Translations from other sites
Travel Log! The
Quantum Future Group Goes to Rennes-le-Chateau
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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
Volumes 1 and 2 now!
of the Day
© 2005 Pierre-Paul
| The Mail Bag
| SOTT Answers the Mail
| Yesterday we received several interesting
emails that we would like to share with our readers.
Let's start with this one:
sssharp@******* From : US : Washington, D.C. wrote :
It is really too bad that your talent for Flash has to go to
waste on politics and conspiracy theories. The Flash animation
was really very good and extremely entertaining. However, I don't
believe that anything other than a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon
because I have been there many times. HAVE YOU?
The Pentagon is an enormous building. It has 5 "rings"
which are, again, very wide. A Boeing 757 can easily fit inside
the Pentagon, especially one that has just crashed and partially
Don't waste your time on conspiracy theories. They are not just
not there. Put your talent for Flash developing to a good use.
September 11th is one of the only times in the last 4 years that
the citizens of this country has actually pulled together and
supported each other. Now you want to rip that away by spreading
more hate and discontent. What you are doing only makes this world
If you want a good conspiracy, try making an animation that Nixon
killed Kennedy (if you are even old enough)
Not only are several of the Signs Staff members "old enough"
to remember exactly what we were doing the day John Kennedy was
murdered, we have spent years researching that particular subject.
The idea that a Boeing 757 struck the Pentagon is about as ludicrous
as the "magic bullet" theory of the Kennedy assassination.
The above correspondent tells us that "September 11th is one
of the only times in the last 4 years that the citizens of this
country has actually pulled together." (sic) I would hope that
the memory of the writer goes back further than the last four years
and can remember what life was like BEFORE September 11th, and the
hope and possibilities for achieving peace and prosperity in the
global community in the 21st century that existed then. There was
a strong anti-globalist movement that was born in the 90s and waged
a concerted struggle against the designs of transnational corporations.
Think back to the street demonstrations against the World Bank in
Seattle and the defeat of the MAI accord. For more on the dangers
such corporate culture represents for people, we urge you to see
the documentary The
All of those hopes died on September 11th, and not because of a
bunch of terrorists. Leaving aside whether or not Osama bin Laden
and his gang of terrorists did or did not perpetrate the September
11th attacks, the fact is that the current state of Global Madness
- nuclear brinkmanship that most of humanity may not survive - is
due entirely to the reactions of the Bush Administration to that
Now, let us look at another email we want to share today. This
email comes from the U.S., from an employee at Boeing, and we have
removed the specific identifiers for the safety of the individual.
Greetings, I have stayed out of this arena for a reason, but
can no longer. I am a ********** here in the 747 assembly plant
in ********* where we build these great aircraft. 747's-767's
Lets do some math for a minute, because for those who believe
a 757 hit the pentagon, must also believe in the tooth fairy.
The melting temp for brake shoes on a 757 is about 3000 degs.
The landing gear struts are solid cast aluminum, the center shafts
for the engines, are solid titanium. The flame temp for low grade
kerosene, (jet fuel)is around 800 degs.
If the 757 was full of fuel, thats 14 pounds of aircraft per
one gallon of fuel.
It's it impossible to "completely incinerate" a 757
at that fuel to material ratio. It would be the first time in
history it did, and would defy the laws of physics, period.
No 757 hit the pentagon. Where's the engines, landing gears,
APU's, stringers, fuel cell walls, wing joint assemblies? These
are impervious to fire, and, all have survived the worst fires
ever seen on aricraft, and I've seen them all.
Oh by the way, if the 757 was "completely incinerated"
as the gov't would have the lemming masses believe, how did they
come up with DNA from the ashes for every passenger on board.
DNA from ASHES!!!?? what a crock of shit.
Once you do the math, you'll quickly know, that no 757 hit that
building, those who say one did, are liars, or have been told
to be liars lest they end up like Vince Foster and a few hundred
others like him. Get it ????!!!!
Here is another from which we have removed the identifiers for
the safety of our correspondent:
I have personally been scouring the info both of what the government
has released and what people have on sites such as the one you
have. I am Probably one of the most qualified people that you
will meet to judge some of the info that people claim. I have
served in the U.S. Army for a number of years now, I've not only
dealt with weapons of every type you can imagine, I have also
had a great deal of experience with aircraft, not to mention my
wife is a ________ analyst for the military who deals with a great
many [related] things.
First off, I can guarantee that no missile did this, none of
the patterns add up for such a thing to work, damage ratio is
wrong, flight path is wrong, style of impact is wrong. Also think
of the item it was hitting, a hardened building made of concrete
and steel, all reinforced.
Also i can tell you no large aircraft [Boeing 757] did this,
as it was pointed out there was no tail, wings or any large Darbee
I would still rule small aircraft out for many of the same reasons!
If this was a flying object then it was of very questionable
Just by what was said by flight controllers, i can tell you it
was not a missile nor a large aircraft, none would be that maneuverable,
missiles that hit land targets aren't maneuverable by design,
they don't need to be, they fly on mostly a straight course till
impact, never hitting in the style as we have seen here, but a
large aircraft doesn't posses the maneuverability to fly in this
I doubt it was a military aircraft due to the fact that they
would not use a multi- illion dollar aircraft nor a pilot that
cost millions to train and risk someone being told of such a thing;
not to mention when a pilot fails to come home someone notices,
when a plane doesn't land someone notices.
To tell you the truth, by the extent of the damage and the way
it looks, it was done with an internal explosive, nothing so random
as standard high explosives. It would seem more of a cutting charge,
but then again someone would notice something like that.
As for the eye witnesses saying they thought they heard a missile,
how many people really know what a missile sounds like? I can
guarantee you it's not that many. Most ppl imagine it sounding
like what they see in the movies, you know that whoosh sound just
like what was described. Well anyone who has ever heard a missile
in real life can tell you they don't go whoosh at all, they don't
squeal either, the sound from them isn't high pitched, its actually
closer to a mid to low ranged rumble. They sound a great deal
like a rocket used to get items to space. They also make a lot
of noise when launched.
The evidence in this case I can tell you is odd.
Even if i knew what type of weapon could do this, chances are
I couldn't say it to you. I do however have the ability to gain
more inside info on this then most people...
Well I don't feel like going on with this email for much longer,
I do however wish you the best of luck in finding out what you
can and maybe getting what happened out to all of us.
I may be in the military but I am a realist. I looked at some
of the facts and like you I am not buying the story we were told.
Several of our correspondents set up "ghost accounts"
so that we could communicate with them and ask specific questions.
We did, and received a reply:
hmmm i have given that matter some more thought as to the the
question "could a small aircraft do something like this?"
Well my answer is no. Think about it, aircraft are made mostly
out of aluminum and other light metals, if something like a lear
jet were to hit a building as solid as the pentagon, it would
crush the outer wall, maybe the first level, but wouldn't carry
the energy to penetrate any farther, It surely wouldn't make a
nice hole through many of the layers such at we have [at the Pentagon].
Thinking of the missile aspect that has been suggested by many,
the biggest problem with this theory is that most missiles are,
by design, made to hit from the top. Even the ones that hit from
a side angle would go through the first level or so and then detonate.
By doing so, the space in between the levels would channel the
blast energy along the walls and up.
At most, after the first layer, only the windows would break
and it would scorch some paint.
hmm Just by the damage done it would appear like a hardened device
using kinetic energy to penetrate the walls is what hit the pentagon,
much like a 155 mm howitzer round. But that would mean that most
of what we have seen is wrong, not to mention 155mm round doesn't
make an entry hole that big.
If you notice also the building wasn't structurally damaged,
it appears that the impact was designed to do as little damage
as possible. Based on the angle of impact, most of the energy
would have been absorbed by the walls.
If you wanted to bring a building like the pentagon down, you
don't hit it like that.
Whoever did this has very little knowledge of how to destroy
a building. Also they used a weapon that did relatively little
damage compared to many of the weapons available for things such
To tell you the truth its almost as if they didn't want to really
hurt the building.
No normal plane did this. If a plane did this, then it had a
shell of something very hard and was moving very fast, much faster
then any airliner or private jet can go.
Well this is becoming more and more interesting the more I look
at it. I'll continue to check around and look through info and
stats and maybe come up with an answer of what did this. [...]
Now, shifting gears and moving along to the next email:
Omri - spawnofirmo@**** From : USA: New York wrote :
Excuse me but you must be some sort of anti- jewish people. I
delibrately do not say anti-semite because semetic people include
the arab peoples and you obviously aren't against them and the
jews. However one thing you need to realize is that if the terrorists
laid down their weapons, there would be no more fighting. If Israel
laid down its weapons, there would be no more Israel. Think about
It is not Israel's fault that they have killed innocent people
in Arab countries. The pathetic terrorist leaders hide among their
public and in war these innocent people must be killed because
9/11 may be put on by the government or whatever you believe
but don't drag Israel into it. Where do you come of doing that?
Where is there any proof that Israel had anything to do with it?
You see a conspiracy and you tack Jew onto it?
I almost didn't write this because I know you will just look
it over and pay no attention but don't think ur original. You're
not the first to "tack" Jew on. It was done in ancient
times when Jews ran financial businesses and were therefore well
off and it was done to cause the Holocaust. Which did happen in
case you think that was a lie as well. I know because I have people
who died in it.
