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| The Iraqi Elections and How
to Save the Planet
| SOTT Commentary
There is little to say about
the Iraqi elections, held as they were in the midst of the Iraqi
war of resistance against the American and British occupation. What
is astonishing is that observers of this farce can say, with a straight
face, that everything was on the up and up.
Take the following for example:
election well-run but needs more transparency, Canada-led group
09:23 AM EST Jan 31
AMMAN, Jordan (CP) - The Canadian-led international mission
to assess the Iraqi election gave good marks Sunday to Iraqi
electoral authorities for their independence and organization,
but said there should be better rules governing campaign finances,
voter registration and who's eligible to run.
"Iraq's Electoral Commission has prepared and put in place
a framework for an election that generally meets recognized
standards in terms of election law, planning and preparations,"
the International Mission for Iraqi Elections, or IMIE, said
in a preliminary report released after the polls closed.
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Canada's chief electoral
officer and head of the mission, said Iraqi electoral authorities
should be "congratulated for the rapid progress it has achieved
in establishing the foundations for democratic participation in
Iraq, particularly given the short time frame and arduous circumstances."
In a statement issued in
Amman, from where the mission's team of electoral experts stayed
in touch with various organizations in Iraq during the balloting,
"It is a remarkable testimony to the resolve of the Iraqi
people, and to the importance of democratic values, that millions
of Iraqis faced personal risk in order to vote today, and that
tens of thousands of individual Iraqis put their lives at risk
by volunteering to work in polling locations explicitly threatened
He said their courage "must redouble international resolve
to assist the Iraqi people in their ongoing transition to successful
The IMIE report praised the Iraqi electoral commission for
its independence and the extent and quality of its planning
"Areas recommended for further development include transparency
regarding financial contributions and expenditures, improvements
to the voter registration process, and reviewing the criteria
for candidate eligibility," the report said.
Asked to elaborate, an IMIE spokesman in Amman said: "We're
not particularly saying that there are problems so much as there
seems to be perhaps not as many rules in that particular area
as other countries with more developed electoral processes are
It will be up to the Iraqi electoral commission and the newly
election national assembly to decide whether to act on the recommendations,
the spokesman said.
IMIE was created last month in Ottawa to assess
and advise Iraqi electoral authorities in the elections.
Members of the mission include the electoral management organizations
of Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia,
Mexico, Panama, Romania, United Kingdom, Yemen, and the Association
of Central and Eastern European Election Officials.
In light of the poor security situation
in Iraq, the mission does not have its own election observers
monitoring the vote inside the country. It sent a liaison representative
to Baghdad but otherwise relied largely on about a dozen Iraqi
organizations to feed information about the election to IMIE
experts working in neighbouring Jordan.
Canada has provided $7 million Cdn to support
the work of the mission, which will be assessing two other votes
planned later this year in Iraq.
Did you get that? The IMIE didn't
even go to Iraq due to the "poor security situation".
It stayed in the Jordan capital of Amman.
And yet it is capable of writing a report that says
that "Iraq's Electoral Commission has prepared and put in
place a framework for an election that generally meets recognized
standards in terms of election law, planning and preparations."
What kind of international standard is it that includes situations
where observers are too scared for their own skins to actually
observe the elections themselves?
If the observers aren't safe, under what conditions
are the people voting?
Not that they really had any idea of who they were
voting for, as the candidates themselves were too scared of being
assassinated to list their names, and so they voted for party
lists, not individuals.
While most of the world's leaders and all of the
mainstream news outlets are proclaiming the success of the Iraqi
elections and what a triumph for democracy the whole public relations
stunt is, the reality of the situation is that the elections are
being stage managed by the very same people who, just 3 months
ago, pulled off a second stolen election in the space of four
years in the US. So our question is: if it was so easy to fool
the entire world into thinking that Bush was legitmately elected,
not once, but twice - when a little objective research shows that
both elections were stolen - how easy would it be for these people
to pull another fast one in war torn Iraq!? Oh, we'd say about
as easy as it for US troops to squeeze off a few hundred rounds
into the car, and bodies, of an Iraqi family - which is real easy
when you're fighting "evil terrorists".
The US troops in Iraq are an occupying force, as
in, illegally invading a country that was no threat, killing anyone
who didn't like foreign troops in their land, and imposing a quisling
government of yes-men to the occupiers.
It is not simply "a mistake" based upon
"erroneous intelligence". It was a calculated invasion
that was decided in advance of the intelligence.
We sometimes hear opponents to the occupation, from
the US and elsewhere, saying that "At least we got rid of
Saddam", as if that justifies in any way the crime. There
is no justification, no more than Hitler's need for "living
space" for the German people justified his invasion of Poland
in the second world war. Some Americans, well, propbably most
of them, are upset when the Bush Administration is compared with
Nazi Germany. Well, maybe it's time they woke up and grew up.
Bush is on a crusade, a holy mission from the voice he hears in
his head that tells him it is his creator speaking and that gives
him his marching orders. Although his crimes far surpass anything
done by Bill Clinton, the zombies in Congress remain unmoved.
Are they all so corrupt that that can all be blackmailed
to keep their silence if they are not actively part of fascist
takeover? Or are they really so ignorant that they do not see
what is happening?
In either case, it does not bode well for either
the US or the rest of the world.
French President Jacques Chirac phoned Bush to congratulate
him on the elections. Russian President Vlaidmir Putin called
them a step in the right direction. Our guess is that those most
adamantly opposed to Bush's wars have changed their tactics. Bush
has shown that he does not care what the rest of the world thinks.
Let them be opposed to his politcies, he and the neocons will
go it alone, or with a restricted Coalition of the Bought Off.
We suspect that while Chirac and Putin are whispering sweet nothings
in Bush's ear over the telephone, they are rather actively involved
in finding other means to quell the American beast, perhaps of
the economic sort.
Russia in particular, after the US-backed soft revolutions
in Georgia and the Ukraine, is not going to sit idlely by while
US influence increases in the former Soviet block. Chirac, attacked
within his own party by the strongly Atlanticist Nicolas Sarkozy,
is going to want to ensure the Atlanticist position is weakened
And then there is China, the manufacturer of more
and more products sold in the US and holder of a large amount
of the US debt.
If the rest of the world gets serious about stopping
Bush and the neocons, the show will be an entertaining one. Bush
and his friends have shown to what ends they will go to implement
their policies: they are willing to kill 3000 Americans and blame
it on "Islamic terrorists", blatantly lie about Saddam
and his WMD, and destroy the American economy. This bespeaks a
degree of fanaticism that will not be easily stopped.
Unfortunately, the opposition within the US, most
of them, are not willing to admit that 9/11 was an inside job.
Such a refusal suggests that they will be impotent in the face
of the enemy because they do know really know the enemy, do not,
or can not, admit just how evil these people really are. Only
a terrible shock will open up the possibility of their awakening
to the danger because they prefer their dreams and wishful thinking
to the truth.
But even the Truth might not be enough to save the
planet. What if the truth is that it cannot be saved? At least
as we know it today.
Laura Knight-Jadczyk recently received a letter
from a reader who was interested in her opinion of what he should
do to help save the planet. He was thinking of running for office
in the US on an ecologically centred platform This is part of
"[I]t seems that you perceive that we here
at cass may, indeed, have a pretty good track record of seeing
and predicting, even if we point out that prediction can only
be statistical, and attaching dates is a fool's game.
It also seems that what you are seeking to do is
a sort of "let's tell people as much as we have to in order
to make this or that adjustment, but we can't tell them everything..."
It's already way too late for that.
For example, just the other night we had a couple
questions about the recent earthquake and tsunami. Here is the
Session date: Jan 9, 2005
[...] Q: Regarding the recent earthquake and tsunami,
there is a huge buzz on the net that this was not a natural phenomenon.
Some say it could have been a meteor; others say it was a US nuke;
others say it was India and Israel playing around in the undersea
trenches. Then there is the speculation on an EM weapon of some
description. The New agers are saying it was the start of the
final 'Earth Changes". So what really caused this earthquake
that happened one year minus one hour after the earthquake in
A: Pressure in earth. Not any of the proferred suggestions.
But remember that the human cycle mirrors the cycle of catastrophe
and human mass consciousness plays a part.
Q: In what way does mass consciousness play a part?
A: When those with higher centers are blocked from
full manifestation of creative energy, that energy must go somewhere.
If you cannot create “without” you create “within”.
Now, with that in mind, read the signs page of Hallowe'en,
2004 where I wrote, in part:
There is more than a little scientific support for the above
ideas that consciousness - the root of existence and BEing -
has two fundamental states: on, or off. In the final analysis,
it seems that the metaphor of humanity and its collective "higher
selves" being a movie and an audience, may be simply anthropomorphizing
creative and entropic forces of the universe for the purposes
of "self-calming." The stakes, it seems, are a lot
higher and more real.
This brings us to the issue of subjectivity vs. objectivity.
We must regard the present state of the universe
as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. Consider
an intelligence which, at any instant, could have a knowledge
of all forces controlling nature together with the momentary
conditions of all the entities of which nature consists. If
this intelligence were powerful enough to submit all this data
to analysis it would be able to embrace in a single formula
the movements of the largest bodies in the universe and those
of the lightest atoms; for it, nothing would be uncertain; the
future and the past would be equally present to its eyes. Pierre
Certainly, such an intelligence as Laplace describes
would be "Godlike," you agree? And certainly, no one
of us human beings is capable of such "seeing," you
will also agree. However, what does seem to be true is that this
is a significant clue to the solutions to the pressing issues
of our day: knowledge that leads to awareness.
Here I will insert a major clue: As the brain interacts
with its environment, synaptic circuits combine to form synaptic
maps of the world perceived by the senses. These maps describe
small segments of that world - shape, color, movement - and these
maps are scattered throughout the brain. As the brain's synaptic
network evolves, beginning at birth - or even before - these maps
process information simultaneously and in parallel.
Based on our synaptic maps of the world, we are
enabled to have e more or less objective view of reality.
The view of the Bush Reich is, as it happens, diametrically
opposed to the view we promote here at Signs of the Times.
This view has been stated quite economically by the Cassiopaeans:
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how
one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little
faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some
people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore
or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They
will become exactly what they give to life. They will become
merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict
attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality
of the "Future."
We here at Signs of the Times are not in
the business of telling anyone what to do. We are only here as
a lighthouse, a constant sweeping illumination that goes around
and around and says, basically, the same thing over and over again.
