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!
Saturday , March 13, 2004
New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Picture of the Day
The same charade that played out 30 months ago in the US is now on stage in Europe.
And the population is falling into the trap.
It is the same scenario: a murderous and grandiose scheme to cause loss of civilian life, sow fear, and provoke a radical change in the way people live, followed by carefully planted "evidence" to throw suspicion on the targeted bogeyman.
In Boston, it was the car found at the airport with a flight manual in Arabic. In New York, Atta's passport conveniently found on top of a pile of debris not far from the World Trade Center. In Madrid, the van with the Koran tapes and detonators and the back pack with the mobile phone configured in Arabic.
Stop and think. Do we believe for a minute that the people who so meticulously planned and implemented these events would somehow leave such incriminating evidence behind them? Doesn't it seem much more likely to be an attempt by a third force, the real perpetrators, to place the blame on someone else?
Who benefits from these bombings? It has certainly not been the Arab world, now the theatre of war for US occupation and US corporate plunder and the target of a rising tide of the Right in Europe.
Since 9/11 Bush has brought in the most radical changes in the US ever seen. The Israelis have stepped up their genocide of the Palestinians and isolated them behind a wall of concrete, barbed wire, and gun towers.
Poor, old Europe resisted the invasion of Iraq, having the gall to deny Bush the right to pillage uncontested where and when he wished. The Spanish people, now the victims of a bloody and horrific attack, were among the most vocal in denouncing their government's complicity with Bush. Does it make sense for al Qaeda or any other Moslem group to attack innocent Spaniards?
We are reminded of several attacks prior to the invasion of Iraq: the Australians in Bali, the French ship, the Moscow theatre, each aimed at countries where the governments or the citizens were staunchly against US imperial aims.
There has emerged a wealth of evidence since 9/11 to show that at best, Bush had foreknowledge of the attacks and did nothing, or, at worst, that the whole enterprise was organised by elements of the US and Israeli "secret governments." Or is that "secret government." We at Signs of the Times are convinced that it was the latter, and the events in Madrid offer more evidence that reinforces that theory. Of course, there will never be a smoking gun, we will not find "proof" that elements in Israel and the US had anything to do with 9/11. This will permit the majority of people to remain asleep and blind to actuality. But for those who can see, who can connect the dots, even if the details are missing, the grand plan is clear.
We report today that the Madrid bombings are mobilising European governments to impose more and more of the draconian, US measures to "combat terrorism." Europe refused to go along, so they are now getting a nudge.
Some may argue that the old Europeans were part of the plan all along, that it is all theatre designed to bring us to the New World Order. Perhaps this is true. But what does that change? Many of these same people still believe that there is something that we can DO about this politically. Don't the events of March 11 demonstrate for once and for all that there is NOTHING that we can do? The same scenario at 911 days interval and the same results. Most people do not want to wake up. Most people do not want to see what is going on around them. Most people choose to remain ignorant because they can then fool themselves into thinking that they are happy and safe. They choose to remain asleep until the very last moment, believing that in this way they can lead their lives "normally," preferring to wake up only when the storm troopers arrive at the door, or winter decides not to relinquish its place to spring, or a celestial event destroys the foundations of life as we know it.
Who has learned the lesson of 9/11?
911 and now 311. 911 days interval between the two attacks. In the eleventh week of the year. Is there a meaning in such symbols?
Of course not. That is simply an irrational flight into hysteria, isn't it? Much better the "rational" hysteria of the endless war on terror, backed by half a trillion dollars a year in arms and military spending as long as we can get our daily fix on the telly.
The screws are being tightened around us all over the globe. People are asking to be repressed in order to be saved from their fears; people are giving up their freedoms to protect their freedoms; this cognitive dissonance doesn't appear to disturb them. People still believe that life can go on as usual: drinking and working and partying and television and who won last night's game. These are the issues that preoccupy most of our neighbors on the Earth.
Because you are reading the Signs page, you most likely see the truth of that description. You know that you can't talk about these things at work, maybe not even at home.
What are you doing about it? How are you changing your own life as you gain more knowledge of what is happening on our planet? Is your level of BEing changing to reflect this increase in knowledge, or are you, too, hiding, only hiding behind this knowledge, refusing to take the steps necessary so that your internal world keeps step with your understanding of the external world? Do you believe that just KNOWing is enough?
It is very easy to read the Signs page every day, to surf the net and find other alternative sources of news, to convince yourself that you are seeing things more clearly than your neighbor or your spouse or your workmates, and then to leave it there. The deadened expressions on their faces seem an impenetrable barrier to you. You see that you will never break through their need to deny reality.
So what do you do next?
Do you still believe it is possible to change the world?
Do you still believe the world needs to be changed?
Or have you understood that it is the evolution of the soul that counts?
You either understand this to the depths of your nascent soul or not. If you do, what is your next step? How will you begin to apply the knowledge you have gained, for knowledge not applied has no value.
Will you look to someone else to save you? Our "space brothers"? A "diamond imperishable body"? A "ball of love and light"? Mel Gibson?
Or are you ready to look at yourself, into your darkest regions, into your automatism and mechanical reactions to the world, into your own inertia, your own comforts, the programmes that tell you you aren't running any programmes?
We are all in this world because this is where we fit. Until we do the work on ourselves necessary to remove our ties to this world, we will continue to fit. We are tied to the world through the predator's mind, that part of us that preys on others, that refuses to take responsibility, that seeks to get without ever giving in return, that revels in the pleasures of the material world, that convinces us that we are more than reaction machines responding to external stimuli.
Time is short. Whether you live to be 20 or 50 or 90, you will one day confront your own mortality. You will be forced to answer the question of how you have lived your life, of whether or not you were strong enough to go against the tide, or did you, in the end, choose to conform. In the material world, gravity pulls you down. To go against gravity, to reach the upper realms of the soul, you must fight. Each choice will be difficult because the world does not let go of her children so easily. The traps are subtle and the path is narrow.
It is so easy to fall back asleep.
Millions fill Spanish streets to rage at Madrid
The demonstrations -- vast seas of umbrellas in rain-soaked cities and towns -- were by far the biggest the country has ever seen, easily beating the previous record set in February last year when the population protested its government's support of the US war on Iraq.
"A people united will never be defeated," the crowd roared in unison in Madrid, where police said 2.3 million people had gathered.
Anger was directed against "terrorists". But confusion reigned over whether to blame the Basque separatist group ETA, or an Islamic group tied to Al-Qaeda which had claimed responsibility in an unverifiable e-mail.
That reflected official uncertainty over who was responsible for Thursday's outrage, in which 10 bombs tore through packed morning commuter trains and three railway stations in the southeast of the capital.
The Spanish government, which is seeking re-election in legislative polls Sunday in part on its record of tough dealing with ETA, considers the Basque militant organisation its prime suspect in the attacks, which also wounded 1,400.
But it muted its accusations after discovering a van containing detonators and an audio tape in Arabic reciting Koranic verses, and seeing a claim by a group to an Arabic newspaper in London saying the attacks were carried out in al-Qaeda's name because of Spain's support of the US war on Iraq.
The ETA contacted Basque media as the protests were about to start to firmly deny that it carried out the attacks, saying it was "in no way responsible". Authorities treated the statement from the outlawed group -- held responsible for more than 800 deaths in the past four decades -- with scepticism.
Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar was greeted with both boos and cheers at the Madrid demonstration in a sign of the competing perceptions as to who carried out the attacks, and why. [...]
