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October 27, 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."

Lies and damn lies, with the latter surpassing the former - this is what dominates the news today, like every other day.

Are we beginning to see a shift in forces? Putin is moving against the new Russian tycoons. Voices within Israel are decrying the road map for war promulgated by Sharon. The Butler is taken on the "dark forces" at work in Britain. We don't think this is necessarily a "good thing". It is more likely the next step in a battle for power among different factions of the "bad guys." There is no room for them all at the top of the pyramid.

Due to its use and abuse, the term "anti-Semitism" as it is promoted by Jewish groups has become all but a myth, a slur, designed, as most slurs are, to unfairly defame an opponent and detract from the truth. We have all seen it, from the classroom to the office, the use of the scurrilous slur is a "natural human response" when one finds oneself caught red-handed and accused - it is a well known escape technique. Why then the reluctance to admit that it could be used on a broader scale in the world of international politics?

The US goes from one "success" to another in Baghdad. The attacks are coming fast and furious, US troops are wondering what the hell they are doing there...

In Russia, the dust is settling after the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of Yukos, the oil giant and Russia's richest man.

California is still on fire, plagues of grasshoppers, generals and preachers are calling for martyrs, solar flares, disease, strange, destructive storms, flooding, global warming, and the encroaching police state. Throw in the search for Atlantis, and that may be enough to convince most that we live in strange times indeed. Or, maybe not.

Israel PM to be questioned by police in corruption probes - media report

07:20 AM EST Oct 27

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be questioned by police later this week in connection with two corruption probes, Israeli media reported Monday.

The reports said police would question Sharon about allegations that he obtained an illegal loan during his 1999 primary election campaign - possibly in exchange for financial favours - and that he was bribed by an Israeli businessman to promote a real estate project in Greece while serving as foreign minister in the 1990s. Israel police spokesman Ofer Sivan declined comment on when police would question Sharon.

Israel TV's Channel Two said Sharon would be questioned Wednesday and Thursday. The Haaretz daily said Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein gave permission for two squads of officers to question the prime minister.

Sharon would be the third sitting Israeli prime minister to be questioned by police. Earlier corruption inquiries against Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak were eventually dropped.

Comment: And we would expect these charges to be dropped...except that there is a subtle change that seems to be occuring. Last week, members of the crew of the USS Liberty, the US spy vessel that was attacked by the Israelis in 1967, were demanding an investigation into the attack, an attack that President Johnson and his advisors hushed up. This event has been known for a long while. Why is it coming out now?

The fundamentalist Christians in the US are using Israel in the same way that the Zionists in Israel are using the US. What other forces are at play? Who is using both of these forces? It is very likely that Mossad was behind the attacks on the World Trade Center, with the approval of certain forces within the US government. What would happen if the major media began leaking this information?

In this environment, the following from the Israeli newsparer Haaretz is intriguing.

With friends like these

By Akiva Eldar

[...] On the contrary, the United States, by both commission and omission, is knowingly supporting a government that is leading the Zionist idea down the wrong path. After all, President George Bush's vision declares that two states living side by side in peace is both an Israeli and a Palestinian interest. And he himself claims that the new settlement outposts, the expansion of existing settlements and the intrusive fence undermine the chances of establishing a Palestinian state. Thus, according to Bush, his blind support for the rightist government's actions undercuts Israel's interest in reaching an agreement with its neighbors and maintaining its Jewish and democratic character.

In the best case, Bush's policy can be considered a demonstration of friendship for Ariel Sharon. However, relations between leaders, like those between states, are not a matter of emotions. The Bush administration's attitude toward the Israeli government is a complex stew made up of America's strategic interests in the Middle East and the president's political interests. The relationship between these two ingredients is not fixed. When the administration wants to sell weapons to the Arabs, it ignores Jewish pressure. But the closer the presidential election of November 2004 comes, the more domestic politics push foreign policy aside. Election season is also the peak period for lobbies, interest groups and business magnates. It is the favorite season of the Jewish organizations that act on behalf of the government of Israel.

The enormous power of pro-Israel lobbies such as AIPAC is what outraged Mahathir. Instead of internalizing the fact that interest groups are an inseparable part of the democratic game, Muslim leaders invent anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Israel and American Jews. It is easier for them to let racist genies out of the bottle than to admit that more than a billion Muslims worldwide do not do a fraction for their Palestinian brethren of what six million American Jews do for Israel. American Jews would not have allowed tens of thousands of their fellow Jews to languish in refugee camps for more than 50 years. While the Muslims devote their energy and money to internal strife, American Jews devote the bulk of their resources to mobilizing political support for the government of Israel.

The Israeli "peace camp" has also demonstrated weakness in the face of "Jewish power." In its arrogant attitude toward everything that smacks of the Diaspora, the left has conceded one of the strongest pressure groups in the world - and now it complains that the right controls the arena. Instead of cultivating a moderate Jewish leadership, the left stood by and watched as Jewish organizations in Washington and New York turned into branches of the Likud and representatives of the settlers in recent years. Support for a government that is leading the Jewish state to destruction, in the security, demographic, economic and social realms, is not proof that Jews control the world. Such a claim is proof that anti-Semitism causes people to lose their minds.

Comment: Yes, the forces at work here are complex. One must first recognise that there is a part of Judaism that has long seen itself as the leader. The Zionists were not above selling out many Jews to the Nazis in exchange for getting permission to move others into Palestine. One can almost see it as a culling, allowing the weaker members to be slaughtered. These forces who are ready to sacrifice part of the herd for their own goals are the ones in power in Israel. Sharon knows his provocations of the Palestinians, including his visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000 that launched the latest intifada, are going to mean that more Jews will be killed. He doesn't care. He is willing to sacrifice as many as necessary to realise his plans. Yahweh is a god that demands sacrifice, blood sacrifice at that, to be placated.

Of course, there are many Jews who see this, and who want to part of it. They see that Sharon's politics are leading to the destruction of Israel, to a vicious war in the Middle East.

This journalist's condemnation of Mahathir is instructive. He accuses Mahathir of anti-Semitism when the Malaysian PM said the Jews rule the world by proxy. The journalist then describes how the Jewish lobby groups in the US have successfully "played the democratic game" by using their lobbies. But this is exactly what Mahathir is himself describing, and he goes on to say that the Moslem world should do exactly the same thing! These interest groups wield power through their influence in the corridors of power in Washington. They have a real influence. But the writer is upset because this influence is being used to destroy Israel at the same time.

These are the games that are played at the top of the entropic pyramid of power. Only one can be the kingpin. Many are fighting to crawl over the others to get to the top. There are games inside of manipulations, inside of friendly smiles and temporary alliances. But the real danger to the Jews who are sick of their history of bloodshed and Yahweh-worship is more likely to come from within, not from the Moslem world.

Mahathir condemns Jewish impunity

Monday 27 October 2003, 13:35 Makka Time, 10:35 GMT

The Malaysian prime minister has condemned the ''double standards'' of those who criticised him for saying Jews rule the world.

Mahathir Muhammad said the international community's indignation was in stark contrast to their reaction when the Prophet Muhammad was called a ''terrorist''.

He said on Monday: "Are we not allowed to say that we are angry with the Jews? Are the Jews some kind of creature who cannot be condemned in any way?"

Mahathir, who is due to retire on 31 October, said he knew a lot of Jewish people and was not against them.

European critics

"Are we not allowed to say that we are angry with the Jews? Are the Jews some kind of creature who cannot be condemned in any way?"

"I am against those Jews who kill Muslims and the Jews who support the killers of Muslims," he said.

And he added he did not care if the Europeans, who were among his major critics, did not like him.

"I have European friends. But when they do something wrong, I am going to tell them that it is wrong.

"You say that you are not under the influence of the Jews and yet when I criticise the Jews, the whole of the European Union wants to condemn me.

Muslim outrage

"But when somebody condemns the Muslims, calls my Prophet a terrorist and all that, did the European Union say anything? Which shows that they are under the thumb of the Jews."

US Christian fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell called the Prophet Muhammad a "terrorist" in a television interview in September last year, sparking outrage in the Muslim world.

More recently, a United States general has been under fire for casting the war on terrorism as a Christian struggle against Satan.

Lieutenant General William Boykin, recalled in a speech how a top Somali lieutenant, Usman Otto, boasted on CNN he would never be caught because Allah would protect him.

Double standards

"Well, you know what?" Boykin said. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Mahathir regularly points to such utterances as proof of double standards applied in western countries.

