Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
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November 23, 2003

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The recent bombings in Turkey have been suspiciously convenient for Bush and Blair. They are being put to good use, for the continued stripping away of freedoms in the UK and the US. The machine marches on, and the pace has picked up in the last couple of days. Any terrorist act, anywhere in the world is used to put the finishing touches on the fascist state. Anyone who is sane will be upset by such developments.

The FBI continues to acquire support from the courts to legally collect large volumes of data on you. Congress strips away academic freedoms, setting up a consortium to examine university curriculum for anti-American bias. They want to make sure nothing on COINTELPRO and American imperialism is taught.

The polls say would Bush would win if the elections were held today. Can you believe the polls? We don't think so. Neither does Voxfux, who also is predicting a bio-attack on the US prior to the next elections to ensure Bush's reelection.

The friendly folks at The Carlyle Group (the Bushes, the bin Ladens, etc.) are thinking about bailing out Conrad Black. Guess who is on Black's board at Hollinger? Richard Perle and Henry Kissinger. It helps to have friends in high places.

The former republic of Georgia is going through an upheaval. The Russian foreign minister arrives to mediate while Colin Powell sends a letter saying, "Hey, I can help, too!" Could all this "concern" have to do with oil and long-term strategy in the region?

Just as the reports start coming in that "peace talks" might start again in Palestine, new violence kicks in. Why are we not surprised? Israel violates Lebanese airspace - again.

A school in California has performed terrorists drills with blanks and swat teams. More mysterious assassinations, more soldiers are sick, more US soldiers die, more corruption in Iraq, more technology for the Police State, another civil case moved to a military tribunal and another Palestinian child gunned down. Yet your neighbor still probably thinks all is right in the world, and will likely question your sanity.

Why was so much effort put into propaganda?

[...] At no time up to 1933, did the Nazi Party win a majority of votes at elections. They may have been the largest political party in 1933, but they did not have a majority of support among the people. Therefore, those who had supported the Nazis needed to be informed on how correct their choice was with an emphasis on the strength of the party and the leadership. Those who opposed the Nazi Party had to be convinced that it was pointless continuing with their opposition. The fact that Goebbels had so much power is indicative of how important Hitler thought it was to ensure that the people were won over or intimidated into accepting Nazi rule. [...] 

"The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it." - Goebbels


by voxfux

Absolutely positively, in the months leading up to the next presidential election, a clandestine military/intelligence operations group linked to George Bush Sr. will execute a strategic pre-election terrorist attack in America designed to kill Americans and send this country into martial law. This strategic pre-election attack will be perpetrated by the same group of clandestine military/industrial/intelligence terrorists, linked to Bush Sr., who perpetrated the September 11th attacks. The preparatory memes are surfacing everywhere.

Bush Sr. and the military/industrial/intelligence cartel he fronts for, knows that America has had enough of this retarded jerk son of his, he knows that America has had enough with the Bushes and their type, and their murderous war profiteering looting rampage, and so in order to survive, this cartel will execute a strategic pre-election attack on Americans and as usual, make it look like Islamists did it. Then of course their allies ... in the media will once again trumpet this idiot son of his as a hero who has once again "come into his own" as he bravely visits the contamination zone live on the CIA controlled disinformation network, CNN.

[...] In the months leading up to the 2004 elections, the Bush crime group will privately witness actual polling data showing WIDE-SCALE DISSATISFACTION with Bush. The numbers will be dismal indeed. (And this is coming from polls that Bush themselves largely control.) As usual, the official published poll results, however, will be completely fraudulent, the complete opposite of reality, and the reported poll results will show wide-scale SUPPORT for Bush or at least a 50/50 split.

[...] So once again the CIA / Zionist controlled media will portray the horrendous 90% dissatisfaction of Bush as 49% dissatisfaction - with 51% percent of the nation still firmly behind the president, That's how it is done folks! It's the, "DIVIDED NATION," technique. But there is no division, there is only deception. There is only the illusion of division. ...But if you watch the news (especially CNN and Fox) you will see mythical reports about how EVENLY DIVIDED this country is. It's a fraud. That's how it's done, people. There is no support for Bush.

Poll predicts Bush reelection victory

Sunday 23 November 2003, 3:47 Makka Time, 0:47 GMT

US President George Bush would win a presidential re-election if it were held today, a new opinion poll has suggested.

California mandates e-voting paper trails

By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 22/11/2003 at 03:17 GMT

The head of California's elections office Kevin Shelley has issued an order that requires touch screen voting machines to produce paper audit trails. Secretary of State Shelley is the man who certifies the States' election results.

Shelley has demanded that the machines vendors must have a "voter verified paper audit trail" or VVPAT, which he defines as "a contemporaneous paper record of a ballot printed for the voter to confirm before the voter casts his or her ballot."

The Secretary of State has given the vendors plenty of time to work with. He has ordered that all new machines purchased after 1 July 2005 must have the functionality, and existing machines must be retrofitted by 1 July 2006.

Earlier this week Shelley reassigned the daughter of a the CEO of Sequoia Voting Systems, an electronic voting machine vendor, from her job certifying e-voting terminals, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The LA Times reports that several of the department's staff have since moved on to lobby for Sequoia including Shelley's predecessor as Secretary of State, Bill Jones.

A study of Diebold e-voting terminals showed that the systems lacked basic protection against fraud. When correspondence from Diebold staff leaked the company used the DMCA Act to force ISPs to withdraw the documents, claiming the contained copyright information.

Pentagon bankers may bail out Black: 'Ex-Presidents Club' ready to throw lifeline to embattled Telegraph owner

Jamie Doward and Jessica Hodgson
Sunday November 23, 2003
The Observer

A powerful banking group with close links to the Pentagon, which has also invested money on behalf of the Bin Laden family, is in talks to bail out beleaguered Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black.

The revelation suggests that Britain's bestselling broadsheet - coveted by rival newspaper barons because of its political influence - may not go under the hammer after all, as Lord Black tries to quell a shareholder rebellion in the face of allegations that he and several acolytes pocketed millions of dollars that was not theirs to take.

Daily Express owner Richard Desmond and the Daily Mail & General Trust, which owns the Daily Mail, are keen to buy the Telegraph titles, despite the fact that questions over the concentration of media ownership would be raised.

The Carlyle Group, known as the Ex-Presidents Club because of the number of former world leaders it employs, is considering taking a stake in Hollinger International, which owns the Telegraph titles, the Jerusalem Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, according to those close to the firm.

'It's unusual for a group of assets to come to the market like this. We would look to sell off the Jerusalem Post and Hollinger's stake in the New York Sun. Conrad [Black] would have to step out of management, but that does not mean he would have to let go of his equity stake,' said a Carlyle source. 'Ideally, we would look to take a 25-40 per cent stake. That would allow us to put people on the board,' the source added.

The move would represent a coup for Black, who is desperate not to sell the Telegraph titles, which have given him considerable influence within British politics and earned him a close friendship with Margaret Thatcher.

Carlyle, - which employs former Prime Minister John Major as a director, boasts George Bush Snr and his Secretary of State, James Baker, as advisers, and is headed by Frank Carlucci, Ronald Reagan's Defence Secretary - has invested in media firms previously. The group once owned 40 per cent of France's Le Figaro, and more recently acquired part of French conglomerate Vivendi's publishing assets.

It also part-owns Qinetiq, the Government's privatised defence research laboratories, and CSX Lines, a logistics firm that specialises in shipping heavy equipment for the military. In the past, Carlyle has owned Vinnell, a company that trained the Saudi army.

If Carlyle - which, despite being only 15 years old, manages more than $14 billion in funds on behalf of investors such as George Soros and the Bin Laden family (who are estranged from their son Osama) - does take a stake in Hollinger, questions are bound to be asked over the links between the two firms, both of which have powerful links to the military.

Leading foreign policy hawks Richard Perle and Henry Kissinger sit on the Hollinger board. Black himself is a member of the secretive Bilderberg group, an organisation comprising the world's leading businessmen and politicians, which some have accused of being an alternative world government.

'I'm very impressed with the Pentagon, they knew this war was a mistake'

Gabrielle O'Neill hears American director Peter Sellars rail warmly against the US and the rest of the world
Published: November 20 2003 18:53

Although his audience may find it hard to believe, Peter Sellars says he has great admiration for the Pentagon.

The American director's latest work for theatre, For an End to the Judgement of God, features a general giving a frenzied briefing on the Afghan war. The US's conflict may have broadened since, but Sellars's point remains the same: "I'm very impressed with the Pentagon, they are professionals," he says. "They knew this war on Iraq was a mistake - they resisted it every step of the way - this war is being totally run from the White House.

"And one of the reasons I wanted to use a Pentagon official giving a press conference is that that kind of event is a very dehumanised, sanitised way of presenting events. You know, the footage of the smart bombs hitting targets. I wanted to get at the pain behind those events. So we used footage from CNN and re-edited it, slowing it down so people could see it better.

