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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]
February 3, 2003
comment on the Shuttle "Event":
Q: One of the first questions we want to ask tonight is
about the event of the Space Shuttle that was lost. First, was it
an explosion, or was it just disintegration, or breaking up?
Q: A direct hit by what?
Q: (S) What was the source of the EM pulse?
Q: Well, I thought Bush was a puppet of the Consortium?
(A) Well, we know that the military are scrambling planes to go
after UFOs…there are even reports of firing on them and there
have been reports of military jets being disintegrated by UFOs. The
UFOs are, somehow, in cahoots with the consortium. It seems that
Bush and the gang are not in control of the Consortium and maybe
they needed to be "reminded?"
Q: (L) You once before said that Bush knows very little
anyway - or that the "White House" level is pretty much in the dark
about the plans of the Consortium - even if they are carrying them
out. So, you are suggesting that they are being driven by forces of
which they are unaware and do not understand?
Q: (L) I would like to know about this supposed "body
guard" of Saddam recently presented by MOSSAD? Was he one of
Saddam's former bodyguards?
Q: (L) Piece of cake to produce a bodyguard, I guess. (A)
He is saying exactly what the Israelis want him to say. He is not
revealing any particular data that counts. It is just general
things. Anybody could say such things and be called a "bodyguard."
(L) Exactly. Okay, you say that an EM pulse brought down the
shuttle. (A) Where did the EM pulse come from?
Q: (A) Does NASA know about the cause?
Q: (L) Which explains why they are so anxious to convince
everyone that it was NOT sabotage. Like Wellstone's death, there
was "no question" about it being a terrorist attack. The likelihood
is that the Bush Junta was behind Wellstone's death. In both cases
they "know" the cause and want to divert the attention away from
it. But, in the case of the shuttle, they aren't "dirty," but they
most definitely do NOT want anyone to realize that they also are
not "in charge." It makes me think of the remark the C's made a few
years ago about the reason for the Military Industrial Complex
build-up and manipulations. C's said that the REAL enemy is "out
there" and that war was just a "cover" to prevent the masses from
realizing what they were really doing. Maybe Bush and the gang are
really convinced, in their own minds, that they are acting to
"protect" humanity from this threat. Meanwhile, they are simply
being driven to fulfill the agenda of the Consortium. And it is so
interesting that the shuttle broke up over Palestine, Texas…
as though it was saying to Bush: this is what is going to happen to
you: Palestine is going to be your destruction. But, of course,
Bush would be incapable of perceiving it in that context. Is it so
that a message was intended in this event?
Q: (L) In other words, everyone's reaction to the event
will depend on their own context. There is the view that it was a
"message to Bush." Bush and gang will, of course, see it only as a
stimulus to faster and more "decisive" military action. So, it will
really work on them the way it is wanted. (A) And of course, we
wonder how they will make use of this event.
Reader comments: I had hoped that you would ask the C's re: the Columbia incident. Barry Chamish adds something to all of this with some info. But more interesting Skolnick strikes again and adds something to what the C's mentioned.
"(A) Where did the EM pulse come from?
And Mr. Skolnick posted last night some corellating info. Disasters of Convenience - " Lawyers know how to split hairs to fudge on the truth. Bill Clinton's understanding of sex is when the male penetrates the female. Hence, Monica Lewinsky performing oral sex with him, was not, according to Clinton, "sex with that woman". In the "Columbia" disaster, NASA said it was too early to know what happened. Despite that, a spokesman for the newly created Homeland Security, boldly stated that no ground-to-air missile brought down the Space Shuttle at 207,000 feet above Earth. What about a Water-to-Air projectile? Conveniently left unsaid was any discussion of Star Wars, laser or particle beams possibly aimed at the Space Shuttle from satellite. Some reports contend a satellite mysteriously changed course just before the explosion of "Columbia".
Perhaps this can explain a bit more about this: "They clearly record an electrical discharge like a lightning bolt flashing past, and I was snapping the pictures almost exactly . . . when the Columbia may have begun breaking up during re-entry," he said." From: A San Francisco amateur astronomer who photographs the space shuttles whenever their orbits carry them over the Bay Area has captured five strange and provocative images of the shuttle Columbia just as it was re-entering the Earth's atmosphere before dawn Saturday.
Addenda from Barry Chamish - Never, ever have I received as much response in 36 hours to any piece I've written. Numerous people suggested that I should stay away from the Shuttle because it will kill my credibility about Rabin. Other writers, including two police officers from Texas, offered plausible scenarios that I should consider. One said the flying foam insulation knocked out the craft's auxiliary power box, the other, that it caused a tire to blow up, triggering the disaster.
My feeling is that foam insulation would not do either. That the left wing's problems were coincident to the tragedy, not the cause of it. My logic works like this: The temperature of the wing rose 60 degrees F in 5 minutes. We were told the temperature surrounding the craft was 3000 degrees F. So what's 60 degrees relatively? There was also drag on the wing which was corrected by the flight computers. These are not convincing reasons for the total destruction of the craft.
My central doubt concerns the huge boom that thousands heard and felt. Where did it come from? A sonic boom from 40 miles altitude? From debris, none bigger than a compact car and most very much smaller? Houses, even barns shook when Columbia exploded. From what? I will say no more. Here are just some of the comments, quotations and sites sent to me in a day and a half. Please notice the inquiring minds of my readers. Then, notice also, that many are military officers, police personnel, engineers, doctors and journalists. Without them, I wouldn't be able to understand how the world works, inasmuch as anyone possibly can. The following is my unedited correspondence in response to my suspicions that we are not getting the facts about the Columbia tragedy the way free people should be.
***The space shuttle Columbia blew up somewhere in the skies above where I live. I heard it happen, though at the time I didn't know what it was. I was sitting where I am now when I heard and felt either a tremendous sonic boom from when the Columbia re-entered the atmosphere or the explosion. When it happened I thought one of my 3 roommates had left the house in some sort of dramatic rage, slamming the front door using all of their strength. It happens. And whenever it does happen the house slightly shakes. Looking back, the "boom" was way too loud and the house shook much more than is usually caused by the standard door slammings. It felt more like a very heavy object - maybe refridgerator-like in size and weight - had been knocked over in the center of the house.
***I knew someone other than me had to believe it was sabotage. I am 99% certain that it was. I produce a radio show for young people on Saturday afternoons, and I had several of our youngsters out and about in the Dallas area interviewing eyewitnesses. At least 35 unconnected people said they heard the shuttle explode - so loud that it shook houses - and then saw it descend.
***There were reports of an explosion to local law enforcement officials all over Texas. Witnesses said they heard a "big bang" at approximately 9:00 a.m. Eastern and windows shook in buildings. "I watched the shuttle blow up while it came over Texas," witness Daniel Lee Schinzing told WorldNetDaily. "My family was outside watching it come over and pieces started coming from it!"
***"It was like a car hitting a house, or an explosion. It shook that much," said John Ferolito, 60, of Carrollton, just north of Dallas. "I was getting ready to go out and I heard a big bang, a massive roar and the windows shook."
***A neighbour told CNN: "We heard a rumble. It eventually got to where our house was shaking . It lasted for about a minute and a half. It felt like you lived with a railroad in your backyard."
