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November 28, 2003

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Ariel Sharon comes clean in a 1982 interview. Israel is warned by the UN that aid workers will pull out if the security situation doesn't improve. Sharon cheers.

Martial law is, without doubt, coming to the US - just wait and watch for the next phony "terror attack". Troops in Iraq are killing children and innocents, when they are not killing themselves, and all Bush can do is serve up some turkey and chat with Saudi Prince Abdullah. Meanwhile, the WTO gives the US an extension to eliminate steel tariffs.

The UK's bill for their part in Gulf War II is a cool 2 billion pounds, and counting. The Queen pushes biometric ID cards in a speech. It seems the UK will be a testing ground for the new technology.

Australia provokes the ire of a Spanish minister, but we think the Ozzies were on the mark. If a Flu epidemic breaks out, we are all in the soup. The last one killed 40 million.

More strange weather, flaming turkeys, a different warbling bird thought to be extinct is found alive and well, and shocking updates regarding the school that was raided by police. Today marks the anniversary of a major conspiratorial, COINTELPRO cover up, with devastating consequences.

A US reader comments on the ' Thanksgiving day' Signs page:

Yes like all good Americans I stuffed myself on this day with the normal gorgings of turkey and all the trimmings.Upon returning home I began my normal evening readings of the signs page. I have never looked at thanksgiving in the terms that you presented and was pleasantly appalled.The plight of the American indians in the name of Christianity was great I had known that much but as for the actual history of it I had not looked at. The 3 g's god gold greed have not changed in this country since its inception. I am an avid history buff but your page and links to other pages have helped me greatly in seeing the true history of humanity rather than the sugar coated text book version. Keep up your dogged insightful research.

In His Own Words

The interview of Ariel Sharon by Amos Oz

The Middle East is living a nightmare, notably because of a man of Russian origin who became Prime Minister of Israel: Ariel Sharon. What is the profound thought of this man? This is what Amos Oz, an Israeli writer, help us to discover through an interview published by the Israeli daily Davar in December 17, 1982.

Amos Oz reproduced this interview, with others, in his book in Hebrew, 1982: Amos Oz: Poh va-sham be-Erets-Yisra'el bi-setav, 1982, republished by Am Oved, Tel-Aviv, 1986. The interview is on pages 70-82. Amos Oz does not mention the name of Sharon, but uses the abbreviation Z. The facts given by Amos Oz indicate that the person interviewed is Ariel Sharon.

[Sharon]: "You can call me anything you like. Call me a monster or a murderer. Just note that I don't hate Arabs. On the contrary. Personally, I am much more at ease with them, and especially with the Bedouin, than with Jews.

Those Arabs we haven't yet spoilt are proud people, they are irrational, cruel and generous. It's the Yids that are all twisted. In order to straighten them out you have to first bend them sharply the other way. That, in brief, is my whole ideology".

"Call Israel by any name you like, call it a Judeo-Nazi state as does Leibowitz. Why not? Better a live Judeo-Nazi than a dead saint. I don't care whether I am like Ghadafi. I am not after the admiration of the gentiles. I don't need their love. I don't need to be loved by Jews like you either. I have to live, and I intend to ensure that my children will live as well. With or without the blessing of the Pope and the other religious leaders from the New York Times. I will destroy anyone who will raise a hand against my children, I will destroy him and his children, with or without our famous purity of arms. I don't care if he is Christian, Muslim, Jewish or pagan. History teaches us that he who won't kill will be killed by others. That is an iron law".

"Even if you'll prove to me by mathematical means that the present war in Lebanon is a dirty immoral war, I don't care. Moreover, even if you will prove to me that we have not achieved and will not achieve any of our aims in Lebanon, that we will neither create a friendly regime in Lebanon nor destroy the Syrians or even the PLO, even then I don't care. It was still worth it. Even if Galilee is shelled again by Katyushas in a year's time, I don't really care. We shall start another war, kill and destroy more and more, until they will have had enough. And do you know why it is all worth it? Because it seems that this war has made us more unpopular among the so-called civilised world".

"We'll hear no more of that nonsense about the unique Jewish morality, the moral lessons of the holocaust or about the Jews who were supposed to have emerged from the gas chambers pure and virtuous. No more of that. The destruction of Eyn Hilwe (and it's a pity we did not wipe out that hornet's nest completely!), the healthy bombardment of Beirut and that tiny massacre (can you call 500 Arabs a massacre?) in their camps which we should have committed with our own delicate hands rather than let the Phalangists do it, all these good deeds finally killed the bullshit talk about a unique people and of being a light upon the nations. No more uniqueness and no more sweetness and light. Good riddance."

"I personally don't want to be any better than Khomeini or Brezhnev or Ghadafi or Assad or Mrs. Thatcher, or even Harry Truman who killed half a million Japanese with two fine bombs. I only want to be smarter than they are, quicker and more efficient, not better or more beautiful than they are. Tell me, do the baddies of this world have a bad time?If anyone tries to touch them, the evil men cut his hands and legs off. They hunt and catch whatever they feel like eating. They don't suffer from indigestion and are not punished by Heaven. I want Israel to join that club. Maybe the world will then at last begin to fear me instead of feeling sorry for me. Maybe they will start to tremble, to fear my madness instead of admiring my nobility. Thank God for that. Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state. Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy if one of our children is murdered - just one! That we might go wild and burn all the oil fields in the Middle East! If anything would happen to your child, God forbid, you would talk like I do. Let them be aware in Washington, Moscow, Damascus and China that if one of our ambassadors is shot, or even a consul or the most junior embassy official, we might start World War Three just like that!"