"We are living through one of the bloodiest periods in history, but the story isn't being covered properly by the media. We still can't cover the Middle East properly because we can't identify with the level of pain they are in."

Comment: Portraying the military leaders as smarter than the politicians....hmmm. Could this have anything to do with the army coming in and imposing martial law?

Rummy's Kids

U.S. Soldiers Consult With God, Ponder the End of Government as We Know It

by James Ridgeway
November 21st, 2003 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C.—It's well known that Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, is running a not so little government across the Potomac at the Pentagon, replete with a huge army and surrounded by his own spies and ideological gurus. His program has been promoted with a slick propaganda operation that nearly flopped with Jessica Lynch but recovered nicely with the utterly unproved so-called medical claim she was raped.

Well, there's always room for improvement. And the people around Rumsfeld aren't wasting any time fooling around with the tricky and time-consuming intricacies of the court system. Like Oliver North back in the good old Contra days, these can-do guys are out to save the nation whatever it takes.

This morning, the big right-wing website, published an interview with Tommy Franks, the former chief of the Central Command who led the war against Iraq, under the headline, "Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack." In an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine, the general, now living in Tampa, argues that in the event of a WMD hit on the U.S., our form of government would go out the window. "The Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy." [...]

There's Richard Perle, perhaps the foremost and certainly most outspoken war hawk around Rumsfeld. He sits on a Pentagon advisory board and has long argued for the war in Iraq. In London this week, he startled observers of the diplomatic scene by saying flat out: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing." Brushing aside international law to support going to war is pretty much the opposite of what the Bush people have been saying all along. Bush has argued that the attack was legal because of the UN charter and existing UN Security Council resolutions. And because it was self-defense.

Finally, there's Lieutenant General William Boykin, who came under fire in the press for saying the U.S. was a "Christian nation" locked in "spiritual battle" with evil. He now heads a key Pentagon office that targets top enemies like Saddam and Bin Laden, neither of whom has been captured. [...]

So far Rumsfeld has stuck by Boykin. Answering reporters questions recently, Rummy said the general had "an outstanding record" and that many in the government and military freely express their views. "That's the way we live," the defense secretary said. "We're a free people. And that's the wonderful thing about our country. And I think that for anyone to run around and think that that can be managed and controlled is probably wrong. . . . Saddam Hussein could do it pretty well, because he'd go around killing people if they said things he didn't like."

Rumsfeld emphasized: "We believe in this administration that . . . the war on terrorism is not a war against a religion. It is not a war against a people or a country. It is a war against a group of people who have taken the subject of terrorism and tried to hijack a religion and make it look like that's part of their religion, which it is not."

Comment: Sometimes the psychopath cannot help himself and feels an internal compulsion to announce the truth in broad daylight. This war, the world's events since 9/11, are all about "a group of people who have taken the subject of terrorism and tried to hijack a religion and make it look like that's part of their religion, which it is not." These people are in power in the US and Israel. They speak of "crusades", of war against the infidel Muslims, and believe "their god" is the right one while the enemy's god is a false idol.

Unfortunately, all of this IS an integral part of their religions.

All these gods are false idols. They are all descended from the original blood-thirsty Yahweh who imposed monotheism, laying the basis for the religious intolerance that has set man against man for thousands of years. We have been set one against the other to continue the long and inglorious tradition of human sacrifice to appease this Yahweh, to ease our suffering...and to ensure own power and domination over others. "Oh, please God, just do this for me and I'll be good..."

It almost looks like it was planned that way....

FO 'put staff lives at risk' by ignoring Istanbul warnings

Kamal Ahmed, Jason Burke in London and Luke Harding in Istanbul
Sunday November 23, 2003
The Observer

Criticism was mounting against the Foreign Office yesterday for leaving the British consulate in Istanbul exposed to a terrorist attack, despite repeated warnings of a high level of threat.

[...] 'So much more could [have been] done,' said Paul Mercer, the Conservative Party's security spokesman. 'Why wasn't our consulate in Istanbul shifted? It was attacked earlier on in the year, the same time as the American consulate was attacked.

'The Americans moved theirs to a less vulnerable position - we didn't. It is questions like these that I do find very hard to answer.'

Britain on red alert as terrorist threat rises

The Scotsman

MINISTERS are preparing to place the UK on ‘red alert’ in an unprecedented peacetime move that would see the streets of Britain flooded with armed police.

The plan to step up to the highest possible security state follows last week’s devastating terrorist attacks on British targets in Turkey and growing fears that a direct assault on the UK is inevitable.

The nationwide alert would result in tougher security checks across the country and give intelligence agencies and police emergency powers to increase surveillance, phone-tapping and the detention of terror suspects on the basis of intelligence reports. [...]

A reader writes: There were WWII air-raid sirens all over (at least) Kensington, Chelsea, and Clapham for about an hour, this morning.

I rang the local police station:

I: "What's going on?"
C: "Information is being given out on a strictly need to know basis".
I: "Well I need to know, what's going on?"
C: "Everything that needs to be taken care of has been taken care of by the relevant people, you can go back to bed."

UK wants similar powers to controversial US Patriot Act

By Westminster Editor James Cusick

SWEEPING new emergency legal powers to deal with the aftermath of a large terrorist attack in Britain are being considered by the government. The measures could potentially outlaw participation in a protest march, such as last week's demonstrations during President Bush's state visit, making it, in effect, a criminal offence to criticise government policy.

In an attempt to give the UK government similar powers to those rushed through in the US after the 9/11 attack on New York in 2001, it is understood that a beefed-up version of current civil contingencies law is being considered. It will allow the government to bypass or suspend key parts of the UK's human rights laws without the authority of parliament.

In the US, the Patriot Act has been widely condemned by civil rights groups throughout the US. Many lawyers have blamed the Patriot Act as an excuse for eroding civil rights that dated back to the founding principles of the US constitution.

That the UK government is considering seeking similar power in a crisis situation indicates the heightened level of concern following the terrorist bombings in Istanbul.

The new powers would only come into force if a state of emergency was proclaimed with the authority of the sovereign. The government, if the new measures were introduced, would be able to prohibit any assembly or activity it believed threatened national security. However, government legal sources have urged that any new laws in such a sensitive area would not be forced through without widespread consultation.

Aware of the current level of scare-mongering following the Istanbul bombing and the threats made by al-Qaeda-linked groups that further suicide attacks were being planned on targets both in the UK and abroad, a source close to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, last night denied his department were seeking a massive and immediate injection of cash from the Treasury. This would be needed to foot the bill if Britain's streets were to be flooded with armed police in an almost constant level of red alert.

Despite Blunkett saying he was "sick and tired" of people pretending there was not a threat from terrorists and insisting only "very, very good intelligence would save us", the Home Office seems to have no plan to boost security spending this or next year.

If "Fortress Britain" were to be achieved, with countrywide security checks, increased police surveillance and widespread detention of any suspect group or individual, the Home Office's annual budget would rocket.

Sweeping new emergency laws to counter UK terror

Sweeping measures to deal with terrorist attacks and other emergencies are to be announced this week, giving the Government power to over-ride civil liberties in times of crisis, and evacuate threatened areas, restrict people's movements and confiscate property. [...]

Comment: These laws are not "anti-terror" laws, they are designed for one purpose only: to further imprison the population to more effectively bring about their destruction.

Russia mediates in Georgia crisis

Russia's foreign minister is holding talks with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze to try to resolve Georgia's spiralling political crisis.

Igor Ivanov met Mr Shevardnadze in Tbilisi hours after opposition supporters stormed parliament.

Mr Shevardnadze has declared a state of emergency and threatened to use the army to enforce it.

But the Georgian defence minister has said the army will not use force to try to restore political order.

"The state of emergency doesn't envisage the use of military force to establish order," Defence Minister David Tevzadze told reporters.

He was speaking hours after opposition supporters, enraged by suspected fraudulent election results, stormed the Georgian parliament on Saturday, triggering political upheaval.

Russia intervenes in Georgia crisis

Sunday 23 November 2003, 12:39 Makka Time, 9:39 GMT

The Russian foreign minister has arrived in Tbilisi where President Eduard Shevardnadze is barely hanging onto power after the opposition stormed parliament.

Igor Ivanov held talks with opposition leader Mikhail Saakashvili early on Sunday and is meeting Shevardnadze afterwards.

Shevardnadze fled the seized parliament on Saturday but has refused to give in to opposition demands that he resign, and has declared a state of emergency.

Ivanov received a warm welcome at the parliament building early on Sunday, where he went shortly after initial talks with his Georgian counterpart Irakly Menagarishvili, who met him upon arrival.

