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October 24, 2003

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"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."

Mossad was involved in 9/11, Bush stole the election, Cheney runs the White House, and Rumsfeld is in hot water again.

Israel deliberately targets civilians. US soldiers returning from Iraq are told they cannot donate blood for one year. The facts are there for all to see, unfortunately many people are shutting their eyes and screaming, "No!"

Has Iran successfully put off the justification for invasion? Probably not for too long. Only Israel and the US have the "right" to flout international law.

More comments on the double standard applied in the Western media to Mahathir's comments and those of the crusading US General Boykin.

Researchers have completely mapped out chromosome six, the one related to the body's immune system. We bet that the mad scientists involved in the development of Israel's ethnic specific weapons are following that one closely.

Austria gets earliest snow for 60 years, California wildfires round on citizens, vicious, biting toddlers attack, melting glaciers, ozone holes, space storms, Bigfoot and CIA black budgets. Has the world gone mad? Yes, a long time ago.

Letter from a member of the QFS

Not to be morose, but since the day before yesterday, a phrase has been running through my mind.

Dead babies.

I have been intentionally only skimming the Signs of the Times editions of late - just sort of glancing at the headlines, and maybe reading the first couple of sentences of an article or two. I have not been keeping fully up with the news...

However, the night before last, one article caught my eye and I had to read it to the end. I could feel another little "episode" coming on after having read only the first sentence, but I could not stop reading. The article was "In a Time of Darkness". The first sentences read:

"Woman who lost children, sight in Iraq struggles to cope. Majdolin Yonan's eyelids are sunken, the sockets empty. But she can still picture her 2½-year-old daughter, Valantina, who died when bombs hit their apartment building in Mosul, Iraq. Remembering how her daughter slept and played is an obsession for the 24-year-old, who lost both eyes in the late March war raid."

I managed to hold it together as I read, but then went to the original article and viewed the photo gallery. I had only clicked on the first photo - hadn't even scrolled down to the photos of this young woman before she had been maimed yet - and I lost it. I put my head down on my desk and just waited for it to pass. Eventually, I got under enough control to take a look at some of the other photos, but when I saw her as a young, beautiful bride next to her husband, who had also lost an eye in the same raid - when I saw their 2 ½ year-old daughter, Valantina, who had died in the raid that deformed and destroyed the lives of her parents - it started all over again. I went into the bathroom and closed the door so that I wouldn't wake up the kids, and just laid there on the floor, waiting for it to finish and trying to catch my breath. I thought of this young woman and her husband, both in the prime of life, smiling in those photos, looking forward to building a bright future together. Plans for which only painful memories now remain.

Dead dreams.

I thought of their little baby daughter in her frilly, white dress. Now gone. I thought of their unborn son who did not survive the emergency Caesarean after the raid, never having had the chance to look into his mother's eyes, to smell her skin, to see her smile.

Dead babies.

The death of so many things - dreams, children, innocence.

WHY??? I asked myself. How CAN they DO this??? HOW??? How is this possible? How can one call oneself a human being - a thinking, feeling person - and do these things? HOW?

My anger and frustration this time though, was not so much focused on why there seemed to be so few people, particularly in the US, who see these things, who ask any questions - no, I think at the foundation of my anger this time is the deep sense of helplessness. The thought that even if the entire planet "woke up" to what is going on and every single individual began to make efforts to demonstrate, to protest, to write congressmen, etc., that it very likely wouldn't do all that much good since the "powers that be" don't really give a damn if the whole world stands up against them or not. They know they are in control. They have the power, the money that gives them that power, and they are acquiring more and more of both as time passes, which only reinforces their positions as controllers of this world.

What can one actually do, then, in the face of this? Will what we do, do any good? And this, I think, is where my anger and frustration came mainly from. The depression and sorrow comes from the feelings for these people whose lives are being destroyed on a daily basis while Bush munches on prawns and grilled entrecote. But the anger comes from my own frustration over not knowing what to do about it. Plus, having so many other things to contend with that even if I could figure out a good way to do something that might have some kind of a positive effect, I very well might not have the time or energy left to actually do it.

But I think it will come, once my "house" is fully in order. I will find the time and the energy and the right outlet for doing something. It will come. And perhaps, as well, it is not the most important thing whether or not what we do changes anything. Perhaps the important thing is simply that we do. That we TRY - in whatever way we are capable.

Response from Another QFS member:

That article made me lose it, too. The details of the woman's story helped me imagine what it would be like to be her during that terrible ordeal. I wonder if she was conscious? What would that be like? What is it like to be her now? Perhaps more realistically, I know what it is like to be me and to be watching these horrible things occur - with MY money and MY energy. Those bombs that killed her babies and took away any light from her life were bought and paid for by me, and millions of other people like me. WE (in the US) are responsible for this. But there is nothing we can do. Even an apology would be weak and empty.

We are helpless. If we don't pay taxes, we go to jail. If we don't work, then our children starve. If we protest, then we are ostracized and possibly jailed. If we vote for someone else, well all those politicians work for the same boss. If we all had enough money, then we could apply pressure that way, but we don't, THEY have it all. We could leave the country (and many of us have and will), but that doesn't fix the problem. We could point things out to people explicitly, but those with more money and clout will call us fools. And most everybody is too asleep to do anything anyway. All there is is DEAD ends. And lessons, I suppose, but that is little comfort, which is probably part of the point of this reality.

I have been reading the Signs page pretty thoroughly lately, and everyday a stronger sense of anger rises in me. Some stories affect me more than others. I cried tears of anger and pain for the blind woman who lost her babies. But there is no where for this anger to go, so it stagnates into depression. I can't say that I fully understand conscious suffering, but I wonder if these feelings that we all share about events on this planet have something to do with it. We SEE what is going on, the pain that is being caused, we FEEL it. But we can't stop it. What we can DO is work on ourselves, but that work brings greater SEEing and therefore greater pain. Sometimes it is an effort just to get out of bed in the morning and face the world. Because of this, I think the efforts of the Signs team are nothing short of heroic, and the efforts of Laura and Ark are epic.

I look around me and see the people I work with doting over their kids. Taking them to their soccer games and martial arts classes and boy scout clubs. They're all excited because junior scored a goal the last game, and missy has a birthday party tomorrow at "Build-a- Bear". Not that I grudge them or their children those things, but I also see that these same people do not think even once about all the poor woman in Iraq and elsewhere in the world who will never see their children grow up. Those woman's dreams are dead and gone. All the light has left their lives. And it is us who blindly pay for the bombs that steal the light, blissfully ignorant of other's pain, and ignorant of the malevolent manipulations of those who control us. Why should any of my co-workers think about the blind woman with dead babies when they can think instead of their hopes that junior will score another goal at the next game? They are blind and dead inside. I do not just mourn the dead in Iraq, but also those around me, those that still breath and walk and speak.

I drag myself to work everyday and I come home to a house full of more endless work and I wonder every single day where all this time and energy is going. What is the point? Is this the be-all end- all of existence in the "greatest country" on this planet? Slaving away for someone else while a third of the money I earn goes to paying for Mr. Bush's prawns and bombs with no end in sight? How does one find anything meaningful in all of this? Everyday is a struggle, with my self and the world.

You wrote: "perhaps, as well, it is not the most important thing whether or not what we do changes anything. Perhaps the important thing is simply that we do. That we TRY - in whatever way we are capable."

This, of course, is the hardest path to take. It takes courage and conviction and commitment to walk this path. DOing without any evidence of reward or even comfort, in fact, usually quite the opposite. SEEing everyday without being able to change even one line on the daily news feed. Taking the next step without knowing whether it will take you forward.

Comment: We published a similar photo essay earlier this summer, Photo Essay on Iraq Invasion (Warning: Graphic Photos CNN and Fox won't run). There are also these photos from Robert Fisk's website as well as this flash animation from Eric Blumrich.

'I have in my hands a list'

New documentary evidence points to an Israeli connection to 9/11

One of the great unsolved mysteries of the period leading up to 9/11 is the extent of an Israeli spy operation in the US uncovered by Carl Cameron of Fox News and widely reported. As we all know, everybody spies on everybody, "friends" and foes alike. But this operation is believed to have been so extensive, and wide-ranging, that the real question in regard to Israeli foreknowledge of 9/11 is, as one US federal agent put it to Cameron, "How could they not have known?" Now, however, more evidence of the Israeli connection is emerging…

Both Israeli and US government officials scoffed at these charges as an "urban myth." Their denials, however, were somewhat undermined by the leaking of the US government's own report on "suspicious activities" by Israelis around US government offices and military installations. The report, culled from information supplied by numerous federal agencies, documents what is obviously a large-scale intelligence operation directed against US government facilities. Now more documentary evidence of the Israeli connection to 9/11 comes with the emergence of the US government's own list of terrorist suspects, two versions of which has obtained and posted, with the following information as to their provenance:

"A Finnish list of FBI terrorist suspects, dated 3 October 2001, first published about six months ago, may be compared to a similar list published on an Italian site, dated 22 May 2002. The two lists have many of the same names but a fair number of names are unique to each, and the Finnish list provides a 'function' and ID for each suspect."

