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Israel’s “Religious Coloration” Nukes
January 24, 2005

It’s not only Iran an Syria, Meir Dagan, Mossad boss, told Haaretz, but it is also Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Arabs want nukes and you know what Arabs with nukes will do to Israel. Dagan didn’t say Egypt and Saudi Arabia would necessarily nuke Israel. But he did say Iran is urging “Hezbollah to carry out terror attacks in Israeli territory, and giving assistance to Palestinian terror organizations,” in other words organizations resisting Israeli occupation. As for “Israel territory,” we can only assume Dagan is talking about the Shebba farms area, part of Syria until the Israelis stole it. Last week Hezbollah blew up an Israeli bulldozer near Shebba farms and the Israelis responded by bombing villages in southern Lebanon, an obvious violation of that nation’s sovereignty, although it was not framed that way in Haaretz.

Shimon Peres chimed in on the Israeli broken record mantra. “Iran is the problem of the Middle East,” Peres said. “It is a group of people who have freed themselves from speaking the truth, who think that the means justify the ends, and who hide everything they do,” he told Army Radio. “It is the center of terrorism in the Middle East. It is trying to create a nuclear option with a religious coloration.”

Never mind that Israel’s nukes—numbered between 200 and 400 and ready to go—have both a religious and nationalist coloration. Israel is a weapons of mass destruction state, the only one in the Middle East with the exception of Pakistan, and is not shy about using them. In 1948, specialized Israeli military units sabotaged water wells with typhoid and dysentery bacteria in Acre (near Haifa), a rather vicious war crime. Israel is not a signatory to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and it has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. As James Brooks points out, Israel has used chemical warfare against Palestinians demonstrating against the apartheid wall. “What the army used here [in the West Bank village of al-Zawiya] yesterday [June 10th, 2004] was not tear gas,” wrote Gush Shalom, an Israeli peace group.

We know what tear gas is, what it feels like. That was something totally different…. When we were still a long way off from where the bulldozers were working, they started shooting things like this one (holding up a dark green metal tube with the inscription “Hand and rifle grenade no.400″ - in English). Black smoke came out. Anyone who breathed it lost consciousness immediately, more than a hundred people. They remained unconscious for nearly 24 hours. One is still unconscious, at Rapidiya Hospital in Nablus. They had high fever and their muscles became rigid. Some needed urgent blood transfusion. Now, is this a way of dispersing a demonstration, or is it chemical warfare?

Further evidence of Israeli development of chemical weapons surfaced on October 4, 1992, when a Boeing 747 airliner of the Israeli airline El Al crashed into apartment blocks at Bijlmermeer, near Schiphol Airport, south-east of Amsterdam, en route from New York to Tel Aviv. “At least 47 people were killed and over a thousand local residents fell ill to respiratory, neurological and mobility ailments and experienced a rise in cancer and birth defects,” writes Neil Sammonds. In 1998 the Dutch daily Handelsblad revealed that the Israeli plane not only carried depleted uranium, but “10 tons of chemicals, including hydrofluoric acid, isopropanol and dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) —three of the four chemicals used in the production of sarin nerve gas.”

In 1998, the London Times reported Israel has conducted research into “ethnic bombs,” a “biological weapon that would harm Arabs but not Jews, according to Israeli military and western intelligence sources. … In developing their ‘ethno-bomb’, Israeli scientists are trying to exploit medical advances by identifying distinctive genes carried by some Arabs, then create a genetically modified bacterium or virus. … The programme is based at the biological institute in Nes Tziyona, the main research facility for Israel’s clandestine arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.”

Not surprisingly, the biological studies were first initiated by the racist South African Apartheid regime, a natural ally of the equally racist and vicious Israelis. “The idea of a Jewish state conducting such research has already provoked outrage in some quarters because of parallels with the genetic experiments of Dr Josef Mengele, the Nazi scientist at Auschwitz.” The claim Israel is developing ethnic weapons was confirmed by the Foreign Report, a Jane’s publication that closely monitors security and defense matters. “It reports unnamed South African sources as saying Israeli scientists have used some of the South African research in trying to develop an ‘ethnic bullet’ against Arabs.”

In short, Israel is “the center of terrorism in the Middle East,” not Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. It has more weapons of mass destruction than all of the countries Dagan mentioned—and it has used them against Palestinians. Considering this, it is perfectly natural for Iran to build a nuclear program in response to Israel’s use of WMD and its non-stop threats issued against the Iranian government and the people of Iran. It has little to do with “religious coloration” and everything to do with making sure Israel does not attack, something they continually urge the Americans to do.

Obviously, tiny Israel, barely capable of containing Palestinian resistance to occupation, is unable to take on Iran. “Peres cautioned against Israel taking on the burden of confronting Tehran,” notes Haaretz. “The Iran issue is a global one. Let the world conduct the war. How much do we need to take upon ourselves,” said Peres. “In any event, Peres continued, diplomatic solutions must be explored by Washington and others before any decision for military action should be taken.”

“Pentagon hardliners,” i.e., Strausscons in the Pentagon, are mulling “the use of air and special operations attacks against Iran’s suspected nuclear facilities” in order to “stop the ruling clerics in Tehran [from] acquiring warheads,” write Julian Borger and Ian Traynor. “Washington has stood aside from recent European negotiations with Iran, and Pentagon hardliners are convinced that the current European-brokered deal suspending nuclear enrichment and intensifying weapons inspections is unenforceable and will collapse in months.” In other words, the Strausscons and the Likudites are waiting for the European negotiations to fail before they attack Iran, telling the world it will be a last ditch effort to get rid of Iran’s phantom nukes of “religious coloration.”

This is scary business. Iran’s Shahab-4 and Shahab-5 missiles are more than capable of striking Israel with conventional explosive payloads. If Israel or the United States attack Iran—as they will most assuredly do after the Europeans give up on negotiations—Iran will undoubtedly respond by attacking Israel and U.S. forces in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. If this happens, all hell will break loose and Israel will respond with its weapons of mass destruction. It will be the first chapter of World War IV, as envisioned by the Strausscons.

You can almost hear the exuberant salivation of the “civilians” over at the Pentagon in response to the prospect of waging “total war,” a quote apparently misattributed to Michael Ledeen. In fact, the quote is attributed to Adam G. Mercurial, a National Review columnist. Mercurial wrote:

if we are going to win a total victory in the war on terrorism while deterring other major wars around the globe, we will first have to rid ourselves of our aversion to total war. By ‘total’ war, I mean the kind of warfare that not only destroys the enemy’s military forces, but also brings the enemy society to an extremely personal point of decision, so that they are willing to accept a reversal of the cultural trends that spawned the war in the first place. A total-war strategy does not have to include the intentional targeting of civilians, but the sparing of civilian lives cannot be its first priority… The purpose of ‘total’ war is to permanently force your will onto another people group… [T]octal war pits nation against nation, even culture against culture.

It is “total war” the Strausscons want to wage against the Iranians, Arabs, and the Muslims of South Asia. How better to do this than to nuke them, or unleash an “ethno-bomb” to decimate them because “sparing of civilian lives cannot be its first priority"? For as Ledeen has said, “There is every reason to believe we will succeed in revolutionizing the Middle East, for we have always excelled at destroying tyrannies… We wage total war, because we fight in the name of an idea—freedom —and ideas either triumph or fail.”

“Freedom,” or rather “a reversal of the cultural trends that spawned the war in the first place” (because Likudites and Strausscons hate Muslim culture) through bunker-buster, cruise missile, depleted uranium, and possibly nukes and ethno-bombs is what the Strausscons are all about, as Iraq and Afghanistan make painfully obvious.

Bush has his “political capital,” plans to spend it, and the Strausscons are “ascendant,” as the corporate media reports, so we can expect perpetual bombing campaigns, invasions, and occupations in the near future. It is, after all, what the Strausscons have promised for more than a decade now. Surprise in response to the unleashing of World War IV will be inappropriate.

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King George

The Coronation Viewed from Israel

January 24, 2005

When King George V died, we got a day off from school as a sign of mourning. Palestine was then a part of the British Empire, which ruled the country under a League of Nations mandate. To this very day, a central street in Tel-Aviv, not far from my home, bears the name of King George.

George V was followed (after a brief interlude) by George VI, who was until recently the last George in our life. Now we have a new King George, not British but American.

The relationship between the United States and Israel is difficult to define. The USA has no official mandate over our country. It is not a normal alliance between two nations. Neither is it a relationship between a satellite and the master country.

