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Monday , April 05, 2004

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New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12

Picture of the Day

Gasconny Sunset
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

On the March 1, 2004 Signs page, we noted the following regarding the idea of perfection:

Perfection is the state of being without a flaw or defect. Historically, man seeks perfection in all things. The perfect body, the perfect mind, the perfect religion, the perfect nation, the perfect car, the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect life. It seems that this last idea, the perfect life, is the most desired. Quite often, the perfect life is defined by some combination of other ideals.

The American Dream is a good example. [...]

For those that do reach the summit, eventually they realize that there is something better. The neighbor has a fancier car or a bigger house, and we decide that if only we could have those things as well, then we would truly have reached that elusive state of perfection. Of course, this process will and must repeat endlessly, as there is always something better and bigger to be acquired or achieved.

Some people don't worry about material possessions; they are more concerned with the afterlife. Realizing, perhaps, that they will never be wealthy, they instead decide that perfection cannot be achieved in this world, and so they seek it in the next life. There really is no difference between the desire for material and religious perfection. In both cases, the goal becomes something invisible, intangible, and just over the horizon. The goal becomes the mirage sought by the parched inhabitants of a desert reality. [...]

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why we are so obsessed with being "perfect" is that we are all afraid of failure. In our mechanical quest to be more wealthy, famous, religious, or whatever else we deem as "perfection", we are afraid of not achieving that which cannot be achieved in the first place. Obviously, the fact that the quest is impossible does not enter into our consciousness. We are also convinced by those important figures in our lives that our mechanical goals are of the utmost importance. How many times are we asked, directly or indirectly, why we cannot be more like a sibling, parent, or friend? Thus, our drive for the illusion of perfection is reinforced by the fear of disappointing ourselves or another. We may even hear military or political leaders declaring that, "Failure is not an option".

Consider that, just as perfection is an illusory concept, so is failure. The real question is: what, if anything, constitutes failure? If we develop our ability to See objectively, we can become aware of our internal programs. At the same time, we can begin to notice the programs that run in those around us. The act of belittling and berating ourselves based on our own programs is useless. Doing the same to satisfy another's mechanical nature is just as fruitless.

It seems that if one is able to observe that this reality exists as a school, then all there is is lessons. As a result, failure is not only not an option, but nonexistent - as long as we maintain our effort to pursue objective reality through continued work on the self. One may recognize an emotional program within oneself. Upon trying to be aware of the program and thereby neutralize or minimize its effects on our Coach, one may "fail" in some way - perhaps one's inability to recognize the root of the program will cause another emotional reaction, such as anger. Looking objectively at the situation, there has been no failure. The lesson simply has not been learned. At this point, if the horses of the coach can be brought under control, a choice could be made: Does one continue the struggle alone, or perhaps seek help from another coach that seems to be heading in the same direction?

It seems that we are also frequently programmed to loath seeking help, since this would be regarded as an admission of failure. But it seems that, when doing the work on oneself, it is not possible to proceed alone on the path. At some point, an outside assessment from a colinear individual will probably be required. With a network of truth seekers, the work could be greatly enhanced. It is in this spirit that we formed the Casschat discussion group.

Finally, the idea that the concept of failure is illusory does not absolve any of us from responsibility for our actions. We can act selfishly, harm others, harm ourselves, and generally proceed in a manner that upholds the entropic principle. In everything we do, we should ask ourselves if our choice results in alignment with the entropic or creative nature of reality.

Democracy on the March ! ! !

President George W. Bush was clear: "They hate us because of our freedoms!" The role of the US was to bring democracy to the poor and oppressed. So how is Mr. Bush doing with his crusade? Let's take a look.

U.S. troops die in Shiite revolt: Militias launch deadly firefight in Baghdad slums


BAGHDAD—An armed Shiite revolt against the American-led occupation erupted yesterday in Baghdad and in other cities across Iraq's normally quiescent south. Nine soldiers, including eight Americans, were killed, and three dozen were wounded, U.S. officials said.

The day's events constituted the most serious challenge yet to the U.S.-led occupation by an element of the country's majority Shiite population, which for most of a year has observed a broad tolerance of the United States and its allies.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Iraqis killed in US Apache air strike

Monday 05 April 2004, 10:45 Makka Time, 7:45 GMT

At least five people have been killed and several others injured after two US Apache helicopters launched an air strike targeting an al-Sadr bureau in the al-Shula area of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

According to Aljazeera's correspondent, a number of adjacent houses were damaged in the strike.

A US vehicle was also seen burning in the area, he added.

Followers of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had previously taken control of al-Shula area, the correspondent said.

Meanwhile, at least six Iraqis have been killed and several others wounded in clashes with US occupation forces in Falluja, west of Baghdad.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Shia protests spread to Basra

Iraqis loyal to a radical Shia Muslim cleric have occupied the governor's office in Basra in protest at coalition actions against their movement.

About 150 followers of Moqtada Sadr took over the building unopposed to stage what they called a sit-in.

Fighting has re-erupted in Baghdad after a day of bloodshed between gunmen loyal to Mr Sadr and coalition forces.

And US troops have also sealed off the Sunni Muslim town of Falluja where four Americans were killed last week.

The Shia protests were triggered by the closure of Mr Sadr's main newspaper a week ago; they intensified after the arrest on Saturday of one of his top aides, Mustafa Yacoubi.

[...] The US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, said on Monday that Mr Sadr's followers had effectively placed themselves outside the law and this would not be tolerated.

US Apache helicopter gunships fired into Baghdad's mainly Shia district of al-Shuala on Monday as a battle raged on the ground, correspondents report. One US vehicle was reported to be in flames.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

More US troops may be needed in Iraq - key senator

04 Apr 2004 17:27:21 GMT

WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) - The United States may need to bolster its troop presence in Iraq and extend the deadline for transfer to Iraqi rule, amid an insurgency that could lead to civil war, a leading Republican lawmaker said on Sunday.

"It may be that we do need more troops ... because I think we have to have security (in Iraq)," U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican and head of the Senate foreign relations committee, said on ABC television's "This Week."

Last week, four U.S. contractors were murdered and mutilated in Falluja, with cheering Iraqis parading the charred bodies through the streets and stringing up two of them for public view.

On Sunday, Spanish-led troops and Iraqi police fought a 3-hour gun battle with Shi'ite militiamen near Najaf that left almost two dozen Iraqis and four Salvadoran soldiers dead.

Lugar said he is worried that when the U.S.-led coalition turns over sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30, the new government will be unable to deal with the violence.

"They're at a point in which clearly they can't control the situation," he said. "You have the militia that has not been disarmed, and if in fact the worst situation comes, the militia begin to fight each other, that is, civil war." [...]

Comment: There is one minor problem with the Senator's statement. The US-controlled CPA is running Iraq right now. The CPA will continue to rule over the temporary government after June 30th. The issue is not whether Iraqis can run their own country - they have not been given the chance by the US. The issue seems to be that America has found itself in a big mess in Iraq due to the imperial ambitions of the US government and the complicity of the American people.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Guerrilla of the Week

Editor's Pick, April 4, 2004

"The real clash that's supposed to happen in this war did not yet happen. In the south, people are waiting, and they will be tired in months." - Raed Jarrar, October 2003, interview with GNN

We were standing in tank graveyard on the outskirts of Baghdad when Raed Jarrar, blogger/architect/ democracy activist, first explained to us that the real war had yet to be fought.

It was October 2003, and Muqtada Al Sadr, the 30-year-old Shiite "firebrand cleric" had just declared himself the ruler of an autonomous government. Thousands of loyal followers filled the streets of Baghdad's Shiite slum to show their support.

All the news agencies flocked to his mosque. But few reporters on the ground understood, and almost no one back home, save a small handfull of astute observers like Juan Cole, that Al Sadr and his radical Shiite followers were Iraq's wildcard. Since the first hours after Baghdad fell they had been biding their time, quietly arming, raising money and recruiting new members to fight what they knew would be a coming battle to remove the foreign infidel from their land. The Americans appeared helpless, or unwilling, to stop them.

What you saw Sunday across Iraq was the other shoe dropping - a massive coordinated Shiite uprising that left 22 Iraqis, eight U.S. troops and one Salvadoran soldier dead. This is a completely new war, and the Americans are just as unprepared to fight it as they were the one against Baathist sympathizers and oppressed everyday Iraqis in the so-called Sunni Triangle.

Raed Jarrar saw it all coming. As he told us back in October, "In the south, people are waiting, and they will be tired in months."

