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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--

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December 22, 2002 -Today's edition of As the World Burns Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....

Responses to and commentary on the "Depression Essay."

THE United States edited out more than 8000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before passing on a sanitised version to the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations security council. The full extent of Washington's complete control over who sees what in the crucial Iraqi dossier calls into question the allegations made by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that 'omissions' in the document constituted a 'material breach' of the latest UN resolution on Iraq. Last week, Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan accepted that it was 'unfortunate' that his organisation had allowed the US to take the only complete dossier and edit it. He admitted 'the approach and style were wrong' and Norway, a member of the security council, says it is being treated like a 'second-class country'.

Although Powell called the Iraqi dossier a 'catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions', the non-permanent members of the security council will have no way of testing the US claims for themselves. A UN source in New York said: 'The questions being asked are valid. What did the US take out? And if weapons inspectors are supposed to be checking against the dossier's content, how can any future claim be verified. In effect the US is saying trust us, and there are many who just will not.'

Current and former UN diplomats are said to be livid at what some have called the 'theft' of the Iraqi document by the US. Hans von Sponeck, the former assistant general secretary of the UN and the UN's humanitarian co- ordinator in Iraq until 2000, said: 'This is an outrageous attempt by the US to mislead.' [...]

The Iraqi newspaper Babel, owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, likened US and UK political leaders to ruthless Mongol conquerors of the past. Comment: This last remark really caught my eye, especially considering the information compiled in Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce and the False Prophet.

December 21, 2002

Commentary from a member of the QFS, H.S.: For some reason, depression has been on my mind recently...if not thoroughly imbuing it... or is it melancholy...

I awaken every day and head to the computer to check the headlines. It is also the last thing I do before getting to bed. I get to bed late enough to be able to check the headlines in the European news for the "next day".

I read what is going on. It sinks in, a bit more each day...the horror of it all. I remember Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, "the Horror, the Horror..." surrounded by the dead.

I, too, am surrounded by the dead, the dead of Christmas past: Afghanis mutilated and killed by the cluster bombs dropped by American war planes and pilots on speed -- that must be some rush --, women maimed by the Taliban while they were still the "good guys"; the dead of Christmas present: Iraqi children starving to death, dying because of disease that can't be treated for lack of medicine, or born horribly deformed because of the depleted uranium left over from the George the First; the dead of Christmas past, present and future: Ethiopians starving in a famine while happy and mindless Americans, Canadians, and Western Europeans celebrate Christmas, the rebirth each year of the offspring of the consumer God. How many more years will we allow this god to be reborn!

Well, we know the answer to that one unfortunately. This is their world, this is the world of the fallen or of the yet to rise. But talk about "falling" and "rising", and you'll get glazed eyes or jokes about Viagra....

The dead are not only in Iraq or Afghanistan, they are here, doing their Christmas shopping and filling their stockings with gas on their way home from the mall. "I see dead people."

I was discussing this with a friend last night, a friend who recently started therapy for his "depression". His therapist told him that "studies" have shown that it is people who are depressed who have the more realistic view of the world. Those who bounce along the highway of life feeling bright and cheery, according to these studies, live in little SUVs of happiness, protected by their refusal to think about things like war, famine, injustice, etc. They refuse to acknowledge the existence of these things, and so they are able to live happy and "normal" lives.... they don't even need to send Love and Light out to this stuff because it isn't even on the radar.

I don't know what these studies are, but the results reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my mother. I mentioned in a message a few months ago that I had been on anti-depression drugs for three years. After stopping them, I found the C's site and everyone here knows the changes that can bring into one's life.

So now my mother is linking this new activity of mine to the fact I am no longer on the meds. No surprise there, except that my mother is a very strong, intelligent individual who has had a lifelong horror of drugs and the Bush family -- but she has bought into the propaganda that depression is a disease that can be cured by a pill.

Brave New World has arrived, but even intelligent and concerned people like my mother don't see it. Kind of like the fundamentalists that don't see that Revelations is happening before their very eyes because they could never imagine that the US is the "beast". The US as Bad Guy...what a "gotcha". Fiendishly clever, but only if you live there... From anywhere else it is a plain as the smirk on Dubya's face...."We'll photocopy those documents for you, sure..."

Thinking about this made me wonder if "depression" and the chemical shift it creates in the brain might not be nature's way of telling us something is wrong OUT THERE and needs to be changed. This subsequent action to intervene in the world might be what reestablishes the balance of the chemicals in your system. But we know that we can't change "out there" what can we do?

Find the exit, work our way out, do everything in our power to get the hell out of here so that we don't end up as part of the next service of lizzie fare...another 309,000 years of the same old same old, blood, sweat and tears, torture, famine and rich, white people... Can you imagine doing this all over again and coming back here, to this moment, to George W. Bush mouthing slogans about freedom as he enacts enslaving legislation and finds new ways to siphon money from the poor into the bank accounts of arms manufacturers, while making plans to slaughter Iraqi civilians in order to secure the oil fields and prepare phase two -- the destruction of Israel and Palestine? What did Santa give you for Christmas? "Material breach...the BEST GIFT I ever got! GOSH! Thanks, Dad."

Is there anything more important than GETTING OUT?

And the more you see it, the further disenfranchised you feel, the further removed from the walking dead, the more alone. The C's have said that Nazi Germany was the test run... and it seems that they meant it. No joke. The Real Thing. Over a billion served.

I still find it hard to believe even as I see it happening before my eyes. And it IS HAPPENING before me, every day another brick in the wall. A nice high wall to protect ourselves, our prison....oops, our defence against godless terrorists everywhere. Merry Christmas.

A gruesome scene has unfolded on North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills where Dr. Laura Schlessinger's mother has been found dead -- with the body going undiscovered for months! Yolanda Schlessinger, 77, died all alone in her apartment months ago, authorities now believe. Concern was not raised until a neighbor realized Schlessinger's pet bird was no longer singing! Police went into the house and found a woman who had been dead "a substantial amount of time." Lt. Gary Gilmond of the Beverly Hills Police Department said an autopsy disclosed the woman was murdered.