[...] Meanwhile, as opposing political groups are fighting for power
in Georgia, behind the scenes two bigger forces - the United States and Russia - are also slugging it out for influence in the country.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell was reportedly considering a trip to Tbilisi to press US interests.

Since the fall of communism, Moscow and Washington have tried to keep on friendly terms, but in Georgia, their competing interests have left them in a Cold War style head-to-head confrontation.

Both sides have a major stake in the outcome of the drama being played out in Tbilisi. The reason little Georgia is getting such high-level attention is its location, wedged between Russia and Turkey.

"Georgia is strategically important because that is where NATO, in the shape of Turkey, meets Russia," said Zeyno Baran, Director for International Security and Energy at the Nixon Centre in Washington and a specialist on Georgian affairs.

Another factor is oil. Georgia has none itself but it is on a transit route for the export of crude from the nearby Caspian Sea, where Western oil companies are hungrily developing new fields.

Georgia's opposition hints at possible talks with gov't 2003-11-23 18:03:42

TBILISI, Nov. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- Georgian opposition leader Nino Burdzhanadze, who has claimed the interim presidency in the crisis-stricken country, said on Sunday it is possible that the opposition could negotiate with the government about holding new parliamentary elections.

"There is a possibility of having a reasonable dialogue with the government about holding early parliamentary elections. The situation is practically hopeless without (new elections)," Burdzhanadze said.

Saudi dissident rejects al-Qaida

Sunday 23 November 2003, 10:06 Makka Time, 7:06 GMT

Well-known Saudi dissident Shaikh Nasir bin Hamad al-Fahd has become the country’s second radical cleric to repent and denounce a deadly suicide bombing in Riyadh in less than a week.

“Several of our fatwas (religious edicts) and our declarations enacted hatred and contained other issues about which we were deceived ... That is why I renounce several of these fatwas,” said al-Fahd in an interview on state television.

The Shaikh says he requested the interview.

Al-Fahd's about-turn is the second this week after fellow religious leader Shaikh Ali bin Khudair al-Khudair withdrew religious edicts and support for 19 al-Qaida suspects on state television on Monday.

Both men were arrested and released for supporting the Saudi militants wanted by the authorities, and al-Khudair urged the remaining suspects to give themselves up.


Following Khudair's example, al-Fahd also denounced the 8 November bombing of the al-Muhaya residential compound in the Saudi capital.

“The al-Muhaya blast was a very big shock for me in that it took place during Ramadan,” the Muslim holy month of fasting, he said.

“By no means do we approve of such acts ... Those who kill Muslims and children cannot pretend it is in the name of jihad (holy war),” he said, stressing that those who blow themselves up are “not martyrs ... it is suicide.”

Suicide is haram, or forbidden, in Islam.

5 Pakistanis freed from Guantanamo

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: Five Pakistanis held by the US military at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba returned home on Saturday, senior interior ministry official Brigadier Iqbal Cheema said.

"As a result of persistent efforts by the government of Pakistan and its parleys with the US government, five more Pakistanis detained at Camp X-ray in Cuba have returned home," Mr Cheema told AFP.

India test fires cruise missile 2003-11-23 20:47:24

NEW DELHI, Nov. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- India on Sunday successfully test-fired an anti-ship cruise missile with a target range of 290 km, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

United States will help Pakistan, India to live peacefully

By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON, Nov 22: The United States would use its influence on both India and Pakistan to encourage them to live peacefully but is not going to play a mediatory role in resolving the Kashmir dispute , the US Senate was told.

The Bush administration's policy towards India and its efforts for resolving India-Pakistan disputes were reviewed on Friday evening at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as part of the confirmation process for America's ambassador-designate to New Delhi, David C. Mulford.

During the hearing, Ambassador Mulford eschewed suggestion from US lawmakers that Washington should mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute, which has afflicted their relations for the last 56 years.

[...] The United States, he said, should do everything possible to press both India and Pakistan to "continue to make progress" on Kashmir. "But I do not think we should insert ourselves into the process as the manager or mediator or referee of this problem resolution."

Mr Mulford, who would soon be representing the Bush administration in New Delhi, availed this opportunity also to praise India's leaders.

"We welcome the hand of friendship initiative taken by Prime Minister Vajpayee. The progress that appears very minimally, but nevertheless to some considerable extent taking place and we have to hope that this initiative will continue to move forward," he said.

Mr Mulford, however, said he believes the United States should watch the situation in Kashmir "very closely" and make it obvious to both India and Pakistan that the world will not accept further deterioration in bilateral relations between the two countries who posses nuclear weapons.

"We have to watch very closely. We have to encourage both countries strongly to continue their efforts and to make it clear that returning to some of the past problems we've seen there is simply not acceptable for the world," he said.

Mr Mulford assured the committee that as ambassador to India, "the global war on terrorism will be a top priority for me. I also want to emphasise that the United States strongly supports India in its battle against terrorism, just as India has supported us."

The American people, he said, would long remember India's strong show of support in the difficult days following the September 11 terrorist attacks. "We are grateful for India's willingness to join us in the fight against terrorism."

Fighting Terror… The North African Way

Mohamad Al Ashab Al-Hayat 2003/11/23

Based on the war on terror, the American administration put the Western Sahara and the region of the African Coast on its schedule, the fact that suggests many possibilities that the subject would be to pave the way to reorganize the American presence in the region of North Africa.

[...] What is remarkable in the American assurance is that it comes in synchronization with the activities of European capitals concerning the region of North Africa. French President Jacques Chirac visited Morocco in order to balance his visit to Algeria, while the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar will visit Algeria before making a stop in Morocco next month. On the American side, there was the visit of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns.

If it was considered that Spain is seeking to incarnate the British role in the Middle East at its south borders in North Africa, this certifies more that the region is ahead of drafting new balances, some of them are like the European-American competitions, and others are an expansion to a new American vision based, mainly, on the assumption that where there is terror, America would be.

Malaysia PM defends sacking of editor

Malaysia's Prime Minister has defended the sacking of New Straits Times group chief editor, saying his article on the Saudi monarchy had soured ties between Kuala Lumpur and Riyadh.

"The article has caused problems between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia and a number of countries in the Gulf," Prime Minster Abdullah Badawi told reporters.

The editor, Abdullah Ahmad, 66, was sacked on Friday after publishing comments about the kingdom's royal family that sparked a strong protest from the Saudi Government.

Schroder Concludes Visit with U.S. Executives

After meeting with the heads of 15 blue chip American firms, Germany’s Gerhard Schroder returns to Berlin pledging to make even more transatlantic crossings to promote business ties in the future.

Friday couldn't have gone better for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder if it had been dreamt up in central casting. Topping the agenda was a A high-profile visit to the world’s financial center and a meeting with 15 of the most important business leaders in the United States from blue chip firms like Goldman Sachs, General Electric and Walt Disney. Indeed, each of the executives who met with the chancellor represent companies whose overall market capitalization exceeds $1 billion.

Schroder had a clear message for each one.

"I don’t think there’s another European economy that is as interwoven with America as Germany’s," Schroder told executives gathered in New York. "More than 800,000 jobs exist with German subsidiaries (in the U.S.) and, conversely, 500,000 jobs in (American subsidiaries) in Germany. That shows the relationship."

[...] The chancellor also conceded that the strong euro has created a problem for German exporters, which makes it more difficult for American companies to purchase European products. Still, Schroder said he saw no signs that the weakness of the U.S. dollar had been the result of deliberate manipulation.

China says it will not dump US Treasuries to retaliate 2003-11-23 10:26:14

BEIJING, Nov. 23, (Xinhuanet) -- China will not retaliate in a developing trade spat with the United States by dumping US Treasuries, a Chinese paper reports, citing the agency in charge of the country's ballooning forex reserves.

"The nature of our agency is to manage the national forex assets well," an unnamed official with State Administration of Foreign Exchange told the China Business newspaper.

"To put it simply, we're looking at profits, and as long as we don't get instructions from the central bank, we won't sell US Treasuries in a bid to retaliate," the official was quoted as saying.

The remarks were made against the backdrop of heated tempers on both sides of the Pacific after the US government, under pressure to protect US jobs, said it would cap imports of Chinese bras.

Ozone layer 'sacrificed' to lift re-election prospects

23 November 2003

President George Bush has brought the international treaty aimed at repairing the Earth's vital ozone layer close to breakdown, risking millions of cancers, to benefit strawberry and tomato growers in the electorally critical state of Florida [...]

F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies

New York Times
November 23, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counterterrorism squads, according to interviews and a confidential bureau memorandum.

The memorandum, which the bureau sent to local law enforcement agencies last month in advance of antiwar demonstrations in Washington and San Francisco, detailed how protesters have sometimes used "training camps" to rehearse for demonstrations, the Internet to raise money and gas masks to defend against tear gas. The memorandum analyzed lawful activities like recruiting demonstrators, as well as illegal activities like using fake documentation to get into a secured site.

