Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
January 9, 2004
Picture of the Day
Most readers will be aware of the comparisons being made between Bush and Hitler as a result of the moveon.org advertisement, and its public condemnation by groups like the ADL. Thanks to this publicity, the comparison has reached many more people across the globe than would normally be the case for an alternative media web site. Still, there is little hope that many people will take the comparison seriously. Due to a combination of media manipulation and a strong desire on the part of American (and world) citizens to believe "they wouldn't do that", most will dismiss the idea that the fourth Reich might have been reborn in present day America.
Most people perceive themselves as rational, conscious, observant beings and "in tune with reality". Perhaps many Germans, just 65 years ago, also considered themselves rational. Many ordinary Germans did not fully comprehend the true nature of fascism until it was too late. Reality is often not readily apparent, rather reality is obscured via the media's finely honed propaganda techniques. The media has made good use of these 65 years, applying many of the gains of science and technology.
Hitler understood very well the minds of the people. To quote him in Mein kampf:
Even as Hitler massacred millions, he was loved by rational, conscious, observant German civilians. By the time they realised their horrible complicity in the situation, it was too late. Today, can any US citizen stand up and confidently claim that their government is not engaging in similar manipulation of the population? Can any US citizen, in good conscience, assert that the clearly belligerent nature of the Bush administration and those directing its policies will not lead them to the same fate as the unwitting Germans under Hitler?
Before answering, consider today's Signs of the Times.
The Bush Reich is pushing for the right to declare US Citizens as Enemy Combatants or terrorists, with claims that it is for your protection. The problem is that the definition of a terrorist has been expanded and distorted so that just about anyone can fall under that category. As more people become irate over continued war and the failing economy, more people will fall under the legal definition of terrorist. There will be no trials, you will be guilty before proven innocent, and cowardly and complicit Congress will pass any law Bush gives them. The world's largest terrorist state will continue to terrorize the world with lies of WMD and terrorize its citizens with accusations of terrorist. These are sad days for those who love the principles the US represented and for those who love the country itself. It appears the USA may be gone forever.
It is reported that Saddam has cancer. Who knows just what to believe, with the over flowing cornucopia of lies from the Bush administration? A bit too convenient for Bush. He got his PR stunt and a misdirection from the WMD questions. Now Saddam may not have enough time to implicate the Bush regime with tales of their long relationship, or not enough time for the world to figure out he is not the real Saddam. He may have enough time however to indict himself and then pass the blame off on Syria. Meanwhile, a new photo surfaces that contradicts the official Saddam capture story.
The Israelis make fools of the Libyans, it would seem that a secret is only secret if it is in the interest of Israel to keep it secret.
The US is in the market for UFOs.
The "duck muck" is back! Regular readers know that we are referring to a mysterious and smelly substance that repeatedly coated homes in New Zealand. There were several theories that just did not add up, and then talk of the phenomenon died as the muck season wound down. This time Illinois is hit.
t r u t h
o u t | Reader Submission
My family was one of Hitler's victims. We lost a lot under the Nazi occupation, including an uncle who died in the camps and a cousin killed by a booby trap. I was terrified when my father went ballistic after finding my brother and me playing with a hand grenade. (I was only 12 at the time, and my brother insisted the grenade was safe.) I remember the rubble and the hardships of 'austerity' - and the bomb craters from Allied bombs. As late as the 1980s, I had to take detours while bombs were being removed - they litter the countryside, buried under parking lots,buildings, and in the canals and rivers to this day. Believe me, I learned a lot about Hitler while I was growing up, both in Europe and here in the US - both my parents were in the war and talked about it constantly, unlike most American families. I spent my earliest years with the second-hand fear that trickled down from their PTSD - undiagnosed and untreated in those days.
I'm no expert on WWII - but I learned a lot about what happened in Germany - and Europe - back in those days. I always wondered how the wonderful German people - so honest, decent, hard-working, friendly, and generous - could ever allow such a thing to happen. (There were camps near my family's home - they still talk about them only in hushed conspiratorial whispers.) I asked a lot of questions - we were only a few kilometers from the German border - and no one ever denied me. My relatives had obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the war - they still haven't forgotten - I don't think anyone can forget such a horrible nightmare. Among the questions I asked:
Why didn't you do anything about the people in the camps?
Didn't you see what was happening?
Did anyone know what was going on?
Why didn't the German people stop the Nazis?
These are some of the answers I gleaned over the years. As a child, I was fascinated with the Nazis. I thought the German soldiers were really something - that's how strong an impression they made, even after the war. After all, they weren't the ones committing war crimes - they were the pride of their families and communities. It was just the SS and Gestapo that were 'bad'. Now I know better -but that pride in the military was a strong factor for many years, only adding to the mystique of military power - after all, my father had been a soldier too, but in the American army. It took a while to figure out the truth.
Every time I've gone back to Europe, someone has taken me to the 'gardens of stone' - the Allied cemeteries that dot the countryside. With great sadness, my relatives would stand in abject misery, remembering the nightmare, and asking 'Why?'. Maybe that's why they wouldn't support the US invasion of Iraq. They knew war. They knew occupation. And they knew resistance. I saw the building where British flyers hid on their way back to England - smuggled out by brave families that risked the lives of everyone to help the Allies. As a child, I had played in a basement, where the cow lived under the house, as is common there. The same place those flyers hid.