"Let me tell me [sic] what is the most important thing, the sweetest fruit of the war in Lebanon: It is that now they don't just hate Israel. Thanks to us, they now also hate all those Feinschmecker Jews in Paris, London, New York, Frankfurt and Montreal, in all their holes. At last they hate all these nice Yids, who say they are different from us, that they are not Israeli thugs, that they are different Jews, clean and decent. Just like the assimilated Jew in Vienna and Berlin begged the anti-Semite not to confuse him with the screaming, stinking Ostjude, who had smuggled himself into that cultural environment out of the dirty ghettos of Ukraine and Poland. It won't help them, those clean Yids, just as it did not help them in Vienna and Berlin. Let them shout that they condemn Israel, that they are all right, that they did not want and don't want to hurt a fly, that they always prefer being slaughtered to fighting, that they have taken it upon themselves to teach the gentiles how to be good Christians by always turning the other cheek. It won't do them any good. Now they are getting it there because of us, and I am telling you, it is a pleasure to watch."

"They are the same Yids who persuaded the gentiles to capitulate to the bastards in Vietnam, to give it in to Khomeini, to Brezhnev, to feel sorry for Sheikh Yamani because of his tough childhood, to make love not war. Or rather, to do neither, and instead write a thesis on love and war. We are through with all that. The Yid has been rejected, not only did he crucify Jesus, but he also crucified Arafat in Sabra and Shatila. They are being identified with us and that's a good thing! Their cemeteries are being desecrated, their synagogues are set on fire, all their old nicknames are being revived, they are being expelled from the best clubs, people shoot into their ethnic restaurants murdering small children, forcing them to remove any sign showing them to be Jews, forcing them to move and change their profession.

"Soon their palaces will be smeared with the slogan: Yids, go to Palestine! And you know what? They will go to Palestine because they will have no other choice! All this is a bonus we received from the Lebanese war.Tell me, wasn't it worth it? Soon we will hit on good times. The Jews will start arriving, the Israelis will stop emigrating and those who already emigrated will return. Those who had chosen assimilation will finally understand that it won't help them to try and be the conscience of the world. The 'conscience of the world' will have to understand through its arse what it could not get into its head. The gentiles have always felt sick of the Yids and their conscience, and now the Yids will have only one option: to come home, all of them, fast, to install thick steel doors, to build a strong fence, to have submachine guns positioned at every corner of their fence here and to fight like devils against anyone who dares to make a sound in this region. And if anyone even raises his hand against us we'll take away half his land and burn the other half, including the oil. We might use nuclear arms. We'll go on until he no longer feels like it..."

"Leibowitz is right, we are Judeo-Nazis, and why not? [...]

"Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don't care. And I don't mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal. Then you can spruce up your Jewish conscience and enter the respectable club of civilised nations, nations that are large and healthy. What you lot don't understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it. True, it could have been finished in 1948, but you interfered, you stopped it. And all this because of the Jewishness in your souls, because of your Diaspora mentality. For the Jews don't grasp things quickly. If you open your eyes and look around the world you will see that darkness is falling again. And we know what happens to a Jew who stays out in the dark. So I am glad that this small war in Lebanon frightened the Yids. Let them be afraid, let them suffer. They should hurry home before it gets really dark. So I am an anti-Semite? Fine. So don't quote me, quote Lilienblum instead [an early Russian Zionist - ed.]. There is no need to quote an anti-Semite. Quote Lilienblum, and he is definitely not an anti-Semite, there is even a street in Tel Aviv named after him".

'Is all that is happening not a clear sign that our forefathers and ourselves ... wanted and still want to be disgraced? That we enjoy living like gypsies.' That's Lilienblum. Not me. Believe me. I went through the Zionist literature, I can prove what I say". "And you can write that I am disgrace to humanity, I don't mind, on the contrary.Let's make a deal: I will do all I can to expel the Arabs from here, I will do all I can to increase anti-Semitism, and you will write poems and essays about the misery of the Arabs and be prepared to absorb the Yids I will force to flee to this country and teach them to be a light unto the gentiles. How about it?"

Comment: Notice above Sharon's mention of "blowing up a few synagogues". The "faked attack" has been a standard part of Israeli policy since the creation of the state. In fact, this tactic is SOP for governments around the world, a fine example being the faked "Arab terrorist" attacks on New York on September 11th 2001. The simple truth is that it is not so strange that this would be done. It is time people woke up to the reality of the world we live in. Sharon above makes clear his long held convictions and intentions. Let no one be surprised when they are fulfilled.

Evidence The U.S. Doesn't Want Bin Laden Caught

Free Press International
Greg Ericson 11.26.03

In May of 1998, John Miller of ABC News did a personal interview with Osama Bin Laden. This interview took place 3 months after Bin Laden called for all Americans to be killed. Bin Laden was also a suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Now ask yourself: Why wasn't Bin Laden captured during this1998 interview? The U.S. was calling Osama a terrorist in 1998. The Pentagon and the CIA certainly have the ability to track John Miller's whereabouts.

Here's more recent evidence the U.S. didn't want Bin Laden caught. The United States allowed members of Osama Bin Laden’s family to jet out of the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of September 11, even as American airspace was closed! Why did the U.S. allow Osama Bin Ladens family to leave when they could have used them for bargaining chips to capture Bin Laden? Please don't say it was because Bin Laden’s family has rights, because the U.S. arrested and jailed over 1000 people after 911. These people didn't get their rights. Could it be that Bush and Bin Laden are working together? The evidence points that way.