***Andrea Robinson, a housewife in Dallas, had promised her children that she would get them up in time to watch the Shuttle fly overhead, after a local media campaign for schoolchildren to pay more attention to the regular space flights - this was the 113th in 22 years. She told The Telegraph: "I knew it was going overhead soon and I was just lying in bed thinking I had better get my daughter up. "All of a sudden my house started to shake and there was this huge noise and my daughter ran into the bedroom. We went outside and we could see this big trail of smoke coming down; it was very very wide. "I thought, well, that looks strange, they didn't tell us it was supposed to look like that. Then I heard my phone ringing and I went in and it was my neighbour telling me to turn on the television, the Shuttle had blown up. We are all in shock."
***Bob Multer of Palestine, 110 miles south-east of Dallas, said that the noise "was very similar to a tornado, it was very loud and intense - loud enough and low enough that it shook the building. "As soon as it started I shot out of my house because the windows were rattling. I looked up at the sky and a very large zigzagging smoke plume was going south-east. It was huge. Much bigger than it looked on the TV screen on the news. "I timed it and it took a minute-and-a-half to pass. I just stood there because I couldn't really believe what was happening."
***Benjamin Laster of Kemp, Texas, said: "The barn started shaking and we ran out and started looking around. I saw a puff of vapour and smoke and saw big chunk of material fall."
*** Booms? Sonic booms? Sound of explosion? The aircraft was 38 miles high so the sound would take at least 200 seconds to get from the explosion to the witnesses' ears. Meanwhile the thing is moving a six times the speed of sound so by the time we hear the boom, the wreckage is somewhere else.
***There was one report, I heard it only once, that a military satellite monitoring the shuttle picked up three flashes of light hitting the shuttle and then kaboom. There are allegedly no weapons fast enough to hit a shuttle moving at that speed. But lasers travel faster than missles and knowing now that a number of American weapons systems security codes have been compromised and have found their way into very unfriendly hands, who knows if one of our own weapons systems was somehow compromised and used . . .
Guesses: A laser EMP beam could easily cause an explosion. It is not true that Columbia was too high above ground to be hit from the earth. I think that 60 miles is a piece of cake for an EMP weapon. But the question is: Who has got it? Right. The US of A. Weird? I dunno. To admit - or even hint at sabotage (terrorism) is not very smart, but a flat denial is pure stupidity. NASA knows or suspects what went on - that is for sure.
Right after Shabbat I found out about this and my thoughts were the same as yours. All my friends thought I was crazy till I pointed out the first failure had a Jew and the Palestine TX thing was just too much. That explosion was my clue also. Aftr all, the US had admitted back a few months ago that it had found contrails of unexpalined origin over more than one US city. To top it off, there are also weapons using EMP/directed energy that could do the job. Now most folks think those are still comic book weapons, but not so. I am an engineer, although not a space type but a mechanical type, and I agree with you on the explosions could not have been from engine failure at reentry. I am also a retired military officer and trained to think outside the norm/average mundane stuff which is why I knew right away that it was terrorism. I do not believe in coincidences and although it will be hard to prove, there is just too much there. I am happy to see that some one besides me had the same thoughts on this incident. I wanted to write to you last night, but had lots of peer pressure not to.
A scalar-burst strike on the US space shuttle Columbia has dealt a debilitating preemptive blow to Anglo-American plans for a Middle-East takeover. Psychological warfare tactics were to the fore in continuing pre-conflict skirmishing over the planned US-UK invasion of the Middle-East. This time the blow was devastating, as the Columbia ran into an electromagnetic wall, in the sky over Texas.
On Saturday 1st February, 2003 a scalar Tesla Howitzer weapon --aimed at downing the US space shuttle Columbia was phenomenally successful and will leave red faces in the Pentagon. [...]
Let's just recap: First, the shuttle was launched in the middle of a tense period of nuclear weapon sabre-rattling between the US and China -with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) acting as the Chinese proxy and battleground. Second, the propaganda highlight of the mission was the onboard presence of an Israeli researcher. Third, the shuttle was scheduled to land in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations. Fourth, it was scheduled to glide in over US president Bush's home state of Texas on final approach.
Regarding EMP weaponry, the C's broached this topic a long time ago - well before it was a term that was bandied about with any awareness of what it really meant.
From session: 11-23-96Q:
Q: (T) Very true. And that is why I am amazed that the
rest of the journalism community is attacking him.
Q: (T) What did happen to flight 800?
Q: (L) What was the nature of the experiment?
[At this point, it has been discussed in the exact same terms as described here in a reputable, national magazine.]
Now, about KAL 007... that one is not dangerous to know. The plane was deliberately instructed to fly off course in order to trigger the Soviet's Pacific air defense system, to "see what they were made of" in that area. The plane was lost, but the experiment worked. They did not expect them to shoot down a civilian airliner. Now, all moving targets create electronic impuses. These can be "read" by the proper extremely high tech equipment. Older radar guided systems are subject to malfunctions in weather conditions that are severe, as one example. Also, the impulse system is an offshoot of the electromagnetic pulse experiments being carried out at Montauk, Brookings and elsewhere as part of the HAARP project!
In connection with Pentagon missile tests, HAARP has many interesting tie-ins, not the least of which is your cell phone towers. Now, the homing target can be any moving object. It can be whatever is entered on the computer. It can be a squirrel in a tree, a jogger on the beach, a building, whatever you want. The system looks for any moving target in order to establish recognition to the computer, in order to establish recognition of match pattern of pulse. TWA 800 was flying at the exact same altitude that was supposed to be designated for the "drone" craft. The drone plane was farther out at sea. The "bounce" target was to be any moving object in the air within 400 square miles.
Q: (L) So, TWA 800, through a series of problems,
happened to find itself at the right altitude, a restricted
altitude, within the parameters of the experiment. Anything further
Comment from Reader: It is interesting that about a week ago there was a "sonic boom" that was felt in Florida and other parts in southern U.S., also felt over here around same time! I don't know if it is related or not to the EM pulse on shuttle, maybe the Consortium was takeing some target practice!
FLASHBACK! Was it a bird, a plane, a sonic boom? - Dozens of Hilton Head Islanders called the Emergency Operations Center and Beaufort County Sheriff's Office on Friday asking where "the earthquake" hit. The calls started at 10:03 a.m., after some roofs seemed to rattle and glass seemed to shake. Deputies at the Sheriff's Office on Hilton Head felt it too. - "We were like, 'Oh my gosh, what was that?' " said Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Debbie Szpanka. "The whole roof shook. For us, it sounded like something landed on our roof with a big thud." Others described it as the sound of a giant fist hitting outside walls or a giant gust of wind that lasted only a second or two. Outside, some looked around, trying to spot a wreck. "What was that?" No one seemed entirely sure Friday, but emergency management workers knew what it wasn't. "All I can tell you is it was not seismic in nature," said Steve Fields, deputy director of Beaufort County Emergency Management. "Maybe Godzilla, I don't know, but it wasn't seismic."