Our readership is growing by leaps and bounds, and we know that
there are new readers every day who have not read every daily
report for the past couple of years. We also know that there are
regular readers who, after reading the page, go back to sleep
and think "it can't be THAT bad." And so, again and
again we shine the light, ring the alarm bell, and try to think
of different ways to get through to others the extreme peril in
which we stand.
This brings us back to the issue of how does Knowledge
In the past three years, as I noted at the beginning
of today's page, we have made some considerable progress on our
mandate of discovering what really makes reality tick and how
does humanity fit into it. Much of this work is pure science -
physics and mathematics - but I'm not going to give you the formulas
or the computer simulation codes, I'm going to explain it to you
in simple terms.
Our universe seems to be made up of matter/energy
and of consciousness.
Matter/energy by itself "prefers", as
it seems, a chaotic state.
Matter/energy by itself doesn't even have a concept
of "creation" or "organization". It is the
consciousness that brings to life these concepts and by its interaction
with matter pushes the universe towards chaos and decay or towards
order and creation.
This phenomenon can modeled mathematically and simulated
on a computer using EEQT (Event Enhanced Quantum Theory). Whether
EEQT faithfully models the interaction of consciousness with matter,
we do not know; but chances are that it does because it seems
to describe correctly physical phenomena better than just the
orthodox quantum mechanics or its rival theories (Bohmian mechanics,
What we learn from EEQT can be described in simple
terms as follows:
Let us call our material universe "the system".
The system is characterized by a certain "state". It
is useful to represent the state of the system as a point on a
disc. The central point of the disk, its origin, is the state
of chaos. We could also describe it as "Infinite Potential."
The points on the boundary represents "pure states"
of being, that is states with "pure, non- fuzzy, knowledge".
In between there are mixed states. The closer the state is to
the boundary, the more pure, more 'organized' it is.
Now, an external "observer", a "consciousness
unit", has some idea - maybe accurate, maybe false or anywhere
in between - about the "real state" of the system, and
observes the system with this "belief" about the state.
Observation, if prolonged, causes the state of the system to "jump".
In this sense, you DO "create your own reality", but
the devil, as always, is in the details.
The details are that the resulting state of the
system under observation can be more pure, or more chaotic depending
on the "direction" of the jump. The direction of the
jump depends on how objective - how close to the reality of the
actual state - the observation is.
According to EEQT if the expectations of the observer
are close to the actual state of the system, the system jumps,
more often than not, into more organized, less chaotic state.
If, on the other hand, the expectation of the observer
is close to the negation of the actual state (that is when the
observer's beliefs are closer to being false than to being true
according to the ACTUAL state - the objective reality), then the
state of the system, typically, will jump into a state that is
more chaotic, less organized. Moreover, it will take, as a rule,
much longer time to accomplish such a jump.
In other words, if the observer's knowledge of the
actual state is close to the truth, then the very act of observation
and verification causes a jump quickly, and the resulting state
is more organized. If the observer's knowledge of the actual state
is false, then it takes usually a long time to cause a change
in the state of the system, and the resulting state is more chaotic.
What this means is that order can be brought out
of chaos by observing chaos as it IS and not pretending that it
In short, everyone who "believes" in an
attempt to "create reality" that is different from what
IS, increases the chaos and entropy. If your beliefs are orthogonal
to the truth, no matter how strongly you believe them, you are
essentially coming into conflict with how the Universe views itself
and I can assure you, you ain't gonna win that contest. You are
inviting destruction upon yourself and all who engage in this
"staring down the universe" exercise with you.
On the other hand, if you are able to view the Universe
as it views itself, objectively, without blinking, and with acceptance,
you then become more "aligned" with the Creative energy
of the universe and your very consciousness becomes a transducer
of order. Your energy of observation, given unconditionally, can
bring order to chaos, can create out of infinite potential.
In the Adventure Series, I concentrated to a great
extent on the problem of psychopathy in our world today. I was
motivated to do this by the fact that we had been victimized by
a psychopath whose behavior was utterly incomprehensible. As a
consequence of this research, I was much better prepared to understand
George Bush and his Reich and that served to "inoculate"
me against the fear tactics that are utilized by the psychopath
to paralyze their victims. I realize that Americans who are "stupid"
are that way by design. In a sense, it is not their fault. They
are no more capable of thinking on their own than the mouse is
capable of escaping the claws of the cat determined to eat it.
But not everyone is a mouse. It is for those who
are evolving that we continue to keep the lighthouse going. But
be aware, the day may come - and sooner than you might expect
- when the storm is so violent that the keepers
of the flame will abandon the task, knowing that no light can
be seen in such Stygian darkness.
In the Adventure
Series, I wrote the following:
Could it ever be an evolutionarily stable strategy
for people to be innately unselfish?
On the whole, a capacity to cheat, to compete and
to lie has proven to be a stupendously successful adaptation.
Thus the idea that selection pressure could ever cause saintliness
to spread in a society looks implausible in practice. It doesn't
seem feasible to outcompete genes which promote competitiveness.
"Nice guys" get eaten or outbred. Happy people who are
unaware get eaten or outbred. Happiness and niceness today is
vanishingly rare, and the misery and suffering of those who are
able to truly feel, who are empathic toward other human beings,
who have a conscience, is all too common.
Nevertheless, a predisposition to, conscience,
ethics, can prevail if and when it is also able to implement the
deepest level of altruism: making the object of its empathy the
higher ideal of enhancing free will in the abstract sense, for
the sake of others, including our descendants.
In short, our "self-interest" ought to
be vested in collectively ensuring that all others are happy and
well-disposed too; and in ensuring that children we bring into
the world have the option of being constitutionally happy and
benevolent toward one another.
In short, if psychopathy threatens the well-being
of the group future, then it can be only be dealt with by refusing
to allow the self to be dominated by it on an individual, personal
Preserving free will for the self in the practical
sense, ultimately preserves free will for others.
Protection of our own rights AS the rights of others,
underwrites the free will position and potential for happiness
If mutant psychopaths pose a potential danger then
true empathy, true ethics, true conscience, dictates using prophylactic
therapy against psychopaths.
It seems certain from the evidence that a positive
transformation of human nature isn't going to come about through
a great spiritual awakening, socio-economic reforms, or a spontaneous
desire among the peoples of the world to be nice to each other.
But it's quite possible that, in the long run, the psychopathic
program of suffering will lose out because misery is not a stable
In a state of increasing misery, victims will seek
to escape it; and this seeking will ultimately lead them to inquire
into the true state of their misery, and that may lead to a society
of intelligent people who will have the collective capacity to
And so it is that identifying the psychopath, ceasing
our interaction with them, cutting them off from our society,
making ourselves unavailable to them as "food" or objects
to be conned and used, is the single most effective strategy that
we can play. [...]
To allow oneself to be conned, or used by a psychopath
is to effectively become part of his "hierarchy" of
feeding. To believe the lies of the psychopath is to submit to
his "bidding" (he bids you to believe a lie, and you
acquiesce), and thus, to relinquish your free will.
In strictly material terms, this doesn't seem to
be much of an issue, right? After all, somebody lies to us and
who really cares? Is it going to hurt us to just let them lie?
Is it going to hurt us to just go along with them for the sake
of peace, even if we know or suspect they are lying? After all,
checking the facts and facing the psychopath with truth, and telling
them "no" is generally very unpleasant. Remember, the
game is set up so that we pay a lot for being ethical in dealing
with the psychopath. In material terms, it really doesn't seem
to be worth it because we suffer all kinds of attack - verbal,
psychological, and even physical abuse - so it's just easier to
let sleeping dogs lie, right? [...]
At best, we can only really penetrate to the level
of the psychological reality, observed behavior that is discordant,
or self-destructive. And we are thoroughly programmed to help
by giving until it hurts, or trying to fix, or to make nice. All
of these things, all of these accommodations of psychopathy, on
just a practical level, can be seen to "select for psychopathy"
in terms of the gene pool.
But on another level, considering the great amount
of evidence we have that there is something very mysterious going
on that has to do with "controlling the minds of humanity,"
and covering up something that may affect every single human being
on this planet, we find that the issue is crucial. Refusing to
accommodate the manipulations and maneuvers of the psychopath
may, indeed, be critical to the positive transformation of our
And we see that the ultimate aim of the psychopath,
as living representatives of the Universal forces of Entropy,
of Non-Being, is to MASTER creative energy. To assimilate it to
the self, to deprive others of it by inducing them to believe
Because, when you believe the lie of the psychopath,
you have given him control of your Free Will - the essence of
As I quoted above: Thus, the first Divine Command
is BE! And that includes Being and Non-being instantaneously.
Therefore, the second law is "follow Being or Non-being according
to your choice and your inherent nature."
All creation is a result of the engendering command.
So, in this respect, there is no Evil. But the second, prescriptive
law determines to which "Face of God" one will return:
Life or Death.
There ARE such things as "evil planets,"
and dark stars. And the real question at this time is: Is Mother
Earth about to become one?
Now, you are a smart guy - no question in my mind
about that - so I am sure you can do a bit of extrapolating from
the above and understand that there is one, and ONLY one way to
"save the earth." Since humanity - as a whole - is an
"organ for transducing cosmic energies onto our planet",
the condition of humanity - as a whole - is reflected by the planet.
The suffering of humanity, the lies that humans believe, all have
a profound effect on the planet.
VERY IMPORTANT: it is not whether or not one "believes"
in good things or bad things that makes good things or bad things
happen. It is the factual observation of reality and whether or
not it leads to a true assessment or lies.
The effort to view the universe AS IT VIEWS ITSELF
with love and acceptance even in the face of what might be termed
"horror" can actually lead to amelioration of that horror.
To view the universe and to deny the truth and to insist that one
can believe whatever one wants and thereby make it so, is to deny
reality and contributes to the chaos, the destruction, the suffering.
And so, what is the solution? The TRUTH - as close
to it as we can objectively get - MUST be propagated as widely and
as soon as possible.
That is the only thing that will "save the planet."
Because it is in the creative centers of humanity - both kinds,
those with souls and those without - that the fate of the earth
| I'm just appalled by the cheerleading
tone of US news coverage of the so-called elections in Iraq on Sunday.
