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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.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--
Faith of consciousness is freedom
January 20, 2003
FLASH! The Bush Propaganda Machine In Action! Check out the links below.
From the Press Democrat: EDITOR: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] TREVOR CARLSON Santa Rosa
From the Star Press, East Central Indiana: EDITOR: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] JOHN PINCKNEY - 400 Aspen Lane
From the Boston Globe: 1/12/2003 - When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] STEPHANIE JOHNSON, Milton
From the Wausau Daily Herald - Tue, Jan 14, 2003 - When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] David Bednarski, Wausau
From the Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton, Michigan: To the editor: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] ROBERT FROESE, Moscow, Idaho
From Channel 10, NBC news, Rochester, N.Y.: January 8, 2003 - Dear WHEC, When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] Kyle Klink,32 Medallion Drive Rochester, NY 14626-3206
From the Chicago News Sun - When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] Sarah Kocal, Grayslake
From the Rutland Herald, Vermont: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] DAVID O’GRADY Jericho
From the Lynchburg Ledger, Virginia: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] Derick Mfoafo, Lynchburg, VA
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] SANDRA RAUSCHHUBER, BOULDER CREEK
From the Green Bay Press Gazette - APPLETON - When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] Edward T. Kranick
From the Merced (CA) Sun Star: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] Michael Snyder, Merced
From the Manhatten Mercury: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. [...] Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. [...] [signed] Scott L. Herrin, Jan 8, 2003
Comment: Now, I wonder if this is because the news organs were ordered to publish the letter and make up a "sender," or are they innocent of complicity? I also wonder how many other "letters to the editor" are made up exactly like this and sent to newspapers all over the place to make readers think that Bush has support that simply does not exist?
The fact is, a number of other "identical letters" dated last October and November can be found by searching on google for the phrase "taking a courageous stand against Saddam." You will find copies at: The Albany Herald ~ The Bremerton Sun ~ Hispanic Vista ~ The Progressive ~ Pakistan Link ~ Indiana Times Union
Again, the question is, how many such letters are being published and how long has this been going on?
Video Proof of yesterday's 350.000 person crowd at the San Francisco Peace Protest - Major media are saying "only 50,000 people" showed up.
In the biggest day of protest the world has yet seen against a war in Iraq, from Washington to Tokyo, Liverpool to Damascus, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators across four continents took to the streets yesterday. The US was the scene of the biggest anti-war demonstration of George Bush's presidency, with tens of thousands of people braving freezing weather to join protests in Washington, San Francisco and other cities, despite the near-unanimous support for war on Capitol Hill and in the US media. - Mr Blair is under growing domestic pressure, particularly from within the Labour Party, not to involve the UK in a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. Members of Labour's ruling national executive are hoping to push through a resolution at its meeting on 28 January, calling on the UK government not to involve British troops in a war unless it has been directly sanctioned by the UN Security Council.
Britain sends 30,000 troops to Gulf as the drumbeat of war grows louder - Seven days before the United Nations inspectors present their report on Iraq, Britain ordered the mobilisation of 30,000 assault troops to join the massed American forces. The force a quarter of the British army will join the American army, on land, sea and air being rapidly assembled in the Gulf. A large US force is already in the area, with 62,000 mobilised in the past 10 days and a further 60,000 on their way. -
The size and scale of the allied force being deployed has reinforced the growing consensus over the inevitability of an impending war on Iraq. Mr Hoon announced that a force of 30,000 was being prepared for action with 120 of the Army's main battle tank, the Challenger 2s, which are being made desert-ready at a cost of £100m; armoured cars and artillery; and 150 Warrior personnel carriers. - At the same time, hundreds of warplanes including B-2 stealth bombers, F-17 stealth fighters, B-1B bombers, F-15 fighter-bombers, and Predators, with massive firepower, were taking up positions at air bases in Europe and Asia as well as North America. -
A vast American and British naval force is now either on its way to the Gulf, or has already arrived. Five nuclear-powered carrier groups -- four US and one British--each with its flotilla of warships and submarines are expected to be in position for the beginning of the campaign. The "super dreadnoughts", more than 1,100ft long with flight decks 250ft across for the 70-plus aircraft on board, will have more than 10,000 marines on board.
The Photographic Art of Pierre-Paul Feyte - Because sometimes we just need to look at beautiful things to remind ourselves of what COULD be ... Besides, Pierre-Paul is a friend of ours and we are shamelessly promoting his art.
Inexplicable Hole in Lake Defies Nature - In the bone-chilling deep-freeze of northern Minnesota, there are dozens of lakes and one deepening mystery. - Smack in the middle of North Long Lake, surrounded by eight miles of ice thick enough to drive on, there is a gaping black hole nearly a half-mile long. It is a lake within a frozen lake — a huge crescent of open water that, for some reason, refuses to freeze over. "I've never seen anything like it," said lakefront resident Joan Rush, standing on her back porch as clouds of steam rose from the hole. "I don't go out there," she said, "I just stay here and watch." The hole first appeared last winter, and returned this year. Since then, more than a dozen snowmobilers have fallen in. One died. -
Local authorities ordered an investigation, and have spent $10,000 trying to figure out why this section of the lake seems to defy the forces of nature. Divers with cameras probed the 20-foot depths looking for currents and seismic activity, but found nothing unusual. A team of scientists have tested for just about everything, but still have no idea what is causing the phenomenon. "It's uniformly warm from the bottom to the top, surprisingly so. That's what's keeping the lake open," said scientist Alan Cibuzar. "I have never seen anything like this." Since the black hole opened up last year, it has frozen over only once. Not in sub-zero temperatures, but on a balmy 40-degree day.
Our president is a criminal, if not surely guilty, at least chargeable for the following offenses: Military desertion, cocaine smuggling, conspiracy to destroy American landmarks, conspiracy to commit mass murder in New York, Washington, Pennsylvania and Afghanistan. And treason, for sure. Willful and deliberate destruction of the U.S. Constitution. Accessory to the theft of billions of dollars in the savings and loan debacle engineered and/or condoned by his father. Corruption for making repeated and continuing governmental decisions to enrich his relatives and friends. Obstruction of justice, innumerable counts, for blocking investigations into crimes that cost the lives of thousands of American citizens. Kidnapping and torture, for putting thousands of innocent people in jail without trial and denying them their Constitutional rights, as well as killing some. Illegal persecution of racial and ethnic minorities. Accessory to obstruction of justice for allowing the U.S. vote system to be commandeered by criminals who can rig the vote without being detected. Complicity in the assassination of a political rival.
If we had a real attorney general who represented all Americans rather than only the rights of the wealthy, he would investigate these charges, and convene a legitimate invesitigation into the suspicious atrocities of 9/11/2001. But as he was appointed by the same man who is charged with committing all these crimes, no investigation is likely. In fact, the attorney general himself is probably guilty of many of the same charges as the president, as he is conspicuously involved in so many of the instances of obstruction of justice.
So, there is no chance that the sitting government is going to act on these obvious crimes, since the entire government is polluted by conspirators of the same political party who are beholden to the criminals who gave them their jobs. This deadlock also applies to virtually all of the judges in America, since most of them have been appointed by the same manipulators and their like-minded predecessors, who must promise to condone this corruption before they are ever appointed to the bench in the first place. And even the legislative branch is subject to the same polluting influences, since it costs millions to achieve these posts and once elected, collusion in the secret and criminal activities of the power elite is essential to advancing one's career.
As preposterous as it sounds, the entire Congress (excepting a dozen or so idealists) needs to be dismissed and indicted for its corrupt actions. That says something about the direction our future must take if we are to actually be free.