Plane Causes Sonic Boom, Rattles Four-County Area - A loud noise rattled windows and shook buildings in a four-county area Saturday before last around 4:20 p.m. Authorities aren't sure what caused the noise, but it was suggested it might have been an aircraft sonic boom. The boom was heard and felt by persons throughout Coffee, Moore, Franklin, Marion and Lincoln counties while many were focusing their attention on the football game underway in Nashville between the Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Scott Ulm, an employee at the Tennessee Corrections Academy in Tullahoma, said several employees heard the "boom" but exactly what caused it remains a mystery. "It was probably a sonic boom," he said. "But you can't tell for sure. All we heard is that there was a big blast."
Mysterious rumble shakes up Florida area residents - "It wasn't your typical sonic boom," said Woolford, an artist for Blue Dolphin at Ellyson Field. "It just kept going and going, about five or seven seconds. It shook the whole building. My pedestal computer monitor was rocking and rolling back and forth." When he felt the ground beneath his feet tremble, he thought it was an earthquake. Residents from Century to Perdido Key and east to Milton flooded emergency call centers in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties reporting the boom that rattled doors and shook pictures off walls. - The source of the vibration remained a mystery after emergency management and law enforcement officials ran into dead ends looking into the cause. The strongest indication pointed to a sonic boom. They ruled out a space shuttle flight over Northwest Florida. Military officials at Eglin and Hurlburt Field said they had no bombing or training missions that would have caused the rumble. - Officials with the Geological Survey of Alabama say seismic data does not point to an earthquake. "I have nothing showing an earthquake has occurred," said Dorothy Raymond, a geologist with the Survey in Tuscaloosa. - If the military is responsible for the boom, Catherine Olsen, who ran outside to investigate what shook her home near Cordova Mall, said, "they need to fess up. Everyone is so scared with everything going on in the world." This is not the first time the area has experienced a mysterious jolt. Similar unexplained tremors were reported in 1990 and 1991.
Report from Reader in Hawaii: Aloha Kakou! We had a "sonic boom" last tues. the 21st. about 8:30pm It was VERY strange!, our dogs started to bark a few secounds before the whole house shook with a load boom, you could almost see things kinda "warp" right before the bang. Friends of ours felt the same thing about 20 miles away at about the same time. I've heard plenty of sonic booms from planes, but this was different, we are surrounded by military bases so to hear bombs going off is not that unusual, we hear some pretty strange explosions this was oddly different! Its a weird coinsidence that this "sonic boom" was felt over on the mainland also!
Large meteorites drop on the Earth rather often. As is known, within ten years US’s nuclear detection system and spy satellites registered about 250 strong explosions caused by pieces of asteroids, comets and large meteorites that dropped on the Earth. When such objects from space drop in densely populated areas, they can entail lots of troubles there. For instance, if the famous Tunguska meteorite had lingered for some time more, it would have dropped in Russia’s European part, but not in Siberian taiga. It is not ruled out that the meteorite would have ruined the Russian capital completely. The latest object from space dropped on the Russian territory on September 25, 2002. When it dropped, a strong explosion sounded in Siberian taiga, near the city of Bodaibo in Russia’s Irkutsk region, at 3:00 a.m. A special expedition is to be organized next spring for investigation of the explosion’s consequences and for study of the object itself.
Residents of the town of Bodaibo in the Irkutsk region witnessed the fall of a large celestial body. Scientists suggest that it might have been a meteorite. This was reported by the regional department of the Russian EMERCOM. They added that they received the information from the Institute of Solar and Earth Physics of the Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Scientists said that Bodaibo residents could see the fall of a very large luminous body, which looked like a huge stone. The unidentified object fell in the woods. The site of the fall is situated very far from any settlements, but locals felt a strong shock, which could be comparable to an earthquake. In addition to that, the people also heard a thunder-like sound. Flashes of bright light could be seen above the site of the meteorite’s fall.
Fireball lights up sky over Spain and North Africa Wed Jan 29 - A meteor was likely the cause of a brilliant fireball that streaked across skies of southern Spain and North Africa this week, astronomers said. The flash Monday night was visible in much of Spain's Andalusia region and as far away as La Mancha, hundreds of kilometers to the north, as it arced over Algeria, said Jose Juan Lopez Moreno, a researcher at the Astrophysics Institute of Andalusia. "It was tremendously bright, much brighter than the moon," Lopez Moreno said. "I have never seen anything like it." He said the ball as mostly white with red and green fringes, and lasted just a couple seconds. A round-the-clock computerized camera run by the European Space Agency caught the flash on film.
Columbia a High Profile Victim of Proxy Clandestine Government War? - The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia comes at a time of international tension over a preemptive war against Iraq. One question that can be asked is, ‘is their a connection between the two?' After all, over the last two weeks there has been an extraordinary diplomatic showdown between the US and the German and French governments over the need for a preemptive war against Iraq. Was this merely a diplomatic spat between firm transatlantic friends, or signs of a tension that has deeper roots? [...]
According to a group of 100 former military and government ‘whistle blowers', there exists a number of clandestine government projects that seek to reverse engineer recovered extraterrestrial technology. These former officials played various roles either in these secret projects, or in suppressing information of the extraterrestrial technology. If there has been an historic extraterrestrial presence on Earth, and different clandestine organizations are seeking to recover and reverse engineer the technology of this race of beings, how might this relate to the Columbia tragedy? Might there be buried in the sands of Southern Iraq, extraterrestrial technology that is coveted by clandestine government organizations? [...]
In 2002, a German archaeological team began to do radar mapping of an ancient Sumerian City, Uruk, in preparation for renewing excavations. Uruk was the first capital city in Sumer, and therefore the first recorded city in Earth's history. If there was a presence of an advanced race of beings, the Anunnaki, helping Sumerian civilization, it would have been likely that some of the technology the Anunnaki possessed would have been located in Uruk. Given the advanced nature of these beings, the technology would have been protected in ways that rendered it safe from human interference until such time as the Anunnaki required to use it. The question that emerges here is, ‘is there some connection between the resumption of archaeological digging in Uruk, with Germany's refusal to participate in a preemptive war against Iraq?'
The description of Germany and France as part of the ‘old Europe' by US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signals a deep conflict between the US and its major European allies. Rather than being simply a tension of different methods in getting Iraq to disarm, the conflict may well mask a deeper desire to gain access and control of extraterrestrial technology buried in ancient Sumerian cities in Iraq. It is very possible that the Space shuttle Columbia was a high profile victim in a proxy war being conducted by clandestine government organizations over hidden extraterrestrial technology.
The destruction of Columbia may well be a signal to US based clandestine organizations by their European counterparts, not to launch a preemptive attack against Iraq. If Columbia was destroyed, rather than breaking up due to some mechanical failure, then it would be clear that the responsible organizations possess a weapons technology far beyond anything possessed by terrorist organizations and most states. [Dr. Michael E. Salla]
Comment from Reader: I kept tuning into CNN all day Saturday, and the shuttle loss was the only news they aired. There wasn't even anything on Iraq. Every headline on the ticker was about the shuttle and nothing else. Which, of course, made me wonder what else was going on in the world that wasn't being conveyed.
Even yesterday, dozens of people die in an aparment building explosion in Nigeria, and in another apartment building explosion in China. The Nigeria incident was only on the CNN ticker, and I didn't even see the China story on CNN at all. You would think that any explosion where the cause can't be identified would set off all the terrorism alarms.
Here we have three explosions in less than 24 hours in roughly equidistant places around the globe...