There are also other differences. The Italian site indicates that this is an official government circular originating with the American authorities and distributed to various Italian financial institutions in an effort to trace the terrorist trail. As far as I can see, all the names on the Finnish list are Arabic. The Italian version, however, has a number of American names as well, one Frenchman, and – lo and behold! – there is our old friend Dominik Suter, listed right between Eyad Suleiman, a native of Kuwait, and Sheikh Amed Salim Swedan, a Kenyan.

Suter, you'll remember, is the fellow behind the mysterious Urban Moving Systems, whose employees were arrested after neighbors reported them laughing and cheering as they watched the World Trade Center burn. These five "Middle Eastern-looking men," as described by witnesses, were Israelis: they were found with box cutters in their van, $4,000 in cash, and multiple passports. Police interrogated them for hours, and transferred them to a maximum security facility, where they were held for months.

Their van was registered as the property of Urban Moving Systems: A raid on the Urban Moving Systems warehouse yielded computers, documents, and other evidence – of what, we don't know. Suter, the owner of the company, refused all comment, and soon fled the country – to Israel.

The inclusion of Suter, an Israeli, and the front man for what even the Forward acknowledges was a Mossad operation, on an official list of terrorist suspects should silence, for good, those who dismiss the Israeli connection to 9/11 as a "myth," urban or otherwise. As a great patriot once said:

"I have in my hands a list…"

On that list, along with Mohammed Atta, and Zacarias Moussaoui, is not only Suter, but also five other Americans – or, at least, non-Arabs with US addresses. What's up with that?

Only God, and the higher echelons of the US government, know for sure. What we do know is this: it is no longer possible to deny that the US government believes Israel had some connection to the events leading up to 9/11. The documentary evidence, along with the reported testimony of patriots within law enforcement, is accumulating to the point where it can no longer be ignored.

Just how far does Israeli malevolence go? I'm afraid we're about to find out…

Cheney's the One

Jim Lobe
October 23, 2003

[...] While the mainstream media continue to refer to Bush as the captain of his own foreign-policy ship, hints that Cheney – a Republican right-winger surrounded by neo-conservatives, many with close ties to Israel's Likud Party – is the dominant figure in Washington's diplomacy have become too plentiful to ignore.

The most stunning example was disclosed in a recent 'Washington Post' article that assessed Rice's performance as national security adviser. The authors reported that Bush had ordered Cabinet officials not to give any preferential treatment to Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) as U.S. forces moved into Iraq last spring.

Imagine the shock felt by the State Department when, shortly after Bush gave the order, the Pentagon flew Chalabi and 600 of his armed followers into southern Iraq in early April "with the approval of the vice president."

Enforcing policy discipline, especially in a divided administration, is ordinarily the task of the national security adviser. But Rice, an academic whose substantive knowledge of foreign policy is largely confined to her expertise, the Soviet Union and Russia, has not been equal to the task.

Her failure in that regard, as well as Bush's own passivity and inexperience, is precisely what has enabled Cheney to dominate the policy process, particularly with respect to the Middle East where Cheney's views are almost entirely consistent with those of the neo-cons close to Likud and Sharon.

Even before Sep. 11, Cheney had endorsed Israel's selective assassination policy even as the State Department was denouncing it. One year later, Cheney told Israel's defence minister, albeit privately, that he thought Palestinian President Yasser Arafat "should be hanged."

That Cheney should assume such a dominant role is not surprising given the degree to which Bush depended on him during his presidential campaign and in the administration's early days. And the fact that Cheney, who was asked by Bush to recommend his running mate in 2000, chose himself suggested that he felt confident that Bush would give him extraordinary powers if he won.

Similarly, Cheney played a much more important role than Rice, despite Rice's much closer personal relationship with Bush, in the appointment of both cabinet and sub-cabinet national-security officials, beginning with Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

Not only did Cheney personally intervene to ensure that Powell's best friend, Richard Armitage, was denied the deputy defence secretary position, but he also played a key role in securing the post for Paul Wolfowitz.

Moreover, it was Cheney who insisted that ultra-unilateralist John Bolton be placed in a top State Department arms position, from which he has pursued policies that run counter to Powell's own preferences.

Cheney's own chief of staff and national security adviser, I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a Washington lawyer and Wolfowitz protégé, is considered a far more skilled and experienced bureaucratic and political operator than Rice.

Moreover, his own national-security staff, the largest ever employed by a vice president, has largely been chosen for both their ideological affinity with their boss and proven Washington experience. "They play to win," said one State Department official. [...]

Rumsfeld Draws Republicans' Ire

The New York Times
October 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 - Last Friday, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and his top Democratic colleague sent a private letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that questioned the propriety of comments made by a top Pentagon general, William G. Boykin.

Mr. Rumsfeld not only did not respond, but on Tuesday, after the chairman, Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, made the letter public, the defense secretary said he knew nothing about it. "It may be somewhere around the building," Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters on Capitol Hill, "but I am not aware of it."

The episode was described this week by senior Republican Congressional officials as emblematic of what some now openly call the high-handedness and lack of respect shown by Mr. Rumsfeld, whose steps and missteps in the past month have drawn increasing Republican ire. [...]

Still, White House officials have also made clear that they are increasingly frustrated and impatient with Mr. Rumsfeld, particularly after he publicly criticized the president's closest foreign policy adviser, Condoleezza Rice, earlier this month in an internal power struggle that the defense secretary made public.

A Republican who is close to the White House said the view there had been that Mr. Rumsfeld "went off the deep end" in his reaction earlier this month to Mr. Bush's decision to designate Ms. Rice as the overall coordinator of Iraq policy.

"The worst thing that can happen in Washington is if you're a cabinet member, you think you're bigger than the president," the Republican said. [...]

Rumsfeld Suggests New Agency for 'War of Ideas' 

Friday, October 24, 2003 12:50 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an interview published on Friday that the United States needs to sell its message more effectively and that a new agency would help fight a "war of ideas" against international terrorism.

"We are in a war of ideas, as well as a global war on terror. And the ideas are important and they need to be marshaled, and they need to be communicated in ways that are persuasive to the listeners," Rumsfeld said in a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Times.

"The overwhelming majority of the people of all religions don't believe in terrorism. They don't believe in running around killing innocent men, women and children. And we need more people standing up and saying that in the world, not just us," Rumsfeld was quoted as saying.

The Washington Times said Rumsfeld suggested a "21st-century information agency in the government" to help in the international battle of ideas and to limit the teaching of terrorism and extremism. [...]

Comment: Will there be a post for Minister of Propaganda? Welcome to the age where propaganda wars are waged out in the open, announced loudly, and most don't care that they are being told lies. Most actually prefer it that way, and will defend the lies loudly and feel threatened where ever truth is introduced. They will yell and vent and attempt to destroy any who dare speak anything that does not follow the party line. Welcome to the age where many cannot endure anyone existing anywhere who might point out the obvious truth. The motto: Preserve the prison at all costs. At the very least, many will chide you for "focusing on the negative." This is the age where the phrase "free will" has no meaning, and most aren't aware of the concept. Imagine Rumsfeld telling this Iraqi child that we are engaged in a 'war of ideas'. Imagine most people coming to the defense of Rumsfeld rather than this child. Welcome to reality.

A reality where psychopaths rush to commemorate death: 'Shock and Awe' Barrage Hits Patent Office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - From condoms to coffees, a wave of trademark applications using "Shock and Awe" in their names is hitting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Seven months after the most overused cliche of the Iraq War entered American jargon, a Patent Office official said on Thursday it had received 29 "Shock and Awe" applications.

There are filings to trademark golf clubs, pesticides, dietary supplements, video games, salsa, energy drinks, yo-yos, lingerie, Bloody Mary mix and "infant action crib toys." [...]

New "Terrorist Threat Integration Center" under the CIA secret "black" budget

October 24, 2003

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday said he backs the creation of an anti-terrorism center beyond the reach of public scrutiny.

"There are certain dark secrets we have to protect," Harold Rogers, R-Ky., told a homeland security conference sponsored by Equity International. The Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) established earlier this year by presidential order "is designed to do ... what I am saying."

TTIC, a coordinated effort of intelligence agencies and the Homeland Security Department, was placed under the CIA's secret "black" budget. That makes access to operation of the center "very, very limited," Rogers said, and gives oversight to the House Intelligence Committee. "It should be that way for reasons I cannot discuss with you," he said. "But use of that information and the routes it travels out of the TTIC is fair game, so we will continue to oversee it."

