.
"Apart from his outstanding career in the City, he also devoted
a great deal of his time to charitable works. We are all praying
Borough Commander Dominic Clout said: "This morning I have
got a community in shock. This is a tragic, tragic murder."
The youths, described as 5ft 3ins to 5ft
6ins tall, were seen making their way towards Glebe Place
in the direction of the Kings Road.
Anyone who witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in the area at
that time should the Incident Room on 020 8358 0400 or Crimestoppers
on 0800 555 111.
THE cold and calculated nature
of the murder of a young Highland banker
on his doorstep has sparked speculation of a hitman killing.
Detectives, baffled by the shooting in Nairn, are trawling though
Alistair Wilson’s business papers and dealings in a bid to
establish a motive as a massive hunt continued for his killer.
Mr Wilson, 30, a father of two, was shot by a lone gunman who called
at his house in the quiet seaside town on Sunday
evening. Mr Wilson was shot three times at close range and
died shortly afterwards as his wife tried desperately to get help.
As Nairn woke up yesterday to its first murder for 18 years, Mr
Wilson’s friends and colleagues said they could not understand
why anyone would want to kill a man they described as compassionate
and caring and who hated confrontation.
Police are unable to say whether it was a grudge shooting, or even
a case of mistaken identity.
Mr Wilson and his wife Veronica, 33, were putting their two children,
Graham, four, and Andrew, two-and-a-half, to bed at about 7:15pm
when the doorbell rang at their three-storey detached house in Nairn’s
Crescent Road. Mrs Wilson answered the door to a man who asked to
speak to her husband.
Mr Wilson then came to the door and, after a brief conversation,
was shot. The killer then ran off in the direction of Marine Road
After hearing the gunshots Mrs Wilson went to the door and found
her husband lying in a pool of blood. She ran across the road to
the Havelock House Hotel to raise the alarm.
Witnesses saw the killer run off and said he was white, clean shaven,
about 5ft 6in tall, aged 35-40 and
was wearing a baseball cap and blouson jacket.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter MacPhee of the Northern Constabulary,
said the killing was "horrendous". He added: "There
would appear to be absolutely no motive for this despicable crime.
"One of the aspects we will have to look at is whether this
was work-related or not. But on the face of it, it is motiveless."
DCI MacPhee said the killer was at the door for about five minutes.
There was little conversation with either Mr or Mrs Wilson and he
had no discernible accent.
He could not confirm what type of weapon was used or where Mr Wilson
was shot, although it is thought he was hit twice in the head and
once in the body.
Immediately after the killing roadblocks were set up on routes
in and out of the town and officers, some of them armed, hunted
for the gunman.
Yesterday, Crescent Road and about a square mile around the murder
scene was sealed off as officers combed the area for clues to the
A 40-strong enquiry team continued house-to-house enquiries in
the hope of turning up other vital clues to events before and after
the shooting. Officers will also study footage from CCTV cameras
positioned outside the Braeval Hotel, a few yards from Mr Wilson’s
Officers have been drafted in to take part in the massive manhunt,
which is involving other police forces.
The killing has shocked the quiet and peaceful town. Sandy Park,
Nairn’s provost, said: "This is devastating. The whole
community is numbed by the news and that something as horrendous
as this can happen in a place like Nairn.
"It’s not something you expect in a place like this.
It’s horrific and the fact that he was such a young man with
a young family just makes it worse."
Gentle banker who hated confrontation
ALISTAIR Wilson was shot dead in the week he was due to leave his
present job and was about to start a new career path.
Mr Wilson was to leave his post as a new
business manager with the Bank of Scotland, based in Inverness,
on Friday. He was expected to start
a new job with a company involved in environmental projects
on 15 December.
Yesterday, business colleagues said they were horrified at his
death in such violent circumstances and were at a loss to find a
One long-time friend said: "He was a very gentle guy who hated
any form of confrontation. He was very family-orientated and non-aggressive.
If anyone got a bit heated then Alistair was the one who would try
to calm things down.