I said on television last week that this event is a "political earthquake"
and "a historical first step" for Iraq. It is an event of the utmost
importance, for Iraq, the Middle East, and the world. All the boosterism
has a kernel of truth to it, of course. Iraqis hadn't been able to
choose their leaders at all in recent decades, even by some strange
process where they chose unknown leaders. But this process is not
a model for anything, and would not willingly be imitated by anyone
else in the region. The 1997 elections in Iran were much more democratic,
as were the 2002 elections in Bahrain and Pakistan.
Moreover, as Swopa
rightly reminds us all, the Bush administration opposed one-person,
one-vote elections of this sort. First they were going to turn Iraq
over to Chalabi within six months. Then Bremer was going to be MacArthur
in Baghdad for years. Then on November 15, 2003, Bremer announced
a plan to have council-based elections in May of 2004. The US and
the UK had somehow massaged into being provincial and municipal governing
councils, the members of which were pro-American. Bremer was going
to restrict the electorate to this small, elite group.
Ayatollah Ali Sistani immediately gave a fatwa denouncing this
plan and demanding free elections mandated by a UN Security Council
resolution. Bush was reportedly "extremely offended" at these two
demands and opposed Sistani. Bremer got his appointed Interim Governing
Council to go along in fighting Sistani. Sistani
then brought thousands of protesters into the streets in January of
2004, demanding free elections. Soon thereafter, Bush caved and
gave the ayatollah everything he demanded. Except that he was apparently
afraid that open, non-manipulated elections in Iraq might become a
factor in the US presidential campaign, so he got the elections postponed
to January 2005. This enormous delay allowed the country to fall into
much worse chaos, and Sistani is still bitter that the Americans didn't
hold the elections last May. The US objected that they couldn't use
UN food ration cards for registration, as Sistani suggested. But in
the end that is exactly what they did.
So if it had been up to Bush, Iraq would have been a soft dictatorship
under Chalabi, or would have had stage-managed elections with an electorate
consisting of a handful of pro-American notables. It was Sistani and
the major Shiite parties that demanded free and open elections and
a UNSC resolution. They did their job and got what they wanted. But
the Americans have been unable to provide them the requisite security
for truly aboveboard democratic elections.
With all the hoopla, it is easy to forget that this was an extremely
troubling and flawed "election." Iraq is an armed camp. There were
troops and security checkpoints everywhere. Vehicle traffic was banned.
The measures were successful in cutting down on car bombings that
could have done massive damage. But even these Draconian steps did
not prevent widespread attacks, which is not actually good news. There
is every reason to think that when the vehicle traffic starts up again,
so will the guerrilla insurgency.
The Iraqis did not know the names of the candidates for whom they
were supposedly voting. What kind of an election is anonymous! There
were even some angry politicians late last week who found out they
had been included on lists without their permission. Al-Zaman compared
the election process to buying fruit wholesale and sight unseen. (This
is the part of the process that I called a "joke," and I stand by
This thing was more like a referendum than an election. It was a referendum
on which major party list associated with which major leader would
Many of the voters came out to cast their ballots in the belief that
it was the only way to regain enough sovereignty to get American troops
back out of their country. The new parliament is unlikely to make
such a demand immediately, because its members will be afraid of being
killed by the Baath military. One fears a certain amount of resentment
among the electorate when this reticence becomes clear.
Iraq now faces many key issues that could tear the country apart,
from the issues of Kirkuk and Mosul to that of religious law. James
Zogby on Wolf Blitzer wisely warned the US public against another
"Mission Accomplished" moment. Things may gradually get better, but
this flawed "election" isn't a Mardi Gras for Americans and they'll
regret it if that is the way they treat it.
| WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (Xinhuanet)
-- US President George W. Bush on Sunday called the Jan. 30 Iraqi
election "a resounding success".
Hours after the election was closed, Bush praised in a televised
statement the bravery of Iraqis who turned out to vote despite continuing
violence and intimidation.
The Iraqi elections demonstrated "the voice of freedom from
thecenter of the Middle East," Bush said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said earlier that the Iraq
election is "going better than expected".
Dublin, on U.S. Inauguration Day, didn't seem to notice. Oh, they
played a few clips that night of the American president saying,
"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on
the success of liberty in other lands."
But that was not their lead story.
The picture on the front page of The Irish Times was a large four-color
picture of a small Iraqi girl. Her little body was a coil of steel.
She sat knees up, cowering, screaming madly into the dark night.
Her white clothes and spread hands and small tight face were blood-spattered.
The blood was the blood of her father and mother, shot through the
car window in Tal Afar by American soldiers while she sat beside
her parents in the car, her four brothers and sisters in the back
A series of pictures of the incident played on the inside page,
as well. A 12-year-old brother, wounded in the fray, falls face
down out of the car when the car door opens, the pictures show.
In another, a soldier decked out in battle gear, holds a large automatic
weapon on the four children, all potential enemies, all possible
suicide bombers, apparently, as they cling traumatized to one another
in the back seat and the child on the ground goes on screaming in
her parent's blood.
No promise of "freedom" rings in the cutline on this picture.
No joy of liberty underlies the terror on these faces here.
I found myself closing my eyes over and over again as I stared
at the story, maybe to crush the tears forming there, maybe in the
hope that the whole scene would simply disappear.
But no, like the photo of a naked little girl bathed in napalm
and running down a road in Vietnam served to crystallize the situation
there for the rest of the world, I knew that this picture of a screaming,
angry, helpless, orphaned child could do the same.
The soldiers standing in the dusk had called "halt,"
the story said, but no one did. Maybe the soldiers' accents were
bad. Maybe the car motor was unduly noisy. Maybe the children were
laughing loudly -- the way children do on family trips. Whatever
the case, the car did not stop, the soldiers shot with deadly accuracy,
seven lives changed in an instant: two died in body, five died in
BBC news announced that the picture was spreading across Europe
like a brushfire that morning, featured from one major newspaper
to another, served with coffee and Danish from kitchen table to
kitchen table in one country after another. I watched, while Inauguration
Day dawned across the Atlantic, as the Irish up and down the aisle
on the train from Killarney to Dublin, narrowed their eyes at the
picture, shook their heads silently and slowly over it, and then
sat back heavily in their seats, too stunned into reality to go
back to business as usual -- the real estate section, the sports
section, the life-style section of the paper.
Here was the other side of the inauguration story. No military
bands played for this one. No bulletproof viewing stands could stop
the impact of this insight into the glory of force. Here was an
America they could no longer understand. The contrast rang cruelly
I sat back and looked out the train window myself. Would anybody
in the United States be seeing this picture today? Would the United
States ever see it, in fact? And if it is printed in the United
States, will it also cross the country like wildfire and would people
hear the unwritten story under it?
There are 26 million people in Iraq. Over half of them are under
the age of 15. Of the over 100,000 civilians dead in this war, then,
over half of them are children. We are killing children. The children
are our enemy. And we are defeating them.
"I'll tell you why I voted for George Bush," a friend
of mine said. "I voted for George Bush because he had the courage
to do what Al Gore and John Kerry would never have done."
I've been thinking about that one.
Osama Bin Laden is still alive. Sadam Hussein is still alive.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is still alive. Baghdad, Mosul and Fallujah
are burning. But my government has the courage to kill children
or their parents. And I'm supposed to be impressed.
That's an unfair assessment, of course. A lot of young soldiers
have died, too. A lot of weekend soldiers are maimed for life. A
lot of our kids went into the military only to get a college education
and are now shattered in soul by what they had to do to other bodies.
A lot of adult civilians have been blasted out of their homes
and their neighborhoods and their cars. More and more every day.
According to U.N. Development Fund for Women, 15 percent of wartime
casualties in World War I were civilians. In World War II, 65 percent
were civilians. By the mid '90s, over 75 percent of wartime casualties
In Iraq, for every dead U.S. soldier, there are 14 other deaths,
93 percent of them are civilian. But those things happen in war,
the story says. It's all for a greater good, we have to remember.
It's all to free them. It's all being done to spread "liberty."
From where I stand, the only question now is who or what will
free us from the 21st century's new definition of bravery. Who will
free us from the notion that killing children or their civilian
parents takes courage?
IN Baghdad yesterday, they were supposed to
be preparing for an election. But they were preparing for war.
The American Bradley armoured vehicles on the streets, the US
foot patrols, the old Russian personnel carriers that Saddam Hussein
bought on the cheap from the Soviet Union - now dressed up in the
dull camouflage paint of the "new" Iraqi army - the hooded
and masked policemen; they don’t look like the prelude to
an experiment in democracy. They are waiting for the rivers of blood
of which the insurgents have warned. But
there will be democracy in Iraq.
The mortars rained down yesterday morning on the Green Zone where
the US and British embassies are located. A "thumpety-thump-thump"
brought the American Apache choppers over the surrounding highways
in less than 30 seconds, but the insurgents had disappeared. Then
a fierce gun battle broke out in the centre of Baghdad between Americans
and insurgents. Too late again, the gunmen got away. Fantasy attacks
before a fantasy election. Many Iraqis do not know the names of
the candidates, let alone their policies. But
there will be democracy in Iraq.
The media boys and girls will be expected to play along with this.
"Transition of power," says the hourly logo on CNN’s
live coverage of the election, though the poll is for a parliament
to write a constitution and the men who will form a majority within
it will have no power.
They have no control over their oil, no
authority over the streets of Baghdad, let alone the rest of the
country, no workable army or loyal police force. Their only
power is that of the American military and its 150,000 soldiers
whom we could see at the main Baghdad intersections yesterday.
The big television networks have been given a list of five polling
stations where they will be "allowed" to film. Close inspection
of the list shows that four of the five are in Shia Muslim areas
- where the polling will probably be high - and one in an upmarket
Sunni area where it will be moderate. Every working-class Sunni
polling station will be out of bounds to the press. I wonder if
the television lads will tell us that today when they show voters
"flocking" to the polls.
In the Karada district, we found three truckloads of youths yesterday,
all brandishing Iraqi flags, all - like the unemployed who have
been sticking posters to Baghdad’s walls -
paid by the government to "advertise" the election. And
there was a cameraman from Iraqi state television, which is controlled
by Iyad Allawi’s "interim" government.
The "real" story is outside Baghdad, in the tens of
thousands of square miles outside the government’s control
and outside the sight of independent journalists, especially in
the four Sunni Muslim provinces which are the heart of Iraq’s
Right up to election hour, US jets were continuing
to bomb "terrorist targets", the latest in the city of
Ramadi - which, though Messrs Bush and Blair do not say so - is
now in the hands of the insurgents as surely as Fallujah was before
the Americans destroyed it.