Translated from "El
MADRID.- The Interior Minister, Ángel Acebes, has assured that the government "has not withheld information nor hidden evidence". Meanwhile the opposition has reminded the administration, 24 hours before the election, that in yesterday's mass demonstrations, people were asking for information about the perpetrators of the bombings. Acebes simply stated that "the investigation was following two paths of inquiry", ETA and Al Qaeda.
The PSOE (opposition party) declared that citizens "wanted information about the atrocity in Madrid and were asking for security." "They need assurances", he said, "and we must give them those assurances."
Sources in the PSOE have indicated that their party refused to use terrorism as an electoral leverage.
Pere Macias, Secretary General of the CIU stated that, "in the case that the government, faced with the elections, is withholding information or deceiving public opinion about the cause of the bombing, a moral and political crisis of unimaginable proportions will result".
Comment: We were deeply saddened by Thursday's Madrid bombing even if we do not live in Madrid, nor do we know anyone that was killed.
As we were not touched personally, so to speak, we were able to look objectively at the attack and the consider the details that surrounded it in an unemotional way. Even more importantly, our research and what we publish is unrestricted by any allegiances to media organizations or government agencies, and as such we are free to expose realities that other news sites are simply prohibited from commenting on. Our only allegiance is to the truth.
From our research, which we published on Thursday's and yesterday's Signs page, we can state with a reasonable amount of certainty that the Basque separatist group ETA was not behind the bombing. With equal certainty, we can say that it borders on the ridiculous to suggest that "Arab Terrorists" carried out the attack. As we have stated, given the effects of the bombing on the international political scene, those that have most to gain from the attack are the governments that created, and who seek to perpetuate, the "War on Terror". This is clearly the most logical analysis of the situation.
It is interesting to note the general effect of the bombing in Madrid on the Spanish people and, to a lesser extent, on Europeans. Like Bush, who, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, quickly seized upon the chance to claim that "Arab Terrorists hate us because of our freedom and deomcracy", Spanish prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar wasted no time in capitalising on the Madrid bombing by claiming, "They killed us because we are Spanish". Already it is being reported that the average Spanish citizen is asking "Why us?", "Why do they hate us?" A good question, and one that, on the surface, appears to have no rational or logical answer.
There is another group of people that have long struggled with this question.
There are few people in the world that are unaware of the Jewish Holocaust and the fact that approximately 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II. The "Holocaust Industry", as it has come to be known, has gone to great lengths in the years since then to ensure that the memory of the Jewish dead is never forgotten. However, at the same time, very few Jewish groups or scholars have sought to provide a logical answer to the question on every Jew's lips: "Why?"
In fact the opposite is true.
The dominant answer that has even been offered to the question of "why the Jews?" is the wholly illogical and unreasonable "They hate us because we are Jews". Those who find other answers are shouted down or ignored among the supporters of Israel.
It is hard to imagine a mass slaughter of a group of people for no reason whatsoever, even if the apparent or reported reason is not the real reason. When any one person or group of people take deliberate and conscious efforts to change the political or demographic map of the world there is ALWAYS a reason, it is a function of the self-serving aspect of human nature to gain from any action taken. As FDR said: "In Politics, nothing happens by accident, if it happens, you can bet it was planned that way" - and none will deny that there are few events more political than the Second World War.
In the event that a person or group of people experience violent trauma, the absence of any rational reason for the trauma can have the effect of preventing the person or group from coming to terms with the experience and thus "getting over it". With no way for the brain to rationalise the event, the natural anger and fear that the trauma generates is never released and is carried in the individual or collective psyche indefinitely. If, for example, the official reason given for the Jewish holocaust was that Hitler was a genocidal maniac who killed not only millions of Jews but also millions of other ethnic minorities, and that during the Second World War a total of 65 million people lost their lives, there might be some chance for the Jewish people to come to terms with the experience and realise that it was a shared experience, the result of war and the darker aspects of human nature that we all embody to some extent. But we see that this is not the case. Repeatedly Jews have been forced (as a result of a determined propaganda campaign) to believe that their trauma was particular, or "special," that there is no rational reason for the Jewish Holocaust, and that Jews are a persecuted people simply because of who they are. The result of this programming leaves the Jews with no hope that they can ever purge the collective trauma of the Holocaust and feel safe once again. They are condemned to believe that their very existence is continually threatened simply because they exist!
The fact then that the Jews have been denied the possibility of a rational and logical explanation (at least from the point of view of human nature) for their suffering, has served to keep them psychologically traumatised and in a state of suspicion and fear for over 60 years. At first glance, it is difficult to understand why anyone would anyone seek to perpetuate such a state in the Jewish psyche, but on further analysis, we realise that the more right-wing Israeli political groups have benefited greatly from it. Fear, after all, is a great motivator for war, conquest, and domination.
So despite the insistence of Jewish groups that there is no logical reason for the Jewish Holocaust, it is unlikely that this is the truth. Indeed, it seems clear that the very act of claiming that there is no logical reason for the Jewish Holocaust or the Spanish bombing, other than "They hate us because we are Jews, Spanish", etc., is a deliberate act, designed to create a very specific psychological state in the minds of those traumatised. If this is the case, is it not reasonable to suggest that those who sought to instill perpetual fear into the minds of the people by perpetuating the myth that there is no logical reason for the trauma, might also be the source of the trauma itself?
Friday, 12 March,
Thursday's bombs are expected to prompt Spain's voters to turn out in their millions for elections on Sunday.
"One thing no-one will dispute is that we are now likely to see a massive turnout," said Charles Powell, senior European affairs analyst at the Madrid-based think tank the Elcano Royal Institute.
"People are angry and upset, and they will demonstrate that by voting. It was going to be high anyway, but now I'd estimate it will be over 80%," he told BBC News Online.
Professor Juan Pablo Fusi, historian at Madrid University, concurred.
"These bombs are likely to increase turnout - to show that they agree with the government that the only way to defeat terrorism is through democracy, by voting," he told BBC News Online.
There is less consensus on which party will benefit.
The latest polls suggested a narrowing lead for the ruling Popular Party (PP), now led by Mariano Rajoy, the hand-picked successor of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.
It was estimated to have a lead of 4.5 percentage points over the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
But that poll was taken three days before Thursday's attacks, which killed nearly 200 people aboard packed rush-hour trains in Madrid.
Investigators are now examining whether the Basque separatist group Eta may have been responsible or if Islamic militants supporting al-Qaeda may be to blame.
"Assuming it was Eta, the obvious emotional interpretation is this will make people back the party with the toughest line against them," politics professor Josu Mezo told Reuters news agency.
That party is generally agreed to be the ruling PP, which has campaigned on a strong line against the separatists.
Comment: There is more than enough evidence, even in the above article alone, to arouse suspicion of Spanish government complicity in the Madrid bombings. There is a clear motive, and with the vast resources available to government, there is without doubt the opportunity. The thread by which the cosy world view hangs then, is the untenable belief that "our government wouldn't do that". Are our readers really willing to bet their lives on the moral integrity of people who, almost by definition of being in power, have no such morality?
Large demonstrations were held in Spain on Sunday, February 15, to commemorate the anniversary of the millions-strong anti-war marches that occurred all over the world a year before. Spaniards were overwhelmingly opposed to the launching of the war against Iraq last year and staged some of the largest demonstrations in Europe, particularly in Barcelona with one-and-a-half million participating and Madrid with more than 1 million.