Asked on Monday why some Muslim leaders did not openly express support over his remarks about Jews, Mahathir said they were possibly afraid action would be taken against them.

"They are much weaker than we are. They may have more money but they are still dependent upon the Europeans.


"Because of that, they are reluctant to make their voices heard but privately of course they will support," he said.

At the weekend, Mahathir said a call by a US-based Jewish lobby group for an economic boycott against Malaysia over his remarks may hurt economically but the country would not give in to "blackmail".

The influential Simon Wiesenthal Center last week called on investors and tourists to avoid Malaysia after Mahathir branded Jews "arrogant" and accused them of controlling the world by proxy.

The Real Cause of "Anti Semitism"

By Henry Makow, Ph.D.

[...] History is propaganda about the past. Most historians don't tell the truth because they would be fired. Israel Shahak, who died in 2001, was not an historian. He was a professor of organic chemistry at Hebrew University, who had a scientist's respect for objective truth. He was also a concentration camp survivor, an Israeli army veteran and a campaigner for Arab human rights.

History repeats itself because we lie about it. Shahak believes that Jews need to re-educate themselves about their history and religion. Jews are "a closed society" that uses "anti Semitism" to quash criticism, which is considered "hatred" or "self hatred."

The following is a brief summary of Shahak's argument in the chapter, "The Weight of History."

1. In spite of persecution, Jews throughout history formed an integral part of the privileged classes. The poorest Jew was immeasurably better off than the serfs. Until roughly 1880, their most important social function "was to mediate the oppression of the peasants on behalf of the nobility and the Crown."

2. Classical Judaism (1000-1880 AD) developed hatred and contempt for agriculture as an occupation and for peasants as a class. "The supposed superiority of Jewish morality and bound up with a lack of sensitivity for the suffering of that major part of humanity who were especially oppressed during the last 1000 years, the peasants."

3. While Gentiles in general were reviled, Jewish laws made an exception for the elite. Jewish physicians, tax collectors and bailiffs could be relied upon by a king, nobleman, pope or bishop, in a way that a Christian might not. The Jewish community enjoyed autonomous status and Jewish rabbis and rich were part of the governing class. Together they oppressed the masses, Jew and non-Jewish.

4. The position of rich Jews is "particularly favourable under strong regimes, which have retained a feudal character" and are disassociated from the people they rule. "But in those countries where...the nobility enters into partnership with the king (and with at least part of the bourgeoisie) to rule the state, which assumes a national character," the position of the Jewish elite deteriorates.

5. However the position of the Jewish masses moved in tandem with the peasants not their leaders. The stronger the Jewish elite, the more tyrannical its grip over the Jewish people. For example, at the rabbis' request, the state would flog or imprison a Jewish vendor for opening his stall on a minor holiday.

Modern Anti Semitism

Israel Shahak and I differ about modern anti Semitism. I believe the above themes, in different form, continue into the 20th and 21st centuries. Shahak is a "humanist" and supporter of the principles of the French Revolution who depicts anti Semitism as the reaction of "bewildered men" in opposition to the modern world.

My hunch is that in the 18th century, the Jewish elite seized the upper hand by abandoning their traditional allies. They forged new alliances with the emerging commercial elites and corrupt elements of the old aristocracy. The Jewish elite championed the French Revolution, liberalism and socialism (and Communism) as a way of destroying the old order and increasing its own power. The position of Jews improved in direct relation to the modern materialist and international movement.

Modern conservatism and "anti Semitism" was a reaction. But the Nazis, by their barbarism, actually played into the elite Jews' international agenda. They discredited nationalism and "anti Semitism," devastated Europe, and helped Zionists gain greater control of Jews. (Think of the Holocaust as a giant pogrom.)

Israel Shahak and I agree on the last point. In Shahak's words, "Israel and Zionism are a throw-back to the role of classical Judaism, writ large on a global scale..."

"The state of Israel now fulfills towards the oppressed peasants of many countries, not only in the Middle East, but far beyond it, a role not unlike the Jews of pre-1795 Poland: that of a bailiff to the imperial oppressor. " He refers to Israel's role as a linchpin in the imperial system. It helps keep neighboring Arab regimes in power and arms Third World dictators. He wonders why religious Jews are major participants in the arms trade and rabbis are silent.

Shahak believes the Jewish people need to overcome the "tyranny" of their religion. Only an "unrelenting critique" of the past will achieve a "genuine revolution."


A Jewish reader wrote to me: "It is the Jewish mission to be a light or spiritual guide to the nations...We [uphold] an ethical and moral God, without which we would descend into barbarism in an instant. And it is THIS which has caused Christianity to murder Jews throughout the centuries."

I beg to differ. Far from being a "light unto humanity" many Jews (as well as so-called Christians) "mediate the oppression" for the governing class. This is the real cause of anti Semitism.

The New World Order is a revival of feudalism. The rich rule as kings and humanity is en-serfed. It is happening before our eyes. Religion, art and education are debased. Civil rights are taken away. Men are emasculated and families destroyed. Jobs and technology are shipped abroad.

The Jewish moral mission? How about "Thou Shall Not Steal" and "Thou Shall Not Kill?" Zionists have stolen the homes and land where Arabs lived for more than 50 generations. Israelis must withdraw to the 1967 boundaries, and make restitution.

Death of a town

With ruthless efficiency, the Israeli army has been crushing and rocketing the Palestinian refugee town of Rafah in a manner which rivals the destruction of Jenin last year. But it is all in the name of stopping terrorism so the international community has remained silent. Chris McGreal reports

Monday October 27, 2003
The Guardian

The moment al-Brazil plunged into darkness, Amjad Alweda knew what was coming. He grabbed his wife and three young children and bundled them down a pitch-black stairwell to a room at the back of their small block of flats. And then he stopped and listened.
The sound of the tanks echoes along the streets around here so it seems they are coming from every direction at once and you never know which way to run," says the 32-year-old Palestinian man.

Minutes later an engine roared and tons of steel - he didn't wait to discover whether it was a tank or a bulldozer - came crashing into the front of Alweda's computer shop. He squeezed his children through a back window and told them to run as the clanking monster tore at his livelihood.

"The soldiers were calling over the megaphones for everybody to leave their houses but there was no chance for people to get out before they started shooting from the tanks. It was completely dark and there were bullets flying around," he says. "Usually, we try and stay in the house when the fighting starts but we knew the army had been everywhere else so it must be our turn."

For two weeks now, the Israeli army has been grinding its way through Rafah refugee camp in the southern tip of the Gaza strip. "Operation Root Canal" is ostensibly aimed at destroying some of the dozens of tunnels the military says are used for smuggling weapons under the border with Egypt.

As about 65 tanks, armoured vehicles and mammoth armour-plated bulldozers rolled into Rafah, the Israeli army said it had intelligence that surface-to-air missiles were being hauled through the tunnels. But there was no sign of them as dozens of Palestinians attempted to exact some kind of price for the attack with pistols, AK-47s and homemade hand grenades. By the time the Israelis withdrew to the fringes of the camp where the tanks and bulldozers are perpetually at work, 18 Palestinians were dead, including three children under 15 years old, and more than 120 were wounded.

Just three tunnels were found, and no weapons. But in the process, the military crushed or rocketed nearly 200 homes, throwing about 1,700 people onto the street. The army claimed it never happened, that just 10 homes were wrecked, and then sent back the bulldozers to grind the evidence that the houses ever existed into the dirt. [...]

Comment: In an argument, it is automatically assumed that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, this immediately gives the liar and aggressor the advantage. The Israeli military can carry out despicable and unspeakable acts of violence against innocent Palestinians and then claim that they were attacking "terrorists." This is in fact what routinely happens.

Palestinians can protest that this is not the case but in the final analysis the truth will be assumed to be somewhere in the middle. "Maybe the IDF was a little heavy handed but maybe there was terrorists there also." In regard to Israel's activities in Palestine, the expression "getting away with murder" is not figurative, it is cold hard fact.

Palestinian premier to meet Hamas in ceasefire bid


The Palestinian prime minister has welcomed the prospect of talks with Hamas and the Islamic terror group said it would consider halting attacks against Israelis, just days after it took part in a deadly strike against a Jewish settlement in Gaza.

Yesterday’s tentative moves towards a new ceasefire came after Israel retaliated for the attack on the Netzarim settlement by blowing up three empty high-rise buildings near the isolated Jewish enclave.