The United States announced it was virtually doubling its military strength in the Gulf as President George W. Bush said Iraq's weapons declaration was "not encouraging" for those seeking to avoid conflict. British Prime Minister Tony Blair also urged troops to be ready for war as world powers braced for weeks and possibly months of wrangling at the United Nations over the best way to disarm Iraq. The United States and Britain have declared Iraq in "material breach" of its United Nations obligations because of omissions in its weapons declaration. The two are leading preparations for a possible war which have sent oil and gold prices to new highs. Another 50,000 US troops and additional military equipment will be sent to the Gulf by early January, a US defence official said. There are now about 65,000 US military personnel in the region, including 15,000 in Kuwait on the border with Iraq. The deployment will include tens of thousands of reservists and give Bush the option to start combat operations against Iraq in late January or early February, said the official, who emphasized that it was for Bush to decide if and when conflict will be started. Bush, who on Friday postponed a planned trip to Africa in January, said Iraq has failed "those who long for peace" with its arms report. "We're serious about keeping the peace, we're serious about working with our friends in the United Nations" to disarm Iraq, said Bush.

Comment: Let me understand this: Iraq has "failed those who long for peace," but it is Iraq that does NOT want war. Bush, on the other hand, is going to bring peace by driving the entire Middle East into a war. Sorry, does not compute. Georgie is talking out of both sides of his mouth at once...

Delegates from six Gulf Arab states ended on Saturday a first round of talks in which host Qatar urged the pro-Western alliance to set aside differences amid fears of war on Iraq. Iraq shares borders with two members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and an attack on Baghdad is likely to destabilize the oil-rich region, where many people have expressed anger at U.S. policies in the Middle East.

The two-day meeting, which ends on Sunday, is not expected to take any decisions on the Iraq issue mostly due to the close links between the regional governments and the United States as well as disputes among member states like the Gulf's powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which is hosting the meeting.

"Iraq is the main problem on the field but no decisions or stances will be taken which will have an effect on the situation," said Gulf analyst Moghazy al-Badrawy.

The Gulf monarchies, which lined up behind a U.S.-led coalition that ended Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1991, have publicly opposed any military campaign to disarm Iraq. But some are allowing Western troops to be based on their territory in preparation for any war on Iraq. There are now 60,000 U.S. troops in the Gulf and some 50,000 more were being told this week to get ready to move to the region.

"These extraordinary circumstances...require us to rally together and agree on the joint policies needed to counter them," Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told delegates during the opening session. "We must realize that our efforts should not be affected by any differences in our points of view," he said, apparently referring to his country's spat with Saudi Arabia. [...]

Saudi Arabia, which was a main launch pad in the 1991 Gulf War, has yet to allow Washington to use its territory for possible strikes on Iraq while Qatar has offered its bases to the United States.

Bush claims that efforts to bolster Internet security will not lead to increased government scrutiny of individuals' online habits, the White House and industry sources said on Friday. As it finalizes sweeping guidelines that aim to increase cybersecurity, the Bush administration said individual privacy would not be affected by efforts to prevent cyberattacks. High-tech companies, meanwhile, said they would resist government efforts to get involved in the day-to-day operation of the global computer network. In a set of preliminary guidelines released in September, the White House said high-tech companies that keep an eye on the Internet should combine their efforts and work with the government to better defend against computer viruses, worms and other cyberattacks. The New York Times in its Friday edition reported the White House is planning a bigger government role in the proposed center that could possibly lead to surveillance of individual users.

Comment: And a 757 hit the Pentagon, too. Your nose is growing, Georgie!

The future looked cloudy for dozens of fortune-tellers and psychics in San Francisco on Thursday after legislation was proposed to require them to obtain permits, post their rates and stop tricking their clients. Under the law, the first of its kind for a major U.S. city, fortune-tellers would no longer be allowed to perform such classic curse removals as the knot in the thread, the blood in the glass, or the hair in the grapefruit. The bury-the-money trick would be outlawed, too. "Everyone is going to think this is a little bit hokey," said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, introducing his ordinance at the Hall of Justice. "But it's not hokey if it's your money that's being taken," chimed in District Attorney Terence Hallinan, who is backing the proposal. At present, San Francisco fortune-tellers need only possess a business license. The new law would force them to pay about $500 for a permit and would deny permits to convicted swindlers and thieves.

The United States is forging ahead with massive war plans and Baghdad charged that Washington will declare war whatever it does, although Russia insisted Iraq has not broken the UN arms resolution. News that more than 110,000 US troops will be deployed in the Gulf region by the end of January did nothing to calm fears in Iraq that conflict is coming. The US contention that Iraq is in material breach of UN disarmament Resolution 1441 is all part of a premeditated plan to wage war, an official Baghdad newspaper said. "The game that the United States is playing with Iraq, with the UN Security Council, with the UNMOVIC and IAEA (weapons inspectors) is a preconceived game with a clear target: to invade Iraq militarily," said Al-Iraq.

The United States has vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution proposed by Syria that would have condemned Israel for the murders of several UN employees in the Palestinian occupied territories. Of the 15 council members, 12 voted for the Syrian resolution and two - Bulgaria and Cameroon - abstained. The United States, as one of the five permanent members of the security council, weilds an absolute veto over any council action. The other four are France, Russia, Britain and China.

Palestinians slammed the United States for blocking swift adoption of an international peace plan for the Middle East and vetoing a UN resolution critical of Israel, as the Jewish state welcomed the unwavering support of its chief ally. "These actions show clearly the (US) administration has transformed itself into the electoral agent of (Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon," Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

A Pakistani militant has confessed to plotting with Arab and local al-Qaeda extremists to launch a suicide attack against US forces here, police said. Abdul Aziz, one of four members of a banned extremist group arrested this week, reportedly told investigators he met two Arabs in early November to plan attacks at a Karachi airport hotel where forces in the US-led coalition in Afghanistan were staying. The meeting was arranged by Pakistani operatives identified only as Shahnawaz and Shakeel. "They (Shahnawaz and Shakeel) are the links to al-Qaeda," Shafi Rind, a senior police official in the Karachi district of Malir, quoted Aziz as telling investigators. Comment: Keep in mind the direct links between the Pakistani terrorists and the White house...

December 20, 2002

BUSH'S RACE TO WAR PUTS WORLD AT RISK - THE day has been marked in President Bush's diary. January 27, 2003. The date when he will decide on war against Iraq.

But no one really believes that a big decision will be taken in the White House on that day. The die was cast long ago.

Mr Bush and the warmongers in his cabinet want a war against Saddam Hussein. They say they must stop him because he has weapons of mass destruction.

But only one leader has weapons of mass destruction and plans to use them. His name is George W Bush and it is he who must be stopped. What he plans to do against Iraq will not save lives or make peace. It will destabilise the world and threaten thousands, possibly millions.