So why, now, when I hear GWB's speeches, do I think of Hitler? Why have I drawn a parallel between the Nazis and the present administration? Just one small reason -the phrase 'Never forget'. Never let this happen again. It is better to question our government - because it really can happen here - than to ignore the possibility.
So far, I've seen nothing to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course as Hitler. And I've seen far too many analogies to dismiss the possibility. The propaganda. The lies. The rhetoric. The nationalism. The flag waving. The pretext of 'preventive war'. The flaunting of international law and international standards of justice. The disappearances of 'undesirable' aliens. The threats against protesters. The invasion of a non-threatening sovereign nation. The occupation of a hostile country. The promises of prosperity and security. The spying on ordinary citizens. The incitement to spy on one's neighbors - and report them to the government. The arrogant triumphant pride in military conquest. The honoring of soldiers. The tributes to 'fallen warriors. The diversion of money to the military. The demonization of government appointed 'enemies'. The establishment of 'Homeland Security'. The dehumanization of 'foreigners'. The total lack of interest in the victims of government policy. The incarceration of the poor and mentally ill. The growing prosperity from military ventures. The illusion of 'goodness' and primacy. The new einsatzgrupen forces. Assassination teams. Closed extralegal internment camps. The militarization of domestic police. Media blackout of non-approved issues. Blacklisting of protesters - including the no-fly lists and photographing dissenters at rallies.
There isn't much doubt in my mind - anyone who compares the history of Hitler's rise to power and the progression of recent events in the US cannot avoid the parallels. It's incontrovertible. Is Bush another Hitler? Maybe not, but with each incriminating event, the parallel grows -it certainly cannot be dismissed. There's too much evidence already. Just as Hitler used American tactics to plan and execute his reign, it looks as if Karl Rove is reading Hitler's playbook to plan world domination - and that is the stated intent of both. From the Reichstag fire to the landing at Nuremberg to the motto of "Gott Mit Uns" to the unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq to the insistence that peace was the ultimate goal, the line is unbroken and unwavering.
I'm afraid now, that what may still come to pass is a reign far more savage and barbaric than that of the Nazis. Already, appeasement has been fruitless - it only encourages the brazen to escalate their arrogance and braggadocio. Americans support Bush - by a generous majority - and mass media sings his praises while indicting his detractors - or silencing their opinions completely. The American people seem to care only about the domestic economic situation - and even in that, they are in complete denial. They don't want to hear about Iraq, and Afghanistan is already forgotten. Even the Democratic opposition supports the occupation of Iraq. Everyone seems to agree that Saddam Hussein deserves to be executed -with or without a trial. 'Visitors' are fingerprinted. Guilty until proven innocent. Snipers are on New York City rooftops. When do the Stryker teams start appearing on American streets? They're perfectly suited for 'Homeland Security' - and they've had a trial run in Iraq. The Constitution has been suspended - until further notice. Dick Cheney just mentioned it may be for decades - even a generation, as Rice asserts as well. Is this the start of the 1000 year reign of this new collection of thugs? So it would seem.
I can only hope that in the coming year there will be some sign - some hint - that we are not becoming that which we abhor. The Theory of the Grotesque fares all too well these days. It may not be Nazi Germany - it might be a lot worse.
SL | Wisconsin
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 — The Bush administration on Wednesday reasserted its broad authority to declare American citizens to be enemy combatants, and it suggested that the Supreme Court consider two prominent cases at the same time.
The Justice Department, in a brief filed with the court, said it would seek an expedited appeal of a federal appeals court decision last month in the case of Jose Padilla, jailed as an enemy combatant in 2002.
The divided Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled on Dec. 18 that President Bush lacked the authority to indefinitely detain an American citizen like Mr. Padilla who was arrested on American soil simply by declaring him an enemy combatant. Mr. Padilla has been held incommunicado at a military brig in South Carolina. American authorities say he plotted with operatives of Al Qaeda overseas to detonate a "dirty" radiological bomb in the United States.
But the Justice Department said in its brief that the ruling was "fundamentally at odds" with court precedent on presidential powers.
The decision "undermines the president's constitutional authority to protect the nation," Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson wrote.
FLASHBACK: A Challenge to Democracy
Comment: A 1944 propaganda film from the Prelinger Archives made by the good ol' US government. The film attempts to defend the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. Sponsored by the creepily named U.S. War Relocation Authority with the cooperation of the Office of War Information and the Office of Strategic Services. The file is huge, but if you have high speed service it is worth it. Just make sure to check out the Download Options to see if you are set up for viewing. If you thought it couldn't happen here ... well, it already did.
Most Americans adamantly oppose both increasing the amount of legal immigration to the United States and legalizing those immigrants now here illegally, the two key elements in President Bush's immigration overhaul proposal.
On no other foreign policy issue do average Americans disagree more with government and business leaders and other "elites" than on immigration. [...]
Comment: Since the US is not a democracy, it does not matter what the people want. Bush is going to dismantle the economy and to hell with US citizens. Is anyone surprised, given that Bush wasn't even elected by the people in the first place?