All I ask is that you rethink "tacking" Jew on because
it is a more significant statement that you think. Some less fortunate
and less educated person will see it and hate the Jews for it.
And the Jews will have you to thank.
The above correspondence left us shaking our heads. What a case
of "splitting a hair four ways."
We would like to make it clear, for the umpteenth time, that we
are neither anti-Jew nor anti-Semitic, but we are most definitely
anti-Zionist. If the writer of this message has enough education
to understand some of the problems of the origins of ancient anti-Semitism,
i.e. that most financial business was relegated to those of the
Jewish religion because charging interest was forbidden to Christians
by the Catholic Church and that, as a consequence, Jews very often
found themselves acting as the middleman between the masses and
the ruling classes, then he/she ought to realize that there is absolutely
no historically justifiable reason for the land that belonged to
the Palestinians (many of whom were Jews, by the way) should be
given to a group of invading occupiers who based their claim on
a religious belief. The roots of terrorism exist, for the most part,
in that arbitrary land theft, and the subsequent occupation by foreigners.
Certainly, some less fortunate and less educated people aren't
aware of this, including the above correspondent.
Indeed, if Israel put down their weapons, there would be no more
Israel. Shouldn't that tell us all something?
melson*@******* From : America: Georgia wrote :
I think you people have guts saying what needs to be said, and
having no fear of what others will think. The average Joe would
think you guys are nuts. But the average also believes what's
shown on television too.
Many things that I have read on your site I have been suspicious
about for many years.
Questions: Some of the stuff that we see in SCI-FI movies isn't
far from the truth is it? Do we have friends in the universe?
Indeed it seems that truth is stranger than fiction. Do we have
"friends in the universe?"
Well, we don't really know. A lot depends on how you define "universe,"
I think. Let me just quote part of Ark's
introduction to High
Strangeness on this matter:
The term “Cassiopaeans” appears in many places on
this website. The name Cassiopaea was given by a source identifying
itself by saying “we are you in the future” which
LKJ contacted via an experiment in superluminal communication
“We are you in the future”
This is what “they” declare : that “they”
- The Cassiopaeans - 6th density Unified Thought Form Beings -
are Us in the future. What a bizarre concept. Or is it?
Is that possible? Can such a statement find a place in accepted
theories? Or it is in an evident contradiction with everything
that we - that is, physicists - know about Nature and its laws?
Putting aside for the moment the issue of whether existence in
a pure state of consciousness is possible, is traveling in time
possible, even if only in theory? Is sending and receiving information
from the future or sending information into the past allowed by
our present theories of relativity and quantum mechanics? If information
can be sent, does this also imply that physical matter can be
“sent”, via some sort of TransDimensional Remolecularization?
And if so what are the laws, what are the restrictions? What are
Well, frankly speaking, we do not know, but we may have a clue.
Kurt Gödel, after he became famous for his work on foundations
of mathematics, went on to study the Einstein general theory of
relativity and made an important contribution to physics: he discovered
a class of otherwise reasonable cosmological solutions of Einstein
equations - except for one point: they contained causal loops!
At first these Causal Loops were dismissed by relativists as
being “too crazy”. The arguments against these model
universes even became rather personal, commenting upon the state
of mind of the inventor! (A not terribly unusual phenomenon in
the heated debates within so-called “ivory towers”
A “Causal Loop” means the same thing as “Time
Loop”. It can be described as going into the future and
ending up where you started at the original time and place. It
is called “Causal” because, in Einstein’s Theory
of Relativity, Time is a relative concept and different observers
can experience Time differently, so the term “causal”
is used to avoid using the term “time.”
But, little by little, it was realized that causal - or Time
- loops can appear in other solutions of Einstein equations as
well - usually they correspond to some kind of “rotation”
of the universe.
Causal loops make time travel not only possible, but probable.
But then, causal loops lead to unacceptable logical paradoxes,
and physics does not like such paradoxes at all - they are a serious
But, the subject of communicating with the past or receiving
information from the future IS being discussed in physics even
in terms of the flat, not- curved-at-all space-time of Lorentz
and Minkowski. Hypothetical faster-than- light particles - tachyons
- can serve as the communication means. They make an “anti-telephone”
- a telephone into the past - possible.
But do tachyons exist? Or can they exist?
Well, that is still a question that has not been answered definitively
And, the truth is that paradoxes must never be ignored. They
always indicate that some important lesson is to be learned; that
some essential improvement or change is necessary. The same holds
true for the paradoxes involved in the idea of receiving information
from the future. We cannot simply go back into Saturday and tell
ourselves the winning lottery numbers of Sunday. If this were
possible, then it should also be possible for some future, future
self to tell a future self not to tell! Thus we have a paradox:
we, in the future, have intervened into the past making our communication
from the future impossible!
A paradox: if we communicated, we have not communicated, and
if we do not communicate, then we have communicated! Impossible
in a linear, non- branching universe!
Is there a possible escape from the paradox, an escape that leaves
a door open, even if only a little - for our anti-telephone?
Indeed, there is, and not just one, but several ways out.
First of all - the evident paradox disappears if we admit the
possibility that the communication channels are inherently noisy;
that is a normal situation when we deal with quantum phenomena.
So, if the communication into the past is a quantum effect - we
are saved from evident paradoxes. Quantum Theory can be useful!
Sending a signal into the past, we are never 100% sure if the
message will be delivered without distortion. And conversely,
receiving info from the future we are never 100% sure if this
comes from an authentic broadcast or is a spontaneous and random
creation of the receiving end. If this is the case, and if certain
quantitative, information - that is, theoretic relations between
receiving and transmitting ends are secured to hold - then there
are no more paradoxes even with reasonably efficient information
In other words: there can be broadcasts from the future to the
past, but there will be few “receivers”, and of those
few, even fewer that are properly tuned. And even those that are
properly tuned may be subject to “static”. Even if
there is no static, those receivers that can receive pure information
will experience the static of “non-belief” and distortion
after the fact from society.
There is also another aspect of such an information transfer
which is that the probabilities involved are connected with a
choice event; with the choosing of one among many possible futures.
It may happen that branching of the universe corresponds to each
such event. Branching of the universe into an infinite tree of
decisions has been discussed within quantum measurement theory
- it even has the name of “Many Worlds interpretation of
Two of the well-known physicists who consider the many worlds
interpretation more than just an exercise in theorizing are John
Archibald Wheeler and David Deutsch.
The Many Worlds Interpretation has one serious weakness: it has
no built in algorithm for providing the timing of the branchings.
Thus it is a certain framework rather than a complete theory.
There is, however, a theory that fills in this gap in the Many
Worlds Interpretation - and this theory I know quite well, and
in fact I know it better than most others for the simple reason
that I developed it in collaboration with Philippe Blanchard (University
of Bielefeld ) in 1988 as an integral part of the Quantum Future
Project. It is called Event Enhanced Quantum Theory (EEQT for
short notation). (A complete list of references and much more
info on this subject can be found on my “Quantum
Future” project page11 on the World Wide Web).
The fact that our generally accepted theories of the present
do not prevent us from thinking that time travel is, perhaps,
possible, does not necessarily imply that we know how to build
the time machine!
On the other hand, it is perhaps possible that the time machine
already exists and is in use, even if we do not understand the
principle of its work, because it goes much too far beyond our
present theoretical and conceptual framework. It is also possible
that some of the machines we think are serving a totally different
purpose do, in fact, act as time machines. Many things are possible...
Now, back to superluminal communication, or “channeling”
in general and the Cassiopaeans in particular: the fact that sending
information into the past is possible does not necessarily imply
that any information that pretends to be sent from the future
is such indeed! But, if we generally accept that extraterrestrial
life is possible, and we use all of our knowledge and resources
to search for life beyond our Earth, then we also need to include
the understanding that receiving information from the future is
equally possible. With this perspective, science should search
for any traces of such information.
What kind of information channels are to be monitored in search
of such broadcasts? What kind of antenna arrays do we need? How
must we direct them into a particular “future time”?
Say, into the year 3000? Or 30,000? Or 300,001?
My answer is: nothing like that is necessary. All that we need
we already have, namely our minds.
And indeed, assuming that the knowledge and technology of the
future is (or can be) much more advanced than ours, then it is
only natural that any broadcast from the future will be addressed
directly into the mind.
Even today there are techniques of acting directly on our minds.
They are not always used for our benefit; nevertheless they do
exist. But if communications from the future are possible, why
don’t we receive these broadcasts on a daily basis? If our
minds can serve as receivers, then why aren’t we all aware
of the transmissions?
I think that the answer has to do with multiple realities and
branching universes, and perhaps any civilization which would
receive messages from the future on a daily basis has ceased to
exist because communication through time is a very dangerous game.
You produce paradoxes, and these paradoxes remove the paradoxical
universes from the repository of possible universes; if you create
a universe with paradoxes, it destroys itself either completely
or partially. Perhaps just intelligence is removed from this universe
because it is intelligence that creates paradox. Perhaps we are
very fortunate that even if we can receive some of these messages
from the future, we still continue to exist.
