Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
October 14, 2003
"Disasters involve cycles in the human experiential cycle [...] Human cycle mirrors cycle of catastrophe. Earth benefits in form of periodic cleansing. Time to start paying attention to the signs. They are escalating. They can even be 'felt'by you and others, if you pay attention."
Reports indicate that the "terrorists" at Guantanamo are converting their guards to Islam. Mossad, it seems, was behind the leaks about Israel converting missiles to run on their subs. Meanwhile, they continue trying to convert the Palestinians into dead people and their homes into rubble.
Yet another peace activist has met a tragic end, this time, while attempting to protect Palestinian children. Other Middle East news includes a secret peace pact between Israel and Palestine, elections in Saudi Arabia, and another Pakistani missile test.
Sharon is dangerous, bad for our health even Israelis can see it, but then so is Bush and by definition so is every man or woman in a position of power; apparently it corrupts, particularly those who lust after it in the first place.
A member of Israel's Likud party and columist for a daily newspaper wants to kill Arafat before he dies. It has become so obvious that the US government is attempting to make 'terrorism' and Islam synonymous that Arab leaders are coming right out and saying it.
The Republican party is working hard with the manufacturers of the new touch screen voting machines, who just happen to also be Republicans, to tie up the 2004 election early. Why draw it out, right? With a President as prone to lying as Bush, they may be worried it will catch up with them. To be honest though, there are lots of reasons (26 to be exact) to vote for Bush in 2004, a pre-requisite however is a lobotamy.
The Chinese have decided to go all out and use their "best rocket" for their first manned space mission this week. Their astronaut must be feeling reassured.
A look at why the French feel an affinity for the Iraqis: they both have experience of occupation, and the French found a way to out run US plans for their country following WWII.
Salt Lake City is due "for the big one", South Africa has a mysterious underground fire, geologist are pondering Alaska's cataclysmic nature, Yale "Bonesmen" and Fiji cannibals in the news, Ohio unearths underground witchcraft rituals, and the sport of Saddam spotting is back. One last thing, in case we forget. Keep your eye on the cuddly toys. Now its the Smurfs or any of the cast of Sesame Street that hate Americans because of their freedom and democracy.
Tests have revealed that a British peace activist shot in the head by an Israeli soldier is in a persistent vegetative state from which he is unlikely to recover.
Six months after Tom Hurndall, 22, was shot while trying to protect Palestinian children on the Gaza strip, his family are still waiting to hear whether an Israeli military police investigation will take place. They are considering taking legal action should an investigation not proceed.
The Manchester Metropolitan University student, a photo-journalism student, had been in Rafah for a week when he was shot on April 11. Other activists said he was wearing a fluorescent jacket as he went to help three children but was shot from a watchtower. [...]
The parents of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist crushed to death by an Israeli armoured bulldozer weeks before Tom was shot, flew from Olympia, Washington, to stay with the Hurndalls two weeks ago.
"Meeting them was very emotional. The connection was immense, like they were the only other people who could understand," said Miss Hurndall. [...]
FLASHBACK: Dignity, Solidarity and the Penal Colony
[...] Reading the news from Palestine and seeing the frightful images of death and destruction on television, it has been my experience to be utterly amazed and aghast at what I have deduced from those details about Israeli government policy, more particularly about what has been going on in the mind of Ariel Sharon.
And when, after the recent Gaza bombing by one of his F-16s in which nine children were massacred, he was quoted as congratulating the pilot and boasting of a great Israeli success, I was able to form a much clearer idea than before of what a pathologically deranged mind is capable of, not only in terms of what it plans and orders but, worse, how it manages to persuade other minds to think in the same delusional and criminal way. Getting inside the official Israeli mind is a worthwhile, if lurid, experience.
In the West, however, there's been such repetitious and unedifying attention paid to Palestinian suicide bombing that a gross distortion in reality has completely obscured what is much worse: the official Israeli, and perhaps the uniquely Sharonian evil that has been visited so deliberately and so methodically on the Palestinian people. Suicide bombing is reprehensible but it is a direct and, in my opinion, a consciously programmed result of years of abuse, powerlessness and despair. It has as little to do with the Arab or Muslim supposed propensity for violence as the man in the moon. Sharon wants terrorism, not peace, and he does everything in his power to create the conditions for it. [...]
Dozens of Israeli tanks entered the Rafah refugee camp before dawn Tuesday, just days after another raid into this city left eight dead and hundreds homeless.
Israeli military sources said Tuesday's operation in the Rafah refugee camp was a continuation of a three-day mission that started Friday, aimed at clearing away tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle weapons from Egypt.
[...] More than 7,500 Palestinians in Rafah, and nearly 12,000 in all of Gaza Strip, have been left homeless since the Israeli-Palestinian violence began three years ago, the agency said.
POTTER, MIDDLE EAST BUREAU
JERUSALEM — A secret peace pact few have actually seen caused a furor among Israelis and Palestinians yesterday, with reaction ranging from fury to ecstasy.