Hamas spokesman Ismail Haniyeh said Palestinian premier Ahmed Qureia had offered talks towards a new cease-ire with Israel and Hamas accepted.

Last night, Qureia confirmed that he favoured talks with Islamic militants responsible for most of the 104 suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis in three years of conflict.

Qureia, who has been pushing for ceasefire talks since taking office at the head of a Yasser Arafat-appointed emergency government earlier this month, said: “We welcome any meetings or dialogue with the Palestinian factions … in order to reach a national position that will achieve the national interests of the Palestinian people.”

He said he would include both Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group in the talks.

Bigots like Boykin aid the enemy

By Cynthia Tucker

Is this how the Bush White House hopes to win hearts and minds in the Islamic world? By supporting a small-minded general with a schoolboy's view that his God can beat up their God? [...]

"Well, you know what?" Boykin continued. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

On other occasions, Boykin has described the war on terror as a "spiritual battle. Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army." [...]

"Ladies and gentlemen," Boykin told the church, "this is your enemy. It is the principalities of darkness. ... It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy." [...]

Comment: Boykin hears voices in his head, and he is willing to sacrifice American sons and daughters to his god. In this case, god doesn't provide a convenient ram instead. For more insight in how human sacrifice is condoned and applauded lets take a look Patrick Buchanan's commentary from

Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, the former Delta Force commander, seems to be exactly the kind of warrior America needs to lead us in battle against the kind of fanatics we face. [...]

During these rallies of the faithful, he brings Christians to their feet with a story from his tour in Mogadishu. [...]

To a devout Christian, there is not only nothing wrong with the general's beliefs, everything is right about them. For just as Muslims do not accept Jesus as God, Christians do not accept Muhammad. Martyrs, whether to Christianity or Islam, do not die to testify that all faiths are equal. [...]

Do Americans realize that their children and spouses are being sent off to yet another crusade, and that some have the gall to declare them martyrs to someone's bloodthirsty and jealous god?

One Korean War veteran reports:

George W Bush and the news media are also attacking the war veterans like myself. Just this year Bush cut spending for the war veterans by 25 billion dollars and every member in the Republican congress voted for it and the news media didn't even report it. We all need to get after the news media because until we do they will just go on telling lies and covering up for Bush and his gang.

It sounds like Bush "thinks" that martyrs should just kill for the glory of it all. Many people outside of the United States find it difficult to believe that these ideas really exist, that there can be people so blinded by their dogma.

Reconstructing The "Map"

Ghassan Charbel Al-Hayat 2003/10/26

Ariel Sharon left the Roadmap no pulse. He quickly turned it into a lifeless corpse. Just like his soldiers do to some of the camps' dwellers. He blew it up and turned it to rubble. Just like his soldiers do to the suicide bombers' houses. He murdered it and rejoiced. Just like his soldiers do to Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists. What the Israeli Prime Minister did was no surprise. He never wanted to negotiate with Palestinians. He did not want to shake their hands. He was never eager to sign with them. Being forced to sit with them makes him feel defeated. His program is based on one clause: canceling the cause and its defenders.

Sharon has the widest assassination project. So far, he has carried out a significant part of it. Assassinating the hopes of the Israelis who were betting on the possibility of coexisting with the Palestinians. Assassinating the hopes of the Palestinians who were betting on a settlement through negotiations. He accepts nothing less than surrender from the Palestinians. He considers any other claim as a provocation and a threat.

One, Two, Three, what are they fighting for?

By Robert Fisk – The Independent 24 October, 2003

I was in the police station in the town of Fallujah when I realised the extent of the schizophrenia. Captain Christopher Cirino of the 82nd Airborne was trying to explain to me the nature of the attacks so regularly carried out against American forces in the Sunni Muslim Iraqi town. His men were billeted in a former presidential rest home down the road - "Dreamland", the Americans call it - but this was not the extent of his soldiers' disorientation. "The men we are being attacked by," he said, "are Syrian-trained terrorists and local freedom fighters." Come again? "Freedom fighters." But that's what Captain Cirino called them - and rightly so.

Here's the reason. All American soldiers are supposed to believe - indeed have to believe, along with their President and his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld - that Osama bin Laden's "al-Qa'ida" guerrillas, pouring over Iraq's borders from Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia (note how those close allies and neighbours of Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey are always left out of the equation), are assaulting United States forces as part of the "war on terror". Special forces soldiers are now being told by their officers that the "war on terror" has been transferred from America to Iraq, as if in some miraculous way, 11 September 2001 is now Iraq 2003. Note too how the Americans always leave the Iraqis out of the culpability bracket - unless they can be described as "Baath party remnants", "diehards" or "deadenders" by the US proconsul, Paul Bremer.

Captain Cirino's problem, of course, is that he knows part of the truth. Ordinary Iraqis - many of them long-term enemies of Saddam Hussein - are attacking the American occupation army 35 times a day in the Baghdad area alone. And Captain Cirino works in Fallujah's local police station, where America's newly hired Iraqi policemen are the brothers and uncles and - no doubt - fathers of some of those now waging guerrilla war against American soldiers in Fallujah. Some of them, I suspect, are indeed themselves the "terrorists". So if he calls the bad guys "terrorists", the local cops - his first line of defence - would be very angry indeed.

No wonder morale is low. No wonder the American soldiers I meet on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities don't mince their words about their own government. US troops have been given orders not to bad-mouth their President or Secretary of Defence in front of Iraqis or reporters (who have about the same status in the eyes of the occupation authorities). But when I suggested to a group of US military police near Abu Ghurayb they would be voting Republican at the next election, they fell about laughing. "We shouldn't be here and we should never have been sent here," one of them told me with astonishing candour. "And maybe you can tell me: why were we sent here?" [...]

"They're getting better," Chuck said approvingly. "That one hit the runway"

Robert Fisk – The Independent October 26, 2003

You need to take a military escort to reach Baghdad airport these days. Yes, things are getting better in Iraq, according to President Bush -- remember that each hour that goes by -- but the guerrillas are getting so close to the runways that the Americans have chopped down every tree, every palm bush, every scrap of undergrowth on the way.

Rocket-propelled grenades have killed so many GIs on this stretch of highway that the US army -- like the Israelis in southern Lebanon in the mid-80s -- have erased nature. You travel to Baghdad airport through a wasteland. Heathrow it isn't.

"OK folks, now you can leave your bags here and go inside for your boarding passes," a cheery US army engineer tells the first arrivals for Amman. So we collect slips of paper that show no flight number, no seat number, no destination, not even a take-off time. There's a Burger King across the lot, but it's in a "high-security zone" which mere passengers cannot visit. There's no water for sale. There are so few seats that passengers stand in the heat outside what must be the biggest post office in the world, a vast US military sorting hanger with packets of mail for every one of the 146,000 troops in Iraq, standing 30ft high in racks.

But take a look at the passengers. There's a lady from the aid organisation Care heading off for a holiday in Thailand, and there's the Bishop of Basra in his black and red robes and dangling crucifix, and there's an outgoing television crew and the International Red Cross representative with a little Red Cross plane to catch to Kirkuk. There's also a British construction man up from Hilla who spent the previous night under fire with the local Polish battalion. "Rocket-propelled grenades and heavy rifle fire for two hours," he mutters. Of course, the occupation authorities never revealed that. Because things are getting better in Iraq.

Behind us, a series of giant four-engined jets are climbing in circles into the hot morning sky, big unmarked jobs that fly 180 degrees to the ground in tight circles to take off and land, so low you'd think they would trip the runway with their wing-tips -- anything to avoid the ground-to-air missiles that America's enemies are now firing at aircraft in the "New Iraq". "It's routine," one of the American engineers confides to us. "We get shot at every night."

Among the other passengers, there's a humanitarian worker who's clearly had a nervous breakdown and some rather lordly Iraqi ladies escorted to check-in by an RAF officer with too much hair over his collar and, across the lot, a squad of American Special Forces soldiers enjoying the sun, heavy with black webbing, automatic rifles and pistols. Why do they all wear shades, I ask them? One of them takes off his sun-glasses. "What girl would look at us if they could see our real faces?" I agree. But they're an intelligent bunch of men, heavy with innuendo. Yes, they've got a safe house near Fallujah and combat casualties are sometimes "contained" within road accidents or drownings.