By far, the largest anniversary demonstration was held in the capital Madrid. According to the organisers, around 150,000 people converged in the centre of town and marched demanding the withdrawal of the Spanish troops from Iraq and the end of the occupation of that country. They also demanded that Prime Minister José María Aznar give the real reasons why Spain participated in an “illegal and immoral” war. [...]
Big demonstrations took also place in Valencia, Seville and many more Spanish cities, including rallies in front of US embassies and consulates.
At the end of the Barcelona demonstration, the organisers gave details of the legal charges they are preparing for presentation to the International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) in The Hague. Aturem la Guerra is demanding that the ICT open a legal process against Aznar and Blair for crimes of aggression.
Last Updated Fri, 12 Mar 2004 15:42:31
MADRID - A key target of the Spanish government's investigation into bombings that killed almost 200 people in Madrid on Thursday has denied responsibility, Spanish media said Friday.
A Basque TV station reported that it had received a note from the Basque separatist group ETA saying it was not responsible for the bombs placed in commuter trains.
And the Basque newspaper Gara told The Associated Press that it had been told the same thing by a person claiming to represent ETA.
The analysis of only of that survived of 13 explosive devices, used during the acts of terror in Madrid, showed that the terrorists used by fighters ETA means different from those generally accepted. According by this, published on the site of newspaper El Mundo, the detonator of bomb was prepared from copper, while a basque usually use aluminum fuses.
Furthermore, experts explained that as the main charge was used explosive of Spanish production, but not French dynamite of "titadin", find in arsenal in ETA. High explosive, most probably, it was produced at the Spanish combine Explosivos Riotinto. Furthermore, not in favor of Basque version speaks the schematic of explosive device.
Experts also attentively studied the records, made cameras of observation at the railway stations. Specialists assume that such details, as the color of smoke they can soak by it determine the composition of the explosive of the operated bombs.
Consequence as before considers versions of participation to the explosions as of fighters ETA, so also "Al-Qaeda". There is no unanimous opinion in regard to this do not have the foreign experts. According to the Hungarian expert Of sebest'ina of hill, the acts of terror do not have the clearly expressed handwriting ETA or "Al-Qaeda": "Al-Qaeda is well known by the fact that not the beret to itself of responsibility for acts of terror or makes this through the wide interval of time". The letter of islamistov, which entered to the editorial staff of London newspaper "al -Kuds al -Arabi", hill considers too "rapid" for "Al-Qaeda".
Comment: Translated from the Russian thanks to Babel Fish.
By Barnaby Mason
Newspapers in Spain and other European countries are describing the devastating bomb attacks in Madrid as Europe's 11 September - or 11-M, standing for 11 March.
America's war on terror has been seen differently on this side of the Atlantic. So how far will that change now?
[...] Governments across Europe are now rethinking their strategies.
For example, a huge operation was already under way with international involvement to protect the Olympic Games in Athens in August.
Now the Greek government says the plan will be strengthened. It has asked Nato to help with security, for example in aerial surveillance.
The French government is calling in the military to reinforce police security for public transport.
The Italians have told the police and local authorities to tighten their precautions.
On a European level, some will make the case for more intense co-operation against suspected terrorists through the police agency Europol, and other EU institutions, as a matter of routine.
Public reaction to the Madrid bombings would be more significant if it turned out that they were actually carried out by Islamic militants.
"That would be a new situation," in the words of the German Interior Minister, Otto Schily.
Governments around Europe have been tightening security following the bomb attacks in Madrid on Thursday.
As the theory that al-Qaeda was responsible gained credence, several countries increased vigilance despite the absence of a specific threat.
Neighbouring France raised its alert level, while introducing a still higher level on its railways.
And Greece officially asked Nato to help provide security during August's Olympic Games in Athens.
Among other security measures, the Foreign Ministry requested aerial and sea surveillance against a "chemical, biological and nuclear incident".
Meanwhile Portugal, which hosts the Euro-2004 football championships in June, stepped up border controls and said it was considering installing metal detectors at stadium gates.
"These bombings make us feel that the world is more insecure," Leonel Carvalho, Euro-2004 security co-ordinator, told the Associated Press news agency. "We must ensure security is handled in the best possible way."
Elsewhere in Europe:
France, which has been working with Spain to combat Basque separatism, moved from yellow to orange alert, the third highest in its four-tier terror alert system.
Railways, airports, reservoirs, public buildings and other "sensitive areas" were put on red alert, the second highest, allowing for extra police patrols.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy told French TV that such measures were vital.
"France is not being specifically targeted," he said. "But we are a democracy, and when we see a friendly country next door struck by such barbarism, it is fully our duty to be vigilant and to urge everyone to do likewise."
Mr Sarkozy said that while the theory of involvement by Basque separatist group was a "cause for concern", the possibility that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks meant that "the greatest vigilance" was required.
Tony Blair has vowed to fight the "new menace" of terror in a speech to his party "under the shadow" of bomb attacks in Madrid.
At the keynote speech to the Labour party conference on Saturday, he said he would do "whatever is necessary to defend our way of life".
He said millions of people across Britain stood with the grieving Spanish "in spirit and solidarity".
He also called urged Labour workers to renew efforts during June's elections.
Mr Blair began his speech by comparing the current terror threat with past battles.
He said: "This is the new menace of our time. My father's generation were in the last conventional war to be fought on the soil of Europe, to defeat the Nazis.
"Our generation grew up with the Cold War, that ended with the defeat of totalitarian communism.
"This generation faces a war of a different nature from anything before."
'Terrorism without limit'
Spain and Britain had known terrorism before, but Mr Blair said: "This terrorism is terrorism waged without limit, without any care for the grief of the innocent and it is terrorism designed to strike at the very heart of our way of life, our democracy, our freedom and the rule of law."
To defeat terrorism "we will do what is necessary to defend our way of life," he said.
He said the battle against terrorism was far from over, "but like previous battles vital to the progress of humankind, this one too will be won."
Israeli Nuclear Policies Threaten World
Most Americans have no idea that the possibility of a full-fledged nuclear “suicide bombing” by the state of Israel itself is a cornerstone of Israel’s national security planning. However, there are some U.S. policymakers who have dared to express their concerns about this dangerous policy, which is known as what Pulitzer Prize-winning author Seymour Hersh referred to, in the book by the same name, “The Samson Option.”
As Hersh has documented—and Israeli historian Avner Cohen has confirmed it in even more detail in his own book, Israel and the Bomb—Israel’s entire national defense policy (from its inception) was framed around the development of powerful nuclear bombs. As Hersh makes clear, the Israelis are willing, if necessary, to “blow up the world”—including themselves—if they have to do so in order to defeat their Arab foes.
The so-called “Samson Option” for Israel is based on the well-known story of Samson in the Bible, who—after being captured by the Philistines—brought down Dagon’s temple in Gaza and killed himself along with a number of Philistines. As Hersh put it: “For Israel’s nuclear advocates, the Samson Option became another way of saying ‘Never Again’.”
The Sampson Option is a matter of concern—even for many high-placed American policy makers who are otherwise staunch supporters of Israel—but this is not something that has received widespread attention in the American press.
American Free Press reported one year ago that—buried in brief news notes in some Jewish newspapers in early 2003—former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had formally broken Israel’s longstanding policy of denying its nuclear weapons capabilities, although it was not reported in the mass media in America. Peres admitted in a Feb. 20, 2003 speech in Jerusalem that Israel did indeed have nuclear weapons. The Israeli leader made the admission to a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.(Despite all of this, most mainstream reports about Israel’s nuclear programs continue to state that Israel officially denies having nuclear weapons, Peres’ state-ment notwithstanding.)