Mariani Vs Bush (Full Amended Complaint)

(Philadelphia, PA – 11/26/03) - Philip J. Berg, Esquire, announced today that he, attorney for Ellen Mariani, wife of Louis Neil Mariani, who died when United Air Lines flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9-11 at a news conference regarding the filing of a detailed Amended Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on 11/26/03 in the case of Mariani vs. Bush et al that he is alleging President Bush and officials including, but not limited to Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld and Feinberg that they:

1. had knowledge/warnings of 911 and failed to warn or take steps to prevent;
2. have been covering up the truth of 911; and
3. have therefore violated the laws of the United States; and
4. are being sued under the Civil RICO Act.

The full amended complaint follows…

Hogtied and Abused at Fort Benning

by Kathy Kelly
November 27, 2003

On Sunday, November 23, I took part in a nonviolent civil disobedience action at Fort Benning, GA, to protest the U.S. Army´s School of the Americas (SOA, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation – WHISC)

Shortly after more than two dozen of us entered Fort Benning and were arrested, US Military Police took us to a warehouse on the base for "processing." I was directed to a station for an initial search, where a woman soldier began shouting at me to look straight ahead and spread my legs. I turned to ask her why she was shouting at me and was ordered to keep my mouth shut, look straight ahead, and spread my legs wider. She then began an aggressive body search. When ordered to raise one leg a second time, I temporarily lost my balance while still being roughly searched and, in my view, ‘womanhandled.’ I decided that I shouldn’t go along with this dehumanizing action any longer. When I lowered my arms and said, quietly, "I’m sorry, but I can’t any longer cooperate with this," I was instantly pushed to the floor. Five soldiers squatted around me, one of them referring to me with an expletive (this f_ _ _ er) and began to cuff my wrists and ankles and then bind my wrists and ankles together. Then one soldier leaned on me, with his or her knee in my back. Unable to get a full breath, I gasped and moaned, "I can’t breathe." I repeated this many times and then began begging for help. When I said, "Please, I’ve had four lung collapses before," the pressure on my back eased.

Four soldiers then carried me, hogtied, to the next processing station for interrogation and propped me in a kneeling position. The soldier standing to my left, who had been assigned to "escort" me, gently told me that soon the ankle and wrist cuffs, which were very tight, would be cut off. He politely let me know that he would have to move my hair, which was hanging in front of my face, so that my picture could be taken. I told him I’d appreciate that.

I was then carried to the next station. There, one of the soldiers who’d been part of pushing me to the floor knelt in front of me, and, with his nose about two inches from mine, told me that because I was combative I should know that if I didn’t do exactly as instructed when they uncuffed one hand, he would pepper spray me. I asked him to describe how I’d been combative, but he didn’t answer.

After the processing, I was unbound, shackled with wrist and ankle chains, and led to the section where other peaceful activists, also shackled, awaited transport to the Muskogee County jail.

At our bond hearing on Monday, Nov. 24, a military prosecutor told the federal judge that the military was considering an additional charge against me for resisting arrest. I explained my side of the story to the judge, grateful that there are at least sevreal witnesses upon whom I could call.

The federal judge determined that most of us were "flight risks" and increased by 100% the cash bond required before we could be released, from last year´s $500. to $1000.

Today I have a black eye and the soreness that comes with severe muscle strain. Mostly, I’m burdened with a serious question, "What are these soldiers training for?" The soldiers conducting that search must have been ordered not to tolerate the slightest dissent. They were practicing intimidation tactics far beyond what would be needed to control an avowedly nonviolent group of protesters who had never, in thirteen years of previous actions, caused any disruption during the process of arrest. Bewildered, most of us in the "tank" inside the Muskogee County jail acknowledged that during the rough processing we wondered, "What country do we live in?" We now live in a country where Homeland Security funds pay for exercises which train military and police units to control and intimidate crowds, detainees, and arrestees using threat and force.

The Criminalization of the State

by Michel Chossudovsky
23 November 2003

In the wake of the Iraq war, 18 Iraqis and 2 Jordanians introduced a class action law suit in a Brussels Court against General Franks, Commander of the US Armed Forces in Iraq.

Based on the law of “universal jurisdiction”, characteristic of Belgian law concerning genocide and war crimes, General Franks was identified:

"for ordering war crimes and for not preventing others from committing them or for providing protection to the perpetrators."

The law suit does not solely implicate General Franks, who was obeying orders from higher up: Under the war agenda, high ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military, the US Congress and the Judiciary have been granted the authority not only to commit criminal acts, but also to designate those opposed to these criminal acts as "enemies of the State."

In other words, the "Criminalization of the State", is when war criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to decide "who are the criminals", when in fact they are criminals.

Franks' statement no doubt reflects a consensus within the Military as to how events ought to unfold. It is clear in his mind that the "war on terrorism" provides a justification for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to preserving civil liberties.

Franks' interview suggests that an Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack will be used as a "trigger mechanism" for a military coup d'état in America. Franks is alluding to a so-called "Pearl Harbor type event" which would be used as a justification for declaring a State of emergency, leading to the establishment of a military government.

In many regards, the militarisation of civilian State institutions is already functional under the facade of a bogus democracy.

General Franks has nonetheless identified with cynical accuracy the precise scenario whereby military rule will be established:

"a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event."

This statement from an individual who was actively involved in military and intelligence planning at the highest levels, suggests that the "militarisation of our country" is an ongoing operational assumption. It is part of the broader "Washington consensus". It identifies the Bush administration's "roadmap" of war and Homeland Defense. Needless to say, it is also an integral part of the neoliberal agenda.

The "terrorist massive casualty-producing event" is presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil are intended to facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures.