Request to Erase Classified Files Nixed

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department says it may renew an extraordinary request to let the FBI conduct a search-and-destroy mission on any computers harboring classified information about a 1980s case that temporarily became public in a lawsuit. A federal judge previously rejected the idea.

The initial request from federal prosecutors in Sacramento, Calif., was considered highly unusual by legal experts because it did not specify which computers the government believed might contain the classified information or how agents would retrieve and destroy information already made public.

"This stuns me," said Kate Martin, director for the Washington-based Center for National Security Studies. "I have never heard of them asking for such authority before. It's very disturbing that the FBI is contemplating going out and secretly examining hard-drives to see whether they contain this information." [...]

Comment: Here is the story that started it: Federal judge seals records alleging FBI's involvement in international spy business.

Key human chromosome unravelled

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

Scientists have completed analysing the bundle of DNA in our cells which contains many of the genes responsible for organising the body's defences.

Called chromosome six, it is the largest such structure so far fully decoded in the human genome project.

UK researchers say its 166 million "letters" of DNA contain 2,190 genes, nearly 6% of the entire genetic code that describes the human lifeform.

[...] "Chromosome six is very rich in immune genes. These are the genes that give us protection from pathogens," said Stephan Beck, the head of human sequencing at Sanger.

"They basically determine whether or not you survive if you get infected by bacteria or viruses," he said.

"These genes on chromosome six are involved in breaking down small bits of the invading pathogen and presenting it on the cell surface."

On the cell's surface, the foreign components are recognised by other cells that then realise it is infected and kill it.

Comment: If you wanted to kill large numbers of people, then what better way than to find the means of neutralising their immune systems...

Report Cites Security Flaws at Plum Island


Officials at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center have failed to safeguard pathogens that could be adapted to become weapons of germ warfare, including an agent potentially "as threatening as smallpox," a federal report says. [...]

Comment: Could this article be a set up for future use when there are "terrorist" attacks or "accidental" leaks of pathogens? Plum Island fears are relatively regular stories in the media. See Plum Island: BioWarfare Laboratory? for a bit more background.

Senior officer - IDF is ready to remove Arafat

Oct. 22, 2003

The IDF is ready to carryout the Cabinet's decision to remove Yasser Arafat the moment the orders are given, a senior military source told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.

"We have presented plans showing the risks and the chances of the operation itself, including the chances to remove him alive or not," the senior officer said.

"The government has to make a decision to allow the army to act. The army is ready. The army always plans for all possibilities." Speaking on condition that they not be identified, the senior military officer said that the near constant deployment of forces in the territories since the violence erupted three years ago was not fatiguing the troops. [...]

Israel ignores international laws

Friday 24 October 2003

Israel has published tenders for building 323 new homes in two Jewish settlements in the West Bank, defying a US-backed peace plan for the second time in recent days.

Earlier in October, Israel unveiled plans to build more than 600 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, drawing international and Palestinian condemnation.

A Housing Ministry official in Jerusalem on Thursday said tenders had been announced for building 143 new apartments in the Karnei Shomron settlement, near Nablus in the northern West Bank, and 180 in Givat Zeev, close to Jerusalem.

The US-backed peace "road map" adopted by Israel and the Palestinians freezes Jewish settlement "activity". Palestinians and world leaders say this means a halt to all building at settlements, but Israel challenges this.


"All legal tenders within existing communities are not included in the 'road map' according to our interpretation and our understanding," a senior Israeli official said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the tenders as well as Israel's decision on Wednesday to press on with construction of a barrier in the West Bank despite a United Nations resolution demanding it be torn down.

Urging the United States to intervene to stop construction of the barrier and the new homes, he said: "Settlements and walls are the number one obstacle to peace."

Comment: Yet Sharon is a "man of peace?" Well that depends on your understanding of the term "peace". If peace means an eventual peace when you and your cronies are the only ones left since you have exterminated all your enemies, then yes, Sharon is a man of "peace."

Gaza raid kills Israeli troops

Palestinian gunmen have killed three Israeli soldiers - two women and a man - in an attack on a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian militants had sworn revenge for Israeli air strikes
The gunmen infiltrated the heavily guarded Netzarim settlement in the central Gaza Strip and opened fire under cover of darkness.

Two other Israelis were wounded - one, a female soldier, has serious injuries, Israeli security sources said.

One of the infiltrators was pursued and killed and Israeli troops are searching for a second gunman.

Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas made a joint claim of responsibility for the attack.

The dead gunman was identified as Samir Fouda, a Hamas militant from the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza.

The killings happened hours after Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian trying to get into another settlement, Elei Sinai in the northern Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said on Friday.

The violence came a day after the Israeli Government invited bidders to build more than 300 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied territories in defiance of the peace plan, known as the road map.

Video could confirm high toll in air strike: Israeli military

By Greg Myre in Jerusalem
October 24, 2003

An Israeli military official has acknowledged that an air force video appears to show Palestinians gathering in an alley near the site of a helicopter attack in the Gaza Strip, and that their presence could account for the high casualty toll in a missile attack on Monday.

On Tuesday the Israeli military took the unusual step of showing to foreign journalists a videotape of two missiles hitting a Palestinian car carrying suspected Hamas members in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Monday.

Israel said the videotape, taken by a drone overhead, disproved Palestinian claims that a helicopter had fired the second missile into a group of civilians who approached the car after it was first hit. Overall, seven people were killed and many wounded, Palestinians said.

On Wednesday Israel released the tape, and reporters were able to scrutinise each frame. Initially it seems to support the Israeli account: that a helicopter fired both missiles at a car on an empty street, and that no people were nearby.

But close viewing of the grainy black-and-white video appears to show people rushing into an alley near the car after the first missile was fired and before the second missile struck, about one minute later. [...]

Israeli device can thwart terrorist missile attack

Mitch Potter, Middle East Bureau
The Toronto Star
Oct. 24, 2003. 01:00 AM

ASHDOD, Israel—It is smaller than a breadbox and worth a small fortune, a powerful military secret that may soon take flight into civilian skies worldwide.

Flight Guard, as the Israeli government bills it, is the million-dollar answer to the apocalyptic nightmare of a missile attack on a commercial airliner.

The brainchild of ELTA Industries, a high-tech government facility responsible for knitting Israel's electronic security blanket, the system is already thwarting potential ground-to-air attacks on more than 150 military aircraft worldwide, from Sri Lanka to Baghdad. [...]

"Commercial aircraft need protection and we have the means to provide it." [...]

Flanked by an Israeli security officer for the duration of the interview, Regev was limited in what he could say. The basics of Flight Guard technology are this: a condensed electronics pack based on Pulse-Doppler radar reads the threat of as many as four incoming heat-seeking missiles from multiple locations.

From the moment the aircraft takes off to the moment of landing, the system is equipped to respond by releasing sequential phosphorous decoy flares. Burning at 2,000C, the flares overpower the attraction of engine heat, drawing the missiles out of harm's way. [...]

Last February, U.S. Democratic senators Barbara Boxer of California and Charles Schumer of New York introduced legislation requiring countermeasures against shoulder-fired missiles be installed on the estimated 6,800 commercial airliners in the U.S. by year's end. [...]

Signs Of An Imminent Deal Similar To Oslo

Azmi Bishara Al-Hayat 2003/10/23

[...] Sharon's guide to the confused Israeli citizen in dealing with the Palestinian people is "when force doesn't work, all you need is more force." He is asking his people to wait, just like they waited in 1967, in a tense atmosphere, wondering who would launch the war first. Back then, Israel had provoked Syria and Egypt into waging a war, and they both fell in the trap, starting a war Israel was prepared for. Sharon actually used the same expression that was used during that 1967 war, describing it as the hard waiting period, which might not be randomly chosen, hence signaling a similar upcoming war. Furthermore, it is no coincidence either that Shaul Mofaz has been making consecutive statements over the past week, questioning the new Palestinian government's capacity to last. Moreover, Sharon is offering compromises in case it adopts a stance against terrorism.

Gaza Strip: Three Israeli soldiers shot dead in Palestinian attack on military camp

24-10-2003,09 :00

Three Israeli soldiers - two women and a man - were killed and two others were wounded in an attack by at least one Palestinian who early Friday infiltrated a military camp near the heavily guarded Gaza Strip settlement of Netzarim.

Galloway expelled as Blair takes revenge

By Arthur Neslen in London
Thursday 23 October 2003

Blair will live to regret this expulsion, warns Galloway

Shock and anger has greeted a decision by the British Labour Party to purge itself of one of the most eloquent and outspoken critics of the war in Iraq.

George Galloway, the MP for Glasgow Kelvin was expelled after being found guilty of charges that he had urged British troops to defy illegal orders, incited Arab troops to fight British forces, and supported non-Labour anti-war candidates.

