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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
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]
January 30, 2003
'Stormin' Norman,' Gen. Schwarzkopf Is Skeptical About U.S. Action in Iraq Norman Schwarzkopf wants to give peace a chance. The general who commanded U.S. forces in the 1991 Gulf War says he hasn't seen enough evidence to convince him that his old comrades Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz are correct in moving toward a new war now. He thinks U.N. inspections are still the proper course to follow. He's worried about the cockiness of the U.S. war plan, and even more by the potential human and financial costs of occupying Iraq. And don't get him started on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. [...]
"Candidly, I have gotten somewhat nervous at some of the pronouncements Rumsfeld has made," says Schwarzkopf. He contrasts Cheney's low profile as defense secretary during the Gulf War with Rumsfeld's frequent television appearances since Sept. 11, 2001. "He almost sometimes seems to be enjoying it." That, Schwarzkopf admonishes, is a sensation to be avoided when engaged in war. [...]
His comments reflect the estrangement between [the army] and the current defense secretary. Some at the top of the Army see Rumsfeld and those around him as overly enamored of air power and high technology and insufficiently attentive to the brutal difficulties of ground combat. Schwarzkopf's comments reflect Pentagon scuttlebutt that Rumsfeld and his aides have brushed aside some of the Army's concerns. "The Rumsfeld thing . . . that's what comes up," when he calls old Army friends in the Pentagon, he says. "When he makes his comments, it appears that he disregards the Army," Schwarzkopf says. "He gives the perception when he's on TV that he is the guy driving the train and everybody else better fall in line behind him -- or else."
Rumsfeld... worries him. "It's scary, okay?" he says. "Let's face it: There are guys at the Pentagon who have been involved in operational planning for their entire lives, okay? . . . And for this wisdom, acquired during many operations, wars, schools, for that just to be ignored, and in its place have somebody who doesn't have any of that training, is of concern."
As a result, Schwarzkopf is skeptical that an invasion of Iraq would be as fast and simple as some seem to think. "I have picked up vibes that . . . you're going to have this massive strike with massed weaponry, and basically that's going to be it, and we just clean up the battlefield after that," he says. [...]
The administration may be discussing the issue behind closed doors, Schwarzkopf says, but he thinks it hasn't sufficiently explained its thinking to the world, especially its assessment of the time, people and money needed. "I would hope that we have in place the adequate resources to become an army of occupation," he warns, "because you're going to walk into chaos."
The starting point to justify an invasion, it seems to me, has to be an affirmative answer to the question: Will we be safer if we invade? - The real answer is that we don't know. But it's quite plausible that an invasion will increase the danger to us, not lessen it. As a C.I.A. assessment said last October: "Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks [in the U.S.]. Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions." It added that Saddam might order attacks with weapons of mass destruction as "his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him." Frankly, it seems a bad idea to sacrifice our troops' lives — along with billions of dollars — in a way that may add to our vulnerability. [...]
President Bush has undermined the hawk position by the very success of his campaign against Iraq. To his credit, Mr. Bush has revived U.N. inspections, boxed Saddam into a corner and increased the chance that Saddam will be assassinated or overthrown. If Mr. Bush stops where he is now, he will have defanged Saddam at minimal cost. As the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace put it in a new report on Iraq, the U.S. goal of preventing any attack by Iraq has already been achieved.
"Saddam Hussein is effectively incarcerated and under watch by a force that could respond immediately and devastatingly to any aggression," the report noted. "Inside Iraq, the inspection teams preclude any significant advance in [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities. The status quo is safe for the American people." [...]
A new book about Iraq by Con Coughlin describes Saddam's younger son, Qusay, giving a speech last year in an underground bunker before his father and top officials: "With a simple sign from you, we can make America's people sleepless and frightened to go out in the streets. I only ask you, sir, to give me a small sign [to] turn their night into day and their day into a living hell." The older son, Uday, told Iraqi journalists last week: "If [the Americans] come, what they wept for on Sept. 11 and what they view as a major event, it will appear as a picnic for them."
Will an invasion make us safer? That's the central question, and while none of us know the answer, there is clearly a significant risk that it will do just the opposite.
NO Evidence of Iraqi Weapons UNTIL After War - The day after one of Europe´s most powerful CEOs asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Colin Powell about the lack of evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) at the World Economic Forum, the London-based Financial Times (FT) reported that any such evidence will not be seen until after U.S. and British troops had occupied Iraq. Detailed intelligence on Iraq´s alleged arsenal of WMD will not be revealed until after foreign troops have seized production facilities, in order to protect sources of information, FT reported on Jan. 27, quoting an un-named senior western security official. - The question of evidence being planted by the military occupying force in order to excuse waging war was not raised in the FT article. [...]
Claims by U.S. and British intelligence that Iraq is producing WMD has not been borne out during two months of inspections conducted by the UN weapons inspectors operating in Iraq. The U.S. staked the reputation of its intelligence on claims about fixed sites in Iraq, which are easily checked, Glen Rangwala, an Iraq analyst at Cambridge University (UK) told FT. If these claims are not borne out, the the whole claim to know about Iraq looks shaky. -
Two Iraqi plants in particular, Fallujah and al-Darwah, had been pointed to by U.S. officials as suspected weapons production facilities. Hans von Sponeck, former UN coordinator in Iraq, told American Free Press at the time that both plants, which he had recently visited, were totally destroyed. When UN inspectors visited the facilities they found them both to be non-operational. All tagged dual-use items of equipment in Fallujah were accounted for.
One would think that the Arabs, mindful of the last 100 years of history, would be a bit wary of Western intentions, as they become drawn into the war on terrorism. In what appears to be an eerie reincarnation of the old British Empire, the US is establishing a military presence in many foreign lands that heretofore had none. In Arab countries, since 1990, military bases have been established in Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. A remarkable feat when one considers the rampant anti-Americanism that is supposed to be present in the Arab world. [...]
Back in 1916, the British, using the promise of independence for the tribes of Arabia, persuaded the Arabs to revolt against the Ottoman Turks. But, even before the fighting had begun, the English and French were meeting to carve up the area as spoils of war. After assisting the Great Powers in driving out and defeating the Ottomans, the Arabs received as their reward 30 years of colonial domination by France and England. The colonial masters vested interest determined borders and, more than hegemony, the imposed suzerainty, allowing them to install and remove puppet rulers on the basis of their unfaltering subservience or lack thereof, especially in the Gulf States. Arab nationalism would have to wait, as the democracy embraced and heralded by the conquerors was found not to be appropriate for their wartime allies. [...]
In the period following Iraqi independence, concessions were made in other countries culminating in the relinquishing of Palestine in 1948, which rang down the curtain on the final act of the long-running play, Rule Britannia.
One of the interesting parallels between then and now is the current solicitation of the Arabs for assistance in a war that has Western interests at its heart. One must therefore wonder just what it is that America promised the Arabs this time around. Since neither party is talking, we have to take educated guesses as to just what those pledges might be. Looking at what it is that each of these countries might want, we can arrive at a fair presumption of objectives. In the case of Djibouti and Yemen, its easy to speculate that economic aid would be an easy sell to those poor countries. Standing in line at the trough to lap up US foreign aid has always been irresistible for impoverished countries. America can get impecunious nations to do pretty much whatever they want for a few greenbacks.