In the words of David Rockefeller:

"We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order."

A similar statement was made by Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Grand Chessboard:

"As America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."

The NeoCons' Project for the New American Century ( PNAC), published in September 2000, barely two months before the presidential elections, called for:

"some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."

What is terrifying in General Franks' statement is that it accurately reflects official US foreign policy. It comes from a man who obeys orders emanating from the military command structure.

In other words, his statement accurately reveals the Pentagon's frame of mind. Moreover, it comes from a military man who speaks with a profound sense of conviction, who firmly believes in the righteousness of war as a means to safeguarding democratic values.

In other words, the military actors and politicians are totally blinded by the "war on terrorism" dogma. Truth is falsehood and falsehood is truth. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards upholding democracy. Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping operations." The repeal of democracy is portrayed by General Franks as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

Needless to say: any attempt by antiwar critics to reveal these "inconsistencies" or "unanswered questions" would --under General Frank's scenario-- be defined as a "criminal act". In other words, those who are investigating "the war on terrorism" and the military, political and economic actors behind the New World Order, with a view to establishing the truth, are categorized as "enemies of the State", and consequently as criminals:

"The 'war on terrorism' is the cover for the war on dissent."

Comment: "The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. " - H.L. Mencken

Mayhem in Miami

Comment: A 16-minute video produced by Democracy Now! The 8.5 million budget for this police action came from the 87 billion Iraq spending bill passed by Congress. Welocme to the Police State.

Armed Police Invade High School

Comment: This is a follow up to the story we posted on the Signs page. With around twenty shocking images, the story reveals something the media did not report - there was also a military presence during the raid.

US troops kill 12-year-old

November 27 2003

Mosul - A 12-year-old Iraqi boy was killed and four other bystanders were seriously wounded as United States troops clashed with insurgents in Iraq's main northern city late on Wednesday killing four of them, police and medics said.

Two US soldiers were also wounded in the twin clashes in Mosul city centre, police said

US forces kill Iraqi motorist 'in error'

Friday 28 November 2003

US occupation soldiers have shot dead an Iraqi motorist “in error” in the northern city of Kirkuk.

Thursday’s killing is the sixth such incident in recent months, said police.

Riad Khalas Abd Allah, 25, was driving at a normal speed 150 metres from one of a series of US checkpoints around the heavily guarded main square when the soldiers opened fire, said Police Major Adnan Muhammad Sadr.

His vehicle turned up no weapons and no explosives, said the major in the US-trained police.

Soldier suicides in Iraq increase

Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A U.S. commander warned troops Thursday to watch their friends because suicides were on the rise.

"Check on your buddy," Lt. Col. Harry Nantz told soldiers Thursday, urging them to be vigilant for signs of depression.

Since April, at least 17 Americans -- 15 Army soldiers and two Marines -- have taken their own lives in Iraq, the military said. At least two dozen noncombat deaths, some possible suicides, are under investigation, according to a review of Army casualty reports.

The military sent a 12-person mental health team to Iraq to see what can be done to help troops cope with anxiety and depression. The team completed its mission and is expected to make recommendations soon.

Underscoring the continuing violence, a U.S. military convoy came under attack Thursday on the main highway west of Baghdad near the town of Abu Ghraib, witnesses said. A cameraman filmed two flatbed military trucks abandoned with cabs ablaze as dozens of townspeople looted tires and parts. The military had no information.

One stuffed Turkey carrying another

Bush returns after Iraq dash

Friday 28 November 2003

US President George Bush has arrived back in the United States after a clandestine trip to Iraq to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with US troops in Baghdad.

The president's plane touched down at Andrews Air Force base just outside Washington at about 12.25am on Friday morning, before jetting on to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, according to an Air Force sergeant.

From start to finish, Bush's trip took a little over 30 hours, most of them spent in the air. With him were a handful of aides, US Secret Service agents and reporters, all of whom had been sworn to secrecy.

News of the visit was not even released until Air Force One had already left for fear of the sort of missile fire that forced an emergency landing by a DHL civilian cargo jet last week.

Troops of the 1st Armoured Division which patrols the area around the Iraqi capital leapt to their feet, threw their arms in the air and cheered when the surprise guest arrived at their US holiday feast.

"I was looking for a warm meal somewhere, thanks for inviting me to dinner," said the US commander in chief in his familiar "downhome" manner, to deafening applause from the troops.

"I can't think of a finer group of folks to be having Thanksgiving dinner with," Bush, with brightly coloured military standards behind him, told the soldiers from the 1st Armoured and 82nd Airborne divisions and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in a huge hangar-like mess hall at Baghdad airport.

"I bring a message on behalf of America, we thank you for your service,"

Comment: Unfortunately the Iraqi people seem to feel a little differently. If Bush thinks the "US troops are a fine bunch of folks", why is he sacrificing their lives for his own personal and political gain? Why is he forcing them to commit such brutal and inhuman acts that many of them are resorting to suicide?

Some Understand Covert Journey; Others Fear Bad Precedent

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 28, 2003; Page A44

Although the White House lied to much of the press to conceal President Bush's Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad, many journalists and analysts yesterday were willing to give the administration a pass. [...]

But Philip Taubman, Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, said that "in this day and age, there should have been a way to take more reporters. People are perfectly capable of maintaining a confidence for security reasons. It's a bad precedent." Once White House officials "decided to do a stealth trip, they bought into a whole series of things that are questionable."

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, criticized the White House correspondents who made the trip without spilling the secret. "That's just not kosher," he said. "Reporters are in the business of telling the truth. They can't decide it's okay to lie sometimes because it serves a larger truth or good cause."