Big U.S. Jet, Hit by Groundfire, Lands
Safely in Iraq
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A big U.S. Air Force C-5 cargo jet carrying 63 passengers and crew was hit by ground fire in Iraq on Thursday and made a safe emergency landing following an explosion in one of its four engines, the military said.
"A C-5 Galaxy outbound from Baghdad International Airport declared an in-flight emergency at 6:20 a.m. Baghdad time due to an explosion in the number four engine. The aircraft immediately returned to the airport and landed safely," the U.S. Air Mobility Command said.
"Initial reports indicate the incident is the result of hostile action from the ground, but the type of weapon and other details are unknown," the mobility command said in a statement from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. [...]
A photograph purporting to show Saddam Hussein being dragged from his squalid hide-out has been published on the internet.
Unofficial US army website www.military.com published the picture which was reportedly taken by a US soldier.
It appears to contradict the official version of Saddam's arrest in which he was said to have given himself up without a struggle.
In the photograph, he is pictured pinned to the ground by a GI who the former dictator had allegedly spat at moments earlier. His face is in the dirt and his arms appear to be bound behind his back.
US military spokesman refused to confirm whether or not the pictures were genuine but said it was possible.
"A lot of soldiers carry happy snappy cameras with them," the spokesman said.
Saddam was arrested after he was found in a 6ft by 3ft hidey-hole at Ad Dawr, near Tikrit, by US soldiers last month.
Comment: Saddam must really have enjoyed the spectacle of his capture from his secure compound in Belarus.
Comment: We await the report that he died from "natural causes", because, of course, it couldn't have been anything else, right?
Sofia Morning News
The ousted Iraqi dictator, who is currently under custody with the coalition forces, suffers from cancer of lymph glands, Kuwaiti Al-Anba daily reads, citing an Iraqi official. According to the daily, the disease is in an advanced stage, so doctors predict the former dictator would probably live a couple of years more. [...]
Comment: Here's a crazy prediction. Saddam will be declared unfit to stand trial, nevertheless, MI6, MI5 and the CIA will reveal that, under interrogation, he told them that his WMDs went to Syria and that he really is best buddies with Osama, and maybe lots more.
Iraqi resistance fighters fired mortar rounds at a U.S. military camp Wednesday night, killing one soldier and wounding more than 30 others.
Last Updated Thu, 08 Jan 2004 20:44:36
BAGHDAD - About 80 Iraqi prisoners were released from a Baghdad prison on Thursday, but they weren't among those covered by an amnesty announced on Wednesday.
As many as 100 prisoners were to be released on Thursday, but those plans were held up as U.S. officials waited for community leaders to come forward as guarantors of their conduct after their release.
US plans biggest rotation of troops since
In the face of sophisticated attacks on US forces, the Pentagon is sending flocks of unmanned spyplanes and a new unit formed to deal with deadly explosive devices to Iraq in the biggest rotation of its forces since World War II, a senior Army official said today.
"It has started," the official said in a briefing for reporters on the new-year rotation in which a US force of more than 120,000 in Iraq and another 11,000 in Afghanistan will be replaced by fresh soldiers by the end of May.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said troops from the 82nd Airborne Division began flying to Iraq from North Carolina yesterday and some equipment from other Army units began flowing on ships as early as last week.
"This is the biggest move we've done ... since World War II," the official said of the massive flow of soldiers and Marines. "We're moving 240,000-plus" back and forth.
Both countries denounce moves to promote separatist autonomy in Iraq
Syrian President Bashar Assad met top Turkish officials Wednesday on a landmark trip that has found common ground between the two former foes with both denouncing any move to create more Kurdish autonomy in Iraq.
After the success of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s visit to Turkey this week, a prominent Turkish liberal newspaper proclaimed boldly that “Syria is now an ally.” If Turkey is a member of NATO, does this make Syria a once-removed ally of NATO and a meaningful partner in an international community of democratic and prospering countries?
This rhetorical question suggests, however, the direction in which this historic visit could move Syria. The fruits of this visit will impact positively on a range of Middle Eastern and perhaps even international issues, given Syria and Turkey’s pivotal roles in several overlapping spheres stabilizing Iraq, the Kurdish issue, Mideast-Europe relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the “war against terror,” regional water resources, democratization in Islamic countries, NATO in the Middle East and dialogue among civilizations, to mention only the most obvious.
January 9, 2003
LONDON (AFP) - The first of nine Britons held at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could be repatriated in weeks, The Times newspaper reported in London.
Washington has softened its demand that the men, picked up in the United States' so-called war on terror, face prosecution or indefinite detention if they are returned to Britain, the paper said.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that he hoped to make an announcement "shortly" on the fate of the nine men. [...]
By Christopher Marquis
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell conceded Thursday that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no "smoking gun" proof of a link between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and terrorists of Al Qaeda.
"I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection," Mr. Powell said, in response to a question at a news conference. "But I think the possibility of such connections did exist, and it was prudent to consider them at the time that we did."