Suppose our civilization were to advance to the point where everyone
can communicate with themselves in the past; they have a computer
with a special program and peripheral device that does this. It
becomes the latest fad: everyone is communicating with themselves
in the past to warn of dangers or upcoming calamities or bad choices,
or to give lottery numbers or winning horses. But, what is seen
as a “good event” or “benefit” for one,
could be seen to be a “bad choice” or “calamity”
to someone else!
So, the next step would be that “hackers” would begin
to break into the systems and send false communications into the
past to deliberately create bad choices and calamities for some
in order to produce benefits for themselves or others.
Then, the first individual would see that false information has
been sent and would go into their system and go back even earlier
to warn themselves that false information was going to be sent
back by an “imposter” and how to tell that it was
Then the hacker would see this, and go back in time to an even
earlier moment and give false information that someone was going
to send false information (that was really true) that false information
(that was really false) was going to be sent, thereby confusing
This process could go on endlessly with constant and repeated
communications into the past, one contradicting the other, one
signal canceling out the other, with the result that it would
be exactly the same as if there were no communication into the
There is also, the very interesting possibility that the above
scenario is exactly what is taking place in our world today.
It is also possible that, whenever a civilization comes to the
point that it can manipulate the past and thereby change the present,
it would most probably destroy itself, and probably its “branch”
of the universe, unless there comes a cataclysmic event before
this happens which would act as a kind of “control system”
or way of reducing the technological possibilities to zero again,
thus obviating the potentials of universal chaos. In this way,
cataclysmic events could be a sort of preventive or pre-emptive
strike against such manipulations, and may, in fact, be the result
of engineered actions of benevolent selves in the future who see
the dangers of communicating with ourselves in the past!
So, the probability is this: if there is communication from the
future, it may, in fact, be constantly received by each and every
one of us as an ongoing barrage of lies mixed with truth. Thus,
the problem becomes more than just “tuning” to a narrow
band signal, because clearly the hackers can imitate the signal
and have become very clever in delivering their lies disguised
as “warm and fuzzy” truths; the problem becomes an
altogether different proposition of believing nothing and acting
as though everything is misleading, gathering data from all quarters,
and then making the most informed choice possible with full realization
that it may be in error!
Using our computer analogy: we can’t prevent hackers from
hacking, but, what we can do is make every effort to prevent them
from hacking into our systems by erecting barriers of knowledge
and awareness. Hackers are always looking for an “easy hack”,
(except for those few who really like a challenge), and will back
away as you make your system more and more secure.
How do you make your computer (or yourself) immune to hackers?
It is never 100% secure, but if all preventative measures are
taken, and we constantly observe for the signs of hackers - system
disruption, loss of “memory”, or energy, damaged files,
things that don’t “fit”, that are “out
of context”, - we can reduce the possibility of hacking.
But, we can only do this if we are aware of hackers; if we know
that they will attempt to break into our system in the guise of
a “normal” file, or even an operating system or program
that promises to “organize” our data for greater efficiency
and ease of function or “user friendliness”, while
at the same time, acting as a massive drain on our energy and
resources - RAM and hard drive.
As a humorous side note: we could think of Windows Operating
system as the “ultimate hacker from the future” who,
disguised as a sheep, is a wolf devouring our hard disk and RAM,
and sending our files to God only knows where every time we connect
via the internet!
And of course, there are viruses. Whenever we insert a floppy
disk or CD into our computer, we risk infection by virii which
can slowly or rapidly, distort or destroy all the information
on our computer, prevent any peripheral functions, and even “wipe”
the hard disk of all files to replace them with endless replications
of the viral nonsense. The human analogy to this is the many religions
and “belief” systems that have been “programmed”
into our cultures, and our very lives, via endless “Prophet/God”
programs, replacing, bit by bit, our own thinking with the “dogma
and doctrines of the faith”.
In short, Us in the Future may mean that WE are our "friends
in the Universe." And if that is the case, how ought we to
consider such a proposition?
[Please note: Arkadiusz Jadczyk
is a mathematical physicist who is co-author with Robert Coquereaux
of what is considered by many to be the reference text on hyperdimensional
GEOMETRY, FIBER BUNDLES, KALUZA-KLEIN THEORIES AND ALL THAT ....
For more of Ark's writings on both physics and the mysterious,
please see his website.]
Earnest Scott in The People of the Secret states that
the ebb and flow of history are subject to purposive direction from
a higher level of understanding, the process being manipulated by
a hierarchy of intelligences - the lowest level of which makes physical
contact with humanity.
Gurdjieff noted that standard scientific teachings tell us that
life is "accidental."
Such ideas fail to take into account the idea that there is nothing
accidental or unnecessary in nature, that everything has a definite
function and serves a definite purpose of Cosmic Consciousness.
Gurdjieff then says:
It has been said before that organic life transmits planetary
influences of various kinds to the earth and that it serves to
feed the moon and to enable it to grow and strengthen.
But the earth also is growing; not in the sense of size but
in the sense of greater consciousness, greater receptivity.
The planetary influences which were sufficient for her at one
period of her existence become insufficient, she needs the reception
of finer influences.
To receive finer influences a finer, more sensitive receptive
apparatus is necessary.
Organic life, therefore, has to evolve, to adapt itself to the
needs of the planets and the earth.
Likewise also the moon can be satisfied at one period with the
food which is given to her by organic life of a certain quality,
but afterwards the time comes when she ceases to be satisfied
with this food, cannot grow on it, and begins to get hungry. [
This means that in order to answer its purpose organic life must
evolve and stand on the level of the needs of the planets, the
earth, and the moon. We must remember that the ray of creation,
as we have taken it, from the Absolute to the moon, is like a
branch of a tree - a growing branch.
The end of this branch, the end out of which come new shoots,
is the moon.
If the moon does not grow, if it neither gives nor promises
to give new shoots, it means that either the growth of the whole
ray of creation will stop or that it must find another path for
its growth, five out some kind of lateral branch. [
] If organic
life on earth disappears or dies the whole branch will immediately
The same thing must happen, only more slowly, if organic life
is arrested in its development, in its evolution, and fails to
respond to the demands made upon it.
The branch may wither. [
] General growth is possible only on
the condition that the 'end of the branch' grows.
Or, speaking more precisely, there are in organic life tissues
which are evolving, and there are tissues which serve as food
and medium for those which are evolving.
Then there are evolving cells within the evolving tissues, and
cells which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving.
In each separate evolving cell there are evolving parts and
there are parts which serve as food for those which are evolving.
But always and in everything it must be remembered that evolution
is never guaranteed, it is possible only and it can stop at any
moment and in any place. The evolving part of organic life is
Humanity also has its evolving part. [
] If humanity does not
evolve it means that the evolution of organic life will stop and
this in its turn will cause the growth of the ray of creation
At the same time if humanity ceased to evolve, it becomes useless
from the point of view of the aims for which it was created and
as such it may be destroyed.
In this way the cessation of evolution may mean the destruction
of humanity. [
] [E]xamining the life of humanity as we know it
historically we are bound to acknowledge that humanity is moving
in a circle.
In one century it destroys everything it creates in another
and the progress in mechanical things of the past hundred years
has proceeded at the cost of losing many other things which perhaps
were much more important for it.
Speaking in general there is every reason to think and to assert
that humanity is at a standstill and from a standstill there is
a straight path to downfall and degeneration. [
] [W]e see that
a balanced process proceeding in a certain way cannot be changed
at any moment it is desired.
It can be changed and set on a new path only a certain 'crossroads.'
In between the 'crossroads' nothing can be done.
At the same time if a process passes by a 'crossroad' and nothing
happens, nothing is done, then nothing can be done afterwards
and the process will continue and develop according to mechanical
laws; and even if people taking part in this process foresee the
inevitable destruction of everything, they will be unable to do
I repeat that something can be done only at certain moments
which I have just called 'crossroads.' [
] Of course there are
very many people who consider that the life of humanity is not
proceeding in the way in which according to their views it ought
And they invent various theories which in their opinion ought
to change the whole life of humanity. [
] All these theories are
certainly quite fantastic, chiefly because they do not take into
account the most important thing, namely, the subordinate part
which humanity and organic life play in the world process. Intellectual
theories put man in the center of everything; everything exists
] And all the time new theories appear evoking in their
turn opposing theories; and all these theories and the struggle
between them undoubtedly constitute one of the forces which keep
humanity in the state in which it is at present. [
in nature has its aim and its purpose, both the inequality of
man and his suffering.
To destroy inequality would mean destroying the possibility
To destroy suffering would mean, first, destroying a whole series
of perceptions for which man exists, [
] and thus it is with all
intellectual theories. The process of evolution [
] which is possible
for humanity as a whole, is completely analogous to the process
of evolution possible for the individual man.
And it begins with the same thing, namely, a certain group of
cells gradually becomes conscious; then it attracts to itself
other cells, subordinates others, and gradually makes the whole
organism serve its aims and not merely eat, drink, and sleep.
This is evolution and there can be no other kind of evolution.
In humanity as in individual man everything begins with the
formation of a conscious nucleus.
All the mechanical forces of life fight against the formation
of this conscious nucleus in humanity, in just the same way as
all mechanical habits, tastes and weaknesses fight against conscious
self-remembering in man. "Can it be that there is a conscious
force which fights against the evolution of humanity?" [Ouspensky]
asked. "From a certain point of view it can be said," said G[urdjieff].