I can't help but wonder, what is our attention being diverted from?
A: It is just as dangerous and just as useless to "see" conspiracy in everything s it is to "see" conspiracy in nothing. We tire of conspiracy "buffs." They are nutty, and serve as perfect false sponsors to those who really DO seek to conduct widespread mental/psychic manipulations and control.
Q: Okay, that leads into the next question about the
excessive contrail activity.... We noticed them a lot in the spring
of 1998 when we had all the floods and fires later. They are THERE!
... LOTS of these jets flying about. An exceedingly LOT of flying!
And, not only that, other things have been reported and
photographed; strange streaks and lines in the sky, dark and light
both - as though some sort of cosmic structure is bleeding through!
... Whether they are dumping anything on our heads, or what, there
are an extreme number of planes flying in these upper level
criss-cross patterns. Now, whether they are just playing war-games,
or they are spy planes, they are doing SOMETHING! What is the
reason for all of this upper level flying that results in these
criss-crossed contrails that everybody is seeing?
Q: What are they preparing for?
Q: So, this is just training flight, justification of
budget, and nothing more than that?
Q: Are you implying that there is a build-up of the
Military-Industrial Complex for a reason?
Q: Does that suggest that they are building up to set off
a war so they can make more money?
Q: Does any of this increased aircraft activity have
anything to do with the increased awareness and activities of
aliens in and around our planet?
Q: (T) Why?
Q: (T) Such as what?
More than two dozen minor earthquakes shook the tony suburbs east of San Francisco on Sunday, but they caused no injuries or damage and served as little more than a reminder of California's unstable geology. The quakes, which seismologists call a "swarm," began about 8:20 a.m. and continued throughout the day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. [...] The strongest quake struck at midmorning and could be felt as far away as Berkeley, just across the bay from San Francisco, about 15 miles from the epicenter. That shaker had a magnitude of 4.2. The quakes occurred near an area close to a similar cluster that shook the region late last year. But Sunday's shakers were probably caused by a different section of the Calaveras fault system, according to Schwartz. The quakes are the largest to occur this close to the Calaveras fault in the 40 years that the U.S. Geological Survey has been monitoring it, Schwartz said.
U.N. weapons inspectors spotted a "leftover" ceramic mold of a small missile and a "damaged" and "modified" warhead, the Iraqi News Agency has said. The finds came during a tour Monday of a site owned by the Al Nidaa Company. The Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate, which was escorting the U.N. biological team, told the agency they were "leftovers." "The (team) noticed the presence of a leftover mold of a small missile with a diameter of 20 centimeters," the agency said. "The team was given the technical explanation required on the reason of the presence of this mold. The issue was over and agreement was made on giving additional explanation later." The news agency added that the "team also noticed the presence of a modified warhead belonging to a Lunar missile with a range of 70 kilometers."
Secretary of State Colin Powell pledged Monday to provide "straightforward, sober and compelling" proof this week that Iraq was hiding banned weapons from United Nations inspectors in violation of U.N. demands. Baghdad has already dismissed the evidence. "They won't be really proof, they will be fabricated space and aerial photos," Hussam Mohammad Amin, head of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, said Sunday. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece two days before he speaks to the U.N. Security Council, Powell wrote that although there was still no "smoking gun," the world must recognize Iraq had flouted the will of the international community.
Iraq said Monday it would ask U.N. weapons inspectors to check any evidence presented to the Security Council by Secretary of State Colin Powell on weapons of mass destruction. President Saddam Hussein's chief scientific adviser Amir al- Saadi said the "so-called evidence" would not show a "smoking gun," because if the United States had credible evidence, it would have given the information to the inspectors on the ground. "I don't see why (Powell) takes it to the Security Council and shows it in public," Saadi told a visiting delegation of the European Parliament. "It is not the Cuban missile crisis, is it?...They should give it directly and quickly (to the inspectors) so that this question be settled." Saadi, referring to the inspection teams of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Iraq would react quickly after Wednesday's presentation to refute the claims. "I can't prejudge what he is going to present and whatever it is, we'll certainly react and ask the two agencies to check it if it is in their competence," he said.
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Monday the world was losing patience with Iraq and Baghdad needed to begin cooperating more with U.N. weapons inspectors. Despite the disagreement among many countries about whether Iraq is in material breach of U.N. resolutions, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei told Reuters in an interview the consensus was that Baghdad had to improve its behavior.
Comment: What a nice "echo" of George Bush... maybe ElBaradei is the REAL Raelian clone?
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday there was unmistakable evidence that Iraq was withholding cooperation from U.N. weapons inspectors and said the process of disarming Iraq was entering its "final stage." "Eight weeks have now passed since (Iraq's President) Saddam (Hussein) was given his final chance," Blair told parliament two days after returning from talks with President Bush. "The evidence of cooperation withheld is unmistakable."
President Saddam Hussein has decentralized the Iraqi army in preparation for urban combat and will rely on his son Qusay to co-ordinate a defensive war in the cities, according to exiled generals monitoring Iraq. "The Americans will be fighting ghosts. They will find it very hard to know where the enemy is. Those who are betting that Saddam will be defeated quickly are mistaken," Lt. Gen. Tawfik al-Yassiri told Reuters. "Tens of thousands of elite Iraqi forces have spread underground, above ground, in farms, schools, mosques, churches ... everywhere. They are not in camps or major installations. These units are prepared for city warfare and have the experience for it," said Yassiri. [...] Another exiled officer, who did not want his name published, said some of the best trained units in house-to-house fighting are not part of the regular Iraqi army. "They are vicious," the officer said. "They were trained in Europe and do not even wear uniforms."
A top North Korean military official says the country's troops are ready in case of an attack by the United States. As a nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula shows signs of escalating, Radio Pyongyang, the country's official media, quoted the Korean people's army chief as vowing loyalty to president Kim Jong Il, who it said had made weekend visits to two army units. "Our military and people are in full combat readiness to cope with U.S. imperialist warmongers' indiscriminate military and political moves under their strategy to dominate the Korean Peninsula," the broadcast said on Monday. The saber-rattling coincided with reports the United States was shoring up its military presence in South Korea amid signs the North may be moving closer to nuclear weapons development in the three-month old impasse.
An explosion rocked Indonesia's National Police headquarters complex in Jakarta early on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties, a police source told Reuters. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, but another source familiar with the incident said the blast came from a bomb.
Rescuers toiled through the night as police with machineguns stood guard after three apartment blocks were flattened and at least 30 people killed by a mystery explosion in the crowded commercial heart of Lagos. The front of the Prudent Bank next to the block where Sunday's blast occurred was ripped off and looters ransacked the building. Nigeria's Red Cross chief said the bank's strongroom was cleaned out. Smoke rose from behind the rubble as firefighters worked under the glare of a fire engine's headlights to extinguish flames still rising from the ruins.
A hotel fire killed 33 people in the northeast Chinese city of Harbin Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It said 10 people were rushed to hospital but were out of danger after the fire and an investigation was under way into what caused it. The agency said more than 100 people got out of the hotel unharmed and the fire was put out within half an hour. It said the municipal government had ordered safety checks throughout the city. Harbin police confirmed there had been a fire, but declined to provide any details. Other city officials were not immediately contactable. China is celebrating a week-long holiday for the Lunar New Year, which began Saturday.