Every month since Mr Allawi, the former CIA agent, was appointed
premier by the US government, American air strikes on Iraq have
been increasing exponentially. There are no "embedded"
reporters on the giant American air base at Qatar or aboard the
US carriers in the Gulf from which these ever-increasing and ever
more lethal sorties are being flown. They
go unrecorded, unreported, part of the "fantasy" war which
is all too real to the victims but hidden from us journalists as
we cower in Baghdad.
The reality is that much of Iraq has become a free-fire zone -
for reference, see under "Vietnam" - and
the Americans are conducting this secret war as efficiently and
as ruthlessly as they conducted their earlier bombing campaign against
Iraq between 1991 and 2003, an air raid a day, or two raids, or
three. Then they were attacking Saddam’s "military
targets" in Iraq. Now they are attacking "foreign terrorist
targets" or "anti-Iraqi forces". I especially like
this one since the foreigners involved in this violence happen in
reality to be Americans who are mostly attacking Iraqis.
And not only in Sunni areas. Just this month, for example, US
aircraft fired missiles at a students’ dormitory at the University
of Erbil in the Kurdish north of the country. Among the wounded
Kurds was a survivor of Saddam’s gassing of Halabja - one
of the reasons Mr Bush and Mr Blair supposedly invaded this wretched
place. No explanations from the Americans.
So why were they bombing Kurds? To warn them that they will not
be given independence? Or to stop them feuding over the city of
Mosul, which "new" Iraq wants to keep inside the national
territory, not surrender to some future "Kurdistan"?
Yes, I know how it’s all going to be played out. Iraqis
bravely vote despite the bloodcurdling threats of the enemies of
democracy. At last, the American and British policies have reached
fruition - a real and functioning democracy will be in place so
we can leave soon. Or next year. Or in a decade or so. Merely to
hold these elections - an act of folly in the eyes of so many Iraqis
- will be a "success".
The Shias will vote en masse, the Sunnis will largely abstain.
Shia Muslim power will be enshrined for the first time in an Arab
country. And then the manipulation will begin and the claims of
fraud and the admissions that the elections might be "flawed"
in some areas.
But we’ll go on saying "democracy" and "freedom"
over and over again, the insurgency will continue and grow even
more violent, and the Iraqis will go on dying. But
there will be democracy in Iraq.
The insurgency in Iraq will last at least a
decade and American troops alone will not be able to defeat it,
a senior US military officer in Baghdad has predicted.
Speaking on the eve of Iraq's first free election for 51 years,
the officer conceded: "Iraqis are the ones who will have to
defeat the insurgency, not multinational forces.
"It is not necessarily a growing insurgency but it is a resilient
one," he said. "We're looking at a long-term insurgency,
probably at a lower level of violence than now. Historically,
you look at a decade - and this is no different."
The US military official maintained the insurgency was ultimately
"doomed" to failure and said a successful vote could lead
to a noticeable reduction in violence by April.
The Iraqi forces were becoming more capable by the day, he said.
As voting in Iraq got under way yesterday, however, Washington
analysts were mulling over what America's plan B would be if the
vote did not bring the stability the Bush Administration was hoping
In the past few days leading Democrats have called for an accelerated
withdrawal, breaking a bipartisan consensus that the US should stay
until the insurgency is defeated. But the Bush Administration shows
no signs of preparing for a pullout. The
army has said it will need 120,000 troops for the next two years
at least, and the Pentagon is building a string of permanent bases
at a cost of billions of dollars. The new bases, critics
of the Administration argue, add weight to accusations that the
US plans a permanent presence.
A Pentagon spokesman admitted "half a dozen
enduring bases" were being constructed, but added they were
intended for use by the new Iraqi army.
But an independent research group, GlobalSecurity.org,
which tracks Pentagon contracts and military movements, claims there
are about 12 of the bases under construction. "They are suggestive
that the American presence is going to dominate for years not months,"
said John Pike, the head of the organisation. He added that the
bases were not the only evidence that US troops planned a long stay.
"How many fighter jets does the new Iraqi army have? None.
How many tanks? None. What do you call a country with no jets and
no fighter planes? It's called a protectorate."
President George Bush told The New York Times last week the US
would withdraw its forces from Iraq if a newly elected government
requested it, but said he expected the country's new leaders would
understand the "need for coalition troops - at least until
Iraqis are able to fight".
"I don't see it as a policy shift. It has to be said, or
else the notion of a sovereign Iraqi government has no meaning,"
said Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International
But she said it was not clear what the Bush Administration planned
to do if the elections served only to worsen the bloodshed. "I
don't think there is a plan B, other than greater emphasis on the
training of Iraqis," she said.
Marty Meehan, a Democratic congressman, has suggested a plan to
withdraw "the vast majority" of US forces by the end of
Ms Mathews said there were problems with setting a date for withdrawal:
"It has an enormous effect on US troops - the problem of who
wants to be the last man to die. There is more tension and trigger-happiness.
And the terrorists have a date to hang on until."
Will today's elections for 7,785 unknown candidates
in violence-racked Iraq mark the dawn of genuine Mideast democracy,
as U.S. President George W. Bush claims, or be another step deeper
into the bloody quagmire in Mesopotamia?
First, no election held under a foreign
military occupation resulting from an unjustified war is legal under
international law. During the Cold War, elections staged
by the Soviets after invading Afghanistan, Hungary and Czechoslovakia
were rightly denounced by the U.S. as "frauds" and the
leaders elected as "stooges."
Second, Shiites, excluded from political power since Britain created
Iraq in 1921, will win since they represent 60% of the population.
Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a fatwa, or religious
decree, ordering the faithful to vote for the Shiites' coalitions.
Sistani made what some see as a pact with
the devil. He is abetting at least
temporary U.S. occupation and exploitation of oil-rich Iraq in exchange
for Washington handing power to his fellow "good" Shiites
-- not to be confused with Iran's "bad" Shiites, who are
facing U.S.-Israeli attack. "Good" Shiites don't
sport turbans; they sideline clerics and avoid angry Islamic mutterings.
Iraq's pro-U.S. Kurds will elect their own coalitions determined
to keep their oil revenues and create a state independent in all
Sunnis have lost all the power and perks they previously enjoyed,
they lead resistance against U.S. occupation. They will be the odd
men out, at the mercy of the hated Shiites, a sect long persecuted
by mainstream Sunni Muslims as dangerous heretics and fanatics.
Third, the U.S.-"guided" regime emerging from the vote
will be one of form without much substance, unless a new Shiite
regime revolts and asserts its independence.
For now, Iraq's real government will continue
to be the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the world's largest, and 150,000
U.S. occupation troops.
Every important Iraqi ministry is run by
U.S. "advisers" who call the shots and allocate all spending.
Power comes from guns and money. The U.S. controls and pays
Iraq's low-morale police and native troops who, in a nation with
70% unemployment, mostly serve to feed families.
VOTE TO END MISERY
Iraq's entire budget comes from sporadic oil exports and U.S.-dispensed
aid (the latest bill for Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: $240
Many Iraqis will vote for anyone promising to end violence and
social misery. But just as many nationalists and Islamists, excluded
from the election process, are voting their own way -- with bullets
and bombs. Washington calls them "terrorists," but the
UN Charter enshrines people's right to resist foreign occupation.
A "Muslim-lite" turbanless Shiite regime allied to Washington
will immediately have to face Kurdish secessionists and Sunni insurgents.
Younger, more nationalistic Shiites with connections to Tehran will
try to oust the "quietist" collaborationist Sistani faction
once Shiites are firmly in power. More, rather
than less, violence is likely, with Sistani a prime bomb target.
Iraq, like Humpty Dumpty, is broken and may never
be put together. That's fine with the Bush administration's pro-Israel
hawks who engineered this war. A shattered Iraq will never challenge
Israel's nuclear monopoly.
But not fine for the U.S. A senior commander
just warned that 130,000 U.S. troops must stay in Iraq until at
least 2007, maybe much longer. Iraqization, like Vietnamization,
has proved a chimera. So, too, plans to plunder Iraq's oil. Meanwhile
Pentagon brass are livid over neo-con plans to launch a new war
against Israel's principal enemy, Iran.
This "guided" election is Bush's best last chance to
declare a titanic victory, then bring all his troops home to a big
ticker-tape parade before Iraq dissolves into bloody chaos or is
taken over by Iran. Otherwise, the U.S. will be stuck forever to
its Iraqi tar baby, ruing the day it overthrew old ally, Saddam.
A truly independent regime will eventually emerge in Baghdad when
the U.S. finally runs low on money, men and crusading will power.
We'll know for sure real freedom has dawned in Iraq when Baghdad
orders U.S. troops out, raises oil prices, rebuilds its armed forces,
and renews support for the Palestinian cause.
BAGHDAD (AFP) - As many as 15 British military
personnel died when the transport plane they were travelling in
crashed in central Iraq, military sources said.
The Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules, which can carry up to 128
troops, went down northwest of Baghdad at 4:40 pm (1340 GMT), according
to the coalition military press office in Baghdad.
Military sources told Britain's domestic Press Association news
agency the number killed in the crash was "around 10",
with it "highly unlikely" to be more than 15.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but came during
a series of attacks aimed at sabotaging the first democratic elections
in Iraq for 50 years. At least 37 people were killed and 96 others
wounded in the attacks.
In a televised speech earlier Prime Minister Tony Blair said "people
lost their lives" in the crash, but not specifying how many
had perished or providing any other details.
"This country and the wider world will never forget them,"
Wreckage from the plane was reportedly scattered
over a large area.
A spokesman from the RAF Lyneham base in Wiltshire declined to
speculate on the cause of the crash, and said the investigation
would be thorough.
No additional information was being released until families were
The defence secretary, Geoff
Hoon, today announced that 10 British service personnel were killed
when an RAF transport plane crashed in Iraq on Sunday.
In the biggest single loss of life since March 21 2003, when eight
British troops died in a US helicopter, nine RAF personnel and one
soldier died. One of the crew, Flight Lieutenant Paul Pardoel, a
35-year-old father of three from Australia, was named among the
The C-130 Hercules was flying from Baghdad to Balad, where there
is a US military base, when it crashed around 25 miles north-west
of the capital. The cause of the crash remains unknown, but a militant
group has claimed responsibility.