"There are two processes which are sometimes called 'involutionary'
The difference between them is the following: An involutionary
process begins consciously in the Absolute but at the next step
it already becomes mechanical - and it becomes more and more mechanical
as it develops; an evolutionary process begins half-consciously
and conscious opposition to the evolutionary process can also
appear at certain moments in the involutionary process.
From where does this consciousness come?
From the evolutionary process of course. The evolutionary process
must proceed without interruption.
Any stop causes a separation from the fundamental process.
Such separate fragments of consciousnesses which have been stopped
in their development can also unite and at any rate for a certain
time can live by struggling against the evolutionary process.
After all, it makes the evolutionary process more interesting.
Instead of struggling against the mechanical forces there may,
at certain moments, be a struggle against the intentional opposition
of fairly powerful forces though they are not of course comparable
with those which direct the evolutionary process.
These opposing forces may sometimes even conquer.
The reason for this consists in the fact that the forces guiding
evolution have a more limited choice of means; in other words,
they can only make use of certain means and certain methods.
The opposing forces are not limited in their choice of means
and they are able to make use of every means, even those which
only give rise to a temporary success, and in the final result
they destroy both evolution and involution at the point in question.
] "Are we able to say for instance that life is governed by
a group of conscious people?
Where are they?
Who are they?
We see exactly the opposite: that life is governed by those
who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep. "Are
we able to say that we observe in life a preponderance of the
best, the strongest, and the most courageous elements?
Nothing of the sort.
On the contrary we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity
of all kinds. "Are we able to say that aspirations towards unity,
towards unification, can be observed in life?
Nothing of the kind of course.
We only see new divisions, new hostility, new misunderstandings.
"So that in the actual situation of humanity there is nothing
that points to evolution proceeding.
On the contrary when we compare humanity with a man, we quite
clearly see a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that
is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal, and what is foreign,
at the cost of the natural, the real, and what is one's own. "Together
with this, we see a growth of automatism. "Contemporary cultures
And people are undoubtedly losing their acquired habits of independence
and turning into automatons, into parts of machines.
It is impossible to say where is the end of all this and where
the way out - or whether there is an end and a way out.
One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases.
Man is becoming a willing slave.
He no longer needs chains.
He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it.
And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.
"[A]s I pointed out before, the evolution of humanity can proceed
only through the evolution of a certain group, which, in its turn,
will influence and lead the rest of humanity. "Are we able to
say that such a group exists?
Perhaps we can on the basis of certain signs, but in any event
we have to acknowledge that it is a very small group, quite insufficient,
at any rate, to subjugate the rest of humanity.
Or looking at it from another point of view, we can say that
humanity is in such a state that it is unable to accept the guidance
of a conscious group." "How many people could there be in this
conscious group?" someone asked. "Only they themselves know this,"
said G[urdjieff]. "Does it mean that they all know each other?"
asked the same person again. "How could it be otherwise?" asked
"Imagine that there are two or three people who are awake in
the midst of a multitude of sleeping people.
They will certainly know each other.
But those who are asleep cannot know them.
How many are they?
We do not know and we cannot know until we become like them.
It has been clearly said before that each man can only see on
the level of his own being.
But two hundred conscious people, if they existed and if they
found it necessary and legitimate, could change the whole of life
on the earth.
But either there are not enough of them, or they do not want
to, or perhaps the time has not yet come, or perhaps other people
are sleeping too soundly.[Quoted by Ouspensky, In Search of
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's
nominee for U.S. attorney general vowed Thursday to abide by international
treaties on prisoner abuse if he gets the the job.
Alberto Gonzales told the Senate judiciary committee holding his
conformation hearings that he didn't approve of torture and was
"sickened and outraged" by the prisoner abuse scandal
at Abu Ghraib prison.
Currently President George W. Bush's chief legal adviser, Gonzales
has come under fire for recent memos he wrote to the president in
which he discussed the limits of torture and called parts of the
Geneva Conventions "quaint."
Under questioning from the judiciary committee
on Thursday, Gonzales vowed to represent the United States and abide
by international law.
"I will no longer represent only the White
House. I will represent the United States of America and its people.
I understand the difference between the two roles," said Gonzales.
"Torture and abuse will not be tolerated by
A number of Democrats and civil rights groups have criticized the
nomination, and about a dozen retired military leaders recently
sent a letter to the committee expressing their concern.
The nomination is expected to be confirmed by the Republican-led
Senate. If confirmed, Gonzales will be the first Hispanic-American
to hold the cabinet position.
Controversial memos make headlines
The controversy stems from a January 2002 memo in which Gonzales
says the newly declared "war on terror" is unlike traditional
conflicts that formed the backdrop for the universal rules of war,
including the Geneva Conventions.
"In my judgment, this new paradigm renders
obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners
and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured
enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e.,
advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments,"
An August 2002 memo outlined how far interrogation
could go before it became torture. Only the most severe types of
torture were not permitted under U.S. and international agreements,
it said. It defined severe pain as equal in intensity to "pain
accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment
of bodily function or even death."
The memo was behind many of the techniques approved
for use on prisoners in Iraq and at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo,
Amid public outcry following the release of the Abu Ghraib prisoner
abuse photos in early 2004, Gonzales and other senior officials
withdrew the August memo.
A new memo was written in December 2004, which acknowledged problems
with the August 2002 memo and offered a broader definition of torture.
WASHINGTON - Attorney
general nominee Alberto Gonzales strongly defended his tenure as
White House counsel yesterday, including his conclusion that the
protections of the Geneva Conventions do not apply to alleged terrorists,
and he suggested that the United States should consider renegotiating
the international treaties to better wage its war on terrorism.
During a day-long hearing dominated by a debate over the Bush administration's
detention and interrogation policies, Gonzales pledged to pursue
any allegations of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
that fall within the Justice Department's jurisdiction. He said
he would honor the obligations of the Geneva Conventions and other
international agreements on the treatment of detainees.
"Torture and abuse will not be tolerated by this administration,"
Gonzales said. "I will ensure the Department of Justice aggressively
pursues those responsible for such abhorrent actions."
But under often tough questioning from Democrats and some Republicans
on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales
said he could not recall key details of his involvement in the production
of an August 2002 memo that narrowly defined the tactics that constitute
torture. He also declined repeated invitations to repudiate a past
administration assertion that the president has the authority to
ignore anti-torture statutes on national security grounds.
Gonzales testified that while he disagreed with portions of the
Justice Department memo, he does not recall
whether he conveyed those objections to other government lawyers
at the time. He said he did not quarrel with its general
Gonzales said he could not remember who had
requested the legal guidance on permissible interrogation
tactics but he acknowledged under questioning that high-pressure
interrogation techniques were discussed in White House meetings
at which he was present.
The memo - which was used to formulate permissive Defense Department
rules on interrogations - was withdrawn by the Justice Department
after it was revealed publicly in 2004 and has since been rewritten,
reaching starkly different conclusions.
"There was discussion between the White House and the Department
of Justice as well as other agencies about what does this statute
mean," Gonzales said, referring to a 1994 anti-torture law.
"I don't recall today whether I was in agreement with all the
analysis, but I don't have a disagreement with the conclusions then
reached by the (Justice) department. Ultimately it is the responsibility
of the department to tell us what the law means."
Republicans and many Democrats have said that they expect the GOP-controlled
Senate to easily approve the appointment of Gonzales, 49, a longtime
confidant of President Bush whose rise from poverty to Harvard Law
School and the White House was frequently cited by supporters yesterday.
His exchanges with senators touched on a wide variety of issues,
from Gonzales's defense of the USA Patriot Act to his acknowledgment
that the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion "is
the law of the land." Several Democratic senators, who have
had increasingly sour relations with Attorney General John Ashcroft,
said they were hopeful that their relationship with Gonzales would
be more productive.
But many Democrats and at least one Republican argued that Gonzales
had participated in formulating policy that laid the foundation
for the abuse scandals in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba, which have
generated global outrage.
Gonzales declined to answer many questions and
said he could not recall details in relation to others, prompting
complaints from some Democrats on the committee.
"We're looking for you, when we ask you questions, to give
us an answer, which you haven't done yet," Sen. Joe Biden,
a Democrat from Delaware, told Gonzales. "I love you, but you're
not very candid so far."
Gonzales said "it is appropriate to revisit"
the Geneva Conventions, which provide an international standard
of conduct for handling detainees during military conflicts. Gonzales
disclosed that White House officials, including some lawyers, had
held "some very preliminary discussion" about the idea,
but he said "it's not been a systematic project or effort."
Gonzales did not say what revisions are under consideration, but
he said they would not affect provisions requiring "basic,
decent treatment of human beings."