This admission by Peres was particularly interesting because in 1999, many American Jewish organizations reacted with alarm when then-President Bill Clinton dared to mention Israel’s nuclear program. On May 14, 1999, the influential Jewish weekly, Forward, published an article expressing outrage that “President Clinton is raising for the first time public concerns about Israel’s nuclear program.”
The article pointed out that some 35 members of the U.S. Congress had written a letter to Clinton expressing concerns about imprisoned Israeli nuclear engineer Mordechai Vanunu, who was the first to publicly expose Israel’s nuclear bomb production program.
Responding in a letter dated April 22, 1999 to then- Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Mich.), President Clinton did more than just express his own concerns about Vanunu’s plight. Clinton also said: “I . . . share your concerns about the Israeli nuclear program. We have repeatedly urged Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to the treaty and accept comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.”
Forward reported that “Jewish leaders reacted with shock at news that Mr. Clinton had weighed in on Mr.Vanunu and Israel’s nuclear program,” and cited the reaction of Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman, who attacked Clinton, saying: “I can’t believe the president would send such a letter. These are very sensitive issues. It is so judgmental.”
Foxman’s disgust with Clinton was not unique. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, declared: “The president’s reference to Israel’s nuclear program is surprising and disturbing. As far as we know it’s unprecedented.”
Israeli professor says "We
could destroy all European capitals"
An Israeli professor and military historian hinted that Israel could avenge the Holocaust by annihilating millions of Germans and other Europeans.
Speaking during an interview which was published in Jerusalem Friday, Professor Martin Van Creveld said Israel had the capability of hitting most European capitals with nuclear weapons.
"We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force."
Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, pointed out that "collective deportation" was Israel's only meaningful strategy towards the Palestinian people.
"The Palestinians should all be deported. The people who strive for this (the Israeli government) are waiting only for the right man and the right time. Two years ago, only 7 or 8 per cent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago it was 33 per cent, and now, according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent."
Creveld said he was sure that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wanted to deport the Palestinians.
"I think it's quite
possible that he wants to do that. He wants to escalate the
conflict. He knows that nothing else we do will
Creveld argued that Israel wouldn't care much about becoming a rogue state.
armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but
rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the
world down with us. And I can assure you that that this will happen
before Israel goes under."
Washington has been channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the political opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - including those who briefly overthrew the democratically elected leader in a coup two years ago.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that, in 2002, America paid more than a million dollars to those political groups in what it claims is an ongoing effort to build democracy and "strengthen political parties". Mr Chavez has seized on the information, telling Washington to "get its hands off Venezuela".
The revelation about America's funding of Mr Chavez's opponents comes as the president is facing a possible recall referendum and has been rocked by a series of violent street demonstrations in which at least eight people have died. His opponents, who include politicians, some labour leaders, media executives and former managers at the state oil company, are trying to collect sufficient signatures to force a national vote. The documents reveal that one of the group's organising the collection of signatures - Sumate - received $53,400 (£30,000) from the US last September.
Jeremy Bigwood, a Washington-based freelance journalist who obtained the documents, yesterday told The Independent: "This repeats a pattern started in Nicaragua in the election of 1990 when [the US] spent $20 per voter to get rid of [the Sandinista President Daniel] Ortega. It's done in the name of democracy but it's rather hypocritical. Venezuela does have a democratically elected President who won the popular vote which is not the case with the US." [...]
Comment: The above report comes from the UK independent, a mainstream liberal newspaper reknowned for its impeccable integrity (as far as newspapers go). The US administration has repeatedly denied that it is involved in the covert and violent overthrow of soverign governments, yet Americans still maintain they are not being lied to. It is clear that they are. The only remaining question is; "how deep does the rabbit hole go?" The question can no longer be; "what is our government lying to us about", but rather, "what is our government NOT lying to us about..."
Briton suspected of leading
mercenaries in coup plot 'paid £100,000 for
A British man detained with 66 others in Harare on allegations of plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea could face the death penalty under possible terrorism charges, Zimbabwean sources said yesterday.
The suspected mercenaries will be charged with "attempting to overthrow a sovereign government". But Simon Mann could face extra charges, which under Zimbabwean's Public Order and Security Act carry the death penalty.
Mr Mann was in Harare before the arrival of the other suspects, and is accused of "organising illegal activities". Sources said that his charges were being discussed by law enforcement authorities. They said the charges centred on Zimbabwe's statutory crime of terrorism and sabotage, which could lead to his execution. Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs Minister, said yesterday that Zimbabwe was bound by international law to protect other states from aggression. He said: "The charges are quite clear, they were bent on actually destabilising an independent country, a sovereign country, and we are bound by the AU [African Union] charter and the UN charter to protect other states from any aggression."
Mr Mann was waiting on the tarmac when an aircraft carrying the suspected mercenaries landed at Harare International Airport on Sunday night. Equatorial Guinea also arrested a smaller group described by officials there as part of an advance party.
Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, Equatorial Guinea's Justice Minister, said that the plan was to abduct President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and take him to Spain, the country's former colonial ruler.
Mr Mohadi said that Mr Mann had been in Harare to allegedly buy weapons for the group from South Africa, Angola, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A Zimbabwe official said that Mr Mann had paid $180,000 to the Zimbabwe Defence Industries for the arms that the aircraft had come to collect. Mr Mann and Simon Witherspoon, a South African, were allegedly due to lead the operation.
Zimbabwean lawyers said yesterday that the charge of "plotting to overthrow a sovereign government" was not a crime under Zimbabwean law. Bharat Patel, the acting Attorney-General, announced that charges relating to violations of the Firearms Act, Immigration Act and Aviation Act would be considered against the men. None of these carries the death penalty.
Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Minister, Stan Mudenge, has stated that Zimbabwe wants to see the men executed.
Lovemore Madhuku, a law professor at the University of Zimbabwe, said he feared the government could manipulate the courts.
"I feel sorry for that Briton. He might have to endure all the pain of Mugabe's hatred of Britain," he said.
Thu 11 Mar 2004
TODAY, The Scotsman publishes details of a confidential government memo which reveals that the Prime Minister is secretly pressing for the European Union to relax its embargo on selling arms to Libya. Certainly, it is a positive move to detach Libya from its earlier anti-Western stance. Certainly, Libya’s recent renunciation of weapons of mass destruction is welcome. But is selling the mercurial Colonel Gaddafi British weapons really the best way of cementing a new friendship?
Not that long ago, Gaddafi’s Libya was playing host to every conceivable bunch of international terrorists: Baader-Meinhof, the Red Brigades, the Shining Path, the Tupamaros, the Abu Sayyaf organisation and the Japanese Red Army; not forgetting the Provisional IRA. Then there is the little matter of Libya’s own state terrorism. The voice of the Great Leader offered bon mots such as: "What is taken by force will be restored only by force." The Libyan media - totally state-directed, then as now - continually accused other Arab leaders of betrayal and collaborating with the US and "the Zionists".
Amazingly, the leopard seems to have changed its spots. In recent months, Libya has paid compensation for the Lockerbie bombing and renounced its nuclear weapons programme. The once pariah state is starting to rejoin the international community and there is even talk of beach resorts. Leading the pack to bring Libya back within the fold (and get a slice of the economic action) is the UK. Not only has Tony Blair announced he wants to go to Libya to offer Gaddafi the hand of friendship but we now know he has been covertly co-operating with the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to get the EU to agree to British and Italian firms selling arms to Libya on a "case by case" basis (whatever that means). [...]