Jarrar is a 20-something Palestinian-Iraq architect who is best known to the world as one half of the famous Baghdad Blogger team. Shortly before the March 2003 invasion his best friend starting writing a blog called "Where's Raed?" under the pseudonym Salam Pax. At the time, it was the only uncensored reporting coming out of Baghdad. Raed began writing for the blog after the end of "major combat," offering a more jaundiced take on the American arrival than Salam, who is gay, and seemed to be looking forward to the personal freedoms that an American invasion might bring.

Jarrar also started a small NGO that has completed more than 100 small reconstruction projects. Following his personal mantra, "democracy cannot come from outside," he became a mini-Soros, building bridges for $60 that Bechtel would charge thousands.

With an office in Nasiriyah he frequently came face-to-face with the Shiite militias who controlled the city. He was even detained once, and interrogated overnight before he was released. They never harmed him, but they made sure he knew who was in charge.

Jarrar warned us that the Americans had underestimated the strength and depth of anti-American sentiment among Shiites. Our reporting across Iraq confirmed what he had told us: We found little support among Shia we interviewed for the American "liberation" - one that removed a man who had brutally repressed them for decades.

As GNN's Anthony Lappé has been writing last week, forget Fallujah. That is the old war. The new one has just started, and there may be nothing the Americans, the British or their Salvadorans amigos can do to keep the country from tearing apart.

Recently, Jarrar left "Where's Raed," and can now be found on his own blog. Read it and you'll understand why we think Raed in the future of Iraq.

The following is an excerpt from Raed's blog for Monday, April 5, 2004:

Raed in the Middle
Monday, April 05, 2004


Muqtada [AsSadr], is younger than me. He is around 25 years old [News reports put him at 30 - GNN], spent all of his life in Iraq studying in religious schools, I think he is very introverted, defensive and acting like a rebel. Yet, he is very smart and pragmatic. He started working immediately after the war stopped, inherited the popularity of his father and used it as a starting point. He knows that his age and religious degree doesn't allow him to represent himself as a leader for Iraq, that's why he started and maintained strong relations with the Iranian very well respected religious personality: Al-Haeri.

Considering Al-Haeri as his religious reference gave him the chance to go ahead with his Anti-American, Anti-Saddam perspective with a strong religious cover.

AsSadr opened offices and mosques in the cities of the south and in Saddam city (Athawra) in Baghdad, which he managed to change its name to AsSadr city [Originally "Saddam City" - GNN]. AsSdr city is a huge gridiron city inside Baghdad that one million Shia people live in, it is the area of the poor, vulnerable and uneducated people, and it is the weapons market of Baghdad, you can get a grenade for $5 or a machine gun for $50.

He created a parallel Iraqi government, as an alternative option beside the CPA, he selected ministers too.

And, maybe the most important thing he could arrange, he controlled a very important part of the religious establishment of Shia Iraqis ... (Al-Hawza).

Everyone was underestimating him; Bremer, political leaders, media, most of my friends, my parents. But I didn't… at all.

From my frequent visits to the south, I could really feel and see the actual strength and authorities AsSadr have, and the real possibility that he will be a key person in the next stage of the Iraqi history.

White revolutions were happening in the southern cities, without anyone noticing that. A strong Shia-Shia competition, which reached to fighting some times, happened between AsSdr and Al-Hakim (assassinated last year in the huge explosion at Najaf). Cities like Amara, Kut, Diwanyya and Simawa were completely controlled by AsSadr party, and Nasryya had dramatic demonstrations that changed the Al-Hakim people in the governorate and replaced them with AsSadr representatives.

One of my dear friends at Najaf told me once that the "Najafians" call Al-Hakim party: the rational stream, and they call AsSadr party: the chaotic one. For sure Al-Hakim had decades of experience and political work, and a strong backup and support from the Iranian government, but AsSadr was just starting.

Then, AsSadr established his own militia: Al-Mahdi Army, with blessings from AyatoAllah Al-Haeri… tens of thousands of Iraqis joined the new army under the eyes of everyone.

The thing that I want to make obvious here is the well designed political and military steps of AsSadr, that I'm sure no one even heard about. Do you know why you didn't hear much about him earlier? Because AsSade wasn't noisy enough to drag the attention of Bremer and the international media, the undesigned explosions of Falluja did.

When the CPA decides to close the AsSadr newspaper and arrest his assistant, they should expect to have real clashes… I mean REAL ones.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

All about oil

Larry Everest

The case Cheney vs US District Court is scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court next month and could end up revealing more about the Bush administration's motives for the 2003 Iraq war than any conceivable investigation of US intelligence concerning Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction.

The plaintiffs, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch (a conservative legal group based in Washington), argue that Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff violated the open-government Federal Advisory Committee Act by meeting behind closed doors with energy industry executives, analysts and lobbyists. The plaintiffs allege these discussions occurred during the formulation of the Bush administration's May 2001 National Energy Policy.

For close to three years, Cheney and the administration have resisted demands that they reveal with whom they met and what they discussed. Last year, a lower court ruled against Cheney and instructed him to turn over documents providing these details. On 15 December, the Supreme Court announced it would hear Cheney's appeal. Three weeks later, Cheney and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spent a weekend together duck hunting at a private resort in southern Louisiana, giving rise to calls for Scalia to recuse himself. So far, he has refused.

Why has the administration gone to such lengths to avoid disclosing how it developed its new energy policy?

Significant evidence points to the possibility that much more could be revealed than mere corporate cronyism. The national energy policy proceedings could open a window onto the Bush administration's decision-making process and motives for going to war on Iraq.

In July 2003, after two years of legal action through the Freedom of Information Act (and after the end of the war), Judicial Watch was finally able to obtain some documents from the Cheney-led National Energy Policy Development Group. They included maps of Middle East and Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, two charts detailing various Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a March 2001 list of "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts", detailing the status of their efforts.

These documents are significant because during the 1990s, US policy-makers were alarmed about oil deals potentially worth billions of dollars being signed between the Iraqi government and foreign competitors of the United States, including France's Total and Russia's LukOil. The New York Times reported the LukOil contracts alone could amount to more than 70 billion barrels of oil, more than half of Iraq's reserves. One oil executive said the volume of these deals was huge -- a "colossal amount".

As early as 17 April 1995, The Wall Street Journal reported that US petroleum giants realised that "Iraq is the biggie" in terms of future oil production, that the US oil companies were "worried about being left out" of Iraq's oil dealings due to the antagonism between Washington and Baghdad, and that they feared that "the companies that win the rights to develop Iraqi fields could be on the road to becoming the most powerful multinationals of the next century."

UN sanctions against Iraq, maintained at the insistence of the United States and Britain, prevented these deals from being consummated. Saddam Hussein's removal in 2003 has left the deals in a state of limbo, but the Bush administration's insistence that only countries supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible to take part in post-war reconstruction does not bode well for French and Russian concerns.

Democracy on the March ! ! !

Israelis 'back more assassinations'

Sunday 04 April 2004, 16:27 Makka Time, 13:27 GMT

More than two-thirds of Israelis are in favour of the continuation of "targeted killing operations" after the assassination of Hamas spiritual chief Shaikh Ahmad Yasin, a poll has found.

A total of 74% of people questioned for the Tel Aviv University survey published on Sunday said "the targeted killing of Palestinians involved in terror against Israelis is justified from a moral standpoint".

Sixty-nine per cent said that such operations should continue "because they are a necessary means of preventing or at least reducing the killing of innocent Israelis", while only 23% said that they should stop as they often involve killing innocent Palestinians.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

U.S. ignores human rights record of new best friend

By Eric Margolis -- Contributing Foreign Editor
Sun, April 4, 2004

After a wave of bombings and attacks across Uzbekistan left 40 dead last week, the Bush Administration quickly offered the strategic Central Asian state help in "fighting Islamic terrorism."

A former Soviet republic, this Muslim nation of 25.6 million plays a key role in White House plans to dominate key Central Asian oil producing states - the region I call "Petrolistan."

The new U.S. air base in Uzbekistan at Khanabad is the linchpin of a network of American bases in neighbouring Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Afghanistan and Pakistan guarding the planned pipelines exporting oil from the great Caspian Oil Basin.

Khanabad is a vital stepping stone in this new strategic "imperial lifeline" beginning at bases in Germany, Bulgaria and Romania, heading eastward to bases in Iraq and Qatar, then to South and Central Asia. The air bridge is designed to speed highly mobile U.S. forces to trouble spots across the Muslim world, serving the same military function as did roads to Rome's legions and Suez to the British Empire.