The so-called Geneva Accord was completed late yesterday by a team of left-wing Israelis and a group of Palestinian political leaders in Amman, Jordan, after more than two years of backtrack negotiations shepherded by Swiss diplomats.
The 50-page document, said to detail point-by-point agreement on every political obstacle, carries no official weight.
Yet its impact was immediate, triggering a furor on all fronts of the Israeli political establishment and prompting some careful backpedalling in the Palestinian media.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the gambit "the greatest historical mistake since Oslo," referring to the 1993 Oslo accords.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak, the Israeli partner in the failed peace negotiations that led to the outbreak of violent intifada, dismissed the plan as "delusional." [...]
Israeli media reports said the main thrust of the plan, as yet unpublished, runs as follows:
October 14, 2003
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's military said on Tuesday it ordered the expulsion of 15 Palestinians prisoners from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.
The army said the prisoners had been transferred from West Bank prisons to a detention center on the edge of the Gaza Strip ahead of being released into Palestinian-ruled territory there. They were given 48 hours to appeal the move.
Palestinians and international human rights groups have opposed such actions in the past as violations of international law. Israel, which deported several relatives of suicide bombers last year, has said the move was to deter future suicide bombers.
None of the Palestinians due to be expelled to the Gaza Strip had participated in the killing of Israelis, military sources said. The army said that the prisoners were being expelled to the Gaza Strip because they could not be put on trial without revealing sensitive intelligence. It gave no further reason for the expulsion.
Major Israeli commentators have confirmed that high-ranking Mossad officials are responsible for the proliferation of reports that have appeared over the past two days in a number of foreign newspapers, about Israel's plan to carry out "a decisive preemptive strike" against Iranian nuclear plants, and about modifications operated by the Israeli Navy on American ballistic missiles, allowing them to launch nuclear heads from submarines. The commentators have maintained that the leaks are designed to prompt the international community to exert strong pressure on Tehran to have it cease its nuclear program, which Israel considers as "the biggest threat to its existence." They explained that Israel's army staff prefers to leak information on its nuclear capacity to the foreign media rather than announce it officially, in a bid to avoid having to reveal the nuclear arsenal they own.
Why? Because he doesn't even try to keep his promise of peace, and has made his promise of security worthless. Because he is a bloody adventurer who scoffs at dangers, even if you pay the price. Because this week he revived the
incitement against the left over a memorandum of understanding that was drafted together with senior Palestinian figures. Because the moves of an especially skilled tactician are especially dangerous.
Plenty of familiar reasons for Sharon being a political ticking bomb spring immediately to mind. Here are several more that occur upon second, and third, thought.
* They believe him: The incredible and dangerous thing is that despite everything, most Israelis still believe him and believe in him. Sharon has honed the art of political deception to such precision that its victims become passive, and even satisfied, observers. This is the Sharon paradox: The situation under his leadership is so terrible that the majority, which yearns for some illusion of an achievement, prefers not to believe that the situation is as abominable as it is.
* [...] Sharon is very dangerous because of his tremendous ability to get the public, ordinarily known for its cranky skepticism, to suspend its disbelief in direct proportion to the gravity of the national predicament. Paradox number two promises to keep the Sharon danger alive: As the country's plight worsens, Israelis' dependence on a "strongman" who will rescue them from their troubles grows in equal measure - even if the purported savior is largely responsible for getting them into the mess in the first place. Sharon deserves a Nobel Prize for his discovery of "The Success of Failure."
* The enemy as collaborator: Another dangerous leader who has lost his quiver, Yasser Arafat, is actually an important ally along Sharon's twisted road. From Lebanon until today, Arik has been pursuing Yasser like Sherlock Holmes on the trail of Moriarty. But there is cause to suspect that he is not really interested in Arafat's elimination. If his legendary rival were gone, Sharon would have to invent a new one.
As the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy wrote, in his poem about the distress of Roman senators who sat futilely "Waiting for the Barbarians" (also the name of a book about apartheid by Nobel Prize laureate J. M. Coetzee): "Now what's going to happen to us without the barbarians? These people were a kind of solution." This is another secret of his dangerous politics - perpetuating the enemy in order to justify himself. Just wonder what "difficult time" he could have manipulated between crises without the Palestinian hook on which to hang all of our troubles.
* The bleating of the sheep: Beware of devious leaders who can often be seen gently petting animals. M's adversary in the James Bond films wouldn't have been so menacing without that little kitty in his arms. Sharon soars to the heights of tenderness when with his bleating sheep - on his farm and in the government. Come on, really now, how could such a soft, gentle man be at all dangerous?
They say that Yasser Arafat is sick, that he has cancer, that his days are numbered.
If this is correct, then our time is running out.
Yes! Our great window of opportunity, to kill Arafat and re-conquer justice, is closing.
