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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--

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity [Gurdjieff]

Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." [Cassiopaea, 09-28-02]


AlltheWeb indexes over 2.1 billion web pages, 118 million multimedia files, 132 million FTP files, two million MP3s, 15 million PDF files and supports 49 languages, making it one of the largest search engines available to search enthusiasts. AlltheWeb provides the freshest information because we update our index every 7 to 11 days and index up to 800 news stories per minute from 3,000 news sources.

Signs of the Times

Ark's Jokes

The maker of this flash presentation deserves a medal.

Pentagoon: I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag

International Action Center

United for Peace

Not In Our Name

Iraq Peace Team

Nonviolent Peaceforce Canada

Christian Peacemaker Team

Friends Peace Teams

End The War

Global Nonviolent Peace Force

Earthquake bulletins

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January 23, 2003

Common Dreams Newscenter ~ Go Here to see Photos of the HUGE Crowds on Jan 18 ~ Go Here to see who's leading George Bush around by the nose!

AC - 130 Gunship Targeting video - Afghanistan - large file, 5 mega - you must right click on the link to download the file. Keep in mind that the men doing the bombing have NO idea who they are killing - whether they are innocent civilians or not. While watching this, just imagine yourself, your family, your friends in the picture.

USAF Fact Sheet AC-130H/U Gunship

January 23, 2003

The message from the Bush camp: 'It's war within weeks' - President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London. The US president is "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address on Tuesday. "The pressure comes from President Bush and it is felt all the way down," a European official said. "They're talking about weeks, not months. Months is a banned word now."

The chief White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, yesterday brushed off mounting anti-war feeling across Europe, led by France. It was "entirely possible that France won't be on the line", he said, adding that Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain and "virtually all of the eastern European countries" would provide support. Mr Powell echoed this, saying: "I don't think we will have to worry about going it alone."

The impatience within the White House for action against Iraq came on a day in which the cracks in the international coalition against Iraq widened. China and Russia joined France and Germany in warning the US against precipitate action and calling for Washington to work within the UN. The German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, revealed the extent of European anger over the US position when he told Washington to "cool down". The Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, said: "Russia deems that there is no evidence that would justify a war in Iraq." But Mr Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, ratcheted up the rhetoric by claiming that Iraqi scientists were at risk of death. "We know from multiple sources that Saddam has ordered that any scientists who cooperate during interviews will be killed, as well as their families," he said.

Comment: Yeah, well I reckon that the stories about the Iraqi scientists under threat of death is a lot like the stories about the incubators before the last Gulf War - see below...

Selling A War - If you followed the first Gulf War you remember the infamous story of how Iraqi soldiers removed babies from incubators in Kuwait city; left them to die and shipped the incubators back to Iraq. This was front page news in every newspaper in the U.S. and the lead story on every major news station as the public was deciding whether to support going to war.

This story was repeated by President Bush senior in a number of speeches saying that such "ghastly atrocities," were like "Hitler revisited."

There is only one problem with this story. It never happened! It was a complete fabrication! Months after the war ended TV Guide reported in Feb., 1992 that both 20/20 and Sixty Minutes interviewed doctors in Kuwait and determined no such incident ever happened. Bush Senior LIED.

When the invasion of Kuwait took place in August, 1990 US public opinion was not predisposed to the government of Kuwait. Only a few weeks before Amnesty International accused the government of Kuwait of jailing dozens of dissidents and torturing them without trial. To help build support for the war "Citizens for a Free Kuwait," which was the Kuwait government in exile, hired the Washington based public relations of Hill and Knowlton for $10.7 million to devise a campaign to win support for the war.

The CEO of H & K at the time, Craig Fuller, had access to the power elite in Washington, as he had served as the President’s chief of staff when Bush was Vice President under President Reagan.

One aspect of their campaign was to coach a young woman Nayirah, who appeared Oct. 10, 1990 in front of a Congressional committee. She testified to the committee that she saw Iraqi soldiers come into a hospital, remove babies from incubators and leave them "on the cold floor to die."

It later came out long after the war was over that she was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States and hadn’t actually seen the incident she described taking place - an incident which was later proven to be a fabrication. Hill & Knowlton also coached a team of witnesses who appeared a few weeks later at the United Nations about atrocities in Iraq.

Another example from the first Gulf war, according to an article in the Christian Science Monitor was a report by Pentagon officials, citing top-secret satellite images. Pentagon officials estimated that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border of Saudi Arabia, threatening the major supplier of oil for the US.

The St. Petersburg Times in Florida acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time which showed no Iraqi troops visible near the Saudi border - just empty desert.

Jean Heller, the Times Journalist who broke the story asked Secretary of Defense Cheney (now Vice President) for evidence refuting the Times photos, offering to hold the story if proven wrong. The official response: "Trust Us." To this day the photos cited by Pentagon officials remain classified.

In a September 7, 2002 news conference President Bush said that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon citing a report from The International Atomic Energy Agency.

On Friday, Sept. 27, in a news interview Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA’s chief spokesman said, "There’s never been a report like that issued from this agency."

When questioned, the White House said the President was referring to a 1991 IAEA report.

Mr. Gwozdecky said no such report was ever issued by IAEA in 1991. "I don’t know where they have determined that Iraq has retained this much weaponization capability because when we left in December 1998 we had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear-weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment," he said. Bush Junior LIED. [...]

As citizens of the world’s most powerful country we have an obligation to critically examine the position of our government regarding the merits of going to war and each come to our own conclusion. If we are to be true to those who die defending our freedom this is our patriotic responsibility.
Peter Wirth CEO of GW Associates, a Syracuse public relations firm

White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer Tuesday, January 21, 2003 - 12:30 PM

Mokhiber: Ari, UPI reported last week that Prime Minister Sharon of Israel has given the green light to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, to engage in targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries. The report says that Mossad has in the past engaged in assassinations in Belgium, Norway, and other European countries, but never in the United States. Is the administration aware of this new Israeli policy and has the administration agreed to it?

Ari Fleischer: That's the first I've heard of it, so I have no comment to offer on it.

Mokhiber: Could we get comment from you?

Ari Fleischer: I'll see if there is something on it.

Comment: If this is the first Ari Fleischer has heard about the report that has raced around the world, he needs to step down from his post as he is totally incompetent.

Mokhiber: You and the President have repeatedly said that Saddam Hussein gassed his own people. The biggest such attack was in Halabja in March 1988, where some 6,800 Kurds were killed. Last week, in an article in the International Herald Tribune, Joost Hiltermann writes that while it was Iraq that carried out the attack, the United States at the time, fully aware that it was Iraq, accused Iran. This was apparently part of the U.S. tilt toward Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. The tilt included billions of dollars in loan guarantees. Sensing he had carte blanche, Saddam escalated his resort to gas warfare -- graduating to ever more lethal agents. So, you and the President have said that Saddam has repeatedly gassed his own people. Why do you leave out the part that the United States in effect gave Saddam the green light?

Ari Fleischer: Russell, I speak for President George W. Bush in the year 2003. If you have a question about statements that were purportedly made by the administration in 1988, you need to address those somewhere other than this White House. I can't speak for that. I don't know if it is accurate, inaccurate, but you have all the means to ask those questions yourself.

Comment: Notice how Ari has completely weasled out of the question. The statements made by Ari Fleischer and George Bush are that "Saddam Hussein gassed his own people." If Fleischer and Bush are both unaware of the historical context of these purported events, again, they are incompetent in their positions and ought to step down or be impeached. Don't miss the other priceless question and answer sessions with Ari Fleischer on the above linked site. They are listed to the right of the page.

We will not be swayed by public opinion on Iraq, Australian PM says - Prime Minister John Howard stepped up efforts to sway public opinion behind his decision to commit troops to a US-led war on Iraq, as divisions deepened over Australia's role. Just 24 hours after he farewelled part of the Australian contingent to the Persian Gulf, he made clear Friday he would listen to the voters but would not ultimately bow to public opinion on the issue. "I will weigh public opinion, I will listen to the public," Howard said in a round of radio interviews. "In the end, however, on this as on other issues such as the introduction of a new tax system and a number of other things, I won't just be swayed by the latest opinion poll." Comment: Now just a minute here! What happened to the idea that the government derives its powers from the people????