Mr. Powell's remarks on Thursday were a stark admission that there is no definitive evidence to back up administration statements and insinuations that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda, the acknowledged authors of the Sept. 11 attacks. Although President Bush finally acknowledged in September that there was no known connection between Mr. Hussein and the attacks, the impression of a link in the public mind has become widely accepted — and something administration officials have done little to discourage.
Comment: Reference again Hitler's comments from Mein Kampf -
Thursday 08 January 2004, 10:56 Makka Time, 7:56 GMT
Bush administration officials systematically misrepresented the danger of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes, according to a US think tank.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said on Wednesday there had been no immediate threat to the United States or the Middle East.
Its WMD study asserts there was "no convincing evidence" Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear programme.
The report adds that the nerve agents found by UN weapons inspectors in Iraq's chemical weapons programme had lost most of their lethal capability, as early as 1991.
Last Updated Wed, 07 Jan 2004
PARIS - France has confirmed that it is searching for a man who may have been behind an aviation scare just before Christmas.
Six flights between Los Angeles and Paris were cancelled because of an alleged terrorist threat, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.
Three passengers failed to show up on Christmas Eve for flight 068 to Los Angeles. One of them has now been identified as Abdu Hai, an Afghan, who is believed to have links with al-Qaeda.
A recent increase of US security alerts was a result of specific threats and extensive risk analysis, the US homeland security chief has said.
Tom Ridge told the BBC these threats had been behind fears of a "dirty bomb" in some US states and the cancellation of European flights into the US.
Increasing security is a deterrent, Mr Ridge told the Newsnight programme.
However, there was a balance to be kept between security and citizens' rights he said, otherwise "terrorists win".
[...] The first and only alert came in Las Vegas on 29 December, when detection devices picked up a trace of radiation, the newspaper says.
[...] In the event, the radiation was found to have come from a cigar-sized radium pellet, used to treat cancer, that a homeless man had found and hidden among his belongings.
Comment: Maybe we should wonder how a homeless man got hold of a cigar-sized radium pellet. Sifting through a container of garbage at a hospital perhaps? Boy, that really makes you feel secure!
www.chinaview.cn 2004-01-08 05:34:44
BRUSSELS, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- The 15-nation European Union (EU) is debating on a request from the United States to place armed marshals on certain transatlantic flights, said sources of the EU executive office European Commission (EC).
WASHINGTON—A series of U.S. moves to tighten security in the air and keep suspected terrorists out of the United States have frayed relations with some traditional allies and sown confusion for travellers and officials alike.
The U.S. State Department said yesterday said it was unaware of any big problems with a new system in which those needing visas to enter the United States are fingerprinted and photographed. But a legal advocacy group which promotes immigration to the United States reported long lines at three airports — including Toronto's Pearson International — and warned of looming problems because of possible errors on a U.S. terror watch list.
In less than two weeks, Washington has demanded armed air marshals be placed on select flights, that its controversial US-VISIT program be instituted and warned residents of countries that don't meet new passport security standards by the end of October that they would need visas to visit the U.S.
Thursday 08 January 2004, 11:02 Makka Time, 8:02 GMT
Australia has said it is trialing a hi-tech face recognition system to screen airline passengers for "potential terrorists" trying to enter the country.
A spokesman for Customs Minister Chris Ellison said on Thursday trials of the Australian-designed Smartgate system had so far proved successful, without causing the lengthy delays that accompanied the introduction of so-called "biometric" screens in US airports this week.
"It has cut processing time from 45 seconds to 17 seconds, with a 98% success rate" he told reporters. "We are ahead of the rest of the world as far as biometric systems go and this is a superior system that enhances traffic flow."
Arthur Neslen in London
Shock waves from the continuing carnage in the Middle East are increasingly dividing the Jewish diaspora, and the rifts are becoming ugly.
Aljazeera.net has uncovered evidence of an anti-Semitic hate mail campaign against Jewish peace activists in London, which involves rabbis and at least one respected Israeli literary figure.
Diaspora Jewish communities have traditionally rallied round Israel in times of crisis. But faced with an occupation that seems to have no end, and a perceived increase in anti-Semitism accompanying it, discontent among British Jewry is rife.
Even the highly conservative Board of Deputies of British Jews is now said to estimate opposition to the Sharon government within the UK Jewish community at about 30%. Some rightwing Zionists are turning on their co-religionists with vitriol.
Deborah Fink, 37, is an activist with Jews for Justice for Palestinians (Jfjfp). She was targeted in a hate email campaign after she helped organise a ''Just Peace UK" satirical Christmas Carol protest against Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories last month.
In one week she received over 150 emails. Some were virulently anti-Semitic.
“Too bad Hitler didn't get your family,” a Bruce M Seligsohn wrote. “With six million Jews dieing (sic) 60 year ago it's a shame scum like you somehow managed to survive.”
“Hitler killed the wrong Jews,” agreed another anonymous writer.
“It was harassing,” said Fink.“It took up my time and I found it upsetting that Jews could say that sort of thing to other Jews. Also, I depend on the internet for my work and I was worried that if it continued, I could lose my business.”
But even a rabbi joined in the tirade. “Your Jewish soul died the day that you sold it to the purveyors of murder,” Rabbi Allen Kaplan wrote to Fink. “Your soul, my dear, is petrified and lost.”