President Bush is determined to go to war to demonstrate to the United States' rednecks that he is committed to the war on terrorism launched after 9/11.

Yesterday the Americans declared that Iraq is in "material breach" - the key words - of United Nations resolutions. Not even the British government went that far. Though Jack Straw came close to it and will doubtless take the short step to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mr Bush.

But they must be stopped. Before this mad, dangerous war is begun.

The cost in human life could be enormous. It would far outweigh the current threat from Saddam.

It is true that weapons of mass destruction should not be allowed in the wrong hands. But they are. They are in President Bush's.

That is the greatest threat facing the world.

Cameras to monitor protesters - The Metropolitan Police Department will activate surveillance cameras next month along city streets for the first time since city officials passed new legislation. Department officials made the announcement yesterday on their Web site, stating they would activate the network of 14 cameras and install more to monitor the International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, or ANSWER, march from Jan. 17 to 19 and the D.C. March for Life on Jan. 22.

The Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the World Wide Web and, potentially, surveillance of its users. The proposal is part of a final version of "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report. It is a component of the effort to increase national security after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Did you feel it last weekend? Many homeowners from Marco Island to Ft. Myers are still wondering what caused their walls and windows to tremor for a couple of seconds at around 3:30 p.m. last Saturday. The Sun Times contacted law enforcement, military and scientific authorities across the United States this week and, surprisingly enough, was unable to pin down the exact cause of the little disruption last weekend. Although the Marco Island Police Department, Collier County Sheriff's Office and Lee County Sheriff's Office agreed that it was probably an Air Force flight breaking the sound barrier, military officials were unable to confirm that was indeed the case. Homestead Air Force Base (south of Miami) and MacDill Air Force Base (Tampa) reported that all of the Air Force's sound-breaking aircraft in the area were grounded over the weekend. A Pentagon spokesperson even told the Sun Times that it was highly unlikely that any of those aircraft could cause a tremor of such magnitude and scope, either on its own or as part of a squadron.

On September 11, 1990 at 9:09 PM, President George Herbert Walker Bush spoke before a joint session of Congress, regarding the Persian Gulf War. Among other topics, he stated that the war presented an opportunity for a "New World Order" to emerge. Eleven years later — to the day — the twin towers of the World Trade Center would fall, creating yet another "opportunity" to move...

Surprise Comet Streaks Into Solar System - The comet was discovered by a Japanese amateur astronomer, Tetuo Kudo, early on the morning of December 14, said Clay Sherrod, an astronomer with the Arkansas Sky laboratory. - "In mid- to late-January the comet will be favorably placed for early risers in the northern hemisphere and will probably be visible to the naked eye, at least toward the end of that month," Sherrod said. "Certainly binoculars will aid in spotting the comet and exposing any tail that it might show." Named Kudo-Fujikawa (and officially designated C/2002 X5), the comet is moving east-southeast through the constellation Hercules. "The comet is a swift-moving object and currently is easily visible in the northeastern skies during pre-dawn hours, showing a pretty distinct tail and large coma (head or halo, caused by the emanation of gases and other materials as the comet warms up on its approach to the sun). The tail appears to be slightly less than one-half degree and several spikes in this tail have been recorded (on December 15) by imagers in New Mexico," Sherrod said.

For more precise instructions of how to find the comet—and Sherrod's regular updates on its progress—please visit the Arkansas Sky Observatory.

Powell lays out path in Iraq dispute - Secretary of State Colin Powell, after rejecting the weapons declaration Iraq submitted to the U.N. Security Council as "a new lie," laid out the path Thursday for the United States as it continues to increase pressure on Iraq to disarm. Comment: Notice that the Bush Gang, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continue to trumpet the "failure" of Iraq to disclose. Who is the LIAR here? I wonder if these guys are even aware of how they will be viewed in the historical context? Of course, perhaps they have the idea that there won't BE any future generations to look back on them as the Evil Warmongers that they are - the agents of the Beast.

While consensus prevailed in the Security Council that Iraq's declaration was broadly unsatisfactory, no other member was ready to back the US in declaring a new material breach. Even Britain, which has stood arm-in-arm with Washington on the issue, declined to utter the words. Ministers in London have said omissions in the text are not in themselves grounds for war. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said war was not inevitable but Iraq had pulled one "trigger" and "they now have their finger on the other trigger".

US not sharing intelligence, say UK agencies - The United States has failed to provide Britain with full details of its "solid evidence" proving that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, security sources say. There is also concern in London that the Americans are again trying to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network, a link British and European intelligence agencies do not believe exists. The latest manifestations include claims that Iraq supplied an al-Qa'ida-affiliated group, Asbat al-Ansar, with the nerve agent VX for terrorist attacks. Another tale likely to surface soon, the security sources say, will be that of a Shia prisoner held by Kurds in northern Iraq who claims to have been an assassin for both al-Qa'ida and Baghdad.

Comment: Well, the U.S. has failed to provide its own citizens with "solid evidence" of anything they are claiming is going on - including the necessity for a "war on terrorism." From where we sit, it looks like the REAL terrorists on this planet are George Bush and the Warmongers.

An acknowledged grossly misleading declaration by the Iraqis does not in itself constitute grounds for military action. Under the terms of Security Council resolution 1441, a false statement (which is what the US and Britain believe this is) would have to be followed by a failure to co-operate with the arms inspectors. It would certainly be taken as evidence of Iraqi bad intentions, but could be nullified by full compliance. The important date is the late January deadline when the UN inspectors and their counterparts in the International Atomic Energy Agency will give their view of Iraqi compliance. Nothing will happen before the Security Council has had a chance to examine their findings.

Blair tells troops: 'Prepare for war with Iraq' - Prime Minister Tony Blair today delivered a direct message to British forces to be prepared for action against Iraq if Saddam Hussein fails to comply with demands to disarm.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has issued a high court injunction against prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Defence Secretary Jeff Hoon, prohibiting them from going to war against Iraq because this would be illegal under international law. The CND claims that the Security Council Resolution 1441 did not give the go-ahead for automatic use of force should Iraq be seen not to have met the terms and conditions with full compliance and as such, and resort to military action outside the auspices of the UNO would be illegal. The High Court is studying the case and will present its conclusions in the coming days.