Some people say, only half in jest, that the USA is an Israeli colony. And indeed, in many respects it looks like that. President Bush dances to Ariel Sharon's tune. Both Houses of Congress are totally subservient to the Israeli right-wing - much more so than the Knesset. It has been said that if the pro-Israeli lobby were to sponsor a resolution on Capitol Hill calling for the abolition of the Ten Commandments, both Houses of Congress would adopt it overwhelmingly. Every year Congress confirms the payment of a massive tribute to Israel.

But others assert the reverse: that Israel is an American colony. And indeed, that is also true in many respects. It is unthinkable for the Israeli government to refuse a clear-cut request by the President of the United States. America forbids Israel to sell an expensive intelligence-gathering plane to China? Israel cancels the sale. America forbids a large-scale military action, as happened last week in Gaza? No action. America wants the Israeli economy to be managed according to American precepts? No problem: an American (circumcised, to be sure) has just been appointed as Governor of the Central Bank of Israel.

As a matter of fact, both versions are right: The USA is an Israeli colony and Israel is an American colony. The relationship between the two countries is a symbiosis, a term defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "an association of two organisms living attached to each other or one within the other" (from the Greek words for "living" and "together".)

Much has already been said about the origins of this symbiosis. American Christian Zionism preceded the founding of the Jewish Zionist organization. The American myth is almost identical with the Zionist Israeli myth, both in content and symbolism. (The settlers fleeing from persecution in their homelands, an empty country, pioneers conquering the wilderness, the savage natives, etc.) Both are countries of immigration, with all that this implies for good or ill. Both governments believe that their interests coincide. On Independence Day in Israel, many American flags are to be seen next to the Israeli ones - a phenomenon that is without parallel in the world.

The inauguration of George Bush last week therefore had a special significance for Israel. The state-controlled TV channel broadcast it live. In many respects, the President of the United States is also the King of Israel.

George Bush is a very simple, very violent person with very extreme views, as well as being very much an ignoramus. This is a very dangerous combination. Such people have caused many disasters in human history. Maximilian Robespierre, the French revolutionary who invented the reign of terror, has been called "the Great Simplifier" because of the terrible simplicity of his views, which he tried to impose with the guillotine.

The ideologues who govern the thoughts and deeds of Bush are called "neo-conservatives", but that is a misleading appellation. Actually they are a revolutionary group. Their aim is not to conserve but to overturn. Mostly Jewish, they are the pupils of Leo Strauss, a German-Jewish professor with a Trotskyite past who ended up developing semi-fascist theories and propagating them at the University of Chicago. He illustrated his attitude towards democracy by citing the story of Gulliver: when a fire broke out in the city of the dwarfs, he put the fire out by urinating on them. This is the way, in his view, the small elite group of leaders must treat the ignorant and innocent public, which does not know what is good for them.

In his coronation speech, Bush promised to bring freedom and democracy to every corner of the world. No less, no more. He cited the two countries in which he has already achieved this aim: Iraq and Afghanistan. Both have been devastated by American planes that dropped the message from their bomb doors. Recently, the American soldiers wiped a large city from the face of the earth in order to convince the opponents of "American values". Now Falluja looks as if it had been struck by a tsunami.

It is no secret that the Neo-Cons intend to "bring democracy" to Iran and Syria, thereby eliminating two more traditional enemies of the USA and Israel. Dick Cheney, the Vice-President (certainly no Virtue-President), has already prophesied that Israel may attack Iran, as if threatening to unleash a Rottweiler.

It could have been hoped that after the total debacle in Iraq and the less obvious but equally serious failure in Afghanistan, Bush would shrink from more such actions. But as almost always happens with rulers of this type, he cannot admit defeat and stop. On the contrary, failure drives him on to more extremes, vowing, rather like the captain of the Titanic, "to stay the course."

There is no way to guess what Bush may perpetrate, now that he has been re-elected by his people. His ego has been blown up to giant proportions, reaffirming what the Greek fabulist Aesop said some 27 centuries ago: "The smaller the mind the greater the conceit."

He has kicked out the hapless, feeble Colin Powell (as David Ben-Gurion eliminated Moshe Sharett in preparation for his 1956 onslaught on Egypt) and appointed Condoleezza Rice, his personal servant (as Ben-Gurion replaced Sharett with Golda Meir.)

Now the order is "clear the deck for action". On this deck, Bush is a loose cannon, a danger to everyone around. The results of these elections may be viewed by history as a worldwide catastrophe.

In domestic affairs, he may cause similar disasters. In the name of "American values", he is about to destroy one of the foremost American values: the separation of Church and State. His is the religion of a "born again" convert, a primitive religion without morality and compassion. Imposing this religion on all fields of life - from the prohibition of abortions and same-sex marriages to the revision of schoolbooks - may push society centuries back and void the constitution. After four more years of this, America may be a very different country from the one we loved and admired in our youth.

A friend of mine asserts that there are two souls residing in the American nation, a good and a bad one. That may be true for every nation, including even Israel and Palestine, but in America it is much more extreme. There is the America of Thomas Jefferson (even if he liberated his slaves only on his death), Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, the America of ideals, the Marshall Plan, science and the arts. And there is the America of the genocide perpetrated against the Native Americans, the country of slave traders and the Wild West myth, the America of Hiroshima, of Joe McCarthy, of segregation and of Vietnam, the violent and repressive America.

During Bush's second term, this second America may reach new depths of ugliness and brutality. It may offer the whole world a model of oppression. I would not want my country, Israel, to be identified with such an America. Any advantage we can derive from it may well turn out to be short-term, the damage long-lasting, and perhaps irreversible.

One of the advantages of the US constitution is that Bush cannot be re-elected for a third term. As the popular Israeli song goes: "We survived Pharaoh, we shall survive this, too." Perhaps this could become an anthem for the whole world.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is one of the writers featured in The Other Israel: Voices of Dissent and Refusal. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's hot new book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

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Israel resumes work on illegal wall
Monday 24 January 2005, 23:39 Makka Time, 20:39 GMT  

Israeli bulldozers have resumed work on one of the most controversial sections of the illegal separation wall deep in the northern West Bank.

The work began on Monday after an eight-month pause when the construction was halted by a court order.

Palestinian security sources in Salfit town, which lies just to the south of the Jewish settlement of Ariel, said three bulldozers began work in the late morning, clearing land belonging to Salfit and to the neighbouring village of Iskaka.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli defence ministry confirmed that work had been renewed on a section near the Ariel settlement after it was approved by Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz.

"The decision to recommence work on the security fence (in the Ariel area) was approved by the attorney-general," she said without giving further details.

Court ordered halt

A spokeswoman for the justice ministry was unable to provide any information about Mazuz's decision or the reasons behind it.

Work on the Ariel section of the vast barrier was halted on 25 June by order of the Israeli supreme court following an appeal lodged a month earlier by Salfit mayor Shaher Eshtieh.

In the appeal, Eshtieh warned construction of the Ariel section would confiscate some 170,000 dunams of land (17,000 hectares) belonging to Salfit and 19 other villages in the area.

In October 2003, the Israeli government decided to include Ariel and a number of other settlements inside the wall's route by building a series of horseshoe-shaped fences which would later be linked up to the main section.

Construction of the Ariel section, which started last June, is particularly contentious as it is situated very deep inside the West Bank.

Some 16,000 people live in Ariel, one of the largest of all Jewish colonies.

Clashing opinions

Although the Hague-based World Court ruled in July that parts of the barrier built on Palestinian land are illegal, Israel has insisted it will complete the project, which is eventually expected to stretch some 700km.

Incidentally, the Palestine Society at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies School recently organised a seminar and photo exhibition on the impact of the West Bank wall on Palestinian lives.

The seminar concluded that the wall will prevent the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, create a real humanitarian crisis, and deny Muslims and Christians access to holy sites.

The participants deemed the advisory ruling of the Hague-based World Court as very significant, despite the fact that it was not adopted by the United Nations due to the US veto.

Speaking at the seminar, Azmi Bishara, Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, said construction of the barrier wall will continue, but one day it will be removed.

He regretted that there were no Palestinian or Arab initiatives aimed at enlightening the international public about the grave implications of the barrier wall.

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Arrest follows milk contamination
Jan 25, 2005

An Israeli man has been arrested for allegedly contaminating 40,000 litres of milk on a mid-Canterbury dairy farm.

Anbiotics were discovered during a routine test carried out on all milk which is collected by Fonterra tankers.