An August report by a panel of experts appointed
by the Defense Department endorsed the idea of adapting the 1949
conventions "to the realities of the nature of conflict in
the 21st century." It particularly urged the creation of a
legal category for detainees from terrorist groups, who presumably
would not be afforded the same protections as other detainees. The
International Committee of the Red Cross immediately condemned the
idea of changing the Geneva Conventions.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, who is a
judge advocate in the Air Force Reserve, joined Democrats in criticizing
some of the administration's conclusions on detention and interrogation
policies. He said policymakers ignored the advice of seasoned military
"When you start looking at torture statutes and you look at
ways around the spirit of the law . . . you're losing the moral
high ground," Graham said. "Once you start down this road,
it is very hard to come back. So I do believe we have lost our way,
and my challenge to you as a leader of this nation is to help us
find our way without giving up our obligation and right to fight
Other Republicans on the committee strongly defended Gonzales,
a counsel to then-Gov. George W. Bush and a former Texas Supreme
Court judge, saying he was being unfairly used as a scapegoat by
critics of the administration's anti-terrorism policies. Sen. John
Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said Gonzales's conclusion that
al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are not protected under the Geneva
Conventions is supported by other legal opinions. Cornyn characterized
the 2002 memo on torture as "a memo he (Gonzales) didn't write,
interpreting a law he didn't draft." The memo was written by
the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.
"President Bush and Judge Gonzales have both unequivocally,
clearly and repeatedly rejected the use of torture," Cornyn
said. "But is there anyone here today who would fail to use
every legal means to collect intelligence from terrorists in order
to protect American lives? I certainly hope not."
Four different senators tried to pin down Gonzales
on the August 2002 memo's controversial assertion that a president
had the power to authorize torture in unusual circumstances, but
Gonzales deflected that, saying it was a "hypothetical question."
A new memo issued by the Justice Department last month also avoided
the question of presidential power.
At the same time, Gonzales did not rule out reaching
such a conclusion in the future. "I would have to know what
... is the national interest that the president may have to consider,"
he told Sen. Russell Feingold, a Democrat from Wisconsin.
Gonzales acknowledged under questioning from Sen. Edward Kennedy,
a Democrat from Massachusetts, that he took part in discussions
about the legality of high-pressure interrogation techniques. But
he said it was not his "job to decide which methods of obtaining
information from terrorists would be most effective" or whether
such methods are prohibited by a 1994 law barring torture.
"That would be a job for the Department of Justice, and I
never . . . influenced or pressured the department to bless any
of those techniques," he said.
Kennedy responded that, "just as an attorney, as a human being,
I would have thought that ... if there were recommendations that
were so blatantly and flagrantly over the line in terms of torture,
that you would have recognized them."
In response to a question from Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from
Illinois, about whether U.S. personnel could legally engage in torture
under any circumstances, Gonzales said: "I don't believe so,
but I'd want to get back to you on that and make sure I don't provide
a misleading answer."
Gonzales expressed skepticism about the reliability of documents
obtained in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union indicating
that as many as 26 FBI agents had reported seeing the mistreatment
of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison. He said that one FBI
agent had asserted erroneously that a presidential order authorized
aggressive interrogation techniques, and that "if something
like that is wrong in these e-mails, there may be other facts that
WASHINGTON - Attorney General nominee Alberto
Gonzales plans to promise senators on Thursday that he would abide
by treaties prohibiting torture of prisoners, despite
deriding the restraints as outdated relics two years ago.
In prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday,
Gonzales tells the Senate Judiciary Committee he will abide by all
U.S. treaty obligations if he confirmed.
Gonzales, who would be the first Hispanic attorney general, had
a hand in much of the White House's post-Sept. 11 terrorism policies
as President Bush's top lawyer. He faces criticism from Democrats
at Thursday's confirmation hearing, especially concerning a January
2002 memo he wrote arguing that the war on terrorism "renders
obsolete" the Geneva Conventions' strict prohibitions against
A month later, Bush signed an order declaring he
had the authority to bypass the accords "in this or future
conflicts." Bush's order also said the Geneva treaty's references
to prisoners of war did not apply to al-Qaida or "unlawful
combatants" from the Taliban.
Some Gonzales critics say that decision and his memo justifying
it helped lead to the torture scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison
and prisoner abuses in Afghanistanand Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Bush has made clear that the government will defend Americans from
terrorists "in a manner consistent with our nation's values
and applicable law, including our treaty obligations," Gonzales
said in testimony prepared for his confirmation hearing. "I
pledge that, if I am confirmed as attorney general, I will abide
by those commitments."
Last June, the Justice Department withdrew its 2002 memos arguing
that the president's wartime authority supersedes laws and treaties
governing treatment of prisoners.
Gonzales has repudiated torture before. "The
president has stated that this administration does not condone torture.
If anyone engages in such conduct, he or she will be held accountable,"
Gonzales said in a White House online event on July 7.
Democrats aren't satisfied with just those statements and say they
plan to question Gonzales extensively about his paper trail in crafting
the government's policies on questioning foreign prisoners.
"It is clear he was in the chain receiving this critical documentation
relative to changing American standards on the treatment of prisoners,
so he was not a bystander, he was part of it," said Sen. Richard
Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said Bush firmly
backs Gonzales' nomination.
"Judge Gonzales is a very trusted adviser to the president
(and is) doing an outstanding job," McClellan told reporters
traveling Wednesday with the president aboard Air Force One.
Even Democrats say they expect Gonzales to
be confirmed. Republicans control a Senate split between
55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one independent.
"I have found him someone I could work with when he wasn't
simply pursuing an agenda that was thrust upon him," said Sen.
Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado, one of the first Hispanics elected
to the Senate in more than 20 years and one of only two newly elected
Democrats in November, plans to join Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas,
in introducing Gonzales at Thursday's hearing. Salazar has said
he intends to vote for Gonzales.
Civil rights and humanitarian groups have waged a campaign portraying
Gonzales as the person responsible for abuses by Americans against
terrorism suspects held as prisoners.
"Mr. Gonzales bears much of the responsibility for creating
the legal framework and permissive atmosphere that led to the torture
and abuse at Guantanamo and elsewhere," said Anthony Romero,
executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Gonzales' Jan. 25, 2002, memo to Bush argued that
the war on terrorism "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations
on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its
In his prepared Senate testimony, he repeats the argument that
terrorists are not soldiers so are not covered by the Geneva treaty.
Nonetheless, he says in his written testimony, "we must be
committed to preserving civil rights and civil liberties."
Democrats also plan to question Gonzales on other terrorism issues,
including the government's detention of Jose Padilla, who has been
held for 31 months without being charged as an enemy combatant suspected
of plotting to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in
the United States.
"The administration took too much liberty
in arresting somebody and letting them stay in jail for years without
counsel," Schumer said.
Some Republicans say Democrats are just setting
up arguments to use against Gonzales in case Bush makes him one
of his first Supreme Court nominees.
Bush is expected to have a Supreme Court vacancy or two to fill
before the end of his term, and Cornyn has suggested that Democrats
are trying to "bloody" Gonzales to ensure that he doesn't
get one of those spots.
The Bush administration is crafting a series
of measures to secure the permanent detention without trial of alleged
terrorists and those it designates as enemy combatants, the Washington
Post reported Sunday. In gross violation
of international law, detainees may soon be held in new US-constructed
prisons in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen,
without access to lawyers or family members.
“The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide
on a more permanent approach for potentially lifetime detentions,
including for hundreds of people in military and CIA custody whom
the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts,”
the Post reported. “The outcome of the review, which involves
the State Department as well, would also affect those expected to
be captured in the course of future counterterrorism operations.”
One measure under consideration is the transfer of Afghan, Saudi
and Yemeni detainees currently held in the Guantanamo Bay detention
camp to prisons built by the US in their home countries.
These prisons may also be used to detain those currently held by
the Central Intelligence Agency. Almost nothing is known about how
many prisoners are in the hands of the CIA, or the conditions under
which they are kept. The CIA reportedly maintains secret detention
facilities on ships at sea, and at military bases in Afghanistan
and on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.
The Post noted that these detainees represent
the Bush administration’s “toughest detention problem,”
and that the CIA “has been scurrying since Sept. 11, 2001,
to find secure locations abroad where it could detain and interrogate
captives without risk of discovery, and without having to give them
access to legal proceedings.” A proposal of the intelligence
agency to operate its own secret prison was rejected as impractical.
Local authorities will run the new prisons, while the State Department
will reportedly monitor operations, ensuring compliance with “recognized
human rights standards.”
Such assurances are hardly credible. The Bush administration has
systematically flouted human rights conventions in the name of the
war on terror. The use of torture has been sanctioned at the highest
levels of the government, and, as leaked Red Cross reports have
demonstrated, US authorities routinely inflict torture upon Guantanamo
Claims regarding the protection of human rights are particularly
cynical, given that the new measures are deliberately designed to
violate long-established legal rights and norms. Anyone
the government designates an enemy combatant now faces life imprisonment,
without trial, without access to legal advice, and without any hope
of appeal or review. Detainees are dropped into a legal black hole,
and face totally unchecked interrogation methods.
The international prison system will effectively entrench and systematize
the CIA’s illegal practice known as “rendering.”
This is where the intelligence agency secretly transfers detainees
to various third countries, such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Rendering
has been used to employ local security forces’ use of extreme
torture and brutality, while evading US and international law.
The Bush administration’s proposals again demonstrate the
brazen criminality of its “war on terror.” Despite all
of the extremely damaging revelations of US abuse of detainees in
Iraq and Guantanamo Bay that emerged last year, the government is
plunging ahead with a new system that will inevitably lead to further
abuse and torture.