The death toll in Saturday's Zimbabwe rail crash has risen to 42, police said on Sunday, while the government blamed human error for the collision between a goods train and passenger train. Police spokesman Andrew Phiri said at least 68 people were injured when the passenger train and freight train slammed head on into each other and caught fire. The passenger train was carrying 1,100 people in 13 coaches.
Doubts over a possible last-ditch visit to Iraq by the chief U.N. arms inspectors this week deepened Sunday when a top Iraqi official appeared to reject conditions they had set for the trip. Iraq said Saturday that chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix had agreed to go to Baghdad on February 8, but Blix's spokesman indicated that this depended on Iraq accepting demands the inspectors had set out in a letter to the Iraqi authorities. Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said Sunday the top inspectors' visit was going ahead without any conditions. "The visit is normal. There are no preconditions in such visits," he told reporters, without referring to their letter.
A stunned world sent words of sorrow to grieving Americans after watching the dramatic breakup of the U.S. space shuttle Columbia in the clear blue skies over Texas. The world's other major space power, Russia, sent its condolences to Washington, but Sunday went ahead with the launch of a cargo rocket carrying food and fuel to the International Space Station (ISS). The seven members of Columbia's crew had "given their lives to conquering the dangers of space in the name of peace, science and progress of civilization," Russia's President Vladimir Putin said of Saturday's tragedy. Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in the Kazakh steppe was in grief as the supply ship took off for the space station, which is manned by a joint U.S.-Russian crew.
The break-up of space shuttle Columbia is likely to have a devastating impact on the Japanese space program which had been due to send its fifth astronaut into space aboard an upcoming shuttle flight. Japanese officials said astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who was to have taken part in the Atlantis mission planned for March, would inevitably be grounded after the Columbia disaster. "There will be grave effects," Koji Yamamoto, executive director of the National Space Development Agency (NASDA), told a news conference on Sunday. Apart from Noguchi's scheduled mission, a Japanese plan to build a module for the International Space Station (ISS) would also be affected, officials said.
Poland Monday launched a probe into World War II mass murders of Jews by four alleged Nazi henchmen, marking a new attempt to build a case against a feared SS concentration camp guard known as "Ivan the Terrible." The four are suspected of committing genocide between 1942 and 1944 in Nazi death camps sited in Poland and the liquidation of urban ghettoes into which Jews were rounded up. "One of the suspects is Ivan the Terrible," prosecutor Andrzej Witkowski, of the National Remembrance Institute (IPN), told Reuters. "We hope to reach significant conclusions in the first half of this year." The IPN, responsible for prosecuting crimes against the nation, said in a statement that John Demjanjuk had been identified as Ivan the Terrible at a 1986 trial in Israel.
Beginning of the end The US is ignoring an important lesson from history - that an empire cannot survive on brute force alone - [...] It seemed like it couldn't get worse - and then it did with last week's billet-doux to Uncle Sam. There is no fatted calf Blair won't sacrifice for Bush - not even European unity. He opted for the petty snub to France and Germany rather than the one chance of effectively containing George Bush through a strong unified Europe: that was the only hope, and Blair's blown it in the company of dodgy cronies such as Silvio Berlusconi. Now America can smugly sit back while "American Europe" and "Old Europe" bicker: what kind of achievement is that for Blair, the European? Set against these failures, all that Blair has to show for his pains is a pitiful exercise of UN window-dressing to decorate American belligerence with claimed international legitimacy. [...] A pyrotechnic display of military force in Iraq might assuage the national humiliation of 9/11, but it will ill serve American interests. This is the beginning of the end of the American empire: it has failed to focus on its true enemy, terrorism; failed to grasp how asymmetric terror transforms the power relationships of the globe; and is choosing instead to indulge itself in an old-fashioned war between nation states - an irrelevant, costly and dangerous sideshow.
Europe? Frankly, America doesn't give a damn... The 'cowboys' in the White House were raised in an anti-European culture - Across the vast and tangled expanse of the United States of America, these days it isn't hard to spot disdain and contempt for that reputedly miasmic entity known in Washington as "Europe". Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld brought these sentiments to a boil recently when he dismissed the anti-war climate of "Old Europe", meaning the French and German governments. "Old" in his lexicon means loser: not virile, not vigorous, incapable of defending itself against marauders. Old Europe is a museum of that wretched and bloody "history" which Francis Fukuyama famously declared to have "ended". [...]
When Bush's America disdains Europe, it also sneers at the American north-east. To them, "Washington, DC" is an insult, and "New York City" is where Europe begins. This counter-elite rules today as fervently and exclusively as in Reagan's 80s - more so, since they control all the branches of government. Rumsfeld is from Illinois, but his plain-spoken disdain speaks for the whole cowboy elite. And not only for them, but also for their constituents. During the 2000 campaign, Bush's America - 544,000 votes smaller than Al Gore's America - was not uncomfortable with the prospect of a president whose curiosity about the world was nil, who had barely been out of the US and didn't seem to mind. Indeed, Bush's lack of acquaintance with Europe or anywhere else was, for some, a recommendation. Because all they wanted from the rest of the world was oil and cheap labour, they didn't mind Bush saying during one campaign debate: "We must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course." In their hearts, if they thought about Europe at all, they doubted that Bush was the humble sort. September 11 reignited their paranoia - and bluster.
We can still stop this blind march to disaster - President Bush is impatiently clamouring for war. At his press conference with Tony Blair, he bluntly declared that diplomacy had a "matter of weeks" to run its course. The two leaders have decided on a course of military action – they probably decided months ago. The Prime Minister continues to play word games, but he is increasingly unconvincing. He says that "war is not inevitable". In which case why not give the inspectors more time to complete their job? It would be better to have them in Iraq for months if there was any chance of avoiding a war. As long as the inspectors carry out their work, lives are not being lost in a conflict. Tragically for all of us, there is no sense that George Bush and Tony Blair regard war as a desperate last resort. Instead, they contrive frantically to create the circumstances in which they can go ahead and start bombing.
President Bush said in the two leaders' depressing and illuminating joint press conference at the White House last week that he would like a second United Nations resolution authorising military action, but that he would go to war without one. So, if there is a second resolution there will be a war. If there is no second resolution there will still be a war. This farce is undermining the authority of the UN rather than enhancing it. The UN is being used by Mr Blair to make the war palatable to the Labour Party, and by Mr Bush to legitimise a decision that he has already made. The Labour Party, along with the many doubters in rival political parties, as well as the other members of the UN Security Council, should make up their minds about whether or not there is a good cause for war. On this, Mr Blair continues to shift his ground. Early last autumn his reason for war was Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. He promised, then, to produce fresh evidence. But his subsequent dossier did not provide it. The Prime Minister then changed his ground by arguing that we should not underestimate the importance of the existing evidence.
Sometime soon after that he said that he was convinced of a definite link between Iraq and al-Qa'ida. There were hints, too, that evidence would be produced. But, again, no such evidence was forthcoming. Now Mr Blair says that terrorists might obtain weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein. At his Downing Street press conference last month he hinted that the UN inspectors would eventually make a substantial discovery of the weapons in question. Now he insists that the issue is whether Iraq is fully co-operating with the inspectors. Instead of playing word games, why does he not just come out and say it? He wants to get rid of Saddam, and he believes that war is the only means of doing that.