Ashburton police say the 30-year-old man, who is in New Zealand on a work permit, is charged under new provisions in the Crimes Amendement Act with contaminating food, crops or water intended for human consumption.

If found guilty the man could face up to 10 years in jail.

He will appear in the Ashburton District Court on January 31.

Comment: From Fonterra's Facts and Figures page, we learn the following:

Formed in October 2001, Fonterra is co-operatively owned by more than 12,000 dairy farmers. One of the top ten dairy companies in the world, Fonterra is the leading exporter of dairy products and is responsible for a third of international dairy trade. New Zealand dairy farmers have long been renowned for producing quality milk more efficiently than anyone else in the world. Today New Zealand is a world leader in large-scale milk procurement and processing.

Fonterra’s global supply chain stretches from farms in New Zealand to customers and consumers in 140 countries, with some of the best known dairy brands, world leading manufacturing sites, quality and cost marketing and distribution with seamless integration from cow to customer.

We were reminded of the following article...

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Flashback: Terrorists May be Using New Zealand Passports

NZ City – April 29, 2004

Police fear al Qaeda terrorists using NZ passports following arrest of 2 men in Thailand and seizure of fake NZ passports.

There are fears al Qaeda terrorists may be roaming the world, passing themselves off as New Zealanders.

It follows the arrest of two men in Thailand, and the seizure of 11 fake New Zealand passports.

Police picked up the Thai and his Pakistani accomplice in an undercover raid in Bangkok on Monday.

The forged New Zealand documents are among 23 fake passports found in their apartment.

The arrests followed the arrest last month of another Pakistani suspect, found with 12 fake New Zealand passports.

The Bangkok Post newspaper says the passports might have been used by al Qaeda-linked terrorist suspects or human traffickers.

The documents have serial numbers beginning with N379, which allows visa-free entry to several countries.

Thai police say terrorist suspects arrested in Europe have travelled to several nations carrying fake passports with such serial numbers.

Comment: So "al-Qaeda" have got their hands on fake New Zealand passports. We wonder where they might have got those from? We wonder who "al-Qaeda" really is? We also wonder who really carried out the 9/11 attacks? We also wonder who is really behind the "war on terror"? And finally we wonder when people are going to put two and two together...

Flashback: Government demands Israel return any bogus passports

New Zealand Herald – April 19, 2004

The Government called in an Israeli diplomat over suspected Mossad spies arrested in New Zealand and demanded the Israeli Government return any bogus New Zealand passports it might have.

Flashback: Israeli man entered NZ using Canadian passport, court told

New Zealand Herald April 22, 2004

Documents produced at the Auckland District Court show an Israeli man who allegedly tried to obtain a false New Zealand passport previously came to this country on a Canadian passport.

Flashback: Israelis in passport case show their disguise talents

The New Zealand Herald
April 24, 2004

Flashback: New Zealand vows "strong response" to alleged Israeli bid to get passports

AFP – Saturday April 17, 2004

AUCKLAND – New Zealand vowed to make a strong response after two Israelis reported to be Mossad spies were arrested and charged with attempting to obtain New Zealand passports.

Comment: New Zealand's "strong response" consisted of jailing the two Mossad spies for six months and cutting off diplomatic relations with Israel. Only two and half months into their six month sentence, the two men were released "for good behavior" and shipped back to Israel.

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Israel warns of resurging anti-Semitism
Mon Jan 24, 6:28 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS - Israel's foreign minister Silvan Shalom warned at a special UN General Assembly session against a resurgence of anti-Jewish sentiment that was developing in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

"Today, once again the plague of anti-Semitism is raising its head," Shalom said at a historic UN General Assembly meeting observing the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps.

"Who could have imagined that less than 60 years after Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, the Jewish people and Israel would be the targets of anti-Semitic attacks -- even in the countries that witnessed the Nazi atrocities?" Shalom said. "Yet this is exactly what is happening."

He paid homage to the victims and liberators of World War II's Nazi death camps, urging world leaders to fight against the "delegitimization and dehumanization" of any group of people.

"By convening here today in this historic special session, we honour the victims, we pay respect to the survivors, and we pay tribute to the liberators," said Shalom said at the event -- -- the first ever UN session commemorating the Holocaust.

"Today once again we are witnessing against Jews and other minorities that same process of delegitimization and dehumanization," he warned at the meeting attended by Holocaust survivors and the foreign ministers of Israel, Germany and several other countries.

Speakers at the event were to include Nobel Peace Prize laureate and author Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald concentration camps.

"Let all of us gathered here pledge never to forget the victims, never to abandon the survivors, and never to allow such an event ever to be repeated," Shalom said.

Comment: It is important to remember that speaking out against the policies of Israel's Zionist leadership is not anti-Semitism. Those who speak out against Bush and the Neocons certainly aren't considered anti-American or anti-Christian - except maybe by Bush supporters in America...

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Zionism and the Protocols
Richard Greaves

Few writings have created so much controversy and argument than ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Towards the end of the 19th. century, this remarkable and disturbing manuscript came to light. Originally in French, but subsequently appearing in Russian, Italian, Arabic, Japanese and ultimately in English around 1920, it can best be described as a blueprint for world domination. Written, it is claimed, by a shadowy secret group at the highest echelons of world Jewry, it is signed: “the representatives of Zion of the 33rd. degree.”

Despite widespread claims to the contrary, this is not, repeat not, evidence of a plot on the part of the Jewish people as a whole. The title itself and the contents make that absolutely clear. Jews are not synonymous with Zionists -- Zionism is a political movement which, although largely made up of Jews, is only actively supported by a minority of Jews and actually opposed by many Jews. It also has powerful and influential non Jewish supporters as well. It emerged publicly in Europe towards the end of the 19th century, at a time when nationalism generally was becoming a potent force throughout Europe. Central to it has been the creation of a racial and national identity for adherents of the Jewish faith, which previously hadn’t existed. Over the years diverse ranges of peoples have adopted the Jewish faith. There are those who are descended from the original Jews who inhabited 2000 or more years ago and though many would not admit it, these people of middle eastern stock are basically Arabs through a common ancestry with the Arabs.

On the other hand about 90% of modern Jews have no ancestral links with ancient Judea. These are the so called Ashkenazim – European Jews, who are descended from the Khazars, a race of Turkish origin, who converted en masse to Judaism in the 8th century and subsequently settled in parts of Russia and northern Europe [1]. It is amongst this group of Jews that the core of the Zionist movement is to be found and who, today, form the ruling elite in Israel. Zionism’s appearance coincided with the emergence of the Protocols, suggesting there may be much more to it than merely the establishment and subsequent enlargement of a Jewish state as was the original publicly stated objective. Many Jews today are very much opposed to the continued expansionist aims of Zionism and it is very likely that today the majority, including many supporters of Zionism, know nothing of the Protocols. Since the first appearance of the Protocols, there have been vigorous claims that the document is “a forgery”. But if so, of what?

It is generally claimed to be an attempt emanating from Russia falsely to accuse world Jewry of a plot to rule the world, as a means of promoting and justifying the persecution of Jews. It is quite understandable how this came about, because the Protocols were widely circulated and promoted in the 1920s and 30s in such a way as to create the impression of a massive conspiracy by world Jewry and that is how many people reacted to them. Indeed the covers of some published editions were emblazoned with the additional words “the Jewish Peril”. The document inevitably came to the attention of Hitler and the Nazis, and it was used by them as added justification for their persecution of the Jews. Furthermore there was considerable spin off in the form of a number of fanatical, scurrilous and outrageous articles and publications directed against Jews as a whole. Some of these originated in pre revolutionary Russia whilst others appeared elsewhere in Europe. Some plagiarised parts of the Protocols themselves and falsely claimed to be of Jewish origin, as Professor Norman Cohn reveals in his book “Warrant for Genocide – the myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion” [2].

However, this extreme reaction has to be seen in the context of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, which sent massive shock waves across Europe, with fears that the whole of Europe might succumb to a Communist take-over. As it became known, and as we will see later, that Jewish financial interests had largely funded the revolution and that many of the leading participants were Jews, one begins to see why some people reacted to the Protocols in the way that they did. Yet the truth of the matter is - and it is made abundantly clear in the document itself - this is NOT a plot by Jews as a whole. Nonetheless, the danger signals are clear - the document may well be the work of a small Jewish elite, but it is the majority that can end up getting the blame and suffering the terrible consequences.

Origins of the Protocols?