The deception was so complete that White House officials had not only said the president would be spending the holiday in Crawford, Tex., but they also announced a free-range turkey menu. The Associated Press carried a report Wednesday, based on a "senior administration official," that while in Crawford, "President Bush will spend part of his Thanksgiving Day calling soldiers to express his and the nation's gratitude for their service in Iraq." [...]

Former White House spokesman Joe Lockhart, who worked for President Bill Clinton, said: "There's no way to do this kind of trip if it's broadcast in advance, for security reasons. My problem with this is not that he misled the press. This is a president who has been unwilling to provide his presence to the families who have suffered but thinks nothing of flying to Baghdad to use the troops there as a prop." [...]

Bush trip kept secret

November 28, 2003

Aboard Air Force One -- His top aides knew. Many of his guards didn't.

Extraordinary secrecy was the order of the day for President Bush's unannounced trip to Iraq today. And most people were out of the loop.

The White House says first lady Laura Bush didn't find out about the trip until the past two days. Bush's daughters weren't told until hours before he left. And former President Bush and the former first lady weren't going to find out until they arrived for Thanksgiving dinner at the president's Texas ranch. [...]

Comment: A wise move on Dubya's part given the elder Bush's dealings with assassins and terrorists.

How British charity was silenced on Iraq

Kevin Maguire
Friday November 28, 2003
The Guardian

One of Britain's most high-profile charities was ordered to end criticism of military action in Iraq by its powerful US wing to avoid jeopardising financial support from Washington and corporate donors, a Guardian investigation has discovered.

Internal emails reveal how Save the Children UK came under enormous pressure after it accused coalition forces of breaching the Geneva convention by blocking humanitarian aid.

Senior figures at Save the Children US, based in Westport, Connecticut, demanded the withdrawal of the criticism and an effective veto on any future statements blaming the invasion for the plight of Iraqi civilians suffering malnourishment and shortages of medical supplies.

Uncovered documents expose tensions within an alliance that describes itself as "the world's largest independent global organisation for children" but which is heavily reliant on governments and big business for cash. [...]

Comment: Obviously, part of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" involved denying food and basic supplies to Iraqis.

Iraq war diverting resources from war on terror, experts say

By Warren P. Strobel
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Wed, Nov. 26, 2003

WASHINGTON - A growing number of counter-terrorism experts are challenging President Bush's assertion that Iraq is a major battle in the war against terrorism and are questioning whether the U.S. invasion of Iraq has hurt rather than helped the global battle against al-Qaida and its affiliates.

Experts who have served in top positions in both Republican and Democratic administrations are increasingly suggesting that the Iraq war has diverted momentum, troops and intelligence resources from the worldwide campaign to destroy the remnants of al-Qaida.

They note that the presence of U.S. troops in an Arab homeland is serving as a major recruiting tool for signing up and motivating new jihadis, or Islamic holy warriors.

"Fighting Iraq had little to do with fighting the war on terrorism, until we made it (so)," said Richard Clarke, who was a senior White House counter-terrorism official under Bush and President Bill Clinton. [...]

UK's Iraq war bill tops $3 billion

Friday 28 November 2003 6:08 AM GMT

The invasion and occupation of Iraq have cost Britain more than two billion pounds ($3.4 billion).

Quoting the Treasury, the Financial Times on Friday reported that the cost of fighting in Iraq was 850 million pounds ($1500 million) in the year to the end of March, shortly after the US-led invasion to topple former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein began.

A further 1.23 billion pounds ($2.10 billion) has been spent in the current financial year, the newspaper reported.

According to The Financial Times the three billion pounds ($5.2 billion) set aside to cover the costs of fighting Iraq will, at this rate, run out in the first half of 2004.

It has been estimated that Britain's continuing peace-keeping presence in Iraq is costing between 100 million and 200 million pounds a month ($172 million and $343 million), it said.

Britain has about 10,000 troops in Iraq, most of them in the south of the country.

Saudi leader calls Bush to discuss Iraq

Friday November 28, 3:55 PM

Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia, on Thursday called US President George W. Bush for a telephone conversation on the situation in Iraq, the official Saudi news agency SPA said.

The two men discussed the Middle East peace process and the situation in Iraq, including the stability and unity of that country, the agency said. [...]

Raid On Arab TV Network Hardly A Democratic Move

Dictators Should Be Only Ones Shutting Down Media Broadcasts

The Boston Channel
5:23 p.m. EST November 26, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The raid by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi officials on an Arab television network bureau in Baghdad and the ban on its broadcasts hardly fits my idea of how to spread democracy in the Middle East.

Isn't that the first thing dictators do -- shut down broadcast outlets and newspapers? For those in power, tolerating a free press is difficult, even in a democracy.

As a foreign occupier in Iraq, we are proving that it is intolerable.

The terrible irony here is that we pride ourselves on offering a model to the rest of the world on how to design -- and live by -- our constitutional freedoms. [...]

At the same time, we're snuffing out news outlets we don't like. [...]

Rumsfeld grouses that the two stations were violently against the American coalition. He hopes to counter their influence when a U.S.-controlled TV satellite channel begins broadcasts next month.

Then will the Iraqis and the Arab world be guaranteed the truth?

In a brilliant speech earlier this month before the National Conference on Media Reform, broadcaster and former newspaper editor Bill Moyers warned that American media conglomerates may find common cause "with an imperial state." [...]

White House and Pentagon reporters initially pulled their punches in reporting on the Iraqi war. Some media outlets admittedly did not want to rock the boat by showing grisly photos or videotape that could be disturbing to Americans.