Comment: Do US citizens really still believe that they live in a democracy?? Shouldn't US intelligence agencies be looking for the "terrorists"? The truth is that in their minds they are. The "terrorists" as far as they are concerned are US citizens, in particular those that attempt to resist government plans to strip away the little that remains of "freedom".

8 Arrested, 4 Beaten at Miami Trade Talks

By CORALIE CARLSON, Associated Press Writer
Sat Nov 22,11:27 PM ET

MIAMI - Eight legal observers sent to monitor Miami police during trade protests were arrested, and four were beaten by officers, their organization said Saturday as dozens of protesters were issued bond.

Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, said her group of legal observers had been targeted by police, a claim disputed by Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss.

"Legal observers would not be arrested if they were simply observers," Moss said. "If they crossed the line and were actually to do something like pick up a rock or bottle and throw it, they would move from observer to criminal."

Nearly 200 people were arrested during a week of demonstrations as trade ministers drafted a blueprint for free trade in the Western Hemisphere.

The lawyers guild identifies itself as a progressive bar association that pushes for civil liberties and the rights of workers and minorities.

Boghosian said about 60 neutral observers from the group, mostly law students and lawyers, wore neon green hats in an effort to distinguish themselves from protesters. [...]

New bill threatens intellectual freedom in area studies

Yale Daily News

[...] This past month, Congress passed HR 3077, the "International Studies in Higher Education Act of 2003." [...]

[The bill portrays] academic institutions, particularly area studies programs, as hotbeds for anti-American sentiment, proponents of the bill proposed the creation of an advisory board that has the final word on curricula taught at Title VI institutions, course materials assigned in class, and even the faculty who are hired in institutions that accept Title VI funding.

Using the Solomon Amendment as precedent, the advisory board will also ensure that programs receiving Title VI funding encourage students to enter careers in government, including those related to national-security, by requiring that recruiters from U.S. government agencies be given regular access to students. And just like the unjust and detrimental Solomon Amendment, HR 3077 suppresses the free-speech rights of academic institutions as it threatens to remove Title VI funding from any center that engages in or abets a boycott of national security scholarships. [...]

Reporters Sans Frontières along with, the U.S. army, Bacardí and CANF

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Special for Granma International—

THE most dishonest anti-Cuba publicity campaigns by Reporters sans frontières, the organization that has been feverishly attacking Cuba in recent years in Europe and other parts of the world, have been conceived and established by Publicis, the global advertising giant.

Amongst its most important clients, Publicis has contracts with the U.S. Army, Bacardí and other Miami mafia representatives, including some who are financing notorious terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles.

The general secretary of Reporters sans frontières, CIA operative Robert Ménard – who devoted himself in the 1960s to infiltrating left-wing groups including Trotskyite organizations – has acknowledged on several occasions that Saatchi & Saatchi, the famous New York advertising agency, is behind his attacks on Cuba, confirming that the huge commercial propaganda firm provides its services "free of charge" to him.

Saatchi & Saatchi does not dedicate its time benevolently developing advertising campaigns for NGOs, and charitable works are not its field of interests. Its principal accounts are those with companies like Dupont, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and Visa.

In fact, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide – to use its proper name – is one of the three strategic pillars of the fourth largest communications group in the world: Publicis Group, located in Paris, France.

According to its shareholders’ website, Publicis is the number one advertising firm in France, and number three in the United States; it is also the world’s number one for consultancy and media purchases.

As a group, neither do its clients have the characteristics of Robert Ménard’s NGO, provisionally suspended recently due to its activities, as such, due to its mismanagement, which is at very least not within UN guidelines. Amongst other famous names are corporations such as Coca-Cola, Heinz, Kelloggs, McDonald’s, Phillip Morris, General Motors, Citibank, United Airlines, Walt Disney, and¼ the U.S. Army!


It also happens that Publicis Conseil, the group’s consultancy branch, has Bacardí as one of its clients. Bacardí is the rum giant with its head office in the Bahamas and a history of sponsoring anti-Cuba terrorism dating back to January 1959.

As documented by authors Hernando Calvo Ospina and Katlijn Declercq in their book Bacardí Rum: the Occult War, relations between the principal leaders and shareholders of Bacardí Rum, the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF), an ultra-right wing terrorist organization, and the CIA are far-reaching.

Through painstaking research, Ospina and Declercq show how this pseudo-rum manufacturing business (Bacardí is basically devoted to marketing its product) has created its own terrorism network; promoted, organized and financed acts of terrorism and served as a springboard for CIA funds to paramilitary mercenaries in Nicaragua and even Angola.

In another investigation, Bacardí Rum: the CIA, Cuba and globalization – published in France by the Belgian EPO publishing house – Calvo states that Bacardí has orchestrated U.S. legislation as far as Cuba is concerned, with the help of its "consultant" Otto Reich, employed by CANF and today one of George W. Bush’s principal advisors on Cuba and Latin America.

Bacardí’s lawyers penetrated the draft of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows the U.S. government to sanction foreign firms trading with expropriated properties in Cuba.

The concealed links between Bacardí, the CANF and Bush, and the "rum firm’s" links with Spanish leader José María Aznar and the European extreme right have also contributed to the current confrontation with the European Union.

JFK's murder still felt 40 years later

Last Updated Sat, 22 Nov 2003 23:15:50

DALLAS - Thousands of people converged on a Dallas street Saturday where U.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated exactly 40 years ago.

[...] According to officials, Lee Harvey Oswald gunned down Kennedy. They said he fired the shots from the sixth floor of what was then the Texas School Book Depository.

But decades later, polls suggest that two-thirds of Americans remain unconvinced that Oswald acted alone. Conspiracy theories range from a mob-orchestrated hit to an assassination planned by Communists.

Comment: There are many more theories than the three mentioned above. It is curious they don't mention the theories that include top-ranking politicians, oil-men, and US intelligence agencies. Oversight? We think not.

Thousands gather for JFK anniversary

Associated Press

[...] “John F. Kennedy has been gone nearly as long as he lived, yet the memory of him still brings pride to our nation and a feeling of loss that defies the passing of years,” U.S. President George W. Bush said in a written statement.

Comment: "And if Kennedy had never been assassinated, I probably wouldn't be in the White House today. Thanks, Poppy."

Dallas remembers the day JFK died

Jesse Ventura pushes conspiracy theory

Nov. 23, 2003. 01:00 AM

DALLAS—Conspiracy theorists flocked to the infamous grassy knoll yesterday and parents pointed toward a sixth-floor window as thousands gathered in Dealey Plaza to mark the day, 40 years ago, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on a trip through Dallas.

[...] Prior to the 40th anniversary, SMU released thousands of letters that then-Dallas mayor Earle Cabell received after the assassination, where writer after writer lambasted the Texas city as a hotbed for right-wing intolerance and hate.

One writer, Brig.-Gen. Herbert A. Hall, owned an honorary Dallas citizenship certificate. But he sent it to Cabell, scrawling on it: "Returned with shame and sorrow."

Stephen Fagin, the oral history co-ordinator at the Sixth Floor Museum, said for this anniversary the pendulum on scholarship has swung a bit toward the theory of Oswald as the single gunman.

Mr. President, oil isn't worth dying for

By ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor
November 23, 2003

NEW YORK -- President George Bush should heed the wise old New York garment district maxim: "First loss, best loss."

Translated from New Yorkese, this means when you get into a bad deal, bail out fast. The longer you stay in and refuse to face reality, the more you will end up losing.

That, alas, is just what Bush is doing in Iraq. Better he had gone to the garment district for hard advice instead of the regal photo op in London thrown for him by Queen Elizabeth and her dysfunctional family.

In spite of the royal welcome in a nation that increasingly resembles a giant theme park for American tourists, many Britons were appalled by the visit. They greeted Bush and his preposterously bloated entourage, worthy of Kublai Khan, with about as much warmth as they did the Spanish Armada.

[...] Bush just announced - shades of Richard Nixon - that the Iraq war would be "Iraqized." A facade of political power will be handed over to an Iraqi government. But U.S. troops will stay on for years for "security." What happens if the "independent" Iraqi regime tells U.S. forces to leave? A speedy regime change, no doubt.

The Pentagon plans to build three major bases in Iraq from which to police the central Mideast and guard America's new imperial oil lifeline from Central Asia, down through Afghanistan, to the West.

European study on anti-Semitism is scrapped

By Irene Zoech in Vienna

A study backed by the European Union on the rise of anti-Semitism has been shelved after officials decided that its findings were "too controversial".

The 112-page survey, commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia based in Austria, found that many anti-Semitic incidents were carried out by Muslim and pro-Palestinian groups.