U.S. units on hunt to track and Murder Saddam - As the Bush administration moves into what officials call the last phase of the showdown with Iraq, the United States is undertaking a vigorous military and intelligence effort to track, and possibly kill, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The effort involves, among other things, small teams of U.S. special operations forces and CIA paramilitary units inside and around Iraq, satellite imagery, radio intercepts and airborne reconnaissance, U.S. intelligence officials say. Comment: All I can say is that I am speechless. The United States of America has completely given up any pretense to a "moral compass." I am ashamed to be an American.
Growing unease brings protests across the world - Protests against war in Iraq took place in cities across the world over the weekend amid growing public unease at plans by Washington and London to topple Saddam Hussein's regime. Organisers in America were ecstatic after some of the largest rallies there in memory. As many as 500,000 people descended on the Mall in Washington on Saturday, followed by a 1,000-strong band yesterday, with about 16 arrest-ed for breaching barricades. More than 100,000 thronged the streets of San Francisco in an anti-war rally. Tens of thousands of protesters marched in cities across Europe and the Middle East yesterday. In Spain, several thousand descended on a former US military base on the outskirts of Madrid. About 5,000 people marched through Brussels, and in Turkey 2,000 protesters gathered in Ankara. Comment: Did anybody see any major media coverage of the anti-war protests?
From San Francisco to Washington, D.C., from Paris to Tokyo, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the world's streets Saturday to protest potential military action against Iraq by the Bush administration and its allies. In Washington, where temperatures hovered in the mid-20s, as many as 500,000 protesters rallied outside the Capitol, while in San Francisco tens of thousands of peace activists marched up Market Street from the Ferry Building to City Hall. With the Pentagon stepping up military preparations, including ordering more aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf, thousands of demonstrators in cities from Moscow to London to Cairo called on the Bush administration to find a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis. The rallies drew people of all ages, races, religious denominations and political persuasions -- many of them saying that this was their first protest.
War highlights weakness. This may not apply to hardware, but the Americans have still not overcome the risk-averse mentality which has dogged them since they lost the Vietnam War; the fear that public opinion might desert their leaders if the butcher's bill is too high. But the real American problem is geo-political. The basic deficiencies in the American world-view have not yet been addressed. They arise from the United States' reluctance to embrace its responsibilities. Over the past few days, protesters throughout the world have been denouncing Yankee imperialism. In many countries, the political leaders covertly agree with the demonstrators. [...] there is an even bigger challenge than Saudi Arabia: Israel-Palestine. Here, President Bush's position is paradoxical. No previous President has talked so much about the need for a Palestinian state, yet no previous President has seemed so emotionally enthralled to Israel. His administration often appears to support Israel, right or wrong.
Robert Fisk: This looming war isn't about chemical warheads or human rights: it's about oil Along with the concern for 'vital interests' in the Gulf, this war was concocted five years ago by oil men such as Dick Cheney. [...] Every man in the room believed President Bush wanted Iraqi oil. Indeed, every Arab I've met in the past six months believes that this – and this alone – explains his enthusiasm for invading Iraq. Many Israelis think the same. So do I. Once an American regime is installed in Baghdad, our oil companies will have access to 112 billion barrels of oil. With unproven reserves, we might actually end up controlling almost a quarter of the world's total reserves. And this forthcoming war isn't about oil? [...]
Even if Donald Rumsfeld's hearty handshake with Saddam Hussein in 1983 – just after the Great Father Figure had started using gas against his opponents – didn't show how little the present master of the Pentagon cares about human rights or crimes against humanity, along comes Joost Hilterman's analysis of what was really going on in the Pentagon back in the late 1980s. Hilterman, who is preparing a devastating book on the US and Iraq, has dug through piles of declassified US government documents – only to discover that after Saddam gassed 6,800 Kurdish Iraqis at Halabja (that's well over twice the total of the World Trade Centre dead of 11 September 2001) the Pentagon set out to defend Saddam by partially blaming Iran for the atrocity.
A newly declassified State Department document proves that the idea was dreamed up by the Pentagon – who had all along backed Saddam – and states that US diplomats received instructions to push the line of Iran's culpability, but not to discuss details. No details, of course, because the story was a lie. This, remember, followed five years after US National Security Decision Directive 114 – concluded in 1983, the same year as Rumsfeld's friendly visit to Baghdad – gave formal sanction to billions of dollars in loan guarantees and other credits to Baghdad. And this forthcoming war is about human rights?
Robert Redford sez: "freedom of expression is our most precious virtue. We should be particularly attentive to preserving it because we're so blessed to have it, when so many other people don't. We have to be on guard not to be careless with it. Current political trends are toward power being in the hands of a very few people for the benefit of a very few people, and I see the threat of restrictions on all sorts of things, of the unraveling of constitutional rights, being able to be slid through under a lot of patriotic slogans."
Iraq promised U.N. weapons experts more help Monday, saying it was even forming its own teams of inspectors to search for banned weapons. After two days of showdown talks with chief U.N. arms inspectors, held as U.S. and British leaders warned Iraq was on course for war, Baghdad's officials were eager to appear conciliatory. President Saddam Hussein's top adviser Amir al-Saadi read a joint statement at a news conference in Baghdad with visiting inspection chiefs Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei. It said Iraq had handed more documents to inspectors, was clarifying others and was forming its own teams to search for suspicious items. U.N. inspectors discovered empty chemical warheads last week which Iraq had failed to report to the United Nations; Iraq said it had forgotten about them. The statement said Iraq would also encourage inspections of "private sites" -- an apparent reference to places like the homes of leading scientists -- and to "private interviews" -- referring to talks between U.N. inspectors and Iraqi technical experts without the presence of Iraqi government minders. A cautious Blix said he was "fairly confident" Iraq would honor its pledges. "We have solved a number of practical issues, not all," he told the news conference.
UN arms experts found 3,000 20 year old undisclosed documents apparently relating to nuclear weapons technology in an Iraqi scientist's home, atomic agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said. Speaking in an interview with CNN, ElBaradei questioned why the Iraqis had not told of the documents, and warned inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction would continue to raid private homes despite protests. "We haven't received these original documents before and that's precisely the point we have been emphasising, Iraq should be pro-active, we shouldn't find these document on our own," he said. The documents were found at the home of a senior Iraqi scientist on Thursday in the first raid of its kind. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief said the documents, which were being translated from Arabic, dated from the 1980s and referred to "laser technology used for enriching uranium ... to make a nuclear bomb."
We cannot go to war just because Saddam is a liar - he must also be a threat - Twice now the United Nations inspectors have not discovered the "smoking gun" in Iraq. The chemical warheads found last Thursday were not it, as Hans Blix, the head of the inspection team, was at pains to point out. Not that they were exactly evidence of Saddam Hussein's innocence. The Iraqi defence – that they had been "forgotten" – might have been comic had the subject matter not been so unfunny. Had they been overlooked because the Iraqi regime once had so many chemical weapons it could not keep track of them all? Or because it was now so focused on acquiring nuclear weapons that the attempts to make weapons of slightly less mass destruction had slipped its mind? The discovery of papers relating to the enrichment of uranium, revealed at the weekend, was also not the trigger for war, according to the inspectors. "It is not that we have discovered a smoking gun," repeated Mohamed al-Baradei, head of the nuclear side of the inspections. "But it raises the whole question of transparency." Transparency is a polite way of putting it. But we cannot go to war just because Saddam is a liar.
Bush Is Racking Up “Frequent Liar Miles” - Lyndon Johnson is remembered for lying about Vietnam, Richard Nixon for lying about Watergate, Bill Clinton for lying about adultery. George W. Bush is known as a “straight shooter.” What’s wrong with that picture? Bush has, after all, racked up more “frequent liar miles” than any other politician in recent memory. Not familiar with “frequent liar miles”? I coined the expression to pay tribute to the staying power of Bush’s lies. After all, a lie is of no use to the teller if it is promptly branded a lie and the teller a liar. Not only does he not benefit from the lie, his now-tarnished image makes it more difficult to get anyone to believe subsequent lies.