The Elders of Zion are thought to be the successors of the Pharisees who made up Great Sanhedrin – the highest Jewish authority around the time of Jesus, which continued to exist until at least the 15th century, moving from Jerusalem to Galilee following the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans around 70 AD and thereafter being based in Constantinople for 1000 years or more. Some suggest that they are the so called “Illuminati” said to be at the highest level of initiation in freemasonry. The reasoning behind the Protocols is based on the concept of the Jews being God’s chosen people. This belief is still held by many Jews today. For centuries, it has set the Jews apart, and sadly nothing has done more to cause conflict, suffering and persecution than this piece of misguided religious indoctrination.

The concept of “the chosen people” has its origins in the old testament of the bible, which also constitutes the Jewish bible or Tanach. This is the foundation of the Jewish “Torah” which is the axis around which the whole of Judaism revolves. “Torah” is also the name sometimes given to the first five books of the Old Testament which, in traditional Judaism, are considered to be a faithful and exact record of the word of God to the prophet Moses. However, in the fifth book, Deuteronomy, this “god” of the Israelites (otherwise known as Yahweh) is portrayed as wrathful, tyrannical and demanding unquestioning obedience. The Israelites are told that they are a superior chosen race. In return for the “promised land”, they are ordered to destroy without mercy all other tribes living there. This is graphically set out in Deuteronomy chapters 7 and 20. They are told that carrying out these instructions will bring great material rewards, but failure to obey will entail terrible consequences (Chapter 28).

Large sections of Deuteronomy are blatantly racist, blood thirsty and a license to plunder and pillage – yet this is still part of a so called holy book central to Judaism and Christianity as well. The Promised Land is described as stretching from the “western sea” (the Mediterranean) to the Euphrates river (present day Iraq) [3]. Some ultra orthodox Jews today, particularly in Israel, still take this seriously, and it certainly helps to explain why, since 1967, Palestinians in the Israeli occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza have had their land and property expropriated by the Israeli authorities, as Jewish settlements have continuously expanded into these areas. Indeed this concept of the promised land was the rationale behind the Zionist declaration in 1906 of intent to re-establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine after 1,900 years, which in turn led to mass Jewish emigration into Palestine and the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948.

In the Protocols, the Jewish people other than those belonging to an elite caste are referred to as “the lesser brethren”. Everyone else is referred to as “the Goyim”, a thoroughly derogatory term meaning cattle. The Goyim are seen as inferior, ignorant, stupid and totally unfit to govern and look after world affairs. They therefore need to be covertly controlled by intellectual superiors, whilst the lesser brethren are to be used unwittingly as part of the plan for global domination, and are considered expendable in attaining it. Those who insist that the Protocols are a faked document designed falsely to accuse world Jewry of a plot to dominate the world, fail to address the fact that the agenda of this document makes victims out of most Jews as much as anyone else. Those who promoted the Protocols in the 1920s and 30s seem to have been just as blind to this fact as well. What is also not addressed by the same people, is the possibility that the Protocols are the latest updated manifestation of the racist, supremacist themes in Deuteronomy mentioned above - themes which are repeated in many other parts of the old testament, and which can also be found in the Jewish Talmud. In particular Professor Cohn looks at none of these issues in his book “Warrant for Genocide” referred to above.

Turning to the Talmud, this means literally “the teaching”. It contains some 4500 pages compiled between the 3rd and 5th centuries with later additions in the 11th century and further commentaries added in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is basically an edited record of discussions and debates of leading rabbis of the time. It contains an extraordinarily detailed mass of laws, regulations, rituals and requirements governing every aspect and detail of Jewish life. It also includes many noble teachings, aspirations and ethical guidelines, which are clearly an important focus for most religious Jews today, and it is very important not to lose sight of this fact. However as Professor Israel Shahak reveals in his devastating critique “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – the weight of 3000 years” [4], the fact is that parts of the Talmud also develop and reinforce the highly destructive and racist themes found in parts of the old testament. These sections were clearly written by fanatics and are still followed by fanatics today.

For example Gentiles (non Jews) are regarded as inferior and are despised and referred to in the most derogatory terms. They have been created to serve Jews and are equated with dogs. They are regarded as satanic creatures and liars, in which there is no good. Gentile women are equated with prostitutes. Gentiles are to be exploited and Jews should avoid any situation where Gentiles have authority over them. A remark by one of the rabbis of the extremist Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful) movement in Israel, that “the life of a thousand Gentiles is not worth the toenail of a Jew” summarises the attitude of hatred and scorn directed at non Jews that is to be found in parts of the Talmud [5].

These attitudes are also reflected in parts of the Halakhah, which was the legal system of classical Judaism from the 9th to the 18th centuries, adopted by the tightly knit Jewish communities in Europe at that time, and which survives today in some quarters of ultra orthodox Judaism. Under this legal code for example it is a capital offence to murder a Jew punishable in a court of law, but the murder of a Gentile requires no punishment and is left to God’s judgement [6]. It was because of sentiments like these and also highly derogatory remarks about Christianity and Jesus, that the Talmud was banned and destroyed in parts of Europe during the middle ages. These sentiments also must have fuelled the demonization and persecution of Jews by many Christians in mediaeval Europe - the belief that Jews were devil worshippers, demons in human form, and took part in ritual child sacrifices. The Talmud subsequently reappeared with the offensive sections toned down or removed altogether and it is these much more moderate versions that are in general use and circulation today [7].

Nevertheless the racist supremacist sections have never disappeared altogether – they have reappeared in more recent years generally amongst the ultra orthodox communities of Hassidic Jews (pious ones) in parts of the USA, particularly New York, and especially in Israel itself, where fanatics have felt safe within the security provided by the Jewish state, to publish and circulate these ideas. Often what is really being promoted is concealed by translations and commentaries into English from the original Hebrew, which hide the true nature of the Hebrew texts, so that outsiders with no knowledge of Hebrew do not understand what is actually being said and taught [8].

This is illustrated by the fact that amongst this Jewish theology can be found references to the redemption of the individual soul and of the Jewish people which will be achieved with the arrival of the “Messiah” once Jews govern the entire world… (my emphasis) [9]. Add this to what appears in the book of Exodus, the second book of the old testament Chapter 23, verse 22 where “god” promises to his chosen people “If thou shalt indeed do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come…” - then it becomes ever more clear that there may indeed be some fanatical Jewish elite hell bent on some kind of global domination, and the Protocols are the latest in a line of edicts and declarations to that effect.

1 See “The Thirteenth Tribe” by Jewish author Arthur Koestler, and also at
2 Eyre & Spottiswoode 1967, Pelican Books 1970 and republished Serif 1996.
3 See Deuteronomy, Chapter 11 verses 24 & 25.
4 Pluto Press 1994 – it is a short clear and concise account which cannot be recommended too strongly. It is also accessible in full at
5 See “A Spectre Haunting Jerusalem” Red Pepper - June 2002. Red Pepper is a monthly socialist magazine. Not one for seeing the bigger picture, but really excellent for details in particular areas e.g. the scam of so called new Labour, corporate power, private finance initiatives and more . Also good on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Available from 1b Waterlow Road London N19 5NJ
6 Whilst today no state including Israel makes such a distinction in its criminal law, it undoubtedly explains why in practice extremists in Israel are dealt with so leniently when apprehended for killing Arabs and Palestinians – e.g. 10 weeks in jail for killing a Palestinian in his shoe shop – see article mentioned in note 61 above.
7 For a look at traditional mainstream Judaism, try a very extensive website set up by a Canadian Rabbi, Boruch Clinton, which includes a lot of easy to follow introductory material.
8 More on this in Prof. Shahak’s “Jewish History Jewish Religion”
9 See “ Zionist Ideology, non-Jews and the State of Israel” - report by Ur Shlonsky based on a talk given at Geneva University 10/6/02.

Comment: The comments about many Jews sharing a common ancestry with Arabs and about how the "lesser Jews" are expendable in the eyes of the Zionists are rather interesting. See our Ethnic Specific Weapons supplement for more details...

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Russian Lawmakers Target Jewish Groups
By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jan 25, 7:49 AM ET

MOSCOW - A group of nationalist Russian lawmakers called Monday for a sweeping investigation aimed at outlawing all Jewish organizations and punishing officials who support them, accusing Jews of fomenting ethnic hatred and saying they provoke anti-Semitism.

In a letter dated Jan. 13, about 20 members of the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, asked Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov to investigate their claims and to launch proceedings "on the prohibition in our country of all religious and ethnic Jewish organizations as extremist."