Uzbekistan, hailed by the White House as "our partner in the global war against terrorism," is a favoured U.S. ally and aid recipient. Secretary Rumsfeld says relations between the U.S. and Uzbekistan are "growing stronger every month."

Russians, however, have long called the communist despots who rule Soviet Central Asia the "Red Mafia" and "Red Sultans." Aptly, since these regimes combine Stalinism's extreme brutality with the Mafia's criminality, clannishness and rapacity. The Bush administration's shameful tryst with Uzbekistan shows how the faux "war on terrorism" has allowed some U.S. allies and vassals to massively abuse human rights under the banner of fighting terrorism.

Numerous rights groups - most lately Human Rights Watch - accuse the brutal totalitarian regime of Uzbekistan of being one of the world's worst abusers of human rights.

All political opposition parties have been outlawed as "Islamic terrorists." Free speech banned, newspapers censored, mosques and religious institutions put under secret police control.

My travels across Uzbekistan, which took me from the grave of the conqueror Tamerlane (Timur) in golden Samarkand to the fabled desert oasis of Khiva, revealed one of the most repressive police states I had ever seen.

Uzbekistan holds over 7,000 political prisoners under unspeakable conditions - more political prisoners than held in the Soviet gulag during the 1980s. Prisoners are subjected to electric torture, burning with blowtorches, boiling alive, gang rapes, acid baths, and other atrocities.

Ironically, President George Bush keeps trying to justify invading Iraq by citing Saddam's "torture chambers and rape rooms."

The Bush administration rejects normal relations with communist Cuba because of its sorry human rights record and political prisoners. Cuba holds about 350 political prisoners. The U.S.'s new best friend, communist Uzbekistan, an infinitely more brutal, despotic tyranny than Cuba, holds over 7,000.

America's other allies and satraps across the Muslim world also tolerate no real opposition; anyone stepping out of line is immediately jailed. Patrick Seale, one of the finest journalists covering the Mideast, recently observed this has created a dangerous political void - and terrorism.

Al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas - "have stepped into the vacuum created by the failure of Arab governments to stand up to Israel and protect their countries from Western pressure." In other words, privatization of failed state policy.

An inevitable reaction to Uzbekistan's despotic regime has been growing armed resistance by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). After 9/11, the U.S. wrongly declared the IMU a terrorist organization, attacked its Afghan bases, and reportedly killed its deputy leader, Juma Namangani. The IMU, and other local militants, all branded "terrorist groups," seek to overthrow Central Asia's communist regimes, or liberate Sinkiang from repressive Chinese rule.

Washington has been blasting Pakistan over its black market dealings in nuclear components.

President Bush urgently needs senior al-Qaida leaders captured or killed before November elections. So a deal was made: Islamabad agreed to attack supposed concentrations of IMU and al-Qaida militants in its northwest frontier tribal area. After a lot of claims about killing or wounding IMU chief Tahir Yuldash, Musharraf's copycat war on terrorism resulted in the deaths of about 100 local Pashtun tribesmen, and dangerous unrest in the traditionally autonomous tribal belt. Plus, fury across Pakistan against president Pervez Musharraf's government for killing fellow Muslims, abandoning the Kashmir struggle, and backstabbing old allies, like Taliban and IMU, at America's request.

The U.S. seems to have learned nothing from the Cold War, when all sorts of dictatorial regimes and massive human rights violations were condoned under the banner of fighting communism.

Today, any group forced to take up arms against intolerable injustice is automatically branded by Washington, guardian of the status quo, as "terrorists." The IMU, Nepalese Maoists, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Filipino separatists are recent additions. Talk about picking fights where no important U.S. interests are involved.

Fighting Uzbekistan's Stalinist regime is not terrorism, it is liberation of an oppressed people. By supporting despotism for the sake of oil and anti-Islamic crusader ideology, the U.S. is putting itself on the wrong side of justice and history.

Comment: "Putting itself on the wrong side of justice and history" seems to be a regular thing with the US. It is nothing new.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Bush attacks environment 'scare stories'

Secret email gives advice on denying climate change

Antony Barnett in New York
Sunday April 4, 2004
The Observer

George W. Bush's campaign workers have hit on an age-old political tactic to deal with the tricky subject of global warming - deny, and deny aggressively.
The Observer has obtained a remarkable email sent to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen advising them what to say when questioned on the environment in the run-up to November's election. The advice: tell them everything's rosy.

It tells them how global warming has not been proved, air quality is 'getting better', the world's forests are 'spreading, not deadening', oil reserves are 'increasing, not decreasing', and the 'world's water is cleaner and reaching more people'.

The email - sent on 4 February - warns that Democrats will 'hit us hard' on the environment. 'In an effort to help your members fight back, as well as be aggressive on the issue, we have prepared the following set of talking points on where the environment really stands today,' it states.

The memo - headed 'From medi-scare to air-scare' - goes on: 'From the heated debate on global warming to the hot air on forests; from the muddled talk on our nation's waters to the convolution on air pollution, we are fighting a battle of fact against fiction on the environment - Republicans can't stress enough that extremists are screaming "Doomsday!" when the environment is actually seeing a new and better day.' [...]

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

‘Tre Arrow' awaits fate in Victoria jail

Associated Press

Victoria — For 19 months, Tre Arrow was one of the most wanted fugitives in the United States, accused of firebombing logging and cement trucks in Oregon and having links to a group of radical environmentalists viewed as terrorists by the FBI.

Now he's in a jail cell here, facing charges of trying to shoplift bolt cutters. He's begun a hunger strike to protest what he calls injustices in the U.S. legal system, and is eager to talk about the evils of corporate culture, although not the FBI's case against him.

“As an activist, I stand tall. I hold my head high,” Tre Arrow said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

Tre Arrow, 30, was born Michael Scarpitti but says the trees told him to change his name. He gained notoriety by scaling the offices of the U.S. Forest Service in Portland in 2000 and perching on a narrow ledge for 11 days to protest logging on Mount Hood.

Tre Arrow says he is not a terrorist.

“They [the FBI] want to label me the T-word,” said Tre Arrow, a veteran of anti-logging protests in Oregon who likes to go barefoot to protect the Earth and is seen as something of a folk hero among environmental militants.

Tre Arrow said he will fight deportation to the United States, contending he wouldn't get a fair trial because of the FBI's assertion the crimes he is accused of are acts of terrorism.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

White House vetting could delay 9/11 report until after election

Mon Apr 5, 2:33 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The chairman of an independent commission looking into US counterterrorism activities prior to the September 11 attacks said he could not guarantee that the panel's report will be released before the November presidential election because of a protracted White House vetting process.

Former Republican New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean said he was "surprised" by the situation, but saw no way around it. [...]

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Panel to Ask Rice How to Fix Intel Woes

By WILLIAM C. MANN, Associated Press Writer
April 5, 2004

WASHINGTON - The commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks will ask Condoleezza Rice why government anti-terror efforts failed to stop the strike and how the Bush administration plans to fix the problems, panel members said Sunday.

"Nineteen men with $350,000 defeated every single defensive mechanism we had up on the 11th of September, 2001, and they defeated it utterly," said former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska. President Bush's national security adviser, in her public testimony Thursday, will need to answer how that happened, Kerrey said.

Rice also will be asked about ways to correct "what has gone wrong so badly," said a Republican commission, former Navy Secretary John Lehman. [...]

Comment: The US military alone has an annual budget of almost $500 billion. The CIA and FBI have budgets that are not as well known, although they are also estimated to be in the billions. Throw in the "Black Ops" budget of the CIA, which appears to funded by drugs and other illegal activities, and it is apparent the the American intelligence and military communities have ridiculous financial, technical, and human resources at their disposal, amounts that easily dwarf the $350,000 of the nineteen men who allegedly committed the September 11 attacks. Obviously, if one is to accept the official story, one must admit that the problems go much deeper than Condi Rice, Bush, and the CIA. Perhaps the only failure of intelligence that occurred regarding 9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq was in the minds of the American sheeple.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

France 'sought secret UN deal' in bid to avert row

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Monday April 5, 2004
The Guardian

The French government offered a surprise compromise to the US president, George Bush, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, according to a detailed investigation published in Vanity Fair this week.

The report undermines the public perception of France standing resolutely against the US and Britain in the United Nations security council as the two countries tried to win a second resolution in support of war.

According to a 25,000-word investigation into the diplomatic wranglings in that pre-war period, the French government was offering to cut a behind-the-scenes deal with the US government.