Whatever the Case, America Will Have Its War - Everyone is trying to guess the date when the Americans will attack Iraq. Because this subject has been talked about so much for the past year, it is not easy to get people to pay attention to anything else. The American television company NBC suggested added to the guessing. The company’s journalists came out with a date when the operation against Iraq will start. The journalists reported with reference to so-called informed sources in the Pentagon that the operation will start on March 1, 2003. The military operation against Iraq will provide employment for various kinds of experts and analysts. The NBC channel reported that the American military set up three secret bases on the territory of Israel. Americans have concentrated large reserves of their military equipment on those bases. - As a matter of fact, it is not really important if this is true or not. There are no doubts that Israel’s Arab neighbors will have their dislike of Israel increased by these actions. It seems likely that a campaign against the Israeli aggressors and their American sponsors is coming soon. [...] The world is also guessing about the future of the current Iraqi government. Most likely, there will be some light shed on this subject when the first state of the inspections is over. Everyone has to wait and see what Washington will do if the inspectors’ conclusions coincide with its expectations. Whatever the case, the USA is not going to leave Saddam Hussein alone.

California orders mass arrests of Muslim foreigners - Hundreds of Middle Eastern and North African men, some just 16, have been hauled into custody across southern California in the past few days, enraging civil liberties groups and drawing comparisons with the internment of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. The round-ups in Los Angeles, San Diego and suburban Orange County were part of a counter-terrorism initiative by the Bush administration, requiring men and teenagers from specific countries to register with the immigration authorities and have their fingerprints taken. Several thousand citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Sudan – many of them accompanied by lawyers – willingly came forward across southern California to meet Monday's deadline. However, as many as a quarter of them – estimates vary between 500 and 1,000 people – were arrested on the basis of apparently minor visa violations and herded into jail cells under threat of deportation.

Comment: Gee, the whole drama is following the Nazi regime in every detail. And of course, anybody with two neurons in contact with one another can figure out where this is gonna go. If the American people do not speak up for these illegally arrested men, when it is time to expand the net, who will speak up for anybody?

George Bush: Person of the Year?! - " After guiding the U.S. through the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Bush has become a powerful leader in the global war on terrorism and one of the most popular presidents in U.S. history."

Comment from reader who sent in this link: WHAT?? Am I missing something here?!? Even worse is when you check out the list of the other nominees that Yahoo deemed fit to compete for this title....Brittney Spears (?!?) Eminem (?!?) Howard Stern (?!?) The Osbourne Family?!?!?! And they're not being sarcastic! They are totally serious here. This is who the general public admires. Just goes to show the intellectual and emotional level of the general American public.

MORE ON COLLAPSE OF SMALLPOX VACCINE PROGRAM - When the smallpox eradication campaign came to a close in Africa and Latin America in the early 1970s, there was a secret meeting held in Geneva. The people present were part of the World Health Organization. They decided they would never use that vaccine again. Why? Because it was so dangerous. Because, in part, it produced so many cases of smallpox. They shelved that vaccine. To that story I'll add: Ever since the White House began its crazed push of this vaccine, certain medical people have been sending messages through: DON'T DO IT. DON'T STARTING SHOOTING EVERYONE UP. Right now, there are more messages coming in to Bush's people: Okay, you stopped it for now. But if you happen to discover a single case of smallpox in the US, don't go off half-cocked and shoot up the whole population of the country. If you do, the consequences will be dire. Which leaves the "problem" of the soldiers and the health workers, who are getting the vaccine right now...

German authorities here Friday outlined plans whereby all Germans could be vaccinated against smallpox in case of a likely biological terror attack, according to the media. The German government is to order 65 million vaccination kits at a cost of some 117 million euros. Meanwhile some 35 million kits have been already stored in warehouses across Germany in the event of a national emergency. Germany has a population of around 83 million people. The government intensified its efforts to purchase anti-smallpox vaccinations in the wake of last year's devastating September 11 terror attacks in the US.

Sen. Lott Resigns As GOP Leader - Bowing to pressure from his fellow senators and the Bush White House, Sen. Trent Lott resigned his position as Senate majority leader on Friday after his colleagues openly began lining up behind Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist.

Pushed by the Mexican government, the Bush administration is working on a Social Security accord that would put tens of thousands of Mexicans onto the Social Security roster and send hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits south of the border. Comment: Somehow, I get the feeling that Bush either doesn't understand how money works, or he doesn't care. you just can't spend, spend, spend, AND cut taxes. He is setting us up for the most horrendous inflation imaginable. But then, maybe that's his intention...

Gov. Jeb Bush may create an office at the highest level of state government to coordinate contracts with religious organizations. Bush wants Florida to compete for some $200 million in federal grants that President Bush is making available for faith-based initiatives. The president had announced just a week ago he was loosening regulations to allow religious groups to compete more directly for social service contracts. At least one activist thinks it's a bad idea. Larry Spalding, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union, says government should stay as far away from religion as possible. "We really don't think the government should be involved in the finances of churches," Spalding said. "At some point, you run the risk of deciding which religion you like better rather than what program you like better."

U.S. SEN. PATTY MURRAY ASKS STUDENTS TO PONDER "We've got to ask, why is this man (Osama bin Laden) so popular around the world?," said Murray, who faces re-election in 2004. "Why are people so supportive of him in many countries … that are riddled with poverty?

"He's been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done tha

"How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"

Murray said she doesn't know where she comes down on that guns-or-butter question, and building infrastructure in Third World countries would "cost a lot of money, and we have schools here and health care facilities here that are really hurting."

Murray was in the minority when the Senate voted 77-23 in October to give President Bush authority to use military force in confronting Saddam Hussein. The state's other senator, Democrat Maria Cantwell, voted for the resolution. Comment: Meanwhile, George Bush is gonna give Mexico Social Security...

Unidentified gunmen killed three young Muslim girls in Thanamandi area of Rajouri district in Jammu division, Iran, official sources said Friday. The militants attacked Mohammad Sadiq's house in Hast village late Thursday night and gunned down his 20-year-old daughter Nosen Kousar. They also went to the house of Khalid Ahmed in the same village and beheaded his 22-year-old daughter Tahira Parveen later. The militants later entered the house of Mohd Rafiq and beheaded his daughter Shehnaaz Akhtar. The killing of the girls has caused widespread resentment among villagers, official sources said, adding police had rushed to the village for investigations.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani on Thursday discussed promotion of ties between the UK and the Islamic Republic in a meeting with British parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee and some of its members in London. The head of the Committee, Donald Anderson, reiterated the paramount importance of relations between the two countries, saying he planned to visit Tehran in the near future in order to become familiar with the latest developments in the Islamic Republic. He also backed development of ties between the European Union and Iran in various fields. Ahani, for his part, welcomed the increase in the number of mutual contacts and meetings between the two countries' officials.