Call it the Saddam Syndrome: A guy gets caught in a few lies and before you know it nothing he says is taken at face value. All the good will is gone, as if Saddam never shook hands with Donald Rumsfeld or made common cause with Ronald Reagan against evil Iran. These days, reporters shout “Show me the weapons!” and pundits deride him as Mr. Cheat and Retreat. Our news media — without the imprimatur of a formal U.N. resolution — have even erected a “no lie” zone over Iraq and shoot down Hussein’s howlers before they can infect international audiences. In stunning contrast, Bush’s lies are broadcast as truth. They originate at the White House and are transmitted to network amplification centers in New York and Washington, at which point the lie leaves the president’s control. He then must rely on men named Brokaw, Jennings, Rather and Lehrer to treat the presidential lie with respect and deliver it to every nook and cranny in America via “the people’s airwaves.” The longer and farther the lie flies, the more “frequent liar miles” the president accumulates.
The strategy of “lie and rely” entails considerable risks. What if the media Bush is relying on to disseminate his lies chooses instead to shoot them down? A president is doomed if his every pronouncement is greeted with groans and guffaws. That’s why it’s wise to lie only when the truth won’t suffice AND the stakes are high — to win an election, to avoid the taint of scandal-plagued cronies, to sell a war the public is disinclined to buy.
Throughout Campaign 2000, candidate Bush test-piloted “lie and rely.” He lied to a Dallas Morning News reporter to keep hidden a drunk-driving conviction. He lied repeatedly to the national media about his own and Al Gore’s economic plans. Did so in speeches and again in the debates. The lies traveled far and wide. Amazingly, they remained airborne even after repeated puncturing by New York Times columnist and Princeton economist Paul Krugman. From that experience, Bush learned an invaluable lesson: So long as the airwaves remain loyal, “lie and rely” can override isolated, ink-based exposure.
As president, a confident Bush lied after the Enron scandal erupted about how long and how well he knew the man he now referred to as “Mr. Lay” — though it was “Kenny Boy” back in the day. A quick study, Bush showed he had mastered what I call the “fact-based lie” (speaking words that are technically true, knowing full well they paint a false or misleading picture) when he said he had known of Lay in 1994 as someone who supported Ann Richards, his opponent for the Texas governorship. Lay and his wife did indeed give money to Richards’ campaign — and three times as much to Bush’s.
Fact-based lies, long the domain of weasels, are particularly risky for a president who presents himself as the antithesis of weaseldom. If caught, he can’t reply, “Technically speaking, I didn’t lie.” The ridicule would be relentless. That Bush would resort to fact-based lying suggests unlimited confidence — both in himself and the giants of journalism, who he is counting on to play or be dumb.
Time to play twenty questions - 1. If Saddam is evil and the UN must take action because Saddam has ignored three UN Sanctions 686, 687, and 688 for 11 years, doesn't this mean Israel is at least twelve times as evil as Iraq? Six times as evil for ignoring UN Resolution 181 for sixty-four years since 1948, three times as evil for ignoring UN Resolution 242 for thirty-five years, and three times as evil for ignoring UN Resolution 338 for thirty-five years? So, in the words of the popular GOP writer and pollster Ann Coulter, do we get to invade Israel next, "kill their leaders, and convert them all to Christianity?", for non-compliance with UN Resolutions?
2. If the destruction of Afghanistan and the murder and incarceration of the Taliban in concentration camps was not pre-planned before 9/11, why have the Bush administration's choice of allies, their strategy in Afghanistan, and their appointments of Khalilzad and Karzai been a game plan that copies word-for-word John Maresca's speech to Congress in February of 1998?
3. If the invasion of Afghanistan was not planned prior to 9/11, why then, according to BBC and many other foreign news services, did people from the Bush administration tell people in the Pakistani and Indian governments in July, 2001 that the US would be in Afghanistan, 'before the snow falls'?
4. If the invasion of Afghanistan was not planned prior to 9/11, why was the CIA working with 'tribes and warlords in southern Afghanistan' for eighteen months prior to November 2001?
5. If the Office of Homeland Security was created as a reaction to the events of 9/11, why then was there mention on the Carlyle Group's former subsidiary EG&G of Homeland Defense on a webpage last edited in February 2001? (the page was altered the last time I checked, but it was present with a Homeland Defense section in February 2001)
6. If the Office of Homeland Security was created as a reaction to the events of 9/11, why then did the Brookings Institute publish Defense Policy Choices: For the Bush Administration 2001-05 (2001) by Michael E. O'Hanlon in February of 2001?
7. If the upcoming attack on Iraq is a reaction to Iraq's support of terrorism and a pre-emptive action designed to prevent future terrorism, why then was this 'regime change' planned by the Project for the New American Century who published Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century in September 2000, two months BEFORE Election 2000?
8. If the massive increases in military spending are a reaction to 9/11 and not a pre-planned exercise in grabbing taxpayer's dollars, why has the Bush administration done nearly everything in the aforementioned report by the PNAC, which was written in September 2000?
9. If America is NOT an Empire and has no ambitions of Empire, why do American think tanks like the Hudson institute keep referring to a 'Unipolar Pax Americana' - a term coined from the ancient Roman term used to refer to the Roman Empire, Pax Romana?
10. If the massive increases in military spending are a reaction to 9/11 and not a pre-planned exercise in grabbing taxpayers dollars, why did the the Weekly Standard publish on September 10, 2001 the following article in its September 17 edition, in the same week when the Bush administration announced its massive spending increases?
11. If the events of 9/11 were not known to any of the above people, or to the Bushes, why did Jeb Bush pass into law in Florida a new Emergency Powers Act ONE DAY before 9/11, on the same day that the Weekly Standard published their article? (And why was Pakistan's ISI chief having breakfast with Intelligence Committee chief, Bob Graham - the same ISI chief who paid off the 9-11 "terrorists?" Why was all the activity in Florida, the state governed by George Bush's brother? Also the state where George Bush stole the election?]
12. If Weapons of Mass Destruction are a weapon of last resort, and Saddam has WMD as Dickhead Cheney claims, why would we push Saddam into a position of last resort? Since we obviously have no concerns about a weapon of last resort because unlike China or Russia we're willing to invade Iraq, what then are we really talking about - Weapons of Mass Destruction, or 112 billion barrels of proven reserves worth about US $3,242,400,000,000 at current market prices?
13. If the Nazis had to pay at Nuremberg for the genocide of Jews (which was in part financed by Americans), and Milosevic has to pay for the genocide of Croats (which was done in part by American puppets), and Saddam has to pay for genocide against Kurds (which was partly done by Iranians) during the Iraqi Civil War, how come America doesn't have to apologize or pay for genocide and enslavement of Africans, or genocide against Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans, Jews, or Croats?
14. Since Saddam is evil for being responsible for the deaths of as many as 200,000 people involved in an Iraqi Civil War (sponsored by the American-backed Kurds), out of a population of around 26 million, does that mean that the Confederates and Union armies in 1861-1865 were twice as evil as Saddam, seeing as how they killed 500,000 people out of a population of 29 million and 4 million slaves?
15. If the Secessionist South had won, and the Yankees lost (which has now happened), would Yankee Americans still consider America 'good'? And if the answer is no, then why is Saddam evil for ending a Civil War led by Secessionists backed by Islamic fundamentalists and foreign powers (Iranian and American Kurdish puppets, trained by Osama Bin Laden's Makhtab Al Khidimat)?