The letter, faxed in part to The Associated Press by the office of lawmaker Alexander Krutov, said, "The negative assessments by Russian patriots of the qualities and actions against non-Jews that are typical of Jews correspond to the truth ... The statements and publications against Jews that have incriminated patriots are self-defense, which is not always stylistically correct but is justified in essence."

The stunning call to ban all Jewish groups raised concerns of persistent anti-Semitism in Russia.

Jewish leaders have praised President Vladimir Putin's government for encouraging religious tolerance, but rights groups accuse the authorities of failing to prosecute the perpetrators of anti-Semitic and racial violence.

Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar, said lawmakers were looking for support "by playing the anti-Semitic card."

The prosecutor general's office could not immediately be reached for comment on the letter, which the Interfax news agency said was signed by lawmakers from the nationalist Rodina and Liberal Democratic parties as well as the Communist Party.

Krutov, a Rodina member, is deputy chief of the Duma's Committee on Information Policy.

With Putin planning to join events this week commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops, Russia's Holocaust Foundation head Alla Gerber said it was "horrible that as we're marking the 60th anniversary of this tragic and great day ... we can speak of the danger of fascism in the countries that defeated fascism."

While the Russian state itself is no longer anti-Semitic, there are "anti-Semitic campaigns that are led by all sorts of organizations," she said.

"The economic situation is ripe for this. An enemy is needed, and the enemy is well-known, traditional," Gerber said.

Echoing anti-Semitic tracts of the Czarist era, the letter's authors accuse Jews of working against the interests of the countries where they live and of monopolizing power worldwide. They say the United States "has become an instrument for achieving the global aims of Judaism."

"It is possible to say that the entire democratic world today is under the monetary and political control of international Judaism, which high-profile bankers are openly proud of," the letter says.

Along with outlawing Jewish organizations, the lawmakers call for the prosecution of "individuals responsible for providing these groups with state and municipal property, privileges and state financing."

Comment: Calling all Jewish organizations extremist misses the key point that there are Jews, and then there are Zionist Jews. As the previous article illustrates, the Zionists don't seem to care what happens to "regular" Jews. It is therefore not surprising that quite a large number of Jews are opposed to Zionism.

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Iraqi troops accused of torture, judge slain in grim run-up to poll
25 January 2005 2100 hrs
BAGHDAD : Gunmen shot dead a top Iraqi judge as charges that Iraqi forces were torturing suspects brought a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein's regime just days before elections are due to usher in democracy.

Accusations that Iraqi troops are using electric shocks on captives' genitals and earlobes and that male and female Iraqi detainees are subject to forced sodomy, cigarette burns and beatings, came from two civil rights groups.

And a US official, whose troops' behaviour in Abu Ghraib prison shocked the world, said that the embassy in Baghdad was concerned enough to raise the problem with the Iraqi government.

"Their record is not spotless on human rights," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

With the national elections now only five days away, Sunni militants raised the temperature in the streets of Baghdad.

In a daylight ambush, assailants gunned down a senior Baghdad judge and his brother-in-law and then danced in the street, shouting "this is what will happen to the traitor Shiites".

Judge Qaiss Hashem al-Shamari, 32, the secretary of Iraq's council of judges, who was driving with his brother-in-law, died in a hail of bullets.

"When they shot them, they jumped out of the car and started shouting 'this is what will happen to the traitor Shia'," a fellow judge told AFP.

Earlier this month, the governor of Baghdad and the capital's deputy police chief were gunned down as insurgents escalated their efforts to sabotage next Sunday's national election.

The latest killings followed a chill warning from Iraq's most-wanted man, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, who said snipers would take out Iraqis who try to vote in the elections.

"Trained snipers will be ready to kill the apostates who go to the electoral lairs," said a statement signed by Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda Group in the Land of Two Rivers, handed out in the town of Al-Dur.

"The coming days will be the worst for those involved in the operation to establish the principles of apostates in the land of Islam," added the text. [...]

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Israel to wage pyschological warfare
By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
Tuesday 25 January 2005, 16:22 Makka Time, 13:22 GMT
The Israeli army has decided to activate a special unit skilled in waging information warfare and influencing Israeli and Palestinian public opinion, reports say.

The Psychological Warfare Unit (PWU) will also disseminate "disinformation" and "carefully manipulated information" about Iran and other hostile and potentially hostile countries in the Middle East.

According to Israeli press sources, the unit, which was disbanded nearly five years ago, is staffed with dozens of mostly Arabic-speaking intelligence
officers as well as Shin Bet (Israel's domestic intelligence agency) operatives.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the unit, headed by a veteran intelligence officer holding the rank of a colonel, will be mainly involved in "the battle for the consciousness".

Deadly incursions

Last year, Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon spoke of the need to "sear into the consciousness of the Palestinians" that resistance to the Israeli occupation was futile and would earn them no achievements.

The Israeli occupation army did try to implement Yaalon's recommendation in the sense that it launched deadly incursions into Palestinian population centres, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians and destroying thousands of homes.

The Jenin camp blitz of 2002 and the destruction of the bulk of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in 2003 apparently came in this context.

However, the Israeli army's forays, for all the graphic images of death and destruction they managed to produce, seem to have failed to break the will of Palestinian political factions or undermine public support for armed resistance.

According to Haaretz, the intention behind the activation of the PWU is to conduct "awareness operations" in order to influence Palestinian public opinion, mostly through propaganda and disinformation.

Large posters

The unit reportedly lately was active in the Gaza Strip spreading the message that ordinary Palestinians, not the occupation and Jewish settlements in the area, were suffering because of the resistance.

This week, the unit put up large posters at the Mintar (Karni) crossing between Gaza and Israel proper, which has been closed for more than two weeks now, printed with the words "Closed because of Hamas".

The purpose of such posters is apparently to make ordinary Palestinians redirect their bitterness and indignation from the Israeli occupation and Jewish settlers to Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian resistance groups.

But Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri believes Israeli psychological war has had only a limited impact on Palestinians.

"I think most Palestinians, including myself, don't believe and don't even listen to the Israeli media. We know they are first-class liars. The continuation of the resistance and the strong public support it enjoys testifies to Israeli mendacity," he said, speaking to

"Israeli propaganda won't succeed. Israeli criminal actions on the ground have a greater effect than any PR efforts."

Reverse effect

According to al-Masri, in actual fact it is Palestinians who have been able to "influence Israeli public opinion".

"We have been able to sear into their consciousness that the occupation is futile and will have to come to an end and that there can be no peace and security for Israel as long as the occupation is not dismantled," he said.

Whatever the truth, the PWU reportedly has had a definite "working relationship" with Israeli journalists and media.

In October 1999, the noted Israeli journalist Aluf Benn said members of the unit used the Israeli media to play up stories conceived by it and successfully planted by it in the Arab media.

Benn said the stories focused on Iranian and Hizb Allah involvement in Palestinian resistance activities.

Stories planted

According to Amos Harel, author of the latest Haaretz report on the PWU, the Israeli media did publish and circulate reports originating from the Israeli army's propaganda department.

"Psychological warfare officers were in touch with Israeli journalists covering the Arab world, gave them translated articles from Arab papers (which were planted by the Israeli army) and pressed the Israeli reporters to publish the same news here," he writes.

The purpose of the disinformation is to strengthen the Iranian threat as perceived by the Israeli public, Harel says.

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Would-be Iraqi voters threatened with death
Associated Press

Baghdad — Militants handed out flyers in Baghdad Tuesday promising that rebels would wash the streets with the blood of voters and shower polling stations with bombs, mortar fire and rockets.

The leaflets, which didn't bear the name of any particular group, warned that “those who dare to stand in the lines of death to participate in the elections will be responsible for the consequences that will be heavy.”

“He will not be able to imagine what will happen to him and his family for taking part in this crusaders' conspiracy to occupy the land of Islam,” the flyers said.

As armed men distributed the flyers in the capital's eastern Rashad neighbourhood, Iraqi police fired on them, setting off fierce clashes that left at least 11 policemen dead.

Insurgents have pledged to disrupt the first election since Saddam Hussein was toppled in March 2003.

Sunday's vote is for a 275-seat National Assembly that will choose a new government and write a permanent constitution. Voters will also chose legislatures in each of the 18 provinces. In the Kurdish-ruled area of the north, voters will elect a new regional parliament.

“We have prepared car bombs, rockets, mortars in addition to roadside bombs for every polling centre,” the flyers read. “We promise to wash the streets of Baghdad with the blood of voters.”