At a lunch in the White House on January 13 last year, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, an adviser to the president, Jacques Chirac, and Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador in Washington, put the deal to Condoleezza Rice, the US national security adviser.

In an effort to avoid a bitter US-French row, the French officials suggested that if the US was intent on war, it should not seek the second resolution, according to highly placed US sources cited by Vanity Fair.

Instead, the two said that the first resolution on Iraq, 1441, passed the previous year, provided enough legal cover for war and that France would keep quiet if the US went to war on that basis.

The deal would suit the French by maintaining its "good cop" status in the Arab world and safeguarding Franco-US relations.

But the deal died when Tony Blair led a doomed attempt to secure a second resolution to try to satisfy Labour MPs and government lawyers who questioned the legitimacy of the war. France ultimately vetoed the resolution.

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Spain's Bomb Probe Shifts to Overseas Links

By Daniel Trotta
Sun Apr 4, 6:07 PM ET

MADRID (Reuters) - With most of the Madrid train bombers believed captured or dead, investigators are hunting a handful of accomplices still at large and trying to trace their ties to international Islamist groups. [...]

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

US mulls placing missile defense system in Japan: report

TOKYO (AFP) Apr 05, 2004

The United States is considering deploying a land-based missile defense system in an emergency before Japan completes its network against ballistic missile attacks in four years, a daily said Monday.

Washington has informally sounded out Tokyo on the plan aimed at protecting US military bases and other facilities in Japan from such attacks, the major Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Citing Japanese and US sources, Yomiuri said Tokyo intended to discuss the plan promptly.

The US military is considering deploying the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3), a US army surface-to-air guided missile that is capable of intercepting such missiles as the North Korean Rodong, which has a range of about 1,300 kilometers (810 miles), the report said.

Washington is considering a plan to transport antiballistic missiles and radars in C-5 transport planes from the United States to Japan when an armed attack on this country is believed to be imminent, the report added. [...]

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Democracy on the March ! ! !

Yes, the results are conclusive! Democracy is a smash hit, exploding across the globe!

That's Democracy! "Demo" from "demonstration", as in "demonstration of force," and "-cracy," from the Greek for "the rule of -".

A Different View of the War On Terror

By Henry Makow, Ph.D.

All wars are really secret attacks on humanity by the world financial elite.

The "War on Terror" is no exception.

The recent media warnings of terrorist attacks on trains and buses this summer can be seen in this context.

The financial elite is relatively small, cowardly and furtive. It needs us to fight its battles. It needs us to destroy ourselves and to get further into debt. (This is how it enslaves us.)

War has always been a fraud designed to help bring about a world police state. This is called the "new world order" a.k.a. "globalism."

War is used to transform society. Both World Wars resulted in increased power for government and cartels, which the bankers run by proxy. Both World Wars resulted in calls for their "world government."

We don't recognize this conspiracy because we are not used to thinking long term. The gradual transfer of wealth and power to international finance has been going on for at least 200 years.

It involves a complete transformation of humanity. This includes the destruction of race, religion, family and nation and the embrace of money, sex and violence. This is the hidden agenda behind almost everything that is happening in politics and culture today. Don't count on professors, pundits and politicians to tell you this. They are sheep dogs, trained and well fed.

But, you say, we are still prosperous and relatively free. The elite's first priority now is to suppress and secularize the Muslim world ("democracy," "women's rights".) It needs us to do this dirty work. Our "peace keepers" are really the bankers' enforcers.

They are using "Al Qaeda terror" as an excuse to erect a police state at home. While they prattle about "human rights," the Constitution and Bill of Rights are dismantled. We are becoming accustomed to "terror alerts" and intrusions into our privacy.

This new security monolith is designed to quell future resistance to globalism. When they are finally ready to pull the plug, it will keep us in line. In the meantime, they distract us with easy credit, trivia, sex and sports.

Terror is Used to Manipulate People

If wars are used to transform society, terror is used to justify wars.

The bankers perpetrated the attack on the World Trade Center to justify the assault on the Moslem world, and the "War on Terror." Invaders always pretend they are acting in self-defence.

It's all unfolding according to an occult plan. On Sept. 11, 1990, George Bush Sr. made his "Toward a New World Order" speech at the UN. Eleven years later to the day, two planes smashed into the World Trade Center.

Terror is used to sway public opinion. Two weeks ago an Israeli missile blasted the Hamas founder, Sheikh Yassin, a 68-year-old half-blind Muslim Cleric out of his wheel chair. Ariel Sharon's purpose was to incite further acts of indiscriminate terror against Israeli citizens.

Ariel Sharon's policy is to eventually move the Palestinians beyond the giant wall. In order to do this, he must prepare the Israeli population for "transfer".

In 2000, less than eight per cent of Jewish Israelis favoured this. In 2002, that figure reached 44 per cent. Thanks to repeated suicide bombings, the figure is certainly fast rising above fifty per cent.

Hamas terror definitely serves Sharon's purpose and that is why Israel has covertly supported Hamas for years.

Another example is the recent bombings in Spain two days before the elections. The Spanish Prime Minister was holding up passage of the EU Constitution. As a result of the carnage, he was defeated and replaced by a more amenable stooge.

As Steve Bonta points out in the latest issue of "The New American," whenever terror takes place, ask, "Who benefits?" Did the Muslim world benefit from Sept. 11? Would it benefit from indiscriminate acts of terror on American soil?

What Can We Do?

People often ask this and I answer, " If we form movements, they will have us corralled and pick off the leaders. Think for yourself. Stop looking to others for answers. They fear individual initiative more than anything."

What we don't do is just as important.

The democratic system has been subverted and now is mostly a form of social control. The bankers control both parties and the means of mass persuasion. They frame the debate and the alternatives. So obviously, we should not waste much energy participating in the democratic process.

The second thing is to stop watching TV. People are natural conformists. TV defines reality. Its message is that politicians actually serve our interests, and despite problems, everything is OK. " TV or Not TV" by Norman Grigg elaborates on this theme.

The bankers' conspiracy exploits peoples' idealism, whether they are Communists, socialists, Zionists, liberals, freemasons, feminists or neo conservatives. As long as we live in a nominal democracy, we can't do much until more people see the globalist agenda for what it really is.

Educating ourselves is very rewarding. I used to seek transcendence in meditation but to my surprise I feel much more liberated since I learned how the world really works.

In conclusion, the "War on Terror," like all wars is a fraud designed to advance world banker government by suppressing Islam and creating a police state at home.

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Al-Qaeda threatens to 'turn Spain into an inferno'

5 April 2004

MADRID – Al-Qaeda threatened to turn Spain "into an inferno" if the country did not pull its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it was reported Monday.

The fax, written in Arabic, was sent by a group calling itself 'Al-Qaeda in Europe'.

It praised the "blessed attacks" of the 11 March and the bomb which was discovered on Friday on the high-speed AVE rail link between Madrid and Seville.

The Ministry of Interior told EFE that the police were analysing the fax which was sent to the right-wing ABC newspaper on Saturday.

They want to see if it is a genuine message from the terrorists and if it can help the investigation into the terrorist attacks.

The National Intelligence Centre (CNI ), Spain's secret service, was also said to be working with police to "verify the authenticity" of the fax.

The newspaper contacted police after receiving the fax, dated Saturday 6.05pm.

It demanded the "immediate and complete" withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and the "promise not to return to those countries".

The group also demanded that Spain stopped supporting the United States and its allies "against Islam and Muslims".

If Spain did not comply with these demands, the group promised to "convert your country into an inferno and make your blood flow like rivers".

Referring to the bomb planted on the Madrid-Seville rail line, it said: "We had the possibility to blow up the trains which used the line last Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and we did not do it. Our objective was only to show that we had the capability and the force to attack you when we want and how we want".

The newspaper explained that sources at the CNI have linked this group with those involved in the 11 March attacks in Madrid.

Security sources also said that the language used in the fax was "very similar" to a video which was sent to a television channel after the Madrid bombings and they could have been made by the same person.

Comment: Firstly, "al Qaeda" is a Mossad front, there is enough evidence, actual and circumstantial, to accept this a the most likely scenario. As such, we might consider the idea that, in carrying out the Madrid bombings, Mossad knew that the result would be the removal of Aznar and the election of the more "liberal" Zapatero. There is also much evidence to suggest that the Mossad is directly responsible for some of the "militant" attacks in Iraq, and are inspiring and backing many others. Clearly there is a game plan being followed here. Just yesterday a Spanish garrison was attacked by a large group of supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. Today Paul Bremner declares the cleric an "outlaw".