A GUY called Chuck wants to confide in me. "You know the most precious resource about this country, Bob?" he asks. "It's the Iraqi people. There's a lot of protoplasm here." I was contemplating the definition of protoplasm when the first mortar came in, a thundering roar that had the passengers ducking like a theatrical chorus and a big white circle of smoke rising lazily from the other side of the runway. There's a whizzing noise and another clap of sound.

"They're getting better," Chuck tells me. "They must have put that one close to the runway." The other Special Forces lads nod approvingly. Another tremendous explosion, and they all nod together. Another big white ring rippling skywards, as if a giant cigar addict had sat down for a smoke by the runway. "Not bad at all," says Chuck's friend.

"We used to have a five-mile safety perimeter round the airport," Chuck says. "That's now down to two miles. The max anti-aircraft range is 8,000ft. So two miles is on the edge." Translation: US forces used to control five miles round the airport -- too far to permit a man with a hand-held launcher to hit a plane. Ambushes and attacks on the Americans have reduced their control to a mere two miles. On the edge of that radius, a man might just hit a plane with a missile range of 8,000ft.

The Americans say there are two planes flying to Amman, at 10am and noon. Then another mortar round explodes in front of the hangars on the far side of the airport. And another.

One, Two, Many Hiroshimas

by Paul Craig Roberts
October 27, 2003

When it became obvious that the neoconservatives would succeed in turning the "war against terrorism" into war against the Muslim Middle East, I said that the consequences would be the return of the draft or US use of nuclear weapons.

Bush administration neoconservatives have concluded that reinstating the military draft would incite more opposition than inaugurating a new weapons program to produce "useable nukes."

In the October 26 Telegraph (UK), Washington correspondent Julian Coman reports that "influential advisers at the Pentagon are backing the development of a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons – so-called mini-nukes – in a controversial report...the report argues for a move away from the Cold War view of nuclear arms as catastrophic weapons of last resort."

In place of bad old nuclear weapons, the good new nukes will be easier to use and more "relevant to the threat environment."

This extraordinary proposal from the world’s Arms Control Hegemon demonstrates the fanaticism of the neoconservatives. They are indeed the heirs of the French Revolution just as Professor Claes Ryn shows in his new book, America the Virtuous.

The Pentagon report, which has been leaked to a defense magazine, designates "terrorists" as the targets of the mini-nukes. New nuclear weapons are said to be necessary in order to destroy deeply buried biological weapons caches, terrorist cells and hidden weapons of mass destruction.

Such weapons caches will exist wherever neoconservatives declare them to be. For the neocons, the advantage of a nuclear over a conventional attack is that the former solves the manpower problem and, by obliterating the target, conveniently rules out discovering the embarrassing fact of nonexistent WMD.

Obviously, nuclear weapons of any size are too destructive to use against terrorists, who are scattered among much larger populations. The only purpose of the "small nuclear weapons" – an oxymoron if ever there was one – is to incinerate Muslim cities. Just as Iraq, Iran and Syria are declared, propagandistically, to be "terrorist states," Damascus, Tehran, Baghdad, Mecca, Cairo, and Mogadishu will be declared "terrorist cities." It looks as if the neocons intend a final solution to their "Muslim problem" and are organizing genocide for Arabs.

Deeply buried caches of weapons of mass destruction exist nowhere except, of course, in the US, Israel and Russia – countries that are not to be found on the neocons’ terrorist list. But neocons are betting that a rumored threat can be used to justify a new generation of nuclear weapons.

Propaganda about nonexistent weapons caches is fuel for the neoconservative jihad against Islam, just like fabricated claims of Iraqi WMD were used as a pretext for invading Iraq. It is not American "virtue" but nuclear fallout that neocons intend to spread in the Middle East.

During three short years of the Bush administration, neoconservatives have turned US foreign policy on its head. Neocons dismantled US multilateral relationships that were a half century in the making. Neocons used lies and fabrications to deceive the American public and to launch an aggressive war. Not satisfied with their revolutionary destruction of world order, neocons now demand that the US lead the world in a new round of nuclear proliferation.

If this is not the behavior of a rogue state, what is?

The Pentagon report argues for a new generation of useable nuclear weapons on the bare assumption that terrorist underground caches of WMD will materialize out of thin air sometime in the future. The Pentagon report does not explain why terrorists who intend us harm would make targets of their WMD by storing them in bunkers instead of immediately using them against us.

In three short years neoconservatives have reorganized the Department of Defense from a deterrent force to a means of waging aggressive war. It shows that US policy, following that of Ariel Sharon, has abandoned the quest for peace in the Middle East, focusing instead on a one-sided resolution through conquest.

Deceived, befuddled and complicit, Americans are being led into a wider war.

Rumsfeld The Leader

Zuheir Kseibati Al-Hayat 2003/10/26

[...] The Secretary admitted that no progress had been made in the war on terror, thus he advises to track the danger of religious schools, the Islamic ones of course, for he is concerned with the roots… Like he failed, so far, in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is probably sowing the seeds of a defeat in the war of ideas, because he is not concerned in searching for the disease in his country and in all what Great America does, who appointed itself the world's guardian.

[...] The headlines of Rumsfeld's memorandum were leaked few days after starting the investigations in the hostility storm against Islam and Muslims, initiated by Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Lt. General William Boykin (who was in charge of hunting down Osama bin Laden). No one knows if the leader will discover the Boykin disease, or will recommend establishing a special agency in the U.S. to hunt down his scholars and pupils, with their contagious disease spreading in the west and America specifically like the AIDS virus. It is no less harmful than the scattered bin Laden supporters and their distortion of the reputation of Islam and Muslims.

They spread in Israel as well, where dozens of little generals like Boykin are currently planning for the nuclear option in their war on the Palestinians, as a high-ranking military source revealed this hellish idea to the Jerusalem Post.

Between "Jewish-Christian" America and Sharon's Israel, Jewish racism, which continues to loot Palestine under the banner of war on terror, Rumsfeld, or any of the U.S. administration's hawks, will not do any effort to justify "the mystery" of choosing a Muslim identity for that terrorism which is starting to take a lot of lives and money… and, perhaps, regimes.

Israel’s apartheid wall aims at ethnic cleansing

The Israeli construction of the West Bank apartheid wall is clearly a politically motivated maneuver intent on reshaping the West Bank, rendering impossible a viable Palestinian state, and with it any lasting peace through a two state solution.

In reshaping the West Bank and slicing off huge portions of Palestinian land east of the 1967 border, Israel has also annexed thousands of Palestinians ­ Palestinians it is now trying to expel through forceful expulsion but also through destroying any remaining quality of life within this isolated area of land.

On Oct. 2, the Israeli military released an order declaring all occupied West Bank land between the "security" wall and Israel’s pre-occupation 1967 border a "closed zone." The order states that "no person will enter the (closed zone) and no one will remain there." Free access to the closed zone will only be granted to "Israelis." In this Oct. 2 order, General Moshe Kaplinski defines "Israelis" as any citizen of the state of Israel, resident of the state of Israel, and any one eligible to emigrate to Israel in accordance with the Law of Return, 1950. This means therefore, that while the 15,300 Palestinian residents in this 115 square kilometer area, or those in adjoining communities who own agricultural land here (180,000 people) must now obtain highly unreliable permits to validate their existence, any Jewish person from anywhere in the world is quite free to come and settle on this land.

The order stipulates that all crossing into the isolated areas is prohibited unless a "permit" from the occupation "civil administration" is obtained, which can only be done by land owners who "prove" that they have land residing behind the wall or are "officially registered" workers. Farmers and residents are fearful however that were they to apply for "permits" the well-grounded reality is that they would be denied on the basis that their Jordanian land certificates will not be recognized ­ Israeli authorities are all too aware that the majority of Palestinian certificates are Jordanian since land registration in the West Bank took place under Jordanian rule prior to the 1967 occupation.

On the ground this policy is already causing extensive suffering. The prevention of access to land has meant that many families are losing their livelihoods ­ farmers prevented access to their crops are forced to watch their untended crops rot ­ either that or see their produce stolen by settlers free to wander through Palestinian lands.

The idea of applying for a permit to be on one’s own land is rejected by Palestinians who have been on these lands for generations. Those few who have sought permits have been confronted with a haphazard policy of discrimination which randomly rejects applications for permits citing various criteria yet at the same time failing to establish any formal set of guidelines. Many heads of households for instance have already been denied permits to reside in their villages on the grounds that they were not born there. Furthermore those who are granted permits are not assured permanent residency rights ­ the permits are to be renewed from "time to time" as demanded by the occupation civil administration.