When British scientists started their tests of creating black holes in their labs in January of 2001, no one was surprised. Everyone thought that it was simply another lie. A black hole is formed after a star’s explosion. Its mass squeezes into a supermass, which does not let light pass through it. This supermass is of incredible density, which sucks in huge objects. If the Sun blows up, the solar system will be squeezed into the size of Moscow, and it will suck in huge planets, bigger that Jupiter. Is possible to create this under lab conditions? And what for? Professor Ulf Leonhardt and a group of English physicists think that it is rather possible. The professor will not create a huge galactic black hole. He wants to make a small one, an otone. Furthermore, it was officially announced that the creation of an otone is meant to develop the theory of quantum gravity. Everyone settled down, as common people do not care about such theories. [...]

If there is the possibility to falling into a black hole, there should also be the possibility of falling into a white hole in the anti-universe. As it turns out, it is possible to travel to a galaxy two or three million light years far from Earth. One could fly into the nearest black hole. It would take five years for a spaceship to fly to the black hole of Gades at the speed of light. If mankind learns the properties of black holes, it will be possible for cosmonauts to use them for transportation. Humans could reach the Constellation of Lyre (2,100 light years) or the Andromeda Nebula (2.2 million light years). Black holes could be used for reaching our Solar system as well. For example, people could use this form of “transit” to reach planet Earth a million years B.C. or a million years later. In this connection, we would like to warn military men not to down UFOs: it could be that they are not aliens at all, but our descendents. [...]

Academician Yakov Zeldovich once said: “Everything that cannot be explained is caused by black holes.” No one knows if it was a joke or a serious statement. Anyway, otones keep causing trouble. ... Probably, the energy of black holes will open up incredible perspectives for humanity in the future, when people learn how to use this power. For the time being, we are getting closer to an otone Apocalypse.

December 19, 2002

Arkadiusz Jadczyk, professeur à l'Institut de physique théorique à Wroclaw, l'un des rares soutiens des Bogdanov, s'élève contre la cabale dont ils sont la cible et entend les aider à mieux ex- primer leurs idées scientifiques. Lui aussi aurait rejeté leurs travaux, mais il en ferait autant pour "40 % des articles publiés".

A home video of a 1997 office party of Enron's top brass - starring then-Texas Governor George W. Bush and his father as guests - revealed a litany of sophomoric skits and lame jokes that could cause White House embarrassment. The Bushes joined in the skits, with the now-President Bush goofing with former Enron president Rich Kinder, pleading: "Don't leave Texas - you're too good a man." The elder Bush praised Kinder and the Enron brass for helping his son win the governor's mansion, adding: "I don't think anybody did more than you did to support George."

The video, uncovered by the Houston Chronicle, also showed other top executives taking turns joking how they could cook the books. Jeff Skilling remarked how he could "add a kazillion dollars to the bottom line."

Top accounting executive Rich Causey joked: " I can't even count fast enough with the earnings rolling in." All the Enron brass in the video are under federal investigation for the company's collapse and its secret books with inflated profits.

Three armed U.S. Secret Service agents and a local sheriff employed psychological intimidation to invade the privacy of retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Michael Moore, 49, of Goldston, North Carolina at his home on December 10, 2002... In another warning sign of what lies ahead for all Americans regarding police-state abuse of power (thanks to sections of the post-September 11 "Patriot Act" approved by Congress and signed into law by President Bush), U.S. Intelligence intercepted North Carolinian Michael Moore's email -- likely believing it was written by independent film producer-icon ("Bowling for Columbine") and author ("Stupid White Men") Michael Moore. In other words, they got the wrong Michael Moore. -

One of the agents told Moore that they had "intercepted his email written to an online friend expressing his outrage over the recent election results and that he had called President Bush 'Satan -- the third anti-Christ,' and a 'Communist Republican,' " among other soubriquets.

2002: The Good, The Bad, The Worst - As years go, they don't get much worse than 2002. The year's main saving grace – that we haven't yet invaded Iraq – suggests that, believe it or not, 2003 could be even worse.

A year that came on the heels of 9/11 was probably doomed from the start. Yet the ongoing War on Terrorism that most characterizes our times has cast a muddy shadow on public life that hints of the paranoia and knee-jerk nationalism of the 1950s.

Although we have experienced no acts of domestic terrorism in the 15 months since the Sept. 11 attacks, our country is becoming increasingly unrecognizable – constricted by fear, hysteria, xenophobic intolerance and a whole new set of laws and government intrusions that most of us couldn't have imagined in the relatively rosy days of pre-9/11.

One of the year's biggest blows was the loss of Senator Paul Wellstone, killed with his wife and daughter in a plane crash on Oct. 25. Wellstone was a role model whose integrity and conscience showed us what American politics could really be like.

Looking back, it is impossible to list the myriad events, scares and arrests that dominated the constant media flow in '02. And our immediate future is teeming with unknowns: Will we invade or will we wait? How draconian are the Patriot Act and the new Homeland Security Department? How intrusive will Total Information Awareness be? We are faced with a new, strikingly conservative reality, and let's face it: Life in the USA is a whole lot less fun than it used to be.

While it's a stretch to try to find the silver lining in these dark clouds, all is not yet lost. Artists, writers, politicians, union workers, activists and countless others are using all means available to speak up – be it through the Internet, a newspaper column, the judicial system, or just good old-fashioned grassroots organizing.

Listed below are 10 threatening themes we have identified from the right-wing quagmire, followed by10 genuine reasons for hope and celebration. Weak as the rays of hope may seem in contrast to the darkness, they are the brightest spots on the progressive horizon. [ Click to read list]

Two FBI agents said they were taken off criminal investigations into a suspected terror cell linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network, ABCNEWS reported on its Web site Thursday. "September the 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit," FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC. "Truthfully, if 9/11 had not occurred, we wouldn't be here [giving the interview]," said Wright's colleague, agent John Vincent, a 27-year veteran at the bureau until he retired a few days after being interviewed by ABCNEWS. "Because of 9/11, we're here because we see the danger."