The plan has already led to disquiet among those in the political
establishment who fear adverse long-term consequences for the US’s
international position if the present course is maintained. “It’s
a bad idea,” Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, declared. “So we ought to get
over it and we ought to have a very careful, constitutional look
The Post referred to an unnamed senior administration official
who noted that the new detention proposals were necessary because
“the current detention system has strained relations between
the United States and other countries.” But
rather than alter any of the features of the current system that
has provoked so much international opposition—contravention
of international law, secret detention without trial, abuse, torture,
etc.—the government has evidently concluded that the problem
lies in excessive public and judicial review of its operations.
The Bush administration’s move to shift detainees from Guantanamo
Bay has been provoked, in part, by a Supreme Court ruling earlier
this year that allowed prisoners to challenge their detention in
While this decision did not challenge the government’s right
to imprison whomever it deems an enemy combatant, the Bush administration
views any measure of judicial oversight over its operations as an
unwarranted irritant. It is highly unlikely that the US judiciary
could claim any jurisdiction over those detainees transferred to
the nominal control of authorities in their home countries.
It is unclear whether the Red Cross would have access to detainees
held in the new prisons. Saudi Arabia, Yemen,
and Afghanistan all have atrocious human rights records.
In Yemen, the Red Cross suspended prison visits
last year after the government refused access to prisoners held
by its Political Security department.
Detainees who remain in Guantanamo Bay will soon be held in a $25
million, 200-bed prison, dubbed “Camp 6,” replacing
the existing makeshift detention facilities on the American base.
The prison complements the already constructed 100-cell “Camp
5.” The Pentagon is also preparing to replace the mostly reservist
force currently guarding the facilities with a 324-member military
Unnamed defense officials told the Washington
Post that the new facility will be used for those “who are
unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence.”
This admission again demonstrates the wholly fraudulent nature of
the Bush administration’s attempt to create the appearance
of judicial review for detainees through the use of these tribunals.
The Bush administration, the Pentagon and the CIA are making
plans for indefinite detention -- a life sentence without due
process -- for those inmates at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere for whom there is insufficient evidence
of guilt to justify a trial but who nevertheless are deemed too
dangerous to be set free [front page, Jan. 2].
They argue that under the laws of war, these are "enemy combatants"
-- a term that they conflate with, and distinguish from, "prisoners
of war" as it suits their purposes -- and therefore can be
held until the "global war on terror" is "won."
Two faulty assumptions underlie this argument:
• The so-called global war on terror is comparable to other
wars we have waged against enemy nations.
"Terror," however, is not a coherent enemy power, such
as Germany and Japan were in World War II. It is a tactic used by
the aggrieved and desperate and relatively powerless against the
powerful anywhere in the world.
A "war on terror" is at best a metaphor
-- not a reality -- and an inaccurate one at that, for the more
"war" we wage, the more "terror" we spread.
War cannot stop terror; it creates the chaotic conditions for its
propagation, as seen in Iraq.
If the "war on terror" is not a real
war, then the detainees at Guantanamo are not real POWs, because
no government's surrender would bring the "hostilities"
to an end.
• Persons for whom we have no evidence of criminal conduct
pose a clear and present danger and therefore must be detained indefinitely.
In our legal system, people are presumed innocent until proven
guilty, not vice versa. The logic being used to support permanent
incarceration is analogous to the infamous and racist logic of Chief
Justice Roger B. Taney in the Dred Scott decision -- that Arabs
have no rights that Americans are bound to respect.
This government is arrogating to itself the right to imprison people
indefinitely without due process on the grounds that they are "enemy
combatants" -- a designation the administration alone determines
without appeal. What is to stop the administration
from applying the same designation not just to foreigners with Arabic
names but to domestic dissidents as well?
THOMAS I. ELLIS
Our government is discussing what level of torture of suspected
terrorists is acceptable for suspected terrorists and how they can
be held for life without trial. We are thus
discussing not whether any torture is acceptable nor whether imprisonment
without trial is permissible in a democracy but how both can be
done most efficiently and productively.
Sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners
continued at least three months after the Abu Ghraib scandal was
revealed, according to accounts by alleged victims in the latest
issue of Vanity Fair.
Iraqi inmates were sexually assaulted, beaten, administered electric
shocks and kept in cages or crates, the magazine said, based
on 60 hours of interviews with 10 former inmates, including a 15-year-old
Writer Donovan Webster quotes an inmate saying he was hung naked
from handcuffs in a frigid room while soldiers threw buckets of
ice water on him.
Webster added that several of the people
he interviewed said their mistreatment took place in July, three
months after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke in late
The article said the former detainees interviewed are suing two
American companies that provided translators and interrogators to
forces in Iraq and that their firsthand accounts comprised "hundreds,
if not thousands, of separate Geneva Conventions violations".
In one example cited in the article, a 15-year-old
boy said he had been forced to crouch
in a wooden crate for 11 days, wearing handcuffs and blacked-out
ski goggles. He was then taken to the bathroom and sexually assaulted.
He said he was again sexually assaulted two days later in the
prison north of Baghdad but let go later in the day when
a soldier apologised to him for being illegally detained and gave
The magazine said the accounts of abuses were impossible to independently
It quoted a US military spokesman for detainee operations in Iraq
as dismissing the assertions that prisoners were held illegally,
kept in wooden boxes, handcuffed and blindfolded and subjected to
sexual threats, abuse and assault.
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar ran out of steam
on Friday after rising broadly throughout the early days of 2005,
and fell from a recent four-week high versus the euro as investors
waited nervously for U.S. jobs data.
The payrolls numbers are the first major data release since the
start of the year and markets are eager for clues on future interest
rate policy in the United States which will be heavily influenced
by the labor market outlook.
Economists forecast that 175,000 new jobs were created last month,
50 percent more than in November. But markets are concerned about
a possible weaker showing after Thursday's unexpectedly high reading
in the weekly jobless claims.
Heftier payrolls could boost the dollar
again, but many analysts still believe the U.S. currency's latest
jump was only an adjustment in its long-term weakening trend.
The outrage and dismay over devastation and
human suffering seem to have much more to do with how such horrors
were caused than the actual horrors themselves, it would seem.
At least, it seems that way when it comes to our outgoing Secretary
of State Colin Powell, whose sense of horror seems to be remarkably
Touring the wreckage of the recent tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia
yesterday, an obviously shaken Powell, a former top U.S. Army general,
said, "I have been in war and I have been through a number
of hurricanes, tornadoes and other relief operations, but I have
never seen anything like this. The power of the wave to destroy
bridges, to destroy factories, to destroy homes, to destroy crops,
to destroy everything in its path is amazing."
You have to wonder what this leading member
of the American war machine thought of the power of the U.S. military
to destroy bridges, factories, homes, crops, hospitals, dykes, schools,
entire towns and cities, rice paddies and indeed "everything
in its path" back in Indochina in the years he was there.
Especially as he was busy covering up the
massacre of women, children and old people at My Lai. What did he
think as he toured burned down villages, mile after mile of defoliated
jungle, whole barren moonscapes pockmarked with craters from American
bombs, millions of dead and maimed men, women and children.
And you have to wonder what he thinks now about the U.S. Shock
and Awe destruction of Baghdad, or more recently, of the leveling
of the cities of Najaf, Samarah and especially Fallujah.
One would think that the carnage caused by man-indeed
the carnage for which Colin Powell himself bears considerable responsibility-would
be far more troubling than that caused by nature.
But then we are a selectively outraged people. Where is the mass
public campaign to raise money for the hundreds of thousands of
wounded and displaced in Iraq? Americans' efforts when it comes
to charity and fundraising related to the Iraq War is pretty much
limited to providing cookies and body armor for our troops.
As Bruce Jackson wrote in Counterpunch yesterday,
our media, quick to display the corpses, and the maimed and orphaned
children of the Indian Ocean tsunami, don't bother to show the carnage
our army is causing in Iraq. Oh, we
get to see the carnage there when it was caused by the Iraqi insurgents,
but not when it's our own bombs and bullets that are doing the killing
and maiming. And we don't get to see
the sheer magnitude of the destruction that our military has wreaked
on Iraq and its long-suffering people.
That level of detail, like Secretary Powell's capacity for horror
and concern, is reserved for the workings of nature.
Just as Powell was hardened by his Army boot camp training to
accept human suffering as a normal consequence of battle, and to
bury his humanity when it comes to war, we Americans as a people
are being hardened by our compliant pro-government media to put
that part of our natural compassion in a lockbox.
Like Pavlov's dogs, we rally to the cause when a storm strikes
in Florida or a tsunami hits in Indonesia, but avert our eyes when
our own military is the agent of destruction.
|WASHINGTON : The massive US-led relief operation
in tsunami-hit Asia is expected to give the American military greater
clout in the region and bolster counterterrorism efforts, analysts
Backed by an array of US warships, planes and helicopters, more
than 13,000 US military personnel have been dispatched to help Indonesia,
Thailand and Sri Lanka, the countries most affected by the December
Conducting its largest operation in Asia
since the Vietnam War, the US military could remain in the region
for up to six months, analysts said here Tuesday.
The mammoth humanitarian effort would ease concerns among Asian
governments suspicious over American military ambitions and help
gain their backing in the US-led "war on terror," they
"It's pretty impressive what the Americans are able to do
with their military and if handled appropriately and carefully,
it could lead to a better, more cooperative military relationship
with the region," said Robert Sutter, visiting professor of
Asian studies at Georgetown University.