For the others, namely the relatively prosperous Gulf States, there is only one abiding concern -- survival of the ruling class. Since 9-11, many Middle-Eastern regimes have been targeted for criticism in the American press, standing accused of sponsoring or breeding terrorists. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt and Iraq have been in the crosshairs of the Israeli lobby with numerous negative articles in the media lamenting, among other things, the autocratic nature of their regimes, regimes that mainly owe their creation and survival to Western Powers.
So, as a matter of current expediency, it is almost certain that the US has guaranteed support in thwarting any internal revolution in these countries, at least until near term objectives have been accomplished. They no doubt have told them that having our troops in their countries would help cement that guarantee. But will it? Saudi Arabia has stated that no matter how badly the Israelis treat the Palestinians, they will not issue a repeat of the 1973 oil boycott. I believe they have been told that such an action would have dire consequences. Could the right wing clamor for taking over the Saudi oil fields, bandied about in Washington for some time, be the straw that has broken the camels back? Thus, the Arab countries have been totally neutralized and have capitulated to the West. The mighty Oz has spoken but what will happen when Iraq goes by the wayside sometime in March? It is clear that the war on terrorism must be sustained by keeping the drumbeat at wartime pitch. After Afghanistan comes Iraq. After Iraq, whos next? OPEC must be broken and once the Iraqi oil fields are in hand, Saudi Arabia and Iran are the last of the majors in the way.
"Vive la France': An Open Letter to France - On January 25, 2003, Jonah Goldberg, a syndicated columnist, insulted you, saying, The French are liars. Then, he went on to make fun of your accent and your skill at cheese making. He also derided your ambassador to the UN, Dominique de Villepin, and also your president, Jacques Chirac. He chided them for attempting to lift the genocidal sanctions imposed on Iraq. Goldberg insisted the sanctions havent really being working because of French efforts to undermine them. He said, too, you shame yourself, when you advocate containment against Iraq, just because it worked in the Cold War. He insisted that your cry for peace is motivated by a desire for oil. These gross offenses to your people and to your nation appeared in the pages of the Washington Times newspaper.
To sum up Goldbergs nasty diatribe, entitled, France's Latent Motivation, it was a smear job on you for having the courage to say no to a U.S. led war on Iraq. Goldbergs article was a classic example, too, of pro-Zionist propaganda (a/k/a ZionProp). This is where a pundit covertly advances the Zionist cause on a controversial issue, without even mentioning Israel, or Zionism, or Ariel The Butcher Sharon by name. Goldberg is a master of this technique. Sometimes, he does it openly, like when he did a hatchet job on the Palestinian Chairman, Yasser Arafat (12/05/01). (Im going to get to that rant in just a moment.) Goldberg knows the Zionist Cartel wants this war with Iraq. I suspect that is the real objective of his phony spiel of January 25th.
Just Imagine, now, if I had written: The Israelis are liars. Well, before the ink was dry on the paper, the cadres from the U.S. Anti-Defamation League would be out in full force. Its Media Assault Brigand would be activated. Steam would be coming out of Abe Foxmans ears, and he would be heating up the tar. Meanwhile, his crony, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Mr. Zionist, USA, would be supplying the feathers. Then, yours truly would be targeted, and unceremoniously run out of town on a rail provided by Israels Amen Chorus. Id also be tagged forever as a raving Anti-Semite, by one of its media lackeys. Never mind, the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights, They dont apply when the Zionist boy-ohs get their collective yarmulkes up. Id have breached a big taboo: Calling little Israel a bad, hurtful name. Hughes would have to go. But, Hughes DIDNT say, The Israelis are liars. Jonah Goldberg, however, DID say, The French are liars. Will Goldberg have to go? Or, will the World Zionist Community issue an apology on its behalf to you because Goldberg insulted your national honor?
If Arafat is responsible for all the Palestinians, then why shouldnt the Zionist elite be responsible for the conduct of its sympathizers, like Goldberg? Will Goldberg also be made to apologize? Stay tuned. It was you, France, who came to our aid during the darkest days of our Revolutionary War. It was your fleet that blockaded the Chesapeake Bay, under Admiral Francois de Grasse, and your gallant soldiers, too, that aided General George Washingtons victory over the British forces at Yorktown, in 1781. Americas true patriotic sons and daughters will always remember you, and also the magnificent contributions of Major General Marquis de Lafayette to our struggle.
I suggest that Mr. Goldberg has excluded himself from this latter category, either because he is ignorant of American history or his myopic political agenda will not permit it.
This is the same Goldberg, who recently penned an even dumber piece that suggested the U.S. should bomb Canada!
After a furious response from our Canadian neighbors to that nonsense, he said that he was only kidding. He also rarely has a good word to say about Islam, and when hes asked to cite an authority for his dubious anti-Arab opinions, he invariably cites the inherently biased Muslim-basher, Daniel Pipes.
On the slanted Arafat piece, Goldberg unfairly ripped into the Chairman for not being a good partner in peace, and, for rejecting the Zionists so-called Most Generous Peace Offer. However, Dr. Jeff Halper, a brave Israeli, in The Link, (10/02 issue), rebutted that canard, by clearly demonstrating that the offer would have turned a Palestinian state into a prison, where all the borders [would] be controlled by Israel, and three million Palestinians [would] be living under siege. Goldbergs inflamatory opinions are his own and, mercifully, reflect the views of only a few mouthy pundits in this country.
France: in response to your courageous stand for peace on Iraq, please know that justice is on your side. I feel confident that most Americans will join with me in declaring: Vive la France! [William Hughes is the author of Andrew Jackson vs. New World Order (Authors Choice Press), which is available online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org]
Race Hygiene: Bush Family Alliances - ``The [government] must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge.... Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must not perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children.... The prevention of the faculty and opportunity to procreate on the part of the physically degenerate and mentally sick, over a period of only 600 years, would ... free humanity from an immeasurable misfortune.'' [Adolf Hitler]
``The per capita income gap between the developed and the developing countries is increasing, in large part the result of higher birth rates in the poorer countries.... Famine in India, unwanted babies in the United States, poverty that seemed to form an unbreakable chain for millions of people--how should we tackle these problems?.... It is quite clear that one of the major challenges of the 1970s ... will be to curb the world's fertility.'' [George Bush I]
These two quotations are alike in their mock show of concern for human suffering, and in their cynical remedy for it: Big Brother must prevent the `` unworthy '' or `` unwanted '' people from living.
We shall examine here the alliance of the Bush family with three other families: Farish, Draper and Gray. - The private associations among these families have led to the President's relationship to his closest, most confidential advisers. These alliances were forged in the earlier Hitler project and its immediate aftermath. Understanding them will help us to explain George Bush's obsession with the supposed overpopulation of the world's non-Anglo-Saxons, and the dangerous means he has adopted to deal with this `` problem. '' [...]
President Bush can count on Will Farish not to betray the violent secrets surrounding the Bush family money. For Farish's own family fortune was made in the same Hitler project, in a nightmarish partnership with George Bush's father. On March 25, 1942, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold announced that William Stamps Farish (grandfather of the President's money manager) had pled `` no contest '' to charges of criminal conspiracy with the Nazis. Farish was the principal manager of a worldwide cartel between Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey and the I.G. Farben concern. The merged enterprise had opened the Auschwitz slave labor camp on June 14, 1940, to produce artificial rubber and gasoline from coal. The Hitler government supplied political opponents and Jews as the slaves, who were worked to near death and then murdered. [ More...]