Dismay spread as the news that he was to be expelled broke on a Pakistani television channel an hour before the party’s disciplinary committee even told Galloway himself.

But the dissident MP vowed that he would fight on. “I’m not going away,” he told Al “I’ll continue to speak my mind whether inside the Labour Party, or outside it, whether inside parliament or outside it.”

“They can’t solve the serious problem of the millions of people who opposed the war in Iraq by throwing me out for the ‘crime’ of having been one of the leaders of the anti-war movement.”

Galloway is now expected to stand at the next election as an independent.

Kangaroo court

A Labour party spokesman, Eddie Morgan, denied that the expulsion was related to his opposition to the war on Iraq.

“That is complete and utter nonsense,” he told me. “The charge against him was not that he opposed the war but that he incited the troops of other nations to attack British soldiers.”

Morgan also denied charges Galloway levelled to reporters outside Swinton House that the hearing had been “a politically motivated kangaroo court”, or that the anti-war MP’s Glenda Jackson and Bob Marshall-Andrews would be next.

“There is no plan or intention whatsoever to take action against any of the MP’s Galloway named,” Morgan said. “And if it was a show trial, why did he come along with a QC and a barrister?”

Galloway’s supporters would say that he did so to try and defend himself. They believe he has been victimised for having once describing Tony Blair and George Bush as behaving “like wolves” in attacking Iraqi civilians.”

Party splits

“I’m shocked and appalled that George could have been expelled after years of service to the party,” his fellow MP Jeremy Corbyn told me in a voice bristling with barely suppressed emotion.

“He was not inciting anyone to attack British troops. He was pointing out the dangers that British troops were placed in. He has been expelled because he opposed the war, and because he told the truth.”

In a worrying twist for Tony Blair, Corbyn also suggested that the move could lead to a split in the party. “I personally feel very sad and angry that my party has descended to these depths,” he said.

“I’m shocked and appalled that George could have been expelled after years of service to the party”

“The strength of the party has historically been its ability to represent a wide range of opinion. It is beginning to look as though that’s no longer the case.”

One Labour party grandee who spoke as a character witness for George Galloway in the hearings was the former energy minister Tony Benn. He told me the charge that Galloway had brought the party into disrepute had no validity.

Muslim voices

“I think the war brought the Labour Party into disrepute,” he said. “It was a war of aggression and the people who were killed were victims of war crimes.”

He described George Galloway as “a principled and courageous man whose words had a resonance across the whole world.”

On the streets outside Swinton House, where the hearing took place, the anger among protestors had long been palpable. Henna Malik, an 18 year-old student said Galloway’s expulsion would send a message to British Muslims that their voices were not being represented.

“Why shouldn’t our voices be counted?” she asked. “This isn’t just crushing the Muslim community, it’s crushing everyone who worked with us in the anti-war movement.”

The consensus in the Muslim community seemed to be that an MP who had taken a rare stand of principle on an issue close to his constituents’ hearts was being victimised for having had the bravery to speak out.

Shameful proceedings

Anas Altikriti, the spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain branded the proceedings as “ludicrous and absolutely shameful”. “It just shows that we need some democracy here in Britain before we try spreading it to the rest of the world,” he said.

“We had meetings with government ministers in the last couple of weeks, at which this issue came up but we feel that our representations were just ignored. We will always support George Galloway because he has stood by us.”

Altikriti warned that official indifference to the community would create a backlash.

“The Muslim community will take action at the next election as a result,” he said. “We are losing faith in this government’s seriousness to do what it pledges to the community behind closed doors.”

But he declined to give details about specific broken promises.

Comment: Apparently if you are not with Blair then you are against him. Dissent will not be tolerated - that's wonderful western democracy for you.

Blair is deceiving Britain'

By Toby Helm and George Jones
The Telegraph

The German military high command wants to create a fully fledged European army that would report to a European Union government and be financed by the European Parliament, documents obtained by the Tories show.

They claimed last night that a memorandum written by senior Germany army officials on the future of European defence proved that Tony Blair was deceiving the British people by claiming there were no plans to create a unified EU military force.

The document reflects a common view at the highest levels of the Germany military that the only way to achieve efficient and effective defence in Europe, where spending on the military is far lower than in America, is the full pooling of national resources. [...]

'Severe security threat' diverts El Al aircraft to Hamilton

Last Updated Fri, 24 Oct 2003 5:25:47

HAMILTON, ONT. - Hamilton's John Munro International Airport was alive with RCMP tactical units, police and security teams on Thursday morning, after an El Al flight was diverted because of a "severe security threat."

Flight 105 was en route to Los Angeles, with a stopover in Toronto, but landed in nearby Hamilton for security reasons, "but we were never told what the security problem was," said one frustrated passenger.

The Boeing 767 left Tel Aviv with 193 people on board. Sometime during the flight, Canadian officials say, they were told about a threat against the aircraft and Toronto's Pearson Airport. They decided to change the flight path and divert to Mirabel Airport in Montreal.

The airplane refuelled in Montreal, then it was allowed to fly to Hamilton to let Toronto-bound passengers off.

When it arrived the plane was met by four different police agencies. But authorities were tight-lipped about what they were looking for.

[...] El Al officials say the threat originated in Israel. "Israeli officials contacted the Canadian officials and informed them there might have been a situation focused on the El Al aircraft going to Toronto," said El Al general manager Stanley Morais.

More U.K. cops resign after documentary into racism

Last Updated Thu, 23 Oct 2003 21:46:40

LONDON - A sixth British constable has resigned after the BBC broadcast an undercover investigation into racism on police forces.

The documentary, called The Secret Policeman, was made by a BBC reporter who signed up to become an officer. For months, he secretly recorded other recruits while being trained.

Diebold Memos Disclose Florida 2000 E-Voting Fraud

Friday, 24 October 2003
Alastair Thompson

"DELAND, Fla., Nov. 11 - Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters."

What we know from the memos can be summarised as follows:

  • Two memory cards were uploaded from Volusia Couny's precinct 216, the second one was loaded sometime close to 2am in the morning. It automatically replaced the first card's results and reduced Gore's total by 16,022 votes and added several thousand votes to Bush plus a variety of minor candidates;
  • Both memory cards loaded into the system clean and without errors, indicating (contrary to the official line) that they were not faulty;
  • After the error was noticed the original card was reloaded and the mistake was rectified;
  • The error was introduced in such a way that the total number of votes remained unchanged (again something that could not happen by chance.);
  • According to the technical boffins, the chance of the memory card being corrupted and still passing the checksum error test are less than 60,000 to 1;
  • The technical managers at Diebold Election Systems considered it a reasonable possibility that the second card was part of deliberate conspiracy to rig the election results.

In Chapter 11 of her new book " Black Box Voting In the 21st Century" released early today in .PDF format Ms Harris observes:

"If you strip away the partisan rancor over the 2000 election, you are left with the undeniable fact that a presidential candidate conceded the election to his opponent based on [results from] a second card that mysteriously appears, subtracts 16,022 votes, then just as mysteriously disappears." [...]

Comment: In light of this, perhaps Osama is right to hate America because of its "freedom and democracy." If this is "freedom and democracy", who wouldn't resist its forceful imposition on the world...

Attacks on US soldiers in Iraq soaring

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran in Baghdad
October 24, 2003

Attacks on US troops in Iraq have increased sharply over the past two weeks, to a high of 35 a day.

Over much of the Iraqi summer, military officials had said there were 10 to 15 attacks on US soldiers most days. However, since early this month, the number had fluctuated between 20 and 35 a day, said the US military commander in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez.

A summary provided by the US military to private contractors working in Iraq listed 30 so-called security incidents on Tuesday, including two mortar strikes on US bases, nine attacks with roadside bombs and several drive-by shootings.

At a news conference, General Sanchez attributed the increase to a stepped-up US offensive in parts of western Iraq dominated by Sunni Muslims.

With more soldiers on the streets, he said, there had been more clashes with forces intent on evicting US troops from Iraq.

As US casualties mount, Pentagon officials are rushing new bomb- and sniper-detection equipment to Iraq.

Anthony Tether, chief of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, said most of the gear would be dispatched to US forces in three to four months.

It will include: A so-called virtual microphone (a ground-based laser projected into the sky) that can be used to listen for sniper fire across a city. The idea is to rapidly direct forces to a sniper's location once gunshots ring out. A mobile electronic signals locator that would alert military convoys to nearby mobile phones or pagers, which can be used to set off roadside bombs. A portable electronic English-to-Arabic and Arabic-to-English translator for interrogations.

A total of 203 US forces have been killed in Iraq since President George Bush declared the war in effect over on May 1, including 104 in hostile fire.

US deputy defense secretary starts visiting Iraq 2003-10-24 19:46:18

BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on Friday kicked off a four-day visit in Iraq as fresh attacks inflicted more casualties on American forces.