Palestinian efforts to protest this latest stunt in Israel’s ongoing colonization process have been met with severe punishment. The community of Jubara for instance lies west of the apartheid wall and is completely isolated within the de facto annexed area. Jubara has no schools or health facilities of its own. Residents have always depended on reaching nearby Kafryat for such services yet residents are doing their utmost to defy the occupation’s system of expulsion and permits. As a result the village has remained under closure for more than 16 days ­ no one is allowed in or out which, considering that all services are only available outside the village, is having stark consequences for the residents.

The obvious intention of the Israeli government is to see that the reality of forced poverty and starvation, brought on by the imposition of the wall and the new "closed zones" become so unbearable for communities in the northern West Bank that people choose to leave in the hope of finding a better life. The village of Jubara is just one of many cases being fatally affected in this latest attempt by Israel and its military to cleanse the recently seized "closed zone" of all its Palestinian inhabitants and thus annex the land, and its existing illegal settlers to Israel proper.

Dozens killed and injured in Baghdad blasts

Monday 27 October 2003, 14:34 Makka Time, 11:34 GMT

At least 33 people have been killed and 68 injured as five huge explosions rocked central Baghdad.

The blasts come in the wake of a series of high-intensity attacks since the arrival of top US official Paul Wolfowitz to Iraq.

The dead included four Iraqi policemen while the injured included 10 US soldiers and seven Iraqi police personnel, according to medical sources, police and the US military.

US soldiers killed

Earlier on Sunday night, a roadside bomb and a mortar attack killed three US soldiers.

The roadside bomb killed two US soldiers who were on night patrol in the Iraqi capital, a US military spokesman said on Monday.

Another US soldier was killed on the western outskirts of Baghdad by a mortar attack about half an hour later. Two other soldiers were injured in the attack at around 10 pm on Sunday.

On Monday morning, there were five explosions which targeted four police stations and the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said US Brigadier General Mark Hertling.

The impact of the explosions was maximum as it happened during the rush hour.

US wakes up to Iraqi reality

Sunday 26 October 2003, 20:02 Makka Time, 17:02 GMT

Caught in a quagmire in Iraq, the United States has admitted capturing Saddam Hussein would not necessarily end all resistance attacks.

"It will be helpful, it won't end the attacks," Paul Bremer, the US-occupation administrator in Baghdad said.

His was the first admission by a leading US official that the resistance attacks had wider support in Iraq.

The occupation forces have so far preferred to blame all attacks on a handful of loyalists of the ousted Saddam regime.

Putin appeals for calm as Russian bourses dive

By FT reporters
Published: October 27 2003 12:11 | Last Updated: October 27 2003 12:11

Vladimir Putin has appealed for calm after Russia's stock indices plummeted more than 12 per cent on Monday following doubts over the country's commitment to legal certainty after the weekend arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, head of Yukos.

President Putin sought to underline his uncompromising stance on the case by refusing to meet representatives of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the lobbying organisation of the country's largest business groups.

"There will be no meetings and no bargaining over the activities of the law enforcement agencies as long as, of course, these agencies are acting within the framework of Russian law," Mr Putin is reported as saying.

Mr Putin's appeal came after one of Russia's leading bourses, the MICEX stock exchange, halted trade on Monday morning for an hour following following losses of 12.9 per cent. The rival RTS bourse was down 12.4 per cent, but continued trading in all stocks but Yukos.

Detention of Yukos chief halts US merger talks

By Andrew Jack and Arkady Ostrovsky in Moscow and Lina Saigol in London
Published: October 26 2003 22:00 | Last Updated: October 27 2003 10:09

Merger discussions between Yukos and competing companies ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco have been temporarily halted until the fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of Yukos who was arrested this weekend, becomes clearer, according to people close to the situation.

[...] Negotiations with Chevron, the smaller of the two oil groups, are believed to be more advanced than Exxon's, the world's largest oil group.

People familiar with the talks said Chevron was seeking to forge a partnership structure with Yukos. It is also considering asset swaps as a way of gaining entry to the region's oil and gas reserves. Exxon is understood to want greater control in any merger, and is looking to take a stake of up to 40 per cent in Yukos. If Yukos sells a significant stake the deal could amount to the biggest foreign investment deal in Russia.

The Elite Demand Some Answers

By Valeria Korchagina
Staff Writer

So it's back to square one for politicians and businessmen: Who is Mr. Putin after all?

About four years after President Vladimir Putin shot to the highest ranks of power with his appointment as prime minister in August 1999, the question is being raised once again. Faced by Saturday's arrest of Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, even those who have known Putin for years appear to be at a loss.

"Now the extent of the conflict and the risks are so great that we need a clear position from the president," Anatoly Chubais, head of Unified Energy Systems and an informal leader of the business community, said on the "Zerkalo" weekly analytical TV show Saturday evening. "The situation won't go away by itself -- the conflict has grown to such a scale that we need direct interference from the president," Chubais said.

"I want business to understand the authorities' position on business. I want business to understand whether it has a future or whether its future is similar to Khodorkovsky's fate. ... I want this position to be pronounced clearly and openly, not in the form of private talks, but in the form of an open public statement by the country's leader."

The conflict, Chubais warned, has become big enough to cause business to unite against the president.

"The main threat is of a split in the elite. There will be a conflict of such an extent that it will bring in the entire society and it could turn out to be uncontrollable," he said.

Chubais spoke after he and other business leaders called an urgent meeting Saturday afternoon over Khodorkovsky's arrest.

"The arrest is like a red light for businesses. A big question is now up in the air for many of them: Should I continue investing, should I expand my business?" said a source familiar with the meeting.

The source pointed out that the charges filed against Khodorkovsky could easily be applied to any other businessman who built up a company in the 1990s and got his hands dirty in the "lawlessness and corruption associated with this period."

"And imagine what regional law enforcement officials will start doing now that they see such an example in front of them," the source said.

Business leaders at Saturday's meeting -- organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Opora Rossii small business association and the Delovaya Rossiya business association -- issued a call for Putin to clarify his position immediately.

"The business community's trust in the authorities is ruined, and the dialogue [between business and government] has de facto collapsed," the statement said.

"Companies are being forced to reassess investment strategies and give up on projects important for the country."

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow shared the worries about the impact of Khodorkovsky's arrest on the investment climate.

"We are concerned about this escalation of legal pressure being exerted on Yukos. We won't comment on the legal basis for Khodorkovsky's detention, it would appear, though, that the law is being applied selectively at the very least," Vershbow said through his spokesman on Sunday. "This move will send a very negative signal to companies investing in or considering investing in Russia."

[...] Piontkovsky, meanwhile, expressed skepticism that the arrest would deter foreign investment. "All those niceties like human rights are in fact not that important for the West. Look at China, money is still flowing into it, despite the fact that it is a pretty authoritarian country," he said.

A Western fund manager concurred. "Everyone is going to forget about Khodorkovsky in two months' time, just like they did about Platon Lebedev," the manager said on condition of anonymity.

"In the short term, [the arrest] is bad [for the investment climate] because it creates new instability. In the long term, it may be good because it clears out one of the oligarchs who was trying to privatize part of state power," he said.

US voices concern over arrest of top Russian tycoon

Monday October 27, 5:37 AM

The United States rebuked Russia over the arrest of oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and warned that its action sent a negative signal to foreign investors.

Observers agree that Yukos oil chief Khodorkovsky, who spent his first night in jail Saturday, was no saint as he wheeled and dealed his way through the murky post-Soviet economic transition in the 1990s to become Russia's richest man with an estimated worth of eight billion dollars (6.7 billion euros).

But powerful business leaders argued that measures taken against him by Russian prosecutors were tantamount to a witch hunt against a man who dared to challenge President Vladimir Putin on the eve of parliamentary elections. [...]

In the first indication of alarm in Washington, a senior US diplomat told AFP that the United States was concerned about the escalating campaign by prosecutors against Yukos, Russia's biggest oil company. [...]

Khodorkovsky, who has been in talks with US oil majors ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco on the sale of a major shareholding in his company, has built up good contacts in Washington and is one of main advocates of boosting Russian oil exports to the United States. [...]

Should Russia Price Its Oil in Euros?

By Christopher Weafer

The U.S. government would like to see the dollar weaker against the currencies of its major trading partners in order to try and stimulate manufacturing sector growth and to reverse the bulging trade deficit.