Comment: At the present time, George Bush II is setting up the chess board to accomplish the aims of genocide of the Semitic Peoples. This process has been initiated as a "war against Islamic terrorists," but rest assured, it is designed to encompass the Jews in Israel before long. The entire operation - from the Balfour Declaration, to the present "Disarming of Saddam," has all been part of the same plan of gathering as many Semitic peoples as possible into the Middle East in order to execute the final Final Solution. Of course, Israel is wishfully thinking that they have the "upper hand," but they have walked into a trap. A leopard does not change its spots and George Bush's pro-Israeli policies are only a cover for a hideous anti-Semitic agenda confirmed by the history of this family. If you keep the hidden agenda firmly in mind while reading the news about the global drama, staged for the benefit of misleading the masses of humanity, you will be able to understand the "Endgame" being played. It then becomes clear why, against all opposition, Bush WILL have his war. But the outcome will not be what the commentators who see only the surface expect. It's really NOT about oil - it's about genocide. And those who have read our Timeline of Secret Government Projects will be better equipped to realize just how we are all being manipulated. As Richard Dolan has written in UFOs and the National Security State:
Consider this: even if Dolan is writing specifically about America, in a world dominated by the United States, it must be considered that pressures are applied elsewhere from within this "national security state" to comply with the demands of the US. As Woodrow Wilson wrote in The New Freedom in 1913:
"Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."
Now, allow me to emphasize the key point: From a historical point of view, the ONLY reality is that of conspiracy. "Secrecy, wealth and independence add up to power. ...Deception is the key element of warfare, (the tool of power elites), and when winning is all that matters, the conventional morality held by ordinary people becomes an impediment. Secrecy stems from a pervasive and fundamental element of life in our world, that those who are at the top of the heap will always take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo."
And maintaining the "status quo" at the present time - when we are facing global disasters - includes taking control of all the world's resources, reducing the population of the planet by about 90 percent, and most especially eliminating the Semitic peoples. The reasons for this are, in a sense, somewhat complex - but the easiest analogy to understand would be to watch the TV pilot move "V" - and notice how the "visitors" made it their business to target scientists of all kinds as the first to eliminate - because only they might have the abilities to stop the "invasion."
So wrote Victor Marchetti, a former high-ranking CIA official, in his book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. This is the first book the U.S. Government ever went to court to censor before publication. In this book, Marchetti tells us that there IS a "Cabal" that rules the world and that its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency.
And we are seeing it happen before our very eyes!
Remember: those who are at the top of the heap will always take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo.
And maintaining the "status quo" in science HAS to be one of the main objectives of the Power Elite.
And how do they do that? By "official culture." And official culture, understood this way, from the perspective of elite groups wishing to maintain the status quo of their power, means only one thing: COINTELPRO.
The most effective weapon of COINTELPRO is Ridicule and Debunking. Notice that Marchetti points out that this is done via manipulation of individuals in areas of important public influence - including the academic world and the mass media.
Report: Iraqi spies in U.S. - Iraq sent spies from Canada to New York and Washington this month to snoop and stir up anti-war demonstrations, according to a government report obtained by the Daily News. The classified document also reveals a plot by Al Qaeda-linked militants in Zimbabwe to attack American targets in that country and elsewhere if the U.S. declares war on Iraq. It suggests the group, Tablik Ja'maat, could be a "conduit for communication" between Osama Bin Laden's terror network and Iraqi leaders. The threats, disclosed to U.S. spy agencies yesterday, are detailed in a secret report prepared by an intelligence unit in the Homeland Security Department. It comes as the White House weighs the release of classified information to prove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's links to Al Qaeda and efforts to evade UN weapons inspectors.
Comment: Do we really think that this is true? Would it be impossible for the agencies involved - the handmaidens of the Bush Administration, the puppet of the Powers that Be - to set up ALL the so-called "intelligence reports" that are "leaked" just to create a certain "impression?" Of course not. That's their bread and butter.
The U.S. government's food aid programs for low-income people are contributing to the high obesity rates of America's poor, according to a recent report from a Washington think thank. "Today, the central nutritional problem facing the poor -- indeed, all Americans -- is not too little food, but too much of the wrong food," writes Douglas Besharov in his paper, "We're Feeding the Poor as if They're Starving." The paper was published by the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
Comment: Not only that, but food that is inexpensive and easy to prepare is generally deadly. We can't have a healthy, clear thinking population if we want to kill off masses of people and take over the world, now can we???
President Bush was to make a last diplomatic push Thursday to try to persuade Iraq to disarm as Baghdad's U.N. envoy said Muslims around the world would attack Americans in the event of war. With thousands of U.S. troops pouring into the Gulf region, Bush was to meet Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi later in the day to discuss a possible deadline for disarmament. After Berlusconi, who has told Washington U.S. transport planes bound for the Gulf can use military bases in Italy, Bush will hold talks at Camp David Friday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his staunchest ally on Iraq. "They will discuss the next steps to take in the face of Iraq's failure to date to disarm and comply with United Nation's resolution 1441," said White House National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack. In foretaste of diplomatic struggles ahead, however, chief U.N. nuclear weapons inspector Mohamed ElBaradei told the BBC he did not agree with U.S. views that Iraq was already in "material breach" of the resolution -- the legal trigger for war. "If they decide that this is a material breach, then that is their prerogative," he said. "We are not going to say that this is a material breach unless we see a gross violation."
With thousands of U.S. troops pouring into the Gulf region, administration officials say President Bush and his top aides are opening a final "diplomatic window" with allies in a last-ditch attempt to avert a seemingly inevitable war with Iraq. Bush and staunch ally Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy are expected to discuss whether to set a deadline for Iraq's disarmament when they meet at the White House on Thursday. In addition to Berlusconi, who has told the United States that transport planes bound for the Gulf can use military bases in Italy for stopovers and refueling, Bush also will hold talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his strongest supporter on Iraq, at the Camp David presidential retreat on Friday. "They will discuss the next steps to take in the face of Iraq's failure to date to disarm and comply with United Nation's resolution 1441," said White House National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack. U.S. officials expect the agenda to include an exchange of views on whether a deadline for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. demands would help Bush's cause. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer predicted "an uptick in the tempo" of diplomacy with an increase in meetings and phone calls by Bush in the coming days and weeks. -
A major element of the diplomatic flurry will be Secretary of State Colin Powell's appearance before the U.N. Security Council next week. Bush said Powell would lay out intelligence showing that Saddam has been concealing weapons of mass destruction from inspectors and consorting with what he called terrorist groups, including the al Qaeda network blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Iraq has denied both allegations. The Bush administration is struggling to convince reluctant allies and some Democrats in Congress that Saddam is an imminent threat requiring use of force, and they are calling for undeniable proof. Bush has tried to establish a connection between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's militant network to bolster their case that Baghdad poses an imminent threat. Bush apparently thinks the evidence is strong enough to justify a military attack on Iraq if Saddam refuses to give up his suspected chemical and biological weapons voluntarily. "In the president's judgment, there's already a Mt. Everest of information, high enough to know that Saddam Hussein has weapons and is willing to use them," Fleischer said. "From the president's point of view, making Mt. Everest higher is not necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein."