Sources said the hawkish official would visit US troops and meet Polish officers, who were leading a multinational force controlling a large area in central southern Iraq.

Wolfowitz' visit coincided with a donor conference in Madrid, Spain, where US Secretary of State Colin Powell and his top aid in Iraq, Paul Bremer, are seeking much-needed aid for the future of Iraq.

On the ground, more US casualties were caused on Friday in the apparently intensified guerilla-style attacks across the country.

Global Eye -- Thieves Like Us

By Chris Floyd

[...] This profitable arrangement was found hiding in plain sight last week by investigator Maggie Burns of the Progressive Populist. While the media mandarins were gulping soap, Burns committed the increasingly rare act of journalism by checking out Cheney's financial disclosure forms. These show that Cheney has a minimum of $18 million invested in The Vanguard Group, a leading mutual fund. (Given the deliberately vague, vast ranges of the "disclosure" forms, this nest-egg could be as high as $87 million. We mere mortals are not meant to know).

Vanguard, as it happens, is the 10th-largest shareholder in -- oh, you guessed already! -- Halliburton. The fund owns 7.6 million shares in the firm, worth about $176 million. Thus any government contract that swells Halliburton's bottom line does indeed pour war profits straight into Cheney's bulging bank accounts. No amount of soap can wash away that fact. Meanwhile, five of the other top 10 shareholders in Halliburton have big bucks parked with our old friends The Carlyle Group, where George Bush Sr. hangs out his shingle as a pricey corporate shill (and former bin Laden business partner). So Bush family coffers are definitely not forgotten when Halliburton goes to war.

But do let's be fair. After taking a bit of mild heat for larding Halliburton, Bechtel and other Bush-blessed firms with billion-dollar no-bid contracts, the Regime announced it was "opening up" competition for war pork. The new rules give potential contractors all of three days -- or even sometimes as much as seven whole days! -- to put together bids for major projects totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, The New York Times reports.

Oddly enough, most companies not already on the ground in Iraq are finding it difficult to meet these luxurious deadlines. "Oh, your company can't come up with specs for rebuilding the entire national highway infrastructure of Iraq in just three days? Too bad; guess we'll have to give it to Bechtel then. Here ya go, Bechs -- and by the way, thanks for that campaign check, pal! See ya at the ranch this weekend!"

U.S. troops detain all 81 men (age 13-81) from Iraqi village of 500, take village gold

October 24, 2003

American troops in helicopters swooped down on this remote sheepherding village in the desert and detained nearly all the men, one as old as 81, one as young as 13. A month after the raid, apparently aimed at preventing terrorists from slipping across the border from Saudi Arabia, only two of the 79 captives have been freed.

[...] Villagers say they heard the whir of helicopters at dawn over Habbariyah, a Bedouin enclave of 500 people clustered in an area about the size of two football fields.

[...] Over the next 10 hours, villagers say, U.S. troops rounded up men including police, the elderly and teenagers. One woman also was seized. All were restrained with plastic handcuffs and taken to one house.

From there, U.S. troops loaded the captives onto the helicopters and flew them to an air base north of the village.

[...] All but two remain there.

[...] [The mayor] also said the Americans searched every house and confiscated cash and gold jewelry, used as currency among Bedouin, desert tribes with a nomadic tradition.

Money Finally Flows at Crunch Iraq Aid Meeting

By Alexander Smith
October 24, 2003

MADRID (Reuters) - Promises of money for Iraq began to flow on Friday at a meeting of donors seeking to find the $56 billion needed to rebuild the war-torn country over four years.

Iraqi Governing Council President Iyad Allawi said the reconstruction effort would establish a beacon for democracy in the region and spell an end to the violence which has plagued the country since the U.S.-led toppling of Saddam Hussein.

"This (violent resistance) is led by people who know that if Iraq is free and democratic it will be difficult and dangerous for other regimes in the region," Allawi told the opening session of the second day of a donors' conference in Madrid.

Spirits were lifted by the news of a much larger than expected Japanese contribution totaling $5 billion, although Saudi Arabia -- one of the richest and most powerful of Iraq's neighbors -- refused to grant aid, opting instead for $500 million in loans, a Gulf source said.

In addition, the European Union and its members are giving 700 million euros ($825.5 million) for reconstruction of Iraq in 2004, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told the meeting.

The conference has struggled against skepticism from critics of the Iraq war. U.S. officials had lobbied hard for governments to make generous pledges, arm-twisting both supporters and opponents of its invasion behind the scenes.

Secretary of State Colin Powell was critical of France and Germany, among the fiercest opponents of the war, for not pledging any new money beyond what they had already committed.

"I think these two countries would have better served the cause of the international community if they had accepted to make additional financial contributions," he told France's Le Figaro newspaper. [...]

Comment: "These two countries" would not be in this position if a single country called the United States had better served the international community by not forcing their will upon the world and the UN by invading Iraq. If countries like Germany and France, who opposed the US invasion of Iraq, now decide to contribute funds to rebuild the war-ravaged country, they are cleaning up America's mess and essentially giving their consent that the war was acceptable. Dumping billions of dollars into Iraq will do no good until the imperialist US occupation forces leave the country.

Iraqi official says limited German, French help won't be forgotten

Friday, October 24, 2003 Posted: 12:41 AM EDT

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A top Iraqi official attending an international conference on raising funds to rebuild Iraq warned Thursday that France and Germany's limited donations would not be forgotten.

Ayad Allawi, the current head of Iraq's U.S.-appointed governing council, said he hoped German and French officials would reconsider their decision not to boost their contributions beyond funds already pledged through the European Union.

"As far as Germany and France are concerned, really, this was a regrettable position they had," Allawi said. "I don't think the Iraqis are going to forget easily that in the hour of need, those countries wanted to neglect Iraq." [...]

Comment: The Iraqis whose loved ones were slaughtered by US forces are far more likely to remember who it was that invaded their land than who offered 'limited' financial aid to clean up after America. Perhaps this will be used as a reason for staged terrorist attacks in France and Germany to make them step into line?

US Puts Blood Ban on Soldiers Returning from Iraq

By Paul Simao
Thursday, October 23, 2003; 9:57 PM

ATLANTA (Reuters) - American soldiers returning from Iraq are being told not to give blood for up to one year to prevent the possible spread of a parasite into the U.S. blood supply, federal health officials said on Thursday.

The precautionary ban was ordered by the Department of Defense and the nation's largest association of blood banks following an outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis among U.S. soldiers serving in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.

Leishmaniasis, which is endemic in the Middle East, tropics and some parts of southern Europe, is usually spread by the bite of sand flies. Those infected develop painless skin lesions that can, if left untreated, cause scars.

Visceral leishmaniasis, the more serious form of the disease, can damage internal organs and cause death.

The new blood donor restrictions will apply to soldiers for 12 months after their last day in Iraq, according to a report published on Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [...]

Although the ban will remove thousands of servicemen from the rolls of blood donors, many of these would already have been excluded because of the military's existing blood ban for soldiers returning from areas where malaria was endemic.

There is no vaccine or medication to prevent the disease, and those infected are banned for life from donating blood.

Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths

Comment: The Toledo Blade has assembled a large resource on the Vietnam war with articles, audio files, and photo slideshows.

The Neo-Conservatives And Zionist-Christianity

Jaafar Hadi Hassan Al-Hayat 2003/10/24

Analysts and writers have focused on the political and strategic dimension of the U.S. occupation to Iraq. But there is yet another side that was barely discussed, and that is the religious dimension. The calls to wage war against Iraq and to occupy it have been addressed based on religious beliefs and ideas of a group known as the Zionist-Christians. Even though they agree with the goals of the U.S. plan, they give the occupation a religious meaning. They believe that occupying Iraq confirms the predication of the Saint Bible; it is one incident in a series of events before the return of the awaited Christ.

Zionist Christians are members of a school of the Christian religious thought, based on the literal interpretation of the Holy Bible, in order to understand history and explain it. This is what makes them unique among the Christian religious thought. Features of this school started to be laid down in the ninth century in light of a special reading of the Bible (old and new testament). According to this school, the world has to cross seven ages: dispensations (this school was called Dispensationalism for this reason). At the time being, the world is crossing the sixth age preparing for the second appearance of the Christ. According to predications, during this age many unprecedented incidents and catastrophes will occur and it will end with the Armageddon decisive battle in which Christ will beat his enemy and starts his just reign for one thousand years, this why those persons are called the 'thousanders.'

[...] Tim LaHaye, a Christian Zionist known for his stories about this predications: Babylon is the mother of false religions, and Jerusalem is the mother of true beliefs. These believers see that the battles that occurred by Euphrates during the U.S. attack confirm what is said in Revelation 9:13:14:15: "The sixth angel blew his trumpet. I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar in front of God. 14 The voice said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, `Untie the four angels who are tied at the big river Euphrates.' 15 So the four angels were let free. They were ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year when they would kill a third of the people." Despite the previous several occupations of Iraq, they believe that the U.S. occupation is linked to the second appearance of the Christ and according to the Zionist Christians the invitation to divide Iraq might be an implementation of the previous expression: "The big city was broken into three parts."