"The message that hopefully is getting across is that Americans
are not just out blasting terrorists. They are people with concerns
and can help in a military way," he said. [...]
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia : After a slow start
and early criticism of its relief efforts in Asia's tsunami disaster,
the United States has mobilised its public
relations juggernaut to claim political benefit from a now massive
A week ago the administration of George W. Bush was under heavy
US media assault for failing to respond sufficiently and quickly
enough to the tsunamis that killed at least 145,000 people across
the Indian Ocean.
But with 350 million dollars in aid committed and a huge military
operation mounted, Washington now hopes to
score points in the Muslim world and other countries still miffed
by its invasion of Iraq last year.
"I think it does give to the Muslim
world and the rest of the world an opportunity to see American generosity,
American values in action," Secretary of State Colin
Powell said Tuesday after arriving in predominantly-Muslim Indonesia,
the worst-hit country.
"And I hope as a result of our efforts, as a result of our
helicopter pilots being seen by the citizens of Indonesia helping
them, that value system of ours will be reinforced," Powell
told a news conference in Jakarta. [...]
US officials hoped their response to the tsunami would show another
side of American power to critics in the world who have focused
on the Bush administration's penchant for preemptive military action
in its war on terror.
But Powell, who was to be one of the featured participants at
an ASEAN-sponsored international conference on the tragedy Thursday
in Jakarta, insisted that foreign aid was
linked to security.
"It dries up those pools of dissatisfaction which might give
rise to terrorist activity," he said. "That supports not
only our national security interest but the national security interests
of the countries involved."
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Seven US
soldiers were killed Thursday night when a roadside bomb hit their
patrol vehicle in northwest Baghdad, the US military said.
Everyone inside the Bradley fighting vehicle was killed when it
struck the powerful roadside bomb at about 6 p.m. local time, the
US military said. This was the deadliest attack against US forces
since a suicide bombing killed 14 US soldiers and three American
contractors at a mess tent in northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
A US Marine was also killed in a separate incident Thursday in
western Anbar province, the military said.
BAGHDAD : Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi
extended an emergency law aimed at thwarting violence ahead of January
30 elections, while the bodies of 18 Iraqis lured to their deaths
by promises of work at a US base were uncovered. [...]
In the latest gruesome twist from insurgents, 18 Shiite Muslim
workers were found dead in the predominantly Sunni region of Mosul
after they were tempted to the northern city by promises of well-paid
work at US bases.
The victims, aged between 16 and 42, were
driven by poverty in their village of Bayda in the relatively peaceful
southern province of Zi Qar to seek work in Baghdad
from where a mysterious contractor lured them north.
"The contractor did not accompany the workers but gave them
an address in northern Iraq and told them to go there," said
Naim Hussein Farhan Khafaji, who lost a brother in the massacre.
Distraught relatives of the men, who were almost all related,
were gathering at a Baghdad hospital on Thursday to collect the
bodies, which had all been found with a bullet
to the head.
A leader of the Iraqi communist party, Hadi Saleh, was found strangled
to death in Baghdad, his eyes blindfolded and hands tied with metal
A US soldier was killed during an operation in restive Al-Anbar
province, while the head of police in the Baghdad Shiite district
of Sadr City, Abdel Karim, was gunned down in a morning ambush.
Four Iraqi soldiers and three civilians were also killed in separate
attacks in the north of the country. [...]
PARIS : A journalist for the French daily Liberation
has gone missing in Baghdad along with her Iraqi translator, the
newspaper said Thursday.
"We have had no news from Florence Aubenas in over 24 hours,"
nor of her assistant, Hussein Hanoun Al-Saadi, the Paris-based paper
She and Saadi left their Baghdad hotel early Wednesday but did
not return and have not been seen since, it added.
The development triggered immediate concerns in France for their
well-being, with the foreign ministry saying "every effort
is being made by our representatives in Baghdad and by the ministry
in Paris to find them."
Two French reporters, Georges Malbrunot of Le Figaro newspaper
and Christian Chesnot of Radio France Internationale, were released
by insurgents in Iraq on December 12 after being held hostage for
Their case generated nationwide anxiety and behind-the-scenes
dealings by French diplomats and intelligence services.
The kidnapping and murder of foreigners in Iraq has become a frequent
occurrence in Iraq as rebel groups there seek to oust US and other
Liberation said Aubenas, an experienced reporter who has covered
conflicts in Rwanda, Kosovo, Algeria, Afghanistan, arrived in Baghdad
on December 16.
The newspaper said it had alerted French, Iraqi and US officials.
The French foreign ministry stressed that it had already warned
"all our nationals, including media representatives, to avoid
going to Iraq given the current security risks in this country."
Israel's domestic security service has warned
that Jewish hardliners might attack Islamic sites to
derail the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
Shin Beth chief Avi Dichter on Tuesday told the foreign affairs
and defence committee of the Israeli parliament that hardliners
might also open fire on security forces during the planned evacuation
of the Gaza Strip's 8000 settlers.
"Right-wing extremists have not given up on the idea of attacking
Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif - Islam's third holiest site,"
Asked by a committee member why the Shin Beth had made no arrests,
he said agents did "not have sufficient proof".
Dichter said he did not expect the number of those involved in
armed resistance to the enforced pullout to exceed a few dozen.
An Italian Mafia boss was gunned down today
at his home in Naples after opening the door to his assassin, police
Eduardo Bove, the 28-year-old local boss of the Camorra or Neapolitan
Mafia, was hit at point-blank range by three bullets from a lone
killer and died as members of his family looked on, investigators
Bove had gradually become more influential within the Forcella
neighbourhood of the southern Italian city, scene of a bloody vendetta
between rival Camorra gangs for months.
This is the latest in a string of killings in the deadly struggle
dividing the local gangs, in which a group of "secessionists"
was challenging veteran drug lord Paolo Di Lauro.
The rivalry has now claimed the lives of at least 136 people in
the last year, with 105 of these killings directly attributed to
the battle for control of the drug traffic, along with numerous
Despite government claims it had rounded up dozens of suspects
in December in a major crackdown on the Mafia, the killings have
continued - this was the second one in two
GRANITEVILLE, S.C. - A freight train carrying
chlorine gas hit a parked train early Thursday, killing eight people
and injuring at least 200 others, authorities said.
About 5,400 people within 1.5 kilometres of the site were forced
from their homes.
Most of the injured were treated for respiratory ailments and
released, but at least 45 people remain in hospital, including eight
in critical condition, officials said.
The crash, which derailed 16 cars of 42 on the Norfolk Southern
freight train, occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in Graniteville, a South
Carolina textile town near the Georgia line.
Three cars were carrying chlorine gas, which can damage the throat,
nose and eyes, and can be fatal. Others carried cresol and sodium
hydroxide, which can be corrosive.
State Governor Mark Sanford declared a state of emergency for
the county, as health officials warned residents to stay indoors.
More than half a dozen textile plants operated by Avondale Mills
were closed because of the wreck, police said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
US scientists have detected the largest explosion
ever in the universe, which saw a mass equivalent
to about 300 suns sucked into a black hole, NASA said Thursday.
"The eruption, which has lasted for more than 100 million
years, has generated energy equivalent to hundreds of millions of
gamma-ray bursts," said the US space agency in a statement.
The discovery was made by NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory
which is controlled from a base in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The huge eruption was seen in a Chandra image of the hot, X- ray
emitting gas of a galaxy cluster called MS 0735.6 7421, the agency
said. The galaxy is about 2.6 billion light years away.
Scientists believe that this black hole is a relatively recent
This event was caused by gravitational energy release, as enormous
amounts of matter fell toward a black hole. Most of the matter was
swallowed, but some of it was violently ejected before being captured
by the black hole.
"I was stunned to find that a mass of about 300 million suns
was swallowed," said Brian McNamara of Ohio University, lead
author of a study on the discovery published in the latest issue
The energy released shows the black hole in MS 0735 has grown
dramatically during this eruption. Previous studies suggest other
large black holes have grown very little in the recent past, and
that only smaller black holes are still growing quickly.
"This new result is as surprising as it is exciting,"
said co-author Paul Nulsen of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics in Cambridge. "This black hole is feasting, when
it should be fasting."
Gas is being pushed away from the black hole at supersonic speeds
over a distance of about a million light-years, said the scientists.
The mass of the displaced gas equals about a trillion suns, more
than the mass of all the stars in the Milky Way.
"Until now we had no idea this black hole was gorging itself,"
said Michael Wise of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in
Cambridge. "The discovery of this eruption shows X-ray telescopes
are necessary to understand some of the most violent events in the
VIENNA, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- More than 2,500
aftershocks have been observed after a strong earthquake occurred
on Dec. 26 off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra,
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said Thursday.
"1,500 aftershocks were recorded in the 48 hours that followed
the quake, and 1,000 since then," said CTBTO spokesman Bernhard
He added that one of the strongest aftershocks, measuring 5.4 on
the Richter scale, was recorded Wednesday off the Sumatra island.
CTBTO experts say that the tremors will continue for several months
but become more and more sporadic.
The CTBTO has set up a sensor network throughout the world which
can be used to detect any nuclear tests that violate the 1996 treaty
and monitor natural seismic activity.