The two Chicago-based agents were assigned in the mid-90s to track a terrorist connection to Chicago, a suspected terrorist cell that would later lead them to a link with bin Laden. But Wright told the network his supervisor stopped him from properly pursuing the suspected terrorist cell in Chicago, the basis of the investigation.

"Do you know what his response was? 'I think it's just better to let sleeping dogs lie,'" said Wright. "Those dogs weren't sleeping. They were training. They were getting ready." Wright said he soon discovered that all the FBI intelligence division wanted him to do was to follow suspected terrorists and file reports --- but make no arrests.

"The supervisor who was there from headquarters was right straight across from me and started yelling at me: 'You will not open criminal investigations. I forbid any of you. You will not open criminal investigations against any of these intelligence subjects,'" Wright said. Comment: And we suspect that those orders to "stand down" came from a very high level... and continue to do so.

The Pentagon plans to add about $1 billion next year to the budget for special operations forces, the commandos who are playing a central role in the war on terrorism, a senior defense official said Thursday. Comment: Never mind that the REAL terrorists are in the White House, the Pentagon, and wherever the alphabet soup guys call home...

Fearing that the Patriot Act will curtail Americans' civil rights, municipalities across the country are passing resolutions to repudiate the legislation and protect their residents from a perceived abuse of authority by the federal government. On Tuesday, Oakland became the 20th municipality to pass a resolution barring its employees -- from police officer to librarian -- from collaborating with federal officials who may try to use their new power to investigate city residents.

Inspectors Have Found No Weapons - U.N. weapons inspectors have examined every site of concern to U.S. and British intelligence and found no banned weapons, top Iraqi officials asserted Thursday, even as an inspection team was delayed getting into a military guest house - the second known snag for the U.N. teams. - ``There is nothing they don't know about Iraq programs. They know everything,'' al-Saadi said in response to increasing charges in Washington and the United Nations that Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration was flawed and incomplete.

Dozens of suppliers, most in Europe, the United States and Japan, provided the components and know-how Saddam Hussein needed to build an atomic bomb, according to Iraq's 1996 accounting of its nuclear program. -

According to the Iraqi accounting, induction and electron beam furnaces, which could be used in shaping uranium parts for an atomic bomb, came from Consarc Corp. of Rancocas, N.J. The company says the items were never delivered, however. Newport Corp. of Irvine, Calif., is listed as a supplier of optical fiber, a product with uses ranging from communications to medical equipment. But the company said it doesn't carry the model listed in the declaration. EEV Inc., based outside New York City, is listed as a supplier of a thyratron, which the company says is used in medical imaging equipment. It could not immediately verify the sale of the item. Motorola Inc., was listed as the seller of fast photodetectors, but company spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch said she found no record to support the claim. "A photodetector product is not part of Motorola's current portfolio." Most of the sales were legal and often made with the knowledge of governments.

Israeli Police Evict 200 Jewish Settlers- Israeli police evicted 200 Jewish settlers Thursday from a makeshift encampment on West Bank land where Palestinian militants killed 12 Israelis last month. Shouting through loudspeakers and backed by soldiers, police ordered the settlers off the settlement crudely constructed on a road into the West Bank city of Hebron. The site was near where Islamic Jihad militants ambushed Israeli soldiers and security guards on Nov. 15.

The expulsion of the settlers took place overnight in driving rain, with police arresting three settlers for allegedly assaulting security officers. David Wilder, spokesman for Hebron settlers, accused Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government of ordering the eviction to divert attention from a corruption scandal embroiling his Likud Party ahead of parliamentary elections. [...]

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah, an 11-year-old Palestinian girl, Nada Madi, was shot to death while watching a funeral from the window of her home, her cousin Mohammed Madi said. He said she was shot by Israeli soldiers.

800 American professors sign document warning of coming Israeli ethnic cleansing - Earlier this year, 187 Israeli professors signed an "Urgent Warning" letter titled "The Israeli government may be contemplating crimes against humanity." As of today, 800 American professors have signed a similar document, warning of coming Israeli ethnic cleansing.

Released on 29 September 2002, the original Israeli letter began by stating, "We, members and friends of Israeli academe, are horrified by US buildup of aggression towards Iraq and by the Israeli political leadership's enthusiastic support for it. We are deeply worried by indications that the 'fog of war' could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing." Comment: What is more likely is that the Bush and the Warmongers will just "cleanse" all of them.

In the spring of 1986, Gore Vidal published an essay in The Nation which became instantly notorious. Called "The Empire Lovers Strike Back," its subject was the relationship of American Jewish neo-conservatives to the state of Israel. [...] The essay was vintage Vidal and it greatly provoked his critics. To ensure that no one took seriously what he had to say - to silence the debate before it started - he was rubbished as the worst kind of anti-Semite. [...] Cliff Rothman [dealt with the issue] in The Nation, entitled "Jewish Media Stranglehold?" At the outset, Rothman delegitimizes the question by reminding us that it was Richard Nixon who first posed it; he then proceeds to associate it with White Power rhetoric, trailer parks and compounds in Montana.

THE SECRET WAR ON IRAQ - THE American and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the Blair government continues to claim in Parliament that "no final decision has been taken", Royal Air Force and US fighter bombers have secretly changed tactics and escalated their "patrols" over Iraq to an all-out assault on both military and civilian targets. -American and British bombing of Iraq has increased by 300 per cent. Between March and November, according to Ministry of Defence replies to MPs, the RAF dropped more than 124 tonnes of bombs.

A judge has imposed a gag order prohibiting Fairfax County police from publicly disclosing nearly all aspects of their investigation into sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo.

Time running out for millions as drought returns to Ethiopia - On Friday the UN's world food programme will announce that, following new harvest assessments, 11.2 million people in Ethiopia will need food assistance for at least a year, with three million more very likely to need help later. The figures more or less confirm last month's back-of-the-envelope forecast by Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi who said that 14 million would need help. But they undermine the assessment by the development secretary, Clare Short, that the situation in southern Africa - where the UN's world food programme says up to 28 million are at risk of malnutrition - is "much more worrying".