Rumsfeld Offends Allies, Members of Congress - Rumsfeld offended NATO allies France and Germany this week and Vietnam veterans earlier this month. While the defense secretary said he was sorry some veterans "misinterpreted" his voicing disdain for draftees' contributions, he's not backing down on comments calling France and Germany part of "old Europe" and "a problem" in their opposition to military action in Iraq.

French Finance Minister Francis Mer said he was "profoundly vexed" by Rumsfeld's remarks. "Our position is not a problem, it is a constructive contribution," German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said. A Republican senator joined the fray Thursday, saying the United States must assure the world it is patient and responsible. "You don't do that with glancing blow, condescending remarks," said Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Alienating important allies is a bad idea, especially when the United States appears to be on the brink of war, said Ivo Daalder, a former National Security Council member in the Clinton administration.

"I think this is a Rumsfeldian moment in which he once again shows his true colors, which is a fundamental belief that allies don't matter," Daalder said. "The only ones that matter are those countries that completely agree with what the United States says and does."

Bush Threatens France and Germany- President George W Bush made clear his growing exasperation with wavering allies last night, warning countries such as France and Germany that they would be "held to account" if they did not back tough action to disarm Saddam Hussein. - In his strongest language to date, he poured scorn on calls for United Nations inspections to be extended, saying the Iraqi leader merely wanted more time "so he can give the so-called inspectors more runaround". Mr Bush said: "It's time for us to hold the world to account, and for Saddam to be held to account." - His main target appeared to be France and Germany which yesterday set themselves adamantly at odds with US and British policy on Iraq.

World opinion moves against Bush - Growing worldwide opposition to a war on Iraq is putting the pressure on the US administration. Last weekend's well-supported demonstrations in cities as diverse and far apart as Tokyo, Islamabad, Damascus, Moscow, Washington and San Francisco are indicative of the gathering power and reach of the anti-war movement. For every person who took to the streets, there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands, who share their concerns. As the crisis appears to move towards some sort of denouement, the size and potency of this international resistance can be expected to grow. -

The rising tide of anti-war sentiment has produced some remarkable recent poll findings in western Europe. Three out of four Germans, for example, say that they consider President Bush to be a greater danger than Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. As is also the case in France, three out of four of those polled in Germany say that they are opposed to a war in Iraq, even if it is specifically authorised by the UN security council.

In Spain and Italy, majorities against war are over 60%, despite the expressed support for US policy of the countries' respective leaders, Jose Maria Aznar and Silvio Berlusconi. These largely Catholic countries will have listened to the Pope's recent denunciation of war as a "defeat for humanity".

Yet for all this, perhaps the biggest turnaround in opinion is taking place in the US itself. Last summer, and throughout early autumn, many Americans complained that they were opposed to President Bush's plans but that their views were not being heard by the administration, Congress or the mainstream media. They felt that they were talking into a vacuum, said there was no debate on the issue and feared being branded "unpatriotic" if they questioned their government's strategy.

The change since then has been startling. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that American grassroots support for the Bush administration's policy on Iraq is falling steadily. Seven out of 10 Americans want the UN inspectors to be given more time to do their job, according to the findings. They therefore oppose Mr Bush's anticipated attempt to curtail or cancel the inspections prior to launching military action. As in Britain, this shift comes despite a daily diet of self-justifying speeches by the government, and a stream of new charges being levelled against Iraq. It is also occurring in the context of a gradual fall, as evidenced by other polls, in Mr Bush's overall approval rating. Confidence in his handling of the domestic economy is also dwindling, and it seems likely that these trends are connected.

For those opposed to war, this is all very jolly. But the key question remains: will it actually make any difference? A few weeks ago, the answer might have been a gloomy no. But now the picture has become more confused. Responding to the concerns expressed by its people, the French government is currently trying to delay, at least for a few weeks, the onset of hostilities. It is backed in this aim by Germany, Greece and others - not an unpowerful alliance. France is also attempting to create a united EU position against an invasion. Following France's lead, and perhaps reading the international public mood, veto-wielding China and Russia have called for an indefinite continuation of weapons inspections.

And what of President Bush? Is there any sign that the pressure of growing public disapproval is telling on him? He certainly appears to be more than usually grumpy, and keeps saying that his patience with Iraq is running out. But perhaps Mr Bush is beginning to wonder whether US voters are running out of patience with him. He wants to bring down President Saddam. He wants to vanquish his other perceived "rogue state" foes, such as Kim Jong-il in North Korea. He wants to win his "war on terror" at almost any cost, continuing to play the role of war president. It has worked for him so far.

But there is one price that Mr Bush will not pay, because there is one thing he wants more than anything else: a second term in office. He is unlikely to do anything to jeopardise that ambition, and up until now has seemed to think that starting a full-scale war in the Middle East, with all its potentially bloody consequences for Americans and others, would help him win another four years in power. But perhaps even he is starting to worry that war, along with rising oil prices, unemployment, public and private debt and a faltering economy, could have the very opposite effect. Perhaps those around him, like campaign adviser Karl Rove, are worrying even more.

It remains unlikely that President Bush will back off now. But if he does, it would truly be a triumph for democracy in the very best sense of the word - and it would make all those street demonstrations worthwhile.

Comment: Indeed, it is unlikely that Bush will back off now and lose face. What is more likely is that there will be a new, fraudulent, "terrorist attack" engineered to get everybody back in the corral.

A little experiment with google "adwords." Jan. 22 - Cassiopaea created an ad that said: As The World Burns Today's edition, brought to you by the Bush Junta; a cast of billions. - with a direct link to the signs page here. KEYWORD(S): iraq, saddam, george bush

Today, we received an email from google saying: "Action taken: Disapproved Issue(s): Keywords too General ~SUGGESTIONS: -> Keywords: We suggest that you try running on keywords such as "metaphysics", "quantum physics", "conspiracy", "conspiracies".

This means, of course, that anyone searching on information about George Bush or Saddam or Iraq must not ever be exposed to anything but the Mass Media spin... ???

Update on "google experiment" - Jan 23 - I wrote a letter to google about the above saying:


Regarding [your email], I would like to beg to differ. The page in question is a news page that covers the world news of the day from multiple news wires, newpapers, magazines, etc. In short, it is chiefly concerned with the current events of the day, of which George Bush, Saddam Hussein, and Iraq are the centerpieces. I would very much appreciate it if you would restore the keywords as given since they were selected precisely because they are the primary subjects of the page.
Thank you,

This morning, I received TWO emails from google. The first one was in response to my email of last night:

Our records indicate that your disapproved keywords were generating a large number of impressions on Google and our advertising partners, but yielding only a few clicks. These keywords were decreasing the performance of your ad campaign. The more closely your ad relates to your keywords, the more likely a user is to click on your ad. This not only increases the number of potential customers reaching your site, but it also increases your clickthrough rate (CTR), and therefore reduces the CPC required to maintain your position.

I suggest you use multiword, specific keywords, and remove singular and/or general keywords. For example, you may want to try: George Bush news *Saddam Hussein news *Iraq news *Iraq news stories *current affairs articles

Please feel free to email us at if you have additional questions or concerns. Thanks again for your message. We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.

This was followed immediately by a second email below:

Hello Laura,
Thank you for advertising with Google AdWords. Our goal is to help you create high-impact advertising that reaches your target audience and maximizes your investment.

After reviewing your account, I have found that one or more of your ads or keywords does not meet our guidelines. These results are outlined in the report below.

AD TEXT: As The World Burns Today's edition, brought to you by the Bush Junta; a cast of billions.

Action taken: Suspended - Pending Revision

Issue(s): Site Under Construction: We require your 'Destination URL' to link to an actual web page with content relevant to your ad. When your site is under construction, you must pause your Ad Group(s) or link to a page on your site that is not under construction.

I responded to the above as follows:

"The site is not "under construction." It is a dynamic page of current events news that changes daily. Thank you for your comments, however. I believe they are newsworthy." Here is the exact text and links from the ad itself:

As The World Burns - Today's edition, brought to you by - the Bush Junta; a cast of billions. - -

The first url is the "display url" and only 35 characters are allowed. The second is the "destination" url, which is the page to which the reader is taken by clicking.