The massive earthquake and ensuing tsunamis have claimed the lives
of over 145,000 people in Asia and Africa.
TOKYO -- A moderate earthquake shook northern
Japan late Thursday, but no damage or injuries were immediately
The quake, which hit at about 10 p.m., had a preliminary magnitude
of 5.2 and was centered off the Pacific coast of Aomori prefecture
(state) 44 miles beneath the ocean floor, according to the Meteorological
There was no threat of a tsunami, the potentially destructive
waves triggered by seismic activity or underwater landslides, the
The tremor was most strongly felt in the area around the Shimokita
peninsula about 360 miles northeast of Tokyo, it said.
MANILA, Jan. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- A mild earthquake
rocked the southern Philippines Thursday, the Philippine Institute
of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said.
The PHIVOLCS told the ABS-CBN news that the quake, whose epicenter
was plotted southeast of Jolo, Sulu, registered 4.3 on the Richter
It originated from the Cotabato Trench, that has a depth of 33
kilometers, the PHIVOLCS said.
So far no injuries or damage to property have been reported, it
Another earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter
scale was registered earlier today off the coast of the Indonesian
island of Sumatra, not far from the epicenter of the deadliest earthquake
in decades that hit the region last week.
The latest earthquake had an epicenter located 60 kilometers off
Banda Aceh in the sea. There are no reports yet as to losses or
One of the largest and most active volcanoes
on the Alaska Peninsula near the settlements of Perryville and Chignik
has grown increasingly restless since the turning of the new year,
sending up small ash plumes and experiencing increased seismic tremors.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory on Tuesday upgraded Mount Veniaminof
Volcano’s level of concern to yellow for activity considered
higher than the normal background.
The level of concern is up from green, indicating normal activity,
but isn’t yet to the orange level when an eruption is expected
to occur or is occurring.
Veniaminof is about 300 miles southwest of the Kodiak city area.
A large eruption of the volcano would not have an effect on Kodiak.
Weak seismic tremors were observed starting Jan. 1 and increased
slightly over the next few days. Ash emissions were observed in
images of Veniaminof taken around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
At around 10 a.m. Tuesday a pilot flying at 14,000 feet noted
small ash emissions from Veniaminof, said Ken Dean, acting coordinating
scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Later in the day, 19 separate ash bursts were observed from Veniaminof,
none of which escalated above 500 meters from the summit, Dean said.
| International aircraft have been
warned to steer clear of a volcano which has erupted in the north
Pacific, firing an ash plume 4,572 metres into the air.
The volcano on uninhabited Anatahan Island in the Northern Mariana
Islands (CNMI) became active again on Tuesday.
"Although the volcano is not currently dangerous to most aircraft
within CNMI airspace, conditions may change rapidly, and aircraft
should pass upwind of Anatahan or farther than 30 kilometres downwind,"
the Emergency Management Office (EMO) said in a statement.
EMO director Rudolfo Pua said the size of the plume was getting
"It may become a major eruption, we don't know yet,"
"We just want airlines to be on alert again."
It is the fourth eruption of Anatahan since it suddenly burst into
life in May 2003, sending smoke and ash 9,000 metres into the air.
EMO seismic technician Juan Camacho said three airlines - Continental
Micronesia, Air New Zealand and Japan Airlines - had confirmed the
latest eruption was reaching 4,500 metres.
Under an emergency declaration, Anatahan has been declared off
limits to all but scientific expeditions until the end of January.
Anatahan is a 33 sq km island, 128km north of here and just over
322km north of Guam. It is around 2,250km south of Tokyo.
JIRKATANG, India -- Armed with
bows and arrows, seven men from the ancient Jarawa tribe came out
of the forest Thursday for the first time since India's isolated
Anadaman and Nicobar islands were shaken by an earthquake and battered
by a tsunami.
In a rare meeting with outsiders, the men said all 250 members
of the tribe escaped inland and were surviving on coconuts.
"We are all safe after the earthquake. We are in the forest
in Balughat," said one of the men, Ashu.
Even though the Jarawas sometimes meet with local officials to
receive government-funded supplies, the tribe is wary of visitors.
"My world is in the forest," Ashu said in broken Hindi
through an interpreter in a restricted forest area at the northern
end of South Andaman Island. "Your world is outside. We don't
like people from outside."
Anthropologists estimate the island's more primitive tribes of
Jarawas, Great Andamanese, Onges, Sentinelese and Shompens have
dwindled to only 400 to 1,000 people. Most of the territory's 350,000
people are members of the larger Nicobarese tribe and ethnic Indians.
Government officials and anthropologists have speculated ancient
knowledge of the movement of wind, sea and birds may have saved
the indigenous tribes from the tsunami that killed 901 people and
left 5,914 missing on the islands.
Ashu and his companions refused to talk about how they avoided
the devastating waves.
The Jarawas didn't have any contact with government authorities
TORONTO - Winter storms and below-normal temperatures
are causing headaches from coast to coast, forcing the country's
busiest airport to cancel dozens of flights and plunging the Prairies
into a deep freeze.
Snow and icy rain pelted northeastern United States and southern
Ontario on Thursday morning, as Toronto's Pearson International
Airport cancelled more than 80 flights.
Environment Canada warned of storms from Windsor to Kingston and
Ottawa, predicting up to 20 centimetres of snow in some parts, while
Air Canada said travellers could brace for more delays and cancellations
at Pearson until Friday.
At least 10 centimetres of snow, freezing rain and ice pellets
were also expected to hit areas from Montreal to Atlantic Canada
later in the day.
Bitter cold descends on Prairies
The Prairies suffered most on Thursday, as meteorologists warned
of severe wind chills while health officials urged people to stay
The wind chill made it feel like –41 C in Winnipeg, which
like many Prairie communities is still digging out from last week's
A day earlier, the wind chill dipped to –51 C in Regina.
"I can't remember it being this cold," said one man,
"and I've been here a long time. It's pretty nippy."
It wasn't a record for the city, where temperatures plunged to
–50 C in 1885, without the wind chill. But the severe cold
took its toll.
Flights were delayed at Regina's airport as cargo doors froze
and equipment broke down, while hundreds of cars and trucks failed
to start or bogged down in snow.
In a move that's rare on the Prairies, many schools closed as
their boards feared students might get stranded on broken-down buses.
In Edmonton, fire forced dozens of homeless people from a shelter,
leaving the city scrambling to find alternative housing.
Doctors are warning of hypothermia-induced cardiac arrests, exhaustion
from shovelling in the extreme cold and exposure.
The freeze was expected to let up a bit later Thursday, but then
return with a vengeance on the weekend, when the Prairies will be
in for another bout of temperatures in the –20s.
Vancouver temperatures dip to unusual low
Meanwhile, British Columbia is experiencing its own type of deep
freeze as the first snowfall of the winter began falling across
the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island on Thursday morning.
Flurries were expected to dump up to five centimeters, with more
snow expected through Saturday.
Temperatures in the Vancouver area dipped a few degrees below
zero overnight Wednesday, which is unusually cold for the city.
Advocates for the homeless worried that some of Vancouver's most
vulnerable residents won't be able to cope.
Penny Kerrigan said one young street person she encountered was
typical of those her social welfare group has been helping.
"He said it was so cold he felt like his feet were going
to fall off, so he had to walk."
CARSTAIRS, Alberta - RCMP say several people
were taken to various hospitals following a 60-vehicle pileup in
central Alberta this afternoon.
The pileup happened on an icy stretch of Highway Two near Carstairs,
about 50 kilometres north of Calgary.
Mounties say none of the injuries is life threatening.
They say the accident happened in a low-lying area and oncoming
drivers didn't have time to stop.
The road around the accident scene is closed while emergency officials
clearing the area. [...]
|WELLINGTON : New Zealanders complaining about
unseasonal summer rain in recent weeks have received proof of changing
climatic conditions after icebergs were sighted in local waters for
the first time since 1948.
The icebergs were see in the Southern Ocean, about 700 kilometres
(420 miles) southeast of the South Island, the National Institute
of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said Thursday.
They were a hazard to all shipping, including yachts participating
in the Vendeeglobe solo round-the-world race, officials said.
The Vendeeglobe website has issued a warning to competitors after
one sailor sustained minor damage to his boat when he hit an iceberg
just before Christmas.
NIWA scientist Lionel Carter said 15 icebergs, some up to three
kilometres wide, have been recorded.
"In 30 years of working for NIWA, this is the first time
I have recorded sightings of icebergs in New Zealand waters,"
Previous reportings were in the 1890s, early 1920s, 1930s and
In 1931 icebergs were seen as far north as near Dunedin in the
He said it was too soon to blame this flotilla of ice on global
warming, although the coincidence of large collapses of the Antarctic
ice shelves with a rapidly changing climate could not be dismissed.
The icebergs are expected to drift towards South America.
A tropical cyclone, codenamed Kerry, which
threatened to hit northern Vanuatu has weakened overnight.
However, there are warnings it could intensify.
At last report, the category one cyclone was 230 kilometres north
of the capital Port Villa and moving south-west at 10 knots.
Fiji's National Weather Forecasting Centre says the cyclone is
expected to pass across Vanuatu with maximum wind gusts to 40 knots,
but may gain strength once it reaches open sea.
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