Comment: Western governments are determined to arm the whole world. It is logical, given that, in the world wide conflagration that Israel's Ariel Sharon and America's Neocons are so hopeful of, the more WMD's there are, the bigger the conflagration. See?
Impeachment of President Exposes Deep Ideological Rift
Anthony Faiola and Joohee Cho
TOKYO, March 12 -- The
first impeachment of a sitting South Korean president came after a
furious battle of words and fists inside the National Assembly. But
the range of public reaction -- from celebration to sorrow --
exposed the real drama confronting South Korea: a profound
ideological rift now dividing a nation that has been one of the
most important U.S. strategic allies since the Korean War.
Friday's vote resulted in the immediate suspension of Roh's presidential powers for up to six months while a nine-member Constitutional Court determines whether to uphold his impeachment. He is charged with violating electoral laws, incompetence and corruption.
If the charges are upheld, Roh and his self-described "reformist" agenda will be ushered out of the Blue House, South Korea's executive quarters, while the nation rushes toward new presidential elections. In the meantime, Prime Minister Goh Kun, viewed as a political moderate, is temporarily at the nation's helm. [...]
But many analysts agreed that the move against Roh had less to do with legalities and more to do with his political ideology. "It's like shooting someone for minor theft," said Kim Dong Yune, a Seoul-based political analyst. "The elites of the country never acknowledged Roh in the first place; they couldn't handle someone who never graduated high school like Roh. South Korea is not like America, where the American dream is possible. They showed us that today."
The ideological gap is, in large part, generational. Roh's supporters are generally younger South Koreans with no memory of the Korean War, who often hook up in chat rooms to discuss progressive politics and share a desire for eventual reunification with North Korea.
Supporters of the opposition Grand National Party, the major political force of the business establishment, tend to be older and more conservative. They accuse Roh of alienating the United States and waging class warfare against the wealthy. [...]
Comment: Spain and South Korea are two different countries on two different continents - yet they are both currently faced with the same fundamental problem. On 9/11, America reacted in shock and horror at the attacks on the twin towers that were allegedly conducted by Islamic terrorists. Although there was - and still is - a great deal of doubt as to the true identity of the attackers, the emotional energy of the American people was quite effectively funneled into a Crusade of the Righteous. Bush even spoke repeatedly in biblical terms of battling "evil". Americans, of course, are the "good guys".
On 3/11, a "terrorist" event that was rather similar to the WTC attacks occurred in Madrid. Security in Spain and France has been placed on a heightened state of alert. The people who protested in Madrid yesterday were quite obviously shocked and disturbed by the train bombings. While it seems that their anger may also be funneled against "evil Muslim terrorists", only time will tell.
In South Korea, the people are either partying or despairing over the impeachment of the sitting president. On the surface, it appears to be an all-too-familiar story of rich conservatives versus young idealists. While not as horrific as the train attacks in Spain, South Korea seems to be in the same type of emotional turmoil as Spain.
When directly involved in the upheaval that is common to this reality, it is often nearly impossible to remain emotionally unaffected. The question is at what point - if ever - do we stop and truly think about what has transpired. Do we ever stop to ask, "Why?", or "Who benefits?" What seems to be important is that we learn to ask these essential questions.
Another frightening aspect of the chaos that follows shocking world events is the apparent lack of actual internal reflection among the masses not directly affected. As we wrote the other day, it is all too easy to tell oneself that these events are terrible, but they happened to "those people over there". In the case of the bombings in Madrid, many people around the world will observe a moment of silence at noon on Monday. While this is certainly a kind gesture, what will happen afterwards - or even during the moment of silence? Will anyone truly reflect on the state of the world, on the iron grip of the chaos and madness that has seized mankind in recent days, months, and years? Furthermore, if we are to declare that we as individuals desire change, should we not engage in such "moments of silence" on a regular basis? Yet how many of us can honestly declare that we even observe ourselves in our normal state of being? How many of us can honestly state that we want to observe ourselves?
What seems to be clear is that the majority of humanity have made a choice, but they are not even aware of what it is that they have decided upon. Consider the example of dining out at a restaurant. Perhaps the diner has a large television tuned to a news station that is covering a recent traumatic event. We may observe a certain quantity of obligatory silence as the horror of the situation is splashed across the screen. Perhaps we will find ourselves emotionally engaging in the drama of the report. Along with our fellow customers, we feel sad, angry, or numb. Then the news program may end, and a regular program with blatantly useless content will be presented. Maybe it is a game show, or a "reality TV" program, or a talk show. If examine ourselves, we may notice an internal shift. The sadness, anger, or numbness begins to wear off. As we look around the diner, we may notice that everyone else is more upbeat - conversations have resumed, people are smiling, laughing, and generally having a grand old time. It is almost as if the horror conveyed by the news program never took place.
Even if conversations related to the news show continue, what types of discussions are we likely to overhear? The conversation is bound to be focused on politics, personal bias, and more emotion. Note that we don't think there is anything wrong with emotion. Emotion is a central component of our being in this reality. But if emotion is simply experienced, it is useless. If the emotions are experienced and observed, we may be able to learn something. If we can observe our emotions in realtime, we can learn to limit their influence upon us as they arise. Of course, we can also learn from observing the use of emotion in other people. Before that can be done, however, we must have obtained a certain purity of self-observation.
Chantage: AZF revient
Spanish Rail Attack Serves Notice to
WASHINGTON - Despite security upgrades, new surveillance systems and tightened explosives regulations, America remains vulnerable to a terrorist attack like the deadly bombings on Spanish trains, U.S. officials and terrorism experts said Friday.
The simplicity of the timed backpack bombs placed on Spanish commuter trains demonstrates that such an attack can be carried out, they said.
"We can't stop terrorism. All we can do is reduce the risks to levels that people can accept," said Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. [...]
AP: Rumsfeld, FBI Official Kept 9-11
WASHINGTON - The removal of souvenir debris from the scenes of the Sept. 11 attacks reached the highest levels of government, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and FBI Director Robert Mueller's chief of anti-terrorism, a Justice Department investigation has found.
The practice was so widespread inside the FBI that it even forced prosecutors in Minnesota to drop plans to prosecute a company that had taken a fire truck door from the World Trade Center, according to a still-confidential report obtained by The Associated Press.
The report said the Justice Department inspector general confirmed that Rumsfeld "has a piece of the airplane that flew into the Pentagon" inside his Defense Department office.
Chief Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said Friday night that Rumsfeld has a shard of metal from the jetliner that struck the Pentagon on a table in his office and shows it to people as a reminder of the tragedy Pentagon workers shared on Sept. 11, 2001.
"He doesn't consider it his own," Di Rita said. "We are mindful of the fact that if somebody has an evidentiary requirement to have this shard of metal, we will provide it to them."
Asked whether Rumsfeld's possession of the shard was similar to FBI agents who have been criticized for taking mementos from the World Trade Center, Di Rita said: "It was never that kind of thing. ... It seemed perfectly appropriate." [...]
The full report obtained by the AP divulges some senior FBI managers were among those cited for having authorized or asked for mementos. [...]
The report stated FBI agents who worked in New York repeatedly expressed their disgust that visiting colleagues and supervisors would "want to take items, including pieces of the building which were contaminated with blood and human body parts."
The report disclosed that among the items taken, agents had cut World Trade Center security patches from the sleeves of shirt pieces found in the rubble.