Google censoring web content - Researchers at the highly-respected Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University have found that the company is actively removing sites from its database, and that this censorship is going unnoticed. - Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman have built up a reputation for their careful analysis of the ways in which web content is filtered, censored and controlled. They have looked in detail at the practices of national governments, specifically China and Saudi Arabia, and provided lots of useful information for those of us who want to promote freedom of speech both online and offline. -

Their latest paper deals with the differences between the results returned when searching, the US/world version of the site, the French site at and the German site at -

They have discovered over one hundred sites which can be found by searchers in the US but not by those in Germany or France. - Responding to the discovery, Google spokesman Nate Tyler said on tech news programme ZDNN that the sites were removed to avoid the possibility of legal action being taken against the company, and that each site was removed only after a specific complaint from the government of the country concerned. - [...]

On first sight this seems perfectly reasonable - after all, Google isn't a public service but a private company trying to make money out of its technology and database, and it has no obligation to index everything. It certainly has a duty to its owners (it's a privately held company) to stay out of legal battles with governments, since they can be pretty expensive. -

Unfortunately things are not that simple, and the censorship of the French and German versions of the Google database is a clear demonstration of just what is wrong with internet regulation today. What is happening is that a government is saying to Google: 'we don't like that website - so drop it from your database' and the company is acquiescing.

The people running the website aren't told. The people looking for the website aren't told - they aren't even told that this policy exists. The rest of us aren't being told either - Google's Nate Tyler said clearly that 'as a matter of company policy we do not provide specific details about why or when we removed any one particular site from our index.'

The result is that one of the web's most important tools is being deliberately broken at the request of governments, with no publicity, no legal review and no court orders. [...]

The problem is not that content is being censored - that is inevitable and in many cases desirable. The problem is not that content is being censored - that is inevitable and in many cases desirable. I agree with our current laws against child pornography and have no difficulty at all endorsing the view that these sites should not be allowed online.

The problem is that Google itself is deciding what should be censored and that its motives are entirely commercial, making it possible for government agencies to influence it without having to go through due process or defend their requests in public. Again we suggest that it is the people who can guide policy of public interests by their reactions.

Comment: In this case, as a matter of principle, perhaps ditching google would be a good idea. Just use All the Web and bookmark it for all future web searches. Gradually, as the word spreads, google will find itself being "censored."

State prosecutors have found a tray of unopened absentee ballots that the Broward County elections office never counted during the September primary, sources told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Wednesday. The ballots were postmarked as early as a week before the election and appeared to contain all the necessary information to have been deemed valid votes, the sources said. Prosecutors found about 100 ballots in a mail tray inside a file cabinet at Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant's Fort Lauderdale office during a search late Tuesday afternoon. County officials were stunned by the discovery and said it would likely be a key piece of evidence in the ongoing investigation of Oliphant. It also could renew pressure on Gov. Jeb Bush to remove Oliphant because he said last week that he would do so only if he is presented with clear evidence of misconduct. - Many of Oliphant's comments in the report were directed at the ATM-style voting machinery that the county purchased last year to replace the old punch-card ballots. She alleged that the county had encountered widespread problems with the machines, that the machines were to blame for her cost overruns and that other counties also had problems. "This equipment vendor has done an impressive job in shifting blame and responsibility from themselves," she wrote. Writing about the extra money she said she had to spend because of the equipment, she said: "Although it is true we exceeded our [fiscal year] 2001-2002 budget, I stand behind the decisions this office made." - Oliphant went on the offensive against commissioners in the report. She blamed the County Commission for underfunding her office, cutting her budget, causing chaos by changing precinct lines and refusing to pay for her voter outreach program. "Too many changes occurred since I took office and the staffing limit put upon this organization by the commission doesn't allow me to properly do my job as supervisor of elections," Oliphant wrote. She added that the county had "cut budgets and refused services" only to end up "condemning the supervisor for necessary cost overruns." She wants to hire 21 new employees.

The Republican Axis of Evil: Ashcroft, Rehnquist, Bush, Cheney & DeLay - In 2000, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lost the Presidential election, both nationally and in Florida. But five Republican "justices" on the U.S. Supreme Court declared Bush the winner by throwing out 175,000 uncounted Florida votes. This was a crime against Democracy. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have illegally occupied the White House since January 20, 2001, and have repeatedly failed to carry out their oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

~ Planned to invade Iraq - even conquer the Middle East - without a Congressional Declaration of War as required by the Constitution, in violation of the UN charter
~ Allowed September 11 terrorist attack to succeed by ignoring numerous warnings and failing to take precautions against hijackings
~ Threatened seven nations with nuclear war
~ Promised America "perpetual war"
~ Let Osama Bin Laden escape from Afghanistan
~ Failed to catch the US weapons scientist responsible for the Anthrax terrorist attacks
~ Attemped military coup d'etat to overthrow Venezuela's democratically-elected president
~ Enacted an unaffordable tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and then lied about its effect on federal budget deficits
~ Returned to massive budget deficits by cutting taxes for the rich
~ Raided Social Security Trust Fund despite his repeated promises that he would not do so
~ Cut health care despite firm promises not to do so Made global warming worse by opposing conservation and promoting oil drilling
~ Undermined efforts to protect clean air, water, and national parks
~ Sabotaged key environmental and arms control treaties
~ Helped Enron steal billions from California consumers
~ Created a secret Energy Task Force under Dick Cheney, and refused to comply laws requiring disclosure of its activities
~ Established an unconstitutional shadow government without notifying any Democrats
~ Appointed business executives who engaged in massive fraud to top positions - including Dick Cheney (Halliburton) and Tom White (Enron)
~ Appointed Iran-contra criminals to top positions, including Elliot Abrams and John Poindexter
~ Detained nearly 1200 people without charges in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments
~ Authorized government surveillance without warrants, including telephone wiretapping and e-mail interception
~ Appointed right-wing judges who oppose the Bill of Rights

The Constitution says:

Article I Section 2: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Article I Section 3: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.
Article II Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article III Section 1: The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour

THE ATTACKS OF 11 SEPTEMBER WHO PROFITS FROM THE CRIME? - A terrifying conclusion: the official version is a lie. Whence the agonising questions: what caused the explosion that went off at the Pentagon and led to one hundred and twenty-five deaths? What became of American Airlines Flight 77 and its sixty-four passengers? - And above all, why lie? Of what secret is this bloody con trick the smokescreen? - What “conspiracy” at the highest summit of the State lies hidden behind this «phantom plane» which did indeed exist, but which was diverted from its path… in what direction? - The clearly established fact of a first deception at Washington leads one to ask questions about the attacks in New York. The entire world looked on horrified, their eyes riveted to the television screen. Surely no deception was possible here? And yet…

How explain that an article warning of an imminent terrorist attack by Osama bin Laden appeared on the internet site of the New York Times on 9 September, but not in the paper edition, and was then withdrawn from the site to avoid embarrassing questions?

How explain that two employees of the Israeli-American firm, Odigo, with offices in the Twin Towers, received an email warning of an imminent terrorist attack two hours before it took place?

How is it that with a budget of more than 30 billion dollars devoted to the intelligence service, not one of the main American agencies managed to detect the imminent threat: neither the FBI nor the CIA nor the NSA (National Security Agency)? Are we dealing with an enormous breakdown or a deliberate decision to remain passive even while keeping highly alert?

A first clue in favour of this last hypothesis is provided by the strange confession of George Bush on 4 December 2001, relating how he watched a live television broadcast of the first crash into the World Trade Centre:

«I was in Florida. And my Chief of Staff, Andy Card – actually, I was in a classroom talking about a reading programme that works. I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower – the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly myself, and I said, well, there’s one terrible pilot. I said, it must have been a horrible accident But I was whisked off there, I didn’t have much time to think about it. And I was sitting in the classroom [busy for half an hour, specifies Emmanuel Ratier, reading a book about goats, which is plainly staggering after the first impact!], and Andy Card, my Chief of Staff, who is sitting over here, walked in and said, “A second plane has hit the tower. America is under attack.”»

«It is one of two things, comments Ratier: either the president of the most powerful country in the world had no idea what he was talking about despite all the details, or he was fully informed of the attack about to take place and watched it on a private television circuit.» For there was no reason for a television network to film the Twin Towers in a live broadcast at the time of the first attack. The pictures of this were taken by amateurs and were broadcast by the television networks well after the president had left the school he was at. «They were, therefore, secret pictures, concludes Meyssan, broadcast live in the security communication room installed in the school ready for his visit.»

But «who profits from the crime?»

The cumulative force of all the evidence leaves no place for doubt. «The existence of a conspiracy within the US Armed Forces to perpetrate the attacks of 11 September.