We have never said that Arafat should be killed in order to solve the problem, although this is certainly likely to happen. We have never claimed that he should be killed for tactical, pragmatic, practical, sophisticated, security reasons, etc. For precisely these reasons all the people motivated by security, pragmatic, and practical considerations have always recommended leaving him alive.
Since then, he is living and we are dying.
Because this self-same apparent practicality, that led them to the conclusion that he must be brought back to life, also caused them to bring him here and give him our country. This is the same "wisdom" that allowed death to enter through our windows.
This is the practicality based on the conception of reality as a lump of useless material. The consequent aim is preservation of the material, or in other words, survival. It is called "peace" in more pleasant-sounding terminology.
This consciousness has no room for values such as justice and truth. It is doubtful if there is place in it for any kind of values - certainly not those that do not immediately serve the preservation of (or the illusion of) the material.
Consequently, the call to kill Arafat frightens them so much, and the very walls trembled when we published our call to kill Arafat three years ago. The legal advisor to the government considered bringing the undersigned to trial on a charge of incitement to mutiny because of this call, and again considered the issue when the Jerusalem Post recently published an editorial making a similar demand. This is because the war is not about the way to handle Arafat. The war is between two different philosophies that cannot co-exist: The philosophy of materialism against that of reality. Those who flee to the illusion of materialism feel threatened by those who possess a complete philosophy of reality.
The force motivating this war is justice. Arafat has never demanded Eretz Israel for materialistic reasons of a city of refuge. He has never demanded the right of Arab refugees to return as a pragmatic solution. He has never employed the contemptible materialistic terminology of the Left. He has always spoken, and will always speak, about one thing only - justice.
Shimon Peres said that the problem lies with poverty, backwardness, lack of material. The well-to-do female lawyer who blew herself up in the Maxim Restaurant had apparently not heard him.
She blew herself up because she thought she was in the right.
Why shouldn't she think so? The Jews themselves admit it. Not only did their prime minister call Eretz Israel “occupied territory”, not only in the heart of Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, in the source of holiness, the Israelis are forbidding Jews to pray, but the person who has killed more of them than anyone else, they are protecting against attack. In other words, they are confirming that justice lies with him.
This is perhaps the last opportunity for us to restore to ourselves our real strength, to return justice to ourselves.
He is dying.
Quick! Kill him before he dies!
Comment: Another fine example of the
reasonable and just thinking that motivates the Jewish point of
decry campaign to link Islam to terrorism
"We plead with the Western world to cooperate with us, to help our vision of moderate Islam become more dominant," Munir Akram, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, said at a summit of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, considered the Muslim world's most important political grouping.
"There is obviously a sense of anger in the Muslim world, since we have suffered many injustices," Akram said on the sidelines of the summit in Putrajaya, Malaysia's new administrative capital. "We may not endorse the acts of desperation, such as suicide bombings, which have followed these injustices, but that does not illegitimize important causes such as the Palestinian struggle."
Delegates at the summit which concludes on Friday following a two-day meeting of up to 35 national leaders said many of their countries have been unfairly scrutinized for alleged links to extremists after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
members range from alleged terror sponsors Iran, Libya and Syria to
moderate, mostly secular nations such as Malaysia, and US military
allies such as Bahrain and Qatar.
The US Department of State has recently announced, several websites had been added on the American list of foreign terrorist organizations. Reuters reported, the list of webpages included: newkach.org, kahane.org, kahane.net, kahanetzadak.com. They have been categorized as terrorist groups' associates.
American authorities believe, the four websites support the ultraright Israeli movement Kach, suspected of organizing acts of terrorism against Palestinians. According to the American law, the financial support and any other assistance to the mentioned sites has to be banned. The webmasters and other employees of the webpages will not be allowed to obtain visas to visit the USA. In addition, American banks are supposed to block their accounts.
The terrorism issue is not at all new in the Middle East, especially in Israel and Palestine, where terrorist acts have been following one after another for decades. A lot of people talk about the Arab, the Palestinian terrorism, but there is a lot less information about the Israeli terrorism [...]
Tuesday 14 October 2003, 9:46 Makka Time, 6:46 GMT
A number of the US troops guarding the 660 suspected al-Qaida and Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay have converted to Islam, according to an Algerian mediator.
Hasan Aribi, who chairs his country’s committee on the Guantanamo question, has negotiated the release of 18 detainees from the heavily-guarded detention camp at the eastern tip of Cuba.
He claimed that the freed detainees told him that some of their American guards had converted to Islam as a result of daily interaction with Muslim prisoners for the past two years.
A quiet revolution is taking place in US politics. By the time it's over, the integrity of elections will be in the unchallenged, unscrutinised control of a few large - and pro-Republican - corporations. Andrew Gumbel wonders if democracy in America can survive
14 October 2003
Georgia was not the only state last November to see big last-minute swings in voting patterns. There were others in Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois and New Hampshire - all in races that had been flagged as key partisan battlegrounds, and all won by the Republican Party. Again, this was widely attributed to the campaigning efforts of President Bush and the demoralisation of a Democratic Party too timid to speak out against the looming war in Iraq.