"It was a ghoulish prospect that anyone would want things from a crime scene where people have died," one agent was quoted as telling investigators. [...]
Comment: This article is talking about the people who are in power in America right now. And here we thought that people who collect Nazi memorabilia are sick puppies...
Bush praises man in speech
on women's rights
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush has marked International Women's Week by paying tribute to women reformers -- but one of those he cited is really a man.
"Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi. She's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy," the president said in a speech at the White House on Friday.
The only problem was that, by all other accounts, "she" is in fact "he".
"Definitely male," said Alistair Hodgett, spokesman for the human rights advocacy group Amnesty International, whose representatives tried to see Jahmi in prison during a recent visit to Libya. [...]
On this day in 2002
George W. Bush stated:
On this day in 2003 The Guardian Reported:
By Aluf Benn
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. "These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve," Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen. [...]
Comment: The call for blood always rings louder after blood has already been spilled. The plans for war have already been made, it just requires a handy terrorist attack to convince the world to sacrifice their children and spouses for the crusade. We will probably learn soon enough if there is truth to the article below...
TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) – Over the past few days, in the wake of the bombings in Karbala and the ideological disputes that delayed the signing of Iraq’s interim constitution, there have been reports that U.S. forces have unloaded a large cargo of parts for constructing long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the southern ports of Iraq.
A reliable source from the Iraqi Governing Council, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency that U.S. forces, with the help of British forces stationed in southern Iraq, had made extensive efforts to conceal their actions.
He added that the cargo was unloaded during the night as attention was still focused on the aftermath of the deadly bombings in Karbala and the signing of Iraq’s interim constitution.
The source said that in order to avoid suspicion, ordinary cargo ships were used to download the cargo, which consisted of weapons produced in the 1980s and 1990s. [...]
Psychopaths have physical abnormalities in two key brain structures responsible for functions ranging from fear detection to information processing, a USC clinical neuroscientist has found in two studies that suggest a neuro-developmental basis to the disorder.
Adrian Raine, a professor of psychology and neuroscience in the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, focused his research on two parts of the brain: the hippocampus, a portion of the temporal lobe that regulates aggression and transfers information into memory; and the corpus callosum, a bridge of nerve fibers that connects the cerebral hemispheres.
"Scientists have implicated different brain regions with respect to antisocial and aggressive behavior, and all are important and relevant," Raine said.
"But it goes beyond that to the wiring. Unless these parts of the brain are properly wired together, they'll never communicate effectively. They'll never result in appropriate behavior," he said.
Although the neurobiological roots of psychopathy are still being explored, the key behavioral features of a psychopath have been clearly defined.
Psychopaths' criminal tendencies are typically coupled with a lack of inhibitions, emotions and a conscience.
"We don't do bad things because we will feel bad about it," Raine said. "Psychopaths don't have those feelings - they do not have a conscience. That means they can be callous and manipulative. They don't care about other people. If they can get what they want from life by hurting other people, they'll do it."
That lack of emotions often means that psychopaths don't bond with other people in a normal way.
"Friendship does not mean the same thing to them. They'll use the word love a lot, but they really don't know what love means. They've never properly experienced it," he said.
But while psychopaths may be cold on the inside, they often can appear to be warm and endearing on the outside - a tool used to lure people in to manipulate them.
"They are glib. They use words well and can be charming. That lures people into their devious net," Raine said.
Psychopaths can be the life of the party for a few minutes or a few hours, and it can actually be a wonderful experience brushing shoulders with them. It's when you get to know them in the long term that you begin to see that they are not what they appear to be."
To explore the physical roots to psychopathic behavior, Raine and his colleagues recruited 91 men from Los Angeles' temporary employment pool and gave them a battery of tests to assess cognitive ability, information processing skills and criminal history. They also were given MRIs, or brain scans.
In the study of the hippocampus, the research team expanded the scope of previous studies by comparing the brains of two groups for the first time: "successful" psychopaths - those who had committed crimes but had never been caught - and "unsuccessful" psychopaths - those who had been caught.
The hippocampus plays a critical role in regulating aggression and in learning which situations one should be afraid of - a process called contextual fear conditioning.
With psychopaths, contextual fear conditioning plays a part in learning the concept of what to do and what not to do, Raine said. It has been theorized that the disruption of the circuit linking the hippocampus with the prefrontal cortex could contribute to the impulsiveness, lack of control and emotional abnormalities observed in psychopaths.
"It is learning what is right and what is wrong in a certain situation," he said.
He tested the theory that psychopaths with hippocampal impairments could become insensitive to cues that predicted punishment and capture. As a result, he said, these "impaired" psychopaths were more likely to be apprehended than psychopaths without that deficit.
Fewer than half of both the control subjects and the "successful" psychopaths had an asymmetrical hippocampus.
Ninety-four percent of the unsuccessful psychopaths had that same abnormality, with the right side of the hippocampus larger than the left.
Raine said the results suggest, but don't prove, a neuro-developmental root for psychopathy.
"Abnormal brain development in early life may cause the structural brain abnormalities that result in psychopathy," he said.
These findings were bolstered by the results of the second study, which focused on the corpus callosum.
The corpus callosum is a bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain, enabling them to work together to process information and regulate autonomic function. Raine explored its role in psychopathy for the first time.
"There's faulty wiring going on in psychopaths. They're wired differently than other people," Raine said. "In a way, it's literally true in this case."
He found that the psychopaths' corpus callosums were an average of 23 percent larger and 7 percent longer than the control groups'.
"The corpus callosum is bigger, but it's also thinner. That suggests that it developed abnormally," Raine said.
The rate that the psychopaths transmitted information from one hemisphere to the other through the corpus callosum also was abnormally high, Raine said.
But that didn't mean things worked better.
With an increased corpus callosum came less remorse, fewer emotions and less social connectedness - the classic hallmarks of a psychopath, he said.
"These people don't react. They don't care," Raine said. "Why that occurs, we don't fully know, but we are beginning to get important clues from neuro-imaging research."
Raine's colleagues on the studies were from institutions including USC, Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The hippocampus and corpus callosum studies were published in the journals Biological Psychiatry (January 2004) and Archives of General Psychiatry (November 2003), respectively.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP)--A moderate earthquake shook southeastern Taiwan on Saturday, the Central Weather Bureau said. No damage or injuries were reported.
The 5.1-magnitude quake was centered under the ocean about 17 miles east of Chengkung, the weather bureau said.
A new map of seismic zones in Italy has led to the reclassification of the entire country being classified as under the danger of seismic disturbance. Enzo Boschi, the President of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, it is a new "Copernican revolution" because the areas that were considered safe have disappeared.
Last Updated Fri, 12 Mar 2004 19:45:03
TORONTO - Health authorities are trying to learn everything they can from this year's flu season to prepare for the worst.
Signs pointed to a devastating flu season that seemed to be targeting children.
"When there is a new flu strain that is circulating, that children are having very major complications and dying with flu, it causes us a great deal of concern," said Dr. Joanne Embree of Winnipeg Children's Hospital on Nov. 27, 2003.
Health Canada recorded four deaths from flu in children under 15 this year. In a normal year, there might be one or two.
Experts say it doesn't mean children were hit harder. It may be awareness was higher and doctors looked for flu in children more closely.
In the end, the flu came early and fizzled out fast. Doctors don't know why.
[...] Most flu cases in Canada this season were A Fujian. Although the strain was identified too late to make it into the vaccine, public health officials urged people to get the flu shot anyway, believing it would offer some protection.