The government has announced severe security measures to protect voters on Sunday, including closing Baghdad's international airport for two days, putting many parts of the country under a nighttime curfew and banning cars from the roads.

The flyers said the measures by U.S. and Iraqi forces will not protect voters “because these forces were not able to guarantee the safety of their soldiers and bases.”

The leaflet also said interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's “promises will not protect you because he will not be standing with you in the lines of elections, lines of death, and his main aim is to fill his pockets and satisfy his Jewish and American masters.”

The flyers warned residents to stay at least 500 metres away from polling centres to avoid getting hurt.

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Bloodiest day for US forces in Iraq
Wednesday 26 January 2005, 17:00 Makka Time, 14:00 GMT

A US Marine Corps helicopter has crashed in western Iraq killing 31 people, military officials said.

The military said in a statement on Wednesday: "A US Marine Corps transport helicopter crashed on 26 January at approximately 1.20am (2220 GMT Tuesday) near al-Rutbah while conducting security and stabilisation operations."

The marines declined to provide the cause of the crash.

It said a search-and-rescue operation was under way. The statement said casualties would be confirmed later.

In a separate incident, four US marines were killed in the western province of Al-Anbar on Wednesday, the military said in a statement.

If confirmed, the single-day number of US fatalities would reach 35, bringing to 1416 the number of US military personnel killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion.

The crash came as US-led forces, Iraqi national guardsmen, interim government offices and other election targets were hit around the country.

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Guantanamo four 'need treatment'
The lawyer for two of the four Britons freed from US custody in Guantanamo Bay has said they are victims of torture needing treatment and rehabilitation.

Moazzam Begg, Martin Mubanga, Feroz Abbasi and Richard Belmar were held for three years, accused of al-Qaeda links.

Clive Stafford Smith, who represents Mr Begg and Mr Belmar, said they had been interrogated by MI5 in Cuba and should now be allowed to go free in Britain.

"I can guarantee you we will sue the American government," he added.

But Mr Stafford Smith said the men wanted a "simple apology" and would give any money won through the courts to charity.

The four men, who returned to the UK on Tuesday, are being held at London's Paddington Green police station and are expected to be questioned by anti-terror police later.

If there is no evidence against them they will be released.

Mr Stafford Smith said that once freed, the men should not be subjected to surveillance in Britain.

"It's wrong that we take a British national and follow them around without them being convicted of any crime," he said.

"These people have been tortured by the Americans and abused for three years and they need, not more interrogation, they need more rehabilitation."

'Psychological concerns'

Police have said they have a duty to investigate the men, who landed at RAF Northolt, west London, late on Tuesday afternoon. They were immediately arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and were later visited by their lawyers.

Louise Christian, who represents Mr Mubanga and Mr Abbasi, has also said that after the men were "tortured and abused" at Guantanamo Bay, their arrest in the UK was unfair and inappropriate.

She told BBC News she remained very concerned about their psychological state.

Washington has claimed all four were "enemy combatants" who trained at camps run by al-Qaeda.

The Pentagon says they were freed after the UK government promised they would not be a threat to the national security of the US or any of its allies.

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Update: Chinese Terror Threat A Hoax
January 25th, 2005 08:41:50 PM
Associated Press Writer

MEXICALI, Mexico (AP) -- A suspected Mexican human smuggler who was detained and then released told officials he reported a fake terror threat against Boston as a joke, state and federal officials said Tuesday.

In Boston, the FBI released a statement also saying that the threat was false.

''There were in fact no terrorist plans or activity under way,'' it said. ''Because the criminal investigation is ongoing, no further details can be provided at this time.''

Mexico's federal Attorney General's office released a statement late Tuesday saying that Jose Ernesto Beltran Quinones, 34, who is suspected of smuggling illegal Chinese migrants into the United States from Mexico, had admitted calling 911 about 9 p.m. on Jan. 17 from a cell phone to report the fake terrorist threat. Beltran was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time, the statement said, and he insisted the call ''was only a joke.''

Beltran also denied being a migrant smuggler and was released because of a lack of evidence against him, although the investigation into the matter will continue, the statement said. The news release did not indicate when Beltran was detained. [...]

Beltran allegedly called into the California Highway Patrol on Jan. 17, claiming that four Chinese nationals _ two men and two women _ and two Iraqi nationals entered the United States from Mexico and were awaiting a shipment of nuclear material that would follow them to Boston.

Concern that the group was plotting to detonate a radioactive ''dirty bomb'' led to federal warnings and a hunt for the suspected illegal migrants.

But since news of the tip first broke, officials had stressed that they doubted the credibility of the terror claims.

''While we questioned the credibility of the source information from the very beginning, we were determined to run this out, as we always do, to ensure there was no threat,'' Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and Boston FBI agent in charge Kenneth Kaiser said in a statement.

Katie Ford, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts' Public Safety Office, said authorities were concerned that unfounded terror alerts would make it look like investigators were ''crying wolf.''

''We are keenly aware that in situations like this, government and the media are in a no-win situation,'' she said. ''We don't want to desensitize the public to potential terror attacks.''

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Council of Europe Raps Russia Over Yukos Case, Demands Khodorkovsky Release
Created: 26.01.2005 11:19 MSK (GMT 3), Updated: 11:19 MSK

The Council of Europe passed a resolution on Tuesday questioning the legitimacy of the arrest and prosecution by Russian authorities of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other managers of the disintegrating Russian oil giant Yukos, Radio Free Europe reports.

The resolution questions the fairness, impartiality, and objectivity of the authorities, who, it said, appeared to have acted excessively, disregarding fundamental rights of defense.

Comment: The US, through its Atlanticist allies, is stepping up the pressure on Putin and other countries that are unfriendly to America's imperial designs.

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The Granda Kidnapping Explodes
The US / Colombia Plot Against Venezuela
January 25, 2005
A major diplomatic and political conflict has exploded between Colombia and Venezuela after the revelation of a Colombian government covert operation in Venezuela, involving the recruitment of Venezuelan military and security officers in the kidnapping of a Colombian leftist leader. Following an investigation by the Venezuelan Ministry of Interior and reports and testimony from journalists and other knowledgeable political observers it was determined that the highest echelons of the Colombian government, including President Uribe, planned and executed this onslaught on Venezuelan sovereignty.

Once direct Colombian involvement was established, the Venezuelan government demanded a public apology from the Colombian government while seeking a diplomatic solution by blaming Colombian Presidential advisers. The Colombian regime took the offensive, launching an aggressive defense of its involvement in the violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and, beyond that, seeking to establish in advance, under the rationale of "national security" the legitimacy of future acts of aggression. As a result President Chavez has recalled the Venezuelan Ambassador from Bogota, suspended all state-to-state commercial and political agreements pending an official state apology. In response the US Government gave unconditional support to Colombian violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and urged the Uribe regime to push the conflict further. What began as a diplomatic conflict over a specific incident has turned into a major, defining crises in US and Latin American political relations with potentially explosive military, economic and political consequences for the entire region.

In justifying the kidnapping of Rodrigo Granda, the Colombian leftist leader, the Uribe regime has promulgated a new foreign policy doctrine which echoes that of the Bush Administration: the right of unilateral intervention in any country in which the Colombian government perceives or claims is harboring or providing refuge to political adversaries (which the regime labels as "terrorists") which might threaten the security of the state. The Uribe doctrine of unilateral intervention echoes the preventive war speech, enunciated in late 2001 by President Bush. Clearly Uribe's action and pronouncement is profoundly influenced by the dominance that Washington exercises over the Uribe regime's policies through its extended $3 billion dollar military aid program and deep penetration of the entire political-defense apparatus. [...]

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Meteor narrowly misses village

26/01/2005 13:25 - (SA)

Phnom Penh - A 4.5kg suspected meteorite has landed in rice fields in northwestern Cambodia, narrowly avoiding a nearby village, police said on Wednesday.

"The rock fell on a harvested rice field from the sky on Monday morning," said Sok Sareth, police chief of Banteay Meanchey province, which borders Thailand.

"According to the villagers who live nearby, it came very quickly from the sky and made a noise like a bomb exploding. It dug about 40 centimetres into the ground," he said.

"The rock is a little bit black and was hot, and looks strange compared to other rocks... It was lucky that it did not land in the village or people could have been killed," he said, adding experts would examine the rock.

Pictures of the lump were splashed across the front pages of local newspapers on Wednesday.