16. If Saddam has to pay for the killing of Kurds, why then don't we have a sanctions regime against Turkey? We trade with Turkey and we continue to arm Turkey, even though they've destroyed more than 3000 Kurdish villages using American weapons.
17. Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea are all under US Sanctions. It's illegal for American companies to engage in business with them. Why then is Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, enjoying an open ended contract at Guantanamo Bay, even though Brown and Root did business with the Axis Of Evil when Dickhead Cheney was CEO?
18. If Iran and Iraq are part of an Axis of Evil, and Dickhead Cheney did business with them (which he did), doesn't that mean that he's evil?
19. If Iran and Iraq are part of an Axis of Evil and support terrorism as Bush claims, and if the Patriot Act retroactively covers crimes that haven't been prosecuted (which it does), doesn't that mean Dickhead Cheney, who was never prosecuted or fined for trading with Iraq (he WAS fined for trading with Iran and Libya) should be prosecuted under the Patriot Act for giving material support to terrorists?
20. Doesn't it mean that Dickhead Cheney 'doesn't deserve' Constitutional rights and should be sent to Camp X-Ray for providing the Iraqis with tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure (US $21million) thatÕs been used, according to the Bush administration, to create Weapons of Mass Destruction and to finance terrorism? Dick Cheney belongs in a maximum-security prison. He should be joined by all the Bush brothers and their dad, Ken Lay, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. [Good point. The law should apply to everyone!]
To rephrase a popular American response to anti-war/anti-genocide protests against American wars of aggression, we need your help before the Nazis conquer the planet and the entire world ends up speaking AmericanÉ the world needs a Regime Change in Washington DC. Until then, no one is safe from terror. IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY!
Pentagon Warlord - As America prepares for a war that would require 25 times the number of troops deployed to fight the Taliban, Rumsfeld, 70, is on the line as never before in a long and storied career. Afghanistan was a highly unconventional war that relied in part on CIA agents carrying bags of cash to buy the loyalty of anti-Taliban fighters. But taking out Saddam would mean an old-fashioned kind of conflict, with thousands of Marines and G.I.s carrying rifles and grenades. A war, if it comes, would be Rumsfeld's legacy. Win or lose, this would be Rumsfeld's war.
Bush approval rating in free fall - Anxiety about the economy and a threatened war in Iraq lie behind President Bush's 29 percent plunge in job approval in 16 months, observers say. - The Gallup poll released Friday echoed other recent polls showing Bush's historically high 90 percent approval rating after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has declined to 61 percent. A Gallup survey from earlier last week showed Bush getting a 58 percent approval rating — the lowest since before 9-11. - The slippage recalls that suffered by President George Bush after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Bush, father of the president, enjoyed an 89 percent approval rating the week after a U.S.-led coalition evicted Iraqi occupation forces from Kuwait in a stunning four-day ground war. But 16 months later, the elder Bush's approval ratings had plummeted to 32 percent, setting the stage for his defeat in 1992. "Everybody is watching to see if Bush goes the way of his father — from 90 percent to toast in barely a year," said William Schneider, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute. "Right now I'd call this drop a decline — not yet a collapse."
Bush doublespeak on Iraq and taxes insults our intelligence - I wonder when we'll get straight talk from the president about the big decisions he's making for our country. For instance, take his public stance on Iraq and try to square it with his stance on North Korea. For months, Bush has been telling the American public to prepare for war with Iraq because of the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and alleged sponsorship of al-Qaida. Yet, for months Bush had a special intelligence unit search for a link between al-Qaida and Saddam, only to come up empty. Now UN inspectors can't find a smoking gun and have asked for more time.
In spite of the inability to develop any evidence of a real Iraqi threat to the United States, Bush remains bellicose, calling for ''regime change'' as the solution for the bad man of Baghdad. Meanwhile, North Korea not only admits it has nuclear weapons, it has broadcast its desire to export the technology. Intelligence reports verify North Korean nuclear capability. A few weeks ago, the United States intercepted a North Korean shipment of missiles to Yemen. Despite the seemingly more immediate danger North Korea poses, Bush is offering a peaceful resolution with Pyongyang. To date, there's been no cogent rationale offered for using diplomacy to defuse the real threat posed by North Korea, and war for the thus-far imagined threat posed by Iraq, just doublespeak.
The president's penchant for misinformation doesn't end with foreign affairs. Consider his economic stimulus and tax cut package. You know, the one he doesn't want to hear ''class warfare'' arguments about. Whether or not you call it class warfare, ignoring the effects of a tax change on different income levels is, in economic terms, ignorant. Before you can make a tax change that will actually improve the economy, you have to know who has really benefitted from the economy. Most Americans haven't. From 1979 to 1999, on an inflation-adjusted basis, 60 percent of the American work force worked longer, harder and more efficiently. They also took home less money at the end of that 20-year span than they did at the beginning. That's almost two-thirds of our country working harder for less. The truth is, virtually all the growth in our economy during that period went to just the wealthiest 5 percent of income earners.
But wait, there's more. The largest sector of our economy by far is consumer spending. Low- and middle-income working families are our best consumers. Putting two and two together, you'd assume that when the president claims his tax proposal is fair to all Americans, the relief would be targeted to the vast majority of Americans. You'd also be wrong.
According to the Brookings Institute, no matter how you slice the president's recent proposal, whether it's the break on dividend taxes or accelerating income tax rate reductions, the lion's share of this 10-year, $674 billion boondoggle goes to the wealthiest 5 percent of income earners. You know, the same folks who sucked up all the growth in our nation's economy for two decades. Exactly how the president can keep a straight face while claiming this proposal benefits most Americans isn't clear.
Just the other day, when discussing the Iraq situation, the president said he's tired of all the lies and deceit. I assume he means the ones emanating from Baghdad, not the beltway. If he's tired of spin, how does he think the American public feels about being fed a load of hooey to justify a war? Comment: Rock on!
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said Pakistan was a center of terrorist activity and he called on the international community to stop it. The nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors have been locked in a dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir for decades and came close to their fourth war last year over Indian accusations of Pakistani support for Kashmiri militant attacks in India. "Pakistan has become a center for terrorist activities," the Press Trust of India quoted Vajpayee as telling reporters in Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, on Sunday. "Although Pakistan is a member of the international coalition formed to fight against terrorism...it is Pakistan where terrorists are gathering." Pakistan is a key ally in the U.S-led war on terror and its president, Pervez Musharraf, has vowed to root out militant violence vowed that Pakistan would not be used as a base for attacks on India. Pakistan dismisses regular Indian accusations that it supports militant attacks in India.
Comment: Well, we already knew that Pakistan was involved because its ISI chief was having breakfast with Florida's senator Bob Graham on the morning of 9-11 -2001. We also know that this same ISI chief paid off the terrorists for the 9-11 event on behalf of the "conspirators." See: The Secret Cult for details of the "smoking gun."
Pakistan said it would not be provoked into an arms race with India after its arch nuclear rival conducted its third missile test in 11 days. "We condemn this. India wants to provoke us in this missile race, and we will not be provoked," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told AFP after India test-fired a surface-to-air Akash missile, its second Akash test since Saturday. Pakistan last year test-fired five of its own nuclear-capable ballistic missiles including the Ghauri, which on January 8 was formally inducted into the army. A day later, India test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead into neighbouring Pakistan. Rashid said the 2002 tests were "long ago" and conducted in reaction to Indian tests. "That was just to prove that we are capable of defending our country also at any cost. We don't want to join this race again. "We are not a threat to India and we are always saying this, that we want peaceful relations with India." Ahmed said world attention should be drawn to "India's arms race." "At a time when the world is full of thousands of people rallying for peace, India is giving a different message to the rest of the world," he said.