Mr Hoon said the servicemen's deaths were
"especially poignant on a day when Iraqis were able to enjoy
the freedom of democratic elections for the first time in many years".
He said British and US forces had secured the crash site,
and were recovering the bodies and attempting to ascertain the cause
of the crash.
A senior US military officer said the wreckage
of the plane was scattered over a large area,
suggesting a mid-air explosion, but the MoD refused to comment
on the speculation until its investigations were complete.
Earlier, the Iraqi militant group Ansar al-Islam posted a statement
on an Islamist website, claiming its fighters had tracked the aircraft
,"which was flying at a low altitude", and fired an anti-tank
missile at it.
"Thanks be to God, the plane was downed and a huge fire and
black clouds of smoke were seen rising from the location of the
crash," the statement said.
Ansar al-Islam is thought to have been the creation of Osama bin
Laden's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in the months after
September 11. Recently, it has been overshadowed by the Jordanian
militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the group he has called al-Qaida
in Iraq. [...]
Dear President/Rector/Dept head
of Political Science-Philosophy and Students;
Thanks to the courage and integrity of a University of Haifa student's
letter now in circulation around the world - demonstrating the looming
crisis implicit within academic circles in Israel and the danger
of continuing support--whether financial, charitable or otherwise--to
the State of Israel while witnessing the moral collapse of the state
which would shelter perverse and depraved racism in its institutions
such as U of Haifa - I am compelled to write.
That the utterance, let alone tolerance of "in your face"
violent racist statements -as allegedly articulated by an instructor
within the Univ of Haifa - David Bukay of the Political Science
department-- suggests a moral depravity unlike anything read or
seen by many since the days of the nazification of Germany and its
doctrines about the "inherent inferiority of Jews".
I never dreamt I would ever read of such perversity again, after
the lessons supposedly learned from World War 2 [and the loss of
an estimated 30,000,000 millions of Jews, Slavs (Poles, Russians),
dissidents, gays, Catholics, soldiers, disabled, elderly, etc.]
yet these days ever more horrendous demonstrations of the racist
nature which underlies the chaotic result of concurrently calling
a Jewish/Zionist state a "democratic" one whilst pursuing
ethnic cleansing and slow genocide of another people, Palestinians
in particular and Arabs in general.
It is absolutely unacceptable to read of such despicable statements/behavior
being tolerated in any state supported environment whilst simultaneously
and continuously being reminding that it is the "only democracy
in the region". With the disparity of power within academia
(between student and teacher) I recognize it takes courage for a
student to speak up against the 'powers that be' and to sound the
alarm of the ongoing moral disintegration -- unless it was more
widely tolerated than we in the "outside world" have recognized.
Daily reports of the IDF's precipitous loss of its (self identified)
"moral purity" demonstrate decay runs throughout the core
of Israel's government and civic institutions and begs for a comprehensive
With the hope that there will be disciplinary actions taken to
arrest anyone's belief that Israeli academia has sunk to such a
low level as has been attributed to Bukay, "shooting all Arabs
in the head" as a political perspective will be treated with
as much rigor as Israel has pursued against anti-Semitism in Germany
over the past 60 years.
For peace with justice
An American Jewish tax payer.
cc: Congressional representatives and various media associates.
Report about the incident
Report: "The Arabs Must Be Shot in Their Heads!"
By Student in the Philosophy Department University of Haifa, Israel
Academics and human and civil rights activists in Israel launched
an anti-racist campaign in the University of Haifa against racist
expressions made by Dr. David Bukay from the Department of Political
Bukay is accused by students in racist incitement against Arabs.
"The Arabs are greedy, chasing for sex and alcohol",
Bukay said more than once in his lectures, according to students.
The news website Nana reported that thirty of the students in Bukay's
course, the Intro-Arab System and Palestine Affair, had to hear
their lecturer supporting the killing Arabs only for being Arabs,
claiming that they are criminals by their nature and recommending
to humiliate Palestinians in front of cameras, spreading those pictures
- and all this in a seminar, which is being classified by the University
as a duty [compulsory] in their studies toward fulfillment of bachelor's
degree in the Department of Political Science.
According to students, Bukay told, "The Arabs must be caught
and shot in their heads by a gun. A building in which there are
Arabs and Palestinians, must be exterminated".
Bukay wrote a research of the "threats"
of the radical Islam and recommended to the IDF soldiers to "humiliate
the wanted [Arabs], to photo and humiliate them and afterwards to
show the photos to their families who'll see that their sons are
A student who tried to discuss this racist incitement during his
classes by claiming that history knew Arab mathematics and intellectuals,
was answered, "You don't know what are
you talking about. The Arabs did not invent anything! They are stupid
and did not contribute anything to the humanity. The calculations
you claimed that were invented by them, were copied [from others].
The Arabs are big liars and you should not believe to their history!"
The chairperson of the Arabs' Students Committee, Fadi Abu-Yunes,
who tried opposing Dr. Bukay, claims that he was humiliated and
silenced. The lecturer threatened Abu-Yunes, his student, by saying
that if he will not cease from opposing him, then he will be sent
to the University's disciplinary committee, and as a result - will
be punished. "He threatened that I will not be able to finish
his course and thus, not to be given a grade".
There are students who agreed with Bukay, and others who preferred
to shut up, fearing the final grade that would be given to them
if they will oppose the racist lecturer.
The University was asked to deal with this shameful affair. Dr.
Asad Ganem, a senior lecturer in the department, asked Bukay to
respond to the accusations of the students. "Bukay broke the
University's regulations and the Education Law, and committed a
criminal act. If he will not respond properly, we will take severe
steps against him", he told Nana News. An appeal was also made
to the Head of the Department, Dr. Gabriel Ben Dor.
The University's spokesperson reported that the University's authorities
are handling the case and a clear response will be delivered within
two weeks. Dr. Bukay refused to respond.
Many academics sent letters of protest to the University's officials,
Bronfman MK, from the liberal Democratic Choice party, asked
the University's rector to investigate the case and judge severely
the racist lecturer. All those who are looking for a liberal, democratic
and tolerant society in Israel, in which Jews and Arabs live together,
equally, must protest against this racist.
I received an interesting email
this afternoon from an American Jewish woman. She claims that David
Bukay of the Political Science department at Haifa University in
Israel is using his post to advocate “racist expressions”
directed against Arabs and Muslims. According to a student in the
Philosophy Department at the university, Bukay supports “the
killing of Arabs only for being Arabs, claiming that they are criminals
by their nature and recommending to humiliate Palestinians in front
of cameras, spreading those pictures—and all this in a seminar,
which is being classified by the University as a duty [compulsory]
in their studies toward fulfillment of bachelor’s degree in
the Department of Political Science.”
Bukay is not only a university professor, but also an author, editor,
public speaker, and “his fields of specialization are,”
according to the Ariel
Center for Policy Research (ACPR), “the Arab-Israeli conflict;
inter-Arab relations and the Palestinian question; international
terrorism and fundamental Islam; theoretical issues and political
applications in the Middle-East; Asad’s foreign policy towards
Israel and Lebanon; the culture approach to understanding the Middle-East.”
It should be noted that the ACPR
counts as “Israel’s Friends” several Congress
critters, including Jim Saxon, Bill McCollum, and Tom DeLay. “Contributing
Experts” include the Strausscons Frank J. Gaffney and Meyrav
Wurmser, wife of David Wurmser, who is Principal Deputy Assistant
to the Vice President for National Security Affairs in the Office
of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Burkay, who teaches his students that Arabs must be “shot
in their heads by a gun,” according to student mentioned above,
hosted a round table discussion at the latest Jerusalem Summit,
where Rep. Bob
Beauprez (R-CO) and the Islamophobe Daniel Pipes also gave speeches.
“Over 150 leading thinkers and statesmen from the US, Europe,
Asia and Israel have convened at the 3-day Jerusalem Summit, (Nov
27-30th, 2004), at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel,” notes
Cherney Foundation, a “humanitarian” organization
founded after “the night of the heinous terrorist bombing
outside the Dolphinarium Disco in Tel Aviv,” on June 1, 2001
(no mention here of the “heinous” terrorist bombings
of Gaza by the IDF, killing far more than died outside of the Dolphinarium
Ironically—and appropriately, considering the agenda and
philosophy of the people attending the Jerusalem Summit—the
David Hotel was the site of another terrorist bombing. On July
22, 1946, Irgun Tsvai-Leumi, a Zionist terrorist group, bombed the
hotel, killing 92 Britons, Arabs, and Jews.
Irgun adopted the revisionist views of Ze’ev
Jabotinsky, the philosophical godfather of the Likud Party.
Sort of a Zionist version of Hamas, Irgun bombed the British embassy
in Rome, bombed a police station in Haifa, tossed grenades into
a cafe in Jerusalem, killing dozens of people. Apparently unsatisifed
with random terror attacks, Irgun joined up with another Zionist
terror organization, the Stern gang, and attacked the Palestinian
village of Deir Yassin, killing at least 107 civilians. “Neither
Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can negate the use of terror
as a means of battle,” was the operating
motto of the Stern gang—an assertion Osama bin Laden would
likely agree with, if he were alive.
It should be noted that Israel’s sixth prime minister, Menachem
Begin, was a member of Irgun and directly responsible for the
bombing of the King David Hotel. As if to indicate the government
of Israel approves of mass murdering Palestinian civilians, Avraham
Stern, the founder of the Stern gang, has a street named after him
in Tel Aviv, according to Jason
Jerusalem Summit was held in Israel’s capital during Sukkot
(October 12-14, 2003) and featured the likes of Frank Gaffney, Benyamin
Netanyahu, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, and Cal Thomas—a virtual
roster of Likudites, Strausscons, and their fellow travelers. “Jerusalem
Declaration and other Summit’s programs will provide the free
world with moral clarity in the fight against radical Islam and
new paradigms of thinking about the Middle East conflict,”
states the Jerusalem Summit home page. Obviously, such “new
paradigms” include invading soverign nations such as Iraq,
Syria, and Iran, and also killing thousands of innocent civilians,
a toll that currently stands at around 100,000 people in Iraq, a
body count that would have made Irgun, the Stern gang, and Haganah
(which eventually become the IDF) proud. Ariel Sharon was a member
of the outlawed Haganah. In 1953, Sharon directed the Qibya
massacre in the West Bank, slaugthering over 50 Palestinian
Arabs and the destroying most houses in the village.