Comment: If Bush really thinks that he has shown any evidence that Saddam has weapons or that he will use them, he's living in the dream world of the psychopath.
In his state of the union address President Bush returned to one of his favourite themes: Saddam Hussein "aids and protects" al-Qaida. Yet the evidence for this claim is somewhere between tenuous and non-existent. Every year the US state department releases an authoritative survey of global terrorism. According to its 2000 report: Iraq "has not attempted an anti-western attack since its failed attempt to assassinate former President Bush in 1993 in Kuwait". Even after September 11 the heaviest charge made in the state department's subsequent report was pretty mild: "Iraq was the only Arab-Muslim country that did not condemn the September 11 attacks against the United States." Moreover, an al-Qaida-Saddam alliance defies common sense. Osama bin Laden is an Islamist zealot who despises secular fascists such as Saddam. I heard from Bin Laden himself that he is no fan of Saddam. When I met with the Saudi exile in Afghanistan five years ago he volunteered that he thought the Iraqi dictator was a "bad Muslim". For Bin Laden, that's as bad as it gets. Why then has the Bush administration consistently tried to make a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida? The answer lies in the administration's quasi-theological conviction that such a connection must exist. -
However, more than a year later, the most comprehensive criminal investigation in history has yet to find a scintilla of proof implicating Iraq. When President Bush made his keynote speech on Iraq in October, the most compelling evidence he gave of al-Qaida's links to Saddam was the story of "one very senior al-Qaida leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year". -
If al-Qaida's connection with Iraq is far from proven, its links with Saudi Arabia are real. This is not to suggest that the Saudi government, which is also a target of al-Qaida, has actively supported the group. However, Saudi citizens have provided financial and logistical support to al-Qaida and the Saudi government has been unwilling or unable to stop them. Despite the fact that most of the September 11 hijackers were Saudi, the government is barely cooperating with the US investigation into the attacks. The printable words US investigators use to describe the Saudi attitude towards their inquiries are "obstructionist", "useless" and "despicable".
Brace Yourself for a Major Propaganda Blurb from Mind Controlled Puppets Here: Europe and America must stand united - THE real bond between the United States and Europe is the values we share: democracy, individual freedom, human rights and the Rule of Law. These values crossed the Atlantic with those who sailed from Europe to help create the USA. Today they are under greater threat than ever. [Yeah, from the machinations of the power elite Bush Administration.]
The attacks of 11 September showed just how far terrorists — the enemies of our common values — are prepared to go to destroy them. [Never mind that there is powerful evidence that Bush and Company were complicit in those events and therefore could be considered the REAL "Terrorists."] Those outrages were an attack on all of us. [They sure were! You just don't know how much!]
In standing firm in defence of these principles, the governments and people of the United States and Europe have amply demonstrated the strength of their convictions. [Horse hockey. You are demonstrating that you are mind controlled or, worse, complicit in the globalization plans of the Bush Junta.]
Today more than ever, the transatlantic bond is a guarantee of our freedom. [Dream on!]
We in Europe have a relationship with the United States which has stood the test of time. [Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Take a long, hard look at your histories in terms of your relations with the United States.]
Thanks in large part to American bravery, generosity and far-sightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: Nazism and Communism. [Are we forgetting the American contribution to Nazism? Hmmm? How about the fact that eugenics, as a theory of population control, was instituted in the U.S. before Hitler even dreamed of it? How about the fact that Roosevelt sold Poland out to Stalin???? How about all the support that Hitler received from America??? Financial, technical, and moral? You are forgetting your history again here!]
Thanks, too, to the continued cooperation between Europe and the United States we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent. The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime’s persistent attempts to threaten world security. [I can assure you that the transatlantic relationship will become a casualty of the Bush Junta's persistent attempts to threaten world security.]
In today’s world, more than ever before, it is vital that we preserve that unity and cohesion. [If you had two neurons in contact with one another, you would see that you are being lured to your own destruction.]
We know that success in the day-to-day battle against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction demands unwavering determination and firm international cohesion on the part of all countries for whom freedom is precious. [No doubt about that. The only problem is, one must be able to figure out who the REAL terrorists are! Here's a hint: it ain't Saddam!]
The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security. [Horse hockey!]
This danger has been explicitly recognised by the United Nations. [Manipulated by the illegal Bush Junta.]
All of us are bound by Security Council Resolution 1441, which was adopted unanimously. [Manipulated by the illegal Bush Junta.]
We Europeans have since reiterated our backing for Resolution 1441, our wish to pursue the UN route and our support for the Security Council, at the Prague Nato Summit and the Copenhagen European Council. In doing so, we sent a clear, firm and unequivocal message that we would rid the world of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. [You are forgetting the clear and present danger posed by George Bush's REAL weapons of mass destruction.]
We must remain united in insisting that his regime is disarmed. The solidarity, cohesion and determination of the international community are our best hope of achieving this peacefully. Our strength lies in unity. [Too bad you have't figured out who the real enemy is: George Bush - the Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. The best hope for achieving peace would be to disarm George Bush and stand against his genocidal globalization.] [ More... go here to read all of it. I can't stomach much more of this mind-controlled drivel.]
José María Aznar, Spain
A joint letter by eight European leaders backing the United States on the crisis with Iraq highlighted the European Union's divisions on Thursday, rubbing salt into the wounds of its stumbling foreign policy. EU president Greece, in charge of trying to coordinate European foreign policy, criticized the signatories for undermining a common approach to the Iraq problem. The European Parliament deepened the disarray by declaring that Iraq's response to U.N. weapons inspectors did not justify military action and warning against a unilateral U.S.-led war.
In an article published in a dozen newspapers, the leaders of EU members Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Denmark, plus future members Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, called time on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and appealed for unity. The move appeared aimed at isolating France and Germany, which had publicly argued against a rush to war, and building a pro-American caucus within the 15-nation EU.
"This looks like Rumsfeld's Europe," one EU diplomat said, referring to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's dismissal of France and Germany last week as "old Europe."
The eight failed to consult most of their EU partners and candidates about their initiative, launched just two days after the bloc's foreign ministers had tried to paper over the cracks with a statement backing the U.N. disarmament effort in Iraq. GREECE KEPT IN DARK Indeed British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, two of the prime movers, kept Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the dark during telephone calls on Wednesday, a Greek spokesman said. That prompted Simitis to criticize the eight in a statement on Thursday, declaring: "The way in which the initiative on the issue of Iraq was expressed does not contribute to the common approach to the problem."
EU officials said neither the bloc's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, nor its external relations commissioner, Chris Patten, was informed of the "Gang of Eight" letter. - One senior official said the initiative had wrecked a week of EU damage control spent trying to build a consensus in favor of the weapons inspections and respect for the primacy of the U.N. Security Council in deciding on war or peace. The chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, German Christian Democrat Elmar Brok, said any chance of Europe's voice being heard had been undone.
"This way the Americans will lead and some Europeans will follow. The race of the vassals has begun," he said. Comment: Amen!