In the joint press conference George Bush gave a clear reason as to why he wants a war. After 11 September he unilaterally decided to rewrite international law: pre-emptive strikes were justified to defend the United States (at that point he did not mention the United Kingdom, even when Mr Blair was nodding earnestly a few feet away from him). At the very least, a pre-emptive strike places the full burden of proof on the state claiming that it is in jeopardy from an aggressor.
Neither the United States, nor Britain, has produced any overwhelming evidence. They have relied instead on Mr Blair shifting ground on what has become an almost daily basis. Last week Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, promised to prove Iraq's culpability. Unless he demonstrates conclusively that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq plans to use them, there is no case for war. We urge members of all political parties, and those outside, not to be deceived by the Prime Minister's games at the UN. He has attached himself to President Bush, with or without a UN resolution. The maximum political pressure should be placed on him in the next few weeks to prevent him from dragging Britain into an unjust war.
February 2, 2003
US cyber security chief resigns - RICHARD A Clarke, the top cyber-security adviser to President Bush, is confirming plans to resign from the White House, and he raised an ominous warning to colleagues about the destructive effects of future attacks on the internet. Mr Clarke, in an e-mail sent overnight Thursday (US time) to colleagues, cited damage from the weekend's infection that struck hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, slowing e-mail and web surfing and even shutting down some banking systems. He called the attacking software "a dumb worm that was easily and cheaply made". "More sophisticated attacks against known vulnerabilities in cyberspace could be devastating," Mr Clarke wrote. "As long as we have vulnerabilities in cyberspace and as long as America has enemies, we are at risk of the two coming together to severely damage our great country."
Comment from reader: One by one the windows and doors are being closed and locked. The open media, open borders, the worldwide internet, the hearts and minds of those who dwell in "Columbia,...the home of the free and the brave" will soon be a page to turn to in history books. When applying for a job I am now hearing, "We must have the original documents. We must validate your identity. It's the Law." Or as was said during World War II, "Papers, please." Everyone seems to be walking about with a clear plastic bag tied tightly over their head. They look out and smile, not realizing, perhaps not even caring, that the air inside will soon disappear. The article says that Mr. Clarke has been a government servant for three decades. Perhaps he is aware of what the future holds. Perhaps, as a private citizen, he will plan a little vacation...out of the country.
A San Francisco amateur astronomer who photographs the space shuttles whenever their orbits carry them over the Bay Area has captured five strange and provocative images of the shuttle Columbia just as it was re-entering the Earth's atmosphere before dawn Saturday.
Barry Chamish sez: So the Space Shuttle on its 113th mission, carrying Israel's first astronaut, explodes on the Sabbath over Palestine, Texas. Too unbelievable to be accidental, right? Well, maybe it isn't.
Obviously, it's too early to make a claim for sabotage, but there are some signs to look for and one powerful piece of evidence unknown outside Israel.
The easy way out is to observe that just when an Israeli is on board, the shuttle disintegrates. Two of the 113 shuttle flights ended in disaster, so Ilan Ramon, we calculate after the fact, had a 1 in 56.5 chance of not returning or a 1 in 112 chance before boarding. These are high but not unlikely odds. That there were Jewish astronauts on both shuttle disasters, (a distant relative of mine, Judy Resnick died in the 1986 conflagration), is entirely explainable by coincidence.
So let's increase the chances of improbability by noting that Ramon was in the Air Force squadron which bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1982, and he was on the craft on the eve of an American invasion of Iraq. There are several thousand Israeli Air Force pilots who weren't on the Iraqi mission, so Ramon's choice as the country's astronaut may not have been entirely coincidental. The Columbia explosion has the grand potential of rallying Americans against Iraq either way. Sabotage would be fine for that purpose but the images of rejoicing in Baghdad are useful as well.
THEN, that the first explosion reported was over Palestine, Texas gets a bit spooky already. Which brings us to a peculiar NASA reaction. The space agency initially insisted that no explosion was heard from the Shuttle by anyone . What people thought was an explosion was actually debris hitting the ground.
A few hours of TV watching proved that to be untrue. All kinds of witnesses saw the vapor trail and heard the explosion. They included a Texas senator and ordinary people like Randy Hendricks and Kim Dornak-Anderson, both interviewed on Fox News. Yet NASA continued to insist the Shuttle broke up, not exploded. The final proof of this false contention came from the Shreveport, Louisiana weather station, which taped the explosion on its radar screen.
So why was NASA denying that there was an explosion? The only answer anyone should come up with is that an explosion means possible sabotage. There is another reason not to dismiss that option; the reaction of the astronauts themselves. The last radio transmission proves that the crew didn't suspect anything was wrong. Then came the end of transmission, suddenly. There was not a moment of fire or smoke within the cabin. No one saw a wing in jeopardy. No one felt a sudden jolt. And those are the telltale human signs of an immediate and highly traumatic blast.
I'm not an aeronautical engineer and I'm sure there are lots of reasons why the Columbia could have exploded. However, I know that no engines were ignited because the ship was in a gliding mode. So, with no motors running and no fuel being sparked, what precisely exploded the whole ship in one gigantic blast?
Which leads me to one concrete piece of evidence that should be very closely examined. The Israeli TV Channel Two, had a reporter and crew inside the NASA Control Center. Ilan Ramon's landing was being carried live from a number of sites and Channel Two's reporter was in the right place to hear the REAL last transmissions from Columbia. And they are not even close to what the rest of the world is being told.
According to the reporter, one NASA message to the crew was most significant. A few moments before the end, NASA broadcast the following message. Now there is some Hebrew translation involved, so there are going to be some differences in the actual message; But the Channel Two reporter heard, "Rick, you're going to be surprised. We're starting the D-Orbit burn now."
The reporter wisely asked why the commander of the mission was going to be surprised and concluded that the message could lead in all kinds of suspicious directions. It was the only blatant talk of alternative suspicion that I heard all night. I waited for hours through five TV networks and not once did I hear this conversation. All I heard was a warning about tire pressure, an acknowledgement, then nothing.
But something very odd preceded the final words NASA agreed to release. And it IS a reason not to dismiss sabotage. And that may go a ways to explaining why the Homeland Security division of FEMA was placed in charge of collecting debris, backed by a beaut of a scare campaign for what will become of all who hold on to Shuttle souvenirs.
Now for me, here's the clincher. NASA stressed that it had no idea what caused the tragedy and even noted that they may never know. However, they have totally discarded terrorism as a cause of the "accident."
So, if NASA doesn't know what caused the disaster and may never know, how exactly do they know with such concrete certainty that it wasn't sabotage?
President Bush will propose a nearly $470 million boost in NASA's budget for fiscal 2004, an administration official said on Sunday, promising investigators would look into whether past cutbacks played any part in the space shuttle Columbia disaster. The disaster has prompted calls for increased spending to upgrade the aging shuttle fleet and develop a new space plane. Columbia broke up over Texas on Saturday, killing all seven astronauts aboard, just 16 minutes before it was due to land in Florida. While NASA's budget has been reduced over the past decade, a senior administration official said Bush would boost funding for the space agency by almost $470 million to $15.47 billion in his fiscal 2004 budget. The budget, which will be released on Monday, does not include costs associated with Saturday's disaster.