Considering all of this, it is not surprising that the “expert”
David Bukay would tell his class Arabs are sub-human and deserve
to be shot in the head. It is indicative Burkay would be invited
to the Jerusalem Summit since his views are obviously not far off
the mark of those held by Jim Saxon, Bill McCollum, Tom DeLay, Bob
Beauprez, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney, and Meyrav
Wurmser, all who weild disporpotinate influence over the Bush administration
and U.S. foreign policy.
Finally, can you imagine a professor in the United States calling
Jews sub-human and advocating they be shot in the head? He would
not only be bounced in record time, but would also likely suffer
the fate of Sami al-Arian, the Florida professor, “described
as the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,”
according to CNN,
and arrested in February, 2003. In fact, al-Arian’s only crime
is defending the Palestinians and declaring Israeli occupation and
theft of Palestinian land illegal and immoral and also founding
a think tank dedicated to the study of Islam. For doing so he was
fired by the president of the University of South Florida, Tampa,
Judy Genshaft, a political appointee of Jeb Bush.
Sami al-Arian is now held in “solitary confinement, allowed
out of his cell for only one hour each day,” writes Sarah
Shields. According to Shields, al-Arian’s “attorneys
are not allowed to talk with him privately … he is not allowed
any phone calls … none of his visits with his wife and children
permit even a hug.” In America, “suspected terrorists,”
who make the mistake of appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s
Fox News show and demanding justice for the Palestinians are thrown
in prison, treated worse than serial murderers, while in Israel,
“academic freedom” consists of calling for murdering
Arabs execution style.
One last note: Daniel Pipes, “the nation’s leading
Islamaphobe” (according to the Council
on American-Islamic Relations), who attended the Jerusalem Summit
and likely rubbed elbows with David Bukay, had made a career out
of trashing the livelihood of professors in America he considers
not loyal enough to Israel. For his effort, Bush announced in early
2003 Pipe’s nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace, an
irony, to say the least. As Mark
Engler writes, Pipes said the following about Bush’s invasion
of Iraq: “WMD was never the basic reason for war. Nor was
it the horrid repression in Iraq. Or the danger Saddam posed to
his neighbors. … The campaign in Iraq is about keeping promises
to the United States or paying the consequences. … Keep your
promises or you are gone. It’s a powerful precedent that U.S.
leaders should make the most of.” In response, the editors
of Right Web responded: “Sounds like an ideal candidate for
an institute devoted to ‘promoting the peaceful resolution
of international conflicts.’”
that ravaged southern Asia last month was God’s punishment
for world support for Israel’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza
Strip, a former chief rabbi has claimed.
“When the Holy One, Blessed be He, is angry
with the nations of the world that don’t help Israel
– but want to evacuate and disengage, and interfere in our
affairs and harm us – then the Holy One, Blessed be He, claps
his hands in sadness, and this causes the quake,” former Israeli
Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu told the ultra-Orthodox Ma’ayanei
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to dismantle all 21 Jewish settlements
in Gaza and four in the West Bank this summer, displacing some 8,500
Eliahu, who was chief rabbi in the 1980s and 1990s, is a spiritual
leader of the Jewish settler movement, which bitterly opposes the
Signs Economic Commentary
January 30, 2005
| The US stock market rose last week
for the first time in 2005. The Dow closed at 10,427.20, up 0.32%
for the week, while the NASDAQ closed at 2035.83 or up 0.08%. The
interest rate on a ten-year US Treasury bond closed at 4.15%, up slightly
from last week’s 4.14%. The dollar closed at 0.768 euros up
from last week’s 0.766, or 1.302 dollars a euro compared to
last week’s 1.305. Oil closed at $47.15 (36.16 euros) a barrel
on Friday down from last Friday’s $48.53 (37.17 euros) and it
is poised to drop further Monday after the supposedly successful Iraq
elections and some help from the OPEC meeting. Gold closed at $426.80
or 327.10 euros up 0.8% (in dollars) from last week’s 423.30
and 325.42 respectively. An ounce of gold on Friday would therefore
buy 9.05 barrels of oil, up from last week’s 8.72.
In the markets, we are struck by the apparent normality and the
lack of strong short-term trends in any direction. There remains
a thin sheet of ice -- the illusion that things are going well --
covering an unsettled ocean. Perhaps alone in the world, the average
person in the United States is clinging to that illusion. No doubt
that, at least at first, the Iraq elections will be spun as a success
to the public in the United States. The professional investors are
reinforcing that by driving the price of oil down at the moment.
In such an environment we need to keep our eye on the elite for
signs that they are jumping ship. They are. Here are some headlines
in Bloomberg on January 30th: “Microsoft’s
Gates Bets Against the Dollar. Calls Currency’s Status ‘Scary’”
Says Greenspan Lost Credibility With Positions on Rates, Tax Cuts”
Here’s what Gates had to say:
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Bill Gates, whose net worth of $46.6 billion
makes him the world's richest person, is betting against the U.S.
"I'm short the dollar,'' Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp.,
told Charlie Rose in an interview late yesterday at the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "The ol' dollar, it's
gonna go down.''
"It is a bit scary,'' Gates said. "We're in uncharted
territory when the world's reserve currency has so much outstanding
Gates reflected the views of his friend Warren Buffett, the billionaire
investor who has bet against the dollar since 2002. Buffett said
last week that the U.S. trade gap will probably further weaken
"Unless we have a major change in trade policies, I don't
see how the dollar avoids going down,'' Buffett said in an interview
with CNBC on Jan. 19.
Gates in December joined the board of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.,
the investment company that Buffett runs. Forbes magazine's list
of billionaires ranks Gates, 49, No. 1. Buffett, 74, is second,
with more than $30 billion. Almost all of it is in Berkshire stock.
Gates described China as a potential "change agent'' for
the next two decades. "It's phenomenal,'' Gates said. "It's
a brand new form of capitalism.''
Gates's $27 billion foundation in September received approval
from China's foreign-currency regulator to invest as much as $100
million in the nation's yuan shares and bonds.
As for Soros:
George Soros, the billionaire investor, said Federal Reserve
Chairman Alan Greenspan has lost credibility for driving the benchmark
U.S. interest rate to a four-decade low and advocating tax cuts
that Soros said caused the U.S. budget deficit to balloon.
Soros, chairman of the New York-based Soros Fund Management LLC,
said Greenspan sought to help President George W. Bush win re-election.
Soros spent $26.5 million, more than any other individual donor
or political action committee, seeking to help Massachusetts Senator
John Kerry defeat Bush in November's elections.
"Greenspan lost credibility with me when he became too political,''
said Soros, 74, in an interview today at the World Economic Forum
in Davos, Switzerland. ``He tried to push interest rates further
down in order to help the re-election campaign, and also reached
out beyond his sphere of competence by advocating tax cuts which
then led to the current deficit.''
The Fed cut interest rates six times in 2001 and 2002, bringing
the overnight bank-lending rate to 1 percent from 6.5 percent.
In 2001, Greenspan supported the first in a series of Bush-proposed
tax cuts that ultimately reached $1.85 trillion.
Soros said he expected the U.S. currency to extend its three-
year slide, as officials and executives from the U.S., Europe
and Asia at Davos blamed the U.S. budget and current account deficits
for causing a plunge in the dollar. Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill
Gates, the world's richest man, said yesterday that he's betting
on a further slide in the dollar, calling the deficits "scary.''
The dollar has dropped 47 percent against the euro since 2001.
The dollar was little changed at $1.3038 per euro in trading yesterday
in New York. Federal Reserve spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined
to comment on Soros's remarks.
While the dollar has fallen 2.8 percent against the currencies
of its 30 major trading partners during the past year, it's fallen
more against the euro, 4.8 percent, because many Asian countries
link their currencies to the dollar, limiting changes in their
The U.S. current account deficit will likely cause the euro to
continue to gain against the dollar. Because Asian currencies
are linked to the dollar, their value won't change as much as
"Obviously, the dollar is already undervalued against the
euro,'' Soros said. "It has every sign of getting more undervalued,
because all the adjustment is between the dollar and the euro.''
So three of the richest, shrewdest people on the planet, Gates,
Soros and Buffet have lost faith in the dollar. Up until recently,
establishment types didn’t say this kind of thing in public.
Here’s another example. The investigative journalist, Seymour
Hersh, who broke both the My Lai and Abu Ghraib stories, has never,
to my knowledge, written about the economy. However, in a recent
talk about Iraq and the takeover of the US government by the
Neocon cult as reprinted in Signs of the Times for January 29, 2005
he said the following:
[The economy is] going to go very bad, folks. You know, if you
have not sold your stocks and bought property in Italy, you better
do it quick. And the third thing is Europe -- Europe is not going
to tolerate us much longer. The rage there is enormous. I'm talking
about our old-fashioned allies. We could see something there,
collective action against us. Certainly, nobody -- it's going
to be an awful lot of dancing on our graves as the dollar goes
bad and everybody stops buying our bonds, our credit -- our --
we're spending $2 billion a day to float the debt, and one of
these days, the Japanese and the Russians, everybody is going
to start buying oil in Euros instead of dollars. We're going to
see enormous panic here. But [Bush] could get through that. That
will be another year, and the damage he's going to do between
then and now is enormous. We're going to have some very bad months
Hersh is a mainstream journalist who spends his time talking to
four-star generals, CIA analysts and parents of soldiers killed
in Iraq. Right now, we don’t need an economist to know which
way the wind is blowing. Hersh’s words are so shocking not
because we didn’t already know they were true but because
someone like him is saying them publicly. The enormity of the failure
in Iraq creates a situation like the building of seismic pressure
before an earthquake. On the surface, everything appears normal
until the moment when the pressure releases and the earth cracks
and shifts below our feet.
In other words, even though last week’s Economic Commentary
went through some of the economic factors that will most likely
lead to a collapse, political events seem to be moving much more
quickly, with the Bush Neocons perhaps realizing they don’t
have much time and therefore trying a last, desperate roll of the
dice by attacking Iran, Syria and perhaps even Venezuela as well.
In one interesting tidbit that came to light last week, crude oil
imports to China increased
35% last year, as the Chinese economy grew at a rapid rate.