Strangely, however, the pollsters made no comparable howlers in lower-key races whose outcome was not seriously contested. Another anomaly, perhaps. What, then, is one to make of the fact that the owners of the three major computer voting machines are all prominent Republican Party donors? Or of a recent political fund-raising letter written to Ohio Republicans by Walden O'Dell, Diebold's chief executive, in which he said he was "committed to helping Ohio to deliver its electoral votes to the president next year" - even as his company was bidding for the contract on the state's new voting machinery?
Alarmed and suspicious, a group of Georgia citizens began to look into last November's election to see whether there was any chance the results might have been deliberately or accidentally manipulated. Their research proved unexpectedly, and disturbingly, fruitful.
[...] In Dallas, during early voting before last November's election, people found that no matter how often they tried to press a Democrat button, the Republican candidate's name would light up. After a court hearing, Diebold agreed to take down 18 machines with apparent misalignment problems. "And those were the ones where you could visually spot a problem," Dr Mercuri says. "What about what you don't see? Just because your vote shows up on the screen for the Democrats, how do you know it is registering inside the machine for the Democrats?"
[...] If much of the worry about vote-tampering is directed at the Republicans, it is largely because the big three touchscreen companies are all big Republican donors, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into party coffers in the past few years. The ownership issue is, of course, compounded by the lack of transparency. Or, as Dr Mercuri puts it: "If the machines were independently verifiable, who would give a crap who owns them?" As it is, fears that US democracy is being hijacked by corporate interests are being fuelled by links between the big three and broader business interests, as well as extremist organisations. Two of the early backers of American Information Systems, a company later merged into ES&S, are also prominent supporters of the Chalcedon Foundation, an organisation that espouses theocratic governance according to a literal reading of the Bible and advocates capital punishment for blasphemy and homosexuality.
The chief executive of American Information Systems in the early Nineties was Chuck Hagel, who went on to run for elective office and became the first Republican in 24 years to be elected to the Senate from Nebraska, cheered on by the Omaha World-Herald newspaper which also happens to be a big investor in ES&S. In yet another clamorous conflict of interest, 80 per cent of Mr Hagel's winning votes - both in 1996 and again in 2002 - were counted, under the usual terms of confidentiality, by his own company.
[...] One of the conditions states have to fulfil to receive federal funding for the new voting machines, meanwhile, is a consolidation of voter rolls at state rather than county level. This provision sends a chill down the spine of anyone who has studied how Florida consolidated its own voter rolls just before the 2000 election, purging the names of tens of thousands of eligible voters, most of them African Americans and most of them Democrats, through misuse of an erroneous list of convicted felons commissioned by Katherine Harris, the secretary of state doubling as George Bush's Florida campaign manager. Despite a volley of lawsuits, the incorrect list was still in operation in last November's mid-terms, raising all sorts of questions about what other states might now do with their own voter rolls. It is not that the Act's consolidation provision is in itself evidence of a conspiracy to throw elections, but it does leave open that possibility.
[...] Roxanne Jekot, who has put much of her professional and personal life on hold to work on the issue full time, puts it even more strongly. "Corporate America is very close to running this country. The only thing that is stopping them from taking total control are the pesky voters. That's why there's such a drive to control the vote. What we're seeing is the corporatisation of the last shred of democracy.
"I feel that unless we stop it here and stop it now," she says, "my kids won't grow up to have a right to vote at all."
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- US President George W. Bush's job approval rating that had seen declining in recent weeks has moved back up to 56 percent, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday showed.
rating demonstrated a significant rise from a similar poll
conducted on Sept. 19-21, which gave the president an approval
rating of 50 percent.
Vote for President Bush and Republican Senators and
With the potential of becoming the second California city to vote in support of ousting George W. Bush from office, the Arcata City Council will vote tomorrow on a resolution urging the immediate impeachment of both the president and vice president.
City Councilman Dave Meserve says he has one other vote on the five-member panel and thus needs just one more to pass his resolution, reports the Eureka Times-Standard. The official is sponsoring the legislation on behalf of a group called Veterans for Peace. [...]
President Bush clearly believes in a double standard when it comes to holding accountable those insiders who divulge classified information.
When someone on Capitol Hill leaked information in 2001 President Bush personally called congressional leaders to tell them, "This can't stand. We can't have leaks of classified information. It's not in our nation's interest."1 In the case of a White House official who revealed the identity of an undercover CIA operative this summer, however, Bush has been nonchalant, saying "this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials . . . I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is."2
With the congressional case Bush's press secretary, Ari Fleischer, warned that leaks can put lives at risk: "The President wants to make certain that all people in government are protected, so that nobody can make any mistakes and put anybody else's life in danger."3
But now that a CIA operative's cover has actually been blown neither the President nor his staff have expressed any concern. Bush said he has "no plans"4 to call for the leaker on his staff to come forward. Indeed, White House have left open the possibility they may act to protect the leaker, suggesting they may invoke executive privilege if the facts warrant it.5
Comment: For the sources, go to the original site.