Sok Sareth said some villagers reportedly wanted to turn it into a shrine.

"Nobody has asked for it yet, but I have been told some villagers said that they want to put it on a shrine to pray to it, but we won't allow them to do that. It's useless," he said.

Cambodians, particularly in rural areas, are typically superstitious.

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More than 200 Hindu pilgrims die in stampede
Last Updated Tue, 25 Jan 2005 20:15:32 EST
CBC News

NEW DELHI - At least 200 Hindu pilgrims are believed dead and injured hundreds more, following a stampede at a religious festival in western India.

The deaths occurred during a pilgrimage to a temple near the town of Wai.

Officials say a short circuit near the temple may have caused a fire in some roadside stalls, and created panic among the pilgrims, resulting in the stampede.

The exact cause is still being investigated.

The religious event is held to mark the sighting of the first full moon of the year and usually draws 150,000 to 200,000 devotees.

Many pilgrims were crushed and burned to death as the fire forced crowds into a narrow winding path leading to a temple, situated on a hill, near the village.

The situation grew worse as pilgrims jammed the narrow passageways trying to escape the flames.

More than 300,000 people were on a pilgrimage to the temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess, Mandhara Devi.

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Seven dead, 17 missing in Thai island tourist boat accident
25 January 2005 1517 hrs

At least seven people were killed, including four foreign tourists, and 17 people were missing after an overloaded speedboat capsized Tuesday off Thailand's Koh Samui, officials said.

The boat was returning to the southeastern island of Samui from the famous all-night full moon party on the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan which attracts thousands of travellers and ravers from around the world.

A Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) official told AFP that an earlier police toll of eight had been revised downwards to seven.

"We have revised down the death toll to seven, including four foreign tourists and three Thais due to confusion over one patient surviving in hospital," a TAT spokeswoman from Samui told AFP.

"We can confirm only two victims' nationalities: one American and one Israeli," she said, adding that 17 remained missing, including 13 foreign tourists, and that search operations were ongoing.

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Fire rages through part of tsunami-hit Banda Aceh
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - A fire raged in Indonesia's tsunami-battered Banda Aceh city Tuesday, with strong winds fanning the flames across a debris-strewn area spanning at least three kilometers (1.5 miles).

The flames were approaching a power generator, raising fears gas and oil inside the machine might explode. The generator is on a barge that the tsunami washed three kilometers (1.5 miles) inland.

Destroyed and battered vehicles in the ruins began to catch fire, while gas cylinders strewn in the debris were exploding.

Firefighters at the scene said they were running out of water. In one area, debris blocked three fire trucks from getting closer than 200 meters (yards) to the flames and firefighters were dragging dry wood away from the blaze to prevent it from spreading.

No one was known to be living in the area of the blaze that had spread to the Ulee Lheu, Surien and Blang Cut districts in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital. Much of it was flattened by the Dec. 26 tsunami and detritus is stacked about 3 meters (10 feet) high.

About 100 former residents were in the area late Tuesday night, trying to salvage their belongings and find relatives still missing from the tsunami. [...]

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Penans puzzled by outbreak of measles
Malaysia Star

BAKUN: The Penans here are bewildered over the measles outbreak that has killed 14 of them and put 35 in hospital. 

“Rasa sangat panas, sangat sejuk, kuat sakit, kanak-kanak mati. Tak tahu kenapa (Feel very hot, very cold, great pain, kids dying. Don’t know why).” 

That was the simplistic response from the Penans in Sungai Urun in Belaga district, central Sarawak, some 200km from Bintulu town. 

Among the dead, were 13 children. 

Ata Bayong, 24, a Penan who works in a logging camp in Sungai Urun, lives in Rumah Baya, one of the worst hit longhouses. Bayong being looked after by his wife Badi at their Rumah Baya longhouse in Belaga on Monday as his daughter Jennifer looks on.

Burning with fever and wrapped up in towels when he was interviewed on Monday evening, he remains puzzled. 

“Tidak tahu apa berlaku. Banyak orang sakit teruk tiba-tiba. Budak-budak mati. Pertama kali ini macam,” he said in halting Bahasa Malaysia. 

(Don’t know what happened. So many suddenly fell very sick. Children died.)  

His 10-door longhouse is now virtually deserted, with many of the residents hospitalised at the Bintulu Hospital. 

Bayong said those infected did not recognise the symptoms of the disease that had afflicted them.  

He said some residents of the longhouse went to seek medical help a week after the outbreak. [...]

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Dramatic Helens Video Shows Growing Dome

January 25, 2005
By Bob Heye and KATU Web Staff

Vancouver, Wash. - Dramatic video released by the U.S. Geological Survey on Tuesday shows just how fast the lava dome that has been growing inside Mount St. Helens crater has been growing.

The lava dome, nicknamed the 'whaleback' for its long, oblong shape, is now half the size of the old lava dome, which took five years to build. This one has grown to its massive size in just four months.

Scientists are now releasing video showing time lapse pictures taken on the crater's ridge between October and early January, as well as digital images looking down into the crater.

The new images also show scientists using a helicopter to deploy the latest gas monitoring equipment near the base of the new lava dome.

There is also an audio representation of earthquakes rumbling under Mount St. Helens as magma pushes its way up into the dome.

As for the current status of Mount St. Helens, the mountain remains at Alert Level 2, which is a Volcano Advisory.

Scientists report that the lava dome is continuing to grow and there are low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic ashes, as well as a minor amount of ash being produced.

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Mount St. Helens' activity surprises scientists

By Craig Welch
Seattle Times staff reporter
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

VANCOUVER — The rock was at least the size of a man's head, and geologist John Pallister cradled it as he would a newborn — which, in a manner of speaking, it was.

As little as a month ago, this beefy slab was in liquid form, a pulsating 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit and working its way up from five miles below Mount St. Helens to form a chunk of the region's most active volcano.

For Pallister, a research geologist at the Cascades Volcano Observatory, evidence of how quickly Mount St. Helens is evolving doesn't get more solid.

"It's hard to believe that several weeks ago this was lava flow in the middle of the Earth," he said.

Four months after the volcano stirred back to life, drawing curiosity seekers from across the country, the bulging new oblong dome inside the crater has ballooned to 350 feet high, with nearly a 50-degree slope in places.

The dome now contains enough solid material to fill KeyArena more than 100 times. At the peak of the flow, molten magma was being transformed into new rock pushing skyward at a rate of 11 yards per day.

Then earlier this month, an unexpected and significant explosion — the biggest since October — caught researchers by surprise and appears to mark some sort of transition on the sleeping giant's path to regrowth.

"It makes me think a lot differently about the range of possibilities for the future," Pallister said. "We were anticipating a different event.

"Figuring out what it means will take some time."

At 3:18 a.m. on Jan. 16, just 36 hours after geologists had walked along the surface of the new dome dodging vents emitting loud, hot blasts, a release of gas blew rocks and debris several hundred feet. It spread ash 8 inches or more thick inside portions of the crater and destroyed a few thousand dollars worth of instruments researchers had put there during their visit.

In its aftermath, the tremors at St. Helens have slowed, as the movement of rock creating the new dome slowed. As the sticky, newest sections of the dome are protruding, they are being scraped so hard against the existing surface they are turned white as the friction wears down its surface.

"We would have anticipated a different event," said Seth Moran, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist.

Volcanologists would not have been surprised if there had been a significant rockfall, a continuing hazard as sections of the new dome jut higher and stretch more than a thousand feet to the side. The explosive release of gas suggested that St. Helen's plumbing is more finicky than first believed, that even slight changes in gas, or moisture below the surface, can trigger a new scenario.

"The question is, why now?" Pallister asked.

He wondered aloud if there was a more gas-rich flow farther below trying to push its way to the surface.

In fact, one of the most predictable things about Mount St. Helens has long been the volcano's unwillingness to act conventionally.

It's a reminder, said Jon Major, a research hydrologist at the observatory, that "we've learned an awful lot about what we don't yet understand."

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Earthquake rocks Kamchatka, no casualties
January 25 (Itar-Tass)

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY,- An earthquake measuring 4.5 points on the Richter scale occurred in Kamchatka Peninsula on Tuesday.

Its epicentre was located 20 kilometres from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky at a depth of 170 kilometres, the Kamchatka-based research-methodological seismic crew specified.

The earthquake was not felt in the regional centre and nearby populated localities. There have been no casualties or damage.

The earthquake took place at 09:21 am, local time (00:21 am, Moscow time).