China needs lots of oil in order to complete its plan to become
the top economic and political power in the world. In another tidbit,
a wire service report on the weekend’s OPEC meeting noted
that the Venezuelan oil minister was not there because the Chinese
vice-president was visiting Caracas. No wonder Bush gang wants to
grab all the oil it can before the empire collapses and they are
all thrown in prison for treason and war crimes.
If we were not caught in a Bushzarro reality warp, Douglas Feith—and
Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, William Kristol,
Charles Krauthammer, Elliott Abrams, to name but a few of the
more prominent Strausscons—would be arrested and packed
off to the Hague to face prosecution for war crimes and crimes
Unfortunately, Douglas Feith will likely end up writing policy
papers and giving speeches for one of a handful of Strausscon
“think tanks” in Washington, pulling down a handsome
salary. So it is in America, where war criminals such as Henry
Kissinger—and former presidents such as Bill Clinton and
Bush Senior—are allowed to walk free, considered “elder
statesmen,” create law firms and consulting services, write
best selling books, are interviewed and pampered, and have libraries
built in their names.
If excusing and ignoring these crimes—indeed, often celebrating
them—demonstrates anything, it is that America is suffering
from a dangerous and what will likely sooner or later prove to
be fatal pathology. For as Germany learned, sooner or later the
rest of the world will respond to this murderous pathology and
put and end to it for good, more than likely economically since
the United States military, at least in a conventional warfare
sense, is unbeatable, mostly due to its fearsome stockpile of
nukes and other marvels of high-tech mass murder and destruction.
Of course, this will also mean the destruction of the tiny outlaw
state of Israel, since it cannot exist without remaining a dependent
suckling parasitically fleecing the American taxpayer.
It is interesting that Seymour Hersh advised fleeing to Europe
instead of buying gold and waiting out the depression in the US.
What else does he know? Could the following by Al
Martin be a clue?
The current regime in the United States continues to change from
a “democracy” to a dictatorship, according to already
established historical precedents. There are several political
regimes of the past whose political, economic, social and military
policies have been the same as we see transpiring in the United
It should be noted that the USA Patriot I Act is extremely similar,
even in the language, as a matter of fact, to some of the language
that was seemingly “borrowed” from what could be called
the German Homeland Security Acts of August 1934 and July 1936.
The Patriot II Act, as we have mentioned before, is transcribed
almost verbatim from the Soviet Internal Security Enhancement
Act of 1965, which was enacted when the Soviet Union was moving
to tighten control even more within its own borders and particularly
within its Eastern European satellite countries, in order to quell
any further dissent because they knew that such dissent was brewing.
This has a direct parallel to current conditions in the USA.
The similarities in Patriot I and these two German security acts
that we’ve mentioned, were effectively used to increase
the power of the President, and in the German case, of the German
Chancellor to absolute power, which has now happened in the United
States. Presidential power has now been changed so that previous
legislative consent and judicial review has been removed from
the War Powers Act, thus effectively making Presidential authority
absolute in terms of all key positions, most importantly of which
are the decisions that the President could make, unfettered by
Congress or the Supreme Court, to permanently cancel elections.
This then effectively changes the country from democracy into
a dictatorship. The further enhancement in power, without Congress
and the Judiciary, comes in the expansion of the War Powers Act
under Patriot I, allowing the President to dissolve opposition
political parties and simply turn the United States into a unicameral
There are certain parallels in economic policies as well. Economic
legislation, including economic powers contained in the Patriot
Acts, are very similar to the German Currency Stabilization Act
of 1938, wherein Germany, like the Bush-Cheney regime, acted to
diminish the ability of German citizens to hold gold, to transfer
that gold out of the country, to limit the amount of German marks
that could be taken out of the country and to ultimately limit
the convertibility of those marks outside of Germany.
These are all measures which the Bush Cheney regime has either
already undertaken or, according to Treasury Secretary Snow, has
on the drawing board. It would be accomplished in this country
through the actual re-institution of the Gold Confiscation Act
of 1933 and also the imposition of currency restrictions, similar
to what Nixon did in 1971.
It seems that the purely economic factors pointing to a collapse
are dwarfed by geopolitical factors. Notice the wording of the German
Deputy Finance Minister in Davos last week. In the article about
Bill Gates on Bloomberg quoted above, he said that the US budget
deficit is the number one problem facing the global economy “disregarding
geopolitical risks.” Nowadays that’s a lot to disregard!
Even when we focus on the geopolitical risks, is there something
even worse looming? With all the news of climate change, meterorites,
earthquakes and possible flu epidemics, it may be that “natural”
disasters may be an even bigger threat to the global economy. It
all seems to be coming to a head at once.
MADRID - A bomb went off at a hotel in a Spanish
holiday resort, raising fears that the Basque separatist group ETA
may be launching a new campaign to disrupt the nation's vital tourist
The blast from a device hidden in a rucksack occurred after a
telephone warning and all 160 people in the hotel were evacuated
in time. One person was slightly injured and part of the hotel was
The attack in Denia in the Mediterranean province of Alicante
came two days ahead of a debate by Spain's parliament on giving
the Basque country yet greater autonomy to satisfy separatist ambitions.
The blast also followed close on an offer by ETA, which has a
record of 800 political murders over more than three decades, and
its political wing Batasuna of dialogue with central government
But Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero has said the separatist
violence must stop before talks about the future of the restless
northern province can begin. [...]
OTTAWA -- The government will revamp the wording
of future federal contracts with the aim of countering U.S. powers,
granted under anti-terrorism laws, to tap into personal information
The move is intended to prevent the U.S. Federal
Bureau of Investigation from seeing sensitive Canadian data the
government supplies to American firms doing business with federal
departments in Ottawa.
The government has also asked all agencies and departments to
conduct a "comprehensive assessment of risks" to Canadian
information they release to U.S. companies carrying out work under
The U.S.A. Patriot Act, passed following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks, gave the FBI broader access to records held by firms in
the United States.
The FBI can apply to a U.S. court to have a company
disclose records, including information about Canadians, to assist
with investigations involving prevention of terrorism or espionage.
Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart says that if a federal
institution hires a U.S. company to process personal information
about Canadians, then American laws apply to the data if the work
is being done south of the border.
The federal Treasury Board leads a working group that is now busy
finalizing special clauses to be used in future business proposal
requests and contracts.
The group is consulting with Stoddart's office on clauses "that
we believe to be fundamental" to include in future request
proposals and contracts, says a federal notice recently circulated
Treasury Board spokesman Robert Makichuk said the changes would
"further enhance and clarify existing protection" for
such things as establishing custody and control of data, ensuring
confidentiality of information and setting conditions related to
use and disclosure.
Trade experts at Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Justice
must review the wording before the clauses receive final approval.
Makichuk said the overall goal is to try to ward off any concerns
about how sensitive Canadian information will be used when contracts
are contemplated. [...]
WASHINGTON (CP) - Canadians don't need to break
the bank to help dispel the perception among some Americans that
they're freeloading when it comes to defence, says a top U.S. military
Informal talks have started on possibly expanding the North American
Aerospace Defence Agreement to include land and sea defences. Dwight
Mason, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies, says Canada should consider pledging to join forces with
the United States in coastal defence.
"Canadians have an opportunity here to change the way the
United States thinks about things," Mason said in an interview.
"Canada can do lots of things without spending money that would
change the views of a lot of people down here."
While deciding whether to sign on to the costly U.S. missile-defence
program is the biggest issue on the table, participating in joint
coastal defences under Norad would also be a major sign of Canada's
commitment to protecting North America, he said.
"It's not free," Mason said. "But it doesn't cost
much more, if you're devoting more resources to coastal defence
and less elsewhere."
A sweeping review of Canada's foreign policy is due soon. "Canada
will obviously make its own decision on missile defence," he
said. "And if we (Americans) just say 'Spend more', we aren't
really helping. It's not very helpful to express vague concerns."
Yet the decline in Canada's military capabilities is becoming
more apparent to U.S. officials, Mason said.
Canada is running budget surpluses and investing much more heavily
in health care and other domestic programs than its military.
"It's just more visible now. The mist has dispersed a bit."
While there may not be any unrealistic expectations that Canada
would spend lavishly on a general upgrading of all its military
capabilities, U.S. officials are probably looking for faster movement
on replacing the air force's CF-18 jet fighters and the navy's frigates
that are critical to safeguarding North America from terrorists,
The American view of Canada's defence policy
was brought into sharp focus recently amid reports that President
George W. Bush, when he visited Canada in December, linked co-operation
with his missile-defence plan to future protection under the U.S.
"What you generally hear is Canada
is freeloading," said Mason. "I think Bush has
just put it another way."
The fact that Canada is taking so long to make a decision on whether
to participate in the U.S. project to defend North America against
missile attacks from rogue countries or terrorists isn't helping,
"The longer this drags on, the worse it gets. They've already
said half-yes. The time to do this would have been right away. It
just makes Canada appear indecisive and vulnerable. And it's unnecessary."
Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, said last week that
it's important to have military co-operation through Norad, which
will survive no matter what Canada decides on the U.S. missile-defence
GENESEO, N.Y. (AP-CP) — Authorities were
trying to determine today why a charter bus carrying a Canadian
women’s junior hockey team rammed into a tractor-trailer in
western New York, splitting the bus in half and killing four people.
The bus rear-ended the truck parked on the shoulder of Interstate
390 near Geneseo, about 45 kilometres south of Rochester. A state
police spokesman says the truck driver and three passengers on the
bus were killed in the accident Saturday. None of the victims have
“It was a horrible, horrible accident,” witness Kim
McKenzie told the Evening Tribune newspaper of Hornell, N.Y. “All
you could see was a torn up bus and a banged-up truck.”
The bus was carrying female players from the Windsor Wildcats
team ranging in age from 17 to 20, as well as the players’
parents and coaches.
The team played a game Saturday and was on its way to a ski resort
when the crash happened in the late afternoon.
Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester admitted 19 patients with
injuries ranging from minor to serious.
The truck driver, who was standing outside his rig, was instantly
killed, said Mark O’Donnell, a New York State Police spokesman.
Three bus passengers also died.
The truck driver’s wife, who was travelling with him, was
Police said the Coach Canada bus, carrying 22
passengers, smashed into the truck at such force that it sent the
rig 23 metres forward.
Strong Memorial hospital called in about 40 extra staff —
including surgeons and nurses — to help treat the injured,
said spokeswoman Germaine Reinhardt.