Remains from all seven astronauts on the doomed shuttle Columbia have been found, NASA official Bob Cabana said on Sunday. "We found remains from all the astronauts," Cabana, director of flight crew operations, told a news conference on Saturday's shuttle disaster in the skies over Texas. "It's still in the process of identification," he said.
For the Americans Ken Bowersox and Don Pettit, and the Russian Nikolai Budarin, the next 24 hours will be lonely. And they could earn the title of the last men in space – for a long time. They are at present aloft in the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), waiting for the Russian Progress cargo ship launched yesterday to ferry supplies to them. It is scheduled to dock tomorrow to deliver food, equipment, fuel and post. While they are safe, with enough supplies to last them until June, and a Russian Soyuz rocket is scheduled to go and pick them up in April, whether anyone will follow them up there for years is unclear. The future of the ISS, and of manned space travel beyond the Earth's orbit, is now uncertain. The failure of the space shuttle Columbia – which disintegrated on re-entry to Earth's atmosphere on Saturday, killing all seven astronauts on board – will almost surely mothball the ISS for about two years. All of Nasa's shuttles have been grounded until the cause is found and rectified. After Challenger blew up in 1986, 32 months – nearly three years – passed before the next one flew. There is no knowing how long it will take to fix whatever went wrong this time.
RUSSIA launched an unmanned rocket yesterday to send three tonnes of water, food, oxygen and fuel to the three astronauts living in the International Space Station. The two Americans and one Russian were due to return to Earth on March 1, but may now be made to stay until it is deemed safe to send a shuttle to collect them. In an emergency, they could return in the station’s Russian Soyuz escape capsule, but such an operation would probably be a terminal blow to the project. Don Pettit and Ken Bowersox, from the United States, and Nikolai Budarin, from Russia, arrived at the station on a four-month mission in early December, on board the shuttle Endeavor. They have been told of the Columbia crash. According to Ron Dittemore, the shuttle director of Nasa, the supplies that are due tomorrow can last the three men until June.
"I told u I was hardcore." Those were the last coherent words Brandon Vedas, 21, typed into the computer in his Phoenix bedroom as he showed off for Internet pals watching on a Web cam by swallowing more and more prescription drugs. Vedas died online as a crowd of virtual onlookers egged him to "eat more!" A chilling record of the Jan. 12 chat reads like an Internet version of the notorious 1964 Kew Gardens, Queens, stabbing of Kitty Genovese as her neighbors watched from their windows. In Vedas' case, some did try to help — begging him to stop, to call 911, to get his mother from the next room. After he passed out, some tried frantically to figure out his location while others argued against getting involved.
T HE Pentagon is poised to increase its forces in the Far East amid American fears that North Korea is within weeks of producing nuclear weapons. The build-up could include nearly three dozen bombers and an aircraft carrier, sent as a warning to Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator, not to exploit Washington’s focus on the Gulf. The request for reinforcements, made by the Commander of US Forces in the Pacific, Admiral Thomas Fargo, highlights the delicate balance the Pentagon is facing as it confronts a possible war in Iraq and events unfolding on the Korean Peninsula.
Fears of a catastrophic shuttle accident were raised last summer with the White House by a former Nasa engineer who pleaded for a presidential order to halt all further shuttle flights until safety issues had been addressed. In a letter to the White House, Don Nelson, who served with Nasa for 36 years until he retired in 1999, wrote to President George W. Bush warning that his 'intervention' was necessary to 'prevent another catastrophic space shuttle accident'.
The Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has given his first television interview in more than a decade - to the former Labour minister Tony Benn. It is expected to be broadcast within the next day or two. Mr Benn told a news conference that Sunday's interview was filmed by a television crew from the Iraqi presidency. The left-winger said it would be available to any television station that pledged to show it in its entirety.
SADDAM Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled with details of Iraq's secret arsenal. His revelations have supported US President George W. Bush's claim there is enough evidence from UN inspectors to justify going to war. Abu Hamdi Mahmoud has provided Israeli intelligence with a list of sites that the inspectors have not visited. [...] Ariel Sharon, the country's hard-line prime minister, has only allowed snippets of Mahmoud's sensational claims to be shared with the CIA and MI6. "Sharon intends to shatter the growing anti-war movement," a source close to Mr Sharon said. [...] Israeli intelligence sources have hinted that the deal with Mahmoud included smuggling his family out of Iraq. Mossad agents have done this before.
Comment: If you believe anything that Mossad comes up with, I have some nice oceanfront real estate in Arizona to sell you....
In the U.S. war plan for Iraq, more than 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles would pound the Iraqi military in the first 48 hours, paving the way for a two-pronged ground invasion to topple President Saddam Hussein's government, The New York Times said on Sunday. In a lengthy article on weapons, units and tactics to be deployed in an assault on Iraq, citing military and other Pentagon officials, the paper said the military would rely far more on precision-guided weapons than in the 1991 Gulf War to minimize civilian casualties and limit damage to Iraq's infrastructure. It said the air campaign would be carried out by about 500 Air Force attack, radar-jamming and support planes flying from bases in the Gulf region and elsewhere, as well as by Navy planes from four or five aircraft carriers. A ground offensive would follow quickly. "Military planners said the immediate goals would be to break the Iraqi army's will to fight, driving large numbers of troops to surrender or defect -- and offering them guarded sanctuary if they do -- while cutting off the leadership in Baghdad in hopes of causing a rapid collapse of the government of President Saddam Hussein," the Times said. The air campaign could be over in a week, it said. Comment: Dream on...
What Mr Bush has in mind is nothing less than a reshaping of the world If Bush wins in Iraq with 'acceptable' casualties, we will enter a more dangerous period than any in the last half century -
Sailors: 'We were used' - When Navy veteran Jim Brocklebank served as a radioman on the USS Power in the 1960s, he was intrigued by civilians in masks and body suits doing tests on his destroyer. "We asked, 'We'd like to know what you're monitoring,' " recalled Brocklebank, now 61 and living in Palm Beach Gardens in north Palm Beach County. "They just told us, 'None of your business.' They never told us a thing for 37 years." Brocklebank and the surviving members of the 250-man crew of the USS Power -- including John Luliak of Sebastian -- were used as human test subjects to see how vulnerable American ships were to war chemicals and biological agents. Eventually, sailors like Brocklebank and Luliak would learn of a dozen monitoring stations on their old World War II vessel. It was part of a secret Cold War testing operation from 1962-1973. The U.S. Department of Defense has declassified records showing it sprayed naval ships and land sites, including one in Yeehaw Junction in Central Florida, with chemicals such as sarin nerve gas and tear gas; biological agents like bacteria; and simulants that would mimic the dispersion of substances like anthrax.