What are we to make of all this? One hypothesis is that Israel wants to preclude the establishment of any peace and stability in Iraq. But why? Why would the Mossad and their "Zionist" masters want to ensure that Iraq never achieves "normalisation"? The descent into a Vietnam type scenario for the US military in Iraq may possibly lead to the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. If it is true that Israel is orchestrating many of the "militant" attacks in Iraq, why would they want to ensure that the American and coalition forces are driven out? Could it be that, having provided the pretext for the US invasion of Iraq (the 9/11 attacks), the Israelis are now presenting the US with a pretext to get out. In the article "A different view of the war on terror" above, Henry Makow claims that Sharon is preparing Israelis for "transfer". Israel has long aspired to the creation of its vision of the mythical "greater Israel", which happens to include most of Iraq.

Of course, we don't discount the fact that there could be some other "real" Arab group attempting to use the "Al-qaeda" name, however, in a world such as ours, where most significant "man made"" developments happen as a result of the "the powers that be" making it happen, we suspect that the former hypothesis is the most accurate.

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Day of clashes between Shiites and occupation forces: At least 24 Iraqis, eight US troops killed


Supporters of an anti-American cleric rioted in four Iraqi cities Sunday, killing at least eight U.S. troops. At least 24 Iraqis were also killed.

In the biggest demonstration, eyewitnesses said bullets were shot during a protest in Najaf by thousands of Muqtada Sadr supporters, who had gathered outside the headquarters of Spanish troops in this city.

At least 24 Iraqis were killed, witnesses said. More than200 people were injured, some seriously. An American soldier and at least one Salvadoran soldier were also killed.

It was unclear who opened fire during the demonstration.

The crowd was protesting the reported detention of an aide to Sadr.

An estimated 5, 000 people marched to the garrison of the Spanish military contingent in Najaf after hearing that Mustafa al-Yacoubi, a top al-Sadr aide, had been detained.

For their part, Spanish troops in the area have said they have no information on al-Yacoubi's reported detention and did not participate in any such operation.

In Baghdad, fighting in the neighborhood of Sadr City killed seven U.S. troops and injured at least24 , the U.S. military said in a written statement, cited by The AP.

The American Shiite confrontation came after a night of protests that saw Sadr's supporters throw themselves at US tanks blocking their way toward the occupation headquarters as they headed to protest.

According to AFP, a police officer said two demonstrators were crushed by the tanks.

Baghdad has been rocked by demonstrations since last Sunday when occupation authorities closed al-Hawza newspaper, a pro-Sadr publication, for 60 days on charges of inciting violence and hostility against the occupation. [...]

Comment: While it is possible that the Spanish troops were lying, we think it more likely that the crowd were given false information by someone and incited to attack the garrison. The question is, what is this young shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr i whose name the attacks were carried out and who is backing him...

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Bremer says Muqtada Sadr - ''outlaw'' as US helicopters kill unknown number of Iraqis in Baghdad, Fallujah


The top U.S. administrator in Iraq declared an Anti-American Shiite cleric an "outlaw" Monday after his supporters rioted in Baghdad and four other cities in fighting that killed at least 52 Iraqis, eight U.S. troops and a Salvadoran soldier.

"Effectively he is attempting to establish his authority in the place of the legitimate authority. We will not tolerate this. We will reassert the law and order which the Iraqi people expect," Bremer told a security team meeting convened to discuss how to respond to Muqtada Sadr.

This declaration stepped up the confrontation with the 30 -year-old cleric, who fiercely opposes the U.S. occupation and is backed by a militia known as the "Al-Mahdi Army." [...]

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Bloody Sunday in Iraq

"20 or 30 year war" says former Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives

MER Washington - 4/05/2004:

Last week Iraqi ruler Paul Bremer ordered the U.S. military storming of a newspaper office and shut it down with a lock marked "USA Made " in the name of "freedom and democracy". For many it was a metaphor for the whole country, in some ways much of the whole region. A few days later he ordered the storming of a home at 3am arresting the top aide to Islamic cleric Muqtada Sadr who could have easily been picked up any time. This weekend major demonstrations broke out in many Iraqi cities and before the weekend ended 24 Iraqis were shot dead, many hundreds injured, and at least eight U.S. troops killed. And this was just in the Shiite areas. With the Sunnis in Fallujah Bremer has order that city surrounding and blockaded; some 5000 troops preparing for a kind of city-invasion with 'overwhelming force' in the days now ahead. Images of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinians continue multiplying.

Meanwhile back in Washington all one had to do was listen to the Sunday talk shows to see how confused and how belligerent everyone allowed to speak has become. Top Republican leaders talked on-air not only of a "20 or 30 year war", they talked of further increasing the troops in Iraq -- even as 30 June approaches! - and even of delaying the long-scheduled 'turn-over of sovereignty' (whatever that really means) beyond the 30 June.

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Jordanian prince in WWIII warning

BBC News
26 March, 2004

Prince Hassan of Jordan has said he fears a third world war is erupting in the Middle East. Speaking to BBC's Radio Four, he said it was an "extremely depressing" time. Extremist voices in the region were rising, and not only individuals but states were taking the law into their own hands, the prince said.

He was speaking after a week in which Israel assassinated the spritual leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

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France 'extremely worried by Iraq clashes

PARIS, April 5 (AFP) - The French government on Monday said it was deeply concerned by a series of clashes in Iraq that have killed at least 46 Iraqis and 11 US soldiers and called for all sides to return to calm.

"France is extremely worried by these recent murderous clashes in Iraq and deplores this violence and the large number of victims it has claimed," foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous told journalists.

"It appeals to the responsibility of all so that calm is restored as quickly as possible," he said.

"All the political forces in the country must mobilise and gather to re-establish public order and ensure the success of the political transition," he said in reference to a US promise to hand over power to an interim Iraqi administration by the end of June.

Combat between US troops occupying Iraq and Iraqis loyal to a radical Shiite cleric, Moqtada Sadr, has rippled out from Baghdad to several areas since confrontations Sunday that were the bloodiest since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April last year.

US attack helicopters on Monday sprayed fire on Sadr's militia in a fierce battle in the western Baghdad district of Al-Showla, witnesses and an AFP correspondent said.

US tanks also blocked entrances to the suburb known as Sadr City, named after the cleric's father who was killed under Saddam's regime.

In the suburb itself, thousands of Iraqis, some armed, gathered to take part in a funeral for those killed Sunday.

"There is only one God. America is the enemy of Allah," the crowd chanted as a coffin was carried through the streets

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France's foreign policy will not change, says Chirac

PARIS, April 1 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France's foreign policy would not change with the formation of a new government and the replacement of Dominique de Villepin.

"France's foreign policy will not change. It mainly comes from the president of the republic, and as long as I am around, this policy will not change," Chirac said in a televised interview.

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Elizabeth state visit to France begins Monday

PARIS, April 2 (AFP) - Queen Elizabeth II arrives in France Monday on a three-day state visit to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, the colonial-era promise of cross-channel friendship that despite many ups and downs has lasted to the present day.

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Putin 'to attend D-Day party in France'

PARIS, April 2 (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend June 6 ceremonies to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the allied landing in Normandy in World War II, the French regional newspaper Ouest-France said Friday.

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Duma Rethinks Ban on Protests

By Caroline McGregor
Staff Writer

In the wake of "serious social resonance," the State Duma's United Russia majority backpedaled from outright support of a bill banning rallies in many public places Friday, just two days after voting in favor of it.

"The draft needs a considerable amount of additional work," Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov conceded Friday.

The bill would outlaw protests near most public buildings -- from government offices to schools and concert halls -- as well as embassies, sensitive industrial facilities, main streets, railroads and pipelines.

Critics from the left and right have castigated the bill as a violation of democratic norms and an attempt to stifle freedom of expression. They also accused the bill's pro-Kremlin backers of trying to insulate themselves from unpleasant criticism by keeping protesters far from sight.

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German derailment averted

Sunday April 4, 05:19 PM

DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - A high-speed German train which hit six metal slabs bolted to rails by unknown assailants avoided derailment near the western town of Dortmund.

The driver of the Intercity Express (ICE) train carrying 200 passengers was able to slow the train sharply before hitting the slabs weighing 17.5 kilos (38.5 lb) each, police said on Sunday.

"At this point we don't believe that this was a terrorist attack," said state prosecutor Henner Kruse at a news conference in Dortmund.