The research was ordered in response to fears that anti-Semitism was on the rise across Europe - and apparently confirmed the truth of the claims. However, the centre - which is the EU's official racism watchdog - was unnerved by its results.

A spokesman for the watchdog refused to comment yesterday, but according to authoritative reports officials admitted a "political decision" was taken not to publish it partly because of fears that it would increase hostility towards Muslims.

The watchdog, which was set up in 1998, has published three reports on anti-Islamic attitudes in Europe but has yet to publish any parallel findings on anti-Semitism.

Officials apparently objected that the study - carried out by the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at Berlin's Technical University - defined anti-Semitism incorrectly by including hostility to Israel.

Comment: Yesterday we ran an abridged version of the above story, without commentary. Today we feel like commenting on it.

More than likely the report was quashed at the behest of Israel or pro-Israel groups - but why? Surely you would think that the report showing that Arabs were behind most of the anti-Jewish activities in Europe would be welcomed by Israel...not so. We should remember that recently an adviser to Sharon claimed that "a wave of anti-Semitism was once again sweeping Europe".

It appears that it is very important for Israel that the illusion that "everyone hates the Jews" be maintained. This of course is ridiculous and patently not the case, but Israel is not to be dissuaded it seems. If published, the above report would have made it clear that any so called anti-Semitism in Europe is due to the continuing inhuman treatment being meted out to the Palestinians by the Israeli defence forces and NOT as a result of any inherent hate for Jews simply because they are Jews.

Interestingly, the second reason for the withdrawal of the report was due to the incorrect inclusion of "hostility to Israel" in the definition of anti-Semitism. If the abovementioned study were to include "hostility to Israel" in its scope then rightfully the results would have shown that a majority of Europeans were "anti-Semitic". Most of the world can see clearly the trampling of human rights that takes place in occupied Palestine. However, "anti-Israelism" is NOT synonymous with anti-Semitism, despite the fact that Sharon and his cohorts are attempting to convince the world that this is the case. To suggest that disagreeing with Israel's belligerent and brutal treatment of Arabs is the same as hating all Jews is patently ridiculous and akin to saying that disagreeing with the concept of one human being killing another means that you hate the human race.

Israel is simply reaping the natural rewards of following a decades-long genocide policy against its Arab neighbor. This in no way means that the average European hates the ordinary Jewish person - on the contrary, as is the case with the editors of this page, it is more likely that Europeans have nothing but sympathy for those Jews who are being manipulated by their so-called "leaders" to further their fanatical fundamentalist goals.

If Israel wants to quell the criticism it is receiving, then it should put an end to the warmongering and brutality that gives rise to it.

Europe spurns Bush’s call to shun Arafat

By Zia Iqbal Shahid

BRUSSELS: Europe has spurned the latest call of President Bush to shun President Yasser Arafat as EU member states unanimously declare that "any attempt to remove Arafat would constitute a violation of international law".

EU has underlined the views of its 15 member sates and 10 accession countries in the "Declaration of the European Union" issued after the fourth meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council in Brussels.

"Actions to remove the elected President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be contrary to international law and counterproductive to the efforts at reaching a peaceful solution to conflict", The EU Declaration says.

The US administration, according to sources, has sent messages to European leaders asking them to "end its political and financial support to the Palestinian ruler (a veiled reference to Yasser Arafat) who fails his people and betrays their cause".

European leaders, according to sources, have conveyed their fear that that by shunning Arafat and refusing to challenge Sharon — whom Bush has described as a man of peace — the United States is showing the Arab world that it’s not an honest broker. [...]

Bush's Remark About God Assailed

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Evangelical Christian leaders expressed dismay yesterday over President Bush's statement that Christians and Muslims worship the same god, saying it had caused discomfort within his conservative religious base. But most predicted that the political impact would be short-lived. [...]

Palestinian child shot dead by Israeli troops

November 23, 2003

A Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli troops during an army incursion yesterday in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian medical sources said.

Ibrahim Jalamna, 11, was killed when Israeli troops responded with live ammunition to stone-throwing during an incursion in the east of the city involving around 10 Israeli armoured vehicles and one bulldozer, the sources said.

His death brought to 3,618 the total number of people killed since the start of the intifada in September 2000. Among them are 2,670 Palestinians and 852 Israelis, according to an AFP count.

New bloodshed threatens Mideast cease-fire talks

Associated Press

Jerusalem — Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, including a 10-year-old boy, after a stone-throwing clash in the West Bank escalated into a gun battle with militants on Saturday.

Palestinian gunmen later shot and killed two Israeli security guards at a construction site in an Arab neighbourhood near a section of the disputed barrier that Israel is erecting along its frontier with the West Bank.

All four killings underscored the routine, daily violence that has characterized the three-year-old conflict, which has killed more than 2,500 Palestinians and almost 900 Israelis. The new bloodshed came as efforts were underway to craft a cease-fire deal and restart frozen peace talks.

Comment: This was to be expected. Anyone who thinks that Ariel Sharon and his ilk are interested in peace is probably a supporter of George Bush "liberating" Iraq because "they hate our freedoms." Where are these precious "freedoms" going? They are certainly leaving the US. Will they show up in Iraq? We doubt it. If anyone can find the missing US freedoms, please write the Signs team. But, then again, maybe they never really existed...

Israel violates Lebanese airspace on independence day

BEIRUT (AFP) Nov 22, 2003

Israeli warplanes flew over Lebanon Saturday as the country celebrated 60 years of independence, just three days after renewed UN warnings that doing so could escalate regional tension, officials said.

Two reconnaissance planes flew over southern and eastern Lebanon from late Friday afternoon until 3:35 am (0135 GMT) Saturday, said an angry statement from the Lebanese army broadcast on state television.

The United Nations on Wednesday condemned Israel's multiple violations of Lebanese airspace, warning that the repeated overflights could escalate the tension in the region. [...]

Why not invade Israel?

If rogue nations are to be brought into line by the US, shouldn’t Israel be punished for ignoring UN resolutions? Gerald Kaufman is just asking...

The Spectator
November 22, 2003

The unprecedented security measures for President Bush’s visit to Britain this week prove that the war against terrorism, launched by the United States two years ago, has certainly not been won. If further proof were needed, the atrocious terrorist acts against two synagogues in Istanbul at the weekend provide blood-spattered confirmation.

But if the invasion of Iraq last spring was not about Saddam Hussein’s alleged links to international terrorism, what was its rationale and what was its justification? Tony Blair has proclaimed, with total sincerity I have no doubt, that one consideration was the danger of weapons of mass destruction.

From the outset, Bush was perfectly ready to rest his case on the need for regime change in Iraq. Both Bush and Blair have argued that Iraq is a better country for the removal of Saddam and his odious regime, and, even taking into account the continuing death toll in Iraq (nowhere near the number of deaths in the Vietnam war, to which certain cynics unjustifiably compare it), only someone either extremely naive or deliberately purblind could deny that the disappearance of that dictator is an indisputable benefit.

So, let it be accepted that, despite the death and destruction deplorably concomitant with the process, the removal of Saddam was an indubitably good thing. But, if the removal by armed force of one disagreeable regime under one objectionable head of government is a good thing, why stop there? The world is full of horrible governments. Would it not be a good idea to make a clean sweep of them?

Where, then, do we start? There is a multiplicity of horrible or incompetent governments in central and west Africa, for example, in countries where the toll of dead and tortured far exceeds even the total gassed, executed and mangled by Saddam. Their removal, and replacement by genuine democratic governments seeking to reconcile rather than repress, would be an indisputable benefit to humankind.

Even a relatively innocuous African government, that of Morocco, has been responsible for driving into squalid refugee camps in neighbouring Algeria the Sahrawi desert people, whose homeland of Western Sahara it has illegally occupied, and, through rigging the electorate by shipping in large numbers of Moroccans, has prevented a genuine referendum taking place to decide the country’s future — a referendum, moreover, to which the United Nations is fruitlessly committed.

And, if we are discussing rigged electorates, what about that in the illegal republic of Northern Cyprus, whose impoverished Turkish Cypriot inhabitants are being prevented from expressing their true will in a forthcoming general election because of the importation by the Ankara government of huge numbers of Anatolian Turks from the mainland, whose wishes and preferences are far removed from those of the Cypriot Turks themselves? While we are at it, we should take a penetrating look at Turkey itself. For nearly 30 years its regime has illegally occupied 37 per cent of the territory of Cyprus, an occupation which has resulted in looting, illegal seizure and sale of precious art objects such as Greek Orthodox icons, and the creation of refugees who despair of ever getting their homes back.

The Turkish treatment — or mistreatment — of the Kurdish people, whom at the end of the first world war they prevented from getting their own homeland, set an example which Saddam was happy to follow. Inside Turkey, there has been persistent violation of human rights. For evidence, get hold of a DVD of Alan Parker’s film Midnight Express.