Comment: After reading the above article, it appears that to some Jews the "sacredness" and "specialness" of Jewish identity extends only to those Jews who pay homage to the centerpiece of Jewish identity as a "persecuted people struggling to survive in a world that hates them simply because of who they are".
Increasingly, we are seeing that the heavily promoted idea of a unified Jewish cause is an illusion. With much of the western media in Zionist hands, it is unlikely that the general public will ever become aware of this reality. The burning question is, who is behind the continuing belligerent and barbaric Israeli policies in the Middle East and the perpetuation of the myth of "Jewishness"? What is their ultimate goal in pursuing such an agenda?
A 46-year-old Palestinian was killed on early Thursday by Israeli fire in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics said. The medics named the man as Ibrahim al Kurd, saying he had been fatally hit when Israeli troops opened fire towards his house.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department is inclined to harshly attack the so-called "West Bank separation fence" in its annual human rights report, due for publication in March, the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz reported in its online edition on Thursday.
Washington has already told Tel Aviv that the issue of the fence will take up a significant part of the chapter on Israel and the occupied territories, the newspaper addded.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei says he will push for a single Arab-Jewish state if Israel carries through a threat to draw up its own borders.
"We will go for a one-state solution... there's no other solution," he told news agencies on Thursday.
Israel has promised to take unilateral steps to redefine borders if the Palestinians fail to end violence.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army has arrested at least 15 Palestinians in a raid in the West Bank town of Jenin.
The Israeli Government are to speed up the moving of the remaining 18,000 Ethiopian Jews to the Middle East.
Thursday 08 January 2004
Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian resistance fighter in the West Bank town of Jenin.
Asaad Salah Khaliliyah, a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, was shot in the head by what witnesses described as undercover troops firing at him from a car.
But Aljazeera's correspondent in Jenin reported an Israeli special force kidnapped the 32-year old on Thursday before killing him.
"The special force entered the city using a car with a Palestinian license plate," he said. "It kidnapped Khaliliyah, assassinated him and threw his body near civil defence headquarters in the city."
An Israeli military source confirmed the killing, but said a wanted "militant" was shot and killed after trying to flee paramilitary border police who went to arrest him.
According to Israeli
newspaper reports, the assassination was carried out by the Israeli
Defence Force's "Mistaaravim" unit, which uses troops disguised as
Meanwhile, Israeli troops have killed a 42-year old man who was shutting his window in his home in Rafah.
Witnesses said that troops guarding the Jewish settlement of Rafiah Yam fired into the neighbouring Palestinian refugee camp and killed Ibrahim al-Kird.
The Israeli army said it was investigating the incident.
The killings came as a new report by Israel's Shin Beth security service showed the number of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks last year more than halved compared to 2002.
A total of 213 people were killed in 2003, including 50 soldiers and policemen, in attacks on "Israeli targets", compared with 451 in 2002, the report said.
But the relative downturn in violence has failed to
translate into movement in the peace process, with
top-level contacts between the Israelis and Palestinians frozen for
nearly five months. [...]
The United Nations' coordinator for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, also urged Israel to accept Syria's offer to reopen peace talks, saying it was in the country's best interests.
"It is in the interest of the Israeli government to return directly to the negotiating table," Roed-Larsen told the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.
Sharon is reportedly awaiting Washington's opinion on the seriousness of Syria's proposal.
Comment: It appears that Sharon waits on the opinion of Washington for important decisions like peace negotiations with Syria. Can there be any doubt that Israel is essentially America's spokesperson in the Middle East, and that all other policies enacted by Israel also have the blessing of Washington? It certainly puts the various US "peace" initiatives in a new light.
Israeli forces rethrusted into Nablus late Tuesday after an earlier delusive withdrawal. Shooting broke out between the occupation soldiers and Palestinian resistance fighters and reports on Wednesday said at least two Palestinians were killed. One of the dead Palestinians was unarmed the Israeli army acknowledged. Later, witnesses identified the two as Ibrahim Radwan al Atari,32 , and Abd al Afu al Qasas,27 .
Hamas website quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the two were arrested by Israeli troops, but later were executed in "cold blood."
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Wednesday shot dead four Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip -- two of them at close range and one after his leg was badly bitten by a police dog, raising the Palestinian death toll in the past week to twelve -- while detaining at least 24 activists in the last twenty-four hours, including the correspondent of the Lebanese satellite TV station Almanar.
Palestine National Authority (PNA) Minister for Negotiations Saeb Erakat said the latest killings were proof that the Israeli government was trying to wreck the peace process.
“The Israeli aggression, especially its assassination policy and the incursions, is part of a military plan by the Sharon government which aims to destroy any chance of applying the peace process and implementation of the roadmap,” Erakat told AFP.
“Israel must take responsibility for the outcome of this escalation.”
The PA governor of Nablus told Reuters "I don't find any justification for killing them. It is just more military pressure in order to make the Palestinians lower their political demands."
And the twins died
One died in the arms of her grandmother, the other was carried in the arms of her aunt, while their mother was lying in an ambulance, freezing, trembling, exhausted and humiliated after what she had gone through at the IDF checkpoint near her village. [...]