"He was so well-liked, totally conscientious. It’s hard
to comprehend why anyone would want to kill Alistair. He a was a
decent, caring guy. Everyone who knew him is completely numbed by
Another said: "He was not the sort of guy to have any enemies
which makes this all the more difficult to understand. It’s
just horrendous. I am sure other business people will now be worried."
Another businessman who knew Mr Wilson in Inverness added: "I
had numerous dealings with him at the bank and he was a pleasant,
charming man. You would not expect someone like him to be a victim
of such a terrible incident."
A spokesman for the Bank of Scotland said: "Alistair was a
highly valued colleague at the bank and our thoughts are with his
family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."
Mr Wilson, 30, originally from Ayrshire, joined the Bank of Scotland
in 1996 as an accountancy and business law graduate. He started
in the bank’s Fort William branch before moving to the PFI
and specialist lending sections in Edinburgh. In 1999, he moved
to the business banking centre in the bank’s offices in the
Beechwood business park on the outskirts of Inverness.
In May 2003, he was appointed the joint leader of a new Bank of
Scotland Business Banking team in Inverness, part of the HBOS group,
targeting small and medium-sized firms from Orkney to Oban, and
from the Western Isles to Moray.
He and his wife bought their current home, Lothian House, nearly
three years ago.
It was originally run as a small hotel, but, about a year ago,
the couple ended the business and turned the property back into
a family home.
ROME - Italy ground to a halt as millions
of workers observed a general strike to protest against the economic
policies of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right government.
Industries across the country came to a standstill as columns of
demonstrators filed through the centres of Rome, Turin, Milan, Venice
and other main cities.
Unions claimed more than a million protesters had taken to the
streets as public service workers went on strike for eight hours
and other sectors opted for four-hour stoppages. [...]
Ireland's first so-called "designer baby"
has reportedly been conceived in Co Down.
Reports this morning said the baby was conceived by a couple hoping
to save their two-year-old son, who suffers from a rare form of
anaemia and needs a stem-cell transplant.
Neither his parents nor his brother are a match, but
the child's mother is now pregnant with an embryo that was specifically
selected to donate tissue.
Doctors had created a number of embryos, which were subsequently
screened to identify one that matched the tissue of the two-year-old.
The process went ahead following a decision earlier this year
by the British government's fertility watchdog to lift a ban on
the implantation of specially selected embryos for the purpose of
saving a sibling.
Opponents of the procedure fear the new rules could allow parents
to "engineer" their offspring to have desirable traits
and to eliminate undesirable characteristics.
TOKYO : At least 13 people were hurt by a
powerful earthquake that rumbled through northern Japan on Monday.
The quake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale sparked a tidal wave
alert and evacuation orders, and warnings of strong aftershocks
Several hours before dawn, Japanese cities in eastern Hokkaido
experienced a powerful tremor.
Parts of roads collapsed and some schools were closed, while up
to 1,500 households lost power temporarily.
But no serious damage was reported as the hardest hit area was
relatively sparsely populated. [...]
HANOI (Reuters) - Floods and landslides have
killed at least 40 people in Vietnam and 42 are missing, officials
say, and elderly wooden houses inundated at a world heritage site
are in danger of collapsing.
The floods, sparked by torrential rains from Typhoon Muifa last
week, have submerged 170,000 houses in five provinces and destroyed
roads, cutting food relief to many areas.
Thousands of people have fled their homes and an official said
on Monday 270,000 people in just one of the affected provinces needed
urgent help. [...]
JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 29 (Xinhuanet) -- A drought
in part of grain-producing regions of South Africa has become critical
with little time left to plant next year's harvest, Grain SA said
Grain SA chairman Bully Botma said, "Although rain fell this
weekend in some western production areas, it was too little and
not spread out well enough for farmers to start planting."
About 25 to 40 mm of rain fell in the Schweizer Reneke districtof
North West province, enough for farmers there to plough, but insufficient
to plant. [...]
| HOBART : A second pod of 17 whales has died in
a mysterious mass beaching on King Island in the Bass Strait off Australia's
south coast following the fatal stranding of 80 whales and dolphins
at the weekend.
Another 50 pilot whales were also reported to have stranded themselves
on Maria Island, some 500 kilometres (300 miles) away to the south
east of Australia's island state of Tasmania. [...]
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