South of Turkey, there is Israel. It is true that the United Nations Security Council resolutions of which Iraq was in violation for a dozen years were mandatory and carried penalties, while those criticising Israel were not. That does not excuse successive Israeli governments during the past 36 years for failing to conform to Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. They would have violated even more if the United States, otherwise so assiduous in stressing the importance of international order, had not vetoed them.

Since the present regime in Israel came to office, there has been unprecedented repression of the Palestinians who the Israelis govern. The world is rightly horrified at the cruel and bloody deaths of Israeli civilians, including babies and small children, inflicted by terrorist suicide bombers. Grievous though every one of these deaths most certainly is, it cannot be denied that during the three years of the Second Intifada the Israelis have killed three times as many Palestinians, some of them terrorists (in illegal targeted assassinations) but most of them innocent civilians, including babies and pregnant women. [...]

If the United States is keen to invade countries that disrupt international standards of order, should not Israel, for example, be considered as a candidate? But, quite apart from the hard fact that even the rich and powerful US does not possess enough dollars and manpower to invade and occupy the countries I have mentioned (plus other rogue states, too many to list), is the US suited to maintaining international law?

After all, has not the United States, on the basis of dubious legality, invaded nearby countries on the American continent, such as Panama and Grenada? Has it not got a questionable human rights record, with the level of capital punishment, including the execution of mentally retarded prisoners, one of the worst in the democratic world? Is it not keeping a collection of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whose detention appears to have no legal basis whatever? And does it not have a president who was never elected, but appointed by the Supreme Court after electoral finagling in the electorally clinching state which just happens to be governed by that president’s brother? Who, then, should invade the United States? The despised United Nations?

Maybe this invading business is not such a good idea. Maybe, even though Saddam was abominable and his regime nauseating, the invasion of Iraq may turn out not to have been such a good precedent after all.

US envoy to visit Mideast for peace talks 2003-11-22 20:22:06

GAZA, Nov. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- US peace envoy William Burns is to visit the Middle East and meet with Palestinian and Israeli officials, Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said on Saturday.

[...] Such a visit comes in light of the increasingly good relations between the Palestinians and the US administration, particularly after US Secretary of State Collin Powell's call to treat each other as counterparts, Shaath said.

Shaath also said that Powell had sent him a letter on Thursday that explained the US administration's future plan in Iraq and asked for PNA's support for this plan.

Meanwhile, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will go to the United States a week after the end of a dialogue between Palestinian factions, which is due to be held in Cairo on Dec. 2.

Suleiman will brief US officials about the outcomes of the Palestinian dialogue, Shaath said, adding that the Palestinian factions have shown positive intentions towards the dialogue.

Senate Resolution to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem, Arab News, November 21, 2003

By Barbara Ferguson
Nov 21, 2003, 20:43

A new resolution is being presented to the US Senate requiring the US to relocate its embassy, currently in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.

The resolution would require moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem before the US would recognize a Palestinian state. The measure also prohibits the United States from recognizing Palestine until "the international community" declares Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The resolution’s chief sponsor is Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia and Pacific Affairs subcommittee. He told journalists the current Middle East peace negotiations have been unsuccessful and are in need of change.

"The Middle East peace process is in need of a major paradigm shift," he said in a statement. "We can’t continue to bog ourselves down in the mechanics of the process."

Brownback said his resolution "has the potential to catapult the Middle East peace process forward," but did not mention the almost certain outrage and anger such an action would provoke throughout the Muslim and Arab world.

Palestinians, like the Israelis, also insist that Jerusalem should become the capital of their new state. Middle East peace efforts have left the status of Jerusalem for final status negotiations, after the thorny issues of Israel’s security; illegal Jewish settlements, boundaries, and the Palestinians’ right to return are settled.

US softens stand on taking Iran to UN

VIENNA, Nov 22: The United States was backing off on demands to take Iran's nuclear programme before the UN Security Council as US and European diplomats launched intense weekend negotiations on how to crack down on the Islamic Republic for hiding sensitive atomic activities.

In Washington, a senior State Department official said on Friday: "I'm not sure frankly, that referring it to the Security Council is something that we are insisting on in our negotiations."

Meanhwhile, in Vienna the US ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), blasted Iran for "brazen and systematic" breaches of nuclear safeguards and said Tehran was trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States wants Iran to be declared in "non-compliance" with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a move that could see the issue put before the UN Security Council, which could slap sanctions on Iran.

UN's main role in Iraq sought

By Masood Haider

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 22: Russia, Germany and France on Friday called for a primary role for the United Nations in the Iraqi self-rule process and asked the United States and Britain (Coalition Provisional Authority) to organize a conference for Iraqi leaders and key countries in the region.

At a Security Council meeting, in which envoys from the US and Britain briefed the 15-member council on the progress in Iraq since the war, Russia's ambassador Sergey Lavrov said: "We're disappointed there is no mention of the United Nations. We think that is wrong."

Iraqi CPA fires 28,000

UPI - Friday, November 21, 2003

American's top man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, last week fired 28,000 Iraqi teachers as political punishment for their former membership in the Saddam Hussein-dominated Baath Party, fueling anti-U.S. resistance on the ground, administration officials have told United Press International.

A Central Command spokesman, speaking to UPI from Baghdad, acknowledged that the firings had taken place but said the figure of 28,000 "is too high."

He was unable, however, after two days, to supply UPI with a lower, revised total.

The Central Command spokesman attributed the firings to "tough, new anti-Baath Party measures" recently passed by the U.S.-created Iraqi Governing Council, dominated by Ahmed Chalabi, a favorite of administration hawks in the White House and Pentagon.

"It's a piece of real stupidity on the part of the neocons to try and equate the Baath Party with the Nazis," said former CIA official Larry Johnson. "You have to make a choice: Either you are going to deal with Iraqis who are capable of rebuilding and running the country or you're going to turn Iraq over to those who can't."

Facing a spreading insurgency, this was "not the time to turn out into the street more recruits for the anti-U.S. insurgency," Johnson said.

"It's an incredible error," said former senior CIA official and Middle East expert Graham Fuller. "In Germany, after World War II, the de-nazification program was applied with almost surgical precision in order not to antagonize German public opinion. In the case of Iraq, ideologues don't seem to grasp the seriousness of their acts."

Administration officials told UPI that from the beginning of Bremer's arrival in Iraq, the Bush administration has consistently misplayed the issue of Iraq's former ruling Sunni group, most of whom were members of the Baath, but who are also the most able and knowledgeable administrators in the country. In addition, many able government employees joined the Baath Party not out of any special political sympathies, but simply to attain or retain their jobs.

"The anti-Baath edicts, all of which are ideological nonsense, have been an outright disaster," a State Department official said. "Whatever happened to politics as the art of the possible?"

"All we have done is to have alienated one of the most politically important portions of the Iraqi population," another administration official said.

According to several serving and former U.S. intelligence officials, the latest firings are only one of a series of what one State Department official called "disastrous misjudgments." He cites, as one of the first, how senior Pentagon officials, relying on Chalabi's advice, led the Bush administration to believe it would inherit the Iraqi government bureaucracy virtually intact at the end of the war.

Another major and disastrous decision was Bremer's order, on arrival, to disband without pay the Iraqi military force of 400,000 men, several of these sources said.

A Pentagon critic of the administration said: "We spent a lot of money on psychological operations that urged the Iraqi army to remain out of the fight."They did, and what did we do? Rewarded them by throwing them out of work and denying them a living."

Comment: Do we put this down to stupidity and arrogance? Or do we credit the US foreign office with more intelligence and assume that the CPA is deliberately forestalling the normalisation of Iraq for some reason?

Corruption charge deals fresh blow to Iraq handover

By Colin Freeman in Baghdad and Julian Coman

American-led efforts to establish a civilian government in Iraq were further damaged yesterday by reports in Washington that the Pentagon is investigating allegations of high-level corruption within the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).

The CPA refused to comment yesterday on the claims that two of its officials and a senior Iraqi politician are being investigated for allegedly taking bribes over contracts for mobile telephone networks.

The award of lucrative licences to build and operate mobile telephone networks has been dogged by delays and recriminations. A complaint over the handling of the process was filed by Turkcell, an Istanbul-based company which, with two American partners, bid in August for the right to build mobile telephone networks in Iraq.

The allegations of foul play - the first against any award by the CPA - were made to the United States Congress General Accounting Office (GAO), which evaluates federal expenditure. The GAO announced last month that it had opened its own review into whether the Bush administration has followed procurement rules.

After the mobile network contracts were awarded to three Middle Eastern companies, Turkcell lawyers said that the licensing process had been "erroneous, irrational, arbitrary and capricious".

Earlier this month, in response to pressure from the US Congress, President George W Bush authorised the creation of a new office of inspector-general within the CPA, which operates under the authority of the Pentagon.