A reliable Egyptian source has disclosed that American Jews have recently held contacts with the Hamas movement's leadership in the Gaza Strip, the London-based A Sharq al Awsat reported Wednesday.
According to the source, "US Professor Steve Cohen had met with Dr. Mahmoud a Zahar and Ismail Haniyyeh - two prominent leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip."
Prof. Cohen is a representative of a well-known Jewish institute in the United States.
A senior Libyan official denied reports out of Israel that high-level, secret talks had recently been held over the prospect of forging diplomatic ties. "Libyan authorities have looked into these reports and found nothing to them," Deputy Foreign Minister Hassuna Shawsh told the state news agency JANA.
Shawsh added "whoever is circulating these reports should provide proof by stating the date and place of these meetings, as well as the people involved.
"International relations are not built on rumors and intrigues," he said, but are instead "based on clarity and mutual confidence." [...]
Comment: Ah yes, international politics, the domain of the upstanding, the honorable and the honest. See below story.
The newspaper quotes a senior government source in Jerusalem as saying that the letter is a harsh blow to Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's efforts to open a new page in relations between Israel and the Arab world.
Comment: This tactic appears to be part of Israel's standard policy of forestalling any chance of peace or reconciliation with its Arab neigbours. This policy is fully in line with the Washington Neocon's agenda. Coincidence? We think not. Perhaps the Libyans will now think twice before trusting Israel to keep secret talks secret. To quote from Victor Ostrovsky's book on the Mossad entitled By way of Deception:
One of the things that probably distinguished the year 2003 the most is that it translated the world’s fear and shock over the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States into a muddle of concepts, fear of the unknown, a confusion of values and the blackmail of the weak.
The ensuing misuse of language made it difficult to distinguish right from wrong disguised as right, between people suffering a real ordeal and others who claimed they were protecting themselves against danger and who used this to preempt aggression to satisfy colonial greed or to annihilate people and take over their land, water, history and heritage.
Most dangerous of all is that many have resigned themselves to hearing and accepting the validity of so-called preemptive action that kills on the basis of intentions and detains on the basis of suspicion of intentions. People have resigned themselves to silence over detentions without investigation, and to propagandized “facts” that have nothing to do with reality. The outcome is a schizophrenic mismatch between reality in progress and an alternative reality designed to conceal what’s really happening and to sedate a conscience that was once the guardian against violations of human rights and human dignity.
05:39 AM EST Jan 09
KABUL (CP) - Registration of voters in Afghanistan is going so slowly that holding presidential and legislative elections by June will be "very difficult," a spokesman for the United Nations said Thursday.
"It is close to impossible to meet the June date," said Manoel de Almeida e Silva. "Current security conditions do not permit (voter) registration teams to go throughout the country."
Security outside Kabul has deteriorated in recent days, highlighted by a bombing Tuesday in Kandahar that killed 16 people, mostly children.
Thursday 08 January 2004
The head of the European Commission and an influential Jewish leader who provoked controversy by levelling accusations of anti-Semitism against the EU executive will meet soon to try to resolve the crisis.
Edgar Bronfman, head of the World Jewish Congress, has written to European Commission President Romano Prodi asking for a "personal meeting", said the European body late on Wednesday [...]
BRUSSELS, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- The quarrels between the European Commission (EC) and Jewish leaders on anti-Semitism calmed down Wednesday and the EC has decided to resume preparations for a joint seminar on the issue.
[...] Due to the accusation on Monday, the EC had once decided to "suspend" the preparation for the seminar, which is scheduled for February. [...]
www.chinaview.cn 2004-01-09 10:35:32
WARSAW, Jan. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Poland expects to continue negotiations with the United States on hosting US military bases on its territory, Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said Thursday.
Comment: Out of 189 existing countries on the planet, the US has military bases in 121 of them. Doesn't it make you feel safe to know that the US military is poised and ready to impose Iraq style "freedom and democracy" on the whole world?
Prince Charles faced the public yesterday amid growing speculation that he would be interviewed by police over a letter written by Diana, Princess of Wales in which she said she suspected him of plotting her murder in a car crash. [...]
Sir John also hinted that royal witnesses would not be excluded from the inquiry. "The MPS will thoroughly examine all matters that will assist in preparation of the inquests," he said. "Although it is over six years since the sad events in Paris, all relevant evidence will be carefully considered." [...]
MORE than six years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the car at the centre of the new inquiry into the tragedy lies in two shipping containers in a Paris suburb. [...]
"It should resolve once and for all two key issues: whether the speedo was jammed; and whether there was a collision with another car.
"We have always maintained, backed by Mercedes, that the speedo reverted to zero on impact and do not believe the reports that it was jammed at high speed.
We have scientific tests which we believe match paint scrapings on the Mercedes with those of a white Fiat Uno. We would welcome the opportunity for further tests to be done."
But French police yesterday dismissed Mr Al Fayed's claims that the French forensic tests on the car had been lacking. A spokesman said: "We pulled that car apart and inspected it right down to the last nuts and bolts. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it.
"The British are welcome to have the wreckage, but they won't find any clues in it to what caused the crash. [...]