December 18, 2002

As we slingshot into the 21st Century, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the governments and institutions that mold our minds have implemented a system from which we cannot escape. Are we really trapped in a prison with no doors or walls? While the current administration continues to play "The Grand Chessboard" under the Orwellian facade of peace through war and freedom through slavery, we must ask ourselves: to what end? While some have compared Bush's tactics to those of Adolf Hitler , others feverishly argue that this is necessary to protect America's self interests. The prison-builders have always strived to coerce the citizenry into sacrificing liberty for pseudo-security. As H.L. Mencken observed: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. "

Iraq is preparing to destroy its own oil fields, food supplies and power plants and blame America for the devastation in the event of war, U.S. intelligence officials said Wednesday. Comment: I doubt it! More likely that is what Bush and the Warmongers plan to do and are setting Iraq up in advance. Anybody who has read our Timeline would be crazy to believe a word that comes from "U.S. Intelligence Officials."

Jon Rappaport: Here's a quote from a reliable report I've just received: "The Council on Foreign Relations was the original source of the [Homeland] concept/plan back in 1998, via its United States Commission on National Security headed by members Warren Rudman and Gary Hart. (In fact 9 of the 12 commissioners were CFR members, including its president Leslie Gelb and senior vice-president Charles Boyd.)" - Part of the Homeland plan is the eventual merging of the CIA and the FBI into one mega agency. Throw in NSA and DIA and you'll have a scene out of any number of sci-fi movies. In real life. I know, there would be much, much opposition to this grand merger, but time (and staged provocations) does strange things. New

Scientist: Smallpox vaccine likely to kill Americans - President George Bush announced on 13 December that a million US citizens will be vaccinated against smallpox by early 2003. But the precaution will be costly: the contagious vaccine will sicken and almost certainly kill a few people. The only tested remedy is in short supply and may not work for all adverse reactions.

Israel Faces Possible 'Catastrophe' Ahead - "You are bringing Israel to a point from which there is no escape..." Shimon Peres - Just a few weeks ago, in his last days (this go around) as a Likud-government Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres let out of the bag just how potentially catastrophic the near future could be for Israel. This awareness is what prompted Generals Rabin, and then Barak, to try desperately to push the Palestinians into some kind of apartheid-style 'Palestinian State' (popularly known as 'the Oslo Peace Process') in which they would be forced to renouce the conflict with Israel.

And this kind of awareness is what is pushing the Israelis at this moment in history to in turn push the Americans to take control of the region through force of arms and declare that all Muslim and Arab states must not be allowed to develop weapons of mass destruction or they will either be 'disarmed' or 'regime changed'. Meanwhile, the policies propelling the very 'catastrophe' of which Peres warned -- and he is much harsher and ominous in private than he ever is in public -- are being even more vigorously pursued by the current Israeli government, now controlled more than ever in Israel's short history by a fanatical neo-fascist right-wing government likely to further increase its hold on power with the new election next month.

First, it was Secretary of State Colin Powell who announced a Middle East peace conference. That was back in the spring – nothing happened. There was no peace conference. Now it's Tony Blair announcing a conference, along with that familiar rider about Palestinian "reform" – which means getting rid of Y Arafat Esq. [...] Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has no intention of allowing a viable state to exist to Israel's east. And he, apparently, isn't even invited to London for the Blair conference. Nor is Arafat. So what chance Palestine? [...] We want "democracy", accountability, human rights in Palestine – all those things, in fact which Mr. Blair's current guest, President Bashar Assad, has so far failed to create in Syria. [...] But let's be fair. America puts Syria on the "sponsor of terrorism" list and Tony Blair invites Bashar Assad to London. He gets the red carpet treatment. Then Mr Blair invites the Palestinians; and Arafat – desperate for continued recognition, however humiliating – says he'll send a "delegation". The European Union will be represented, along with the UN and the United States and, of course, that well-known democrat whose army is currently crushing and raping its way through Chechnya. In January – just next month – Mr Blair is going to "fix"' the Middle East. [...] Which is all well and good. But what about Israel? What about Mr Ariel Sharon, the "man of peace"–– according to Mr. Bush – who goes on building more and more and more Jewish settlements in the occupied territories? Well, just like so much of Mr Blair's – and Mr Bush's – Middle East "policy", what you really don't want to see, you can just wish away.

Journalists are under fire for telling the truth - First it was Roger Ailes, the chairman of the Fox News Channel, who advised the US President to take the "harshest measures possible" against those who attacked America on 11 September, 2001. Let us forget, for a moment, that Fox News's Jerusalem bureau chief is Uri Dan, a friend of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the author of the preface of the new edition of Sharon's autobiography, which includes a revolting account of the Sabra and Chatila massacre of 1,700 Palestinian civilians and Sharon's innocence in this slaughter.

Then Ted Koppel, one of America's leading news anchormen, announced that it may be a journalist's duty not to reveal events until the military want them revealed in a new war against Iraq. Can we go any further in journalistic cowardice?

Oh yes, we can. ABC television announced, a little while ago, that it knew all about the killing of four al-Qa'ida members by an unmanned "Predator" plane in Yemen but delayed broadcasting the news for four days "at the request of the Pentagon." So now at least we know for whom ABC works.

The Pentagon said that the murdered men – and let's not lose sight of the "murdered" bit, though that's not the word ABC used – were between "two to 20" of the top ranks of al-Qa'ida. Really? So were they numbers two, three, four and five in al-Qa'ida? Or numbers 17,18,19 and 20? Who cares? The press are onside. Don't ask who is resisting forthcoming US censorship of the Iraq war. Ask who is first to climb aboard the bandwagon.

In Canada, the situation is even worse. Canwest, owned by Israel Asper, owns over 130 newspapers in Canada, including 14 city dailies and one of the country's largest papers, the National Post. His "journalists" have attacked colleagues who have deviated from Mr Asper's pro-Israel editorials. As Index on Censorship reported, Bill Marsden, an investigative reporter for the Montreal Gazette has been monitoring Canwest's interference with its own papers. "They do not want any criticism of Israel," he wrote. "We do not run in our newspaper op-ed pieces that express criticism of Israel and what it is doing in the Middle East..."

But now, "Izzy" Asper has written a gutless and repulsive editorial in the Post in which he attacks his own journalists, falsely accusing reporters of "lazy, sloppy or stupid" journalism and being "biased or anti-Semitic". These vile slanders are familiar to any reporter trying to do his work on the ground in the Middle East. They are made even more revolting by inaccuracies. [...]

At no point, of course, does Mr Asper tell us about Israeli occupation or the building of Jewish settlements, for Jews and Jews only, upon Arab land. He talks about "alleged Palestinian refugees" – about as wrongheaded a remark as you can get – and then claims that the corrupt and foolish Yasser Arafat is "one of the world's cruel and most vicious terrorists for the past 30 years". He concluded his speech to Israel's supporters in Montreal with the dangerous request that "you, the public, must take action against the media wrongdoers".