The move came after widespread allegations of price inflation by US contractors and favouritism in the awarding of contracts. Iraqi companies have persistently reported a lack of transparency in the awarding of contracts.

Any bribery investigation will hamper US efforts to garner international support for Iraq's reconstruction, the cost of which has been estimated at $55 billion (£32 billion) by the World Bank.

Germany's ambassador to the United Nations, Gunter Pleuger, said recently that "the necessary international support will only be forthcoming if full transparency in the decision-making process is assured".

In Baghdad, a CPA spokesman said: "We can't say anything about a Pentagon investigation. We think that the process to award the contracts was fair and we went through a lot of steps to ensure that it was properly and transparently completed." [...]

A High Price for Speaking Up

Pilots in Iraq Face Court-Martial for Voicing Concerns About Aircraft

By Martha Raddatz

Nov. 21— Two U.S. Army pilots charged with ferrying American military brass around Iraq decided to speak out about the vulnerability of their aircraft. Their reward: criminal charges.

Chief Warrant Officers William Lovett and Robert Jones have 53 years of service between them in the active duty and Army Reserves. Jones has flown in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Bosnia.

But their current mission in central Iraq may be their last. Long before U.S. helicopters were being shot down, the reserve pilots told National Defense Magazine their planes were not properly equipped to fly in a war zone. That interview, which appeared in the September 2003 issue of the magazine, has now led to the charges of dereliction of duty against the pilots for disclosing "vulnerabilities" of the "mission, procedures, and aircraft."

"These are planes that fly around generals, they fly around VIPs," said attorney Eugene Fidell, who is representing Lovett. "He and the other people involved should not be facing a court-martial; they should be getting decorations for this." [...]

They are the only Army aircraft operating in Iraq without any equipment to warn or defend against surface-to-air missiles. [...]

Soldiers to sue over new Gulf War syndrome (UK)

Mark Townsend
Sunday November 23, 2003
The Observer

Dozens of soldiers who served in Iraq are to sue the Government, claiming they are suffering from a new form of Gulf War syndrome.

Multiple vaccinations given in the run-up to the conflict are being blamed for chronic pains, stomach problems, rashes, swelling, fever, depression and anxiety.

Lawyers and medical experts say the symptoms are identical to those which affected thousands of veterans after the 1991 Gulf conflict. [...]

American soldiers' throats cut in Iraq


Two American soldiers were killed in the centre of Mosul, northern Iraq, today after attackers approached them in traffic and slit their throats, witnesses said.

The US command in Baghdad said it had no information on the incident.

However, the bodies of the two male soldiers could be seen lying in the street next to their vehicle in the city’s Ras al-Jadda district with their throats cut.


By Devvy Kidd
November 22, 2003

Millions of Americans have read the Joseph Banister story. For those who may not know of this courageous individual, a short refresher is in order. Joseph was an IRS CID agent (Criminal Investigation Division) for a little over five years. In late 1996, he happened to hear some information about the nature of the income tax on a radio show. After two years of trying to prove the so-called "tax protesters" wrong regarding their beliefs, he finally concluded that the "tax honesty" individuals were indeed correct in their analysis of the income tax and its voluntary nature.

Joseph had no choice but to resign his job, which at that time paid $80,000 per year. You see, this remarkable young man could no longer perform his duties as a CID agent after he discovered the truth. He could not look in the mirror every morning knowing that it was the IRS, his employer, who was breaking the law and committing fraud against the American people. How many people do you know would give up their $80,000 a year job for something called integrity?

With no paycheck coming in, times got tough for this young man; a husband and father of two young boys who attended private Catholic school. However, as a college graduate with a CPA license, Joseph began the process of building a clientele, appearing at numerous events throughout the country and in his soft spoken manner, he told his story and why he could no longer participate in this fraud against his fellow Americans.

As time has gone by, the IRS attempted to silence this courageous young man by making sure he knew a grand jury was sniffing around him. Then the IRS began contacting Joseph's clients and scaring them off so that his income began to once again dwindle. When that didn't work, suddenly the State of California took an interest in him. Stepping up this Nazi style persecution, the State of California is now attempting to take away his CPA license. Not because he has violated any law, but to shut up this courageous young man and deny him the right to work in his profession - all because he told a truth which threatens the powerful, global, banking cartel.

Joseph's "trial" is now set for December 1, 2003. His "public" trial has shockingly has been moved to Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California and no civilians will be allowed on this military reservation. A civil matter regarding a CPA license will be heard in a star chamber, closed off from any public scrutiny. The tyranny doesn't stop there. According to Joseph:

"My requests for discovery (in other words, requests to obtain IRS documents that might enable me to understand the allegations made against me) have been DENIED. My request to present evidence and witnesses that would prove the baselessness of the allegations against me have been DENIED. As if being prevented from properly defending myself was not enough, the IRS shockingly admitted in their own pleadings that they used their criminal investigation component by privately conferencing with both IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents and Department of Justice Prosecutors to coordinate parallel civil and criminal proceedings against me without notice.

The IRS admitted they conducted surveillance on my speaking engagements and eavesdropped on my political conversations and appearances. Recently, the IRS tapped its computer database of information from other taxpayers, prying into private financial intimacies and private accounts with banks and businesses, to use this information in this case. Is there anyone who still does not understand why I confronted this agency with their wrongdoing and resigned?"

Lobbyist found shot to death in burned home spoke of fear

By Peggy O Hare
Houston Chronicle
Nov. 22, 2003

On his last night, influential City Hall lobbyist Ross Allyn attended a political fund-raiser and had a late dinner with a friend, during which he confided fears that his phones were tapped. When they parted, the friend said, all seemed well.

Within hours, Allyn was found dead inside his home in the 900 block of Worthshire after a suspicious fire swept through it, Houston homicide investigators said.

An autopsy Friday revealed he was killed by a gunshot to the neck, the Harris County medical examiner's office said. No weapons were found in the home. The body was charred beyond recognition, so Allyn was officially identified Friday night through dental records, a medical examiner's office spokesman said.

Allyn's friends had prepared themselves for the worst because no one had seen or been able to reach him.

His 2001 Lexus was parked in the garage, suggesting to investigators he had returned home safely before flames swept through around 4 a.m. Friday

Investigators were at odds over the fire's origin, with chief arson investigator Roy Paul saying earlier in the day that he believed it was an accident and homicide Sgt. Wayne Wendel saying he believes it was intentionally set.

The home was engulfed in flames of "extreme intensity" when the first fire truck arrived, a Houston Fire Department spokesman said.

Allyn, a one-time aide to former Houston City Councilman Ben Reyes, had been active in local politics for more than 20 years. He survived a high-profile City Hall bribery trial before charges against him were dismissed in 1998.

Only the blackened, charred frame of the home remained Friday; there was a large hole in the roof. Burnt belongings covered the front yard as wisps of smoke floated through the air and bits of ash rained from the sky. Allyn's body was found just inside the front door, which Paul said is consistent with someone trying to escape. [...]

In July 1997, Allyn was caught up in a federal sting involving Reyes and four others in an alleged scheme to bribe council members to award a $10 million contract to FBI agents posing as businessmen. [...]

Reyes, who had left the council at the time and had become a lobbyist, and former Port of Houston Commissioner Betti Maldonado were later convicted of bribery.

A jury acquitted then-council members Michael Yarbrough, John Peavy and John Castillo, and a judge threw out the charge against Allyn, saying prosecutors had not made their case against him.

In recent years, Allyn represented several clients in high-profile city contracts. Earlier this month, he helped Paradies IAH-LLC win a 10-year, $178 million retail contract at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

U.S. moves closer to anti-spam law

Last Updated Sat, 22 Nov 2003 22:43:52

WASHINGTON - In a nearly unanimous vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Saturday designed to restrict ads and other unsolicited e-mails, known as spam.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates hailed the move as "a milestone in the battle against spam, and a major step toward preserving e-mail as a powerful communication tool."

The bill, passed by a vote of 392-5, is similar to legislation already approved by the U.S. Senate last month.

With both halves of Congress now clearly in favour of trying to put a lid on spam, new federal rules could be in place before the end of the month. U.S. President George W. Bush's administration backs the measure. The House and Senate still have to settle minor differences between their separate bills.

European Cyber security agency is go

By John Leyden
Posted: 21/11/2003 at 14:56 GMT

The European Union has voted to set up a pan-European agency to promote closer co-ordination on information security.

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has been allocated a four year budget of €24.3 million. It's headquartered in Brussels and goes live in January, 2004.

Until now, there has been a lack of cross-border co-operation or information exchange between the EU Member States on information security. ENISA aims to plug these gaps by "acting as a centre of knowledge" and by supporting Member States in their efforts to improve security practices. The agency will also educate the public and business about security.