Sept. 11 Panel Weighs MI5-Like
WASHINGTON - Advocates of major changes to the U.S. intelligence establishment are making their case to the independent commission studying the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
James B. Steinberg, deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, said Monday that he supports making two new entities: an independent director of national intelligence and a domestic security service modeled after Britain's MI5.
In an interview, Steinberg said U.S. counterterror efforts remain hampered by decades-old walls separating by law the work of the FBI and CIA. The FBI operates domestically and traditionally focuses on catching people who break laws, while the CIA works abroad and focuses on learning secrets.
"The beauty of the MI5 model is it breaks down both those walls," said Steinberg, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. [...]
The 10-member, bipartisan commission is considering changes to recommend in U.S. intelligence that would go well beyond actions by the Bush administration. The commission has until May 27 to submit a report dealing with law enforcement, diplomacy, immigration, commercial aviation and the flow of assets to terror organizations. [...]
On 04 June 2002, I sent the National Security Agency a Freedom of Information Act request asking for files on Project Bojinka. (Bojinka was the plot by radical Islamists—led by WTC-bomber Ramzi Yousef—to 1) blow up a dozen US passenger jets in mid-flight, 2) assassinate President Clinton and the Pope, and 3) ram hijacked passenger planes into US landmarks, including the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, the White House, CIA Headquarters, and the Sears Tower.) The plot was discovered in 1995 when authorities in the Philippines raided Yousef's apartment.
The NSA said that it would cost me thousands of dollars for them to search for Bojinka documents, then screen them for possible release. Even if they decided that not a single document was releasable, I'd still have to pay the outlandish fees.
Some of the Bojinka documents that the NSA has in its possession were created or translated by the Central Intelligence Agency, so the NSA asked the CIA to review them for release. Eighteen of the documents are non-English language news articles that had been translated by the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service. These are unclassified and reveal nothing new, which is why they were released. (Perhaps I'll post them at a future date.) The two crucial documents--the ones created by the CIA--have been withheld in full under the rubric of national security, foreign policy, and other such constantly-invoked excuses.
Like the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA doesn't want us to know one single, solitary thing about this forerunner of 9/11. Stop asking questions, citizen.
Al Qaida 'working
on cuddly toy bomb'
Al Qaida terrorists are training to use a chemical-based bomb which could be stuffed into clothes, pillows or toys and smuggled on board an airliner, it was reported today.
United States intelligence officials warned that the terror network had showed a “persistence” in trying to master the explosive technique.
The bomb can be made by combining a number of easily obtainable chemical products.
Modified buttons, zips or wristwatches could be used as detonators.
Airport security staff and airlines worldwide were warned of the new al Qaida threat by the US Department of Homeland Security in August, the Washington Post reported.
“We judge this type of threat to be real and continuing,” the department said in the warning, which was obtained by the newspaper.
The document added that there had been a “persistence (in a) line of reports from several credible, independent sources” that al Qaida was training to build such bombs.
Part of the intelligence came from confiscated al Qaida training manuals [...]
Comment: Psychological profiles showing the emotional age of the average American citizen to be about 13 years old were obviously used in concocting this story. "Its the smurfs! they're trying to kill you!"
U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, the nation's chief fiscal officer, interjected a dose of reality this week into President Bush's rosy claims that his Administration can cut the federal deficit in half within five years without changing policies.1 "The idea that this is manageable or that we are going to grow our way out of the problem is just flat false," Walker said2.
Why the French back sovereignty for
President Jacques Chirac of France argues that Iraqi sovereignty
should be re-established as quickly as possible, his position is at
least partly the product of France's own experience as an occupied
country during World War II. After its humiliating defeat by
Germany in May and June 1940, France was occupied for four years
before the Allies landed in Normandy in June 1944.
The new American draft resolution on Iraq could run into opposition from Russia.
It proposes a December 15 deadline for the Iraqi Governing Council to submit a timetable for drawing up a new constitution and elections.
But it does not create a provisional government within months nor give the United Nations a central role in planning Iraq's political future.
There has been a positive reaction from France and Germany but the spokesman for the Russian Mission to the UN, Sergey Trepelkov, was not as warm.
The U.S. military said it believes Saddam Hussein has been hiding out in Tikrit area and influencing the anti-U.S. attacks. "We have clear indication he has been here recently," Maj. Troy Smith told reporters in the ex-president's hometown. "We are receiving a large amount of information from human sources." "He could be here right now," he added.
[...] All in all, three American soldiers have been killed in separate attacks over a24 -hour period in northern Iraq.
Unraveling a Friendly Fire Incident in Fallujah
Iraq -- The deadliest incident of friendly fire in the
six-month-old U.S. military occupation of Iraq began with a quiet
midnight prowl in the desert and the sudden roar of a car chase
down an empty highway.