Britain Splits Europe - British Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped up a diplomatic drive on Thursday to show broad European support for a U.S.-led war on Iraq, but turned the spotlight on a deep rift with France and Germany. Blair left for Spain and the United States armed with a letter signed by seven other European allies expressing support for the tough U.S. stance on Iraq, which Washington accuses of developing weapons of mass destruction. Blair signed the letter with the leaders of Italy, Spain, Denmark, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. But Blair's spokesman said France and Germany, critics of the U.S. position, were not invited to sign. European Union President Greece was also left out of the picture. - France wants United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq to be given more time while Germany is firmly against military action. Britain and France are veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council while Germany is a non-permanent member. The letter caps a flurry of diplomatic activity by Blair in the past few days to build a coalition for a possible war against Iraq, which Britain and the United States say is in "material breach" of a U.N. resolution on disarmament.
America's closest friends in Europe urged those opposed to invading Iraq to line up behind George W. Bush on Thursday, as the focus of diplomacy swung further toward preparing for war rather than averting it. There are just weeks left for talking -- not months -- said a White House spokesman, suggesting that one of the few options open to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein now was to go into exile. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and seven others including the leaders of Italy, Poland and Spain signed an open letter calling on the peace camp -- implicitly Germany, France and Russia -- to rally to the U.S. standard against Iraq. [...] Public opinion in France, Germany and elsewhere remains firmly opposed to an American-run war and Greece, the European Union president, slammed the letter for undermining efforts at EU unity. At the center of an intense round of diplomacy, starting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's meeting with Bush on Thursday and leading up to what may be a crunch meeting of the United Nations Security Council on February 14, will be U.S. efforts to convince the doubters it has evidence that Iraq has nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction. "The president is using this window now to engage in very busy and active diplomacy. This will take place in a period of weeks, not months," Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
Apocalypse For Atheists - I want to start by saying I do not believe in Apocalyptic prophecy. I don't believe in taking the words found in Bronze Age books as the verbatim word of any deity. But I DO believe we're in for one Hell of a ride over the next few years. There are some who still insist I'm overreacting in my complaints about US Foreign and Domestic policies, and that thing's aren't as bad as I make them out to be. I complained that HR 1646 (the Patriot Act) was going to lead to trouble, and that there would be more fascist legislation on the way. Then came HR 5170 (The Homeland Security Act), which was even worse. What people should take note of is that the Chinese government just tried to pass the same kind of legislation in Hong Kong. People took to the streets in large numbers to protest the legislation, and the Chinese government listened.
It is an obscene comparison--you know, I am not sure I like it--but you know there was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions, and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. And again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.
What we are talking about here--whether one wants to recognize it or not, or call it by its proper name or not--is a form of self-censorship. It starts with a feeling of patriotism within oneself. It carries through with a certain knowledge that the country as a whole--and for all the right reasons--felt and continues to feel this surge of patriotism within themselves. And one finds oneself saying: "I know the right question, but you know what? This is not exactly the right time to ask it."
There has never been an American war, small or large, in which access has been so limited as this one. Limiting access, limiting information to cover the backsides of those who are in charge of the war, is extremely dangerous and cannot and should not be accepted. And I am sorry to say that up to and including the moment of this interview, that overwhelmingly it has been accepted by the American people. And the current administration revels in that, they relish that, and they take refuge in that. [...]
But we're going beyond self-censorship and into the era of the Freedom From Information Act. The Bush family is trying to create a great big memory hole where World War II, Korea, and Vietnam used to be. They're trying to do the same to Election 2000.
I strongly recommend reading the story at. http://thememoryhole.org/pol/florida-ballots.htm According to the Memory Hole and Palm Beach Post, the Election 2000 ballots are probably going to be destroyed in June. Doh. I guess they REALLY don't want that recount to happen, even if it's not for another century or two after the Bush family is dead and gone. They want to rewrite history and destroy their legacy of Nazi collaboration, drug dealing, and political corruption.
Between Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush 41, four GOP Presidents managed to reduce the budget for the National Archives by 99%. The result of this has been that getting the millions of pieces of paper from WW II declassified is STILL not complete. I could be mistaken, but I believe they're still working on the 1940's, and haven't even gotten to Korea or Vietnam yet. [...]
During the Clinton era, there was a flurry of activity in declassifying government documents. He signed an Executive Order that mandated the release of all documents 25 years old or older, and got various departments of government busy creating guidelines for what to declassify ASAP. This is one occasion where an Executive Order was actually put to good use.
According to History News Network, the Bush administration has now shut down the DOD Historical Records Declassification Advisory Panel.
No new guidelines, no new important paper on WW II and Wall Street's collaboration with Adolph Hitler. No more paper on Prescott Bush and his collaboration with Nazis, let alone paper on G H W Bush and Iran Contra. The Bush legacy is safe from further damage, for now.
This goes along with Bush's earlier reversal of the Clinton policies, which goes back to before 9/11/01. Bush and Ashcroft have reversed the government's stance, and now take the position that rather than finding reasons to release documents, departments of government should try and find reasons NOT to release documents. John Ashcroft has guaranteed that he will back any government employee blocking the release of documents.
I think it is fair to say that we now live in the age of the Freedom From Information Act. Go back to sleep. Sleep is dark. Dark is good. Embrace the dark. Eat more fertilizer from FOX News. Do not adjust your TV set. You need no conscience. TV is your conscience. Be a mushroom, not a whiner. Join the crew. You'll love it. It's a way of life!
As if that wasn't enough, we now have a parallel to the early days of Germany under Hitler. Hitler conducted a program of Jewish control, where Jews had to register with the government. Today, Muslims are being fingerprinted and ordered to show up for questioning and registration with the INS. [...]
To be fair, they're not asking the infamous Jewish Question. They're asking the Muslim Question instead. [...] Semite refers to people descended from Shem. Shem beget the Jewish people, but those who know their Bible know that Shem also beget Joktan, who beget many of today's Arabs, Egyptians, and Muslims in general. There are more Semitic Muslims than Semitic Jews, but both are Semitic. The Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, and many Egyptians are ALL Semitic people. If all us people don't start opposing this nonsense, pretty soon there'll be no one left to speak out for you and me. Well, probably me before most of you, but there you have it. [...]
I'm sure there are many who will scoff and say the Jews had it much worse in Germany. And they did. MUCH worse. But it didn't happen overnight in Germany either. Fascism has this tendency of sneaking up on you via mission creep. Signs of the Apocalypse? Maybe not. But it was a cute title. Anyway, see you at camp!
Every day now, long convoys are pouring forth from American ships docked in the Persian Gulf and onto the highway leading north toward the desert border with Iraq. - Locals have been watching their accelerated activity for months. In the past week, the pace quickened dramatically. There are already at least 35,000 U.S. troops in Kuwait, more than twice as many as there were one month ago. This week, their movement swelled from a trickle to a round-the-clock torrent of supplies and material. - Gun-mounted Humvees, flatbed trucks bearing M1 and M2 Abrams tanks, and unmarked civilian-style Mitsubishi four-wheel-drives now clog Kuwait's main arteries. Bulldozers and earth-moving tractors build sand berms along the way. Mobile howitzers rumble off-road across the horizon. Tour buses with drawn curtains carry troops north along the country's main highway. Far fewer of these vehicles drive south. Most of these haul empty loads. - Some of the Marines themselves seem startled by the size of the buildup. "This is more armed vehicles than I've ever seen. More vehicles than I've ever seen in one place," said Capt. Lance Ferrell, a reservist platoon commander in the 1st Tank Battalion who recently arrived here from Southern California, where he manages inventory for an irrigation supply company. "It's pretty awe-inspiring, pretty amazing." A single view takes in hundreds of amphibious troop carriers, trucks, and heavy artillery pieces.