As a result, many Americans tuned in on foreign news channels to get the full picture of the war.

Even now, with the administration's pro-war arguments reduced to a pile of confetti, many news outlets have failed to demand accountability from the Bush administration for what appears to be systematic dishonesty in trying to justify the U.S. attack.

This failure and the U.S.-led suppression of newsgathering in Iraq show that the historic American model for a free and independent press needs courageous bolstering.

The Hidden, Unseen War

Shielded from the reality of war -- the dead, the horribly maimed, the uranium poisoned, the psychologically devastated -- we are given a sanitized fantasy of war that shields Bush from the political consequences of this bloody, unnecessary war.

Comment: Over 7000 US soldiers have been injured.

What has failed in Palestine, will fail in Iraq

Ali Abunimah
Electronic Iraq
26 November 2003, 12:38

Just as many senior Israeli military officials are openly criticizing their government's tactics in the occupied Palestinian territories, the United States is repeating in Iraq many of Israel's worst mistakes. This will doom efforts to stabilize Iraq and restore its independence.

"In a tactic reminiscent of Israeli crackdowns in the West Bank and Gaza," reported the Detroit Free Press on November 18, "the U.S. military has begun destroying the homes of suspected guerrilla fighters in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, evacuating women and children, then leveling their houses with heavy weaponry...Family members at one of the houses, in the village of al Haweda, said they were given five minutes to evacuate before soldiers opened fire."

This is precisely the tactic for which human rights organizations and even the U.S. government have repeatedly condemned Israel. [...]

"Facing a bloody insurgency by guerrillas who label it an 'occupier,' the military has quietly turned to an ally experienced with occupation and uprisings: Israel." In the last six months, the report adds, "U.S. Army commanders, Pentagon officials and military trainers have sought advice from Israeli intelligence and security officials on everything from how to set up roadblocks to the best way to bomb suspected guerrilla hide-outs in an urban area."

Americans should be alarmed that their government is seeking advice on how to run the occupation of Iraq from an Israel whose bloody methods have not only failed for thirty-six years to bring "security" and end resistance to the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but have been often condemned by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International as "war crimes." [...]

Americans should also be aware that in the wider Arab and Muslim worlds, the strikingly similar images of both occupations, feed the mounting anger and fear about United States foreign policy, and in the worst case fuel the extremism the U.S. says it wants to fight. [...]

Israel army warned by UN for shooting at aid workers

By Eric Silver in Jerusalem
28 November 2003

The United Nations and other international relief agencies have warned that they may have to cease operating in the occupied territories unless Israel eases the closures that severely restrict their movement through the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The aid agencies have complained bitterly to Israel about soldiers firing on their relief workers, even when traffic has been co-ordinated in advance. "Several organisations are now seriously considering whether they should continue to work at all under these circumstances," they said.

They complain that despite numerous meetings with the military authorities, the relief agencies are subjected to unpredictable and sudden changes on the ground, whose purpose is often obscure and rarely explained.

Despite the growing anger among aid organisations, diplomatic sources said there was "no prospect" of the UN itself ending its programme of feeding poor Palestinian families in the occupied territories, something it has been doing for five decades.

Comment: In this last paragraph we see the reason for targetting of relief workers by Israeli forces.

Europe's New Air War

Why are US allies building their own global positioning system? Call it a declaration of independence.

By Oliver Morton

In December 2001, a letter from Washington arrived at the 15 defense ministries of the European Union. The writer was Paul Wolfowitz, the forthright and hawkish US deputy secretary of defense; the subject was a European satellite system called Galileo; and the tone was far from happy.

A planned fleet of 30 satellites dedicated to the broadcast of positioning data, Galileo promises to be an updated European equivalent to the familiar US Global Positioning System, whose signals allow everyone from muddled drivers to overnight hikers to pinpoint their location. Beginning in 2008, Galileo will supplement and improve on the accuracy of existing GPS satellites, serving consumers around the world. In short, Europeans will pay for a new network, while Americans, who use satellite positioning services more than most, will benefit.

To Wolfowitz, though, and to many others in the United States, there is more to it than that. GPS is not just a convenience to consumers. It is also a crucial element of US military power, enabling new forms of precision warfare — like guided bombs and, in the future, individual guided shells. Currently, the US decides what nations use the military GPS signals; the US determines whether civilian signals should be jammed if unfriendly powers try to use them for threatening purposes; and the US dominates the industry that makes the related equipment. Galileo would end this monopoly. It would encourage the establishment of new location-based services outside the United States. It would open up the possibility of outside parties using precision weapons for purposes that undermine US foreign policy. It could even, conceivably, lead to satellite navigation being used directly against the US.

Not all of these issues were mentioned in Wolfowitz's letter, which was promptly leaked to the press. His missive focused on the nitty-gritty, warning that Galileo's signals — which will be transmitted on frequencies similar to those of GPS so that the same receivers can use both - could interfere with new military signals to be introduced by the US beginning in 2003. While he was careful to mention only military issues for which various technical fixes are under discussion, Wolfowitz was widely seen as encouraging Europe to oppose the project entirely. "It was an attempt at sabotage," one European official maintains.

If so, it didn't work. Wolfowitz's displeasure may in fact have heightened Galileo's appeal. The deputy secretary's hard-line stance on the Middle East, combined with his tendency to exclude European officials from Pentagon thinking, does not play well in the EU. According to Charles Grant, head of a think tank called the Centre for European Reform, the general European view of Wolfowitz is "unprintable." [...]

Government to press on with ID cards

By Gareth Morgan

But experts still warn that biometric technologies are not yet mature enough

Plans to introduce identity cards have been included in the Queen's Speech today, marking a significant testing ground for biometric security technology.