"I think it was a little bit of an over response, but we'd just gone through SARS," said Dr. Jeff Scott, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health.
[...] It appears more Canadians got the flu shot this year than in recent years. Studies say the jabs should have helped reduce the number of cases and deaths, and experts are anxious to see if the trend toward vaccination holds next year.
Baghdad - A top Iraqi lawyer co-ordinating preparations for Saddam Hussein's trial accused the United States military on Friday of hampering efforts to gather evidence by releasing detainees linked to the toppled dictator.
"The US military just releases detainees without consulting with us. They are releasing people with valuable information on Saddam. They are undermining the process of putting him on trial," Salem Chalabi told reporters.
should we bother?"[...]
Chalabi said he expressed his concerns to a high-level US justice department team that visited Iraq this week to assemble evidence for war crimes cases against Saddam.
"They said they would relay our concerns," he said, adding that a much larger American team of 50 would return in about five weeks.[..]
The US-educated attorney, whose uncle Ahmad Chalabi is a member of the Governing Council, said there were about 100 Iraqi detainees with ties to Saddam who could provide hard evidence against him.
"The Americans have released 15 detainees who would have been valuable to us. They are doing this because they arrested too many people and now they are compensating," he said.
One important example, he said, was Saadoun Hammadi, a longtime Saddam ally who served as prime minister in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.
one point he was a senior member of the Baath party. He knows a lot
of information," Chalabi said. [...]
Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's popularity rating has fallen to an all-time low, a poll published on Friday by the daily Maariv revealed.
Asked whether they were satisfied with Sharon, only 33 percent of respondents said "yes," marking his lowest rating since he took office in February 2001.
In contrast, 57 percent said they were not pleased with Sharon and the remainder did not express an opinion.
The poll surveyed 503 people and had a four percentage point margin of error.
In the past week, another poll showed that 53 percent of Israelis would like to see Sharon resign. [...]
Taipei - Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party was forced to withdraw a presidential election campaign advertisement featuring a picture of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler on Friday after it drew protest from Jewish groups.
The full-page newspaper advertisement likened incumbent President Chen Shui-bian to Hitler and read: "Change the president - put an end to A-bian's dictatorship". A-bian is Chen's popular nickname.
Chen and his Nationalist Party opponent, Lien Chan, are locked in a neck-and-neck race in a March 20 election that could be decided by a few hundred thousand votes out of an electorate of 16 million. [...]
So now we know: torture is routinely used by the US in Guantánamo Bay
Truly we live in dark times. A sure sign that the nights are getting longer, even as springtime approaches, comes from the intensity of anxieties about torture. All the time there are reports of new atrocities - in Sudan, among British victims in Saudi Arabia, and of course in the war on terror. Later this month in Geneva, the World Organisation Against Torture will tell the UN Commission on Human Rights that "since the attacks of September 11, numerous states have adopted or announced measures that are incompatible with their obligations under international law". At the same time that we face new atrocities in Madrid, we hear the voices of the first Britons released from Guantánamo Bay where, according to former detainee Jamal al-Harith, they endured a regime of unremitting cruelty.
He describes systematic humiliation, clearly aimed at corroding the humanity of the victims, and which included exposing devout Muslims to insult by prostitutes. [...]
The war on terror is a perfect state of psychosis within which the darkness can extend itself. It has no defined boundaries, no fixed territorial enemies: it takes what yesterday were deemed to be simple crimes, and extends them mentally to incriminate whole populations, social groups or religions. [...]
Serious questions were asked today over how four Britons could be held for two years in Guantanamo Bay - but completely cleared by British police in just 24 hours. [...]
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) -- Argentina will compensate children who were detained, stolen or born in captivity during a brutal 1976-1983 dictatorship, President Nestor Kirchner said Friday, asking them to forgive the state.
[...] Many military officials adopted babies of murdered mothers who gave birth in detention, and now thanks to DNA testing, some of those children are learning their real identities in their 20s.
"It [compensation] isn't enough, because repairing the damage caused is impossible," Kirchner, himself briefly held under the dictatorship, told children of victims who "disappeared" at the hands of the bloody dictatorship.
"We are sorry, we can do no more than ask for forgiveness," added Kirchner, who has campaigned to lift amnesties protecting officials involved in rights abuses.
Legions of Argentine grandmothers, mothers and children are still pressing to learn what happened to loved ones, and dictatorship-era mass graves are still being found.
Earlier this month, Argentina's Navy admitted for the first time that "aberrant acts" were committed in the Navy School of Mechanics, an infamous torture center dubbed "Argentina's Auschwitz."
Kirchner has annulled a decree that prevented the extradition of Argentines suspected of human rights crimes during the military government.
Germany issued an extradition request earlier this month for former junta leader Jorge Rafael Videla, bedridden ex-navy head Emilio Eduardo Massera -- who ran the Navy school -- and former general Guillermo Suarez Mason.
The three are already detained and are wanted in connection with the deaths of German students during the dictatorships.
Beijing - China has blocked at least two more websites of foreign news media since the opening of its National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5, a media rights group said on Friday.
The Chinese language sites of the Wall Street Journal and Germany's Deutsche Welle were blocked since the opening of the NPC, Reporters Without Borders said. [...]
SAN FRANCISCO -- To encourage restraint in war coverage, governments don't need to shoot journalists - though sometimes that's helpful. [...]
CLEVELAND - A state maintenance worker was suspended after he displayed a sign with the word "traitor" on a snowplow while helping provide security for President Bush's motorcade, the Ohio Department of Transportation said. [...]
The Justice Department wants to significantly expand the government's ability to monitor online traffic, proposing that providers of high-speed Internet service should be forced to grant easier access for FBI wiretaps and other electronic surveillance, according to documents and government officials. [...]
Napa County in Northern California said on Friday that electronic voting åmachines used in the March presidential primary failed to record votes on some of its paper ballots, which will force the county to re-scan over 11,000 ballots and possibly change the outcome of some close local races.
The glitch is the latest in a string of problems with the new generation of electronic voting machines being rolled out across the United States. Critics of the machines say they are inaccurate or susceptible to tampering, and can't be trusted in this year's presidential elections. [...]
ANAHEIM, California -- Robots building communications arrays hundreds of miles above the Earth. Electromagnetic pulses cleansing space of nuclear explosions' lethal effects. Raw materials turning themselves into orbiting sensors.
That's just a small sample of what Darpa , the Pentagon's far-out research arm, has in store for space. [...]
Is the federal government's expansion of biodefense research paving the way for the bioweapons of the future?
[...] But a growing number of microbiologists, nonproliferation experts, and former government officials say there may be a dark side to the biodefense push: With poor oversight, government-funded scientists could actually be paving the way for the next generation of killer germs—and given the explosion of research, there is no way to keep track of what is being done. "We are playing games with fire," says Ken Alibek, a top scientist in the Soviet Union's bioweapons program until defecting to the United States. "It is kind of a Pandora's box. As soon as you open it, there is no way of putting it back in." [...]
To many observers, the statement indicated that the United States is moving toward a pre-emptive approach, attempting to beat terrorists to the punch by being the first to produce novel pathogens. "What they seem to be saying to me is that we are actually in a defensive/offensive arms race," says Malcolm Dando, a British bioweapons expert at Bradford University. [...]