Bush's call for the US to go to war leaves Blair facing the moment he hoped would never come - This was not a calm assessment of the dangers posed by Iraq; this was a commander ordering his troops into battle. After George Bush's second state of the union address, there can be no doubt that America is set on war. Here in London, Jack Straw and Tony Blair are still talking about Saddam having a last chance to persuade the inspectors, and to disarm. Over there in Washington, time has run out.
So is the Blair strategy already in ruins? Is there any chance of Bush being persuaded to delay much beyond next week's UN session in which Colin Powell will unveil the alleged links between Saddam and al-Qaida? Will the prime minister be able to bring the French and Germans alongside? When he sets off for Camp David later today, is it to discuss the situation, and advise, and urge, and warn - or simply to get his orders? One thing is for sure. Whatever happens in the Gulf itself, the gulf of understanding between Europe and America has rarely looked wider. To European ears, much of what Bush says sounds archaic. There are the constant references to good and evil. There's the biblical language ("days of promise and days of reckoning"). Old Europe, as Donald Rumsfeld calls us, doesn't take religion too seriously these days: Bush's Washington is fundamentalist.
We know, of course, that the pomp of the state of the union address barely hides another reality: an economically divided, unequal and uncertain country, with a substantial anti-war movement of its own, and whose citizens remain sceptical about their president's wider strategies. Despite warm words about helping the poor with a system of "mentors", and a big chunk of money to fund research into hydrogen cars to help the environment, his old conservatism shone through, with calls for an end to abortion. When he spoke of bringing forward his massive tax cuts, it was notable that only half of Congress rose to applaud: stone-faced Democrats sat that one out.
With stock values plunging and a shiver of fear running through the markets, we know too that an early war is supposed to be some kind of economic solution. However bizarre it sounds, the US commentator who said that attacking Iraq was Bush's version of an economic stimulus had a point. Bush's moralistic language hid commercial calculation. The markets would like a short, sharp end to the uncertainty. They may not get it: however well the speech went down on the night, if the war that follows produces large numbers of American casualties, and a wider conflagration, Bush will be in deep trouble.
From a British point of view, all that is rather beside the point, though, compared to the brute fact of Bush virtually declaring war. The single most significant sentence in his address was not the grand rhetoric about freedom and compassion but the stark assertion that "the course of this nation does not depend upon the decisions of others". That was a direct slap in the face for United Nations prevarication and was instantly understood as such by his audience. It produced wild cheering. For Bush, the world community at the UN is interesting; but not very interesting; and certainly not essential.
He is the only person in the world who can afford to think this way. He has the muscle that no one else comes near to possessing. His menaces and his stare are easily mocked, but they are also impressively scary. I would not have liked to have been an Iraqi general watching that speech. We caricature today's America as a flabby, divided and sentimental empire, led by an idiot; but it is also, at moments, the warlike republic of old, with a self-certainty no other country has known for generations. [Since Adolf Hitler, that is.]
Adolf Hitler had a peculiar feature, which none of his political opponents had. He was very good at guessing what people wanted. He was also very good at manipulating people for the sake of his own needs. The set of mottoes that Hitler used was very simple and the majority of the German people understood his mottoes and slogans: to retrieve Germany’s lost grandeur and to guarantee each German citizen a worthy living. There was the same precision with Germany’s enemies: Jews, communists, social democrats, the “parasites of the German nation.” Therefore, there is no paradox about the fact that Hitler became the leader of the German nation in an absolutely legal way. The political, military and economic elite of Germany assisted in that in all possible ways: Hitler promised everyone that specific interests of every class would be executed first and foremost.
The most paradoxical thing about it is the fact that the Nazi party was most popular in 1930-1931. Nazis lost two million votes at the Reichstag elections in November of 1932. This made Hitler go mad about his companions-in-arms. Most likely, that madness was just a performance. The Nazis knew it very well that there was only one thing that could prevent them from becoming the ruling party: the union between communists and social democrats. This union was not going to happen anyway. As a chancellor, Hitler was not worse than his predecessors on this position. This was communists’ stand. Social democrats considered communists as dangerous as Nazis. However, both communists and social democrats overestimated the extent of their political influence. Moreover, the latter overestimated the success of Weimar democracy. Hitler knew it perfectly that one should use any chance to get a grip on the power.
Hitler came to power under the pretext of the fight with armed groups of communists and social democrats. German generals backed those gunmen for communists and social democrats stuck in their throat. The comedy with legitimate power takeover ended up very quickly. On February 27th 1933, Nazis put the Reichstag on fire, having blamed communists for that. The communist party was outlawed. Social democrats’ turn came in spring; the majority of them was completely demoralized by that time. Law and order was established in Germany, and the whole world had to pay for it. Comment: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Only this time, it will be with interest.
Microsoft and other corporations donated thousands of dollars through an employee matching program to a group prosecutors accuse of funneling money to Osama bin Laden's terror network. The donations were disclosed in court papers made public Wednesday in the federal racketeering case against Enaam Arnaout, head of Palos Hills-based Benevolence International Foundation.
Mandela Blasts Bush on Iraq, Warns of 'Holocaust' - Former South African President Nelson Mandela lashed out at U.S. President George Bush's stance on Iraq on Thursday, saying the Texan had no foresight and could not think properly. Mandela, a towering statesman respected the world over for his fight against Apartheid-era discrimination, said the U.S. leader and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were undermining the United Nations, and suggested they would not be doing so if the organization had a white leader. "It is a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing in Iraq," Mandela told an audience in Johannesburg. "What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust," he added, to loud applause. "Both Bush as well as Tony Blair are undermining an idea (the United Nations) which was sponsored by their predecessors," Mandela said. "Is this because the secretary general of the United Nations (Ghanaian Kofi Annan) is now a black man? They never did that when secretary generals were white." Mandela said he would support without reservation any action agreed upon by the United Nations against Iraq, which Bush and Blair say has weapons of mass destruction and is a sponsor of terror groups, including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. The United States has promised to reveal evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has breached U.N. resolutions, a charge Iraq denies.
Anti-war protesters announce Feb. 15 rally for `millions' - Anti-war protesters on Wednesday predicted "literally millions" of people in New York, San Francisco and more than 30 international cities would march the weekend of Feb. 15 against war in Iraq. A day after President Bush said in his State of the Union address that he was ready to disarm Saddam Hussein's Iraq, organizers brought politicians, church leaders and Oscar-winning filmmakers Jonathan Demme and Mercedes Ruehl out to announce the protest. "We can, when we stand up together, actually stop this war from happening," said Leslie Cagan, a co-chairwoman of New York's United for Peace and Justice chapter. - Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, NAACP chairman Julian Bond, Martin Luther King III and performers Harry Belafonte, Mos Def and Danny Glover will be among the speakers, Cagan said. San Francisco will stage a protest on Feb. 16, and more than 30 cities from London to Tokyo to Johannesburg would hold similar rallies, she said. "Literally millions of people will march in countries around the world in a unified call for peace," she said. - Ruehl compared the intent to declare war on Iraq to giving "massive doses of chemotherapy with all its devastating effect to a body that hasn't been proven to have cancer."