The famous video of bin Laden’s “confessions” claiming responsibility for the crash on the Pentagon, confirms the Abbé de Nantes’ intuitions according to which Bush was in communication with bin Laden. They have spared one another by virtue of an agreement to wage a «phoney war»; everything passes off as if the two protagonists were bound by a pact of non-aggression preventing them from directly attacking one another (Resurrection no 11, November 2001, p. 3).

If bin Laden accredited the lie of the «phantom Pentagon plane», it is because he effectively remains, even today, the secret ally of the United States.

On 7 October 2001, war broke out. Not only the air raids on Kabul, but the war of press releases. Bush against bin Laden.

«Victory in Afghanistan» is supposed to have been won, but the war continues. Against whom? Against «terrorism». What is «terrorism»? It is not a State, nor an organisation, nor a doctrine, but a mode of action, observes Meyssan. The expression “War on terrorism” makes no more sense than “War on war”. At a concrete level, George Tenet, director of the CIA, presented Bush on 15 September 2001 with a «Worldwide Attack Matrix». Approved by Rumsfeld, this secret war has been launched against anything that stands in the way of the absolute supremacy which the United States is on the way to exercising over the entire universe.

Was the war in Afghanistan a reprisal for the attacks of 11 September? Or were these attacks a windfall for the people who had already planned this war a long time back?     

Rereading the message which President George W Bush addressed to his people on the evening of 11 September, one might think that the war in Afghanistan was an act of legitimate defence:     

«America was targeted for attack because she is the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw Evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America», etc.     

It is all there, even, and above all, an appeal to the Bible, with a quotation from Psalm 23: «Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.» God is with America, as He was with David… And too bad if appearances make her look more like Goliath…

The day afterwards, 12 September, in the course of a press conference, President Bush preached the Crusade of the democracies: «The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack […]. This enemy attacked not just our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world.» And the president declared his determination: «We will rally the world.» Whether they like it or not.

In fact the Anglo-American forces, were already in place well before the attacks. From the beginning of September they were deployed on “manoeuvres” in the Sea of Oman, ready to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban regime. As if by chance… The only thing missing was the casus belli: «The United States has always been reluctant to take the initiative in a war, recalls Thierry Meyssan. In the past, they have always worked hard to present their military engagements as legitimate reprisals. With the attacks of 11 September, they found a perfect opportunity…»

Found or created? Old Henry Kissinger answered this question when, immediately after the president’s televised speech, he declared that he expected from the government «a systematic response» to the attacks of 11 September «which, one hopes, will end the way that the attack on Pearl Harbour ended – with the destruction of the system that is responsible for it. That system is a network of terrorist organisations sheltered in capitals of certain countries.»

That same day, the United Nations Security Council recognised the USA’s right to violate the sovereignty of States which protect the agents of attacks, in order to arrest these terrorists and arraign them before international justice (Resolution 1368).

«Posing as the spiritual leader of America and the civilised world», writes Meyssan, President Bush decreed that Friday 14 September 2001 should be a National Day of Prayer and Commemoration for the victims of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. President Bush ascended the pulpit and pronounced a «homily» in the presence of a cardinal, a rabbi and an imam: «Our responsibility to History is clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of Evil.» How? Through implacable revenge: «Our nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger.»

«By manipulating religious sentiment, the American government has not only sacralized the victims of the attacks but also its own version of the facts. Henceforth, throughout the world, any contestation of the official truth will be considered as a sacrilege.» (Thierry Meyssan, p. 87) The falsehood is there in all its enormity, not Meyssan’s lie, but that of Bush, for «no plane crashed into the Pentagon.»

The ultimatum addressed by President Bush to the Taliban on 20 September before a full session of Congress, was but the first stage of a «war on terrorism» which, little by little, will lead to conferring on the president full powers… over the world! The special law, the USA PATRIOT Act, adopted by Congress after three weeks of debate, abolishes fundamental freedoms for a period of four years in the land of Human Rights!

Numerous measures were taken to strengthen the secret-défense: «President George Bush personally contacted Congress leaders to ask them not to endanger national security by creating a commission of inquiry into the events of 11 September. To save face as well as to turn the page, parliamentarians decided instead to create a commission of inquiry… into the measures taken since 11 September to prevent further terrorist activities.»

Ratier notes with astonishment that there exist no video recordings or photographs of the Pentagon crash, although the Pentagon is visited every day by thousands of tourists, cameras and video-recorders slung across their shoulders. The FBI seized the video films from a hotel and a service station, both situated right next to the Pentagon, whose cameras may have contained images of the plane landing (or on the contrary shown that no plane ever did land…)

Not one of the eight black boxes (two per plane) are of any use, it would appear, although they are designed to withstand crashes and fires: «We do not know what was said in the cockpits either by the crew members or by the hijackers.» (the FBI spokesman to CNN) What is known, on the other hand, is that the four planes all followed routes very different from their flight plans. According to the procedures of the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency), as soon as a plane deviates from the corridor assigned it, the agency immediately attempts to make contact with the pilots. Should this not succeed, the alarm is sounded and the entire regional airspace is placed under surveillance. It appears that the transponders were turned off. Yet another reason to activate the emergency procedures. For the plane does not disappear from the radar screens; these continue to follow its trajectory, and the alarm is raised. Now, on 11 September, the fighter planes remained grounded.


The expression is Donald Rumsfeld’s. It can be read in a report issued on 11 January 2001 by the commission he headed, responsible for evaluating the organisation and planning of the security of the United States in matters of space: «History is replete with instances in which warning signs were ignored and change resisted until an external, “improbable” event forced resistant bureaucracies to take action. The question is whether the US will be wise enough to act responsibly and soon enough to reduce US space vulnerability. Or whether, as in the past, a disabling attack against the country and its people – a “Space Pearl Harbour” – will be the only event able to galvanize the nation and cause the US government to act.»

Is Rumsfeld a prophet? On 11 January 2001, eight months before the attacks of 11 September, he held up the threat of suicide planes, like those of the Japanese air force in 1941, sixty years earlier, as «the only event able to galvanize the nation and cause the US government to act». Did you say: Pearl Harbour? In other words: suicide planes? The man is a prophet! Or else, it was he who created the event…

Why «space»? Because, according to the report of the Rumsfeld Commission, “space” is the new theatre of operations – distinct from that of the air – which the United States must appropriate.

In a press conference given at the Pentagon at the end of the afternoon of 11 September, in the presence of the Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senatorial Commission for Defence, Rumsfeld took Democrat Senator Carl Levin to task:     

«You and other Democrats in Congress have voiced fear that you simply don’t have enough money for the large increase in defence that the Pentagon is seeking, especially for missile defence, and you fear that you’ll have to dip into the Social Security funds to pay for it. Does this sort of thing convince you that an emergency exists in this country to increase defence spending, to dip into Social Security, if necessary, to pay for defence spending – increase defence spending?»

For the last twenty-five years, Abbé de Nantes has repeatedly sounded this warning: «The Free World, the West, Christendom, call it what you like, this vast worldwide reality under the leadership of the USA is being betrayed, surrendered and dismantled by the USA itself at its highest echelons of power.» (French CRC no 100, December 1975, page 11) He has denounced by name the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), a branch of international high finance which aims to control American politics and to enslave France through the intermediary of Europe (French CRC no 112, December 1976, p. 5-6), and also the Trilateral Commission and its mastermind Zbigniew Brzezinski (French CRC no 122, October 1977, and passim). And again in December 1982, he was under no illusion when he wrote: «But no one will tell the truth.» (French CRC no 184, p. 7-8)

And now that Yugoslavia is in its death throes, whose turn is it next? France’s? «The Americans have been betraying France since 1918, wrote the former ambassador Albert Chambon. Since 1918 they have been seeking to suppress the French nation and to create a new world order which will do away with the ancient nations and France in the first place.» (quoted in the English CRC no 328, p. 12)

Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Parade Magazine - Friday, Oct. 12, 2001
Q: This is a question that's been asked by many Americans, but especially by the widows of September 11th. How were we so asleep at the switch? How did a war targeting civilians arrive on our homeland with seemingly no warning?