Several miles away, members of a U.S.-funded militia called the Fallujah Protection Force raced in pursuit of a black BMW whose occupants had attacked the mayor's office. Identified by green armbands and their AK-47 rifles, the militiamen charged down the road in a white pickup.
As the truck passed the foot patrol, the Iraqi militiamen didn't see the U.S. soldiers. The soldiers didn't recognize the militiamen. Within minutes, eight of the militiamen were dead, their truck riddled with American bullets.
The killings shattered a painstakingly forged, brittle alliance between U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces in a city where cooperation against the resistance is seen as critical to stabilizing Iraq. A month later, not only are relations still tense, but the two sides dispute what actually happened that night. U.S. military personnel say the Iraqis shot first. The mayor and police chief, and security officers who survived the shooting, insist it was the other way around. [...]
On 12 October 2003, two suicide bombers drove cars packed with explosives toward the Baghdad Hotel. Iraqi and US personnel fired on them, causing them to crash into a concrete barrier, where their cars exploded. Eight people were killed, including the drivers, and 32 were injured.
The Associated Press filed several versions of this story. It often does this to add new details as a story develops or to correct information. But once in a while, the AP makes changes that are suspect. In this case, they gutted some intriguing information from a witness statement. [...]
Comment: So whose identity is so important to protect?
Your government at work: Iraq war PR campaign a flop before it begins
by Justin Raimondo
The U.S. government is launching a public relations blitz designed to show the American people that they shouldn't believe the evidence right in front of their eyes, because our success (or lack of it) in Iraq is all in how you look at it. The President has complained that the "good news" about Iraq has been blocked by the "filter" of a hostile news media, as MSNBC reports: "Bush said he was concerned that 'perceptions' didn't reflect the reality of 'progress' in Iraq." [...]
Rival Shiite Muslim factions clashed overnight in the holy city of Karbala, and several people were killed or injured, witnesses said Tuesday. Iraqi police surrounded the offices of one of the faction leaders.
The Karbala clash appeared to be part of a power struggle in the majority Shiite community between forces of Muqtada al-Sadr, a strong opponent of the U.S. military occupation, and followers of religious leaders who have taken a more moderate stand toward the Americans.
When you are asked to disbelieve what your eyes see and believe what those far away tell you about your own backyard; when you thank your executioner when he offers you a hot meal before he ends your life, and when the aggressor becomes the victim and the freedom fighter is marked for assassination; when you are prevented from openly discussing delinquency for fear of being accused of being one, or asking for justice and equality for fear of being accused of terrorism, and when returning stolen money to its rightful owner becomes a degrading exercise, it means you are living in the Middle East. Here, logic is reversed, and physical and moral brutality is deemed nothing but a natural extension of power.
One of the most glaring symbols of reverse logic is the speech Israel’s UN envoy delivered to the General Assembly during the debate on his country’s decision to expel Yasser Arafat. He complained that “such meetings cost no less that $30,000,” meaning that the PLO should desist from lodging complaints that require the Security Council or General Assembly to convene, out of concern for the UN’s budget.
This, therefore, is the main problem and not breaking international law or occupying other people’s land, annexing it, destroying the livelihood of its inhabitants, killing their children and expelling their leaders. It is simply a matter of an uncaring people under occupation who waste the money of others without regard for decency or feelings of guilt. So why do these people insist on lodging complaints? And by the same token, why are these complaints ever accepted? Why do UN bodies bother to convene at all? Isn’t it time that the Palestinians learn to behave in a reasonable and responsible manner and stop complaining and squandering the UN’s time and money?
Prime Minister Rafik Hariri accused Israel Monday of seeking to create a new fait accompli through its “hostile behavior,” and in all probability of trying to “ignite war” in the region.
I fear the crisis is wider and deeper than is being perceived or acknowledged in the US media. Perhaps if US policymakers understood this problem at the start of the “war on terror,” they would have adopted different strategies. Their arrogance was compounded by the arrogance of the so-called experts who were assuring Washington that Muslims respected strongman tactics; that as their societies were brutish and did not want democracy, they would admire brutal tactics; that once the Americans conquered the land, they would be welcomed as heroes. This false assessment of the so-called experts created the false assumptions of the policymakers. Many of these assumptions were based on outright racist attitudes. Unfortunately, these were the only voices permitted to comment on Islam in the media, forcing policymakers to work in a vacuum. It has been a costly miscalculation.
Saudi Arabia, Oct. 13 -- Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that it
would hold its first elections, a vote for municipal councils, in a
move seen by some as the first concrete political reform in the
Persian Gulf kingdom.
The announcement followed growing demands by reformists that the conservative Muslim kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Abdullah, allow wider political participation, elections and freedom of expression. Under the dynastic rule of the House of Saud since the 1930s, Saudi Arabia has had an appointed advisory council but has never had elections for public office. [...]