State prosecutors said they had no clues on suspects or the motives behind the Saturday morning incident near the Kamen motorway junction. No one was hurt.

The train driver spotted the slabs covered by a blue trash back and hit the emergency brakes, slowing the train to about 90 kph (55 mph). Trains usually reach 160 kph on the track there.

Spokesman Klaus Becker said police believe several people were involved because the metal slabs were so heavy.

In 1998 in Germany's worst train crash, 101 people were killed and 105 injured when a similar ICE train jumped the rails at 200 kph (120 mph), sending carriages ploughing into a road bridge which collapsed and crushed several coaches.

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NATO says Olympic attack would be "sacrilege"

Monday April 5, 10:58 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) - An international terrorist attack on the Olympic Games in Athens would be a sacrilege, a senior NATO general has said in an interview with a Greek newspaper.

German General Harald Kujat, chairman of NATO's military committee, also said the alliance's decision to help NATO-member Greece protect the August 13-29 Games should send a message to possible attackers that the host country was not alone. [...]

Comment: A "terrorist" attack at the Olympics in Athens would certainly be considered a sacrilege by many, which is why Mossad and the CIA may arrange just such an "event" during the games.

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Rev Dave Smith (left) and Mordechai Vanunu

The priest and his 18-year promise to whistleblower

By Connie Levett
April 5, 2004

As the days tick down to Mordechai Vanunu's release, the Reverend Dave Smith, the Sydney pastor who has kept faith with the Israeli nuclear whistleblower for 18 years, has a recurring nightmare.

"I see the prison doors opening and I walk towards him, some sniper shoots at him from a rooftop and by the time I reach him he's dead. I've never been able to see beyond that . . . I can't go beyond the day of his release," said the rector of Holy Trinity Anglican church at Dulwich Hill.

Mr Smith, known as Father Dave, has written to his friend "Morde", 49, month in, month out, and promised he would be there on his release. They never thought it would take this long. "For 18 years I have seen my role as letting him know he is loved and supported. He let me know from an early stage that it was helpful to have the contact," Mr Smith said. He leaves for Israel next week.

Their friendship was forged in 1986 when the pair discussed the work of Christian existentialist Soren Kierkergaard. In Sydney Vanunu converted to Christianity and adopted the name John Crossing.

The former technician at Israel's top-secret Dimona Nuclear Research Centre discussed his momentous decision to reveal all he knew of Israel's secretive nuclear weapons program with Mr Smith. He travelled to Britain to tell his story but before it appeared in London's Sunday Times, he had been lured to Italy, kidnapped by Mossad and taken to Israel to face trial for espionage and treason.

After 18 years, 11 in solitary confinement, and more than 200 letters from Mr Smith, Vanunu is due for release on April 21. The time in solitary took its toll. There were paranoid episodes when he thought the paint colours in his cell were messages from Mossad. For three years in the early 1990s he made no contact with anyone outside the prison. Mr Smith thought he had died.

Then, on February 5, 1995, Vanunu wrote to say he was "no longer interested in faith and religion". But as his release date has neared, his hope, faith and spirit have returned. In his final letter to Mr Smith from prison he spoke of his plan "to find my partner . . . and have a normal life with job, work".

What happens next for Vanunu is not clear. He has applied to renounce his Israeli citizenship to avoid confinement in the country after his release, Israeli TV reported on Saturday.

But it is unlikely this will be granted. Security sources have said Israel would ban him from travelling abroad after his release. Mr Smith said he had a "sobering expectation" that Vanunu would not be allowed out of Israel.

"My hope is they will eventually let him out and he'll go to England and then here. I've got a campsite. I want to take him there and introduce him to the kangaroos and the wide open spaces near Wombeyan Caves.

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Saudi: Don't Blame OPEC for US Gas Prices

By Tom Doggett
April 5, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Sunday blamed record high U.S. gasoline prices on America's tough environmental laws and lack of refining capacity, saying OPEC's oil production policies were not at fault.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last week voted to cut production by 1 million barrels a day as the average price U.S. consumers paid for gasoline hit a record $1.76 per gallon.

Adel Al-Jubeir, foreign affairs adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, defended the OPEC output cut, saying global crude oil production and demand "are in balance."

"In fact, there's a slight surplus and that's why OPEC cut back," he said in an interview on CNN's "Late Edition."

The Bush administration said it was disappointed with the cartel's move to reduce production. U.S. lawmakers have accused OPEC, and the Saudis in particular, of gouging American consumers at the pump. Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil producer and a major U.S. crude supplier.

However, Al-Jubeir said the lack of refining capacity in the United States was a key reason gasoline prices were rising.

"There has not been a refinery built in America in the last 20 years. So if you produce more crude oil but you can't refine it, it's not going to translate into gasoline," he said. [...]

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Gibson's 'The Passion' a Hit Among Arabs

Associated Press Writer
April 4 2004, 11:35 PM CDT

CAIRO, Egypt -- Hanan Nsour, a veiled, 21-year-old Muslim in Jordan, came out of "The Passion of the Christ" in tears and pronounced her verdict: Mel Gibson's crucifixion epic "unmasked the Jews' lies and I hope that everybody, everywhere, turns against the Jews."

The Quran, though, says Jesus's crucifixion never happened.

Such are the contradictions that are welling up as the Arab world deals with "The Passion," even as the film draws large audiences in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab countries that have approved it for screening.

In the Arab world, openly voiced anti-Semitism -- and by extension the warm reception for "The Passion" -- is bound up in the Arab conflict with Israel. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, after watching the film at his compound in the West Bank, was quoted by an aide as likening Jesus' suffering to the Palestinians'. [...]

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Kerry Makes 1st Appearance Since Surgery

April 5, 2004

BOSTON - John Kerry waved a palm with his left hand during Sunday church service as the Democratic presidential candidate made his first public appearance since having surgery to on his right shoulder.

Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, did not speak to the congregation at Charles Street AME Church, but the Rev. Gregory Groover recognized him from the pulpit as "the next president of the United States."

"We're thankful that there's going to be a revolution in this country," Groover said. "A new day has occurred, a new movement. And so we praise God for the president. And we say God, bring him on." [...]

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Requiem For America On Line

Jim Kirwan

Long before the Internet there was an America. Shortly after the Internet began, as a global medium for knowledge and information, as well as communication, America On Line was born. Very soon it became a household word that became simply AOL. It was one of many ISP's and very soon it became one of the largest, and most profitable in a large field of service oriented on-line institutions.

Then came the hijacking of the nation by the cabal of Cheney-Bush. Shortly after that the disaster of 9-11 began to take us all into a completely other dimension. In this New World Order, security became not just the most important thing, but also the only thing that seemingly anyone cared about. Fear had once again triumphed over freedom and civil rights. That ushered in TIA or Total Information Awareness, with its director being a convicted felon, the former Admiral John Poindexter. His idiocies were finally exposed and the programs supposedly were killed, but they never died. They just changed their name and are now not only healthy, but the FBI has just instituted all of Poindexter's wildest dreams on all this nation's ISP's: "Carnivore" is alive and well and inside whatever you send or receive.

AOL, despite all their success and their entire marketing, advertising, and increasing subscriber base, has decided to become an unofficial arm of HOMELAND security and the Justice department.
To that end they have instituted new software that reads all messages that pass through their ISP, and they have begun deciding who will be allowed to read what. Hence America-On-Line has now become ASHCROFT-on-line.

AOL currently hides behind "new software" which is their excuse for every intrusion into the thoughts and transmissions between private individuals. Whenever anyone complains about these detected intrusions into private communications between any number of people ­ a computer message handles all the dirty-little-details ­ and cannot be confronted about what is really going on. So all attempts to discuss the reasons for any blocked messages have no quarter to appeal to.

AOL is in effect hijacking what you can say, or what those who are subscribers, are "allowed to read." There does not seem to be a law against this foul practice, but there damn well ought to be. The speed and ease of communication, without censorship, by the government was part of the original appeal behind the Internet, and was one of the reasons that this medium has become so popular among so many world-wide.

So when you see AOL in that address on your computer, just beware that whatever or whoever you are sending to, or receiving from, is being closely monitored by several agencies of the government. There are those who are not bothered by this 'added safeguard.' But for the rest of us, please remember that AOL now stands for ASHCROFT on-line.

AOL is also deceptive in their privacy rules, hiding the names of those who own it and direct it: Once the public learns about their current real purposes, they may not have a company to worry about much longer. There will be an America long after AOL has spent their unearned reputation, and gone the way of all despicable and opportunistic endeavors: and that is as it should be. Because if AOL cannot make it by being straight with its customer base, then they should fail, after-all isn't that the "American-way-of-Business"? [...]