A Russian envoy held six hours of talks Monday with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and said he was optimistic the nuclear standoff between Pyongyang and Washington could be solved peacefully. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov emerged from the talks at a heavily guarded residence on the northern outskirts of Pyongyang to describe them as successful, but gave no details, said Russia's Itar-Tass news agency. "The meeting was very substantive. The atmosphere was very warm," Losyukov said as he left to return to the Russian embassy. "Moscow is optimistic that a solution to the crisis around North Korea can be found through peaceful means," he was quoted as saying. Moscow was counting on further contacts to hammer out the details of a possible solution to the crisis, the Tass news agency quoted him as saying. It was the first sign of a possible breakthrough in an impasse that began in October when Washington said the North had admitted to a secret nuclear weapons program.
Washington welcomed some progress in the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions but reports Monday indicated North Korea was refusing to budge, demanding to meet "knee-to-knee" with U.S. delegates. Remarks by U.S. officials showed increasing signs Washington has moved away from its hard line of "no talks," ditching a policy of refusing to reward bad behavior by the North now that the standoff has become a distraction from a mission to disarm Iraq.
United States officials considered an attack on North Korea before agreeing to seek a peaceful solution to the ongoing nuclear standoff, according to South Korean president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun. Roh told a conference on Saturday night that there were high-level US discussions about a possible attack on North Korea when he was elected in December. "When I was elected, the situation was so acute because some US officials, who held considerable responsibility in the administration, talked about the possibility of attacking North Korea," he said. "I then thought that no matter what differences I might face with the United States, I would stop an attack on North Korea. "Fortunately, opinion in the United States started to change to resolving the matter peacefully."
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin arrived ahead of a UN Security Council meeting that is to focus on the fight against international terrorism. Paris, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of January, proposed Monday's meeting, to review developments in the international fight against terrorism since the September 2001 attacks. As part of planned bilateral meetings between Washington and Paris, De Villepin and US Secretary of State Colin Powell met later Sunday to discuss the situation in Iraq. French officials have voiced deep concerns the effects that a potential war launched against Baghdad could have on world peace. And French diplomats said Sunday they believed the United States has entered into a pre-war phase with Iraq, and want to examine the risks that a conflict could have on the fight against terrorism. "It is necessary to place the issue of terrorism at the center of international interests," a French official said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Even those sympathetic to the Israelis must admit there is an irony in the response of the nation's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and his bellicose foreign minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to the latest suicide bombs. Some 22 people were killed outright and more than 100 wounded in the outrage, which was the first bomb inside Israel proper since November. The Israeli leaders' response was to refuse the Palestinians permission to travel to London for a conference next week to discuss the reform of the Palestinian administration. In doing so they have opened themselves to accusations that it is they, as well as the bombers, who are obstacles to peace with their insistence that an iron fist is the only way to put an end to Palestinian violence – despite the fact that they have used their whole arsenal of tanks and planes and the terrorism continues. Comment: Everybody keeps forgetting that the Israelis are foreign invaders ... doing what they are doing based on a fraudulent promise from an evil Archon of Darkness, Yahweh... "By their fruits you shall know them." What are the fruits of the religion of Yahweh? What are the fruits of Christianity? Of Islam?
Arab holocaust in the making - Although Iraq has accepted the UN resolution for an extensive inspection of its arsenals, the US is adamant to attack Iraq. Now the US is pressing the UN Inspectors even before the start of their work, to be “aggressive” and create a situation in which US war mongers could quench the thirst of Muslim blood. This article of Abid Ullah Jan analyses the possible aftermath of such a bloody adventure.
South Asian Cold Snap Kills More Than 1,400 People - The death toll from bitterly cold weather that has gripped South Asia for a month climbed to more than 1,400 Monday as weather officials said they saw few signs the worst winter in four decades would end soon. Most victims were pavement dwellers and people living in flimsy shacks. Authorities have set up emergency shelters and lit roadside bonfires but many homeless say the help is not enough. Dense fog across the plains of northern India delayed air and rail traffic for several hours Monday. Officials and state media reported Monday at least 73 more deaths over a 24-hour period, bringing fatalities from the intense cold spell to 1,409. The populous northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, worst hit by the cold, reported 58 new deaths, taking the toll there to 670, officials said. Twelve died in neighboring Bihar state, where schools were shut for a third week. Three died overnight in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, state television said. Night temperatures hovered just above zero degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) across much of the region but were colder in some areas. While temperatures in South Asia are not as low as in some places, the effect is harsh because millions have no homes. "The severity of the cold is due to ... the stagnation of dry, icy winds reaching here from the Himalayan region," India Meteorological Department official R.K. Verma said in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, adding there were no signs of the cold easing.
A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit the Solomon Islands but there were no reports of damage or injury. The earthquake hit 135 kilometres (85 miles) from the capital Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal. It was 33 kilometres (20 miles) deep. The area is frequently hit by powerful earthquakes centred around a highly active fault line running through the region. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu issed a Tsunami Watch after the quake but said it was not known if a tsunami was generated. The alert covered a wide area of the Pacific including New Zealand.
Australian firefighters gained control on Monday of bush fires that killed four and destroyed hundreds of homes in the capital Canberra at the weekend, but hot weather threatened to reignite some blazes. A smoky haze greeted dawn over the "bush capital" after firefighters spent the night battling spot fires which blew up from the smoldering ruins of an estimated 400 houses consumed in Canberra's worst-ever bush fire crisis.
Australian authorities faced stiff criticism Monday that they were ill-prepared for a weekend firestorm that killed four and destroyed 402 homes in Canberra, even as nearby fires continued to threaten the capital. A thick blanket of smoke hung over the devastated city as fire-fighters combed through the smoldering ruins of hundreds of homes destroyed in Canberra's worst-ever bush fire crisis, and fires continued to burn unchecked in parkland outside the city. But with city blazes under control, authorities fought off accusations that the Australian Capital Territory -- with just 12 pumper trucks to fight blazes -- had been unprepared to defend its 300,000 residents from bush fires raging nearby for a week.
January 19, 2003
UFO Caught On NASA Camera - published in Sunday Times (Perth Western Australia)
January 18, 2003
This is Unacceptable behavior from the UN inspectors!- An Iraqi nuclear scientist accused "Mafia-like" United Nations inspectors on Saturday of trying to use his wife's illness to persuade him to leave Iraq to be questioned about his work. Physicist Faleh Hassan said an American inspector had approached him while U.N. experts searched his house on Thursday, saying: "Your wife is sick and we can take her outside Iraq for treatment. You can accompany her." "But I said: 'No, thank you'," he added. Hassan told reporters at his house that he understood from the conversation that the inspector had wanted to interview him abroad. The United States has pressed the U.N. inspectors, hunting for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, to take scientists abroad to make them feel safer, believing the intelligence they could give could be crucial. Hassan, 55, said the inspectors had been "Mafia-like," searching even his bedrooms and asking him and his family "silly" questions. He said he wanted to sue U.N. weapons inspectors for the psychological damage they had caused his family. He said his wife suffered from hypertension and diabetes and had been shocked to see the inspectors at their house. Hassan said he would not leave Iraq for an interview "even if I had instructions from my government to do so."
RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES FOR MIAMI AND NAPLES... A RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE WAS SET AT THE MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT THIS AFTERNOON. THE HIGH TEMPERATURE ONLY REACHED 55 DEGREES...WHICH BROKE THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW MAXIMUM FOR THIS SITE OF 57 DEGREES...WHICH WAS SET IN 1977. A RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE WAS SET AT THE NAPLES MUNICIPAL AIRPORT THIS AFTERNOON. THE TEMPERATURE ONLY CLIMBED TO 54 DEGREES...WHICH BROKE THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW MAXIMUM FOR THIS SITE OF 56 DEGREES...WHICH WAS SET IN 1977.