More Iraqi Scientists Turn Down U.N. Interviews - Two Iraqi scientists turned down requests for private interviews from U.N. arms experts on Thursday as the inspectors pushed ahead with a hunt for alleged banned weapons. U.N. spokesman Hiro Ueki said teams from U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited six sites and installed air sampling equipment at their headquarters. The inspectors have so far failed to hold private interviews with Iraqi scientists involved in Iraq's past weapons of mass destruction programs, seen by the United States as crucial to exposing any current banned activity. Ueki said in a statement UNMOVIC sought two more private interviews on Thursday. "In both cases, the Iraqi individuals requested to be interviewed in private showed up with a person at the agreed hotel and insisted on having the individual with them during an interview," Ueki said. "Consequently no private interviews took place." Ueki said earlier this week that the inspectors had requested private interviews with 13 Iraqi individuals, and three of them were asked again. But the insistence of the individuals on having Iraqi minders with them foiled the attempts.
Comment: Only those who have something to hide would insist on such a condition. My question is: what kind of "interview" do they want to have that must be conducted in such secrecy???
Iraq accused Israel Thursday of harboring biological, chemical and nuclear weapons -- turning the spotlight on the Jewish state at the main U.N. arms control body. Iraqi Ambassador Samir Al-Nima and Israel's Yaakov Levy also traded insults over their countries' leaders during speeches to the Geneva-based U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Syria and Algeria joined in the heated debate at the 66-member forum, while the U.S. delegation kept quiet during attacks on Israel, its close ally. The dispute erupted after Levy appealed for a Middle East free of biological, chemical and nuclear arms and accused "certain countries" of seeking weapons of mass destruction and supplying "terrorist groups" with conventional arms and rockets. But Iraqi envoy Al-Nima retorted: "The international community has not seen practical steps taken by Israel to disarm in the nuclear field. "We all know Israel has nuclear arms and has signed the treaty banning chemical weapons, but nobody knows where their stocks are. We also know Israel has biological weapons, but nobody knows where those stocks are." An Israeli Defense Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on the Iraqi remarks. Israel is widely believed to have about 300 nuclear warheads but its policy is to never to discuss the issue. Envoys from Syria and Algeria expressed regret that Israel had not opened its nuclear facilities to the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency -- whose inspectors are scouring Iraq as the threat of a U.S.-led war looms.
Israeli soldiers searched Palestinian homes and bulldozers wrecked a vegetable market in Hebron on Thursday after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rebuffed a post-election olive branch extended by Yasser Arafat. The sweep for militants in the flashpoint city was the first major military assault in the West Bank since Tuesday's election in Israel. The raid followed the killing of three soldiers outside a Jewish settlement near Hebron a week ago. While Israeli tanks rumbled through the Palestinian-ruled sector of the city, Sharon's pursuit of a broad coalition following his right-wing Likud party's resounding victory in the parliamentary poll was still in low gear. Israeli President Moshe Katzav planned to hold consultations with political parties next week and was then expected to give Sharon the nod to try to form a government within 28 days. Commenting on the raid on Hebron, a biblical city divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas in 1997 under an interim peace deal, an Israeli army spokesman said "a military action to hit the infrastructure of terror" was under way.
Yasser Arafat voiced in Ramallah his readiness to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to discuss ways of resuming peace dialogue. But the Palestinian leader did not specify the conditions for the meeting. He only pointed out his intention to urge Palestinian radicals to halt terrorist acts against the Israelis. Nonetheless, Sharon's office reported the prime minister had not accepted the proposal. His statement runs that he is ready to restart talks only with those Palestinian representatives who have no relation to terrorism. It is an open secret that Ariel Sharon has emphasised for several months now Yasser Arafat's involvement in terrorist activity by initiating, encouraging and financing terror, and therefore cannot be Israel's partner in peace talks. However, the fact that Yasser Arafat has voiced his readiness to meet Sharon in the wake of the general elections in Israel is viewed as a landmark event by many observers. Arab world has now realised that if Israel's government is dominated by right-wing parties, the resumption of peace talks becomes a distant prospect as well as the formation of an independent Palestinian state.
Now we may get to see the true face of Ariel Sharon. His crushing victory in the early hours of yesterday morning has given the Israeli people, and the wider world, a chance at last to see what this man really wants. For not only has Sharon become the first incumbent Israeli prime minister since the 1980s to be re-elected, he has been handed a triple mandate: he, his Likud party and the wider "national camp" have all triumphed. Commanding nearly 70 seats in the 120-member Knesset, the Israeli right is now free to do what it likes, unfettered by the need to compromise with the dovish left. For two years it had to share power in a "national unity" government with Labour; now it can be true to itself. - The government he's got he doesn't want; the government he wants he can't have - not easily anyway.
The consular section of the U.S. embassy in Berlin was closed on Thursday after police reported receiving a warning of possible terrorist attacks on both the Israeli and the U.S. embassies in the German capital. "We had to take some security-related precautionary measures," a spokeswoman for the embassy said, confirming the consular section of the embassy would be closed. It would remain closed on Thursday and Friday, the embassy's Web site stated. A German security source told Reuters earlier the threat stemmed from a letter sent to the U.S. embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus. U.S. diplomats passed the information to Israel's Berlin embassy, the source said. Security was also increased at other U.S. buildings and Jewish centers in Berlin after the warning was received on Wednesday, German media said. Police said extra security would remain in place until the threat had been fully investigated. Germany's BND intelligence service said late last year it believed al Qaeda, blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was preparing a new campaign in Germany and France.
A US Army Blackhawk helicopter crashed near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, causing an unknown number of casualties, a Pentagon spokesman said. "There were casualties. I don't know how many or their nature," said Lieutenant Dan Hetlage. Hetlage said the UH-60 helicopter went down at around 1500 GMT, ten to 20 kilometers east of Bagram Air Base, the main base for US forces in Afghanistan. He said the cause was under investigation but there was no indication of hostile fire.
The U.S. economy slowed to a crawl in the fourth quarter of 2002, growing at the weakest pace since the recession of 2001, the government said Thursday. Gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of the world's largest economy, grew at a 0.7 percent rate in the quarter after growing at a 4 percent rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported. Economists, on average, expected GDP growth of 0.9 percent, according to Briefing.com. "The Federal Reserve has talked about the economy being in a soft spot -- well, it's really in a soft spot," said Robert Brusca, chief economist at Native American Securities.
What Bush Didn't Say -[...] Bush went on to roll out his new tax cut, aimed at stock dividends, which will once again benefit the wealthiest Americans. He failed to mention how the budget will handle this added stress; likewise, he failed to mention the fact that a number of prominent Republicans, along with virtually every Democrat and a mob of economists, saw this new tax cut concept as essentially flawed and dead on arrival. Every man and woman who wants a job must have one, said Bush. He failed to mention the millions of jobs that have been lost by Americans since he took office.