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Earthquake kills two in Turkey
Last Update: Wednesday, January 26, 2005. 11:37am (AEDT)
At least two people were killed and 22 injured after an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale struck south-eastern Turkey on Tuesday.

A man and his niece died after their mud-brick home collapsed in a rural area in remote, mountainous Hakkari province, the state-run Anatolian news agency said.

Most of the injured were hurt after jumping from windows or balconies in panic after two earlier quakes and at least five aftershocks rocked the province.

The Kandilli observatory in Istanbul said the aftershocks ranged from 3.8 to 5.5 in magnitude on the Richter scale.

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Major earthquake tipped
By Milanda Rout
January 27, 2005
AUSTRALIA could be hit by an earthquake measuring seven on the Richter scale because the plate we are on is breaking up, research has found.

Scientists from Melbourne University have discovered that the Indo-Australian plate is under considerable stress from its neighbouring plates in Indonesia and Asia.

The energy generated from the connection points between plates at Sumatra and Java are transferring back into our plate, causing immense tectonic stress. "This stress can produce earthquakes up to magnitude seven about every 30 years," said Prof Michael Sandiford, from the university's School of Earth Sciences.

"And magnitude seven is a big earthquake, considering the Newcastle earthquake was a 5.6."

Prof Sandiford said Australia was considered fairly stable because we did not sit on the border of plates, as did Indonesia, Japan or California.

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Floods kill scores in Medina
January 25, 2005 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Flash floods have killed 29 people in the area of the holy city of Medina, the local governor has reported.

But the floods, which follow two days of heavy rains, have not affected the thousands of pilgrims that came to the city after completing the annual hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca and Mina, said the governor, Prince Moqrin bin Abdul Aziz, on Monday.

Pilgrims often stop at Medina, Islam's second-most sacred city, to visit Prophet Muhammad's mosque and tomb, before heading home.

The newspaper Arab News has reported that more than 400 buses of pilgrims left Mecca for Medina after the hajj, which ended on the weekend.

Prince Moqrin said most of the 29 people killed by the floods had underestimated the danger of walking or driving down Medina's valleys after heavy rains.

More than 20 cars were swept away by the floods.

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Four die in French avalanches as hopes fade for Canadians
(AFP) Jan 25, 2005

CHAMBERY, France - At least four skiers died Tuesday in avalanches in the French Alps as hopes faded for a Canadian couple missing since Sunday while snowboarding in Switzerland, emergency services said.

French authorities said four avalanches were triggered in the Alpine locations Val Thorens, La Plagne, Les Arcs and Val d'Isere, killing three, including a woman, and injuring a fourth who later died.

One snowboarder skiing off-piste was buried when a slope collapsed under him.

A Swedish man was among the dead, officials in Stockholm said, adding that he died in Val Throens.

Authorities issued a warning of increased avalanche danger following recent heavy snowfall, as a cold snap gripped much of western Europe with temperatures dipping below zero and snow and ice affecting traffic in many areas. [...]

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China to remeasure Mount Everest peak amid fears it is shrinking
25 January 2005 1349 hrs

BEIJING : China plans to send a scientific team to Mount Everest this year to remeasure the height of its peak and track the impact of global warming, state media said on Tuesday.

The team, jointly organised by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM), will work on the world's highest mountain from March 20 to June 20, China Central Television reported.

It will be China's fourth such expedition following others in 1959, 1966 and 1975.

This time, the scientists will focus on the damage caused to the area by global warming over the past 30 years, CCTV said.

Mount Everest, which straddles the border of Nepal and Chinese-controlled Tibet, is believed to have shrunk by as much as 1.3 metres due to global warming and the melting of glaciers, it said.

The mountain's official height is currently 8,848 metres.

Chinese state media last year reported that a staggering seven percent of the country's glaciers are vanishing annually under the sweltering sun, including those covering Everest.

Leading glacier expert Yan Tandong said that as many as 64 percent of China's glaciers may be gone by 2050 if current trends continue.

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Antarctica, Warming, Looks Ever More Vulnerable
Published: January 25, 2005

OVER THE ABBOTT ICE SHELF, Antarctica - From an airplane at 500 feet, all that is visible here is a vast white emptiness. Ahead, a chalky plain stretches as far as the eye can see, the monotony broken only by a few gentle rises and the wrinkles created when new sheets of ice form.

Under the surface of that ice, though, profound and potentially troubling changes are taking place, and at a quickened pace. With temperatures climbing in parts of Antarctica in recent years, melt water seems to be penetrating deeper and deeper into ice crevices, weakening immense and seemingly impregnable formations that have developed over thousands of years.

As a result, huge glaciers in this and other remote areas of Antarctica are thinning and ice shelves the size of American states are either disintegrating or retreating - all possible indications of global warming. Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey reported in December that in some parts of the Antarctic Peninsula hundreds of miles from here, large growths of grass are appearing in places that until recently were hidden under a frozen cloak.

"The evidence is piling up; everything fits," Dr. Robert Thomas, a glaciologist from NASA who is the lead author of a recent paper on accelerating sea-level rise, said as the Chilean Navy plane flew over the sea ice here on an unusually clear day late in November. "Around the Amundsen Sea, we have surveyed a half dozen glaciers. All are thinning, in some cases quite rapidly, and in each case, the ice shelf is also thinning." [...]

For most parts of Antarctica, reliable records go back less than 50 years, and data from satellites and overflights like the ones going on here have been collected over only the past decade or so. But that research, plus striking changes that are visible to the naked eye, all point toward the disturbance of climate patterns thought to have been in place for thousands of years.

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Ghost light not unique to Hawai'i
Posted on: Monday, January 24, 2005
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Science Writer

Q. My sister and I saw strange lights moving along a ridge, too low for a plane and darting from one place to another. What could that have been? — L.D., Niumalu, Kaua'i

A: There's a sturdy tradition in Hawaiian folklore about ghostly lights seen drifting over the land.

They drift along fence lines, across pastures, float in the woods, and so on. One Hawaiian term for them is "akua lele," which can translate to "flying god."

Some bounce. Some drift. Some dart around. Some sit offshore when viewed from land. They are occasionally described as luminous spheres, like aerial jellyfish.

But there is nothing uniquely Hawaiian about mysterious lights in the atmosphere, even leaving aside discussions of flying saucers and luminous, big-eyed space beings.

Science stretches to understand the sightings, but generally doesn't deny them. They take on terms like ball lightning, lightning sprites, ghost lights, fairy lights, will-o'-the-wisp. A Latin term, ignis fatuus, or "foolish fire," refers to a glow sometimes associated with swampy ground, believed to be associated with the combustion of marsh gas.

One recent report is that the space shuttle Columbia, before it was destroyed on re-entry in early 2003, detected in the atmosphere south of Madagascar what scientists in the Journal of the American Geophysical Union have now named a "transient ionospheric glow emission in red," or TIGER.

That event doesn't appear to fall into any previously known category of such things, and scientists simply call it a possibly new kind of "transient luminous event."

Some floating lights appear to be associated with rain, some with lightning. Some seem to be linked to extreme weather events, such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. Some show up near railroad tracks and metal fence lines, some close to power lines, some around swamps. Some follow trails.

New Zealand scientists recently suggested they appear after lightning strikes the ground, but often the globes are seen without lightning.

The drifting ghostly lights seen in the Islands and elsewhere are distinct from the phenomenon known as St. Elmo's Fire. Authorities say these lights are associated with an electrical discharge and always remain attached to an object, like a ship's mast, steeple or flagpole. St. Elmo is the patron saint of sailors, and his fireworks are considered a sign of good luck for folks in boats.

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Mexican tries To Cross US Border Disguised As Car Seat


It isn’t known whether Enrique Canchola, 42, really thought he would get away with it, because he didn’t. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service sprung the Mexican national disguised as a car seat as he was trying to cross the border from Mexico into California.

Enrique apparently said he agreed to the car seat idea after learning that immigrants were often treated like furniture.

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And finally...

Company to advertise on man's forehead

By Associated Press
Published January 25, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. -- A Web-page designer who auctioned off the use of his forehead for advertising space is cashing in. Andrew Fischer, who put his forehead advertising space for sale on e-Bay, received $37,375 to advertise the snoring remedy, SnoreStop.

Fischer will display the SnoreStop logo on his forehead for one month.

"I look forward to an enjoyable association with Andrew -- a man who clearly has a head for business in every sense of the word," SnoreStop CEO Christian de Rivel said.

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