ABC News Poll - Do you believe there is a case for war against Iraq? Yes 12% No 88% 16314 votes counted
Canadians oppose war in Iraq without UN - As thousands of Canadians march Saturday to protest against military action in Iraq, a poll suggests that two-thirds of Canadians oppose Canada's involvement in any attack not sanctioned by the United Nations. About 62 per cent of people surveyed by Ipsos-Reid for The Globe and Mail and CTV said Canada should provide military assistance for action against Iraq only if the UN, not just the United States, decides that is required. Just 15 per cent said Canada should join the United States if it invades Iraq on its own. A greater number — 18 per cent — said they would oppose any Canadian participation, even if the UN gave the go-ahead. About 72 per cent of respondents said Iraq is not truthful in listing its weapons of mass destruction, but more than half disapproved of the U.S. effort to remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Economy set for the REAL Crash - Three powerful, unstoppable forces are squeezing the life out of the January stock market rally. The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 closed down four out of five days this week -- with Monday as the only positive day.
POWERFUL FORCE #1: Dismal earnings outlooks. Intel, GM, and Home Depot are just three of many companies who warned this week that corporate earnings aren't out of the woods just yet. Intel even plans to cut capital spending -- keeping in mind that Bush's plan for a recovery hinges on improved business investment.
POWERFUL FORCE #2: Worsening economic data. Industrial production fell 0.2% in December -- flying in the face of Wall Street's expectations of a rebound in manufacturing. This is the second year in a row that industrial production has declined -- the first back-to-back down years since 1974-75. The Fed's Beige Book confirms. They say the economy's current "soft patch" is getting "softer." That's their sugar-coated lingo for a recovery that's going limp. PLUS, the latest consumer sentiment index plunged again in January. After holding up the economy since the bubble burst, consumers have now become the weak link.
POWERFUL FORCE #3: Waning faith in the Bush Administration. In fact, in the long run, Bush's "stimulus package" could devastate the economy with higher deficits bringing higher interest rates. Now, even the Bush Administration's budget director admits the deficit will be $200 billion in 2003, $300 billion in 2004, and even more if you add a war in Iraq. These three forces have already triggered the sell-off in stocks. But investors have only begun to understand their implications.
* Zero-everything incentives will hurt the auto industry. Sure, auto sales were up in December, but we've already seen that car makers are slashing production in anticipation of a huge buying slowdown.
* Interest rate cuts haven't worked -- and the Fed knows it. The Beige Book revealed that the Fed's 50-basis point cut hasn't helped the recovery effort. Trouble is, the Fed's running out of room to cut rates more.
* Kmart announced it will close 300 stores and layoff 30,000 workers -- that's a total of 600 stores and over 50,000 workers slashed since it filed for bankruptcy. The company says it is on a quest to emerge from bankruptcy in the spring, but the odds of it doing that and actually surviving are very slim.
* Poor retail sales pushed toy retailer into Chapter 11. FAO, Inc., parent company of toy store FAO Schwartz, filed for bankruptcy on Monday. Retail sales -- which experienced the worst holiday since 1971 -- will cripple retailers. FAO, Inc. is just the first in what could be a long line of bankruptcies.
WHAT DID HAPPEN TO FLIGHT 93? - THE unmarked military-style jet swooped down at high speed through the valley, twice circled the smouldering black scar where Flight 93 had careered into the ground just seconds earlier and then hurtled off over the horizon. - At least six eyewitnesses saw the mysterious aircraft on the morning of September 11 last year. But the US authorities deny it ever existed. So when George Bush laid a wreath yesterday at the crash site in a remote valley outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, he was one of only a handful of people who know what really happened to the 40 innocents and four hijackers aboard the doomed United Airlines Boeing 757-200. -
The exact fate of Flight 93 after its two-hour journey is proving difficult for US officials to explain. What was the white jet doing there and why won't they admit to its presence? Why did other witnesses see smoke and flames trailing from Flight 93 as it fell from the sky, indicating a possible explosion aboard? Or - and this is proving to be the most uncomfortable question of all - in the moments before the airliner piled into the black, spongey earth at 575mph did an American fighter pilot have to do the unthinkable and shoot down a US civil airliner?
Susan Mcelwain, 51, who lives two miles from the site, knows what she saw - the white plane rocketed directly over her head. "It came right over me, I reckon just 40 or 50ft above my mini-van," she recalled. "It was so low I ducked instinctively. It was travelling real fast, but hardly made any sound. "Then it disappeared behind some trees. A few seconds later I heard this great explosion and saw this fireball rise up over the trees, so I figured the jet had crashed. The ground really shook. So I dialled 911 and told them what happened. "I'd heard nothing about the other attacks and it was only when I got home and saw the TV that I realised it wasn't the white jet, but Flight 93. Ididn't think much more about it until the authorities started to say there had been no other plane. The plane I saw was heading right to the point where Flight 93 crashed and must have been there at the very moment it came down.
"There's no way I imagined this plane - it was so low it was virtually on top of me. It was white with no markings but it was definitely military, it just had that look. "It had two rear engines, a big fin on the back like a spoiler on the back of a car and with two upright fins at the side. I haven't found one like it on the internet. It definitely wasn't one of those executive jets.
The FBI came and talked to me and said there was no plane around. "Then they changed their story and tried to say it was a plane taking pictures of the crash 3,000ft up. "But I saw it and it was there before the crash and it was 40ft above my head. They did not want my story - nobody here did."
Henry Kissinger, the man George W. Bush wanted to investigate the September 11 attacks, will meet John Howard to discuss Australia's involvement in a possible war on Iraq during a low-key visit to Sydney next week. Dr Kissinger, 79, a former US secretary of state, has approached a cluster of high-ranking politicians for private discussions during his visit to Sydney on Monday and Tuesday, including Mr Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
Tens of thousands of people protest Bush at the National Mall in DC this morning. A smaller group also gathered to express support for military action. The antiwar demonstration is being mirrored by a joint protest in San Francisco, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people, as well as simultaneous antiwar demonstrations in 32 countries. The rally is being held on the Mall, near Third Street. Scheduled speakers include former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, who wrote "Born on the Fourth of July"; actress Jessica Lange and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney. The rally will also include performances by Patti Smith and Chumbawumba. More than a dozen buses released protesters at Third Street between Constitution Avenue and Jefferson Street. The people trickling off carried an assortment of signs proclaiming antiwar messages, including "Grandmothers Against War" and "Stop the Bush Death Machine," and even one looking ahead to a protest next week, "Defend Roe v Wage 30 Years."
Hundreds of buses carrying protesters arrived in Washington from numerous destinations on the East Coast and in the Midwest. [...] A passenger on one of the St. Louis buses, Kristin Kumpf, 27, said that although she believes Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is an evil man, the United States is acting hastily in preparing for military engagement. "War is not the answer. There absolutely has to be some mediation. He does horrible things to his people, but there are other horrible men who do horrible things that we don't worry about" because they don't have oil, she said, referring to the vast fuel reserves in Iraq.
Adnan Chaabi, 44, arrived at the protest from Indianapolis, Ind., as a part of a two-bus contingent of 100 people. Chaabi, originally from Syria and a U.S. citizen since 1989, said he has supported President Bush in the past. "I voted for [Bush]. Had I known he was going to be a war man, I wouldn't have voted for him," Chaabi said, admitting the protest will probably not make a difference to the president. "To me, I'm just clearing my conscious." (sic)
Anti-war protesters flock to San Francisco - San Francisco police and peace activists were bracing themselves for today's anti-war demonstration, which was expected to draw a diverse spectrum of thousands of protesters from across California and surrounding states. Demonstrators fearing a potential war with Iraq will be packing San Francisco-bound buses from Los Angeles, Nevada and Oregon to speak out against the possibility of an impending war. The event was expected to draw at least as many people as attended the Oct. 26 rally, which police estimated at 42,000. San Francisco's demonstration will coincide with other anti-war protests occurring across the United States -- the largest expected to be in Washington.