Two killed as heat pipeline bursts in Moscow 2003-10-27 17:56:01

MOSCOW, Oct. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Two workers were killed and three others injured on Monday morning as a result of hot water spewing from a heat supply pipeline in this capital city of Russia.

EU issues deadline warning to Iran


With a deadline fast approaching, European Union foreign ministers today reiterated calls for Iran to meet its previous commitment to suspend uranium enrichment and allow spot checks of its nuclear programme.

The 15 ministers were debriefed on the diplomatic mission taken by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin to Tehran last week.

While there, the three secured a commitment from Iranian officials to meet the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency. However Iran set no date for the steps.

Also attending the Brussels meeting was IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei.

Iran faces an October 31 deadline, set by the IAEA, to prove it does not have a nuclear weapons programme as the United States alleges.

Otherwise, the IAEA will likely turn to the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Iran has said it will sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty allowing inspectors to enter any site.

“The ball is now in El Baradei’s court to see how Iran will sign up to the commitments,” said one EU diplomat.

Executed 'Islamic terrorist' tape tells of Chinese torture

By Richard Spencer

A man accused of being an Islamic terrorist has given a graphic account of his torture by Chinese authorities.

In a tape recording released after his execution last week, Shirali, an Uighur from the restive Muslim province of Xinjiang in China's far west, described being beaten with chains, kicked and put in an electric chair in sessions repeated every 10 or 15 days.

His treatment came after he was accused of "manufacturing illegal weapons and explosives", "separatism", and "leading a terrorist organisation."

Human rights groups say he fled to Nepal after a previous period of imprisonment in the 1990s, only to be arrested and handed back by the Nepali government, which is keen to improve relations with China.

While in Nepal he recorded a series of interviews with the American-backed station, Radio Free Asia, to be released "when he was safe". Beijing said Shirali, also known as Shaheer Ali and Ghojamamt Abbas, was a member of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which it says is a terrorist group blacklisted by the United States after the September 11 attacks.

Comment: If the US can do it at Guantanamo... One of the benefits of Bush's "war on terrorism." Now anyone can be accused, tortured and killed on suspicion of terrorism, all in the name of securing peace and democracy.


By Gary Jones
Oct 27 2003

In an astonishing letter she noted their "excitement" at the devastating revelation.

And she underlined its nature by remarking: "What a secret!"

The letter to her loyal butler was written in August 1997 - the month of her death in a Paris car crash.

In her last amazing letter she thanks her loyal butler and friend for saving her sanity through the traumas of her personal life: "You are marvellous how you cope with my questions day after day ...

"Your support, as always, has been invaluable and kept me sane during some of the nightmare times ...

"Now the tide is changing and we can all now have peace of mind and look forward to happier times and different homes!"

The letter continually emphasises the unique bond between the pair.

And in an echo of her description of Burrell as her "rock" she signs off: "Thank you Paul for being such a tower of strength. Love from Diana."

The letter makes clear just how excited Princess Diana was by the future - although there is no mention of her lover Dodi Fayed, who died with her in a Paris car crash.

The princess's deeply personal note to Burrell, who shared her innermost thoughts during the four years he worked for her at Kensington Palace, will bring further speculation about her death.

It will fuel the claims by conspiracy theorists that Princess Diana's death was not an accident because unknown forces wanted to stop her living the life she wished to lead.

And it will start a guessing game as to what Diana meant when she wrote it.

Burrell - who reveals the letter for the first time in his book A Royal Duty, serialised exclusively in the Daily Mirror last week - admits that Diana's destiny would have been changed for ever by her secret coming true.

"I know the future we were heading to," he writes.

Burrell, accused by some including Princes William and Harry of betraying the princess, does not reveal the secret.

But he acknowledges that it is so monumental that it would have meant great changes to both their lives.

The secret is NOT that she was thinking of moving to America or that she was pregnant.

In extracts from his book published in the Mirror Burrell revealed that she had made plans to buy a property in the United States and spend six months of the year there near her close friend Lucia Flecha de Lima.

And he described the pregnancy theory as one of the "ludicrous claims ... in the mythology that has been peddled since the princess's death".

A confidante said: "It will remain a mystery - that's how Paul wants it to be. Paul is a man of his word. People can guess all they like.

"What this letter shows is that Paul was truly the keeper of secrets."

Burrell writes movingly of how much he treasured Diana sharing her most intimate thoughts with him.

He says: "The princess gave me something special and, in sharing with you some of those warm memories and stories, I hope her personality shines through."

Giving a clear indication that he will carry on being a standard bearer for Diana he adds: "For ever and a day I will continue, in the face of whatever may come my way, to stand in the princess's corner and defend her memory."

Burrell came under intense pressure this week after William and Harry accused him of a "cold and overt" betrayal of Diana's memory.

But he continues to refuse to call a halt to his defending of Diana's name and reputation - and in the last page of his book says: "It is what she would have expected."

Burrell uses Diana's last thank you letter to him as proof that she entrusted him with every private thought.

He says: "I know what we had. I know the depth of what we shared.

"And the one thing that people cannot take away from me is her final letter to me, left propped up on my desk in my pantry in the month of her death.

"I read it often as a source of immense strength and comfort.

"It turned out to be a written farewell and it seems a fitting one to this book."

Burrell signs off his book - set to be a worldwide best seller - with a clear demonstration of his loyalty and refusal to betray the woman he called "the Boss".

He asks: "What's the secret?" He answers his own question by simply saying: "Sorry. That's between the butler and the princess."

Comment: The endgame is set. Burrell is announcing to the Royal Family that they better back off. He has the goods, and if anything happens to him, brake problems, the Truth will come out. The Royals must have enough skeletons in the closet to decorate a countrywide Vampire Ball. Is the Queen really upset with Charlie? Will William and Henry realise that the Butler is the defender of the Faith according to Diana? Will the Monarchy survive the decade? For the answers, tune in next time for the continuing adventures of...



Gary Jones
Oct 27 2003

PAUL Burrell hit back yesterday at claims he was a traitor - and insisted he would NEVER reveal Diana's innermost secrets.

He claimed the amazing disclosures in his book were "only the tip of the iceberg". And he vowed: "The most intimate and sensitive secrets will go with me to the grave."

[...] In a defiant swipe at his critics he added: "I have been astonished at some royal commentators who have assumed that I have told all the secrets inside my head. That could not be further from the truth.

"Only myself, the Queen, and the princess truly know what I am the keeper of and - despite writing this book - I remain the keeper of."

[...] He says he did not reveal the content of Diana's "crash" letter immediately after her death because there was no one he could trust.

Then he found himself isolated and almost bankrupt after police charged him with stealing Diana's possessions - a spurious charge which was later dropped.

The "dark forces" spoken of by the Queen during a three-hour private meeting with him made him even more fearful of approaching the authorities.

He told one interviewer: "I didn't trust the French inquiry. I thought there was bound to be a British inquest."

He added: "The Queen had mentioned dark forces. I had lost everything. So don't you think I was a little bit frightened?"

Burrell says he is still afraid today and is convinced his phones are being tapped.

He said: "I found during my trial there were 20 numbers I regularly rang that were recorded. It made me think how accurate the princess had been when everyone thought she was mad for thinking people were listening to her. I am under no illusion that I am listened to all the time."

North Korea offers to open nuclear plant

By Paul Eckert

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, having hinted it might be ready for fresh talks on its nuclear intentions, has offered to show a group of U.S. legislators how it makes weapons-grade plutonium, a key ingredient in the production of nuclear bombs.

But the bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation, which had been due to leave for the reclusive communist state on Sunday, called off the trip at the last minute, citing opposition from the White House. [...]

Kim Jong-il's close aide dies after car crash

By Andrew Ward in Seoul
Published: October 27 2003 11:41 | Last Updated: October 27 2003 11:41

One of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's closest aides has died in a car accident, state media announced on Monday, following weeks of rumours and conspiracy theories about the secretive country's leadership.

Kim Yong-sun, a top adviser on foreign policy and relations with South Korea, failed to recover from brain injuries caused by the accident in June, according to the state news agency.

[...] Mr Kim's car crash fuelled conspiracy theories because there are so few vehicles on the road in poverty-stricken North Korea, making collisions unlikely.

However, diplomats said road accidents were not unusual in the communist state because road surfaces were poor, drunk-driving was widespread and the lack of traffic meant those with cars could drive dangerously fast.

Visitors to Pyongyang are often surprised to see luxury cars, such as BMWs and Mercedes, in the streets - driven by senior military and Workers' party officials - despite North Korea being one of the world's poorest countries.