After an inordinate amount of praise for his tax cuts, and no mention of how the budget can survive them, Bush went on to rhetorically spend billions and billions of dollars he does not have on hand. He proposed an end to the 'marriage penalty', and went on to propose $1.2 billion in spending to develop hydrogen-powered automobiles. He failed to explain how he can afford any of this, and likewise failed to parse the hypocrisy of touting hydrogen cars while his new tax plan provides tens of thousands of dollars worth of write-offs for owners of gas-guzzling SUVs.
Another $450 million will go to a mentor program for children whose parents are in prison. $600 million will go to another drug treatment program. A whopping $15 billion will go to the noble cause of assisting the catastrophic AIDS crisis in Africa, but not a word was spared to explain where this money will be found. The mother of all financial boondoggles, the Ballistic Missile Shield, got it's due to no one's great surprise.
At one point during the reading of this fiduciary laundry list, Bush demanded fiscal responsibility from the government. A roving camera caught House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi bursting into laughter when that line came across. [...]
To be sure, this was a generalized list, filled with hyperbole and great praise for the failed economic plans of the last two years. Upon arriving at the subject of foreign policy and war, however, Mr. Bush shifted gears. In every way, his delivery became more dynamic, his voice more like a man standing before a congregation of the faithful. Nearly every line was met with crashing applause from his Republican allies arrayed before him. [...]
He spoke again of chasing terrorists across the globe. "The war goes on," said Bush, "and we are winning." He listed a number of al Qaeda agents who had been detained without providing much in the way of specifics, and stated that some 3,000 suspected terrorists were under arrest. Many more have been dealt with; "Put it this way," said Bush. "They are no longer a problem." He failed to describe the premises upon which those 3,000 were detained, and likewise failed to mention that in the process of rendering those others 'non-problematic,' his war in Afghanistan sent more civilians to death than were lost on September 11th.
The last twenty minutes of Bush's speech were dedicated almost exclusively to the looming conflict in Iraq. He leveled a damning finger at Saddam Hussein, accusing him of hiding anthrax, VX, botulinin toxin and other terrible weapons. He failed to provide an iota of evidence to back up these assertions, and on a number of occasions trotted out 'evidence' that had been debunked by the UN inspectors and the CIA. Bush raised the dire threat of a nuclear-capable Iraq, but failed to note that the nuclear inspectors in Iraq have given that nation a totally clean bill of health. He likewise failed to mention that his administration and the Pentagon have approved the use of nuclear weapons in Iraq as mainstream tactical battlefield tools.
Bush on several occasions linked Hussein directly to al Qaeda, painting at one point a picture of nineteen hijackers directed by Hussein commandeering aircraft and loading them with chemical or biological weapons. He offered no proof of this. He failed to mention that Hussein is a secular dictator who has spent the last thirty years crushing Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq, failed to mention the death threats levied against him by al Qaeda, and failed to mention the absolute fact that Hussein would never be so stupid as to give weapons or aid to blood enemies. Were he to do so, he would find those weapons immediately turned against him.
Bush failed to mention how the American economy could handle the billions of dollars needed to support the war, the inevitable oil shock that would come as a result of the war, the billions more needed for his missile shield, the billions needed to push his new tax cut through, the billions needed to make his old tax cut permanent, and the billions needed to pay for the new programs he proposed.
Bush failed to explain why so many Admirals and Generals, including Generals Zinni and Schwartzkopf, have spoken about the recklessness of this war plan. He failed to mention the inevitable blowback of terrorism that America would suffer should this war take place, especially if it takes place with a 'coalition of the willing' that does not include a UN sanction.
At no time, and in no way, did George W. Bush mention the name Osama bin Laden.
When a President proposes new policies and new challenges, and backs those proposals up with beneficial actions, the politics of the speech are worth their weight in gold. As the elder Bush discovered, after his empty speech of 1992, baseless rhetoric with no follow-up is as the crack of doom. Bush cannot afford the domestic policies he has proposed, and charts a deadly path to war abroad. There was so much left unsaid during this speech. Those empty spaces may prove, in the end, to be his downfall.
A flu epidemic has started in Russia, the Scientific Research Institute for Influenza of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences reported to RIA Novosti on Thursday. An analysis of observations from Jan. 20 to 26 revealed that cold and flu epidemic thresholds had been exceeded in all age groups in three cities - Omsk in Siberia (65-130 percent) and Rostov-on-Don (15-76 percent) and Astrakhan (46-71 percent) in southern Russia. Furthermore, in some cities notably including Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Magadan, Novosibirsk, Kirov and Barnaul epidemic thresholds had been reached among schoolchildren, in Barnaul and Volgograd, among children under the age of 2, and in Chelyabinsk and Novosibirsk among adults over 15. By comparison with the previous observation period, in most cities of Russia susceptibility had increased significantly among schoolchildren (from 22 to 106 percent). The same tendency was observed in other age groups, although less clearly. Specialists at the Scientific Research Institute for Influenza believe the situation may be viewed as the beginning of a flu epidemic in the territory of Russia.
Mr. Simon Crean, accused the Australian Prime Minister of lying to the Australian people about the country's commitment to the US-led attack against Iraq. At the same time, the media here revealed that a squadron of 18 Air Force planes is scheduled to leave for the Middle East within the next two weeks. A prominent Australian defence specialist said in a TV interview today that Iraq has no links with al-Qaeda and the country should rather focus on combating terrorism in Asia. A group of Australians intending to serve as human shields in Iraq left Adelaide this week.
A new cyclone is approaching Kamchatka (the Russian Far East). The Kamchatka inter-regional territorial department for hydrometeorology and monitoring of the environment told RIA Novosti on Thursday that a powerful cyclone, which determines weather conditions in the southern regions of the peninsula, is near the Sakhalin island now. This is why the weather has improved for a short period of time. At the present time, forecasters observe the behaviour of the next-wave cyclone which is approaching the peninsula from the Pacific regions. They believe that in the evening a lot of clouds will appear in the southern and south-eastern regions of Kamchatka. The atmospheric whirlwind will bring snowfalls to the peninsula, the intensity of which will increase at night. The roads are covered with ice. The precipitation in the southern and south-eastern regions of Kamchatka amounted to 20 percent of the monthly norm over the last 24 hours. The wind gust on the coast was more than 35 metres per second, and the thickness of snow reaches 1,5 metres in some places.
Recently, the CIA declassified documents concerning “probable remains of Noah’s Ark on Ararat mountain in Turkey.” Researchers immediately rushed to study the materials on this problem. It has been rumored long ago that starting with the end of the 1940s, the CIA has been collecting documentary evidence about an object hidden in an ice grave in Ararat’s slope. Researchers of Noah’s Ark said that the CIA archives contained numerous classified photo and filmed documents. Some mysterious sources reported that “a secret expedition was organized to Turkey” by the US Government. They said that Noah’s Ark was found and secretly delivered to the territory of some US military base. Do you think it is impossible? Goodness knows. Former CIA officer Dino Brugioni asserts that he saw with his own eyes several pictures in which “three huge curved beams” could be perfectly seen. There is no doubt that if the CIA actually happened to discover remains of the ancient huge vessel, this certainly would be the most important scientific and archeological discovery of the century. However, it is not clear yet whether the Agency is going to declassify the exhibits after declassification of documents on this problem, or there are no exhibits in fact.
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