The Chicago City Council voted 46-1 Thursday against a unilateral military attack on Iraq unless it is shown to be a real threat to the United States. The resolution said military action against Iraq would cost billions of dollars, and during the debate, council members discussed how federal budget cuts could affect programs that benefit Chicago residents. "We don't want our boys and our girls to go to war," Alderman Dorothy Tillman said. Anti-war statements have been passed in others cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Ithaca, New York, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Chicago's resolution calls Saddam Hussein "a tyrant who should be removed from power" for the good of the people of Iraq and neighboring countries. But, the resolution continues, "It not at all clear that a unilateral U.S. military action would result in the installation of a free and democratic Iraqi government."
World capitals gird for peace protests - Muslims and Arabs will attack US targets everywhere if the United States invaded Iraq, a senior member of Hamas Hamas warned from Gaza on Friday as world capitals geared for a weekend of anti-war protests. Mahmoud al-Zahar made the comments during a speech to approximately 3,000 Palestinians who marched through the winding streets of Gaza City to mark the 12th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War. Some protesters fired shots in the air and others held portraits of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. “If Iraq is attacked … all American targets will be open targets for every Muslim, Arab or Palestinian,” Zahar said. “Any attack against Iraq will be answered by resistance everywhere and American interests everywhere will be targeted. All American targets will be open targets to every Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian.” [...]
Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in coordinated marches in cities in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Japan and Egypt on Saturday and Sunday, and organizers are claiming that Washington is now confronted with the biggest peace movement since the Vietnam War. Most attention will be given to anti-war demonstrations in Washington and San Francisco on Saturday. The rally in the US capital will go from the Congress building to a nearby military installation, according to one of the organizers, a group calling itself Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER). “We believe that the vast majority of people in the United States don’t want a war,” said ANSWER spokesman Tony Murphy. “They want money spent on education and human needs and not weapons of mass destruction.”
US allies in Europe will also see demonstrations, notably in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, on the weekend. “A battle has been joined between public opinion and the forces that want the war,” Arielle Denis of the group Movement for Peace told a news conference in Paris Thursday that announced rallies Saturday in the French capital and 40 other European cities. Russia’s Communist Party has organized a rally in front of the US Embassy in Moscow on Saturday, and ultranationalist legislator Vladimir Zhirinovsky is to lead another similar protest a day later in the city’s central Pushkin Square.
In Japan, an expected 10,000 people are expected to march through central Tokyo on Saturday at the urging of a coalition of 30 groups called Peace Boat. In a statement, Peace Boat said that while Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime was dictatorial, “it does not justify the American government’s staging a military attack on the country and its people.”
Other protests are due to take place in, Mexico, Argentina and Egypt, following on from previous rallies in the United States, Australia and Britain. Baghdad itself has been the scene of several demonstrations this week, with several thousand Arab protesters burning US, British and Israeli flags during a march along a main city road Thursday. Other demonstrations are planned in the coming weeks, including one on Feb. 15 in Britain and another on Feb. 23 in Malaysia.
As the first protestors took to the streets of Europe to demonstrate against a looming US-led war on Iraq thousands more people were gearing up across the continent for a weekend of protest action. [...] The militants, who arrived to the sound of revolutionary songs broadcast by loud-speakers from a lorry, brandished placards denouncing the United States as a "terrorist" and "world policeman" and President George W. Bush as "Hitler" and his policies "fascist." [...]
Meanwhile demonstrators across Europe were girding up Saturday for a weekend of action with massive rallies expected in Britain, the key supporter of the United States' stance on Iraq. Thousands of demonstrators were expected at silent candle-lit protests in London's Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square, due to take place Saturday at 6:00 pm (1800 GMT), according to organisers. A British protest group, Voices in the Wilderness, which opposes sanctions against Iraq, was also planning to demonstrate outside the British armed forces headquarters in northwest London. A spokesman for the group said the demonstrators would be armed with telescopes and cameras and planned to take pictures of the site, in knowing contravention of British law. In Ireland, a thousand people were expected to take part in a demonstration at Shannon airport in protest at its possible use as a refuelling base for US aircraft in the event of war. [...]
In France anti-war groups issued appeals to protestors to come out onto the streets, while the opposition Socialist Party (PS) said it planned to distribute 500,000 copies of a pacifist petition. In Germany protests by young members of the ruling Socialist Party (SPD) were expected Saturday, while the radical anti-globalisation group Attac was to meet in the northern town of Goettingen over the weekend. On Sunday Spanish demonstrators were expected to march on the military base of Torrejon, which could be used by the United States in the event of a war with Iraq. Hordes of demonstrators had already marched Saturday in Japan, in rallies aimed at heading off a war on Iraq. More than 4,000 people gathered in Japan's capital Tokyo in the biggest of about 10 rallies held across the nation.
New protests by Iraqi journalists greeted UN arms experts on the 50th day of inspections, as the US deployed more troops to the Gulf, fueling anti-war demonstrations across the globe. [...] The militants denounced the United States as a "world policeman" and "terrorist", while in Vienna some 1,000 people, mostly students, demonstrated in the city center near the US embassy chanting "Stop the War." Arab countries also picked up the banner, with more than 15,000 taking to the streets of Damascus shouting "Bush, go!" and expressing support for the Palestinian uprising against Israel.
The radical Palestinian group Hamas made good on its threat to keep up suicide operations against Israel, claiming the overnight assault on a Jewish settlement that left two "martyrs" and a settler dead. The attacks came as Palestinian factions were preparing to meet in Cairo to discuss the future of their 28-month-old uprising and as Hamas said it had no intention of declaring any truce. "Two of our heroic combattants attacked an Israeli settlement near Hebron in reprisal for the murder of (Palestinian) civilians and the destruction of our houses," said a statement from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. "We will pursue our operations and the resistance for as long as the (Israeli) occupation lasts," it added. "Our martyrs will strike until we have recovered our lands and our rights."
Up to eight million people are in a "life or death" situation in North Korea with a humanitarian crisis rapidly unfolding, a UN envoy just returned from the isloated state said Saturday. Maurice Strong, sent to the North by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said it was wrong to make these people victims of a political situation. "The humanitarian crisis is a real crisis, it's not just a potential crisis," he said in Beijing after returning from a four-day mission to North Korea. "It is a crisis affecting the lives and the prospects of some six to eight million people. This crisis has not received sufficient attention. It must receive attention. It has been somewhat overshadowed with the attention of the media on the political crisis and of course the political crisis is a real crisis," he said. "(But) you cannot make the children, the ill people, the old people victims of a political crisis with which they have had nothing to do."
North Korea has relied heavily on outside donations to feed its 23-million population over the past seven years because of a failed centralized economic policy and a series of natural disasters. The United Nations' World Food Programme, which has been providing food to the most vulnerable North Koreans, was in the autumn forced to cut off aid to three million of the 6.4 million people it was feeding because of a significant reduction in donations. There are fears that donations will further dwindle in the coming months as North Korea attracts US-led condemnation over its decision last month to restart a nuclear programme and recent moves to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and expel foreign monitors.
A Russian envoy arrived in North Korea on Saturday in search of a solution to the nuclear crisis on the peninsula as a U.N. official said millions of people in the impoverished communist state were short of food. Murmurs of war underlined the seriousness of the crisis distracting Washington from Iraq as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov flew to Pyongyang from Beijing after talks with Chinese officials on how to proceed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, quoted by state media, praised his air force's defense of the country in the face of what he called moves toward war by the enemy. But Washington insisted it wanted a diplomatic solution. "We don't want to escalate any crisis. We don't want war," Secretary of State Colin Powell told Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in an interview.