Wrongdoers? Is this far from President Bush's "evildoers"? What in the hell is going on here?

I will tell you. Journalists are being attacked for telling the truth, for trying to tell it how it is. American journalists especially. I urge them to read a remarkable new book published by the New York University Press and edited by John Collins and Ross Glover. It's called Collateral Language and is, in its own words, intended to expose "the tyranny of political rhetoric". Its chapter titles – "Anthrax", "Cowardice", "Evil", "Freedom", Fundamentalism", "Justice", "Terrorism", Vital Interests" and – my favourite – "The War on..." (fill in the missing country) tell it all.

Meanwhile, rest assured, the journalists are getting onside, to tell you the story the government wants you to hear.

The day fantasy became reality: Bush gives the order for 'Son of Star Wars' to be deployed - In a televised speech, using graphs and charts to illustrate his arguments, Ronald Reagan outlined a stunningly ambitious plan that envisaged using the most fabulous American technology to destroy Soviet missiles before they could hit American soil. Mr Reagan and his closest advisers referred to the plan as "MX plus" or the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), but before long pundits were referring to it as Star Wars technology. -

Yesterday, President George Bush announced the start of work to build that multibillion-dollar missile defence system and said its first elements would be in operation by 2004. His administration also made a formal request to Britain to upgrade the advanced early warning radar system at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire to enable the American system to work by tracking missiles ­ offering, in exchange, to extend the umbrella to protect Britain. -

"When I came to office, I made a commitment to transform America's national security strategy and defence capabilities to meet the threats of the 21st century," Mr Bush said. "Today I am pleased to announce we will take another important step in countering these threats by beginning to field missile defence capabilities to protect the United States as well as our friends and allies." Comment: From what?

U.S. troops say that the military mistakenly released one of the most-wanted Taliban leaders in Afghanistan in the summer based on faulty intelligence. - U.S. Special Forces soldiers said that in late July, a Green Beret A-Team, backed by about 20 local Afghan fighters, apprehended Mullah Akhter Mohammed Osmani as he left his compound at daybreak in a town west of Kandahar. Soldiers identified him as Osmani, handcuffed him and brought him by truck to Kandahar.

Osmani, among the top six most-wanted Taliban, was flown to a detention center at Bagram air base, north of Kabul, for interrogation, the Special Forces soldiers said. He was one of the Taliban's top generals, leading thousands of troops as coalition forces ousted the hard-line regime. But, according to these soldiers, Task Force 180 — the overall command in Afghanistan — released Osmani a few weeks later.

U.S. government spokesmen expressed skepticism about the soldiers' account in written responses to The Washington Times. The Times sources maintain their account is accurate. Two Army soldiers and a senior administration official said in interviews that a U.S. intelligence report placed Osmani in another location after his apprehension. This led to his release. Rather than return to his village, Osmani quickly fled to Pakistan, where he remains today, military officials said.

Comment: Pardon me, but this is another thread that unravels to the direct connection between the CIA and the White House and the 9-11 attacks. Again we repeat: Osama and friends are STILL a CIA asset.

World records its second warmest year - Meteorologists revealed yesterday that the world had measured its second warmest year since records began more than 140 years ago. Researchers from the Met Office blamed industrial and agricultural pollution for a "remarkable" 0.49 degree rise in 2002 above the average between 1961 and 1990. World maps of temperatures for the past 12 months show above-average figures in most regions, especially Eurasia. - The highest global temperature was recorded in 1998 during the latter stages of El Niño activity in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, said: "The warmth of 2002 is remarkable considering how small this effect was during much of the year compared to the influence of the large 1997-98 El Niño event in the record-breaking year of 1998. Given that a moderate El Niño event is taking place, there is a good chance 2003 will be warmer than 2002."

US and Britain find fault with Iraq arms list - The two countries pushing most strongly for a war against Iraq said there were serious holes in a list of the country's weapons systems handed over to the United Nations. A spokesman for President George W. Bush said the US leader was "concerned" about what he saw as omissions and other problems with the list, although press reports said the United States was unlikely to push for immediate military action. In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the Iraqi declaration, demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and handed over on December 8, contained "obvious omissions." Comment: Not a surprise. They never intended to give Iraq a chance.

US set to declare Iraq in violation of UN resolution - The US assessment on the 12,000 page report Iraq turned over to the United Nations earlier this month will be made on Thursday, coinciding with UN Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix's assessment of the Iraqi declaration to the UN Security Council, The New York Times said Wednesday, quoting senior US officials.

Leaked report says German and US firms supplied arms to Saddam Baghdad's uncensored report to UN names Western companies alleged to have developed its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday. - Eighty German firms and 24 US companies are reported to have supplied Iraq with equipment and know-how for its weapons programmes from 1975 onwards and in some cases support for Baghdad's conventional arms programme had continued until last year. - It is not known who leaked the report, but it could have come from Iraq. Baghdad is keen to embarrass the US and its allies... - The five permanent members of the Security Council – the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China – have repeatedly opposed revealing the extent of foreign companies' involvement, although a mass of relevant information was collected by UN weapons inspectors who visited the country between 1991 and 1998. The UN claims that publishing the extent of the companies' involvement in Iraq would jeopardise necessary co-operation with such firms.

Britain labels Iraqi declaration "false", readies for war - Britain on Wednesday slapped down Iraq's declaration on weapons of mass destruction as a "falsehood," as Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed the "contingency deployment" of British military forces towards the Gulf.

British naval force heading to Gulf ahead of possible Iraq war - The announcement came after Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said that Britain could join a US-led war on Iraq without explicit approval from parliament.

Russia expressed "regret" at US President George W. Bush's decision to deploy a limited missile shield by 2004 and said the move could lead to a new arms race while sidetracking the fight against terrorism. "Such steps must not hurt Russia's security interests," said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov while on a visit to Tokyo, the Interfax news agency reported. "Such a move must also not prompt a new arms race," Interfax quoted Ivanov as saying. Ivanov's comments were terser than the Russian foreign ministry statement, released earlier Wednesday in Moscow. "Moscow views with regret the renewal of US efforts to create a so-called global missile defense system," the Russian foreign ministry said in the statement, Moscow's first reaction to Bush's Tuesday announcement. Following through on one of his main presidential campaign pledges, Bush on Tuesday said the United States would field a limited missile defense shield by 2004.




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