Mr Kim was once one of Kim Jong-il's most trusted aides but Pyongyang-watchers said his role had diminished recently and he was rumoured to be involved in secret plotting to determine North Korea's next leader.

Nazi gas link halts Holocaust memorial

By Kate Connolly in Berlin
The Telegraph

Work on Germany's national Holocaust memorial has been halted after a company supplying materials for it was linked to the cyanide the Nazis used to gas millions of Jews.

Degussa, which won a lucrative contract to coat the vast Berlin memorial with an anti-graffiti solution, was once part-owner of the producers of Zyklon B gas used in concentration camps.

Lea Rosh, who initiated the project 15 years ago, said yesterday that several of the 2,700 concrete slabs comprising the memorial which had already been treated would have to be recast.

"This is not an easy decision to make," she said. "But while the memorial committee would have no problem working with a company that produced buttons for SS uniforms, working with a company connected to Zyklon B oversteps the mark." [...]

Buffett Sees Little to Invest In

Sun Oct 26, 4:32 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett sees very few attractive investments at the moment, and is sitting tight on a $24 billion war chest.

The billionaire investor and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway said in an interview with Barron's that he is not impressed with the current opportunities in stocks, Treasury bonds or junk debt. [...]

In fact, Berkshire sold $9 billion of long-term Treasury bonds this year, and Buffett said buying at current levels is not a wise move, according to the report, which appeared in the Oct. 27 edition of the newspaper. [...]

Missing Mo. Convicts Found -- in Prison

By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Writer
Sun Oct 26, 5:19 PM ET

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Two convicted murderers who disappeared after allegedly beating another inmate to death at a prison ice plant were found Sunday, still inside the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Inmates Christopher Sims and Shannon Phillips were discovered in the same building where they are believed to have killed convicted murderer Toby Viles four days earlier, corrections department spokesman John Fougere said.

He said both men surrendered without a struggle.

Hundreds of prison officials had been combing the penitentiary and its grounds since the men disappeared Wednesday, suspecting the inmates might never have escaped. No evidence of an escape had been found and no sightings of the men had been reported outside the prison.

"They had constructed a very carefully concealed false wall, which was right near their work site at the ice house," Fougere said. He said the two likely had remained behind the wall most of time they were missing. [...]

At least 14 die in California wildfires

Last Updated Mon, 27 Oct 2003 5:19:39

SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF. - As many as 10 wildfires raged out of control in southern California over the weekend, burning 650 homes and killing more than a dozen people.

As night fell Sunday, flames had consumed more than 840 square kilometres in four counties that were under a state of emergency

Al-Qaida planned U.S. forest fires...

Comment: Screams the front page headline of Worldnet Daily. The article does not exactly come out and say that al-Qaida bogeymen started the current California fire, but the headline is enough to convince the susceptible it is so.

Fire is an essential part of most wildland ecosystems. Wildland fires spawn a period of rebirth and vigor in post-fire environments by removing dead materials and by releasing nutrients back to the environment that are locked up in mature plants and organic litter. Many fire prone habitats exist around the globe, however, this paper will focus on the Mediterranean climate of Southern California, and its associated plant communities. [...]

However, it should be noted that the fire/flood cycle is not unique to the Santa Monica Mountains, and that much of California and the West is under the influence of this cycle as well, although some differences will occur due to habitat type, and the environmental conditions and other factors present. [...] [ Natural History of Fire & Flood Cycles]

Although, could the fires be a result of global warming?

[...] I then read "Global Warming" by Dr. Stephen H. Schneider. He is a climatologist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The book was published in 1989. The entire first chapter is devoted to describing dire climate changes resulting from carbon dioxide build-up and because of man made polution the ozone layer is being destroyed resulting in the penetrati. of ultraviolet rays which in turn enhances the green house effect.

He begins with a disclaimer stating "This chapter, while obviously fictional, is meant to provide a feeling for what a year in the green house century might have in store for us if nothing is done to deal with the growing problem of global warming."

He goes on to paint alarming scenarios:

1. Heat, smog, water shortages and raging forest fires in California.

2. The Great Lakes and the Mississippi river will run low exposing toxic sediments.

3. Emergency rooms in New York will be inundated with heat stroke victims.

4. He predicts due to melting of the artic and antarctic ice caps, there will be a rise in the ocean level by several feet if the global temperature rises 2 to 3. centigrade. This will require the placing of dikes in New York at extensive costs. He says the next two to three decades will determine whether or not he is correct.[...] [ GLOBAL WARMING ? ?]

Pretty good predictions. Could the fires have any relation to the solar storms? Check for today's photo of a, "prominence rising above the sun's soutwestern limb on Oct. 26th at 0119 UT. The giant loop is as tall as 30 planet Earths." Yahoo news posted a satellite image of the wildfires.

Deadly grasshopper plague sweeps Sudan

Monday 27 October 2003, 14:37 Makka Time, 11:37 GMT

Swarms of grasshoppers are attacking farm-rich central Sudan, triggering an asthma epidemic that has killed five people.

This is reported as the worst plague there in three decades.

An independent Sudanese daily said authorities in Gezira State have declared a state of emergency in the hospitals of Wad Medani city to contain the epidemic that broke out when the swarms arrived last Wednesday.

Five people have died among 600 reported cases of asthma in Wad Medani, about 180km southeast of Khartoum.

Presumably, the grasshoppers produced huge clouds of dust.

[...] Grasshoppers were threatening crops of peanuts, sorghum, wheat and cotton throughout Gezira which has the richest farmland in Sudan.

Mini-tornado' tears through Stanthorpe

Monday, 27 October 2003
ABC Online

Residents of the Stanthorpe district in southern Queensland will clean up today after what has been described as a mini-tornado ripped through the area yesterday.

Tree were pulled from the ground, two houses demolished, fruit crops battered and sheds destroyed in the hail storm.
The Stanthorpe State Emergency Service's Col Lindenmayer says the storm only spanned 500 metres, but the intensity was terrific.

"The people there said they had never encountered anything like it in their lives...there was timber...just waves of timber...there was one place where there was 10 acres of pine trees just completely flattened, but the main damage to a lot of the farmers...their hail netting was just torn to ribbons," he said.

3000 without power after wild storms in Queensland

Thousands Forced From Homes in Southern Thai Flood

BANGKOK (Reuters) -- Heavy floods south of the Thai capital Bangkok have forced thousands of people from their homes and severed the railway line to the south of the country, officials said on Sunday. [...]

Forest fire threatens endangered Far East Russian leopards

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AFP) Oct 24, 2003
The last chances at survival for an extremely endangered species of rare Far East Russian leopard were further reduced when a fire destroyed one of the forests where they live, a local official for the WWF ecology group said Friday. [...]

Orissa: Mad rush for meteorite remnants

Kendrapara, Oct 27. (UNI): It is all for the remnants of the meteorite, which crash landed at Suniti village in coastal Orissa on September 27.

A mad rush has been on for the past few days, both in Suniti as well as adjoining villages, for pieces of the celestial object.
With spades and crowbars in their hands, villagers are searching virtually each inch of the land where the meteorite had landed, with the hope of getting smaller pieces strewn around the field. [...]

Comment: Check out our fifth page of coverage regarding the most recent meteorite and asteroid activity.

China launches rescue effort after earth tremors


The Chinese government dispatched cold-weather tents, earthquake teams and cash yesterday to a remote area of the country’s north-west where powerful twin tremors, minutes apart, killed nine people and razed houses.

The first quake in rural Gansu province, which hit at 8.41 pm local time last night (12.41pm Irish time) and measured magnitude 6.1.

It sent people scurrying into freezing temperatures. As some trickled back inside, the second quake – almost as powerful at magnitude 5.8 – hit seven minutes later.

“It was chaos. People were running out of their homes and into the night,” a resident of a township called Yonggu told AP.

Another six people were seriously hurt and 37 more suffered minor injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency reported from Lanzhou, the provincial capital.

More than 200 aftershocks were reported – several as strong as magnitude 4.0, the government said.

Nigerian Islamic leader declares UN vaccines unsafe

Officials in northern Nigeria have halted an immunisation drive by the World Health Organisation (WHO) designed to prevent an outbreak of polio.

Three predominantly Muslim states have delayed or refused permission for the vaccination campaign after an influential Islamic leader, Datti Ahmed, declared the vaccines unsafe.

He says the vaccines could be contaminated either by accident or by design.