Comment: I really, REALLY, have a lot of trouble dealing with this two-faced, double-standard, hypocritical stand that is evident in the different reactions to North Korea and Iraq... See the following:
Powell sez: Iraq is failing to comply with the UN Security Council resolution calling for its disarmament and is deceiving UN arms inspectors, US Secretary of State Colin Powell charged in an interview with a German newspaper. In the interview, to be published in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung paper on Saturday, Powell also stressed the importance of a report on the arms issue to be given to the Security Council on January 27, said that if the UN did not do what was required to disarm Iraq after that date, the United States reserved the right to do so.
The U.S. and its allies are going to attack Iraq. American and British warships are in the Gulf and another 35,000 American soldiers will join the allied forces there. It is immaterial that Hans Blix and his team of U.N. weapon's inspectors could not find anything in Iraq that could remotely be classified as "weapons of mass destruction." The inspectors are to submit their report by the 29th of January, but it is clear they have found nothing and will not find anything in the remaining few days. So where does that leave President Bush and his men? They will go ahead and attack Iraq anyway.
Iraq has done all it could to avert this war. On the other hand, the U.S. has gone to ludicrous extents to attack Iraq. Saddam's desperation could be gauged by the fact that he invited the CIA to come and inspect if there were any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! Most people, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, U.N. chief Kofi Annan, Bishop Desmond Tutu and so many other personalities from all walks of life have condemned the way the U.S. has gone about the whole affair. President Bush remains unfazed.
The crisis in North Korea, one would have thought, might make Bush shift focus, considering the fact that 37,000 American troops are stationed in the Korean peninsula. Their safety is the responsibility of the American leadership. With a Quixotic ruler in Pyongyang, one would have expected the American President to be more serious about the North Korean threat. President Bush ruled out any military initiative in Korea and called for "diplomatic efforts" to diffuse the situation there.
Here in the Indian subcontinent, there are two nuclear weapon states, Pakistan and India. Pakistan's nuclear capabilities are rather limited and their technology, too, seems to be borrowed from their time-honored friend, China. India, on the other hand, is a nuclear weapon state in its own right. The Pokharan tests in 1998 were quite advanced technologically, and India also tested small hydrogen bombs at that time. India has recently tested an Agni II missile that has a range of 2000 kilometers. Agni I, with a strike capability of 700-800 kilometers, was tested sometime earlier and is ready for induction in the Indian army. India now plans to test fire Agni III with a range of 3000 to 5000 kilometers sometime later this year. It is clear that Agni III is being tested with the Chinese threat in mind. An Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile is next on the anvil. [...]
The West, including the U.S., has been watching the developments in South Asia. What India and Pakistan have done with their nuclear weapon programs could not have gone unnoticed in Washington. But to the United States, India and Pakistan can go ahead and declare themselves nuclear powers while a nation in the Gulf that has tottered along all these years and has had sanctions imposed must be punished with war. The contrast could not be more glaring. But then India does not have oil while the Iraqi people are unfortunate enough to be sitting on the world's second largest oil reserve. Must not they be punished for what they have? [...]
The latest American efforts to build missile interceptors, famously called the Star Wars program, smacks of dualism of the worst kind. The U.S. can have the forbidden nuclear weapons and can go on and develop other more sophisticated weapons while the Iraqi's must be punished even if they show an inclination towards such technology. The latest American offer of a $1 million prize to develop robot warfare makes one wonder whether there is any justice in this mad, mad world.
Saddam Hussein sez: "...the Mongols of our age [will] commit suicide at [our] gates," referring to the Mongol armies who sacked the Iraqi capital in 1258 ending the Abbasid Caliphate.
Comment: If certain very ancient prophecies hold true, Saddam may not be wrong... something to think about. As the C's have noted:
(T) Is the government planning to stage an invasion by aliens to
cause the populace of the world to go into such a fear state that
they will accept total control and domination?
We notice, of course, that the question was about staging an "alien invasion." In the real events, the government has staged a "terrorist invasion" with the 9-11 events. Those who have been paying attention do know that there are numerous "glitches" in the "visual effects" of the 9-11 event, most particularly the attack on the Pentagon. I believe that this response from the C's may very well apply to the present situation. Something to think about in terms of reasons 2 and 3.
South Asia's worst winter in decades has killed a further 71 people, taking the death toll to more than 1,250 as the region's homeless struggled to keep warm in near freezing temperatures. Officials, speaking on Saturday, said the cold snap was the worst in north India since the 1960s and forecast temperatures there would remain low for several days. They said temperatures would rise in neighboring Bangladesh before falling again. The cold spell in northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh started around Christmas and has disrupted road, rail and air traffic across the region. Authorities in India have organized bonfires in the streets to keep the homeless warm. Indian weather official R.K. Verma said the cold spell was the worst since 1962 and at least two towns had recorded temperatures of 32 degrees.
Stocks didn't take kindly to news Thursday that U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq had found empty chemical warheads in "excellent condition." The market, which had traded in the green for much of the morning slipped decidedly into the red in the afternoon as investors worried about the possibility of impending war. But other markets showed an opposite reaction to the news. Gold, a traditional safe haven during times of trouble, rose to its highest level in six years. Oil rose to its best level on the New York Mercantile Exchange since Nov. 2000. And Saddam futures for March delivery, which had been posting declines in recent sessions, spiked nearly 50 percent higher, to 44 from 30.
Yes, Saddam futures -- a futures contract based on the notion that the Iraqi leader doesn't have much of one. You think Saddam Hussein will be out as his country's president by Mar. 31, you can buy a March contract. If you think he'll hang on a bit longer, you can buy the pricier June contract. Administered by Dublin-based Tradesports.com , the Saddam contracts are one of the latest entries in the growing market for all-or-nothing futures, in which, through the trading of contracts, participants place odds on the chances of an event happening. The only restriction is that an event's outcome be quantifiable and that there be enough interest to make a market. Will John Kerry be the Democratic nominee for President, will "Chicago" win an Oscar, will the U.S. unemployment rate rise above 7 percent by year end -- all are contracts that are being traded.
A 66-year-old woman taking her dogs for a walk ended up in jail for 90 minutes after getting into a dispute with a patrol officer. She was charged with walking in the street, assault on a police officer and obstructing official business. She was released on her own recognizance.
"WITHOUT ANY ANNOUNCEMENT BY ANYONE ANYWHERE - DID THE WHOLE WORLD GO TO SLEEP, OR INTO A COMA, ONE DAY, A FEW, OR MANY YEARS AGO? Does anyone feel just about everyone they know is acting almost completely dead? I do. But, have YOU noticed? Have you? DO YOU FIND THIS DISTURBING? - "We must do what we conceive to be the right thing and not bother our heads or burden our souls with whether we will be successful. Because if we don’t do the right thing, we will be doing the wrong thing and we will just be a part of the disease and not a part of the cure." (E. F. Schumacher - Author of 'Small Is Beautiful')
Texas Tech Plague Vials Mystery Deepens - * A 25 year expert "accidently?" destroys 30 vials of plague? * This expert, PhD, then panics and reports them 'missing'? * Then, he turns around and supplies the FBI with handwritten note stating that the vials were destroyed and he lied about them missing? * Then, he goes missing and then is arrested and held without bond? Are we being sold a bill of goods or what? Few know that Texas Tech has NATO funding...and funding from the murky Howard Hughes Medical Institute...and SUBCCOM military biochem funding and Bush affiliation. So, what is happening for real?
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