This group sent an army of preachers to Iraq to convince Iraqis that the occupation of their country is a 'divine act' that they should accept. Franklin Graham said about this preaching mission that they are in Iraq to express their love and that they, Christians, were doing that in the name of Christ.

According to their beliefs, many texts of the Bible, namely that of the Psalm of Ezekiel, point to the necessity of gathering Jews in Palestine so that they form their own state and play their role. Those believers tried actively to realize this predication even before the birth of the Zionist movement. Following the establishment of Israel, they are still bringing Jews from everywhere attracting ones who hesitate with money and other aids. They have dozens of associations; the most important is the 'Christian Embassy' in Jerusalem.

They want Israel to be established from the Nile to the Euphrates at in accordance with the Genesis 15:18: "In that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates". Thus, they refuse the idea of peace against land, and ask Israel to affiliate the occupied lands. They also call for the destruction of the Holly Mosque to build the third temple so that Christ, when he appears again, practices the sacrifices rituals according to Moses law. They confirm their willingness to do that even if it led to a war with the Muslims, rather they expect this war.

From their point of view towards Jews, who consider themselves as the elected people, contrary to what the majority of other churches believe, they are hostile to whoever they think is Jews' enemy. They believe that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are Jews' enemies and that they should be fought. They say it out loud in their conferences and write in their literature; thus their accusations of the Arabs and Muslims of terrorism is something usual to the point that Graham Jr. said in one of his books that Islam is an evil religion and that the Koran instigates on violence.

Senate Approves Pay Increase for Itself

Comment: Helping Bush remove all freedom and turn the US into a complete fascist state is hard work. Sometimes they even break a sweat keeping track of what lies they have told to whom.

Ayoon wa Azan (Terror Has Weakened Arabs)

Jihad Al Khazen Al-Hayat 2003/10/24

[...] What have we come to today, as anyone walking into an official institution in any country, is searched, not to mention that there are checkpoints and obstacles especially made to foil terrorism, and the concerned authorities can't be blamed, because we have witnessed mad terror, whereby the perpetrators have no religious or moral source of authority, as they killed innocents in New York, Bali, Riyadh and everywhere they could.

This terror has weakened Arabs and Muslims. I left Riyadh with Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad's statement, according to which Jews are now controlling the international media. He was strongly condemned, which proves that he is right. Meanwhile, a blindly fanatic American General directly attacked Islam, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld commented on his talk saying that he was just expressing his opinion.

I leave the reader the opportunity to compare between someone talking about media control and a direct attack against a unifying divine religion, and then to think with me about how everyone criticized the first one and the second filthy one was surrounded with a blinding smoke, hence confirming what Mahathir Mohamad warned of.

Considering this situation, it is no longer strange that a Nazi government in Israel is killing Palestinians in full view of the entire world, while the world is only busy commenting on Mahathir Mohamad's speech, completely ignoring the fact that the Nazi government in Israel is carrying out the "end solution" of the Palestinian cause.

Terror is the cause and it must be destroyed before it destroys us.

Anti-Muslim General Stays: Rumsfeld

Barbara Ferguson, Arab News Correspondent

WASHINGTON, 24October 2003 — According to the “Pyramid Principle,” subordinates make decisions based on examples from their superiors. So what, in this case, should one make of three-star Gen. William Boykin, who has publicly described the war on terrorism as a Christian war against Satan — and who officials at the Defense Department say they will not fire?

President Bush distanced himself from the army general yesterday. “This just doesn’t reflect what the government thinks,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One.

But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff told reporters at the Pentagon that Gen. Boykin has had a distinguished military career and will not be asked to step down.

Gen. Boykin, an evangelical Christian who serves as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and special operations, gained nationwide attention when NBC News last week aired videotaped segments of speeches he made at Christian functions while in uniform.

His tendency to frame the fight against terrorism as a religious battle contrasts with attempts by Bush and senior aides to avoid such language out of concern that it could sound inflammatory in the Muslim world and play into efforts by Islamic extremists to portray themselves as engaged in a holy war.

Comment: Notice, it is clear to many observers from outside the US that Bush and Co. are in complete agreement with Boykin's remarks, only they know enough to not blurt it out. Bush's first remarks after 9/11 included the word "crusade." However, he changed his wording when he realised it was making Moslems antagonistic. This is a tactical change, not one revealing a fundamental change in his outlook. This is a religious war for the Christian fundamentalists and the Zionists.

Who Speaks on Behalf of Islam?

Amir Taheri

[...] One difficulty in the so-called “dialogue of civilizations” is that many in the West try to understand Islam in Christian terms. This is partly a problem of semantics. The term Christendom defines the existential reality of Christian states while the term Christianity defines the religion of Christ. There are no equivalent terms to distinguish Islam as a religion from the existential reality of57 Muslim states.

Another difficulty is that many Westerners cannot conceive of a religion without a formal structure resembling a church, and no clergy resembling the Christian priesthood. In Islam, however, there is neither church nor clergy in the Christian sense. There are, to be sure, large numbers of mullas, muftis, moulawis and other individuals who earn a living by offering religious opinions. But they have no sacerdotal mandate. There is no mechanism through which any particular opinion could be presented as that of all, or even a substantial number, of Muslims.

The problem is compounded by the fact that we have a large number of organizations using the “Islamic” label.

Mahathir was addressing a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). His speech was broadcast by the Islamic News Agency. There are a dozen more “Islamic” outfits. These are all political organizations which operate in a perfectly secular manner and must be regarded as parts of the paraphernalia of international diplomatic, cultural and economic relations. What they say and do may reflect the views of Islamdom, to coin a phrase, but not necessarily of Islam as a faith.

The West’s perplexity is understandable. And the confusion will continue for as long as we use the label Islamic where it is not warranted. It is also a fact that anyone who tries to understand the policies of any Muslim country in strictly religious terms would reap nothing but confusion. The Kuala Lumpur summit made that amply clear.

Russia, which has massacred more Muslims in Chechnya than all the victims of all the Arab-Israeli wars, was admitted as an associate member of the Organization of Islamic Conference. Russian President Vladimir Putin received a hero’s welcome in Malaysia. India, which has the world’s second largest population of Muslims, was refused even as an observer because Pakistan was against. The Turkish Cypriot government was also shut out because Greece, which backs the Greek Cypriot government, has always supported the Arab position on Palestine.

Muslim states behave like any other state that is to say in accordance with real or imagined geopolitical and other secular interests, and not on the basis of any religious agenda.

No, Mahathir was not talking on behalf of Islam. He was talking as a political leader who happens to be a Muslim, in a country where non-Muslims account for nearly half the population. Some Muslims liked what he said, and some did not.

But this could be true of a statement made by any politician anywhere in the world.

Iran nuclear pledge is victory over Washington

Compiled by Daily Star staff

Iran’s pledge to three European states to open its nuclear program to unfettered inspections and to suspend uranium enrichment is a “victory” that isolates the US, Iran’s representative to the UN nuclear agency said Wednesday.

“A big conspiracy has been foiled … (and) the US has been isolated,” Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told state-run television. He said the US, which accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, had sought to bring Iran’s nuclear program before the UN Security Council, which could have imposed sanctions.

The US said it would wait to see whether Iran would keep to its word to implement an additional IAEA protocol allowing the tougher inspections. The European Union “showed the US that global issues can’t be resolved by war and destruction, but by dialogue. It’s a victory for us, the EU and the international community,” Salehi said.

News Analysis: Iran defuses nuclear crisis, wins time 2003-10-24 18:29:00

TEHRAN, Oct. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- After carefully weighing the odds of signing an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has finally decided to do so, winning itself a respite from huge pressures both internationally and within the country, analysts say.

[...] Khatami and the reformists then agreed that Iran should sign the protocol and invite IAEA inspectors to their country to prove that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

They argued that the inspection would dispel the misgivings by the international community about Iran's nuclear program, and win back Iran's economic and technological communication with other countries while giving no excuse for the United States to initiatean embargo on Iran.

But conservatives in Iran insisted that Iran has no obligation to satisfy the IAEA demands because the inspection might cause more trouble to Iran as it might be used by American and Israeli special agents to steal Iran's intelligence, thus compromising the country's national security.

Facing pressures from both conservatives at home and the IAEA and weighing the pros and cons of making a compromise, President Khatami said last Sunday that Tehran would halt its uranium program if its right to have nuclear technology is preserved.