"With anti-fertility drugs, viruses that cause HIV-AIDS, Simian virus 40, things likely to cause cancers... we recommend that immunisation should be suspended until full investigation has taken place," he said.

WHO to Endorse Triple-Dose AIDS Drugs

Comment: Triple the dose for triple the radioactivity.

Protests as Australia ships nuclear waste to France

SYDNEY (AFP) - Amid protests and under cover of darkness, Australia dispatched a load of used nuclear fuel to France in the first overseas shipment of Australian radioactive waste in two years.

A convoy of five trucks carrying 344 spent nuclear fuel rods crossed suburban Sydney under heavy police guard before dawn and loaded the waste aboard the French ship Fret Moselle, which quickly departed, officials said.

It was the first shipment of waste from Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor to reprocessing centers in France since January 2001. [...]

Domenici's Monster

Bill Gates seeds murky GM plan

By John Vidal

Bill Gates wants to do public good with the immense profits of his information-technology empire, and over the past few years his foundation has given more than US$6.5 billion to global causes. The money has been well-received as socially useful and, generally, sensibly directed.

But last week the Gates Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in the world, was strongly criticized when it gave US$25 million to genetic modification (GM) research to develop vitamin and protein-enriched crops for the world's poor. In scientific terms, this is not a lot of money, but it is expected to be just a first tranche and to stimulate what the GM companies say is the second generation of GM crops -- those that are potentially of some real use to ordinary people.

Solidarity 3/38: Public and scientists agree: No GM!

By Tony Jeffreys

The government decides soon whether or not to allow commercial growing of Genetically Modified crops in Britain. If it heeded public or scientific opinion it would say no to GM.

Not surprisingly, after the BSE catastrophe, salmonella scares and the like, the public doesnít want their food messed with any more.[...]

Banned bread sold in NZ - Subway

The enzyme that has caused a genetic engineering (GE) scare in Japan is also in bread sold in Subway stores in New Zealand but it is approved by authorities, Subway NZ said today. [...]

Subway restaurants stop selling sandwiches

Japanese Subway chains on Friday stopped selling sandwiches after its import dealer found that the bread dough had contained an enzyme derived from unauthorized genetically-modified microorganisms. [...]

Zimbabwe police charge four more newspaper directors

Zimbabwe police have charged four more directors of The Daily News, an independent newspaper that is highly critical of President Robert Mugabe's Government, for publishing without a licence.

The charges against the four came after police on Sunday local time arrested and similarly charged Washington Sansole, one of the paper's directors in the second city of Bulawayo.

Newspaper company secretary and legal adviser Gugulethu Moyo told AFP the four, who include the paper's publisher Samuel Nkomo, were also being charged with "obstructing the course of justice".

"They [police] claim the directors were in hiding over the weekend," she said.

The charges follow the return to the newsstands on Saturday of The Daily News six weeks after it was shut down by the authorities.

No pause in Patriot Act pounding

St. Petersburg Times

It appears the repressive nature of the USA Patriot Act, which is 2 years old today, has penetrated the American consciousness to such an extent that it now stands as shorthand parlance for any type of unfairness. Despite Attorney General John Ashcroft's barnstorming tour of the country, selling the act to friendly audiences of law enforcement, nearly 200 communities, including three states, have passed resolutions objecting to its excesses.

You would think this general unease would cause President Bush to pause before proposing additional entrenchments. But no, it seems to only have spurred him on. In a speech given on the eve of the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, our tin-eared president decided the time was ripe to propose Patriot Act expansions. [...]

Cambodia's penchant for gang rape grows more common

Elite young men above the law prey on prostitutes seen as less than human

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- Sipping a beer in an Irish pub, Doc looks every bit the privileged young man that he is. Neatly dressed in a buttoned-down shirt and khaki pants, he is polite and quick with a smile, especially when talking about his favorite pastime - gang rape.

Asked how many times he has gang raped a prostitute, the 23-year-old pauses, looks at the ceiling, and grins while venturing a guess: "I don't know.

Maybe 100 times."

Whether the number is true or not, Doc is among an alarming number of young Cambodian men in the habit of gang-raping prostitutes, a practice called bauk, which means "plus" in Khmer.

Bauk has been practiced for years, but has become more popular after the government closed down some of the city's most notorious brothels, driving the trade underground. It is especially popular among university students in Cambodia's larger towns, according to Gender and Development for Cambodia (GAD), a nongovernmental organization.

Most participants are from affluent families and are members of youth gangs. Doc, for example, claims family connections in the police department and the National Assembly. These young men are the future leaders of Cambodia.

Bauk is "more common among people with money," said Luke Bearup, author of the recent GAD report. "It's the guys who are connected, who feel invulnerable. It's the rising middle class and upper class who are most involved."

A night out for these young men frequently involves one or two men picking up a prostitute at a park or a brothel and taking her to a guesthouse just outside the city. Once there, the young woman will find up to a dozen more men waiting to have sex with her as a group. She will face a grim choice, if it can be called a choice at all -- submit to their desires or almost surely suffer a beating and a gang rape anyway.

It's a story told by gang members, prostitutes and NGO workers. For the gang members it's about "fun" and camaraderie. For Cambodia's estimated 70,000 sex workers it's about fear and powerlessness. Aid workers say it's also about attitudes toward male and female sexuality, about the well-connected abusing the powerless, and about the culture of violence that has taken root in Cambodia. Some suggest it is an indirect legacy of the Khmer Rouge, whose genocidal atrocities have numbed people and made it difficult for them to empathize with victims of violence. [...]

Comment: Guess who overthrew the Cambodian leader in 1970, allowing for the rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge?
Nixon - Kissinger - CIA

Boy's Internet research snags him in FBI web

Michael Olesker

[...] The government investigates shadowy places where it never previously stuck its nose, and the civil libertarians shudder. Is Big Brother getting too snoopy? A 12-year-old kid at Boys' Latin researches a paper on the Bay Bridge, and suddenly the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force shows up in the headmaster's office. [...]

Couple Arrested on Charges of Starving Kids

CAMDEN, N.J.  — A couple whose adopted teenage sons weighed less than 50 pounds have been arrested on charges of starving four boys they adopted through the state Division of Youth and Family Services, New Jersey's troubled child welfare agency. [...]

Comment: The orphans aren't taken care of in the USA, but there is plenty of money for racist genocide.

Explorers on the trail of Lost City of Atlantis

The Telegraph

An expedition to the Strait of Gibraltar may solve one of the world's greatest mysteries, reports Roger Highfield

For more than two millennia, many of the world's greatest adventurers, explorers and thinkers have sought the fabled Lost City of Atlantis.

Next month, an expedition to hunt for its remains among submerged Gibraltarian islands will be unveiled at the Royal Geographical Society, London, by a renowned geologist, Prof Jacques Collina-Girard, and the leaders of the Titanic expeditions. [...]

Plato said the island kingdom was larger than Libya and Asia put together. It was paradise: peaceful, cultured and unspoilt. A golden age continued for centuries, but eventually corruption got the better of its inhabitants and the gods punished them by submerging Atlantis...

Comment: If "Atlantis" was bigger than Libya and Asia together, then why are they looking for a "city", and why are they looking in the Mediterranean? "Atlantis" sounds more like a continent or a civilisation that would have streched from Europe to the US and further.

You must do better, minister tells flock (UK)

By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent

A minister concerned about the condition of his church and the faith of his flock has written to his congregation asking them to give more money and pray more often.

In a rallying call to his 600 members, only a third of whom regularly attend services, the Rev Daniel Hawthorn has suggested that if they are not prepared to do better they may have to leave the church.

He wants his parishioners to increase the amount they give in church collections, read the Bible more and preach the Gospel to others more than they do at present.

Mr Hawthorn has asked each member to reflect upon whether he or she wishes to remain a church member, and says that, if necessary, he would rather have a smaller roll of people who took their faith seriously.

The letter states: "There is a clear need for members to significantly raise their level of giving. Membership entails committing a realistic part of your income for church work."

Clumsy Dutch robbers smash bank, lose loot

Bungling bank robbers smashed a hole in a Dutch bank on Saturday but lost their loot when it fell off the back of their truck during the getaway.

The thieves rammed the front of the bank in the northern Dutch town of Sappemeer and hoisted a safe from a cash machine onto a pickup truck.

But the safe slipped off the back of the truck as the gang sped away.

Police said they were in pursuit of the clumsy criminals.

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