The decision is yours to make. Will you continue to use AOL, or receive e-mail from AOL addresses? This is not about preference it's about survival. This is not a matter of commercial choice ­ it's about your rights to expected privacy, and the privacy that you are paying to receive! Perhaps whether or not there will continue to be an America, may also depend on the outting of institutions, such as Ashcroft On Line. This is our country, and we ought to be able to have some say about what goes on inside it!

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School Bus Plunges Into Gorge, 11 Feared Dead

Mon Apr 5, 3:18 AM ET

BELGRADE, Serbia and Montenegro (Reuters) - Eleven children were feared dead after a bus taking a party of Bulgarians home from a school trip to Dubrovnik plunged into a swollen river in a ravine in Serbia, police said Monday. [...]

The bus from the Bulgarian town of Slistoft had 48 children and teachers aboard with a crew of two drivers. They had been on holiday in the Adriatic resort on the coast of Croatia.

The bus careered off the road Sunday evening. Reports said the mountain road was slick with rain. [...]

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Student Shot on N.J. University Campus

By JEFF LINKOUS, Associated Press Writer
April 5, 2004

MADISON, N.J. - One student was shot in a fight during a campus dance at Fairleigh Dickinson University and several other people were injured, officials said Sunday. At least one of the injured people was stabbed, a law enforcement official said. [...]

Adams' statement said the wounds suffered by the gunshot victim, a student at the Teaneck campus, were not believed to be life threatening. [...]

At least six people were taken to hospitals, officials said. [...]

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Muslims riot in Nigeria

April 05 2004

Kano - At least 10 churches were torched and one police station vandalised when Nigerian Muslims rioted after a young Christian defaced a copy of Islam's holy Qur’an, a witness said on Monday.

Rioting broke out on Saturday in the religiously mixed northern town of Makarfi, hometown of Kaduna State's Governor Ahmed Makarfi, local resident Yusuf Abubakar said.

"A teenager, who is said to have a mental defect, went into an Islamic school, took a copy of the Qur’an from one of the students and tore it. This provoked the students and people nearby who pounced on the teenager," he said.

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Man raped by four women, police say

April 03 2004

A 22-year-old man was raped by four women early Saturday morning in Ekangala, Mpumalanga, police spokesperson John Thamana said.

The man was walking alongside the road when a silver BMW stopped.

The occupants, four women, asked the man for directions. He got into the car and they took him to a cemetery in Ekangala where they each raped him, according to police.

After the rape, the women allegedly said to the victim: "Welcome to the world of Aids." [...]

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Man hacks children to spite 'bossy' wife

April 02 2004

Cairo - An Egyptian schoolteacher hacked his three children to death "as martyrs" to spite his bossy wife for years of humiliation and abuse, a government-owned newspaper reported on Friday.

The 51-year-old man from Minya in southern Egypt confessed to killing his son and two daughters with an axe as they played blind-man's bluff, all three blindfolded, the Al-Ahram daily said.

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Feds won't warn parents about vaccine

Contains mercury eliminated from other shots due to health concerns

April 3, 2004

The government has decided not to warn parents a mercury-laced preservative virtually eliminated from other vaccines because of health concerns will be included in flu shots given to hundreds of thousands of infants and toddlers this fall.

The decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend the shots with the preservative thimerosal – despite the pleas of parent activist groups – apparently conflicts with recent federal heath warnings about exposure to mercury, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Thimerosal is about 50 percent ethyl Mercury, a potent neurotoxin that has been removed from other childhood vaccines.

The CDC has added flu shots to its list of recommended vaccines for all young children.

Mercury-free flu vaccines will be available, for about $4 more per shot, but if the CDC were to warn parents, it might create a shortage resulting in some children not being immunized, the Times said.

The agency asserts, "The available scientific evidence has not shown thimerosal-containing vaccines to be harmful."

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Flashback: Bill forces shots on all children

Homeschoolers fight state legislation that criminalizes parents who object

February 23, 2004

West Virginia homeschooling families and others were scheduled to stage two rallies today to protest a proposed bill that would require every child in the state to have a record of compulsory immunizations.

The legislation, Senate Bill 439, stipulates "any parent or guardian who refuses to permit his or her child to be immunized" would face a criminal charge.

Comment: See our Signs Flu Supplement for more on US (and other) government plans to surreptitiously poison their populations.

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Abortion documentary sparks uproar in Britain

April 05 2004

London - A forthcoming television documentary showing a woman having an abortion sparked controversy in Britain on Monday, with the Roman Catholic Church branding the film "abhorrent".

Images of a young woman, who was four weeks pregnant, undergoing the five-minute operation, will be shown with images of the foetal remains of a seven-week pregnancy and images of more developed foetuses aborted at 10, 11 and 21 weeks.

The documentary, scheduled for screening on April 20 at 11pm on Britain's independent Channel 4 television network, aims to reopen the debate on abortion, said producer Julia Black, who herself had an abortion at age 21.

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Scientists find proof of opposite-limb pain

By Carey Goldberg
The Boston Globe
April 4, 2004

For more than a century, doctors have reported cases of a mysterious phenomenon: When a patient's arm or leg was injured, the opposite limb would sometimes feel chronic pain, as well.

Now, Massachusetts General Hospital research on rats suggests that such opposite-limb symptoms may stem from a previously unrecognized connection of pinpoint accuracy between the nerves on one side of the body and the mirror-image spot on the other side.

The research provides the "first conclusive proof" that trauma on one side of the body can cause opposite-side nerve damage, said Dr. Gary J. Bennett of McGill University in Montreal, a leading pain expert who was not involved in the research. "There's no precedent for this; it's a completely out-of-the-blue discovery," he said.

After all, he added, "If you break your left foot, you don't expect any change in the bones of your right foot."

The study in rats, to be published in the Annals of Neurology, comes at a time when researchers have been making great progress in understanding pain and finding biological evidence that it is not just in patients' heads.

The mechanism of the mirror-image injury remains a complete riddle, said Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander, the study's lead author and head of the hospital's nerve injury unit.

But she said her findings could already help patients get their opposite-side pain taken seriously.

"So many patients notice that they have symptoms in the area immediately opposite a one-sided injury, and typically, these are dismissed by the physician, or the patient is told that because one limb is injured, it puts extra stress or strain on the opposite side," she said.

"But in fact," she said, "some patients -- and we do not yet know how many -- may be experiencing consequences of this type of crossover injury."

Oaklander used a relatively new method to make her discovery, performing a biopsy on a tiny patch of skin and then counting the nerves related to pain. Loss of such nerve endings has been linked to chronic pain after an injury.

She began applying some of the new biopsy methods to diagnose patients and do research several years ago. She wanted to figure out why some patients recover easily from shingles, an excruciating skin-and-nerve disease that tends to attack older people, while others suffer for years with post-shingles pain.

In the course of that work, she found, to her own surprise, that people with post-shingles pain not only lost most of their nerve endings at the spot where the shingles erupted, but also lost about half their nerve endings at the same spot on the opposite side of the body.

Shingles comes from a virus, so the obvious assumption was that the virus had somehow spread to the opposite side.

But Oaklander had seen and written animal research articles suggesting that opposite-side effects could occur after injuries, as well, so she decided to try to pin down that crossover phenomenon.

She and co-author Jennifer Brown experimented on more than 50 rats, watching them for up to five months after a major nerve had been cut in one hind paw. They found that at the point on the opposite paw that exactly mirrored the site of the injury, the rats lost half of their skin nerve endings within a week, and by five months later, the nerves had not been restored. [...]

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Earthquake shakes Buryatia

MOSCOW. Apr 5 (Interfax) - An earthquake measuring between 3.5 - 4 points on the Richter scale at its epicenter occurred in the Baunt district of Buryatia on Sunday.

The quake's epicenter was 22 kilometers southwest of Uakit, and the quake measured 2 points in Uakit, says a report of the Emergencies Ministry press service obtained by Interfax on Monday.

No casualties or damage were reported, the report says.

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Moderate quake jolts northern Kanto

A moderate earthquake jolted the northern Kanto region in the predawn hours of Monday, the Meteorological Agency said.

There were no reports of casualties or damage to property, police said. The agency did not issue a tsunami warning following the quake.

The temblor that struck at 2:39 a.m. registered 2 on the 7-point Japanese intensity scale in Utsunomiya and the Gunma Prefecture village of Kurohone.