News Analysis: Why does Pakistan respond cautiously to India's peace proposals 2003-10-24 20:08:52

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Unlike its response to India's earlier offer of talks, Pakistan has reacted with disappointment and caution to New Delhi's new package of peace proposals which does not include dialogues and negotiations on Kashmir between the two arch rivals.

[...] Analysts and the media here observed that Pakistan's cautious response to the India's proposals are obviously based on the following reasons:

Firstly, the Pakistani side does not think New Delhi is sincereto improve its relations with Islamabad without offering composite and sustained talks on Kashmir. Islamabad has reiterated its stand that the Kashmir issue can not be sidelined in any engagement withIndia.

The long-awaited dialogue proposed in April by Vajpayee has not taken place since India insists that talks can only restart if Pakistan stops sponsoring "cross-border terrorism" in Kashmir. It is not strange that during the 10th summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference held on Oct. 16-17 in Malaysia, Musharraf told reporters, "The dialogue between Indian and Pakistan has not started. India is only playing games."

Secondly, Pakistan maintains vigilance against India's intention. The proposal to start bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad may entail establishing an immigration post on the Line of Control (LoC), the ceasefire line in Kashmir, which would result in a border control. Pakistan has openly and strongly opposed to any proposal for turning the LoC into a permanent border and may see it as an attempt to project this idea.

In fear of being sidelined in any coming talks on Kashmir, Pakistan may not be happy with India's decision made at the Wednesday meeting that New Delhi is willing to hold its first talks with a Kashmiri separatist group, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). APHC consisting of 27 political and community groups seeks a plebiscite to determine the status of Kashmir.

Thirdly, some proposals seem conditional to Islamabad and it might be reluctant to accept them. On the issue of air links, for example, India said it will be ready to begin technical-level talks on the restoration of train service between the two countries on which Pakistan prefers giving priority only when the talks on air links and over-flights are to prove successful.

[...] Furthermore, some analysts argued that the Indian government put forward new peace proposals in order to gain more support for the ruling alliance in the state elections to be held in December and the general elections scheduled for next year.

While English newspaper the Nation Friday said in an editorial that India's overtures are a "well-crafted diplomatic move aimed at silencing international criticism of New Delhi's refusal to hold parleys with Islamabad."

Huge album on life of Jews in northeast China published in Beijing 2003-10-23 20:40:02

BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A huge album on life of Jews who have lived in the northernmost Chinese city Harbin over the past century was published Thursday in Beijing.

The album with more than 400 precious pictures, published by the Social Sciences Documents Publishing House, records the history and life of Jewish people in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang province that borders Russia.

According to Qu Wei, director of the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, over 20,000 Jews lived in the city in the early 1920s and gradually established a comprehensive social system there. Historians held that the city was the largest political, economic and cultural center for Jewish people in East Asia between the late 19th century and mid-20th century.

China has long endeavored to protect Jewish cultural relics. Old Jewish schools, streets and houses are kept untouched or have been renovated in the city or elsewhere in the country.

European Jews first entered China via a business route in the 11th century and many of them settled down in the former capital of Kaifeng in central China's Henan Province. At the beginning of last century, some 60,000 Russian Jews came to northeast China to help construct railway networks. They soon became the operators of China's first banks, shops and cinemas in Harbin.

Back in US, Bush tours Pearl Harbor

Friday October 24, 3:25 PM

After a six-nation sprint through Asia and Australia, US President George W. Bush returned to the United States and paid tribute here to those killed in Japan's 1941 strike on Pearl Harbor.

The US leader frequently likens the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which sparked the global war on terrorism, to the devastating blow here that dragged the United States into World War II. [...]

Love life of 'Condy' proves too hot for paper to handle

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
The Independent
24 October 2003

It prides itself on its journalistic integrity, but The Washington Post has been accused of censorship by its own ombudsman after dropping a cartoon that poked fun at the love life - or not - of President Bush's National Security Adviser.

Leonard Downie, the executive editor, dropped an entire week of "The Boondocks" by Aaron McGruder, saying the cartoon that featured Condoleezza Rice had overstepped the boundaries of taste.

"The 'Boondocks' strips in question commented on the private life of the National Security Adviser and its relationship to her official duties in ways that violated our standards for taste, fairness and invasion of privacy," he said. The decision has caused an outcry among Post readers, who complained to the paper's ombudsman, Michael Getler. "We are grown-ups out here, not children," one said.

Another asked: "Has the Post become so timid as to refuse to run a comic strip that pokes fun at a member of the Bush administration?"

The allegedly offensive cartoon features a young "Boondocks" character who suggests the world might be a safer place if he and his friends could help Ms Rice find a boyfriend.

"Maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved, she wouldn't be so hellbent to destroy the planet," he says. The personal life of Ms Rice, 49, a close friend of the Bush family, is occasionally the focus of gossip in Washington. She is single and known for working long hours. [...]

After the attacks of 11 September 2001, some cartoonists complained their work was censored for being "unpatriotic".

Fleischer Inks $500K Deal

New York Post

October 24, 2003 -- ARI Fleischer, the former press secretary for President George W. Bush, has become the second member of the president's inner counsel to ink a book deal.

He just auctioned off a memoir of his White House years for what industry sources said is an estimated $500,000 advance from William Morrow.

That puts him behind former Bush aide Karen Hughes, who became the first inner circle member to sell a book, for a reputed $1.5 million from Viking unit of Penguin Inc.

The lawyer who orchestrated the latest auction is Bob Barnett, the same attorney who commanded the multimillion-dollar book deals for Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. [...]

Fleischer did not circulate a book proposal, as is the norm for authors - especially first-time authors. Some thought that his former bosses may have encouraged him to put it out in 2005 to guarantee that nothing blows up during the 2004 presidential campaign. [...]

Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm No More

Norma Sherry

10/23/03: (ICH) Are American workers at risk of losing their jobs? Damn right they are. Particularly if they pursued what they thought were safe jobs in today's commerce.

When American workers lost their blue-collar jobs they stepped up to the plate and educated themselves in the technologies that they were told would assure them security. Sadly, corporate America lied. Not only are American workers losing their coveted jobs, but in unprecedented moves they are being asked to train their replacements.

The consequences are mortifying.

By now, most of us have experienced calling an organization we have done business with before only to find the overtly sweet voice on the other end of the receiver has a thick, almost unintelligible foreign accent.

Well, folks, get used to it. [...]

Is Wal-Mart Too Powerful?

Low prices are great. But Wal-Mart's dominance creates problems -- for suppliers, workers, communities, and even American culture

Business Week Online

At Wal-Mart, "everyday low prices" is more than a slogan; it is the fundamental tenet of a cult masquerading as a company. [...]

"It's a ticking time bomb," [...]

Comment: Sherman Skolnick has some interesting accusations regarding Wal Mart and their alleged involvement with drug running and the Chinese Red Police. Also in related news: Feds Arrest 300 Wal-Mart Workers

Massachusetts passes statewide smoking ban

Comment: The world is burning and people are worried about smoking in bars. Fascism is always just a flick of the switch away it seems.

Zim protesters 'beaten, dumped'

Zimbabwe civil rights demonstrators who were arrested for staging an anti-government demonstration claimed Thursday they were beaten by police while in custody. [...]

Poland wants Aushwitz survivor tried for genocide


Poland is seeking the extradition from Israel of an 83-year-old Polish-born Jew on charges of genocide for the deaths of German prisoners in a communist camp he commanded after World War II.

Israel previously refused Poland’s request to extradite Auschwitz survivor Solomon Morel, who was the commander of a camp for German prisoners from February-November 1945, to face charges of torture in 1998, saying the statute of limitations had run out.

Polish special prosecutors have upgraded the charges to genocide, for which there is no statute of limitation, based on new testimony from former German inmates at the defunct Swietochlowice camp, near the southern city of Katowice.

Andrzej Arseniuk, a spokesman for prosecutors at the Institute of National Remembrance, which investigates World War II and communist-era crimes, said: “The testimony from former inmates living now in Germany significantly enriched the evidence. It documented Morel’s torture of at least 13 inmates known by name,”

Leon Kieres, the head of the institute, said: “Now the charges say his intention was to exterminate for national and political reasons.”

Mr Kieres said the extradition request, which will be made by a regional court in Katowice in coming weeks, will be Poland’s last attempt to bring Morel to justice.

The new charges accuse Morel of seeking to exterminate German prisoners by starving them to death and depriving them of basic medical care as well as carrying out and sanctioning torture by his subordinates – including imprisoning prisoners in small cells filled with water, trampling them or making them stand for long hours, singing Nazi songs.

Mr Kieres said Morel is believed to be responsible for at least 1,538 deaths at the camp.

The investigation against Morel, begun in 1992, is the only one in Poland against a Jew accused of retaliating against the Germans after their defeat.

Morel was an inmate of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp where he lost his parents and two brothers.

He moved to Israel in 1994 to flee Poland’s justice.