Rumsfeld: There were lots of warnings. The intelligence information that we get, it sometimes runs into the hundreds of alerts or pieces of intelligence a week. One looks at the worldwide, it's thousands. And the task is to sort through it and see what you can find. And as you find things, the law enforcement officials who have the responsibility to deal with that type of thing -- the FBI at the federal level, and although it is not, it's an investigative service as opposed to a police force, it's not a federal police force, as you know. But the state and local law enforcement officials have the responsibility for dealing with those kinds of issues. They [find a lot] and any number of terrorist efforts have been dissuaded, deterred or stopped by good intelligence gathering and good preventive work. It is a truth that a terrorist can attack any time, any place, using any technique and it's physically impossible to defend at every time and every place against every conceivable technique. Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines flight filed with our citizens, and the missile to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged the World Trade Center. The only way to deal with this problem is by taking the battle to the terrorists, wherever they are, and dealing with them.

Comment: "Missile"? What missile would that be? Did he let something slip? Or was this just a gaffe? A bad choice of words?

George Bush has proven to be one of the worst human rights violators among presidents of the last few decades, and he may go down in the history books as one of the most corrupt presidents. -

George Bush Is a War Criminal - Bush invaded Afghanistan, supposedly with the goal of punishing those who committed the terrorist attacks on 9/11. But instead of providing evidence about the perpetrators and pursuing the Taliban's offer to bring Bin Laden to justice, Bush invaded a sovereign country (a flagrant violation of international law), killed over 4,000 innocent Afghans who had nothing to do with Bin Laden or Al Qaeda, and starved thousands by cutting off humanitarian food shipments going into Afghanistan. It is also very interesting that Bush never even talks about catching Bin Laden anymore (almost like it was never the real goal).

Gore won - twice! That's right. As everyone knows, Bush lost the popular vote by 500,000 votes. However, an archaic remnant of the Constitution known as the Electoral College eventually swung the state of Florida Bush's way, on December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court overruled objections by the state of Florida, ending all recounts and declaring Bush the winner of the 2000 Presidential Election. Except, despite what the media may have told you, the story does not end there. The news media, at the time immersed in the new "War on Terror" deliberately suppressed news that recounts by numerous media sources proved that GORE WON FLORIDA. While the question remains up for grabs as to whether or not Gore and Lieberman would have fared better, the fact remains they won the election and should logically be serving their first terms as President and Vice-President, respectively. Observers from around the world noted that the 2000 election and it's outcome were reminiscent of elections one would find in countries with notoriously corrupt.

Bush Quote: "And so one of the areas where I think the average Russian will realize that the stereotypes of America have changed is that it's a spirit of cooperation, not one-upmanship; that we now understand one plus one can equal three, as opposed to us, and Russia we hope to be zero"

I'm sorry folks, but nobody this completely incomprehensible, if not illiterate, deserves to serve the nation's highest office.

Pakistan in tit-for-tat expulsion of Indian diplomats - Pakistan expelled four members of the Indian High Commission (embassy) in an expected tit-for-tat reponse to New Delhi's expulsion of four Pakistani diplomats a day earlier, sending diplomatic relations between the nuclear enemies to a new low. "The acting Indian High Commissioner was told today that all four officials must leave Pakistan within 48 hours," foreign ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan told AFP.

Four key Arab states, Iran and NATO member Turkey convened here in a last-ditch effort to avert a US-led war in Iraq, amid pessimism over their chances of success. The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria, along with their Iranian and Turkish counterparts, were to meet at 1530 GMT in the Ciragan Palace on the Bosphorus, the former home of Ottoman sultans who once ruled the Middle East. Lower-level officials from the six countries were meeting in the morning to prepare the ground for the ministerial talks. The gathering, called by Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul in a bid to put pressure on Baghdad to intensify cooperation with UN arms inspectors, has brought little hope that the volatile region would avoid a US-led war with potentially damaging economic and political consequences. "There is a fire which is moving towards our homes," Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, whose country is under pressure to serve as a base for US troops in a possible war, said Wednesday. "Praying to Allah to spare us from a war is an approach, but exerting all our efforts to prevent war, knocking on all the doors and exploring every possible means that could prevent a war is another approach," he said. Officials from the six countries, five of which border Iraq, conceded that their initiative might prove fruitless.

Saddam Hussein warned that Iraq will remain "impregnable" to the United States as leading Arab states, Iran and Turkey met in Istanbul to urge a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis. "The enemy can bring all its army and those who are helping him, this nation will remain impregnable," Saddam vowed late Wednesday while receiving his military commanders.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was to fly to Europe for talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and European counterparts on the crisis in Iraq, officials said. Downer was also expecting an update on the US-led "war on terrorism" at his meeting with Powell this weekend on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the ministry said. Downer was then scheduled to visit Brussels, Berlin and Paris -- where opposition has been growing to the belligerent stance of the United States, Britain and Australia on the Iraqi crisis.

The United States will not immediately press for sanctions against North Korea, a US official said, as speculation mounted that the UN Security Council could soon take up the current nuclear crisis. Secretary of State Colin Powell meanwhile cautioned that while he did not expect immediate breakthroughs in the showdown, he was comfortable some progress was being made by escalating international diplomacy. One of his subordinates, US arms control chief John Bolton, earlier injected new urgency into the crisis, by saying in Seoul that the UN Security Council could be involved within days. North Korea has warned it would deem any imposition of sanctions by the council to punish its twin nuclear programs as a "declaration of war."

US efforts to bring the nuclear stand-off with North Korea to the United Nations stalled as Pyongyang signalled a more conciliatory approach to the crisis and reportedly ruled out military conflict. North Korea's apparent softening of its position has emerged during high-level talks with South Korea here which entered a third day Thursday. "The position of the DPRK (North Korea) is that it will not bring the stand-off with the United States to the worst-case scenario," Seoul's Hankyoreh daily reported Thursday an unidentified North Korean delegate as telling his South Korean counterparts. "You don't have to worry about it too much." The term "worst-case scenario" has been used here to describe a war breaking out on the Korean peninsula.

Iraq urged Turkey to reject U.S. requests for military support in any attack on Baghdad as six Middle Eastern states met Thursday in Istanbul to discuss ways of avoiding a potentially destabilizing war. The United States is looking to Turkey for use of its air bases and frontiers to open a "northern front" against Baghdad if it chooses to attack. Ankara opposes war, fearing economic and social turmoil as well as popular disapproval, but may ultimately be hard pressed to deny help to its close NATO ally. Foreign ministers from Iraq's neighbors Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria met Thursday along with regional heavyweight Egypt at an old Ottoman palace on the banks of the Bosphorus waterway that separates Europe from Asia. "We believe the only way a war might be avoided is for Iraq to fully and unconditionally comply and if it doesn't we all fear the worst," Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan al-Muashar told Reuters. "We are sending a strong signal to Baghdad that this is about the region, not just about Iraq. "This is not a matter of being bullied by the United States."

The Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, today said that there are no immediate grounds to use force against Saddam Hussein's regime. As international disagreements mounted over Iraq, Mr Ivanov told reporters in Athens that there was "still political and diplomatic leeway to resolve the Iraq issue". He spoke after the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, questioned the commitment of France and Germany to disarm the Iraqi president, after the countries spoke out against war. Earlier today the French president, Jacques Chirac, and the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, gave a joint press conference during which Mr Chirac said: "Germany and France have the same judgment on the Iraq crisis: everything must be done to avoid war." As permanent members of the UN security council, the views of Russia, France and China are particularly vital to any plans for war in Iraq. The diplomatic discord comes as the US and Britain continued to build up military forces in the Gulf.

India last night signed a £1.9bn deal with Russia to lease four long-range nuclear bombers and two nuclear-capable submarines, in a move which campaigners say will dramatically escalate the arms race on the subcontinent. On a visit to Moscow, India's defence minister, George Fernandes, said the agreement - which will also see Russia throw in an ageing aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov, for free - will be finalised by the end of March. "We have agreed that all efforts will be made to complete the three contracts," Mr Fernandes said. India and Russia will also pump more money into a joint programme to develop a new long-range nuclear-capable cruise missile, the BrahMos, he revealed. The massive deal will dramatically improve New Delhi's ability to deliver its nuclear warheads. It follows months of simmering tension between India and its arch-rival Pakistan, the world's newest declared nuclear powers.