Comment: Today is a good day for wild prognostications, so here is another one:
Somewhere, hidden deep within the echelons of power, one or more people decide that the House of Windsor must fall. In 1997, British and other intelligence agencies inform Diana her life is under threat from the royal family. She is informed the royals want her dead due to her relationship with Dodi al Fayed. In order to facilitate some protection, they advise her to write this information down somewhere and keep it safe. Later that year, the intelligence agencies themselves formulate and carry out the plan to kill both her and Dodi al Fayed. This written "evidence" can then be produced at the most opportune moment.
Excessive fiscal deficits in the US could hurt the long-term sustainability of the American and global economies, the International Monetary Fund warned.
Recession, tax cuts and high spending for the war on terrorism have resulted in large deficits, the IMF said.
That could place upward pressure on interest rates, and pose risks for the US economy and rest of the world.
IMF Deputy director Charles Collyns, said international investors could also lose confidence in the dollar.
That, he said, could force them to consider investing elsewhere.
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 Posted: 9:11 PM EST (0211 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush and his re-election team raised more than $130 million last year to finance his drive for a second term and starts the new year armed with a $99 million war chest, campaign manager Ken Mehlman said Tuesday.
The campaign raised $47 million in the last three months of 2003 -- collecting average contributions of $146 from 288,000 contributors.
That's more than the combined total of $31 million raised by Democrats Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Joseph Lieberman and John Kerry.
Last Updated Thu, 08 Jan 2004 21:53:17
OTTAWA - Federal New Democrats say it's a "profoundly dangerous" mistake to begin formal negotiations with the United States on a ballistic missile defence shield.
Last Updated Thu, 08 Jan 2004 21:41:29
VANCOUVER - Eating too many farm-raised salmon is potentially dangerous, according to a new study, probably because they're being given contaminated feed.
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar jumped two yen to a one-month high on Friday after large-scale yen-selling intervention from Japan, relieving selling pressure on the greenback ahead of a key U.S. employment report. [...]
"This is yet another warning shot from Japan. The message is clear and they have adopted a more hawkish stance. Japan might be capable of postponing the dollar's fall but they can't single-handedly stop it," said Stephen Jen, chief currency economist at Morgan Stanley. [...]
CDC Says Flu Appears to Be
The government said flu is now widespread in 38 states, down from 42 last month. Colorado, which was one of the first states hit hard, dropped from the list of those with the worst outbreaks.
"We are cautiously optimistic that, at least in some parts of the country, influenza may have peaked," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But there is still plenty of flu out there."
The flu season in the United States got off to an unusually early and harsh start, raising fears that this could be one of the deadliest seasons in years, especially among children.
But Gerberding said there is not enough data from previous years to determine whether 93 child deaths are worse than usual. [...]
Comment: A few days
ago, the CDC warned that the peak of the flu season had not yet
arrived. Now it appears the "high" rate of flu-related deaths among
children this year may not be so high after all. It seems the flu
is yet another tool to control and manipulate the
5:49 PM PST January 8, 2004
SAN DIEGO -- A young Ocean Beach woman survived a severe allergic reaction that had University of California, San Diego Regional Burn Center staff scrambling to save her life, 10News reported.
By all accounts, Sarah Yeargain, (pictured, left), shouldn't be alive. But she is and some are calling it a medical miracle. Three weeks ago, the skin on Yeargain's body began sloughing off.
Dr. Daniel Lozano, from the UCSD Regional Burn Center, said, "She lost skin in her entire body. It's rather dramatic to really see this coming off in sheets."
Even the membrane covering her internal organs -- her eyes, mouth, and throat -- began peeling away. [...]
"The cause was a rare reaction to this drug, Bactrim. It is a common antibiotic used by millions of people," Lozano explained. "What she has is a condition called TENS -- toxic epidermal necloris -- which is an autoimmune reaction to a whole host of drugs."
Yeargain had just finished the 10-day course of Bactrim for a sinus infection when the allergic reaction began. [...]
6:40 PM PST January 8, 2004
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- One mountain biker is dead and another critically injured after two attacks by the same mountain lion. [...]
The animal was described as a 150-pound mountain lion.
Last Updated Thu, 08 Jan 2004 18:53:31
PASADENA, CALIF. - NASA engineers failed to clear airbags that are blocking the Mars rover's path onto the surface of the planet.
The six-wheeled robot, Spirit, is currently on its lander. The lander's air bags deployed during touchdown on Sunday to protect the rover.
USA to "devour" unique Russian "UFOs"
The US Air Force research center expresses its active interest in the Russian project.According to AviaPort.Ru, the "EKIP" airplane resembles a typical "UFO". It is one of the most ambitious projects of the Saratov"s factory. The one and only prototype of the Russian UFO has been already constructed and tested during the early 90s.
Comment: The US has a number of their own drones for military purposes, so what might be the reason for their interest in large numbers of a Russian craft that resemble a "typical UFO"?? Perhaps we can expect a wave of sightings soon?
ATLANTA - The Sun has a twin, astronomers announced Tuesday.