WASHINGTON — Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's oldest sons, has emerged in recent months as part of the upper echelon of the Al Qaeda network, a small group of leaders that is managing the terrorist organization from Iran, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
Saad bin Laden and other senior Al Qaeda operatives were in contact with an Al Qaeda cell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the days immediately prior to the May 12 suicide bombing there that left 35 people dead, European and U.S. intelligence sources say.
The sources would not divulge the nature or contents of the communications, but the contacts have led them to conclude that the Riyadh attacks were planned in Iran and ordered from there.
Although Saad bin Laden is not the top leader of the terrorist group, his presence in the decision-making process demonstrates his father's trust in him and an apparent desire to pass the mantle of leadership to a family member, according to analysts. [...]
Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has recently survived an assassination attempt, while driving on the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway, the Islamic Media Monitor (Al Marsad) reported, citing Egyptian fundamental sources.
The London-based body said that in the course of the attempted assassination bid, Gamal's personal driver was wounded. It added the attempt took place when Gamal was on his way back from a tour in Alexandria.
AHMAD, Associated Press Writer
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The Pakistani military test-fired a mid-range missile on Tuesday that can fly 435 miles and hit many targets in India, the country's main rival. The launch was the last in a series of three tests this month, it said.
Longer-range missiles will be tested in the future, the army said in a statement. [...]
An estimated 60,000 child workers are employed in Greece, according to International Labor Organization figures made public yesterday.
Greece also shares one of the basic problems faced in combating child labor worldwide, namely pinpointing the exact number of youngsters aged 5-17 employed in the country. Many work as beggars in Greece’s biggest cities, often exploited by organized gangs ran by adults.
Some 186 million children aged 5-14 are employed globally and another 59 million aged 15-17, according to the ILO, a United Nations agency.
ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor
The de facto partition of Iraq, long predicted by this column, could be accelerating. Washington may decide to carve up the country into "Iraq utile," as France used to define Chad, and "Iraq inutile" - or useful and useless Iraq. Oil is in the north and southeast. Let the Turks and Kurds divvy up the north; the U.S. and Britain will control the bigger southeast fields; the oilless Sunni triangle, where resistance to U.S. occupation is fiercest, will be sealed off and left in isolation.
Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
American biotech companies tried to lie to Europe in an attempt to force genetically modified crops upon them, Margot Wallström, the European environment commissioner, said yesterday.
Far from developing GM crops to solve the problem of starvation in the world, as they claimed, the biotech companies did so to "solve starvation amongst their shareholders", said the European Union's leading green politician.
JIUQUAN, Gansu, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- China will use its best rocket, Long March CZ-2 F, to launch its first manned spaceship, an official with China's manned space flight program said here Tuesday.
Huang Chunping, commander-in-chief of the rocket system of China's manned space flight program, said Long March CZ-2 F was developed on the basis of Long March CZ-2 E according to the technical requirements of human spaceflight. With the application of 55 new technologies, including fault detection system and escape system, the rocket has reached advanced international levels in all the technical indices.
[...] This type of rocket has so far successfully sent four unmanned Shenzhou spaceships into the preset orbits in space.
"The rocket that will launch Shenzhou-5 spaceship is the best of all," he said. "It is of superior quality and has stood most stringent tests." China plans to launch the manned Shenzhou-5 spaceship sometime between Oct. 15 and 17.
BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese special envoy Wang Shijie is to visit Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine from Oct. 18, Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Zhang Qiyue said here Tuesday.
The special envoy is to exchange views with the relevant parties on the Middle East peace process, Zhang said.
The special envoy will make constructive efforts to ease the tensions in the region, said Zhang.
Monday, October 13,
SALT LAKE CITY -- It could happen tomorrow, or it could happen a century from now. But scientists are accumulating more evidence that the Salt Lake City area will be hit by a powerful earthquake again, just as it has every 1,200 years or so for millennia.
Findings about this ancient rhythm of immense quakes raise the threat of widespread destruction for the heavily populated 120-mile Wasatch corridor around Salt Lake City. [...]
MONTREAL -- A moderate earthquake shook western Quebec at 4:26 a.m. [...]
The magnitude 4.6 earthquake was centred 79 kilometres north of Maniwaki, but felt as far away as Ottawa, Pembroke, Cobden and Montreal, according to the Geological Survey of Canada. There were no reports of damage or injuries. [...]
Mon Oct 13,10:14 PM ET
ANCHORAGE - Alaska has been ground zero for cataclysmic jolts such as earthquakes, volcanic blasts, landslides, tsunamis, floods and fires.
Rather than being carefully sculpted over eons, this state has been repeatedly blown apart like a series of epic Hollywood disasters.
"This is definitely where the action is," said volcanologist John Eichelberger, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.
Hundreds of scientists gathered in Fairbanks last month to talk about the continuing impact of such extreme events during a conference organized by Eichelberger and others. [...]
Community gripped by mystery beneath the earth (South Africa)
October 13, 2003, 06:45
A tiny community is gripped by the mystery that lies beneath the earth. Sparks are flying and smoke seeps strangely. Its all happening at the village of Bodibe near Lichtenburg and its getting so curious that the experts have moved in.