Polish historians generally agree that the communist government imprisoned 100,000 Germans, mostly civilians, deemed threats to the state after World War II.

At least 15,000 died due to ill treatment, and the rest were freed by 1950.

Toddler attacked by other toddlers

A one-year-old boy has been bitten 30 times by a group of more than a dozen other babies at a nursery in Croatia.

Frane Simic was covered in a series of deep bite wounds all over his body, including his face.

He was attacked after the class nanny stepped out of the room to change another baby's nappy.

Dr Sime Vuckov, head of the hospital in Rijeka which treated the boy, said: "Biting between young children is not uncommon.

"But I have never seen anything like this."

Police have launched an inquiry into the biting frenzy but admit they are clueless as to the babies' reasons for attacking.

Dr Vuckov warned that while the wounds were expected to heal, the trauma suffered by Frane may leave permanent mental scars on the boy and his parents.

He said: "Our psychologist has evaluated the boy and we will continue to monitor him and provide any type of assistance so that he can overcome the trauma as soon as possible."

Hundreds evacuated amid wildfires threat (California, USA)


The threat of hot, dry Santa Ana winds forecast this weekend prompted authorities to evacuate hundreds of people today as one of three untamed fires in southern California threatened to block their only way out.

More than 3,500 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest have been scorched since the fire started on Tuesday, said Maria Daniels, a fire information officer for the blaze.

The fire, which was 17% contained on Thursday night, was not an immediate threat to homes in the Lytle Creek area, 55 miles (88 kilometres) east of Los Angeles. But firefighters did not want the area's 1,000-plus residents to get trapped by the approaching flames, said Tricia Abbas, another fire spokeswoman. [...]

Snow chaos closes major Austrian roads


Snow fell throughout Austria overnight causing disruptions on major roads and knocking out power to thousands of people.

Rescue teams were still working to restore power and rescue people stranded on the roads.

The worst hit areas were primarily in eastern and southern Austria. A major road leading west from Vienna was blocked for three hours after several trucks either crashed or became stranded.

Traffic disruption resulted in part because hundreds of trucks and cars were still equipped with summer tyres, the national automobile association said.

In the region surrounding the southern city of Graz, thousands were without power after snow brought down trees and power lines. Power was also knocked out in parts of the capital Vienna.

Meteorologists said that it was the earliest snowfall in Vienna in 60 years.

In the low-lying area surrounding Vienna, snow usually falls for the first time in late November. The mountainous areas in the Alps, however, see snow much earlier.

More snow and frost was expected for the coming days.

2003 summer ozone pollution in Europe hits a record

PARIS (AFP) Oct 24, 2003

Ground-level ozone pollution in Europe, stoked by a stifling heatwave, reached the highest levels this summer since the European Union began coordinated monitoring nine years ago, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said Friday. [...]

Arctic ice cap melting at worrying rate: NASA

WASHINGTON (AFP) Oct 24, 2003

The polar ice cap is melting at an alarming rate due to global warming, according to NASA scientists, with satellite images showing the ice cap has been shrinking by 10 percent per decade over the past quarter century.

"It is happening now. We cannot afford to wait a long period of time for technological solutions," said David Rind of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

"Change is in the air -- literally," he told a press conference here Thursday. [...]

"Small changes in ice could mean big impacts on the water cycle and ultimately the global climate," warned NASA. [...]

Mystery Spot on Jupiter Baffles Astronomers

By Robert Roy Britt
A Exclusive

Astronomers have spotted a strange, obvious and inexplicable black spot near the equator of Jupiter. A picture of the object is circling this planet electronically as researchers scratch their heads about what they've found.

A  second image , taken on another day by a different photographer, contains a similar looking spot. As of early today, the second image had deepened the mystery. Some astronomers were at first puzzled over whether the two photos show the same thing or not. As it turns out, they do not. [...]

NASA Scientists Dives Into Perfect Space Storm

Newly uncovered scientific data of recorded history's most massive space storm is helping a NASA scientist investigate its intensity and the probability that what occurred on Earth and in the heavens almost a century-and-a-half ago could happen again.

In scientific circles where solar flares, magnetic storms and other unique solar events are discussed, the occurrences of September 1-2, 1859, are the star stuff of legend. Even 144 years ago, many of Earth's inhabitants realized something momentous had just occurred. Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires, while the Northern Lights, solar-induced phenomena more closely associated with regions near Earth's North Pole, were documented as far south as Rome, Havana and Hawaii, with similar effects at the South Pole.
"Remarkably, science has documented solar events a hundred times more intense," said Dr. Bruce Tsurutani, a plasma physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "But none of them interacted with the Earth in such a violent manner.

What happened in 1859 was a combination of several events that occurred on the Sun at the same time. If they took place separately they would be somewhat notable events. But together they create the most potent disruption of Earth's ionosphere in recorded history. What they generated was the perfect space storm," he said. [...]

Scientists discover 500 species of fish in billion-dollar trawl of the world's oceans

By Steve Connor Science Editor
The Independent
24 October 2003

An unprecedented census of the world's oceans has revealed man's dire ignorance of the most unexplored region of the planet.

Five hundred species of fish have been identified since the project began three years ago but scientists believe there are 10 times as many yet to be discovered.

A total of 210,000 species of marine animals and plants are known to science but the true number could be closer to two million - and some are threatened with extinction before they are even named. [...]

Americans Describe Their Views About Life After Death

October 21, 2003

(Ventura, CA) Despite the constant flux in many dimensions of Americans' lives, a new study from the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California, shows that most people have retained surprisingly traditional views about life after death. Although the lifestyles, values, and self-perceptions of most adults have undergone significant change – and millions of Americans have embraced many elements of a postmodern worldview – the vast majority continues to believe that there is life after death, that everyone has a soul, and that Heaven and Hell exist. However, more than 50 million adults are uncertain regarding their personal eternal fate. [...]

Most Americans do not expect to experience Hell first-hand: just one-half of 1% expect to go to Hell upon their death. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) believe they will go to Heaven. One in 20 adults (5%) claim they will come back as another life form, while the same proportion (5%) contend they will simply cease to exist. [...]

The California-based researcher indicated that born again Christians are not the only ones confused about what happens after death. Many of those who describe themselves as either atheistic or agnostic also harbor contradictions in their thinking. “Half of all atheists and agnostics say that every person has a soul, that Heaven and Hell exist, and that there is life after death. One out of every eight atheists and agnostics even believe that accepting Jesus Christ as savior probably makes life after death possible.

These contradictions are further evidence that many Americans adopt simplistic views of life and the afterlife based upon ideas drawn from disparate sources, such as movies, music and novels, without carefully considering those beliefs. Consequently, the labels attached to people – whether it be 'born again' or 'atheist' may not give us as much insight into the person's beliefs as we might assume. [...]

Patients given artificial blood

Doctors have for the first time successfully used artificial blood to treat patients.

Jesus actor struck by lightning

Actor Jim Caviezel has been struck by lightning while playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion Of Christ.

Comment: Twice!

13 year old Tibetan boy able to tell world's longest epic

(Xinhuanet) -- Allegedly having had a dream, a 13-year-old Tibetan boy has since been able to tell Tibetans' most respected story about a legendary hero -- King Gesser, which is also the longest epic in the world.

This has aroused enormous interest among experts to explain the boy's mysterious capability. [...]

Indonesia rainforest holds hundreds of mysterious stone carvings

Asia Pacific News

A remote rainforest in Sulawesi, Indonesia is now at the centre of a study into hundreds of mysterious stone carvings that only a few foreigners in the world have seen. [...]

These carvings include birds that laugh like humans and primates three inches high, but the most mind-boggling of them all are the statues that locals say were once humans. [...]

Forensic Expert Says Bigfoot Is Real

Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News

[A] small but vociferous number of scientists remain undeterred. Risking ridicule from other academics, they propose that there's enough forensic evidence to warrant something that has never been done: a comprehensive, scientific study to determine if the legendary primate actually exists. [...]

'Iceman' wrestles shark

An Icelandic fishing captain, known as "the Iceman", wrestled and killed a 300kg shark to stop it attacking his crew, according to witnesses.

Captain Sigurdur Petursson was on a beach in Kuummiit, east Greenland, watching his crew processing a catch when he saw the shark swimming towards his men.

The skipper of the trawler Erik the Red, ran into the shallow water and grabbed the shark by its tail with his bare hands.

He dragged it off to dry land and killed it with his knife.

Frede Kilime, a hunter and fisherman who witnessesed the extraordinary spectacle, said: "He caught it just with his hands. There was a lot of blood in the sea and the shark came in and he thought it was dangerous."

Icelandic author and journalist Reynir Traustason, who knows the trawler captain, said the act was typical of the man.

"He's called 'the Iceman' because he isn't scared of anything," he said.

"I know the people in that part of the world. They are really tough."

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