The op-ed pages of US newspapers have been full of sceptical pieces about Bush and the looming war. Here's Frank Rich writing in The New York Times on Pearl Harbor Day, last 7 December: "History will eventually tell us whether Pearl Harbor Day 2002 is the gateway to a war as necessary as the Second World War, or to a tragedy of unintended consequences redolent of the First World War. A savage dictator is delivering a 'full' accounting of his weapons arsenal that only a fool would take for fact, and a President of the US is pretending (not very hard) to indulge this UN rigmarole while he calls up more reserves for the confrontation he seeks." Yet many in media and political Britain have failed to grasp this reality. Transfixed by the machinery of diplomacy, they have not understood the opposite ambitions of Saddam Hussein and his nemesis in waiting, George Bush. Over the past year numerous journalistic colleagues have told me Bush didn't want to go to war, or that wiser counsel in Washington would prevent the inexorable move towards conflict we are now witnessing. Get real, my friends. If Saddam isn't on a plane to somewhere sunny soon, then war is inevitable. I have been warned against writing a piece that howls "I told you so"; but allow me just the smallest bit of space to restate what I've been saying for 18 months. The game has always been to get rid of Saddam. Regime change has never meant containing the threat of Saddam or changing his behaviour. As Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, put it: "Saddam disarming is the mother of all hypotheticals." Bush knew that he could depend on Saddam screwing up the inspections and delivering a plausible justification to oust him. While we can argue all day and night about the motives for ousting Saddam, don't ever doubt the goal.
Vaccination programs in the late 19th and early 20th century decimated the populations of many countries where government sponsored vaccination programs were introduced. Japan suffered 48,000 deaths from smallpox vaccination; England and Wales experienced 45,800 smallpox deaths in a population that was 97% vaccinated against smallpox. Australia and Germany combined with a total of 120,000 deaths from the very smallpox for which they had been vaccinated. European deaths amongst the vaccinated portion of the population totaled 3,000,000. Deaths from smallpox vaccination programs began to decline when a revolt against mandatory vaccination programs emerged from the chaos.
Each day we move closer to a Mideast war that could involve the use of horrible weapons, even nukes. In this darkest hour since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the shining example of one man's courage has never been more relevant to the cause of peace. That man is Mordechai Vanunu, former Israeli nuclear technician, and may well be the longest serving prisoner of conscience anywhere in the world. Daniel Ellsberg recently referred to him as "the preeminent hero of the nuclear age."
Conspiracy theories springing up in Internet chat rooms Experts say predictable reactions include the bizarre, tasteless and opportunistic - The Bush administration on Saturday quickly dismissed the notion that the shuttle was brought down intentionally. But that didn't stop people from positing their beliefs as to what really transpired. Depending on who was writing in various Internet news groups, the shuttle was destroyed by the U.S. government -- in an attempt to funnel money away from NASA and to the Iraq war campaign -- or by the Israelis or Muslim extremists. One person on Google noted that shuttle debris came down in the general area of Palestine, Texas, while another observed that this was the first time that an Israeli was on board the shuttle.
Two local farmers are speculating that otherworldly visitors may be responsible for the various-sized rings of dead grass in a Whatcom County pasture. But some Washington State University researchers say that the only thing that may be among us is fungus.
"So now we can get on with mourning seven people (and I do) while we are plotting to exterminate 800,000 more (who didn't sign up for a dangerous job consciously). " Kim's obviously conflicted feelings echo my own, and I think she speaks for many anxious Americans tonight. I heard similar sentiments voiced by viewers who accepted C-Span's invitation to call in their personal reactions to the shuttle tragedy. It is tragic to lose accidentally seven human beings in a reach for the stars. Is it any less tragic to lose thousands in a reach for power? Over and over today, I viewed video footage of the last moments of that engineering marvel, the Columbia. In the first few frames, it appeared as a silver streak marking America's mastery of heaven and earth. Then, without explanation or warning, this soaring symbol of speed and power became a hideous fireball spewing bits and pieces of toxic chaos across the Texas sky. Our best technicians stood mute and helpless at their remote control consoles as their wondrous creation of handicraft and logic was brought down by forces they had not quite mastered.
The day after U.S. President George W. Bush announced his near- declaration of a war against Iraq during the State of the Union Address, the Dow Jones and NASDAQ looked flimsy at best. Bush's economic recovery plan has failed to impress and the opening statements on the economy seem to have fallen on deaf ears as the Bush administration (thanks in large part to Karl Rove) trumpets the calls for war. - War is shaking the economy. As fears of worldwide economic despair (should the U.S. invade Iraq) become more obvious, the previously vaunted AOL/Time Warner merger, a free market, capitalist feat, is quickly fading to black.
An adamant American president has made up his mind that there shall be a war in the Gulf. I cannot remember any other instance in recent history when the possibility of a war was so thoroughly rejected by so many. Now, some of the leading nations of the world, including France and Germany, have decided to say "no" to a war in Iraq. The leaders of these nations are rallying and trying their best to see that war is averted. The U.S. and Britain have amassed more than 200,000 troops in the Gulf along with the most sophisticated weapons known to man. It is said that more than 300 cruise missiles will be fired every day against Iraq in the event of a war, which is more than the total number of such missiles fired during the entire Gulf War in 1991.
Iraq's U.N. ambassador said Sunday he will ask to speak to the Security Council after Secretary of State Colin Powell presents what the United States says will be new evidence of Iraq's weapons programs and links to al-Qaida. Ambassador Mohammed Al-Douri said the Iraqi government has decided against sending a high-ranking official to respond to Powell. But he said he will make a formal request Monday to the council president, Germany's U.N. Ambassador Gunter Pleuger, to speak after the secretary of state's address Wednesday. "We will assert our position that we have no link with al-Qaida, whatever Mr. Colin Powell says," Al-Douri said. "We will also assert our position to be fully cooperative with the inspectors, and we will state that the meeting on Feb. 8-9 (with top weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei) will produce positive results." There had been speculation in diplomatic circles that Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz might attend. [...] The United States requested the meeting so Powell can unveil newly declassified intelligence. The Bush administration hopes the information will convince reluctant council members that U.N. inspections are not working because of continued Iraqi defiance a finding that could pave the way for military action. [...] Al-Douri said his response will depend on what Powell and other council members have to say. From media reports, the ambassador said, "We don't think he will present something spectacular."
The government of the United States has the most incredibly outrageous and unmitigated gall. According to the official position of the White House, the worst thing on the planet is Saddam Hussein. Apparently, they don't have any mirrors in the White House.
During President Bush's State of the Union speech, he boldly pronounced that if Saddam Hussein does not comply with U.S. demands, then the United States government will invade Iraq in order to secure the "peace of the world." When nearly the entire world is against an invasion of Iraq, it begs the question, "Whose world is it?"
We are approaching the climax of the Bush administration's policy of unilateralism. Soon the Bush administration will make the decision of whether to go to war with Iraq. The future of the world as we currently know it may depend on this decision. While to many Americans an invasion of Iraq may seem like a largely insignificant event, the actual ramifications are quite serious. If the Bush administration chooses to attack Iraq, the United States will be invading a sovereign nation accompanied by almost no global support. Nearly every single government on the planet has spoken out against a war in Iraq, including the major countries of the European continent, Germany and France.
Public support for President George W. Bush's plan to disarm Saddam Hussein by force drifted upward late last week after the State of the Union address and the administration believes Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to the United Nations will garner additional support. A Washington Post-ABC News poll of 855 randomly selected adults on Feb. 1 found that 66 per cent of Americans were in favor of taking military action against Iraq, up from 57 percent two weeks earlier. This poll, which had a 4 percent margin of error, found the greatest support for the war since mid-September.
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