[...] While Cheney spoke to a crowd inside the Holiday Inn, outside a noisy group of protesters staged a demonstration. Sources say at one point Sergeant Kevin Murphy who was in charge of a 10 person SWAT team was ordered to conduct crowd control, but he allegedly balked at the order. When Sheriff Kevin Walsh brought disciplinary charges against Sergeant Murphy, the entire SWAT team resigned.
[...] Spadafore says they were told to move to different areas four times. He suspects the Vice President's team was behind the order which fell on Sergeant Murphy's shoulders. "It had to come from higher up." [...]
The pulses are so brief and intense that they pass virtually undetected through the outer membrane of the cell without damaging it, Vernier said. But these fast-rising pulses pack such a powerful punch to the intracellular structures of the cell that they can dramatically change its biochemical balance, or trigger the start of cell death, a process known as apoptosis.
Hong Kong - A computer-game addict in western China collapsed and died at his screen after playing the popular online game, Saga, non-stop for 20 hours.
The 31-year-old began playing the game regularly at an Internet cafe in Chengdu, Sichuan province, three months before his death, according to the South China Morning Post. [...]
Three vulture species in southern Asia are facing imminent extinction.
This is due to a powerful drug that makes livestock carcasses fatal for the scavenging birds, ornithologists at a world conference on birds said in Durban yesterday.
"There has been an overall 95% decline in the population of the three species during the past eight years in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan," said Debbie Paine, from the British chapter of BirdLife International.
[...] The sharp decline in the vulture population has been noticed in India for a few years, posing several problems.
The Parsis - descendants of Iranian settlers who came to India centuries ago - now have problems disposing of their dead in the traditional fashion by leaving them for vultures in so-called "towers of silence".
Washington - Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but what is good, bad and ugly to one person is pretty much good, bad and ugly to another, Israeli scientists reported on Thursday.
A brain imaging study showed that people's brains reacted in a surprisingly similar manner as they watched the classic Clint Eastwood movie The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.
About 30 percent of brain activity in key visual, auditory and face recognition areas was virtually identical in five different people shown a sequence from the film, the researchers said.
"This strong intersubject correllation shows that, despite the completely free viewing of dynamical, complex scenes, individual brains 'tick together' when exposed to the same visual environment," they wrote in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
[...] When shown the same 30-minute sequence from the film, close to 30 percent of one person's brain response could be predicted by another's, the researchers said. [...]
The Associated Press
FRESNO, Calif. March 13 — Police officers responding to a child custody dispute said they arrived at a home to find nine bodies stacked and intertwined in a pile of clothes, 10 coffins and a 57-year-old man they believe is responsible for the slaughter. [...]
The grim scene caused even veteran officers to weep. [...]
CANADICE, N.Y - DeBeer, 30, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of killing two of her infants -- in June 1998 and May 2003 -- and hiding them in pails filled with concrete that investigators had to break apart with hammers. [...]
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The poor will have to eat well in Minnesota if a new junk food ban goes into effect.
Minnesota officials are asking for federal permission to become the food police. The state wants to forbid the use of food stamps to buy soda and candy. [...]
Comment: Everything must be controlled.
LOS ANGELES — It’s home to fun, sun and Hollywood glamour -- and now the city of Los Angeles may be lending its name and image to the highest bidder. [...]
Nose cone gouged when crew was removing it from sub near Seattle
SEATTLE - A ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead was damaged in November while it was being removed from a submarine at a naval base near Seattle, a defense official said Thursday, speaking the condition of anonymity. [...]
The discovery of a mysterious object in our solar system is the topic of a listen-and-log-on news briefing on Monday, March 15, at 1 p.m. EST.
Dr. Michael Brown, associate professor of planetary astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. will present his discovery of the most distant object ever detected orbiting the sun. He and colleagues made the discovery as part of a NASA-funded research project. [...]
Inside 'La Tetera': geologic wonders, prehistoric bones
Southern Arizona has a major "new" cave near Vail, one that could be a million years old, with a "scientific treasure trove" that could take decades to explore.
A group of Tucson scientists announced this week that they've spent the past eight years researching in and around a cave they call "La Tetera" - Spanish for "the teapot." [...]
Even compared to the area's other notable caves, Peachey said, the evidence indicates that La Tetera is remarkable: bones from a camel and a prehistoric horse; 2-foot-wide shells from extinct tortoises; geologic formations that are "almost Disney-like" in their brilliant colors; the possibility of new mineral discoveries; and clues to how the area's climate has changed through the millennia. [...]
Julius Caesar's bloody assassination on March 15, 44 B.C., forever marked March 15, or the Ides of March, as a day of infamy. It has fascinated scholars and writers ever since.
For ancient Romans living before that event, however, an ides was merely one of several common calendar terms (see sidebar) used to mark monthly lunar events. The ides simply marked the appearance of the full moon. [...]
Sutherland - Huge white domes make a jarring sight amid the landscape of South Africa's arid Karoo region.
Perched on a wind-swept hilltop, they house telescopes of different shapes and sizes that search the star-filled skies in this remote corner of the Earth for the secrets of the universe.
Those skies will soon be scanned by a super scope that will probe far deeper into space than any of its neighbours - the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), which will be 12m in diameter.
"This is for deep space observation," said Hitesh Gajjar, an electrical engineer involved in the project, as he pointed with pride at SALT - a massive hexagon filled with 91 smaller mirrored hexagons, of which 18 are in place.
SALT will enable scientists to view stars and galaxies a billion times too faint to be visible to the naked eye. The official website says that is as about as faint as a candle's flame on the moon.
SALT will also probe quasars, which resemble bright stars but are in fact black holes at the center of galaxies and which are some of the most distant objects in the universe.
The light reaching us now left them a long time ago and as a consequence we see them as they were billions of years ago when they were young.
"Very distant quasars give us information about earlier times in the history of the universe. One benefit is that this enables us to study the time evolution of the universe," said South African astronomer Chris Koen.
"We can also try to determine whether the same physical laws applied in the distant past because we see quasars as they were long ago," he said. [...]
Kochi - A year ago, she was just another two-bit loser, headed for a bitter end.
Now, thanks to a soft-hearted trainer, a savvy public relations strategy and a media blitz, Haru-urara - a Japanese racehorse who can't win for trying - is a national star.
skittish chestnut mare, who has lost 105 races in a row since her
debut, has rescued ailing Kochi Race Course from being shut down,
is set to star in a movie, and is guaranteed a cushy retirement
instead of a trip to the slaughterhouse.[...]
The eight-year-old horse has also been compared to Japan's growing class of "losers", including the dedicated corporate warriors being sacrificed by employers to the pursuit of profits.
Chinese education officials have ordered school textbooks be rewritten to remove the myth that the Great Wall can be seen from space.
The BBC reports the change of police has been prompted by comments from China's first man in space Yang Liwei.
When he returned from his mission last year, Liwei told reporters he was unable to see the Great Wall of China while orbiting the Earth in his craft Shenzhou V.
The Beijing Times quoted an official as saying school textbook publishers have now been asked to remove the relevant passages.
He said: "Having this falsehood printed in our elementary school textbooks is probably the main cause of the misconception being so widely spread."
Sea Lion Grabs Fisherman
Comment: The White House immediately called a press conference to warn all Americans that al-Qaeda may be trying to use sea lions and other animals to carry out large-scale attacks on US targets. The warning came amidst some other mumbling and grumbling that US intelligence possesses no actual evidence of a threat.
Remember, we need your help to collect information on what is going on in your part of the world!
We also need help to keep the Signs of the Times online.
Check out the Signs of the Times Archives
Fair Use Policy
Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org