About five were to be admitted to intensive care in guarded condition,
A Madison mother is outraged and some community
leaders are concerned that a police officer
used a stun gun on a 14-year-old while the boy was being
arrested Jan. 21 at Memorial High School. The
warrant prompting the boy's arrest was later found to be a mistake.
It's the first time a Taser - which delivers a 50,000-volt pulse
through wires attached to two dart-like probes - has been used on
a student at a Madison school, said Ted Balistreri, the district's
Dalarence Goodwin, who celebrated his 15th birthday a day after
the incident, was taken out of the school Jan. 21 to be arrested
on a warrant for supposedly missing a court date on a month-old
charge for carrying a 12-inch hatchet.
The boy broke away from Madison Police Officer Tim Harder's grip
outside the school during a struggle to handcuff him. He was arrested
after Harder - the officer assigned to the school -fired
his Taser's darts into the boy's back.
Tasers, used by police departments nationwide to reduce police
shootings, have been linked to 12 deaths in an investigation by
an Arizona newspaper, and more than 70 deaths according to Amnesty
The federal Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an
informal investigation into the Taser's safety.
But Madison police say Harder was justified
in using the weapon, according to an initial review. Police
Chief Noble Wray said Tasers are an important tool to reduce injuries
and deaths from shootings, yet he welcomes input from the public
on appropriate use.
Although the warrant was later discovered
to be an error that began in a judge's office, Harder's police report
indicates Dalarence will be tentatively charged with resisting arrest.
Goodwin's mother, Laquitha Goodwin, 29, is being tentatively charged
with disorderly conduct for yelling in Meriter Hospital's emergency
room where her son was taken after his arrest.
In addition to the Taser's use, the boy's mother is angry that
a Memorial principal neglected, she said, to notify her about the
arrest immediately, as school board policy dictates.
Goodwin, who is black, is calling the officer's actions and the
school's inaction racist. [...]
LONDON, Jan 30 (IranMania) - An earthquake
measuring 4 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the southeastern
city of Bam and its surrounding vicinity at noon Sunday.
According to IRNA, the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University
located the epicenter of the tremor at 180 km south of the provincial
capital, Kerman, on an area measuring 28/90 latitude and 58/37 longitude.
The quake struck at 12:59 hours local time (09:29 GMT). There
were no reports of any casualty or damage, the institute added.
On December 26, 2003 the city of Bam was almost leveled by a 6.3
It is still under reconstruction with domestic and foreign assistance.
Over 30,000 residents were killed and many others left homeless
by the killer earthquake of 2003.
|A strong earthquake measuring 5.6
on the Richter scale recorded at 3:05 am today alarmed the residents
of the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. The earthquake's epicenter
was located at the sea region southwest of the island, 340 kilometers
west of Athens.
Ten minutes later a second earthquake was recorded measuring 4
on the Richter scale. Many local residents left their homes and
spent the night in town squares. The earthquake was felt in all
Ionian Sea islands.
Seismologists stated that there is no cause of alarm. No damages
were reported to police
ANKARA, Jan 30 (AFP) - A moderate earthquake
measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck the Mediterranean sea
on Sunday some 50 kilometers south of Turkey's southern port city
of Kas, the Anatolia news agency said.
There were no reports of damage or injuries in Kas, which was
hit by a 5.5 magnitude quake on Monday that also caused no damage
but caused panic among residents.
Turkey lies along several faults and frequently experiences quakes.
Two people were killed and 22 injured by a series of tremors across
the eastern part of the country on Tuesday.
MURMANSK, - A hurricane reached the Murmansk
region on Sunday afternoon, with the wind exceeding 27 meters per
second in the city of Murmansk and 33 meters per second on the northern
coast of the Kola peninsula.
Weathermen say that the wind may reach 40 meters per second in
the coastal areas of the Barents Sea and icing of vessels is possible.
The traffic on the road to Norway and the Monchegorsk sector of
the Murmansk-Petersburg highway has been stopped on weather reasons.
(Hawaii) - The National Weather service in
Honolulu has issued a Flash Flood Warning for... The island of Oahu
in Honolulu County until 430 pm hst
At 124 pm hst...National Weather Wervice doppler radar indicated
flash flooding from a storm over the warned area.
Radar indicates another line of heavy showers moving over the
south and west sides of Oahu. The ground is saturated.
Additional rainfall will make conditions ripe for flash flooding.
Excessive runoff from this storm will cause flash flooding of streams...highways...underpasses
and low lying areas.
Motorists should be alert for flooding and should not attempt
to cross fast flowing or rising water...many flash flood deaths
occur when motorists try crossing flooded roadways.
Turn around...don/t drown. Escape rising water by climbing directly
to higher ground. Never try to outrace a flood...either on foot
or in your vehicle. Do not camp near streams or other areas subject
(Arizona)--Another tornado warning was issued
for Maricopa County on Saturday afternoon. A funnel cloud
was reportedly seen, and a few valley residents received serious
property damage. Whether a tornado touched down has yet to
The warning was accompanied by rapid winds and hail storms in
various areas across the valley.
The ASU baseball game was halted momentarily due to hail and heavy
rain, and further north in Jerome people saw snow. Near Flagstaff
several accidents were reported due to adverse road conditions.
In the worst weekend on the NSW coast this
summer, five people died after getting into trouble in the ocean
and hundreds had to be rescued because of treacherous surf conditions.
Most of Sydney's northern beaches, as well as Coogee, Maroubra,
North Cronulla and Tamarama beaches, were closed yesterday, although
an Ironman competition went ahead at Coogee.
More than 450 swimmers were rescued by surf lifesavers and nearly
4000 were warned by lifesavers this weekend as emergency services
urged people to take care in the surf.
Rough surf conditions, caused by a low that has come down from
Queensland, are expected to continue this morning but ease off later
today and tomorrow as the system moves towards New Zealand.
Yesterday morning, a 24-year-old man collapsed after coming out
of the surf near Shellharbour. Bystanders performed CPR on the man
but he died soon after in Wollongong Hospital.
A 49-year-old Gateshead man died after his dinghy capsized in
Swansea Channel near Newcastle. His body was recovered by the Westpac
Near Newcastle, a sailor standing on the bow of a coal ship bound
for Mexico was flung to the deck when a six-metre swell washed over
the vessel early in the morning. The sailor died after sustaining
extensive head injuries.
On Saturday, a 79-year-old Cronulla man died at North Cronulla
beach when ambulance officers were unable to resuscitate him.
A man in his 30s who tried to rescue two children died on the
Central Coast. The children managed to swim to safety, but the man
was swept out to sea.
Another man was in intensive care in St Vincent's Hospital after
suffering a cardiac arrest. He was pulled unconscious from the surf
at Bondi beach on Saturday evening.
A 25 year-old woman was resuscitated after being found semi-conscious
at North Cronulla at about 7pm on Saturday. She was taken to Sutherland
Hospital and discharged yesterday.
Poor weather reduced the number of beachgoers yesterday, and fewer
people had to be warned and rescued than on the previous day, a
spokesman for Surf Lifesaving NSW said.
On Saturday, in two incidents at Maroubra Beach alone, more than
50 swimmers were rescued by lifesavers after they were swept off
a sandbank into deep water. At North Cronulla 30 swimmers were rescued
after being caught in rips.
An ambulance spokesman, Superintendent Anthony McClenaghan, urged
people to swim only in patrolled areas and not to go into the water
if the conditions were rough. "Don't swim alone, and don't
swim after dark," he said.
Michael Logan, a severe weather forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology,
said while winds had been quite calm, swells of two to three metres
had been causing a strong groundswell.
"That has more energy associated with it in terms of the
power of the waves," he said.
The waves were large for the NSW coastline.
"Because of that and the amount of power that's come with
them, the rips are quite a lot stronger than they normally would
be," Mr Logan said.
ATLANTA - More than 300,000 customers had no
electricity today in Georgia as crews worked to repair power lines
snapped by an ice storm, and hundreds of people stranded by canceled
airline flights spent the night sleeping at the city's airport.
Two traffic deaths in Georgia and one in South Carolina were blamed
on the storm that spread sleet and freezing rain across parts of
the Southeast on Saturday.
The weather was taking a sharp turn today with highs in the 40s
forecast for northern Georgia and in the 60s in the southern part
of the state, the National Weather Service said.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport got ready to
open a third runway today, spokeswoman Lanii Thomas said. Only two
-- and at one point only one -- of its four runways were available
Saturday as crews labored to scrape off ice.
Still, fewer than 100 departures were scheduled out of one of
the world's busiest airports Sunday morning, she said. About 300
travelers spent the night at the airport Saturday night. [...]
28 (RIA Novosti's Oksana Guseva). The highest volcano in Eurasia,
Klyuchevskoy (4,833 meters high), is erupting volcanic bombs three
to seven meters in diameter up to 300 meters high.
Alexei Ozerov, a senior fellow in the Volcanology and Seismology
Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
told RIA Novosti that one bomb consisting of red-hot magma is erupted
every 15 seconds. The crater of the volcano is a fountain of magma,
Seismic stations have been continuously detecting series of small
earthquakes called volcanic tremor. Eruptions of ash are possible,
as lava fills the 700-meter-wide summit crater.
If the power of the eruption that began on January 17 keeps on
growing at the same rate, in three to four months, as lava streams
downhill, the volcano might become a danger for people living at
the peninsula. Melting down snow and ice on the slopes, lava might
trigger mudflows. If they reach the Kamchatka River, the eruption
could thus translate into a flood, Ozerov said.
Eruptions of summit craters may last from one month to several
years and could undermine the safety of domestic and international
flights. So far, inhabited areas are out of danger.
TACOMA -- A mystery oil spill was discovered
yesterday in Dalco Passage -- close to where a 1,500-gallon spill
three months ago was ignored overnight and wound up fouling more
than 20 miles of shoreline.
This time, state and federal officials sprang into action after
getting initial reports of an oil sheen. Two helicopters were dispatched
to survey the scene, and a small fleet of cleanup boats entered
the waters near Point Defiance.
The spill -- estimated at hundreds of gallons -- was discovered
shortly after 11 a.m. by a Washington State Ferries captain plying
the passage and construction crews on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
By afternoon, the ribbony, silvery sheen had reached Commencement
Bay, Gig Harbor on the Kitsap Peninsula and Quartermaster Harbor
-- a refuge for migratory birds and spawning herring.
But last night, state Ecology Department officials recalled the
cleanup boats after determining that there was little risk of further
environmental harm. [...]
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