Iraq has moved to mend bridges with the Kremlin and Russian oil companies after a dispute over a multibillion dollar oilfield threatened to jeopardise Baghdad's relationship with a potentially crucial ally. In what many will see as an attempt by Saddam Hussein to curry favour with Moscow, Iraq agreed to reverse a decision to cut the Russian oil firm Lukoil out of a deal over the huge West Qurna field. A contract to develop the field was torn up by Iraq in December. Yesterday the reversal appeared to bear almost immediate fruit with Russian diplomats calling for renewed effort to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in the Gulf. Iraqi officials last year declared the agreement to drill for the West Qurna's 20 billion barrels of reserves as null and void following reports that the firm had sought assurances from the White House and the Iraqi opposition in exile to preserve their concessions in the event of the regime change. Lukoil said the move was a political reaction to Russia's vote in support of a new security council resolution. Yesterday's announcement came as a joint Russian government and business delegation left Baghdad after two days of discussions.

Russia and Iran are increasing their nuclear cooperation, the atomic power ministry in Moscow said yesterday, despite mounting international fears that Iran together with North Korea and Iraq are developing nuclear weapons. Its minister, Alexander Rumyantsev, met the head of Iran's atomic energy organisation, Gholam Reza Agazadeh, in Tehran on Wednesday to agree steps to accelerate the flagging $800m nuclear reactor project at the southern Gulf port of Bushehr. They agreed that the first block of the 1,000-megawatt unit would come online in December 2003 as planned. Work had fallen behind schedule by several weeks, according to the ministry, although longer delays were reported. Russian deliveries of nuclear fuel for the reactor will begin in January and the sides will meet then to discuss construction of a second block at Bushehr. Russia is also eying potential orders for several more Iranian reactors under a 10-year plan to provide 6,000 megawatts of nuclear power. "Russia is extremely interested in discussing such a project," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Mr Rumyantsev as saying after the talks.

Russia has put three warships on standby to go to the Persian Gulf within the next month to protect its "national interests" in the event of an American invasion of Iraq. Russia's Pacific fleet has been ordered by the central command to prepare two cruisers and a fuel tanker for immediate deployment to the Gulf. The move will heighten tension between Moscow and Washington, who both have interests in Iraq's oilfields. The Marshal Shaposhnikov and the Admiral Panteleyev cruisers would be called upon to defend Russian "national interests" in the Gulf if the conflict between Iraq and the US escalates. The ships - armed with missiles and reconnaissance equipment - have been ordered to be ready for deployment between late this month and early February.

Blair's defence of his policy towards Saddam Hussein and UN weapons inspectors seems increasingly incoherent. In his press conference last week he carefully linked the threat of terrorism with the need to disarm Iraq. There was a danger of weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. He described Iraq as the "focal point" of the problem. Yet under questioning by MPs on Tuesday, Blair admitted that no evidence had been found of any links between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein, something his intelligence agencies have repeatedly told him.

Yet the Bush administration, encouraged by the Israeli government, continues to promote the lie that such a link exists.

Blair, meanwhile, told MPs the reason Saddam posed a greater threat than North Korea was because the problem was not so much the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction but their use.

Yet Iraq has been successfully contained. There is no evidence of its intention to use or proliferate chemical or biological weapons or that a policy of deterrence has failed. It may be argued that North Korea, a great proliferator with the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, is a much greater threat - to the extent that the US is desperate to negotiate with it.

Any threat posed by Iraq was put into perspective this week by the former Democrat senator, Sam Nunn. He was in London to launch a report on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons by 13 respected thinktanks led by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies. The danger was not so much that a state would supply terrorist groups with these weapons. Terrorists, Nunn warned, are more likely to steal them or buy them on the open market. [...] The dangers of them leaking out existed everywhere, including in the US, but above all in Russia, where more than 20,000 nuclear warheads sit in 120 separate storage sites. A single artillery shell of nerve agents is small enough to fit into a briefcase and contains enough lethal doses to kill 100,000 people. The US is blocking funds to secure Russian stores while it spends billions sending tens of thousands of troops to the Gulf, with British support, to topple a dictator who presents no existing threat to American or British security.

Washington looked increasingly isolated in its stance toward Iraq Thursday as key powers lined up to oppose war. China and Russia joined U.S. allies France and Germany in rejecting military action. As the United States and Britain continued their troop build-up in the Gulf, Middle East nations also met Thursday to discuss ways of averting a conflict. The stand taken by Paris, Beijing and Moscow means a majority of the five veto-wielding permanent members on the U.N. Security Council are against rushing into war. The other two members are the United States and Britain. However Washington has said it could launch military action without Security Council backing. In Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder vowed he and French President Jacques Chirac would do all they could to avert war. "War may never be considered unavoidable," he said. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said there were no grounds to use force at the moment. "There is still political and diplomatic leeway to resolve the Iraq issue," he said in Athens. He agreed with France and Germany that U.N. inspectors in Iraq should be allowed to press on with their job of looking for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Beijing's position was "extremely close to that of France." Washington accuses Iraq of hiding nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and has threatened to attack if Baghdad does not disarm in line with a U.N. resolution passed in November. Iraq denies possessing any banned weapons. The U.N. inspectors, who are due to present a key report to the United Nations Monday, have said they need several more months to complete their work. However, President Bush has warned time is running out for Iraq.

US leaders expressed frustration at European-led opposition to a military strike against Iraq, suggesting France and Germany in particular are ignoring the threat from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. As the diplomatic wrangling over war headed toward an impasse, the top US general said the United States can sustain a major force in the Gulf for several months if needed. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell led the offensive against French and German opposition to conflict. Bush said the evidence was "incredibly troubling and disturbing" and demanded Baghdad be held to account while Powell questioned whether France and Germany were serious about disarming Iraq. "Saddam Hussein is not disarming like the world has told him he must do," Bush said in a speech in Saint Louis, Missouri. "He's a dangerous man with dangerous weapons. He's a danger to America and our friends and allies." Bush, who has also rebuked France and Germany for their positions, said Saddam was using "lessons from the past" to thwart UN inspectors. "He asked for more time so he can give the so-called inspectors more runaround. He's interested in playing hide-and-seek in a huge country. He's not interested in disarming," he said. "I hope the world has learned the lessons from the past just like Saddam Hussein. It's time for us to hold the world to account and for Saddam to be held to account."

On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the comments from France and Germany, saying most European countries stand with the United States in its campaign to force Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to disarm. "Germany has been a problem, and France has been a problem," said Rumsfeld, a former NATO ambassador. "But you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe. They're not with France and Germany on this; they're with the United States." Germany and France represent "old Europe," Rumsfeld said, and NATO's expansion in recent years means "the center of gravity is shifting to the east." Germany has a nonveto seat on the Security Council, but it is a key NATO ally and will hold the council's rotating presidency in February. French officials reacted angrily Thursday to Rumsfeld's comments. An influential former labor minister says the statements show "a certain arrogance of the United States," and France's ecology minister used a regional expression for a four-letter word in reference to Rumsfeld, The Associated Press reported.

President Bush said yesterday that U.N. weapons inspectors have failed to live up to their job title and vowed, "when Iraq is liberated," to punish Iraqi soldiers who use weapons of mass destruction. - Saddam Hussein has "asked for more time so he can give the so-called inspectors more runaround," Mr. Bush said in a marked escalation of rhetoric against Baghdad.      

"He wants to play a game," he added in a speech to small-business owners and employees of a shipping firm in St. Louis. "For the sake of peace, we must not let him play a game."  Mr. Bush urged the international community not to be fooled by Saddam's actions on a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding disarmament, citing the dictator's long history of flouting such mandates.  "We must not be fooled by the ways of the past," the president said. "After all, we've just discovered undeclared chemical warfare in Iraq," referring to a cache of empty warheads found by inspectors last week.  "That's incredibly troubling and disturbing evidence of a man not disarming."

"Should that path be forced upon us, there will be serious consequences," he said. "There will be serious consequences for any Iraqi general or soldier who were to use weapons of mass destruction on our troops or on innocent lives within Iraq."  In laying out the specifics of the warning, the president appeared to suggest that war with Iraq was a matter of "when," not "if." -  "Should any Iraqi officer or soldier receive an order from Saddam Hussein or his sons or any of the killers who occupy the high levels of their government, my advice is, 'Don't follow that order,'" he said. "Because if you choose to do so when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal."