The focus of the earthquake that is estimated to have measured 4.1 on the open-ended Richter scale is located about 90 kilometers below the surface of northern Saitama Prefecture, the agency said.

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Mild earthquake felt in Delhi

PTI[ MONDAY, APRIL 05, 2004 03:46:02 PM ]

NEW DELHI: A mild intensity earthquake measuring 1.9 on the Richter scale was felt in Delhi Monday morning, the Met Department said.

The quake, with its epicentre at 28.7 degrees north and 77.3 degrees east in Delhi region, was felt at 11:34 a.m., the Department said.

This is the fourth quake to hit the city in the last two weeks. While a tremor of 2.7 intensity rocked the city on March 18, quakes of 1.6 and 1.5 intensities were recorded on March 28 and April 1.

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Third ancient volcano discovered deep inside Fuji

Mount Fuji has long been thought to contain two old volcanoes inside its cone shape, but the results of a three-year drilling project that ended in February suggest the existence of yet another volcano deep within it, researchers said Saturday.

[...] But researchers at the institute said that when they drilled into the depths of the mountain, they found andesite, a type of rock that had never been discovered at the mountain.

Komitake and Old Fuji are composed of basalt, which is completely different in nature from andesite.

The newly discovered layer of andesite is located beneath Komitake, which suggests that a different volcanic activity took place prior to the formation of Komitake, they said.

The researchers have named their discovery Sen-Komitake, or Pre-Komitake.

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Astronomy study reveals ancient places of healing

05 April 04 news service

Mysterious T-shaped monuments scattered around the Mediterranean island of Menorca were most probably places of healing, says an archaeoastronomer who has studied the orientation of the Bronze Age monuments.

Each "taula" - named after the Catalan word for table - is formed by two massive stone blocks arranged in the shape of an upright "T". The taulas face an opening in a surrounding ring of stones, and all but one of the 30 structures on Menorca face roughly south.

"It has long been known that these taulas were sanctuaries," says University of Cambridge archaeoastronomer Michael Hoskin, citing the large number of bones from sacrificial animals that litter the sites.

But the sites were also home to a few intriguing bronze statues, including a bull, an Egyptian figurine with an inscription in hieroglyphics reading, "I am Imhotep the god of medicine" and horse hooves. The latter is particularly curious as there is no known horse god in ancient Mediterranean cultures.

Southern horizon

Hoskin was invited to study the sites' orientation to understand the significance of both the bronze statues and why no taulas are found on the nearby island of Mallorca. The taulas' southern orientation - facing the sea or looking down from a hillside - gave him an important clue.

"What was near the southern horizon that was of interest?" Hoskin wondered. Today the answer is not much. But over time, gravitational tugs from the Sun, Moon, and planets make the Earth wobble on its axis like a spinning top.

For this reason, the night sky would have looked slightly different in 1000 BC, when the taulas were constructed. At that time, the entrance to the taulas framed the seasonal rise of a constellation known as Centaurus by the ancient Greeks. Today, it is split into the constellation of the Southern Cross, followed by the bright stars Beta and Alpha Centauri.

In Greek mythology, the Centaur - who had a man's head and a horse's body - taught medicine to Asclepius, the god of medicine.

Myths circulated around the Mediterranean and Near East even before the taulas were made and the different cultures engaged in a lot of trade, "so it is entirely possible - but not proven, of course - that the Menorcans had a similar view of Centaurus [as the ancient Greeks]," Hoskin told New Scientist.

The association with healing could explain the bronze hooves - which could be the remains of a statue of the Centaur, the Egyptian medicine god figurine - possibly left by an Egyptian sailor - and even the absence of taulas on neighboring Mallorca.

"Menorca is flat and you can see the Southern Cross, etc., from almost any location," Hoskin explains. Settlements on mountainous Mallorca, on the other hand, were located in valleys "from which the Cross was invisible because it was screened by the surrounding hills".

Steve McCluskey, a historian of astronomy at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, US, says Hoskin's astronomical and archaeological evidence "combine to provide strong indications of a healing cult at this site".

McCluskey also said Hoskin has "fundamentally transformed" archaeoastronomy by showing that the builders of these monuments were little concerned with the "highly precise orientations that had formerly been the touchstone of archaeoastronomical investigations". Pointing their constructions in roughly the right direction appears to have sufficed.

Comment: It is clear that the so called "scientific establishment" has been waging a concerted disinformation campaign in an attempt to convince us that the people that built the thousands of megalithic structures around Europe were howling savages with a penchant for lugging large rocks around in order to be able to tell what day it was. This is of course a nonsenical explanation, yet it has been accepted as the truth for so long.

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Mysterious 'fairy circles' defy explanations

03 April 04

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.

The three main theories to explain the origins of the mysterious "fairy circles" of Namibia have just been dismissed, following an in-depth study by South African researchers.

"They still remain a mystery," says Gretel van Rooyen, a botanist at the University of Pretoria, who headed the team conducting the study.

Fairy circles are discs of completely bare sandy soil anything from two to 10 metres in diameter. Found exclusively along the western coastal fringes of the Namib desert in southern Africa, they are easy to spot because they are barren in the middle yet have unusually lush perimeters of tall grasses, which stand out from the otherwise sparse vegetation of the desert.

From the time researchers began to take an interest in how they were formed in the early 1970s, three major explanations emerged: termites, radioactive soil and toxic debris left in the soil by Euphorbia damarana, the poisonous milkbush plant.

The radioactive soil theory was easily dismissed after van Rooyen sent samples to the South African Bureau of Standards to be tested for radioactivity and they were all found to be negative. "That would have been the perfect explanation," she says. "But they found no traces."

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Reverend Uses 'Simpsons' to Teach Gospel

By LINDSAY HOLMWOOD, Associated Press Writer
Sun Apr 4, 8:49 PM ET

LONDON - Thou shalt not have a cow. So says the gospel according to The Simpsons. America's famous dysfunctional cartoon family will be the subject of a series of evening classes by the Rev. Robin Spittle on the Christian message in the popular show.

"They are a churchgoing family and they make moral decisions, some of which I agree with, some of which I don't, but either way they are a great way to open up a discussion," said Spittle.

Churchgoers at All Saints Church in Kesgrave, northeast of London, have been invited to attend four classes from the end of April on each of the four main family members — Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa.

Spittle says that each episode had Christian themes, even though Homer once described his religion as "you know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that don't work in real life. Uh, Christianity."

The reverend, 46, cited the temptation for Marge and Homer to have extramarital affairs as a recurring story line.

"Both Marge and Homer have found themselves being offered the opportunity to play away from home and they both turn them down," said Spittle. "Temptation, choices and doing what's right - you can't get much more of a Christian message than that." [...]

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Jesus is on our fireplace

Apr 4 2004
Lucy Ballinger, Wales on Sunday

GOOD Lord!

A Welsh couple believe Jesus' latest miracle has happened in their living room!

Rose-Mary and David Gower found this picture of Christ on their living room fireplace last week.

"The face of Christ appeared on Thursday and I know it was not there three or four days previously," said Rose-Mary.

[...] The artist, who does ghost tours of her house in Treuddyn, outside Mold, says this is the latest in a run of supernatural images to appear there.

"On January 2, 1999 the first word appeared on the wall," said Rose-Mary. "It was the Welsh for 'peace be with you'. In that first month we had about 20 words come and go.

"Since then pictures, crosses and Welsh words have been appearing all the time on the wall and around the fireplace in a brownish stain.

"They come and go. The words always seem to have a virtuous or religious connotation.

"Watching the fireplace in our house is as entertaining as watching the television!"

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And finally...

Britain: Chicken-Equipped Nuke Not a Hoax

By MICHAEL McDONOUGH, Associated Press Writer
Thu Apr 1,10:50 AM ET Add Strange News - AP to My Yahoo!

LONDON - A claim that Britain considered using live chickens in a nuclear weapon aroused skepticism Thursday, but officials insisted it was not an April Fool's hoax.

"It's a genuine story," said Robert Smith, head of press and publicity at The National Archives. The archives released a secret 1957 Ministry of Defense report showing that scientists contemplated putting chickens in the casing of a plutonium land mine.

The chickens' body heat was considered a possible means of preventing the mine's mechanism from freezing.

Listing ways of extending the armed life of the land mine, the declassified document proposed "incorporating some form of heating independent of power supplies under the weapon hull in the emplacement. Chickens, with a heat output of the order of 1,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) per bird per day are a possibility."

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