Details of the plans were kept to a minimum, with Her Majesty telling parliament that the government "will take forward work on an incremental approach to a national identity cards scheme and will publish a draft bill in the new year".

It is likely that the cards will incorporate biometric technology. With potentially almost 50 million cards (for UK citizens aged 16 or above) being issued, this would be a major testing ground for the technology. [...]

On this day in 1953

Frank Olson, government scientist, jumped (with a lot of help from the CIA) to his death from the Statler Hotel in New York City. In 1975 it is revealed that Olson had been administered LSD by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb in a CIA experiment.

From the Family Statement on the Murder of Frank Olson, August 8, 2002:

1. The death of Frank Olson on November 28, 1953 was a murder, not a suicide.

2. This is not an LSD drug-experiment story, as it was represented in 1975. This is a biological warfare story. Frank Olson did not die because he was an experimental guinea pig who experienced a "bad trip." He died because of concern that he would divulge information concerning a highly classified CIA interrogation program called "ARTICHOKE" in the early 1950’s, and concerning the use of biological weapons by the United States in the Korean War.

3. The truth concerning the death of Frank Olson was concealed from the Olson family as well as from the public in 1953. In 1975 a cover story regarding Frank Olson’s death was disseminated. At the same time a renewed coverup of the truth concerning this story was being carried out at the highest levels of government, including the White House. The new coverup involved the participation of persons serving in the current Administration.

The Frank Olson Legacy Project provides more information on not just this murder, but other US and UK government human experimentation. Also see our COINTELPRO Timeline for more information on these topics.

Spain demands Davis Cup apology

Friday, 28 November, 2003

Spain's sports minister has expressed his outrage after the wrong Spanish national anthem was played before the start of the Davis Cup tennis final. Juan Antonio Gomez-Angulo, who was in the stands, has urged the Spanish ambassador to seek an explanation from the Australian government.

Gomez-Angulo said: "It was an offence to the Spanish nation."

He had waved furiously and yelled as a pre-civil war republican anthem was played for the Spanish team.

Gomez-Angulo said he was not satisfied with a formal apology issued by hosts Tennis Australia over the blunder.

"We cannot trivialise the national anthem of any nation and of course I will take my complaint further. The protest will go further than it did at the tennis arena," he said.

"Apologies have been accepted in the first instance so as not to affect the process of the competition.

"I reiterate that we are demanding a formal apology through the Spanish embassy in Australia and an explanation from the Australian government, so that at a sports level the root of the problem can be corrected for this offence done to the Spanish nation."

There was booing amongst Spanish supporters in the crowd as soon as the pro-Franco anthem began.

Comment: Oh the irony! With Spanish PM Aznar parroting Bush's lies and propaganda to the letter, perhaps a return to the Franco's fascist anthem would be more appropriate for Spain.

Signs N.Korea May Abandon Nuclear Ambition-S.Korea

November 28, 2003

TOKYO (Reuters) - North Korea, locked in a dispute with the United States over its nuclear weapons program, is showing signs of abandoning its nuclear ambitions, a South Korean government spokesman said on Friday.

"It is very fortunate for the future of the Korean peninsula that North Korea shows signs of giving up its nuclear program and that the United States has indicated its intention to provide North Korea with security assurances," visiting South Korean government spokesman Cho Young-dong told reporters in Tokyo. [...]

US Gets 9 Days to Abide by Steel Ruling

November 28, 2003

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States has been given nine more days to abide by a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that its steel import duties are illegal, postponing the threat of retaliatory sanctions, trade officials said on Friday.

WTO states had been due to meet on Monday to rubber-stamp the verdict of the trade body's highest court upholding the complaint of the European Union, Japan, China, Brazil and a number of other countries against the duties.

The meeting will now be held on December 10.

The EU has said that it is ready to hit Washington with some $2.2 billion in sanctions within five days of the WTO's approving the court ruling, if the duties are not removed. [...]

Woman's Disappearance Baffles N. Dakota

Driver seriously hurt by brick through windscreen
10:57 Friday 28th November 2003

A 41-year-old driver has been seriously injured when a brick was thrown through the windscreen of her car as her two young children sat in the back.

The woman was driving along a busy main road at Bethersden, near Ashford in Kent, when the brick flew through the glass and hit her in the face. [...]

She added that officers are urgently trying to trace witnesses to the attack, and revealed that it is the third time a brick had been thrown at a vehicle on the road in two days. [...]

World 'not ready' for killer flu

28 November, 2003

Many countries are not sufficiently prepared in the event of a global flu pandemic, say researchers.
US experts writing in the journal Science says that many countries may be vulnerable if a lethal strain emerges.

They say that vaccines and drugs should be stockpiled to guard against a severe outbreak - but this is not happening.

Richard Webby and Robert Webster, from St Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, said that a pandemic was inevitable - and may be imminent.

Pandemics in 1918 - the so-called Spanish flu - 1957 and 1968 killed many millions.

Mild flu

Recent years have seen particularly mild flu in many countries, and although this year's "Fujian" strain has posed more problems - particularly in Australia - experts say there is no sign so far this year of a major outbreak.

However, the researchers say that, should a deadly new strain emerge, the only way of protecting the public would be through mass vaccination - and the sheer quantities of vaccine required would be huge. [...]

Thousands of Red Cross workers hit by Aids

Associated Press
13:05 Thursday 27th November 2003

HIV/Aids is threatening the international Red Cross, with thousands of aid workers hit by the disease, the organisation has revealed. [...]