In a September 7, 2002 news conference President Bush said that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon citing a report from The International Atomic Energy Agency. On Friday, Sept. 27, in a news interview Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA’s chief spokesman said, "There’s never been a report like that issued from this agency." When questioned, the White House said the President was referring to a 1991 IAEA report. Mr. Gwozdecky said no such report was ever issued by IAEA in 1991. "I don’t know where they have determined that Iraq has retained this much weaponization capability because when we left in December 1998 we had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear-weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment," he said. Buse Junior LIED. [...]

As citizens of the world’s most powerful country we have an obligation to critically examine the position of our government regarding the merits of going to war and each come to our own conclusion. If we are to be true to those who die defending our freedom this is our patriotic responsibility.

Flashback! US wants wider exemptions from war crimes court - America is negotiating with Britain and other European Union countries to expand blanket immunity to cover civilian as well as military personnel who might fall foul of the new international war crimes tribunal in the Hague. The move is expected to seriously undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which opened for business in July. Comment: Why does the US want immunity from War Crimes Court? Well, the answer is obvious: Bush and the Warmongers intend to COMMIT War Crimes!

As Rumsfeld and President Bush himself have made clear, the inability of the inspectors thus far to find a "smoking gun" in Iraq is further proof of perfidious deception of the Baghdad regime. "So far, I haven't seen any evidence that he is disarming," Bush said of Saddam Hussein. So far, the weapons inspectors haven't found evidence that Hussein has the kind of weapons he would have to get rid of in order to be "disarming." No matter. The way Rumsfeld explained it, it is the very absence of such evidence that proves Iraqi guilt.

"The fact that the inspectors have not yet come up with new evidence of Iraq's WMD program could be evidence, in and of itself, of Iraq's noncooperation," Rumsfeld explained. "We do know that Iraq has designed its programs in a way that they can proceed in an environment of inspections and that they are skilled at denial and deception."

Well, now, there you have it, proof of Iraq's guilt either way. As loathsome and despicable as the Baghdad regime is, you have to admit the Bush administration has set up this game in a way that Iraq can't win no matter what the weapons inspectors find or do not find. If they find weapons of mass destruction, it is proof, of course, of the regime's aggressive designs. If no evidence is found, it is evidence of Iraq's "denial and deception" and its "non-cooperation" with the inspectors. It's a perfect "Catch 22."

So why bother with inspections in the first place? Why not just go to war now? To appease our allies and the United Nations, no doubt. [...]

The Bush administration's attitude toward evidence — or the lack of same — of nuclear arms in Iraq is of a piece with its insistence on the right to imprison U.S. citizens — labeled "enemy combatants" — indefinitely, without the need for charges, much less evidence of guilt.

Evidence? What evidence? "We don't need no stinkin' evidence!"

Disappointments of Donald Rumsfeld “The old Europe” got stuck in the throat of the Pentagon chief - US Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld strictly criticized position of France and Germany that insist that the Iraqi crisis must be settled peacefully. He said that both states were “a problem”; what is more, they are part of “the old Europe” which opinion can be easily ignored under the present-day conditions. On the contrary, opinion of new NATO members, those East European countries that recently joined the alliance, should be taken into consideration. It makes no difference for these countries with whom to wage a war – Iraq or Madagascar. To be precise, it makes no difference for leaders of these countries, not soldiers. At least 27 Czech soldiers refused to fight against Iraq. - Reaction of the countries called “problem” to Rumsfeld’s statements was immediate. Berlin already promised to give a response to Rumsfeld’s revelations, it is highly likely the response will be rather harsh. [...] While the alliance is debating, US Secretary of State Colin Powell (whose position in the government supposes that diplomatic methods for the conflict settlement must be found) said in an interview to an American TV company that the USA got such information about Iraq’s weapons that none of the countries had. Washington is going to reveal this “trump card” at a discussion of a report provided by UN inspectors which is scheduled for January 27. It is not quite clear why the USA cannot do it right now. Does the White House fear that UN inspectors will refute this super-secret information? The cynicism with which the Bush administration is getting ready for a war is striking. Indeed, over the whole period of the anti-Saddam hysteria no well-founded evidence was presented to prove that Baghdad’s regime posed a real threat to the world community on the whole and to the USA particularly. This is the fact known to everyone. Washington probably thinks that obstinacy is one of the key virtues.

Donald Rumsfeld uttered the most direct broadside to Moscow during a press briefing yesterday (Thursday), when he criticised Moscow’s policy to deal with Iraq. Rumsfeld’s usage of economic arguments to coerce states to follow Washington’s orders are well known. “To the extent that Russia decides that it wants to parade its relationships with countries like Iraq and Libya and Syria and Cuba and North Korea, it sends a signal out across the globe that that is what Russia thinks is a good thing to do, to deal with terrorist states”, said Rumsfeld, referring to the trade deal soon to be signed between Moscow and Baghdad to upgrade transport, energy and communications systems. The Rumsfeld logic followed shortly afterwards: this decision will be detrimental to Russia “because people all across the globe, business people, can make a decision: Where do they want to put a plant? Where do they want to invest? Where do they want to have a relationship?” This is a clear insinuation that Mr. Rumsfeld views Russian trading ties with Iran, Iraq and North Korea, with extreme suspicion and it is clear that in linking the issue of investment, the US Defence Secretary is making a none-too-veiled threat that contracts walk hand in hand with obeying what Washington requests, blindly. That an official with the position of Donald Rumsfeld can make remarks such as “deal with terrorist states” applied to Moscow’s trading policy, is utterly astonishing because it demonstrates such a basic level of ignorance and ineptitude for high office that one questions whether or not he has all his mental faculties. - The utterances of Donald Rumsfeld are becoming more and more shrill of late and upon careful inspection, more and more incoherent. It is totally unacceptable that an official of his rank should make such accusations and threats and not be forced to retract, or better still, retire.

Angry with China, reassuring to Europe, frightened of Iraq and trying desperately hard to push the NMD system would sum up the new Pentagon policy as defined by US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Practically all military contacts with China have been suspended by Mr. Rumsfeld in the aftermath of the EC3 spy plane incident and Washington’s subsequent arrogance in insisting on flying intelligence missions over sensitive areas. Seminars have been called off, visits have been cancelled and the US Navy no longer calls in at Hong Kong.

Bolstering US defence capacities in Asia will not mean that the USA will turn away from Europe, promised Mr. Rumsfeld. “Asia is growing and an important part of the world, but any suggestion that the US is going to turn away from Europe is fundamentally flawed in logic”, he stated. He admitted that the Pentagon was re-examining the deployment of US troops around the world, but at the moment he does know what will be decided. He confirmed that there has been no discussion to date of troop reduction in Europe.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell flew back to the USA last week after an unsuccessful attempt to gain support for the Nuclear Missile Defence system proposed by the Bush administration, without any clear idea as to how or what to implement.

Regarding Iraq, the US Defence Secretary complained that China and other unnamed countries were supplying Iraq with equipment to upgrade its air defence systems, putting the lives of British and American pilots at risk. Some military commanders are beginning to question whether it is worth continuing the monitoring of the no-fly zones and putting the lives of the pilots at risk. One would advise these pilots that there is a very simple way of avoiding risk over Iraq’s sovereign territory, in which they are interfering... Go home!

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, will meet key members of the Bush Administration in Washington today amid signs of division among the Western nations over Iraq. Mr Straw is due to meet Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President and Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, to discuss the stand-off, ahead of next week's report to the UN Security Council by Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector. Britain and the US have signalled their readiness to take unilateral military action after France and Germany voiced their strong opposition to war. Mr Straw's visit to America will ensure that Britain and the US present a united front to the rest of the international community even though British officials have been at pains to play down suggestions by more "hawkish" elements in Washington that next week's crucial report will finally trigger war.

AT LEAST 65,000 readers have so far backed the Mirror's petition against war on Iraq - and support is still pouring in. Our post team have been overwhelmed by the amount of mail from concerned readers. They say 65,000 is a conservative estimate. An astonishing figure of 15,000 - that's 11,000 who signed our front page protest and 4,000 who joined in from across the globe on our website - was reached by first post yesterday. It was the highest first post figure a Mirror campaign has ever achieved. And as France and Germany united in condemning any attack, it sent the clearest message yet to Tony Blair - listen to us now and halt this rush to conflict. - Ex-Foreign Office Minister Doug Henderson said: "The Government should listen to the people."