The solar doppelganger hits nearly identical marks in temperature, rotation and age. Planet hunters have it on their lists, but there’s no word yet whether carbon-based folks are looking back at their star’s twin, our own Sun.
18 Scorpii is in the constellation Scorpius, visible in the predawn sky to the south. Finding it requires completely dark skies and a map configured for your location.
The star, 18 Scorpii, sits about 47.5 light-years away in the constellation Scorpio, and has long-been suspected of being Sun-like. A team of researchers from Villanova University, however, used observations from four space-based observatories to separate 18 Scorpii from the chaff of thousands of candidates as a definite solar twin.
Solar activity is high. Sunspots 537 and 538 have both unleashed strong M-class solar flares this week, and they pose a threat for even stronger X-class explosions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of an X-flare during the next 24 hours. Auroras are possible in the days ahead as a result of this activity.
By Pete Henshaw
A FRIGHTENED television crew had to be rescued from the dark depths of Epping Forest after stumbling upon the ghost of Dick Turpin during a live night-time broadcast. [...]
A little known shark that lives in waters off Antarctica is only the second creature known to science that hunts giant squid for food [...]
January 08 2004 at 02:21PM
Trier, Germany - German state prosecutors said on Thursday that they had dropped a probe into lurid claims of ritual killings and cannibalism by an alleged Satanic sect because they appeared to have been made up.
The claims were made by a woman who said she had been a victim for 18 years of sexual abuse by members of a Satanic and cannibalistic cult, including relatives. [...]
Proof that the 'force'
really is with us
According to a new study on visual perception, the "force" is possibly inherent in all of us, although we can't see it.
For the many who sometimes walk into a room and feel that something is not quite right, the answer may lie in a sub-system of our visual experience, says Ronald Rensink, University of B.C. associate professor in psychology and computer science.
"Basically visual perception then is two parts. It's got the sort of pictures we all know and love, and then we've got this other thing, this feeling, this using the force, this sensing stream, and they work in parallel, I think. They both operate at the same time," he said.
While you may not see anything, Rensink says the "sixth sense" or as he calls it, "mindsight," is basically another kind of vision where people can sense a change and have a visual experience of it.
He explains that "mindsight" differs from our usual concept of psychic phenomena because people have to keep their eyes open to employ this mode of visual perception.
"The point of this is that these kinds of feelings are often correct.
People should really pay attention if they feel something's not right. It's probably because part of their brain, or that part of their perceptual system, is telling them something that's actually useful," said Rensink, whose findings appear in the January issue of Psychological Science.
Comment: Given that many people the world over, particularly in America, are apparently finding that factual evidence that their leaders are killing and maining innocent civilians in the name of freedom and democracy is not enough to convince them that something is wrong, this new information provides proof that when you think about George Bush
January 8, 2004
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's . . .
Actually, it's probably poop, and whether it came from a bird or a bathroom aboard an airplane, it's gross, say residents of an Oswego subdivision plastered in recent days with what police describe as "fecal matter."
The Ponds at Mill Race Creek subdivision in the far western suburb is under an O'Hare Airport flight path, so some residents initially suspected one or more planes unloaded lavatory waste over the community.
Police reports were filed, the Federal Aviation Administration was called, and some folks worried about possible health implications.
But the predominant view seems to be birds were the culprit -- although subscribers to this theory say their homes, backyard furniture and driveways have never been hit like this before.
"Based upon what I saw, I would say it's birds," said a resident who didn't want his name used. "I don't remember exactly what morning, but I'm thinking either Friday or Saturday morning, there were starlings or blackbirds all over the roofs of the houses."
Some people, though, didn't see or hear any birds.
Resident Dawn Dabrowski first noticed the apparent feces Friday after getting a call from a neighbor. There's a pond in the subdivision that attracts geese, but there's never been a mess like this in the seven years she's lived there, said Dabrowski, a 37-year-old mother of three.
"It was on the back of my house, the side of my house, on my patio chairs, patio table, my children's swing set, their Little Tikes sandbox, their . . . playhouse outside, it was all over," she said. "It's brown and some of it's long smears, and it's like circular in some areas where it's splattered."
While contents of airplane bathrooms sometimes fall from aircraft, that's probably not what occurred in this instance, said FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory. If a plane was involved, the waste probably would be in frozen chunks, and "it's going to be a blue-ice type of product," she said.
Some residents still were discussing getting the material tested at a laboratory.
Oswego police Detective Jeff Burgner said: "It hasn't been confirmed if it was from an airplane or not, and currently it's still under investigation. We haven't closed the case out yet."
FLASHBACK: Ducks get 'bum rap'
The mystery of aerial spatterings of excrement on houses has deepened with Hawke's Bay Fish and Game dismissing accusations that ducks were responsible.
"There is far more of a likelihood that it is pig excrement," regional manager Steve Smith said as he defended the female duck population over what he considered was a bum rap.
In the ducks' favour was the fact they nested on the ground, not in trees.
And females were reluctant to go far from their eggs. "My experience is that they walk off the nest to relieve themselves," Mr Smith said.
Even if one or two did do "the business" from the air it was far more likely the result would be ground strikes, and not on roofs.
"The only time I have seen ducks defecating in the air is after they have been shot at," he said
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