The people of Bodibe village are baffled by what's going on underneath their dam. First it dried up, then it cracked up. Then for no reason smoke began rising.
At night sparks have been seen flying. In the absence in an explanation many of the people here have turned to superstition blaming rituals carried out at the dam. Geologists have taken a good look and taken soil samples in a bid to unlock the mystery.
Environmental health officials will dig trenches around the dam to prevent fires from spreading. However no one knows how or why the fire from below is raging.
Monday October 13, 2003
Hoping to improve understanding of the field, the National Research Council renewed on Tuesday its recommendation for a concentrated research effort into both intentional and accidental weather modification. [...]
Energy bill compromise would exempt 'hydraulic fracturing'
Morgan, Washington Post
Washington -- For several years the Environmental Protection Agency has been studying whether an increasingly popular -- but environmentally controversial - - drilling technique used by Halliburton Co. and other big oil and gas operators pollutes underground drinking water supplies.
Now Republicans drafting broad energy legislation have decided not to wait for the EPA to issue its final report. Instead, the House-Senate compromise on the energy bill exempts the technique, known as "hydraulic fracturing," from some of the controls of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. [...]
Scientists have come close to creating the world's first baby with three parents, it has emerged.
Experts in China created embryos using eggs from two women and sperm from a man, a fertility conference in the United States has heard.
Society's act of grave robbing sheds light on need to protect Indian burial sites
RAPID CITY, S.D. - A secret society at Yale University boasts of harboring skulls and bones of humans and members of that society have become some of the most powerful people in America by virtue of the network established by the society.
President George W. Bush, his father and grandfather are and were members of the Skull and Bones Society.
Recent news articles in Indian Country Today, national publications and on the national CBS television program "60 Minutes" exposed some of the inner workings of the society. Books have been written about the society and the Bonesmen, as they are called. Author Alexandra Robbins told CBS correspondent Morley Safer she was threatened and harassed for asking members to reveal information about the society. Some members did open up to her. [...]
Most people in the Tuscarawas Valley have probably never heard of the Dragon Knights or Black Dragons – two area wiccan-pagan groups.
They were underground groups, pretty much unknown to the mainstream until a recent encounter with police.
Dover police came upon an initiation ceremony inside a storm sewer drain on Oct. 4 and the subsequent events brought the groups to the surface.
As a result three members were arrested on weapon charges and seven others were charged with trespassing. Police also confiscated guns, daggers and knives. [...]
The inhabitants of a remote Fiji mountain village, whose ancestors killed and ate an English missionary 136 years ago, are to offer a traditional apology to his descendants.
Reverend Thomas Baker, of the London Missionary Society, was killed by the people of Navatusila in 1867, after he took a comb out of a chief's hair.
It was and still is forbidden to touch the head of a chief.
He was subsequently cooked and eaten. One of the villagers, who took part in the feast, was quoted in contemporary accounts as saying "we ate everything but his boots".
The Pacific Islands News Association reports the district chief has invited Reverend Baker's descendants to the ceremony.
The tribe believes they have been cursed for what their forefathers did.
A German man is to appear in court charged with teaching his dog to give the Hitler salute.
The black sheepdog-mix, named Adolf, has been taught to lift his right front paw up straight in the salute on command.
Police were called to the scene in Berlin when Roland T, 54, shouted at passers-by last year.
When a patrol arrived, he allegedly showed them the trick he had taught his dog, gave the salute along with Adolf, and shouted: "Sieg Heil."
Now he has been charged with using symbols of unconstitutional organisations. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison. [...]
From Agence France-Presse
ROME — A runaway snake which worked its way loose from cabin luggage terrorized passengers aboard a Qatar Airways flight as it was about to land at Rome's Fiumicino airport, passengers said Sunday. [...]
The owner of the snake tried to assure his fellow passengers that the pet was harmless, but rose from his seat to capture it when other passengers became alarmed, they said.
Mon Oct 13,10:37 AM ET
BELGRADE (Reuters) - A two-seater sports plane on an unauthorized joyride was apparently shot down by mistake when it flew over a Serbian wedding party where guests were firing guns into the air, local media reported Sunday. [...]
"A few moments later, while attempting a crash landing, it was caught in overhead power cables," he said. [...]
A Scottish church is to run a course on the Gospel according to The Simpsons to try to boost congregations.
Church leaders at Holburn West Church in Aberdeen say the adventures of Homer and his family are an ideal way to explore moral and religious dilemmas.
Each of the four meetings will cover a different episode with a group discussion of the main themes taking place after.
The Rev George Cowie, spokesman for the Presbytery in Aberdeen, said: "Despite its anarchic humour, The Simpsons is one of the few television programmes which portrays a modern family who attend church regularly."
"The course at Holburn West will endeavour to close the gap with popular culture, and it is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about the Christian faith."
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