JUST for once, Tony Blair got it about right. He devoted only one line to Iraq in his state-of-the-nation address to Labour MPs. Most people, he admitted, are more concerned about domestic issues - crime, asylum seekers, the crumbling transport system, the state of the NHS, education and the threat of negative equity in the housing market. That is because most people do not share the Prime Minister's obsession with Saddam Hussein and his supposed arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. They do not believe that a missile from Baghdad is going to land on their street, and they are absolutely right.

Global business and political leaders gathering for the annual World Economic Forum on Thursday faced a sobering prospect of weak global growth and possible war with Iraq that would darken the outlook further. Economists warned at the opening session that in a troubled world where growth is stalled in three of the world's largest economies, the United States provides the only set of broad shoulders to muscle forward the global economy. But those shoulders are shaky ones at the moment. "We are looking forward to a set of risks, certainly surrounding war in the Middle East, that have a truly profound downside," Gail Fosler, chief economist for the U.S.-based Business Council.

"Invasion of Iraq may collapse global economy" - In the next few weeks, the struggling global economy may be put to the test if Washington chooses to invade Iraq. There are many risks involved in bombing Baghdad, the most important being a spike in oil prices. With oil prices already over $30.00 a barrel, increased pressure has been put on the global economy as more money is spent on importing oil. Should the United States attack Iraq, there is a real possibility that Middle East oil shipments will be disrupted. U.S. oil inventories are already running low due to the nearly two-month long PDVSA oil strike in Venezuela. While it takes only one week for Venezuelan oil exports to reach the United States, it takes four to five weeks for them to arrive from the Middle East.

During an American attack on Iraq, an errant bomb could destroy or interfere with oil operations, halting Iraq's 1-2 million barrels per day (bpd) in exports. Compounding the American threat, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could opt to damage his own oilfields, by ordering troops to light them on fire, as was done to Kuwait in 1991.

In order to prevent a spike in oil prices, any reduction in Iraqi oil exports will need to be compensated by an increase in oil exports from OPEC nations and non-OPEC nations alike. However, most OPEC nations are already producing at capacity, such as Indonesia and Qatar; the biggest oil producers outside of OPEC -- Russia, Norway and Mexico -- cannot increase their output since their pumps are already running at full capacity.

This likely scenario has worried economists; it could result in oil prices as high as $40.00 a barrel, possibly causing extensive damage to the global economy. However, the Bush administration believes that the end result of the invasion will be economic growth rather than economic recession. The fate of the economy will rest on how fast the United States can get oil flowing again after the war; once oil production has stabilized again, the United States will likely be able to increase capacity by updating Iraq's oil infrastructure. While before the Gulf War Iraq was exporting 3.5 million barrels per day, it is predicted that Iraq may be able to increase production up to 5 million bpd with U.S. assistance. Larry Lindsey, former top economic adviser to President Bush, supported this prediction in a statement last fall: "When there is regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [per day] of production to world supply. The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy." Indeed, this scenario would provide a boon to the global economy by increasing oil supply, dropping prices down to $15 to $20 a barrel.

But successful "regime change" might not be as easy as it seems. Iraq's oil infrastructure is already in bad shape and the prediction is that it will take 5 to 10 years for Iraqi oil output to reach such levels, if at all; in addition, there is no guarantee that the new Iraqi government will be willing to export such an inflated amount of oil. However, any new administration will most likely be installed and protected by U.S. troops, thus reducing the government's actual independence from Washington.

The other most dangerous scenario is whether an invasion by Washington will heighten tensions in the Middle East in such a way that militant groups will attack oil interests when the U.S. and global economy are most vulnerable. Indeed, if militants inside Saudi Arabia attempted to sabotage major oil facilities within the country, limiting exports, oil prices would skyrocket since other nations would not be able to supplement the amount of oil Saudi Arabia exports.

This would possibly send oil prices to over $50 a barrel, or cause prices to become static at $40.00 a barrel for many months. Indeed, Gary Hufbauer, of the Institute for International Economics, stated in the Baltimore Sun last October that a sustained rise in oil prices at a level of $45 or $50 a barrel could "turn [the economies of] the United States and Japan into a recession."

Should the two largest global economies -- the United States and Japan -- enter a recession, or even suffer further economic setback due to increased oil prices, it would greatly add to the misery of other suffering states and impact emerging market economies. South American states, for instance, have had difficulty accessing global capital markets due to the economic uncertainty in Brazil -- which has been flirting with economic disaster -- and the recent economic meltdown of Argentina. Paraguay and Uruguay too have been hit by their neighbors' economic troubles, with the former suffering from low tax revenues and a stagnant economy.

If the global economy were to deteriorate, it could create a scenario where Argentina would have to default on its debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If Argentina were to default, and other countries soon followed, it would compromise the Fund's own financial position and economic assistance to needy economies would falter, further spiraling the world economy toward a grave future.

Along with South America, Asia will also be pushed into economic disaster should oil prices spike for a prolonged period. In addition to putting Japan into recession, South Korea, fraught with its own economic woes due to a rapid increase in real estate prices and unemployment, is also vulnerable. Seoul cannot rely on domestic spending to stimulate its economy due to ballooning household debt, a situation that increased oil prices would only exacerbate.

Singapore, too, is walking on the edge of economic demise. Narrowly missing a double-dip recession this last year, weak demand for the city-state's key electronics exports and manufactured goods led to further job losses, ballooning its unemployment level to a 15-year high.

New opinion polls Thursday showed Israel's center-left Labor Party destined for a crushing defeat in next week's general election, plunging the party that pioneered Israeli-Palestinian peace deals deep into turmoil. Polls published in Israel's three main newspapers showed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's right-wing Likud party strengthening its lead before next Tuesday's election and Labor heading for its worst electoral showing in history. The polls showed the secular Shinui party closing on Labor and increasing its chances of emerging as the main power broker in coalition talks that are sure to follow the election. The election will be crucial to shaping policy against a Palestinian uprising for an independent state. Sharon has taken a much tougher line against Palestinian militants than Labor or Shinui and rules out peace talks until the violence ends.

Chinese scientists have discovered fossils of a feathered, four-winged dinosaur which they say provides new evidence of the origin of avian flight. The creature, called Microraptor gui, is less than a yard long and is thought to have glided from tree to tree, similar to flying squirrels, in an intermediary step before full, flapping flight. "The new fossils provide the best example of the transition from dinosaurs to birds," Xing Xu, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said Wednesday. "They are the link between the flightless dinosaurs and (flying) birds," he told Reuters in an interview. For more than a century, palaeontologists have been debating whether flight originated from tree-dwelling creatures that glided or from ground animals that propelled themselves by running and frantically flapping their wings. "The new discovery...requires us to re-evaluate some classical work in dinosaur evolution, in particular the evolution of dinosaur locomotion," Xu said.

The wife of CNN "Moneyline" host Lou Dobbs was arrested Wednesday at an airport security checkpoint after a loaded gun was allegedly found in her handbag. Debi Dobbs, 49, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and released on her own recognizance after the incident at Newark Liberty International Airport, authorities said.

Deep freeze in the Deep South - North Carolina (CNN) -- For the second time in as many months, North Carolina residents were digging out of a winter snowstorm Thursday as unusually cold weather gripped the South and Midwest. - The unseasonably cold temperatures are dipping into Florida and even colder temperatures were expected overnight. Freeze warning for Florida A hard freeze warning was issued from the Florida Panhandle, where temperatures were expected to drop into the teens or low 20s, south to Miami, where it was expected to reach the low 30s.

Mongolia's fourth successive savage winter is beginning to take a heavy toll on vital livestock and worse is to come, officials said Thursday. "Conditions are rapidly worsening with more blizzards forecast," said senior civil defense official Togoo, who, like many Mongolians, uses only one name. Since the end of December, blizzards have killed four people and 80,000 head of livestock have died of starvation and extreme cold as snow blanketed land on which they would graze in a normal winter, officials said . They said 10 of Mongolia's 21 provinces had been declared disaster areas and they feared up to 2.5 million animals tended by nomadic herders, who form about one third of the country's 2.4 million population, could die this winter.

Russia has been pushed to breaking point by weeks of sub-zero temperatures: 25,000 people are living without heating, officials estimate. Ports are paralysed: icebreakers are rushing to St Petersburg to free 40 ships, carrying vital supplies,frozen in the harbour. In Karelia province, near the Finnish border north of St Petersburg, 55 people have lost parts of arms or legs to frostbite and 5,300 people are living without heating. A state of emergency has been declared.

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