The federation estimates that around 200,000 of its 97 million employees and voluntary aid workers worldwide are suffering from HIV/Aids, most of them in Africa, where the disease has struck hardest. Many provide essential care for other sufferers. [...]

Decades after creation, viruses defy cure

By Robert Lemos
Staff Writer, CNET
November 25, 2003, 4:00AM PT

Of all the accomplishments in the annals of technology, Fred Cohen's contribution is undeniably unique: He introduced the term "virus" to the lexicon of computers.

The University of New Haven professor used the phrase in a 1984 research paper, in which he described threats self-propagating programs pose and explored potential defenses against them. When he asked for funding from the National Science Foundation three years later to further explore countermeasures, the agency rebuffed him.

"They turned it down," said Cohen, who is also principal analyst for research firm Burton Group. "They said it wasn't of current interest."

Two decades later, countless companies and individuals are still paying for that mistake. The technology industry has yet to find a blanket solution to the ever-growing list of viruses and worms that constitute the greatest risk to computers on the Internet. Every year, companies lose billions of dollars when forced to halt work and deal with infectious digital diseases, such as Sobig and Slammer.

While much attention has been paid to the malicious online attackers who exploit technology's vulnerabilities, little has been documented about the origins of the virus. Its early iterations were not created by malcontent teenagers or antisocial geeks but by campus researchers, system administrators and a handful of old-school hackers who thought that the ability to reproduce their programs automatically was a neat trick. [...]

Fog forces cancellation of flights at Paris airport

EU pledges millions of dollars to help poor countries combat climate change

MILAN (AFP) Nov 26, 2003

The European Union has pledged 390 million dollars (325 million euros) a year to help developing countries from 2005 fight the damaging effects of climate change, Italian officials said Wednesday. [...]

Typhoon Yoyoy in R.P., but no effect yet (Philippines)

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Thursday announced that Typhoon Yoyoy has entered the Philippine area of responsibility and is moving in a northwest direction. [...]

Earthquake rocks Bacolod, Iloilo (Philippines)

An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale rocked parts of Western Visayas Thursday night, belated reports reaching Radio dzMM said Friday. [...]

Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the earthquake was tectonic in origin. [...]

Long lost bird found alive in remote part of Fiji

SUVA (AFP) Nov 28, 2003

A bird believed to have been believed extinct for over a century has been found alive and warbling in Fiji, a bird group said here Friday.

BirdLife Fiji researchers rediscovered the long-legged warbler (Trichocichla rufa), last seen in 1894, and managed to photograph it for the first time ever. They also recorded its "beautiful warbling songs". [...]

Official: Bell didn’t invent the telephone

Top secret file reveals that businessmen suppressed the identity of the telephone’s real inventor

Minn. Man Burns Down Garage While Cooking

November 28, 2003

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Bill Fickett wanted to give his wife a break from the kitchen on Thanksgiving, so he offered to cook. His kind gesture ended up causing about $14,000 in damage.

"I don't know how it happened," Fickett said. "My wife just had a baby, so I said I'd take care of the turkey."

He decided to try his hand at deep-fat frying a turkey. He borrowed a fryer and got directions from a friend. He bought a thermometer to make sure the oil didn't get too hot.

Fickett said he was heating up about 3 gallons of oil before the fire started. He adjusted the temperature to the recommended 350 degrees, then stepped into the house to get the bird.

Next thing he knew, smoke was pouring out of the garage. [...]

"We just had to have chicken instead of turkey," he said. "I'll probably stick to baking them now."

Women pay to put best foot forward

Sarah Ryan
CanWest News Service
Thursday, November 27, 2003

A trend toward cosmetic foot surgery is leading Canadian women to give up a slice of their toes to fit into trendy high-heeled shoes.

The procedures, already popular in the United States, are now being performed in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa.

Dr. Robert Chelin, president of the Canadian Podiatric Medical Association, performs the surgery on "fashion oriented" professional women, including lawyers, doctors and editors. [...]

World's biggest liar accused of cheating
09:52 Friday 28th November 2003

The winner of the world's biggest liar competition has been accused of cheating and of "not being Cumbrian".

South African Abrie Kruger became the first overseas winner of the event since it began in 1974. [...]

John Graham, 65, a veteran winner of the contest, claimed Mr Kruger broke the strict rules by reading from a script while telling his lies and using props. [...]

Mr Graham accused Copeland council, the organisers, of ruining the "ancient lying night" by selecting Mr Kruger as the winner. But Mr Kruger said he wrote his script by doing research in the area and denied cheating. [...]

Comment: We have one veteran liar claiming the winning liar cheated, and the winning liar stating with the utmost sincerity that he didn't cheat. So, who is really the biggest liar? The world may never know...

Europe Plans to Issue Passports for Pets

BRUSSELS, Belgium - In an effort to make it easier for pets to travel with their owners in Europe, The European Commission on Thursday proposed issuing wallet-sized passports for dogs, cats and ferrets.

Owners will be able to use a standardized blue booklet stamped with the European Union's circle of gold stars, listing vaccinations and certifying the pets are rabies-free. [...]

Swedes told to beware drunk and disorderly elks
10:59 Friday 28th November 2003

Swedish authorities are warning citizens to be on the look out for berry-intoxicated elks.

It follows an attack on a woman in the city of Karlshamn.

Experts say the animals are likely to get even more aggressive as they feast on the last of the summer berries which have fermented into potent alcoholic fruit.

Paul Stamberg from Krisitiansand in Norway, who is encountering the same problem, said: "Some elks get very calm but others very aggressive after they've had alcoholic fruit, just like humans."

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