Minister's daughter in act of defiance (Australia)


THE daughter of Defence Minister Robert Hill has starred in a play which compares Nazi Germany with today's US – and Australia.

During the Sydney performance, a swastika is illuminated and superimposed on the US flag.

In the same week South Australia's Senator Hill expressed "surprise" weapons of mass destruction had not been found in Iraq, his actress daughter Victoria was appearing in the play whose publicist wrote: "If you think Bush and Howard lied about the weapons of mass destruction, you must see this play." [...]

Ms Hill, 32, yesterday defended her role in the radical Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America by Australian playwright Stephen Sewell. [...]

"People living in Nazi Germany were in the same state of denial of what was going on as people are today in America and Australia." [...]

Livingston High braces for mock assault, defense (California, USA)


LIVINGSTON -- Lockdown drills come three or four times a year at Livingston High School.

The one set for Thursday will be more real than any other.

Officials said someone will open fire and try to break into classrooms as police close in. The guns will be real -- and loaded with blanks. [...]

We're going to add to the realism as closely as we can," he said. "There's always that percentage of staff members and students who think these training scenarios are a joke. But they're not. We learned it's not a matter of if, it's when."

Nuns, Priests, Students Protest 'Terrorist Training Camp' in Georgia, USA

By Susan Jones Morning Editor

( - Hundreds, maybe thousands of people are expected to gather this weekend at the gates of Fort Benning, Ga., to protest what critics describe as the home of a "notorious terrorist training camp on U.S. soil."

The target of the protest is the Army's main combat-training school for Latin American soldiers. It used to be called the School of the Americas, but in 2001, Congress changed both the school's name and its approach to human rights.

The school is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC for short). [...]

The protest group also says "hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, 'disappeared,' massacred, and forced into refuge by SOA graduates." [...]

Comment: Let us not forget that the CIA has overthrown twenty democratically elected governments, and replaced them with violent dictators, often for something as banal as the price of bananas. For this protest the teachers of murder fought back...

Big Crowd at Military School Protest Gets Earful of Patriotic Music From Army

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - Demonstrators gathered outside Fort Benning to protest a military school were hit with a sonic barrage Saturday: patriotic music Army officials had blaring from the main gate.

A crowd estimated by Columbus police at 8,000 gathered to protest the school once known as the School of the Americas, which they blame for Latin American human rights abuses. It appeared to be the largest first-day gathering in the 14-year history of the protest.

The Army's loudspeakers, playing "The Army Song" and "God Bless the U.S.A.," were 50 yards away from where protesters were speaking to the crowd.

Leaders of School of Americas Watch, which has protested at Fort Benning every year since the early 1990s, said they planned to sue over the noise tactic and accused the Army of a "psychological operation." [...]

Syringe-injectable ID microchip announced

At a global security conference held today in Paris, an American company announced a new syringe-injectable microchip implant for humans, designed to be used as a fraud-proof payment method for cash and credit-card transactions. [...]

Lawmakers OK Spending Bill, Food Measure

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer
November 23, 2003

WASHINGTON - Bargainers tying down the last details of a mammoth $390 billion spending bill agreed to block labels identifying which country food products come from for the next two years, lawmakers and aides said Saturday. [...]

Most N.M. counties declared disaster due to drought

By: Associated Press

(AP) -- New Mexico farmers and ranchers are eligible for drought disaster aid from the federal government. [...] All counties, except for Los Alamos, were declared a disaster. [...]

Heavy rain causes flooding in the ACT

There have been reports of minor flooding in the ACT.

The Weather Bureau is predicting more rain over the next few days across the ACT and in New South Wales.

Spokesman Cameron Henderson says over the last two days Canberra alone has received 53 millimetres of rain.

"Now that's actually the heaviest fall that we've had over a two day period for the whole of the year," he said.

"You actually have to go back to February 2002 to find a two day period that's had a higher rainfall than what we've seen over the past two days."

Quake hits Japanese prefectures

Sunday, November 23, 2003. 11:29am (AEDT)

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 on the Richter scale hit Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures early on Sunday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

No tsunami warnings were issued after the quake, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

But bullet train services were forced to operate slower than usual between Tokyo and Utsunomiya stations on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line and between Omiya and Takasaki stations on the Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen lines.

Far-north SA shaken by earthquake

Hawker residents in South Australia's far north have described an overnight earthquake as one of the biggest they have experienced.

The earthquake registered 3.8 on the Richter scale, its epicentre about 45 kilometres north-east of the Hawker township.

George Aldridge from Glenoak Station just north-east of Hawker says he was woken by a loud boom at about 5:00am ACDT.

"It was a long, large, booming sound and the house shook quite substantially and my dog somehow made itself sort of known indoors and she sort of didn't know where to go," he said.

"The thing that struck me was that it was quite an extended sort of time."

Remote villages in Gansu lit up by the "sun" 2003-11-21 20:09:41

Gansu, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Nights, as well as days, in Oulaxiuma, a township in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gannan in northwest China's Gansu Province, are being illuminated by the sun.

"Our nights were once lit up by ghee or candles. But since the solar power station went into operation last year, nights are as bright as days," said Zhoima, a herdsman in Oulaxiuma.

Survey to Look for Volcanoes by Nuke Site

LAS VEGAS - Aerial surveys will look for evidence of hidden volcanoes around the southern Nevada site tapped to be the nation's nuclear waste repository. [...]

Opponents of the project say they fear dormant volcanoes could become active and spawn earthquakes ( news -web sites ) that could rupture containers buried in the repository, possibly releasing lethal radioactivity. [...]

Forest fires soar in China from September to October

BEIJING (AFP) Nov 23, 2003

China reported 550 forest fires in September and October, up 116.5 percent over the same period last year, state media reported Sunday. [...]

Blackout hits 6,100 households in Kobe

Kyodo News
Sunday, November 23, 2003 at 17:13 JST

KOBE — A blackout hit parts of Kobe around 8:40 a.m. Sunday, affecting about 6,100 households in Hyogo and Nagata wards. Power was restored about half an hour later, police said.

The power outage led to a delay of up to seven minutes on the Japan Railway lines and private railways, as well as the underground railway run by the city of Kobe, police said.

Launch of Einstein's space experiment postponed

November 17, 2003

An exotic satellite mission to test Albert Einstein's theories of space and time, scheduled for blastoff in early December, is being bumped into 2004 by a technical bug.

NASA's $650 million Gravity Probe-B mission, in the planning stages for 40 years, was finally headed to the launch pad this week at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, for liftoff December 6 aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket.

But on Monday, mission leaders concluded that a glitch, originally thought not to be a problem, needed to be corrected. [...]

Gravity Probe-B carries four gyroscopes that serve as the heart of its experiment to test Einstein's universe. Over the course of several months in space, scientists will look for very precise changes in the direction of spin of the four gyros as they provide an almost perfect space-time reference system.

The mission will test two predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity that he advanced in 1916: the geodetic effect -- how space and time are warped by the presence of the Earth -- and frame dragging -- how Earth's rotation drags space and time around with it. [...]

China Plans to Launch its Highest Ever Satellite

By Associated Press
10:35 am ET 20 November 2003

BEIJING -- China's space agency said Thursday it plans to launch its highest-ever satellite later this year using a Chinese-made Long March rocket and in cooperation with the European Space Agency, state media reported.

The China National Space Administration said the satellite would blast off on a Long March 2C-SM rocket to an orbit of 550 kilometers to 66,970 kilometers (340 miles to 41,500 miles), the Xinhua News Agency said.

The satellite will be used to study the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere, the report said. It will carry instruments provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as the European Space Agency under an agreement signed in 2001, it added.

Another Chinese satellite will be launched in the first half of next year under the same program, which is called "Double Star," the report said.

The two Chinese satellites along with four European Space Agency satellites already in orbit would together form a single probe system, able to explore the Earth's magnetic field from six points at once, it said.

Alarm at binge drinking - survey
09:00 Sunday 23rd November 2003

The majority of Britons may be concerned about binge-drinking and drunkenness but very few know how much it is safe to drink, research says.

A poll by Mori found that 78% of people were worried about alcohol-related problems including bad behaviour, with 43% said to be "very concerned".

Yet only 7% of men and 22% of women knew the recommended alcohol allowance of three to four units for men and two to three for women. [...]

Teenage car passenger convicted of drink-driving
17:42 Friday 21st November 2003

A 19-year-old Norwegian has been convicted of drink-driving, even though he was sitting in the passenger seat of a car that didn't have keys in the ignition. [...]

As he ate a hotdog in the passenger seat he leaned over to change a CD and hit the manual gear lever, he said.

The car went into neutral and started to roll, moving about three yards before he pulled on the hand brake.

Unfortunately for him, a police officer was watching and detained him for drink-driving. [...]

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